Rigaku Innovative Technologies Marks 25th Anniversary with EUV Lithography Push

Auburn Hills, MI — November 1, 2010. Rigaku Innovative Technologies (RIT) today celebrated its 25th anniversary of leadership in X-ray optics by announcing further expansion into the optics market for extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL).

RIT plans to continue to support the industry by supplying Osmic® Coatings, a line of multilayer coated optics that are essential to EUVL. The company has been involved in EUVL since the mid-90s, when as Osmic Inc. it provided development optics for micro exposure tools (METs) and multilayer masks for industry-wide efforts that demonstrated the feasibility of EUVL.

"At RIT, we are scientific innovators and world class manufacturers," said John McGill, RIT's President and COO. "Our next goal for company growth is certain: to become the leading supplier of optical components in the emerging market for EUVL, the next generation of semiconductor manufacturing."

Today, EUVL is widely believed to be the only next-generation lithography process suitable for highly advanced semiconductor production, and is targeted for volume manufacturing by 2014 — a result partly attributable to RIT's decades of enabling technology.

"Osmic supplied optics for EUVL community from the very beginning, and we are now ready to further expand our manufacturing to support the industry's transition of EUVL into manufacturing phase," said Jim Rodriguez, vice president of business development.

Added McGill, "The key reason for RIT being successful in business for 25 years is our unrelenting push for innovative solutions and the ruthless obsolescence of our own products before our competitors. This combination allows us to remain a leader in our marketplace, not a follower."

RIT'S optical products are critical in global high-tech manufacturing:

  • Tens of thousands of RIT's multilayer optics are used in X-ray spectrometers and diffractometers
  • RIT's synchrotron optics and neutron mirrors are utilized in synchrotrons and neutron diffraction facilities worldwide.
  • Hundreds of RIT's beam modules are installed and operating in state-of-the-art semiconductor fab metrology systems and pharmaceutical crystal protein research facilities.
  • The company's small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) cameras are installed at more than 30 sites, leading the development of major new analytical research areas in nanoscale structural and biological studies.

A subsidiary of Rigaku Corporation, RIT also develops pharmaceutical products to enable better understanding of protein and virus structures, leading to new medicines for treating diabetes, cancer and AIDS. In materials, RIT offers products used in automobiles, computers, construction, farming, and many other areas. The company operates a 50,000 square foot manufacturing facility with 24 x 7 production capability.

Hikaru Shimura, CEO and President of parent company Rigaku Corporation, told RIT employees in an anniversary announcement: "My overall vision for Rigaku has been not only to have a profitable and growing company but as a mission says, 'to contribute to the enhancement of humanity through scientific and technological development,' and without doubt, this is exactly what you have done here at RIT."

Shimura-san added, "With gratitude to Dr. Stan Ovshinsky for founding this company 25 years ago, RIT many times has pushed forward the state of the art in multilayer coatings and optics. In the current situation of economic uncertainty, it is innovative and boundary-pushing companies like this one that move us forward."

Due to the company's longevity in multilayer X-ray optics, more than 80% of RIT's daily operated equipment is fully capitalized. RIT operates within an enterprise resource planning (ERP) information system for sales and production planning, project management and accounting.

Another key to RIT's success is vertical integration, optimization of designs to ensure maximum usage of all available photons and strategically planned research and development activities, according to R&D Director Licai Jiang.

Added Yuriy Platonov, director of Coating development: "RIT has been leading the technology in every major area. Today RIT has achieved the lowest d-spacing at 10 angstroms (Å), accuracy at less than 0.03%, highest d-spacing gradient at 2 Å per millimeter and nearly 100 different material systems. In addition to the periodic structure for bandpass optics, RIT has also developed aperiodic structures with 'depth graded d-spacing' structure for broad bandpass. One type of depth graded multilayer, commonly called supermirror, has been applied as neutron optics."

Boris Verman, director of Instrumentation, noted the introduction of new technology of Confocal Max Flux™ (CMS) optics, with improved key features such as higher X-ray intensity, cleaner X-ray spectrum, better spatial definition and much easier alignment in the system. Verman said that when this product came to market, "it essentially replaced the previous optical technology [total reflection mirrors, also called Yale mirrors or Frank mirrors] overnight in the very demanding field of protein crystallography."

Declared Jim Rodriguez, vice president of business development, "We are now ready to further expand our manufacturing to support the semiconductor industry's transition of EUVL into manufacturing phase. As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we look forward to continue to serve the industry via innovation in our commercial multilayer optics products."

Rigaku—Leading With Innovation

Since its inception in Japan in 1951, Rigaku has been at the forefront of analytical and industrial instrumentation technology. Rigaku and its subsidiaries form a global group focused on life sciences and general purpose analytical instrumentation. With hundreds of major innovations to their credit, Rigaku companies are world leaders in the fields of small molecule and protein crystallography, X-ray spectrometry and diffraction, X-ray optics, as well as semiconductor metrology. Rigaku employs over 1,100 people in the manufacture and support of its analytical equipment. Its products are in use in more than 70 countries—supporting research, development, and quality assurance activities. Throughout the world, Rigaku continuously promotes partnerships, dialog, and innovation within the global scientific and industrial community.

For further information, contact:

Jim Rodriguez
Vice President of Business Development
Rigaku Innovative Technologies
Tel: 248-232-6400