Imec and ASML Team Up to Announce EUV Lithography Collaboration


In the next stage of this collaboration, ASML’s EUV scanner (NXE:3400B) will be installed in imec’s cleanroom to boost industrialisation of EUV 

Imec, an international R&D innovation hub collaborated with ASML, a developer of lithographic equipment. The two are stepping towards boosting the adoption of EUV lithograpghy for high-volume production


They are also explore the potential of the next-generation high-NA EUV lithography to enable printing of even smaller nanoscale devices advancing semiconductor scaling towards the post 3 nanometer Logic node. As a result they have established a joint high-NA EUV research lab.

Joint research centre was established in 2014 by both the companies. This Advanced Patterning Center optimizes lithography technology for advanced CMOS integration and to prepare the ecosystem to support advance patterning requirements. The next stage of this co-operation will see the installation of ASML’s most advanced and high-volume production dedicated EUV scanner (NXE:3400B) in imec’s cleanroom.

Using imec’s infrastructure and advanced technology platforms, researchers and partner companies will be able to pro-actively analyse and solve technical challenges to accelerate the EUV technology’s industrialisation.

The joint high-NA EUV research lab will see researchers from both organisations experiment with the next generation of EUV lithography at higher NA. Systems with a higher NA projects the EUV light onto the wafer under larger angles, improving resolution, and enabling printing of smaller features. More specifically, the new high-NA EUV system, EXE:5000, that will be installed in the joint research lab, will have an NA of 0.55 instead of 0.33 in current NXE:3400 EUV systems.

The first joint scientific projects to facilitate the introduction of high-NA EUV, are under process. In the joint research lab, ASML and imec will perform research on the manufacturing of the most advanced nanoscale devices by high-NA EUV and assist the ecosystem of equipment and material suppliers to prepare for the introduction of high-NA EUV technology to the industry.

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Commenting Luc Van den hove, President and CEO of imec, said: “The new EUV scanners and ASML metrology equipment will allow our industry partners to perform collaborative research on the most advanced and industry relevant lithography and metrology equipment. ASML and imec have a nearly 30 year long tradition of joint research, leading to breakthrough patterning research to advance the semiconductor industry roadmap.”

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