Mary Tang mtang at
Fri May 4 15:33:17 PDT 2007

Dear labmembers:

Many of you have been waiting patiently (and some, less so). Finally, we 
are please to announce news about the ASML.

First, we’d like to introduce you to the ASML team: Alex Fong (afong), 
Binder Mann (bindermann), and Michael Robles (mrobles.) Alex leads this 
group and has had many years of lithography experience using not only 
the ASML, but also Ultratech and Nikon. Binder has been with ASML for 
about nine years; previously she was at National Semiconductor. Michael 
is actually a biologist by training who has seen the light and become a 
process engineer. As of now, the ASML gang plans to be hereWednesdays 
through Fridays, starting at 7:30 am. If they aren’t in the lab (or 
exploring lunch options around campus), you’ll find them in the bull pen 
and CIS 145 where they’ve established home base. Please introduce 
yourselves if you haven’t already – they are an extraordinarily 
friendly, extremely knowledgeable group and we are really looking 
forward to working with them on a continuing basis. And please join me 
in welcoming them to our lab.

Second, news about the system itself: When a new ASML system is 
installed, there are a series of acceptance qualification tests that 
need to be run to ensure that everything is functioning to spec. 
Unfortunately, the system here is not passing all tests with flying 
colors. The installation engineers have been reluctant to release the 
system until the problems were fully understood, which is why plans have 
not yet been announced. The ASML team has confirmed that there some 
issues with the lens and have run tests which should quantify the extent 
of the problem and how it will be addressed – the definitive results are 
due next week. In the meantime, they have also determined that the 
system is functional, definitely down to 0.8 microns, and very probably 
down to 0.7 microns. (The spec on this system is 0.45 microns.) 
Following the results of next week’s tests, parts will be ordered and 
repairs will be scheduled. Repairs are not likely to take place for many 
weeks and will requiring complete acceptance qualification protocols. In 
other words, the system may be unavailable at some future date for 
perhaps up to several weeks, but this will be planned and announced in 

Third, what everyone wants to know about -- training... In the meantime, 
the ASML team has agreed that training can begin (hooray!!!) Training 
will be limited initially, until the team can get a better idea of user 
needs and the machine capability – and how to tailor training for SNF. 
So, here’s the plan. The first session will be held next Wednesday and 
Thursday (5/9-5/10) from 10-12 in the lab. The next session will be the 
following Wednesday and Thursday (5/16-5/17) from 10-12. Two to three 
people will be accomodated in each session. To try to make the most of 
the ASML team’s efforts, for these sessions we will require the following:

   1. Limit of one labmember from each research group.
   2. The labmember must be qualified to use either the Nikon or the
      Ultratech and be an experienced user (>8 hours of independent use.)
   3. The labmember must have immediate plans to layout a mask and use
      the machine.
   4. The labmember must be willing to participate in process
      characterization efforts and share results.

The reasons for these requirements is that we need to establish 
processes and procedures that will work at SNF – and are hoping to use 
the engineering power of our most experienced and knowledgeable 
labmembers. As of now, the ASML has not yet been characterized on on 4” 
wafers nor is there a standard resist process. The ASML engineers will 
work with us on this, but contributions from the first trained users 
would speed things up. We also want to make sure that the first people 
who get trained on the system will make good use of this training 
(please note that only 65% of people who get trained on the nikon 
actually end up using it at all – for this ASML ramp up/startup, the 
rate should be closer to 100%.)

Please contact me or Paul Rissman if you would like to volunteer for 
this initial training. Please remember you must meet the requirements 
and be willing to represent your research group and contribute to the 
development efforts for this tool.

Fourth, there will be an ASML/Maskmaking workshop here from 1-4 pm on 
Thursday, May 25, in the CISX Auditorium. ASML will give a 90 minute 
presentation describing the PAS 5500/60 system we have here and some 
special features these systems have over conventional steppers. This 
will be followed by another 90 minute presentation by Benchmark 
Technologies on the basics of mask layout and an overview of the 
capabilities of advanced reticle design. Everyone is invited to attend 
the workshop. Stay tuned for more details.

As a final note, we have been hoping to have a truly advanced optical 
lithography tool here at SNF for many years. ASML is offering us a 
unique opportunity for access, not only to this tool, but to the 
expertise of a knowledgeable team of experienced engineers. In turn, 
they hope to learn from us about new applications for this tool and ways 
in which the technology can be pushed. This is just the start of what 
promises to be a great relationship. Please do give your feedback to the 
SNF and ASML staff as to how you would like to see this relationship 
progress in months and years to come.

Thanks for your attention --


Mary X. Tang, Ph.D.
Stanford Nanofabrication Facility
CIS Room 136, Mail Code 4070
Stanford, CA  94305
mtang at

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