May 07, 2010

Laser Beam Interference Lithography for 30 nm direct Writing at Ten Times Lower Cost

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Laser interference to make 2D and 3D nanostructures

Laser interference lithography can produce very high-resolution (30 nanometer to 5 nm) nano-scale surface patterns at low cost

DELILA (Development of Lithography Technology for Nanoscale Structuring of Materials Using Laser Beam Interference - European project) showed for the first time feature sizes of ~30nm for direct writing and ~5nm for modification of nano-structures. These are state-of-the-art results for the technology. Where typical fabrication systems cost in the millions of euros, systems based on DELILA’s breakthroughs would cost just in the hundreds of thousands.

Direct writing is where laser beam interference etches patterns directly onto a die, without using a photomask. It is much cheaper than standard processes for achieving the required features. The 30nm result refers to the systems capacity to create precise feature sizes in the desired pattern.

The structure modification result, however, is in many ways more interesting. This is the smallest possible structure that the system can achieve right now. It is currently not sufficiently precise for commercial application, but the fact that DELILA was able to achieve any modification at this scale indicates that it will be possible to achieve the required precision for commercial purposes. This will be the next research goal.

Poster from DELILA 2009
3 page pdf poster from 2009 that describes laser interference lithography. They have advanced the work to higher resolution.

The main aim of DELILA is the development and application of mul tiple beam interference lithography technology for 2D and 3D nanoscale structuring of materials in nano photonics, electronics and fabrication.

The project has three objectives:
1- Fundamental exploration of multiple beam interference lithography and its capabilities. This will include the conclusions on the formation of multiple beam interference patte rns for nanolithography, interaction with different materials and boundary conditions, and environmental effects on the performance of interference lithography.
2- Development of computer software for the analysis of interference of several coherent beams of laser radiation and for the calculation of the results of diffraction of the radiation by periodic structures of different forms. This will lead to the synthesis and optimization of laser beam characteristics for obtaining the required parameters of th e created structures.
3- Development of the DELILA system . The main outcome of the project will be a nanofabrication tool that has the potential to create a breakthrough in nanolithography technology for both 2D and 3D structuring of materials.

The image is from previous laser interference lithography work from another research group

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