The Personal Side of Microlithography

For the most part, semiconductor photolithography is a hard, fast-paced, and technically demanding career. Lithographers are generally dockers-wearing, sleeves-rolled-up, tie-hating engineers (yes, there are definitely too few women among our ranks) who have replaced their pocket protectors for PDAs. If you meet one at a party, whatever you do don't ask them about their job - they'll talk for hours not realizing that their audience is going to sleep.

But if you manage to get past the technobabble (and the ubiquitous complaints about how worthless their stock options are), lithographers can be quite fascinating. I've never met a group of people who can drink as much beer while still remembering 15 digits of pi, the names of every quark, or some equally impressive display of geek-prowess. They often have wide and eclectic ranges of interests, and there are more than a few talented artists and musicians among them.

So, if you are willing to put away preconceived notions of what a hard-core, Moore's Law-loving engineer is really like, take a look at some of the examples below of fun in the line of duty.


Chris Mack, the cartoon version

BACUS Entertainment - what maskmakers do (or at least did) for fun

The Cartoon Version of Me

How I Became a Lithographer

Lithography's Poet Laureate, Kit Ausschnitt

Diaries of a Lithography Conference Attendee

A Lithographer Runs for Congress - In Brazil (fall, 2010)



Of course, the personal side of anything is not always fun. In 2007 the lithography community lost one of its preeminent members, and one of my best friends, when Jeff Byers died after a car accident. I captured many of my thoughts about his death (and his life) on my blog, which is reproduced here.

The Jeff Byers Blogposts