A photomask is a solid plate with transparencies or holes that let light to pass from one side to the other in a predefined pattern. The photomask perform the function of blocking the light in specific areas. Lithographic photomasks are usually translucent fused silica planks covered with a defined pattern with a metal-absorbing film. Usually, photomasks are used at wavelengths of 193 nm, 248 nm and 365 nm. Photomasks are also industrialized for various forms of energy such as 13.5 nm (EUV), 157 nm, electrons, ions and X-ray; but these radiations need entirely new constituents meant for substrate and the mask film. Mask alignments are done by using a mask aligner machine. This machine transfers the desired pattern onto the wafer. The mask with the desired pattern is placed over the wafer. After that, the mask is exposed to ultraviolet light. The light transmits only through the openings in the mask allowing the pattern to be burned into the photoresist present in the wafer.
Instances where the lithographic process need the orientation only on one side of the device wafer. The top side orientation is utilized for aligning the architecture on the mask with those of the wafer. Substrate customization can be achieved by live image alignment or by using stored data.
Sustainable growth in the global semiconductor market is acting as a key driver for the growth of the overall mask alignment lithography market. The upsurge in sales of consumer electronic devices and microelectronics is expected to fuel the global market. As the demand for semiconductor devices are increasing, so is the need for better speed and advanced integration methods. To be relevant in the market, the vendors operating in the semiconductor production equipment market are speeding up their development efforts. In lithography, the advancement of the future mask alignment lithography systems are in progress. Suggestions are also being made for processes that utilizes ArF (Argon fluoride) exposure systems to develop various semiconductor materials to support further miniaturization. In this era of miniaturization, customization and fast and efficient delivery, the global mask alignment lithography systems will play a pivotal role in attaining the same, thereby offering a significant growth opportunity for the market.
Based on type, the global mask alignment lithography market can be classified into manual mask aligner, semi-automated mask aligner, automated mask aligner, and hybrid mask aligners. Automated mask aligners held the maximum share of the global mask alignment lithography market. Some of the factors governing the dominance of this segment are its ability to mask wafers regardless of the wafer’s shape and size, minimal manual intervention needed, and this kind of mask aligner requires lesser time than other types.
By geography, the global mask alignment lithography market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. Asia Pacific held the leading share of the market followed by North America. Countries in the Asia Pacific such as China and Japan manufacture and sell exposure systems on a large scale. They are considered the hub of electronics parts manufacturing. Low cost and advancement in technology are the main reasons for growth in this region. North America followed Asia Pacific in terms of share in the global exposure systems market. Presence of large corporations and affinity of consumers to adopt newer technology is likely to fuel the market in this region.
Some of the major players operating in the global exposure system market are Tokyo Electron, Screen Holding Company Ltd., Hitachi, Ltd., the M & R companies, Bacher Systems GmbH, EVG, Shanghai McLantis Machinery Co., Ltd., Enter Machinery Co., Ltd., and Simco Groups among others.
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