SPIE Advanced Lithography Symposium 2018 – a prologue

Just over one year ago I launched, with Ed Charrier, our new company, Fractilia.  After inventing a new concept for detecting edges in a noisy SEM image, we released last July the first version of our flagship product, MetroLER, for measuring the roughness of line/space patterns.  Last week we released a second version of MetroLER, including the measurement of contact holes.  It has been a very busy year.  Alas, I have had the give up my title as Gentleman Scientist – I have a real job now!

But old habits die hard, and the mindset of the Gentleman Scientist is not easily revoked.  As we approach this years’ SPIE Advanced Lithography Symposium, I will attempt to wear two hats (and titles).  As CTO of a start-up, I will be meeting with customers, giving papers showing results from our product, and evangelizing about the right way to measure pattern roughness and stochastic effects in lithography.  But as a lingering Gentleman Scientist I will also try to appraise the state of lithography in our industry.  I’ll watch a small subset of the many presentations given over the next week and let you know in these posts what I think.  I’ll see old friends, have interesting hallway conversations, and drink too much every night.  As always, I will learn a tremendous amount and have a great time doing it.

I’ll also experience a fair amount of cognitive dissonance as this skeptic of EUV lithography works hard to make EUV lithography a success.  If EUV lithography cannot attain long-term commercial viability I don’t want it to be due to poor pattern roughness measurement!  Like everyone else, I’m looking forward to hearing about all the latest developments in EUV, but also in the many other subjects that bring us lithographers together.

So look out San Jose, here come the lithographers!

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