MIT researchers claim breakthrough in e-beam lithography

E-beam lithography has promised a way out of the challenges of producing chips but its speed has prevented it being used as a mass production technique.

But now researchers at MIT say they a new approach to the technique may get the resolution of highspeed e-beam lithography down to as little as nine nanometers, coupled with an increase in speed.

Manufacturers like Intel are turning to extreme ultraviolet as a way of maintaining Moore’s Law but that has its drawbacks too, according to Vitor Manfrinato, author of the MIT paper. Extreme ultraviolet makes for inefficient light sources and much more complicated systems.

Manfrinato and other scientists believe that there are a few tricks that can be implemented for e-beam lithography.  They are testing a thin resist layer to lower electron scattering and also using a solution of table salt to develop the resist for regions that have slightly more electrons.

The paper explaining the technique they’re pioneering is here