A new center called the Center for High Precision Patterning Science, or CHiPPS, led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory aims to pursue fundamental research in patterning science, specifically by studying extreme ultraviolet lithography, or EUV lithography.
CHiPPS director Ricardo Ruiz explained the center hopes to aid chip manufacturers in reducing the size and strengthening the power of microelectronics, which he said aligns with the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science Act’s goal to produce the world’s most advanced chips.
He added that this center is a part of the Energy Frontier Research Centers program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
“This center highlights the strengths of Berkeley Lab as a place to do Big Science,” Ruiz said in an email. “It leverages capabilities and expertise in EUV lithography, materials synthesis, metrology, nanofabrication and fundamental science.”
He noted the center’s “most valuable asset” is its team of 13 primary investigators, who span several disciplines from synthetic chemistry to computer modeling.
This team is made up of people from Argonne National Laboratory, Berkeley Lab, Cornell University, San José State University, Stanford University and UC Santa Barbara, Ruiz added.
“At CHiPPS, we all value the importance of mentorship, and that’s why we pay special attention to creating opportunities and equitable experiences for the postdocs and students working at the center,” Ruiz said in the email.
Ruiz emphasized their student training program, launched in collaboration with San José State University, that allows for students to learn under scientists at the Berkeley Lab over the summer.
Beihang Yu, a postdoctoral scholar at Berkeley Lab, explained she co-mentored a student through this summer program, which she described as a “rewarding” experience. She also noted her enjoyment of learning from world-class experts in her field of science.
“As an early-career researcher, mentorship has been a very important component in my professional development, and I have been lucky to have very inspiring mentors along my academic journey,” Yu said in an email. “At CHiPPS, mentorship is highly valued, and I have great opportunities to build diverse and meaningful mentoring relationships as a mentee.”
Noting that EUV lithography was only introduced to high-volume chip manufacturing a few years ago, Yu said CHiPPS is in a “unique position” to propose solutions to challenges in lithography patterning materials and processes.
Yu explained her project at CHiPPS focuses on developing materials that allow for high precision pattern transfer.
“The center highlights Berkeley Lab’s mission on advancing the scope of human knowledge and seeking science solutions to great problems, with the belief that these are best addressed by teams,” Yu said in the email.