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Posted: Jul 17, 2014

As The Features Shrink, Irresistible Materials Grows

(Nanowerk News) Latest technology results from Irresistible Materials (IM) have demonstrated a significant jump forwards in achievable resolution via its EUV photoresist. The team have recently demonstrated 13 nm halfpitch resolution patterning, together with promising results at 11 nm halfpitch. Alongside this the company has introduced a new metal complex resist platform for EUV and Electron Beam Lithography resolution and sensitivity enhancement; has demonstrated pattern transfer of 11 nm features with an aspect ratio of 16:1 from its spin-on-carbon product line; and has shown first results combining the spin-on-carbon with a 10 nm resolution directed self-assembly (DSA) lithography process.

Irresistible Materials, a UK materials technology company spun-out from the University of Birmingham, is therefore pleased to announce 235,000 of further support from the Technology Strategy Board and business angels from the US and UK, coupled with the appointment of Mark Shepherd as Chief Executive Officer. In addition Irresistible Materials welcomes Tim Hazell of Mercia Fund Management to the board.

Mark is an experienced CEO and has served as a Director at plc Board level in both commercial and technical roles. Mark has expertise in commercialising technology through product development and licensing of intellectual property worldwide. He was Inventor/founder and Business development Director of Xaar plc and subsequently CEO of several technology businesses including 1Limited and start-ups from the University of Manchester and Queen Mary University of London.

IM was created in 2010 to further develop and commercialise the University of Birmingham's photo-resist technology for next generation microchips. Photoresists are critical materials in the computer chip manufacturing process as they enable chip manufacturers to fabricate ever-smaller features for microelectronic devices. Current photoresist technologies cannot be used to fabricate the small features required for next generation chips, hence the need for a new generation of technology. IM's solution, based on a unique fullerene material developed at the University of Birmingham, has been successfully demonstrated to meet these requirements and the company has started engaging with the key industry suppliers to evaluate samples.
Mark Shepherd said "It is an exciting time for Irresistible Materials. The team has made significant advances over recent months in order to prove the capabilities of the technology and enable us to engage further with the major players in the industry. I am looking forward to seeing the Company's developments turn into real products that enable the next generation of semiconductor devices."
Tim Hazell commented, "Irresistible Materials not only has a technology which could be the basis for the next generation of microchips but a highly experienced and capable management team; that's a pretty attractive background for an early stage technology investor like Mercia Fund Management."
About Irresistible Materials
Irresistible Materials is a University of Birmingham spinout company created to commercialise the fullerene based photo-resist technology developed by Dr Alex Robinson, Professor Richard Palmer, Professor Jon Preece and colleagues. The next generation of chip, 2016 and beyond, will require a new photoresist technology as existing polymer based photoresists do not have sufficient performance to support Extreme ultraviolet light (EUV) lithography. Fullerene based resist molecules are 10 times smaller than polymer based resists leading to enhanced performance. IM has been able to demonstrate that its patented solution meets all the major performance criteria set by the industry's ITRS technology roadmap, and shown patterning below 20nm.
Chip manufacturers are expected to be prototyping their 2016 production lines by the end of 2013 ahead of scaling up to full production in 2016. The company is now in discussion with many of the industry's key photoresist suppliers and chip manufacturers to evaluate its solutions for 2016 chip production.
Source: Irresistible Materials (press release)
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