Selina's story

Polishing for Digitalization

Selina's story

Polishing for Digitalization

For Selina, glass is a true miracle substance. As an optical technician at ZEISS, she makes sure that the surfaces of lenses are produced with nanometer precision. An important task. For Selina's glass lenses then go on to be incorporated into ZEISS lithography objectives from the semiconductor segment. These play a key role in global digitalization. After all, 80 percent of all microchips worldwide are currently produced with lithography optics provided by our strategic partner ASML from the Netherlands. The key element of the wafer scanners are lithography optics from ZEISS.

ZEISS is the world's largest supplier capable of producing lenses precise to the nanometer. "And because this high degree of accuracy is required in the production of state-of-the-art microchips, we at ZEISS have a great responsibility," declares Selina, adding: "Without the lithography objectives by ZEISS, digitalization as we know it wouldn't be possible." And an important part of these lithography objectives – the lens – is processed by Selina.

Shaping the future with handiwork

During the pitch polishing process, it is Selina's job to locate and smooth out any imperfections on the surface of the lens. "True handiwork," she says proudly.

Selina inspects the lens again and again with state-of-the art measurement technology. Her trained eye detects a tip on the surface of the glass when looking at the readings. "I need to smooth this one out," she says. She skillfully carves grooves into a bowl of pitch in order to work the glass at the desired point.
Selina applies polish to the lens, carefully positions the bowl of pitch and begins to work on the lens on her machine. She knows exactly how to configure the machine. Only when the bowl of pitch is moved across the lens with the right motion and speed can the irregularities be smoothed out. Next, Selina checks the quality of the processed lens again in the measuring center. When evaluating the measurement result, she determines: The tip is smoothed! Finished.

In the nanometer range, dexterity counts

"Working with glass is a sophisticated craft," reveals Selina. "Glass is never predictable. No matter how much pressure or polish you apply – each lens reacts differently to it." That's why Selina's work cannot be replaced by a machine. "Experience is really important for pitch polishing," she says. 

You have to develop a sense for the material and then rely on your knowledge and experience. I really love mastering these challenges every day.

Selina's career path did not follow any clearly mapped out path. After graduating from junior high school, she completed a training as an office clerk. "But the desire to work with my hands in a technical profession grew day by day," she says. After one year of working as an office clerk, Selina dared to try something new. And that is when she came across the skilled occupation of optical technician at ZEISS.

Passion for handiwork

Helping to shape the world of tomorrow

When Selina sees the latest smartphones and laptops, she looks at them with pride. "There's a little piece of ZEISS in almost all of them," she says smiling. And she knows: the microchips containing a little piece of ZEISS also contain her work.

You have to develop a sense for the material and then rely on your knowledge and experience. I really love mastering these challenges every day.

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