Korean Company Develops EUV Pellicles with Graphene

Korean Company Develops EUV Pellicles with Graphene

A small Korean company has developed a material that is expected to dramatically improve the yield of the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography equipment from ASML, a Dutch semiconductor equipment company.

Graphene Lab, a developer of semiconductor and display materials, announced on Nov. 14 that it has developed the technology to manufacture EUV pellicles of less than 5 nanometers with graphene and is ready for mass-production of the new pellicles.

“Previously, pellicles were made of silicon. But we used graphene,” said Kwon Yong-deok, CEO of Graphene Lab. “Graphene pellicles will serve as a yield booster for semiconductor companies using ASML's EUV lithography equipment.”

A pellicle is a thin film that protects the surface of a photomask from molecules or contaminants in the air. It is essential to ultra-micro fabrication processes of 5 nanometers or below. It is a consumable that requires periodic replacement. Since the wavelength of the light source of EUV equipment is short, pellicles need to be thin to increase light transmittance. Previously, silicon has been used to manufacture pellicles, but graphene is a better material because it is thinner and more transparent than silicon.

EUV pellicles must withstand high temperatures of 800 degrees or higher that occur during the exposure process. Silicone is highly susceptible to breakage due to its hardening properties at high temperatures.

The global pellicle market is expected to reach 1 trillion won in 2024. “Samsung Electronics, TSMC, and Intel are potential customers of Graphene Lab,” CEO Kwon said.

Read the original article on Businesskorea.