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  • Storex develops optical lithography technique

Photonics Spectra
Apr 2014
WILMINGTON, Del., and BUCHAREST, Romania, Feb. 13, 2014 — Storex Technologies Inc. has developed an optical lithography technique with a resolution of 1 nm half-pitch lines, clearing a major hurdle in this field.

Many attempts have been made to break the diffraction limit, which Storex researchers said has long been a problem in optical lithography. In its study, the company demonstrated that quantum optical lithography can attain 1-nm resolution by optical means using new materials, including fluorescent photosensitive glass ceramics and QMC-5, a proprietary photoresist material.

As part of the study, nanostructures were analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscope (SEM), and a dependence between laser power and line width was established. Written patterns on the QMC-5 were then transferred onto a silicon wafer using an etching process.

The performance is several times better than that described for any other optical or electron beam lithography methods, said Storex CEO Eugen Pavel.

Previous attempts in similar studies had only demonstrated direct beam writing of 2-nm-width lines.

The work was published in Optics & Laser Technology. (doi: 10.1016/j.optlastec.2014.01.016)

For more information, visit: www.storextechnologies.com


GLOSSARY
diffraction
As a wavefront of light passes by an opaque edge or through an opening, secondary weaker wavefronts are generated, apparently originating at that edge. These secondary wavefronts will interfere with the primary wavefront as well as with each other to form various diffraction patterns.  
etching
The engraving of a surface by acid, acid fumes or a tool; a process extensively used in the manufacture of reticles.
photoresist
A chemical substance rendered insoluble by exposure to light. By means of a photoresist, a selected pattern can be imaged on a metal. The unexposed areas are washed away and are ready for etching by acid or doping to make a microcircuit.
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