Developed as part of an ongoing research agreement with IBM Corp., the new technology eliminates dual exposure steps and is compatible with conventional 193-nm lithography equipment.
At SPIE last year, more than 10 papers on the conference schedule focused on directed self-assembly, a technology that combines lithographically defined substrates and self-assembled polymers. Research has focused on using lithography to alter the surface of a silicon wafer, then adding block co-polymers that assemble themselves into regular arrays along the defined pattern.
Directed self-assembly first landed on the ITRS in 2007 as a potential solution for leading-edge, critical layer lithography. The technology is still part of the ITRS as of the 2009 edition.
Still in the R&D stage, DSA is aimed for a range of devices, such as cylindrical patterns, vertical cylindrical patterns, nanowire arrays, FinFETs, among others, according to a paper from IBM at SPIE here.
One of the first applications appears to be the fabrication of a replicator in nano-imprint lithography. With a DSA-enable replicator, nano-imprint can be used for bit-pattern media applications in disk drives, according to IBM.
The continued growth of the semiconductor industry and shrinking design nodes has spurred the development of new innovative lithography patterns. Using a proprietary polymer system, that differs from existing and widely used block co-polymer technology, this newly designed structure from JSR and IBM have shown good test results for 22-nm half-pitch patterning and allows for phase separation, resulting in good profiles and more flexible use in both logic and memory applications.
“This DSA technology is a highly viable solution for the key sub-20-nm half-pitch threshold where it can become complementary to prevailing technologies such as EUV,” said JSR Micro President Eric R. Johnson, in a statement. “We see the potential for its integration with a broad application set and are committed to our ongoing relationship with IBM to develop impactful lithography technologies.”