Paul van Gerven
18 December 2023

Imec and Mitsui Chemicals have started a partnership to commercialize carbon nanotube (CNT) based pellicles for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. This type of solid-state film protecting photomasks from contamination has “extremely high EUV transmittance” (≥ 94 percent), “very low EUV reflectance” and “minimal optical influence,” the collaborators state. Importantly, it’s also able to withstand EUV power levels beyond 1 kilowatt, supporting the future EUV source roadmap.

Imec CNT pellicle
Credit: Imec

“These properties have generated strong interest from companies that use EUV lithography in high-volume manufacturing. Therefore, we’ll jointly develop industry-ready CNT pellicles to meet the market requirements,” a press release reads. The partners aim for an introduction in the 2025-2026 timeframe, coinciding with the introduction of 600+-watt power levels. This timeframe is associated with the insertion of logic technology nodes beyond 2nm.