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Cost-effective masks for deep x-ray lithography
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Paper Abstract

The production of X-ray masks is one of the key techniques for X-ray lithography and the LIGA process. Different ways for the fabrication of X-ray masks has been established. Very sophisticated, difficult and expensive procedures are required to produce high precision and high quality X-ray masks. In order to minimize the cost of an X-ray mask, the mask blank must be inexpensive and readily available. The steps involved in the fabrication process must also be minimal. In the past, thin membranes made of titanium, silicon carbide, silicon nitride (2-5μm) or thick beryllium substrates (500μm) have been used as mask blanks. Thin titanium and silicon compounds have very high transparency for X-rays; therefore, these materials are predestined for use as mask membrane material. However, the handling and fabrication of thin membranes is very difficult, thus expensive. Beryllium is highly transparent to X-rays, but the processing and use of beryllium is risky due to potential toxicity. During the past few years graphite based X-ray masks have been in use at various research centers, but the sidewall quality of the generated resist patterns is in the range of 200-300 nm Ra. We used polished graphite to improve the sidewall roughness, but polished graphite causes other problems in the fabrication of X-ray masks. This paper describes the advantages associated with the use of polished graphite as mask blank as well as the fabrication process for this low cost X-ray mask. Alternative membrane materials will also be discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 April 2003
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5116, Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS, (24 April 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.498986
Show Author Affiliations
Heinz-Ulrich Scheunemann, BESSY GmbH (Germany)
Bernd Loechel, BESSY GmbH (Germany)
Linke Jian, BESSY GmbH (Germany)
Daniel Schondelmaier, BESSY GmbH (Germany)
Yohannes M. Desta, Louisiana State Univ. (United States)
Jost Goettert, Louisiana State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5116:
Smart Sensors, Actuators, and MEMS
Jung-Chih Chiao; Vijay K. Varadan; Carles Cané, Editor(s)

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