2021-037 – Interferometric Lithography Amplitude-Grating-Mask-Based Wafer-Scale Large-Area Nanopatterning

Nanofluidics, nanomagnetic, biophotonics, metamaterial fabrication, displays, and solar photovoltaics all utilize nanopatterned periodic structures. Targeting this high volume, industrial applications require the ability to offer efficient large-area patterning. The solar cell industry, for example, needs techniques with the capability of high-throughput, wafer-scale patterning. Three techniques capable of meeting these requirements are conventional lithography, nano-imprint lithography (NIL), and interferometric lithography (IL). Despite their potential, each of these methodologies has its limitations. For instance, conventional lithography offers the required resolution, but the existing tool base, designed for integrated circuit manufacturing, is too expensive for many nascent applications and is not adaptable to full wafer scale as opposed to step-and-repeat patterning. NIL requires expensive master masks and also is limited at full wafer scale. On the other hand, IL has been utilized for large area patterning, but with few full wafer-scale demonstrations. To overcome these limitations, various laser and optical component combinations have been introduced– yet, large-area applications still require enhancements related to uniform exposure density and spatial coherence. Thus, there remains a need for a robust approach to full wafer scale nanopatterning that can be both high speed and low cost, compatible with high volume manufacturing.

Technology Description:
Researchers from the University of New Mexico’s Center for High Technology Materials have developed an optical system for large-area, full-wafer nanopatterning. The system incorporates a laser source, beam conditioning, and translation optics, a beam splitter, and beam recombination optics. The laser beam profile, longitudinal and transverse coherence, and average power are of critical importance. Based on the final pattern requirements, the interplay among these characteristics provides a trade-off between uniformity and exposure time. In addition, multi-mode lasers with poor transverse coherence can be utilized. Both 1D and 2D full wafer exposures of a 100-mm diameter photoresist coated silicon wafer have been demonstrated, extension to larger areas is straightforward.




  • Large-area, full wafer nanopatterning
  • Compact optical system
  • Lasers with low transverse coherence can be utilized
  • Additional beams can be added to the optical configuration to produce alternative patterns

Potential Applications:

  • Nanofluidics
  • Nanomagnetics
  • Photonics and Biophotonics
  • Metamaterial Fabrication
  • Displays
  • Solar Photovoltaics

Additional Information:


UNM Rainforest Innovations has filed intellectual property on this exciting new technology and is currently exploring commercialization options. If you are interested in information about this or other technologies, please contact Arlene Young at ayoung@innovations.unm.edu or 505-272-7886.

About UNM Rainforest Innovations
As the technology-transfer and economic-development organization for the University of New Mexico, UNM Rainforest Innovations protects and commercializes technologies developed at the University of New Mexico (UNM) by filing patents and copyrights and transferring the technologies to the marketplace. We connect the business community (companies, entrepreneurs, and investors) to these UNM technologies for licensing opportunities and the creation of startup companies. Visit http://innovations.unm.edu/

Contact Information:

Name: Andrew Roerick

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Email: aroerick@innovations.unm.edu

Phone: 505-277-0608

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