Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMSAcousto-optic phase-mask emulation
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Emulation of phase-shift mask (PSM) imaging techniques through the use of acousto-optic interaction, rather than fixed photomasks, is demonstrated. The phasefront and irradiance profile of a uniform illumination beam are manipulated acousto-optically in two dimensions by controlling the phase and amplitude of the radio-frequency (RF) signals, which drive the acousto-optic modulators used as the basis for these investigations. Enhancements in aerial image resolution and edge slope are shown by contrasting image quality for nonphase-shifted features against features patterned using acousto-optic emulation of alternating phase-shift mask, attenuated phase-shift mask, and chromeless phase-shift mask imaging techniques. A demonstration of vortex via patterning is also shown to highlight the versatility of this technique in creating complex two dimensional patterns. An overview of the experimental method and hardware is presented along with the results.