Nanopatterning provides important advantages for many fields including nanofluidics; nano magnetics; biophotonics; and metamaterial fabrication. However, a number of complications and complexities have limited many fabrication approaches to the nanoscale. For example, conventional lithography with standard industry tools is very expensive, nanoimprint lithography has master and wafer problems, while Interference Lithography (IL) demonstrations at wafer-scale are limited. Conventional IL with a partially reflective beam splitter is limited in the area by the coherence length of the laser source since the two arms of the interferometer as matched in length at the center of the pattern but vary as the print area is increased in the dimension perpendicular to the grating lines. Conventional IL also requires vibration and phase controls which are major disadvantages in a manufacturing environment. The good news is that IL with a grating beam splitter has lower coherence requirements, extending wafer-scale applications. Oblique incidence, which eliminates unwanted diffraction orders resulting in a single sideband illumination, has been used in the past for lithography - primarily in the case of projection lithography. Therefore, to decrease the cost and complexity of nanopatterning both oblique incidence and the grating-based approach need to be combined into a single technique. Additionally, advances in diode laser technology have resulted in the commercial availability of low-cost (~$100), high power (~ 0.1- to 1W) single transverse mode blue, and UV lasers. Typically, these lasers are multi-longitudinal mode and the multiple wavelengths have hindered the application to large-area patterning requiring very tight, < 100 mm mask-sample positioning.
Researchers from the University of New Mexico’s Center for High Technology Materials have developed a cost-effective nanopatterning technique, combining oblique incidence and a grating-based approach. By utilizing only two orders, the technique allows very compact patterning systems. An achromatic two-mask approach effectively resolves the multi-mode issue allowing very simple configurations without requiring small mask-sample gaps. High efficiency is assured with engineered phase masks based on spin-on-glass patterning. According to the researcher’s knowledge, this is the first spin-on-glass-based phase mask whose diffraction efficiency can be varied easily by etching to meet the requirements of the patterning. Additional benefits include the elimination of tight phase control or vibration isolation that conventional IL requires; while also offering scalability and large-scale nanopatterning capabilities.
- Cost-effective, simple, and rapid nanopatterning capabilities
- Uses inexpensive diode laser sources
- Removes deposition steps
- Eliminates vibration and phase controls, resulting in a more ideal manufacturing environment
- Scalable and ready for large scale nanopatterning applications
- Optical Lithography
- Medical Devices
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 email@example.com 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/
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