These steppers won’t help you exercise. But they’ll help you build the future. Chips. Microchips. Or rather: nano. Micro is totally yesterday. And smaller is where we’re going. Along with better, of course.
A stepper is as important for manufacturing chips (integrated electronic circuits) as potatoes are for the side dish of the same name. Select optical glass types, with features such as high UV permeability, are particularly suited for use in exposure systems and projector lenses in steppers. They work somewhat like a huge slide projector. But the structure of the “slides” is shrunk extremely and transferred onto silicon wafers coated with photoresist. This process of step-and-repeat continues until the complex structure of a circuit has been completed. Photolithographic structuring of photoresist layers is one of the key processes during the highly complex production of integrated circuits for semi-conductor technology. And the wafer’s done.
Tasty only in one sense of the word, but today indispensable in all but the rarest of industrial applications.
With weight loss always desirable. Along with small size.
Enter ZERODUR® glass ceramic. A material you can rely on. For almost fifty years, it’s basically been the standard material for the world’s widest eyes. Five of the six largest segmented-mirror telescopes currently in use employ SCHOTT technology. A material that loves focusing the attention. A material that gets better the older it is. Matured. Advanced. Perfected. No surprise then that the Extremely Large Telescope currently under construction in Chile also relies on ZERODUR®.
To see further, you need to push the limits. Thanks to its extremely low coefficient of thermal expansion, ZERODUR® is often used as a wafer holder in steppers or as a holder for precision standards and mirrors.
Precisely designed technologies, decades of experience and the will to keep on researching improvements – at SCHOTT, it’s all part of our business ethic. We mean every word when we say: “Innovations at heart, enablers at work”. SCHOTT enables many things. With passion. From the heart. ZERODUR® is only one example of the story.
Only a small stepper, but a giant leap towards the future of many an industrial product. And worry not, it’s not only the processes at SCHOTT that have been slimmed down.
Among the manufacturers of special glass, we are the world’s leading supplier of thin glass, ultra-thin glass and wafers and substrates. We supply wafers in sizes from four to twelve inches. At only about one millimetre thick. Compared with the glass thicknesses, they’re the heavyweights. Our alkali-free flat glass AF 32® eco is only between 0.03 and 1.1 millimetres thick. Well, thin. Either way, absolutely fascinating.
A broadening of the horizon for application designers. The environmentally friendly glass possesses extremely high transmission rates and stays in shape even in high temperature applications at up to 600 degrees Celsius. The low thickness is made possible by the down-draw process developed by SCHOTT. The process entails drawing a band of glass downwards along the cooling path through multiple rollers. An intelligent slimming stretch. And eco-friendly. Exemplary in any case.