Continuous rapid shrinking of feature size made the authorities to seek alternative patterning methods as the conventional photolithography comes with its intrinsic resolution limit. In this regard, some promising techniques have been proposed as next generation lithography (NGL) that have the potentials to achieve both high volume production and very high resolution. This article reviews the promising next generation lithography techniques and introduces the challenges and a perspective on future directions of the NGL techniques. Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUVL) is considered as the main candidate for sub-10 nm manufacturing and it could potentially meet the current requirements of the industry. Remarkable progress in EUVL has been made and the tools will be available for commercial operation soon. Maskless lithography techniques are used for patterning in R&D, mask/mold fabrication and low volume chip design. Directed Self Assembly (DSA) has already been realized in laboratory and further effort will be needed to make it as NGL solution. Nanoimprint Lithography has emerged attractively due to its simple process-steps, high-throughput, high-resolution and low-cost and become one of the commercial platforms for nanofabrication. However, a number of challenging issues are waiting ahead and further technological progresses are required to make the techniques significant and reliable to meet the current demand. Finally, a comparative study is presented among these techniques.
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