Project: Pushing boundaries of nano-dimensional metrology by light

Acronym POLight (Reference Number: 20FUN02)
Duration 01/09/2021 - 31/08/2024
Project Topic To boost attention toward the innovation potential of Nanotechnologies, Micro-Nanoelectronics, Photonics and Advanced materials, the European Commission branded these sectors as Key Enabling Technologies (KETs). The objective is to refocus capacity from medium-technology sectors towards opportunities in some of Europe’s most advanced industries and institutes. By 2015, Europe’s industries contributed just under a quarter of KETs-based exports, a share unchanged over the preceding decade. By contrast, investment in East-Asia generated rapid growth, gaining almost two-thirds of the world’s export markets and almost half the total number of KET patents. Developing these four KETs requires manipulation of matter at the nanoscale, where optical measurement is critical, such as defect detection of semiconductors, photonics and nano-electronics. However, the current approach of using shorter wavelength light to measure each generation of increasingly small devices is reaching a practical limit of corresponding reduced penetration depth. For example, solid-state device memory contains multiple layers a few microns thick, inaccessible by extreme UV-light, that barely penetrates 0.2-micron depth. This project builds on the BeCOMe project that developed optical measurement techniques for nanoscale structures. Further methods will be developed to measure lateral features sized below 10 nm using far-field detection; diffraction-based methods; and by multiple scattering or linear structured-illumination microscopy. Other potential imaging methods will be developed, including quantum methods, to deliver spatial resolutions at 10 nm and penetration depth in the micro-metre range. New optical metrology systems will unlock innovation opportunities for European industries and institutes, potentially offering competitive advantages in high-growth-potential global markets.
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Network EMPIR
Call EMPIR Call 2020

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Coordinator Germany
2 Cesky Metrologicky Institut Partner Czech Republic
3 Dansk Fundamental Metrologi A/S Partner Denmark
4 Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica Partner Italy
5 Federale Overheidsdienst Economie, KMO, Middenstand en Energie Partner Belgium
6 VSL B.V. Partner Netherlands
7 Danmarks Tekniske Universitet Partner Denmark
8 Energiatudományi Kutatóközpont Partner Hungary
9 Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena Partner Germany
10 Fundacio Institut de Ciencies Fotoniques Partner Spain
11 JCMwave GmbH Partner Germany
12 Swansea University Partner United Kingdom
13 Technische Universiteit Delft Partner Netherlands
14 Technische Universitaet Braunschweig Partner Germany
15 Università degli Studi di Torino Partner Italy