Anthony Yen: The 2023 SPIE Frits Zernike Award for Microlithography

The SPIE Frits Zernike Award for Microlithography recognizes outstanding accomplishments in microlithographic technology, especially those furthering the development of semiconductor lithographic imaging solutions
11 January 2023
Anthony Yen looking at the ASML NXE 3100.
In an image dated November 2011, Yen views TSMC’s first EUV exposure system obtained from ASML: the NXE:3100. “I was right outside the EUV bay,” notes Yen, “and was contemplating: ‘How can we get this d*mned technology to high-volume manufacturing?’”

Vice President and Head of Technology Development Center at ASML, Anthony Yen has had an illustrious career in the microlithography industry, with pioneering work across optical physics, nanopatterning, and EUV lithography. From 1991 to 1997, he worked at Texas Instruments, which included assignments at imec. From 1997 to 2003, he worked at the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), where he first led the development of its lithography processes, making it the first company to adopt 193-nm lithography in the manufacture of 0.13-micron generation logic integrated circuits. He then co-led infrastructure development for next-generation-lithography technologies on assignment at SEMATECH. After a three-year stint at Cymer (now part of ASML) leading its marketing organization, he returned to TSMC in 2006. For the next 10 years, he led the development of EUV lithography there, including its mask technology, for high-volume manufacturing. Yen joined ASML in 2017. He was recently appointed to the US Department of Commerce’s Industrial Advisory Committee, providing guidance to the Secretary of Commerce on issues related to semiconductor research and development in support of 2022’s CHIPS Act.

A longtime SPIE Fellow, Yen has had a long history of service to SPIE beyond his published work in the Society’s proceedings and journals. In 2002, he chaired SPIE’s 27th Annual International Symposium on Microlithography; since then, he has had multiple roles with SPIE Advanced Lithography (now SPIE Advanced Lithography + Patterning), including being instrumental in birthing its Advanced Etch Technology for Nanopatterning conference. He was also an associate editor of SPIE’s Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS for many years and, in 2017, he co-wrote an SPIE article with Chris Mack of Fractilia on the history of the Frits Zernike Award. With Shinn-Sheng Yu, a colleague at TSMC, he co-wrote the book Optical Physics for Nanolithography, published by SPIE Press. Yen and IBM’s Martin Burkhardt — who have worked together before — are currently translating an expanded version of lectures given by Ernst Abbe in 1887, Ernst Abbe’s Theory of Image Formation in the Microscope by Otto Lummer and Fritz Reiche. Their translated version is being published by SPIE Press in early 2023.

“For over 30 years, Tony has devoted himself to advancing the field of lithography technology for the semiconductor industry,” says SPIE Fellow, winner of 2016’s Frits Zernike Award, and Intel Senior Fellow (Retired) Yan Borodovsky. “He has published over 100 technical papers and holds over 140 US patents. In my opinion, Tony’s sustained and impactful technical contributions, as well as his dedicated service to our profession, completely epitomize the spirit espoused by the Frits Zernike Award.”

Meet the other 2023 SPIE Society Award recipients.

Read more about Anthony Yen and the SPIE Frits Zernike Award for Microlithography.


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