Method and Apparatus for Deep Ultraviolet Microscopy

Technology #ua07-048

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Barry Gelernt
Thomas Milster
Professor, Optical Sciences
Managed By
Amy Phillips
Sr. Licensing Manager (520) 621-9579

Method and Apparatus for Deep Ultraviolet Microscopy

Optical microscopes have many applications in both industry and life sciences. In the semiconductor industry, visible light microscopes have been used for quality inspection because of their non-destructive advantage over electron microscopy, which can be damaging to the semiconductor wafers. However, as feature sizes in the semiconductor industry decrease, and as the need for small-feature resolution in life sciences grows, visible optical microscopes are no longer ideal for these applications.  Microscopy that has nanometer scale or smaller resolution that is also non-damaging to the target features is highly desirable.

Researchers at the University of Arizona  and formerly at UC San Diego have developed a nanometer resolution optical microscope. It uses an intense, monochromatic radiation of the atomic Hydrogen line (H Lyman-alpha light source) for the improved imaging resolution. The light source emits at a wavelength in which there is a local minimum of the air absorption spectrum, allowing effective transmission in air and obviating the need for the target to be in a high vacuum. The light source can increase optical imaging resolution by fourfold, which making  optical microscopy more useful for semiconductor inspection and life sciences research.


•    Cell imaging

•    Inspection of semiconductor wafers


•    Nanometer scale resolution

•    Target can be in air or a separate environment from light source

Lead Inventor:  Thomas D. Milster

Stage of Development: prototype under construction

Contact: Amy Phillips;

Refer to case number UA07-048