The first talk of the metrology conference on Tuesday was by Andras Vladac of NIST on a topic I am very interested in – characterizing the non-ideal behavior of scanning electron microscopes. His presentation style was somewhat unique: taking the material from what appeared to be a half-day short course and presenting it in 20 minutes. This is a definitely a talk where viewing and studying it later (thanks to SPIE’s recording) is a must. The other talks in the SEM session were good as well, but more digestible.
Tuesday was packed with customer meetings for me – a mixed blessing. I missed many good talks, but got to have facetime with people I had not been able to visit for at least two years. I managed to catch the end of Erik Hosler’s plenary talk in the afternoon on “The path to a useful quantum computer”. One of the more interesting insights was his need to use state-of-the-art immersion lithography for the fabrication of his devices, not for the resolution but for the precision of the manufacturing. For an optical device, feature sizes are in the hundreds of nanometers or microns. But quantum optical devices require on the order of 1 nm line-edge roughness from those features, which definitely pushes state-of-the-art capabilities and makes fabrication quite challenging.