Bell Labs improves on optical litho limit

Bell Labs improves on optical litho limit
Richard Ball Flash memory with a minimum feature size of just 0.08?m has been manufactured using conventional optical lithography by Bell Labs. Researchers claim this is the smallest working device ever manufactured using optical lithography. Stepper manufacturers and semiconductor engineers believed optical techniques would reach a limit at 0.12?m, or 120nm. The achievement could result in big savings for semiconductor makers, by not having to switch to new manufacturing technology. To make the device, Bell Labs used a 193nm laser in combination with phase shift masks. Photo-resists were also developed to work with the shorter wavelength light. The resulting flash storage cell has a floating gate measuring 80x160nm. Beyond the 193nm used by Bell Labs, semiconductor manufacturers are looking towards extreme ultra-violet (EUV) lasers, ion-beam and electron-beam.


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