Advanced piezo-electric wafer stage

The future of actuators

Keeping up with the demand for manufacturing growth is the main challenge for the entire semiconductor industry. The Eindhoven Engine project ‘Advanced long-range piezo-electric wafer stage for next generation lithography and metrology application’ therefore aims to demonstrate the feasibility of an ultra-short stroke stage using lightweight and compact piezo-electric actuators. Unlike ‘force’ actuators, these are stiff and non-linear, requiring breakthroughs in materials, electronics, control, mechatronic implementation and sensor systems.

A collective system goal

The goal of this project is a proof-of-concept for a relatively large-range (>10 um) piezo-electric stage and an integrated measurement system with an uncertainty of <100 pm. ASML is driving this research towards alternative wafer stage concepts and actively contributes expert application knowledge and technology regarding lithographic wafer stages and state-of-the-art, high-precision mechatronics and system engineering. NTS group, VDL ETG and TNO have also expressed in interest in joining. Work is carried out via four PhD research projects which are co-located at TU/e’s Multimedia Paviljoen.

Important insights for future equipment

Besides its main goal, this project will open the door to various innovations within the semiconductor field. A metrology concept study into integrated photonics, for instance, will allow for new sensor layouts and position or deformation measurement principles. A study into forces and displacements, piezo stiffness, electronics inputs and parasitic behavior has also already provided valuable input for future system architecture studies.

Consortium partners: ASML and TU/e High Tech Systems center, with later involvement of NTS Group, VDL ETG and TNO


Podcast Kracht van de Regio

A podcast with Katja Pahnke and Maarten Steinbuch about how Eindhoven Engine accelerates innovation, including two projects. Marieke van Beurden will give you insight about the POWErFITTing project and Gregor van Baars will tell you about the Advanced piezo-electric wafer stage project.

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