Scientists are currently investigating new uses for Helium Ion microscopy in nano-patterning. Since it is not limited by the proximity effect of conventional e-beam lithography, Helium Ion technology seems to be an up-and-coming alternative, especially when it comes to printing ever finer features. For over two years, the ORION Plus Helium Ion Microscope from Carl Zeiss has been known for its excellence in imaging uncoated insulating samples and soft materials with sub-nanometer resolution (resolution specification <0.35nm). Now—with a growing installed base of ORION instruments—academic and industrial R&D microscopists are extending the diversity of applications to include nano-fabrication.
Researchers have patterned 5 nm dots on a 14 nm pitch while other teams have demonstrated well delineated L-bar lines in HSQ resist. This new regime of pattern fidelity is enabled by the large depth of field of the microscope and by the short range of the ion initiated secondary electrons in typical resist materials. Helium-ion defined patterns in HSQ can easily be obtained without the usual narrow process window constraints often associated with conventional optical and e-beam lithography.
According to Wei Wu, a new ORION customer, and a senior research scientist in Stan William's Information and Quantum Systems Lab at HP Labs in Palo Alto, California, “We look forward to furthering our research regarding the fabrication and imaging of the smallest possible nano-electronic and nano-photonic features. We see the ORION instrument as a unique, powerful tool that will enable us to continue our record-breaking research.”
To learn more about this exciting development, visit the Carl Zeiss SMT booth at the International Microscopy Congress (IMC17) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 19-24, 2010, or contact your Carl Zeiss SMT sales representative.
The Carl Zeiss Group is a leading group of companies operating worldwide in the optical and opto-electronic industries that generates revenues totaling around EUR 2.1 billion (2008/09). Carl Zeiss offers innovative solutions for the future-oriented markets of Medical and Research Solutions, Industrial Solutions and Lifestyle Products. The Carl Zeiss Group has approximately 13,000 employees worldwide, including more than 8,000 in Germany. The Carl Zeiss business groups hold leading positions in their markets. Carl Zeiss AG, Oberkochen, is fully owned by the Carl Zeiss Stiftung (Carl Zeiss Foundation).
Carl Zeiss SMT
Carl Zeiss SMT AG comprises the Semiconductor Technology Group of the Carl Zeiss Group. Carl Zeiss SMT is one of the leading manufacturers of lithography optics and light, electron and ion-optical inspection, analysis and measuring systems. The company offers a broad spectrum of application and service solutions for the fields of semiconductor technology, nanotechnology, materials research and life sciences. Carl Zeiss SMT AG is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. Other sites are located in Germany, the UK, France, the USA, Israel and Singapore. The company has a global workforce of over 2,400 people and generated revenues of just under EUR 400 million in fiscal year 2008/09. Carl Zeiss SMT AG is fully owned by Carl Zeiss AG, Oberkochen.
Further information is available at http://www.smt.zeiss.com