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ECE Alum Burn Lin receives IEEE Jun-ichi Nishizawa Medal

Burn LinBurn J. Lin, ’70 PhD, electrical engineering, was awarded the 2013 IEEE Jun-ichi Nishizawa Medal for outstanding contributions to material and device science and technology. Lin, who is vice president of research and development and Fellow at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, was recognized “for contributions to lithographic manufacturing, including immersion lithography.”

The medal includes a $20,000 prize, which Lin has donated to The Ohio State University as part of a larger endowment.
Known for pushing the envelope in developing advanced lithography methods, Burn Lin’s innovations have revolutionized integrated circuit production and enabled the continued miniaturization of electronic devices. His vision has consistently provided advancements that have extended the potential of optical lithography. He pioneered immersion lithography and was the driver of its adoption by the semiconductor industry over traditional optical lithography methods. Optical lithography is used to delineate the circuit patterns of an integrated circuit and has enabled feature sizes of electronic devices to scale down. However, when the industry was looking to reduce the imaging wavelength from 197- to 157 nm to achieve the next reduction in device feature size, Lin saw an expensive dead end with current optical lithography methods and proposed immersion lithography in 2002. With immersion lithography, Lin demonstrated that replacing air with water in the gap between the lens and wafer surface provides higher resolution potential than with dry optics. His perseverance in convincing the industry to make the change to immersion lithography has extended Moore’s law from 40 nm to potentially as low as 10 nm. That at least 82% of all transistors currently in the world have been made with immersion lithography is a testament to Lin’s impact.

Throughout his 42-year career in lithography, Burn Lin pioneered deep-UV lithography, multilayer resist systems, simulation of partially coherent images in 3D, resolution and depth of focus scaling equations, Exposure-Defocus window, and k1 reduction using resolution restoration and enhancement.
An IEEE Life Fellow and member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, Lin’s many honors include the IEEE Cledo Brunetti Award (2009). He was also awarded the 2009 Benjamin G. Lamme Meritorious Achievement Medal, the most prestigious award given by the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University.
Tags: Alumni, Awards