USHIO INC. and Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (hereinafter “TNO”) announced today that they have established a strategic partnership aimed at enabling the development of extreme ultra-violet (EUV) Lithography for next generation semiconductor manufacturing.

TNO and USHIO are jointly building a new experimental EUV exposure and analysis facility to study radiation-induced effects on EUV optics and reticles. The new facility, called EBL2, will support the common goal of understanding contamination effects on surfaces under all extreme ultraviolet radiation conditions foreseen in the power roadmap for upcoming lithography tools. This will speed up the development of next-generation lithography systems, masks, and pellicles. The USHIO high-intensity Sn LDP (Laser-assisted Discharge-produced Plasma) EUV light source will provide pulsed EUV in a well-controlled environment similar to lithography system conditions. Sample handling and transport will be automated and have cleanliness levels equal to state-of-the-art semiconductor standards for EUV production.

The USHIO Sn LDP EUV light source can achieve intensity and output of the source approximately 5 to 10 times higher than that of Xenon. As such, it enhances the throughput of EUV mask inspection associated with EUV lithography, which is slated for adoption in the next generation of lithography in and after 2017.

EUV mask technology is critical for the commercialization of EUV lithography and the development of EUV mask inspection tools, such as actinic blank inspection (ABI) and actinic pattern inspection (API) etc., is needed. USHIO aims to provide substantial support to the mask inspection process implemented by device manufacturers, as well as mask makers, by delivering its inspection light sources to mask inspection equipment manufacturers.

USHIO will present the paper on EUV light sources at the “SPIE Advanced Lithography 2016”, to be held on February 21 (Sun.) through 25 (Thu.), 2016, at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center and San Jose Marriot in San Jose, California, USA.


Ms. Marring, CFO of TNO and Mr. Matsubara, CEO of Ushio Europe B.V.