LIVERMORE, Calif. -- The world's first working microelectronic device to be made with extreme ultraviolet light has been fabricated at Sandia National Laboratories/California.
The device is a field effect transistor, a common building block of all integrated circuits. It has an electrical channel, or gate width of 0.10 microns - a thousandth the width of a human hair - more than three times smaller than devices on current chips.
"This demonstrates there are no fundamental show-stoppers in fabricating devices using extreme ultraviolet lithography," said Richard Stulen, who manages Sandia's Advanced Electronics Manufacturing Technologies Department in which the work takes place. "It's the world's first proof of principle for device fabrication with EUVL."
Results of the Sandia project were presented Thursday in Boston at a meeting of the Optical Society of America by project leader Khanh Nguyen. Nguyen first demonstrated the device's operation on April 13 by examining its electrical characteristics using equipment at the University of California at Berkeley's Electrical Engineering Department.
Additional highlights from the EUV lithography program were given by Sandia and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory collaborators at the meeting, significantly increasing confidence in the feasibility of this advanced lithography tool.
Current leading edge chip patterns are printed with a photographic-like process, optical lithography, creating features that are 0.35 micron wide. However, optical lithography is reaching physical limits.
The shorter wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light enable printing smaller features at high resolution. The experimental lithography tool assembled at Sandia a year ago is the first extreme ultraviolet patterning system capable of overlaying features, a precise and demanding function which is necessary to create a working device.
Lithography has been targeted as a key technology for semiconductors as they continue to be made smaller, faster and more powerful. The Semiconductor Industry Association aims for commercial production of microchips with 0.1 micron features in the year 2007.
The Sandia project is sponsored by the Department of Energy's Technology Transfer Initiative program in collaboration with LLNL, AT&T Bell Labs, Intel and other partners. As the project proceeds, the researchers will create more complicated devices and circuits to evaluate and develop the fabrication processes further, Stulen said.
Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram Department of Energy laboratory, operated by a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp. With main facilities located in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in national defense, energy, environmental technologies and economic competitiveness.
Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy.
Nancy Garcia, Nancy_Garcia@Sandia.gov (510) 294-2932
Richard Stulen, (510) 294-2070
Khanh Nguyen, (510) 294-2218