SBIR Phase I: Optical-Maskless-Lithography Equipment

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0512402
Agency Tracking Number: 0512402
Amount: $99,924.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: MI
Solicitation Number: NSF 04-604
Small Business Information
50 Vasser Street, Cambridge, MA, 02139
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Rajesh Menon
 (617) 253-0979
Business Contact
 Rajesh Menon
Title: Dr
Phone: (617) 253-0979
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I research project is a step towards building an optical-maskless-lithography technology that could revolutionize patterning for a large variety of applications such as MEMs, microfluidics, biochips, microelectronics, microphotonics, micromagnetics, and nanotechnology. Conventional lithography in the nanoscale has evolved into an extremely expensive, complex, and slow technology, especially for patterning non-manhattan geometries. The company's Zone-Plate-Array Lithography (ZPAL) gets rid of the expensive photomask, and uses a large number of focused-optical beams in order to achieve orders-of-magnitude improvement in writing speed. In this project the company addresses two main thrusts towards achieving a functional ZPAL system: (1) development of a robust technique for the manufacture (by replication or otherwise) of zone-plate arrays, each containing over 1000 zone plates; and, (2) development of an interferometric-spatial-phase-imaging (ISPI) technique for ZPAL that can achieve sub-5nm multi-level (overlay) alignment accuracy. If successful, this project will result in two significant advantages over existing systems. The first one is lower cost than projection systems and the second one is that it will provide large savings in time compared to scanning-electron-beam systems. Maskless optical lithography in the form of ZPAL holds the promise of meeting the resolution, throughput and other requirements of the semiconductor industry, as well as those of the other and emerging applications.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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