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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Optical lithography


Optical lithography is a photon-based technique comprised of projecting an image into a photosensitive emulsion (photoresist) coated onto a substrate such as a silicon wafer. It is the most widely used lithography process in the high volume manufacturing of nano-electronics by the semiconductor industry. Optical lithography’s ubiquitous use is a direct result of its highly parallel nature allowing vast amounts of information to be transferred very rapidly. For example, a modern leading edge lithography tool produces 150-300-mm patterned wafers per hour with 40-nm two-dimensional pattern resolution, yielding a pixel throughput of approximately 1.8T pixels/s. Continual advances in optical lithography capabilities have enabled the computing revolution over the past 50 years.

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