New architecture for laser pattern generators for 130 nanometers and beyond
A new breed of pattern generators for photomasks using a new DUV spatial light modulator (SLM) technology is under development in a collaborative effort between Micronic Laser Systems AB, Taby, Sweden and the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems (FhG-IMS), Dresden, Germany. Current pattern generator architectures using a limited number of scanning beams will not be able to support future production requirements with ever-increasing data complexity and resolution. The new SLM technology provides a means for high resolution and massive parallel exposure to alleviate these difficulties. There are many architectural similarities to that of a modern stepper and the technology can provide the resolution to rival that of 3-beam pattern generators, yet with the productivity of laser patterning. In this paper we describe the architecture of an SLM exposure system, the SLM technology, and will consider key aspects for the intended application.