17 December 2003 Creating direct-write gray-scale photomasks with bimetallic thin film thermal resists
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Abstract
New types of analog gray-scale laser direct-write masks have been created using bimetallic thermal resists and a direct- write laser process. Bimetallic resists consist of two layers of thin films, eg. Bi over In or Sn over In, which react to form a low temperature alloy when a laser raises the films above the eutectic temperature. Depending on the exposure energy, resulting alloyed layers appear to become oxides, causing a change of absorption at 365nm from >3OD to <0.3OD. The thermal resists show near wavelength invariance from IR to UV. The Sn/In films, each layer ~40 nm thick, were DC-sputtered onto glass slides or quartz substrates. To make gray-scale photomasks the samples were placed on a computer-controlled high accuracy X-Y table. A bitmap gray-scale pattern was raster-scanned with a CW Argon laser (514 nm) beam. An optical shutter controlled the actual laser power applied onto the thermal resist film according to the gray-scale value. When exposed to a laser beam greater than 0.6 W, the Sn/In film became nearly transparent (0.22OD) at I-line (365nm) wavelength. Sn/In and Bi/In photomasks have been used together with a standard mask aligner to successfully pattern Shipley SPR2FX-1.3 photoresist. CF4/O2 plasma etching has been used to transfer the three-dimensional pattern to SiO2 and Si substrates. Also a 160 beam laser diode thermal imaging tool was used to create BiIn direct-write binary masks.
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Glenn H. Chapman, Yuqiang Tu, James Dykes, Masahiko Mio, Jun Peng, "Creating direct-write gray-scale photomasks with bimetallic thin film thermal resists", Proc. SPIE 5256, 23rd Annual BACUS Symposium on Photomask Technology, (17 December 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.518213; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.518213
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