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Nikon Announces Latest i-line Step-and-Repeat Exposure System — NSR-SF120

High Throughput Scan-Field Stepper Mix-and-Matches to DUV Scanners

July 12, 2002 – To create the most cost-effective tool for sub-critical layers of next-generation DRAMs and MPUs, Nikon Corporation has developed a new i-line scan-field stepper, the NSR-SF120. The NSR-SF120 is designed to realize the superior cost performance of a mix-and-match strategy with Nikon DUV scanners, which are now the main systems in state-of-the-art semiconductor fab lines.

Boasting throughput of at least 100 wafers/hour for 300 mm wafers, and 120 wafers/hour for 200 mm wafers, the NSR-SF120 achieves a resolution of 280 nm or better on a large exposure field of 25 x 33 mm.

Nikon was the first in the industry to develop a new-concept i-line stepper specifically for mix-and-match with KrF lens-scanning steppers. Order acceptance for that first generation, the NSR-SF100, began in January 2000.

Specification Summary

Resolution280 nm or better
Numerical Aperture (N.A.)0.62
Light Sourcei-line (365 nm)
Projection Magnification1:4
Exposure Field25 x 33 mm
Alignment Accuracy35 nm or less (M+ 3 s)
Throughput300 mm wafers, 100 wafers/hr or more
200 mm wafers, 120 wafers/hr or more

With the same reduction ratio and field size as Nikon’s DUV scanners, these i-line steppers are ideal for exposing sub-critical layers, which can comprise roughly half of the 20 or more layers of a device. These characteristics, combined with high throughput, provide a superior combination of cost performance and productivity to help reduce capital costs.

The NSR-SF120 is designed to operate in a manner similar to the scanning-type KrF steppers NSR-S204B, NSR-S205C, and NSR-S206D, as well as with the ArF steppers NSR-S305B and NSR-S306C. A newly developed high-N.A. lens enables a leap in i-line resolution to 280 nm. The system can effectively expose sub-critical layers to support the 130-100 nm device node while offering high throughput for the 300 mm age.

About Nikon: Nikon Corporation is the world leader in lithography equipment for the microelectronics manufacturing industry with a 40% market share and more than 7,000 exposure systems installed worldwide, including over 700 DUV scanning systems. Nikon offers the most extensive selection of production-class steppers and scanners in the industry. These products serve the wafer, photomask, flat panel display (LCD) and thin-film magnetic head (TFH) industries. Nikon Precision Inc. provides service, training, applications and technical support, as well as sales and marketing for Nikon lithography equipment in North America.

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Susan Bernardi
Nikon Precision Inc.
(650) 508-3819
sbernardi@nikon.com