Thermal scanning probe lithography (tSPL), also termed NanoFrazor lithography, is based on heated atomic force microscope (AFM) tips to create lithographic patterns by locally evaporating a thermally sensitive resist. This process enables the fabrication of precise 3D patterns and high-resolution structures without the use of charged particles, such as electrons, which have been implicated in substrate damage. Moreover, AFM imaging is exploited for in-situ inspection of the substrate surface before patterning and of the lithographic structures written into the substrate. The immediate visual feedback of the patterning success allows fast turnaround processing which is further enhanced by the absence of proximity effects. tSPL has been pioneered at IBM Research – Zurich over the past ten years and in 2012 an independent company SwissLitho AG was founded to commercialize the technology. A huge number of applications to solve real world nano-physics problems have emerged since then.
Hard-mask pattern transfer
High resolution lithography requires the use of thin (typically 10 nm or even less) resist layers which limits the depth of the tSPL written patterns. For real world applications the depth of these shallow resist patterns needs to be amplified at the device level. A two-step etch-transfer process involving an extremely thin inorganic hard-mask layer and a thicker organic resist mask has been developed for the transfer of high resolution tSPL resist patterns. In a first step the shallow tSPL lithographic pattern is transferred into the inorganic hard-mask by means of reactive ion etching (RIE). SiO2 rich inorganic hard masks with a thickness of only 2-3 nm have been found to be ideal for this process yielding high resolution and low line edge roughness patterns. The thin hard-mask layer is sufficient for the subsequent RIE transfer into the second much thicker organic mask layer. A wide range of carbon based resists compatible with typical industry processes including metal lift-off can be used for the organic mask.
Fabrication of the extremely thin SiO2 rich hard-mask layer in a uniform and pin-hole free manner is absolutely crucial for the whole transfer process to be successful at sub-20 nm half-pitch resolution. The deposition of such thin films of sufficient quality by means of established methods like sputtering or evaporation has been rather challenging. SwissLitho and PiBond have jointly developed a Si hard mask and a process to solve exactly this problem in a user-friendly way that requires only a simple spin coater for the reliable fabrication of the thin inorganic hard mask layer.
Felix Holzner, CEO of SwissLitho, says: “The Si hard mask developed by PiBond is an extremely important step forward, significantly simplifying the hard-mask pattern transfer scheme for our customers.”
SwissLitho develops, manufactures and sells innovative tools, termed NanoFrazor, for direct write nano-lithography. The principle of operation is based on heated cantilevers and thermally responsive resists. The innovative patterning process enables the fabrication of complex 3D nanostructures with unmatched precision and high density lithography down to sub-10 nm half-pitch resolution. Wet development and vacuum is not needed for this direct write process and samples are not exposed to high-energy electron beams. This novel technology enables easy rapid-prototyping of high-quality nanostructures also on delicate samples for a broad range of nanotechnology applications. The flag ship product “NanoFrazor Explore” was successfully introduced to the market in 2014. In 2017 a table-top entry-level tool “NanoFrazor Scholar” was added to the product portfolio. In addition, SwissLitho continuously develops unique processing know-how to support customers in their applications that often go beyond what is possible by means of conventional nanolithography approaches.
PiBond is a leader in the development and production of advanced liquid spin-on materials based on organosilicon and metal oxide chemistries. PiBond has a proven track record of materials innovation and manufacturing for the semiconductor industry. PiBond’s technology and state-of-the-art production plant, and products are key contributors in the production of the latest ultra-high resolution semiconductor devices used in mobile devices, electric vehicles and wearables. PiBond provides products globally with a proven and audited track record, meeting the standards for reliability and high quality demanded by the semiconductor industry.
