Chemical Nano-Imprint Lithography
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AbstractThe rapid expansion in the electronics industry has given rise to what has become known as Moore's law. At its core, lies advances in lithography that enable the miniaturization of features patterned on semiconductor substrates. As the minimum feature patterned on modern integrated circuits approaches 100nm, projection photolithography is put under enormous pressure to satisfy the demands of industry. While effort in this direction is under way, the skyrocketing cost of this conventional approach prompted the development of alternative methods. Therefore, there is a need to develop lithography techniques that allow for high-resolution rapid replication of structures and overcome the limitations of currently available methods. The proposed approach is based on chemically changing the properties of the top surface polymer layer (resist) by bringing it in contact with a template coated with a catalyst, hence `chemical imprint.' It is expected to offer the resolution comparable to the resolution of the nano-imprint lithography of well below 100nm, and at the same time bypass one of its main limitations, namely the direct shaping of the polymer with the template, thus reducing stress in the latter, contributing to its longevity, improve pattern fidelity and yield, and relaxing requirements for the template preparation process.
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