Nurturing Innovation: New Nanoimprint Area at SEMICON Japan 2009


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Nurturing Innovation: New Nanoimprint Area at SEMICON Japan 2009

Recently, SEMI announced the creation of an exhibit area dedicated to nanoimprint lithography (NIL) at SEMICON Japan 2009. Lithography is often mentioned as the most expensive part of the semiconductor manufacturing process, accounting for 30–40% of the entire cost [1]. As features get smaller, lithography is becoming more complex and optical techniques currently in use are facing practical limitations.

Why Nanoimprint?

Imprint lithography is— along with extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and maskless lithography— one of the alternative, “post-optical” technologies listed by the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) as a potential solution for lithography at 32nm and below [2]. Involving direct contact between a mold and a functional material such as resist, nanoimprint lithography (NIL) is said to have the potential to provide high resolution and throughput with reduced costs by eliminating various expensive equipment, materials and complex processes. In short, the advancement of NIL could contribute significantly to the development of the semiconductor industry.

Why SEMICON Japan 2009?

Why feature nanoimprint lithography at SEMICON Japan? The technologies required by NIL, particularly in the template patterning and impression stages, are strengths of the Japanese microelectronics industry. Japanese firms are among the world leaders in patterning as well as equipment control. In that sense, SEMICON Japan is an ideal venue for an exhibit area focusing on nanoimprint lithography.

The next question is, “Why this year?” This year has been one of the most difficult years on record for the semiconductor industry as a whole, and equipment and material suppliers in particular. By featuring technologies like NIL at SEMICON Japan, SEMI hopes to contribute to the recovery and long-term growth of the industry.

Goals of the Nanoimprint Area

The main goals of the nanoimprint area at SEMICON Japan 2009 are:

  • Create a venue in which exhibitors with nanoimprint-related products and services can raise the visibility of their offerings and create opportunities for sales and investment.
  • In conjunction with related seminars during SEMICON Japan 2009, create a venue in which people can exchange information on nanoimprint-related issues and learn from leaders in the field.
  • Raise awareness of NIL and promote interest in developing associated technologies that will benefit SEMI members and the semiconductor industry.

Exhibit Applications and More on the Special Pavilions

Those interested in exhibiting in the new nanoimprint area are invited to download an application form from the SEMICON Japan 2009 website. The nanoimprint area will be housed within the Nanotechnology Pavilion, which is one of a number of pavilions dedicated to themes from advanced microelectronics manufacturing. Themes of other pavilions include MEMS, nanotechnology, ventures (intellectual property, technology licensing, etc), manufacturing engineering and organic semiconductors, which like nanoimprint, are all key areas for innovation. Detailed information is available on the website.

The special pavilions are similar to those of the Innovation Hall which has been an established part of SEMICON Japan for a number of years. However, this year, changes have been made to enhance interaction among the pavilions and between the special pavilions and other exhibit zones. Innovation Hall used to be in a building of its own, but the special pavilions at SEMICON Japan 2009 will be integrated into the main exhibition in halls 1–8, providing better visibility and more opportunities for interaction between exhibitors and visitors.

Conclusion

By establishing the nanoimprint lithography area and special pavilions at SEMICON Japan 2009, SEMI is nurturing the growth of new technologies which have the potential to enable new generations of products through size and cost reductions. The nanoimprint area at SEMICON Japan 2009 will provide a venue for exhibitors to not only promote their own technologies, but also come together to raise awareness of and interest in NIL.

If your company is developing materials and equipment for nanoimprint lithography or you have an interest in NIL, we look forward to seeing you either as an exhibitor or visitor at SEMICON Japan 2009. For questions and other concerns, please contact the Expositions Department at SEMI Japan at jshowsinfo@semi.org or visit the SEMICON Japan 2009 website.

Notes

1. “Lithography” in International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, 2007 Edition, (International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, 2007), 1.
http://www.itrs.net/Links/2007ITRS/2007_Chapters/2007_Lithography.pdf

2. ITRS, 26–27.

August 3, 2009