Russian MEMS for unique lithography technology
a plant for the production of MEMS at the Moscow Technopolis. A co-investor of the project is Rusnano Group, which has invested 40 million euros
in the groundbreaking maskless lithography, developed by Mapper Lithography. The investments in the launch of the Moscow-based facility amounted to about 1 billion rubles. About past, present and plans for the future of the project
told the General Director of Mapper LLC
Mapper Lithography was founded in 2001 in the Netherlands for commercialization of maskless electron-beam lithography, developed at Delft University of Technology. The company was looking for investors, and in 2012 has signed an agreement with Russian Rusnano Group. A condition for investment was the establishment of Hi-Tech production plant in Russia. Our company manufacture electronic components for maskless lithography systems produced by Mapper Lithography, in particular, MEMS for electronic optics, which are the key elements of this equipment. We will supply electronic optics for all the needs of the parent production plant, based in the Netherlands.
What are the advantages of the technology, developed by Mapper Lithography, and at what stage of development is it?
The main difference from other electron-beam lithography systems, is the multiple beam exposure (multiple e-beam) – a powerful single electron beam is divided into many separate parallel beams. These beams are controlled by the electrostatic lens, based on MEMS. This approach enables improved performance. It can be compared with the way in which an image is formed in the cathode ray tubes of old televisions.
For the development of maskless multiple e-beam lithography a consortium IMAGINE was established with the participation of Mapper Lithography, French research institute CEA-Leti, as well as of leading semiconductor manufacturers TSMC (Taiwan) and STMicroelectronics (France). Currently two industrial prototype systems are tested at Mapper Lithography in the Netherlands and at CEA-Leti in France. The equipment is in the final stage of testing and in 2015 it will commercially available.
What are the key target market segments for maskless multiple e-beam lithography?
The technology is intended for serial production of semiconductors. It can be special electronics or, for example, a test batch of new products. The rejection of the use of masks provides substantial economic effect, and the smaller is the batch, the more cost-effective is maskless technology. Developers of new products have the opportunity with minimal material costs and time losses to test different variations of the design of elements. To this must be added the absence of risks associated with errors in the order and the manufacturing of masks.
It is expected, that the cost of one Mapper Lithography system will be about 10 million, that is substantially less than the cost of the complex for conventional photolithography. In addition, electron-beam systems require less space and its cost of ownership is lower than that of optical lithography systems.
Performance of maskless multiple e-beam lithography can be increased by connecting several modules. For example, the creation of the clustered system, combining up to 10 units, with a total throughput of one hundred 300 mm wafers per hour is considered.
What are the prospects of Mapper Lithography in the global lithography equipment market?
Annual global sales of lithographic systems amount to 310-350 units and the total market volume is about $10 billion. Mapper Lithography plans to produce up to 20 systems per year, based on these volumes were calculated production capacity of our company.
Please tell about the Moscow production plant of Mapper Lithography.
Our plant is built on an area of two thousand square meters, half of which consists of cleanrooms. I would like to mention the convenience of the Moscow Technopolis, providing all necessary infrastructure. Largely thanks to it the launch of the first phase of production – from the preparation of the premises prior to the release of the first products took only 9 months.
The plant is equipped with modern highly automated facilities. In addition to photolithography, techniques such as etching in oxygen plasma, reactive-ion etching, deep etching of silicon using Bosch process, plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition and ion beam deposition. Multistage production control ensures compliance of product with the requirements. In particular, specially developed by Mapper Lithography metrology systems are used to control the geometry (Hyper), electro-optical properties (Stigmatix) and the final purity (Particlix) of manufactured products.
For the present, production has not reached the designed capacity, but by the end of the year it is planned to set up the whole equipment. We began with the manufacturing of the so-called spacers, which are used to separate electronic optical elements, then it is planned to produce silicon electronic lenses for focusing and collimation of electron beams, and in 2015 we will start manufacturing of the MEMS containing electronics of control electrodes.
In 2014 we plan to produce about 200 elements, next year – up to 1000 components.
Much attention is paid to the selection and training of personnel. Production staff have been months of training at corporate plant in the Netherlands. The company attracted experienced professionals who collaborated with leading international companies in the microelectronics industry, in particular, technical director Denis Shamiryan has worked about 15 years for IMEC and Global Foundries.
Mapper LLC will produce MEMS only for the parent company or also for other customers?
We can manufacture MEMS of different types, have free production capacities and, of course, will try to receive orders from different companies. I am sure that Russian customers will appreciate our technological capabilities and high production standards.
Thank you for the interesting interview.
The interview was taken
by Dmitry Gudilin