neomicra smile2 – A Versatile Electron Beam Lithography Solution
neomicra’s smile2 e-beam lithography solution can be attached to any electron microscope or focused ion beam (FIB) microscope. In contrast to traditional electron beam solutions, smile2 is based on state-of-the-art computation technology, combined with a powerful and precise IO hardware. This makes smile2 highly modularized and configurable. Customers can easily build a system which matches their needs.
High Performance & Flexible Pattern Generation
No matter how creative and complex your ideas are, anything can be realized with the help of smile2. Using smile2 allows not only the exposure of many millions of polygons within a few seconds, but also the realization of procedurally computed complex structures, such as fractals, at maximum resolution. smile2 has no dedicated pattern generation (PG) hardware. All points and data required for the beam(s) control are generated with the help of an efficient software module. The main advantage of the system is that the PG does not depend on the structure complexity, so that any complex geometry can be exposed quickly and reliably. The PG can be influenced by the user by determining the method of exposure to improve the final result.
High Resolution Proximity Effect Correction
Thanks to smile2 technology, it is now possible to individually address the dwell time of all potentially 4.3 billion sampling points. Based on this, smile2 offers fully integrated proximity effect correction (PEC) with two different evaluation methods. The first method is the traditional one also used by other applications. The second one is a novel “deconvolution” method which can simultaneously get corrections for both shape and dwell time. Instead of employing geometry fracturing, in order to expose dose-corrected structures, smile2 uses “elementary time partitioning” technology to modify the dwell time locally at each individual raster point. This results in significant improvements, and in an increased reliability – especially for small structure elements.
Fast & Precise IO Hardware
Even though the pattern generation is implemented in software, proper IO hardware is required to drive the SEM and beam blanker, and to acquire data from the detectors. smile2’s latest hardware increases the sampling speeds up to 100 Mega samples per second with 16 bit precision and can drive 4 axes (dual-beam) simultaneously. It incorporates novel technology that allows smile2 to set the dwell time for each of the potentially 4.3 billion sampling points individually, without increasing the exposure time. This makes it possible to fabricate high-resolution 3D structures and to improve the proximity effect correction to previously unreachable accuracy.
Flexible and Automatable Workflow
No matter how unique and complex your structures and workflow, everything can be optimized and automated in smile2. The multiple structure exposure allows you to write structures from different documents in one procedure, with their own parameters and enabled layers. It is also possible to control the SEM parameters such as focus distance, aperture and cathode voltage directly in the software. Moreover, every single structure can be aligned fully automatically if desired. smile2 exposes its complete functionality as a set of PYTHON modules. Therefore, all tasks also can be performed through scripts.