Photolithography

Overview
Nova’s Solution

Photolithography (Litho) is the process of projecting a microscopic pattern, of the desired circuitry, onto a wafer. The process involves multiple steps:

  • Coating the wafer with light-sensitive photoresist film
  • Exposing the film using a mask with the desired circuit pattern
  • Developing the photoresist film to leave behind the required pattern on the wafer
Challenges

Immersion lithography and multi-patterning are key enablers as the semiconductor industry moves towards smaller critical dimension (CD) geometries. Metrology requirements for these advanced technologies are driven by Litho process challenges such as photoresist shrinkage and tighter CD uniformity (CDU).

Traditional metrology methods like CD-SEM are unable to meet the required sampling throughput and may damage the resist material. As a result, semiconductor manufacturers are looking for metrology solutions to provide the speed and accuracy in the Litho process control.

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