The NTS-Group helps international machine builders to accelerate their production processes. Its international branches develop, manufacture and assemble high-grade opto-mechatronic systems, modules and components. Its high-tech chain forms the basis for providing clients with the opportunity to achieve shorter lead times and to deliver competitively priced, high-quality machines.
A division of the NTS group called NTS systems development was formed to help NTS developing from being only a supplier towards becoming a supplier that also provides maintenance and development services to its customers. This division specializes in working with multi-disciplinary teams on high-tech projects.
The team for this project consisted of a physicist, a software architect, mechanical and electronic designers and was completed by TMC with a mechanical and electrical architect.
Together, they designed an eUV source qualification tool, which is a production tool that qualifies eUV sources by measuring the quality of the light output of the eUV source under test. As the next generation of lithographic machines will be powered by eUV light, different companies are currently developing eUV light sources. The source qualification tool is used to test light sources before they are connected to a lithographic machine. eUV technology is quite new and the TMC experts were hired for their flexibility and pragmatic way of solving the problems encountered when developing new technologies.
The TMC team provided the NTS team with knowledge about high-tech lithographic machines and customer specific guidelines. The experts also transferred their knowledge and know-how about developing for clean rooms, necessary for keeping pollution out of the system, which contains a deep vacuum on the inside. eUV light is absorbed by any material and thus is only usable in a state of deep vacuum.
The electronics architect’s tasks were to find out which aspects of the tool had to be controlled, to choose the measuring sensors (in close cooperation with the physicist) and, most importantly, to make sure that the sensors and control of various motors could be linked together.
For the electronics architect, there were two specific challenges in this project.
The cooling of the electronics in the vacuum part of the tool and the tool specific EMC (Electromagnetic compatibility) were challenges, because of the high eUV light pulses secondary electrons that are generated when the photons hit a metal object and will cause high voltage spikes. During these high voltage spikes the sensors must still be able to measure very small voltages accurately without being influenced by high voltage spikes.