Nicholas Jenkins named as 2024 recipient of Nick Cobb Memorial Scholarship

The lithography-focused award honors the memory of the SPIE Senior Member and Mentor chief engineer
14 December 2023
Nicholas Jenkins, recipient of the 2024 Nick Cobb Memorial Scholarship, adjusting metal filters and an in-vacuum iris on an EUV imaging reflectometer.
Nicholas Jenkins, recipient of the 2024 Nick Cobb Memorial Scholarship, adjusting metal filters and an in-vacuum iris on an EUV imaging reflectometer.

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA — Nicholas Jenkins has been announced as the 2024 recipient of the $10,000 Nick Cobb Memorial Scholarship by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, and Siemens EDA — formally Mentor, a Siemens company — for potential contributions to advanced lithography or a related field. Jenkins will also be honored during 2024’s SPIE Advanced Lithography + Patterning conference.

The Nick Cobb scholarship recognizes an exemplary graduate student working in the field of lithography for semiconductor manufacturing. The award honors the memory of Nick Cobb, who was an SPIE Senior Member and chief engineer at Mentor. His groundbreaking contributions enabled optical and process proximity correction for IC manufacturing. Originally funded for three years ending in 2021, the Nick Cobb Scholarship will be awarded to one student annually for an additional period of three years, through 2024.

Jenkins is pursuing a PhD in Physics at JILA and the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU). His research, under the guidance of Margaret Murnane and Henry Kapteyn, focuses on the precise fabrication and metrology of nanomaterials and devices to advance science and technology in areas such as nanoelectronics and metamaterials. As a final-year PhD student, Jenkins leads several experimental campaigns to use extreme ultraviolet (EUV) scatterometry and imaging in order to more precisely measure the structure and composition of nanoscale objects. Jenkins received his BS in Physics, summa cum laude, from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, in 2018, and his MS in Physics from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2021. He won the 2022 Colorado Photonics Industry Student Poster Contest, is currently working on projects for Samsung, 3M, and the Moore Foundation, and excels in his commitment to mentoring others.

“I'm honored to receive the Nick Cobb Memorial Scholarship and I'm excited for the opportunity to share my research with others in the field at the upcoming SPIE Advanced Lithography + Patterning meeting,” notes Jenkins. “The metrology community has continued to help push forward what humans are capable of on the nanoscale, and I'm glad to be part of the effort.”

"We are pleased to again be collaborating with SPIE to award the sixth annual Nick Cobb Memorial Scholarship to Mr. Nicholas Jenkins,” says Siemens EDA Vice President of Product Management Calibre Semiconductor Solutions Steffen Schulze. “The scholarship honors Nick Cobb's fundamental work in the field of lithography and his many contributions as the chief architect of the Siemens EDA Calibre OPC solutions. By the way, Nick studied at the same school where Nicholas is currently pursuing his PhD degree. Nicholas has twelve publications on his current and prior research work. His experimental work is focusing on demonstrating and qualifying EUV scatterometry to measure nanometer scale patterns of new materials as well as studying their structure and composition. This work is important for cost-effective development and reliable manufacturing of advanced semiconductor devices anchored on those new materials.”

About Siemens EDA

Siemens EDA is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services, and award-winning support for the world's most successful electronic, semiconductor, and systems companies.

About SPIE

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, brings engineers, scientists, students, and business professionals together to advance light-based science and technology. The Society, founded in 1955, connects and engages with our global constituency through industry-leading conferences and exhibitions; publications of conference proceedings, books, and journals in the SPIE Digital Library; and career-building opportunities. Over the past five years, SPIE has contributed more than $24 million to the international optics community through our advocacy and support, including scholarships, educational resources, travel grants, endowed gifts, and public-policy development.


Daneet Steffens
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