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TNO and USHIO Establish Partnership to Enable Development of Next-Generation Lithography Components

Joint research project aims to improve the life time of components to meet stringent industry requirements • 15 Feb 2016

TNO and USHIO announced today that they have established a strategic partnership aimed to enable development of extreme ultra-violet (EUV) Lithography for next generation semiconductor manufacturing.

Ms. Marring, CFO of TNO and Mr. Matsubara, CEO of Ushio Europe B.V.

TNO and USHIO are jointly building a new EUV exposure and analysis facility to study radiation induced effects on EUV optics and reticles experimentally. The new facility, called EBL2, will support the common goal of understanding of contamination effects on surfaces under all extreme ultraviolet radiation conditions foreseen in the power roadmap for upcoming lithographic tools. This will speed up the development of next-generation lithography systems, masks, and pellicles. The USHIO EUV source will provide pulsed EUV in a well-controlled environment similar to the lithographic system conditions. Sample handling and transport will be automated and have cleanliness levels equal to state of the art semiconductor standards for EUV production.

Since the ever-evolving race for smaller chip interconnect features requires a full understanding and suitable application of the physics and chemistry of material-photon interaction, USHIO and TNO have partnered to build a state-of-the-art and unique experimental facility to characterise and analyse the behavior of components and materials for semiconductor processing applications under EUV illumination. “This initiative is based on a strategic relationship between TNO and USHIO”, said Mr. Matsubara, President of Ushio Europe B.V. “This joint project builds on the proven technical expertise in EUV Source development and manufacturing of USHIO and TNO’s experience and innovative ability in nanoscale contamination control to enable solutions that can meet future challenges.”

“Collaboration between TNO and USHIO combines our respective strengths and expertise in the development of next-generation semiconductor equipment”, said Arnold Stokking, Managing Director, TNO Industry. “We are pleased to have an industry leader in semiconductor equipment manufacturing technology as a partner, to strengthen our programs, comprised in TNO’s International Center for Contamination Control (ICCC), to accelerate the equipment development and performance for the semiconductor industry.”

About USHIO

Established in 1964, USHIO INC. (TOKYO: 6925) is a leading manufacturer of light sources such as lamps, lasers, and LEDs, in a broad range from ultraviolet to visible to infrared rays, as well as optical equipment and cinema-related products that incorporate these light sources. It also makes products in the electronics field (such as semiconductors, flat panel displays, and electronic components) and in the visual imaging field (including digital projectors and lighting). Many of these products enjoy dominant market shares. In recent years, USHIO has undertaken business in the life science area, such as the medical and the environmental fields.

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