breakthrough promises huge impact for electronic devices
of RIT researchers led by Bruce Smith, RIT’s Intel Professor
of Microelectronic Engineering, has developed the ability to produce
optical image resolution at the smallest-ever level. The breakthrough
optical nanolithography technique uses a prototype tool developed
at RIT to produce images for semiconductors as small as 38 nanometers.
means microelectronic devices that previously required extreme
ultraviolet or near X-ray wavelengths can now be produced with
optics and light much closer to the ultraviolet, allowing for
more rapid and cost-effective development of smaller, more powerful
and more affordable microelectronic devices, Smith says.
results will have significant impact on the direction of the research,
development and manufacturing of semiconductor devices,”
says Smith, who is also associate dean in the Kate Gleason College
is an enhanced method of creating circuit patterns on computer
chips by exposing a light-sensitive layer through a layer of water.
By taking advantage of the unique optical properties of water
at ultraviolet wavelengths, resolution nearly 1/20th the wavelength
of visible light (1/1,000th the width of a human hair) is possible.
The higher resolution allows for smaller features in micro- and
funding for the technology from International SEMATECH, the Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency
(more commonly known as DARPA), Semiconductor Research Corp.,
IBM Corp., ASML Holding NV and Intel Corp.