PiBond is proud to announce that we have joined to Responsible Care program. Program’s goal is to improve safety and reduce environmental impact of...May 03, 2021
To enhance the service to the chip makers and meet the strong demand from Taiwan Market. PiBond has opened the branch in Hsinchu to...March 29, 2021
PiBond's materials are applied in tens of thousands monthly wafer starts in the manufacturing semiconductor devices. Many of the materials applied have an optical...March 02, 2021
PiBond participates in SEMICON China event in Shanghai, March 17-19, 2021. You can find us at the booth E7 7775. PiBond will exhibit spin coatable...November 19, 2020
The victory comes in the Category of Business Innovations on PiBond’s Silicon-Rich Materials for Advanced Semiconductor Fabrication. The Awarded innovation represents the latest technology...October 22, 2020
Whereas we have been a technology leading company in the semiconductor siloxane materials space for some years already. Now we have also made great...September 16, 2020
PiBond at IWAPS, 5-6 November 2020, Chengdu China PiBond presents ‘New silicon-based materials for semiconductor manufacturing processes’ at ‘International Workshop on Advanced Patterning Solutions’ (IWAPS...September 10, 2020
SEMICON Taiwan, September 23-25, Hall 1 (TaiNEX 1) PiBond participates in SEMICON Taiwan event in Taipei, Taiwan. You can find us at booth N0384. PiBond...March 26, 2020
Statement from us regarding the situation with currently ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. PiBond's statementAugust 19, 2019
PiBond at IWAPS, 17-18. October 2019, Nanjing, China PiBond presents ‘Enabling silicon-based materials for advanced and novel semiconductor manufacturing processes’ at ‘International Workshop on Advanced...August 19, 2019
TWTC Nangang Hall, September 18-20, 2019 PiBond participates in SEMICON Taiwan event in Taipei, Taiwan. You can find us at booth N0484 (4th floor). PiBond...February 21, 2019
Shanghai New International Expo Centre, March 20-22, 2019. PiBond will participate in SEMICON China event in Shanghai. You can find us at the booth 1737....August 03, 2018
Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center 1&4F, September 5-7, 2018 – SEMICON Taiwan 2018. PiBond participates in SEMICON Taiwan event in Taipei, Taiwan. You can find us...February 27, 2018
Thermal scanning probe lithography (tSPL) has been used to create patterns with sub-20 nm half pitch resolution. Pattern generation uses a thermally sensitive resist...February 23, 2018
Shanghai New International Expo Centre, March 14-16, 2018 PiBond will participate in SEMICON China event in Shanghai. You can find us at the Genes Tech...August 17, 2017
Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, September 13-15, 2017 – SEMICON Taiwan 2017. PiBond participates in SEMICON Taiwan event in Taipei, Taiwan. You can find us at...May 12, 2017
Munich, Germany, November 14-17, 2017. PiBond participates in SEMICON Europa event in Munich, Germany. This year’s SEMICON Europa event will be co-located with productronica, the...February 20, 2017
Shanghai New International Expo Centre, March 14-16, 2017. PiBond participates in SEMICON China event in Shanghai at the Nagase booth No. 5617 in hall W5....October 25, 2016
Alpexpo, Grenoble, October 25-27, 2016 – SEMICON Europa. PiBond participates in SEMICON Europa event in Grenoble, France. Our booth No. is 541. We exhibit our...October 19, 2016
Pibond is awarded patent for its SAP technology platform. Helsinki, Oct. 19, 2016 — PiBond today announced the latest key milestone in its innovative SAP...September 22, 2016
Rapidly emerging global megatrends such as Internet of Things, augmented reality as well as new waves of automotive and security related applications have become key...September 07, 2016
Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, September 7-9, 2016 – SEMICON Taiwan 2016. PiBond participates in SEMICON Taiwan event in Taipei at the Grand Trend booth No....March 10, 2016
Shanghai New International Expo Centre, March 15-17, 2016 – SEMICON China 2016. PiBond participates in SEMICON China event in Shanghai at the Nagase booth No....January 01, 2016
Tokyo Big Sight, January 13-15, 2016 – Nepcon Japan 2016. PiBond participates in the NEPCON conference at Nagase booths E52-40 (Hall 6) and E21-13 (Hall...April 01, 2015
New spin-on hardmask materials -- SAP-100 product line -- enables most advanced semiconductor nodes as well as process simplifications HELSINKI, Finland, April 1, 2015 --...July 29, 2014
Helsinki, Finland July 29, 2014 - Pibond Oy, a speciality chemical investment vehicle, today announced its acquisition of the assets of Silecs Oy (www.Silecs.com)....