Scalable Approach to E-Beam Writing

Multibeam is the leading innovator of Multicolumn E-Beam Lithography (MEBL).

At the heart of the company's proprietary MEBL technology is a miniaturized e-beam column (6 inches high; 1 inch diameter). The column owes its compact size to an innovative all-electrostatic design that eliminates the large magnetic coils required in traditional e-beam columns.

Multibeam arranges its miniature columns in arrays within compact modules. Each mini-column in an array generates one electron beam, controls its shape and trajectory, and focuses it onto the wafer to write circuit patterns. All columns in an array write independently and in parallel to achieve unprecedented e-beam writing speed in production environments.

MEBL's rapid, scalable writing is facilitated by a proprietary data preparation system. As MEBL is maskless, the DPS bridges the path from a database in industry-standard GDSII or Oasis format, where IC layout data for each and all layers is stored, to all MEBL column controllers. Each MEBL column controller individually directs its e-beam to write patterns on the wafer, all at the same time.

Each module comprises a multi-column array, precision wafer stage, and high-accuracy feedback control that seamlessly integrates with other sensors and subsystems required for high-precision lithography. The small MEBL module footprint (approximately 2 feet by 2.5 feet) is about the size of a plasma-etch module, making it compatible with commercial wafer-handling mainframes and easing integration of multiple modules.

In a multi-module MEBL system, each module can be optimized for a specific process or application. Alternatively, all modules can run the same process to achieve higher throughput. Modular scalability enables extraordinary flexibility to meet throughput and other requirements of an IC production fab.


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