About Optical Lithography

Most of the equipment we use on a daily basis today, including computers, mobile phones, cars and household appliances, contain microchips for electronic applications. Optical lithography is the basic technology used in the exposure of microchips: it is the key to the age of micro- and nanoelectronics.

Only lithography makes it possible to lay down structures for the circuit paths on the wafers from which the microchips are later made. Lithography optics by ZEISS carry out this crucial step in chip production.

Two key components

The term lithography optics thereby represents the two components of which it is constituted: projection optics and lighting (illuminator). The illuminator provides optimal lighting for the photomask. The light source is a laser; its beam is guided through a special system of lenses and mirrors. The desired structures are generated on the wafer using the projection optics system. In further process steps, the circuits are developed from these structures.

Improvement in efficiency and performance

The Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology segment is a propagator of Moore’s Law. Ever smaller, more productive, faster and more energy-efficient: that’s the goal for microchips. The continuous advances in optical lithography at ZEISS for nearly 45 years has enabled chip manufacturers worldwide to achieve this objective.