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The introduction of non-optical lithography has been announced several times
during the last twenty years, but optical methods like projection
lithography have always been extended beyond predicted limits.
However, a further ``simple'' downscaling of the optical wavelength
beyond 193 nm is not feasible because of the lack of refractive
lenses and the problems involved in the fabrication of pure reflective
systems with high enough numerical apertures.
Hence, as already noted in the introduction, the need for
new lithographic techniques is one of the big challenges for further
progress in the semiconductor technology. At the moment, several approaches
toward sub-100 nm lithography are under discussion.
Heinrich Kirchauer, Institute for Microelectronics, TU Vienna