In the eternal search for ways to fabricate smaller features in semiconductors, EUV seems to be the current focus for production facilities. Researchers at the University of Chicago and the Argonne National Laboratory may have a solution which could prove to be very useful in the future and could even see the mask technology currently used in photolithography become obsolete. DOLFIN, aka Direct Optical Lithography of Functional Inorganic Nanomaterials, creates features by making a film of nanoparticles with photoactive ligands which is then covered in a glas or quartz mask with a patterned metal layer and exposed to UV light. This is very similar to current methods, the mask is reusable and the amount of UV light required is similar to that needed currently.
This method differs in several ways, not least of which is it does not require as many rare and unhealthy solutes. What could really help it take off is the fact that seems to be cheaper and more reliable than current processes and it is capable of creating a six-layer 3D pattern in 19 process steps; conventional technology would take 43 steps. There is more over at Nanotechweb.
"The fact that the dose of UV required in the new technique is comparable to that for conventional photoresists opens up a plethora of opportunities for advanced device manufacturing, he tells nanotechweb.org."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Cybenetics: Better Paid-For Badges for Your PSU? @ [H]ard|OCP
- Ahead Of Radeon RX Vega, AMDGPU+RadeonSI Is Offering The Most Competitive Performance Yet Against NVIDIA On Linux @ Phoronix
- Amazon Echo hack turns speaker into covert listening device @ The Inquirer
- AI quickly cooks malware that AV software can't spot @ The Register
- With 200 Million Daily Users, Giphy Will Soon Test Sponsored GIFs @ Slashdot
- Corsair T1 Race Gaming Chair @ techPowerUp