Posted in | News | Semiconductors | Microscopy

Advanced Extreme-Ultraviolet Microscope for Creation of Computer Chips

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed the Semiconductor High-NA Actinic Reticle Review Project (SHARP) microscope for photolithography. The SHARP microscope is an advanced extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) photomask-imaging microscope which has been developed in partnership with semiconductor manufacturers.

Kenneth Goldberg is seen in the reflective coating of a photolithography mask which he's about to measure at the Advanced Light Source's beamline 11.3.2. Inset at lower right shows a mask's extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) absorbing layer, printed on a six-inch square of glass coated with multiple layers of molybdenum and silicon only billionths of a meter thick to reflect unwanted EUV. Credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Kenneth Goldberg at the Berkeley Lab's Materials Science Division Center for X-Ray Optics (CXRO) is leading the 1.5-year, $4.1 million project. The EUV microscope is to be used simultaneously along with the Advanced Light Source microscope at beamline 11.3.2. The Actinic Inspection Tool (AIT) microscope has specific imaging capabilities, but may not be able meet future requirements. SHARP will be better than the AIT in terms of speed, resolution, coherence control and illumination.

Semiconductor devices of the near future will measure in terms of billionths of a meter, for example, 8, 11 or 16 nm. Mass production of such semiconductors requires a 13.5 nm wavelength EUV light for photolithography. Photomasks play a major role in mass production in lithography. Master circuit patterns are carried by a series of photomasks and are transferred layer by layer onto chips for creation of semiconductor devices.

Dust particles or imperfections on the master circuit patterns can lead to chip failure. EUV microscopy can reliably identify such particles and defects when compared to non-EUV inspection tools. It can help evaluate defects and repair mask architectures and materials, advanced pattern features and strategies.

The SHARP EUV microscope has high-magnification objective lenses, which are holographic Fresnel zoneplate lenses. CXRO's Nanowriter produces these lenses, which have a width, slightly more than a single human hair. These microscopic lenses can project images with a 2,000x magnification. Illumination coherence control is a unique feature of the microscope. The EUV beam produced has a laser-like coherence. Re-engineering the illumination into a partial coherence state can improve the image resolution for microscopy. The beamline illuminator in the SHARP microscope has an angle-scanning mirror that can maneuver the highly-coherent ALS light into patterns and break and re-shape the coherence properties.



Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Choi, Andy. (2019, February 28). Advanced Extreme-Ultraviolet Microscope for Creation of Computer Chips. AZoOptics. Retrieved on April 15, 2024 from

  • MLA

    Choi, Andy. "Advanced Extreme-Ultraviolet Microscope for Creation of Computer Chips". AZoOptics. 15 April 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    Choi, Andy. "Advanced Extreme-Ultraviolet Microscope for Creation of Computer Chips". AZoOptics. (accessed April 15, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Choi, Andy. 2019. Advanced Extreme-Ultraviolet Microscope for Creation of Computer Chips. AZoOptics, viewed 15 April 2024,

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.