Nano Instrumentation for Ultra-Clean Lithography

Demanding environments, like semiconductor manufacturing, require ultra-clean and high performance processes, equipment and materials. And ultra-clean equipment with high demands on flow and thermal conditioning, plays a major role in a manufacturer’s ability to achieve high yields. TNO explores the methods and materials that create value. We help to develop equipment that lasts longer and performs better. As chips become smaller, less expensive and more powerful, TNO designs the tools that can keep the pace.

Want to get the most out of your EUV endeavours?

Contact us today, and we’ll put our expertise to work for you.


Nano Instrumentation

Ultra-clean lithography expertise

When tech leaders like ASML and Carl Zeiss encounter critical contamination issues, they turn to TNO for support. Our 50 highly qualified Nano Instrumentation technologists develop and assemble experimental set-ups that address the challenge. TNO may fully own and develop the set-ups, develop them together with our clients, or pass full ownership on to them.

TNO aims to prevent, diagnose and remediate critical issues. From analysis to solution, we apply the principles of contamination control to design, build and validate ultra-clean equipment for lithography. We continue to grow our extensive knowledge of molecular and particle contamination, vacuum technology and high-energy radiation, while governing and applying it for our clients.

In-depth knowledge of EUV

At TNO, we use our knowledge of particle generation and contamination dynamics to conduct research into EUV lithography-related processes and conditions. In addition we perform consultancy to make suppliers of the EUV lithography industry aware of the specific requirements with respect to clean production. Our expertise in surface physics and physical chemistry are applied in everything we do. That’s why we have been able to accelerate developments in all aspects of EUV, examples of our capabilities:

  •  metrology sensors for molecular contamination (HP RGA, MFIG)
  •  several vacuum vessels and setups
  •  hydrogen radical sensor based on in house developed heat flux sensors [1]
  •  RapidNano (RN3) for fast inspection of EUV blanks, detecting a single particle of some tens of nanometres on a 142 x 142 mm area.
Rapid Nano 3 for detecting particles on surface
  •  Equipment to test molecular, chemical outgassing and resistance against hydrogen radicals and plasma.
  •  Plasma metrology equipment (RFEA, Langmuir probe) 
  •  Cleaning technology (wet cleaning, dry cleaning with or without plasma)
  •  Particle sensor metrology (Fast Micro, PMC card, Part sense)
  •  EUV Beam Lines (EBL1 and EBL2) for optics life time research, enabling research about EUV radiation effects
EUV Beam Line 2 for testing material on EUV resistivity
  • Analysis tools as optical microscopy (OM), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), ellipsometry and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
  • The expertise developed for the EUV domain is also applied to other domains, like the fusion domain in which we develop plasma based cleaning hardware for diagnostic ports facing the fusion plasma.


Semiconductor equipment and many other domains require high performance flow and thermal management solutions.

For flow this can mean keeping gasses and/or fluids apart even when surfaces, that confine the gasses/fluids move fast relative to each other.

Example applications in this field are:

  • Immersion hood equipment development
  • Spatial Atomic Layer Deposition equipment development
  • Pressure and test wafers for ultraprecise (<1mW) determination of wafer heat loads and pressure distributions (1Pa)
  • Heating or cooling of semiconductor wafers within a specific time and with a specific homogeneity
  • MicroFluidic Cooling of Automotive Electronics like EV battery packs or 5G telecom driver chips
  • Flow and temperature slip (accommodation) properties of materials at reduced pressures [2]

TNO has the domain expertise combined with the thermal and flow expertise to design and validate the above high performance systems using simulation (CFD, FEM) and testing. On the level of MicroFluidic cooling or evaporation, TNO holds a unique world wide exclusive IP position.


From expanding the lifetime of optics and collectors, solving contamination issues, ensuring particle cleanliness, to high performance thermal and fluidic system development, TNO has the experts you need to advance your development and the lifetime of your equipment. That’s why leaders like ASML, Carl Zeiss call on TNO when challenges arise. Interested in learning how TNO can accelerate your lithography ambitions, help you with clean production? Want to get the most out of your EUV/DUV endeavours? Contact us today, and we’ll put our expertise to work for you.

Expertise groups