Lithography. Lithography in the MEMS context is typically the transfer of a pattern to a photosensitive material by selective exposure to a radiation source such as light.
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Lithography in the MEMS context is typically the transfer of a pattern to a photosensitive material by selective exposure to a radiation source such as light.
A photosensitive material is a material that experiences a change in its physical properties when exposed to a radiation source. If we selectively expose a photosensitive material to radiation (e.g. by masking some of the radiation) the pattern of the radiation on the material is transferred to the material exposed, as the properties of the exposed and unexposed regions differs
In order to make useful devices the patterns for different lithography steps that belong to a single structure must be aligned to one another.
The first pattern transferred to a wafer usually includes a set of alignment marks, which are high precision features that are used as the reference when positioning subsequent patterns, to the first pattern
Often alignment marks are included in other patterns, as the original alignment marks may be obliterated as processing progresses.
It is important for each alignment mark on the wafer to be labeled so it may be identified, and for each pattern to specify the alignment mark (and the location thereof) to which it should be aligned.
By providing the location of the alignment mark it is easy for the operator to locate the correct feature in a short time. Each pattern layer should have an alignment feature so that it may be registered to the rest of the layers
The exposure parameters required in order to achieve accurate pattern transfer from the mask to the photosensitive layer depend primarily on the wavelength of the radiation source and the dose required to achieve the desired properties change of the photoresist.
Different photoresists exhibit different sensitivities to different wavelengths.
The dose required per unit volume of photoresist for good pattern transfer is somewhat constant
if an image is overexposed, the dose received by photoresist at the edge that shouldn't be exposed may become significant.
If we are using positive photoresist, this will result in the photoresist image being eroded along the edges, resulting in a decrease in feature size and a loss of sharpness or corners
If we are using a negative resist, the photoresist image is dilated, causing the features to be larger than desired, again accompanied by a loss of sharpness of corners.
If an image is severely underexposed, the pattern may not be transferred at all, and in less sever cases the results will be similar to those for overexposure with the results reversed for the different polarities of resist
In most areas of optics, and especially in microscopy, the numerical aperture of an optical system such as an objective lens is defined by
NA = n Sinθ
where n is the index of refraction of the medium in which the lens is working (1.0 for air, 1.33 for pure water, and up to 1.56 for oils), and θ is the half-angle of the maximum cone of light that can enter or exit the lens
Photolithography has used ultraviolet light from gas-discharge lamps using mercury, sometimes in combination with noble gases such as xenon. These lamps produce light across a broad spectrum with several strong peaks in the ultraviolet range. This spectrum is filtered to select a single spectral line, usually the "g-line" (436 nm) or "i-line" (365 nm).
Immersion lithography is a photolithography resolution enhancement technique that replaces the usual air gap between the final lens and the wafer surface with a liquid medium that has a refractive index greater than one. The resolution is increased by a factor equal to the refractive index of the liquid. (CD = 60nm)
In maskless lithography, the radiation that is used to expose a photosensitive emulsion (or photoresist) is not projected from, or transmitted through, a photomask. Instead, most commonly, the radiation is focused to a narrow beam. The beam is then used to directly write the image into the photoresist, one or more pixels at a time
Multiphoton lithography (also known as direct laser writing) is a technique for creating small features in a photosensitive material, without the use of complex optical systems or photomasks.
By scanning and properly modulating the laser, a chemical change (usually polymerization) occurs at the focal spot of the laser and can be controlled to create an arbitrary two or three-dimensional periodic or non-periodic pattern.
This method could also be used for rapid prototyping of structures with fine features
Focused ion beam (FIB) systems operate in a similar fashion to a scanning electron microscope (SEM) except, rather than a beam of electrons and as the name implies, FIB systems use a finely focused beam of ions (usually gallium) that can be operated at low beam currents for imaging or high beam currents for site specific sputtering or milling
they cannot easily penetrate within individual atoms of the sample. Interaction mainly involves outer shell interaction resulting in atomic ionization and breaking of chemical bonds of the substrate atoms.
The penetration depth of the ions is much lower than the penetration of electrons of the same energy.
ions can gain a high momentum. For the same energy, the momentum of the ion is about 370 times larger.
For the same energy ions move a lot slower than electrons. However, they are still fast compared to the image collection mode and in practice this has no real consequences.
The magnetic lenses are less effective on ions than they would be on electrons with the same energy. As a consequence the focused ion beam system is equipped with electro-static lenses and not with magnetic lenses