Applied Physics

Accelerating Lithography

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Science  05 Sep 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5638, pp. 1293
DOI: 10.1126/science.301.5638.1293b

A number of lithographic techniques are currently being used for the transfer of patterns into materials and semiconductors. The exposure of photoresist to ultraviolet light, x-rays, electron beams, or focused ion beams can be used for the patterning of structures with submicrometer features, with some state-of-the-art facilities regularly achieving features finer than 100 nm. For small features, however, scattering of secondary electrons and diffuse scattering profiles within the patterned medium present a problem.

Beams of protons, which are heavier than electrons and subject to less scattering in the material, are shown by van Kan et al. to be a powerful addition to the lithographic toolbag. The proton beams are accelerated to 1 MeV, focused to a sub-100-nm spot size, and used to sculpt three-dimensional structures with high aspect ratio and smooth walls with less than 3-nm roughness. The technique should find particular use in specialized high-end applications such as the developing field of nanoelectromechanical systems. — ISO

Appl. Phys. Lett. 83, 1629 (2003).

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