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New Electron Microscope With 20 Nanometer range.

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posted on Sep, 11 2006 @ 08:43 PM

Working together, these More Moore participants have created a photoemission electron microscope capable of measuring features as small as 20 nanometers (nm), without destroying the sample. Recently they identified defects of 50 nm buried under the multilayer coating of a mask blank.

A typical application for EUVL is "mask blank inspection" and this requires keeping the sample intact during inspection. Until now, this was not possible. Common methods such as scanning electron microscopy cannot identify defects hidden beneath the multilayer coating of the EUVL mask blank. This is therefore an important step for EUV technology. Masks are an important part of the infrastructure, required for the successful introduction of EUVL technology.

EUVL will be the next generation technology used by the semiconductor industry to manufacture integrated circuits, with ever-smaller features. Smaller features - starting at 32 nm instead of the 65 nm common today -- allow chipmakers to fit more transistors on each chip or make more complex chips. Transition to EUVL technology will enable the continuation of increased number of transistors per square mm consistent with Moore's law, which predicts the computing power of semiconductors should double roughly every two years.


Pretty cool development.
I don't understand all the terms, but I get the jist of it.

Comments, Opinions?

posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 05:33 PM
Than u can look pretty close
maby even see atmos soon

posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 05:53 PM
That sounds quite interesting, although similar stuff already exists. The nondestructive nature of the device is good, though. I did a bit of work in the nano area about a year ago, and we had a device that could measure down to about 10nm features, only it put nice long (well, long on the scales we're talking about) scratches across the thing you were measuring.

I've also used a device that was based on the principle of wavelengths and indexes of refraction and that sort of thing, and it could measure (in theory) within a few nm, only it sometimes screwed up due to all the variables that it had to take into account, and so sometimes it gave you errors.

I did use a scanning tunneling microscope as well, and I'm trying to remember how small the featuers you could view on it were, but I'm drawing a blank. I do remember it was quite impressive, though.

I do also find it interesting that the article mentions almost casually that 65nm is the standard for ICs. Just a few months ago, I heard from a professor who works in this area that only Intel had managed to get as small as 65nm, and that until my prof saw proof, he thought they were BSing him. I guess that's quite literally Moore's Law in action for you.

posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 06:11 PM
Yeah, a 20 nm resolution isn't something to really brag about, however the non-destructive qualities of the device are quite desirable.

Having thought that over, I guess this device won't really to manipulate things that well. A tradeoff I guess.

[edit on 20-9-2006 by sardion2000]

posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 07:49 PM
The big problem they solved that I can see is the burn-in from scanning electron microscopes. Everytime I use to zoom in I would leave a mark. Imagine a magnifying glass on a sunny day, the closer you move it to the object the hotter it gets. This is the case with scanning electron microscopes but you got alot more power in a much smaller area.

I looked at some pics online that were zoomed in to 150K. You had a clear view of something that was 100 nm, so something that is 20 nm would also be viewed very well. I know the SEM I use to work with had a max zoom of 250K. We had to use that much zoom to check out our product sometimes. I loved that part of my job. Problem was focusing it, that took more time then anything else. It was cooled with liquid nitrogen so we had fun with that as well.

Back to the topic at hand. No destruction of the sample is great news. I wonder what power they can turn it up to? Higher zoom with higher power creates a better picture, but are they limited with this design? I miss the good old days of growing wafers, well not really that part, but inspecting them was alot of fun. Thanks for posting this.

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