SBIR Phase II: Dual-Wavelength Diffractive Optics for Absorbance-Modulation Optical Lithography
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
15 WARD ST, Somerville, MA, 02143
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project aims to develop an optical-maskless-lithography technology that is capable of high resolution, high throughput, flexibility, low cost, and extendibility. Current lithography technologies suffer from the problems of high tool costs, high mask costs, and inflexibility (in the case of optical-projection lithography), or high tool costs, very low throughputs, and high complexity (in the case of scanning-electron-beam lithography). The emerging Zone-Plate-Array-Lithography (ZPAL) technology and its optical extension to sub-100 nanometers via absorbance-modulation optical lithography (AMOL) will mitigate these issues, while providing unprecedented flexibility in nanopatterning. The proposed project covers three major thrusts: firstly, the manufacture of zone-plate arrays containing over 1000 zone plates, each with a numerical-aperture (NA) greater than 0.85; second, the manufacture of dichromat arrays containing over 1000 zone plates, each with a numerical-aperture (NA) greater than 0.85; and lastly, the design of high-efficiency lenses to overcome many of limitations of conventional zone plates and dichromats. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is the creation of a fabrication tool which will enable a new paradigm in the development and manufacture of nanostructures by sharply reducing the development-cycle time and manufacturing costs. At present, the tools that are available for the creation of such nanostructures are highly limited in flexibility, resolution, cost and throughput. Being maskless, this technology provides flexibility by enabling the designers of nanostructures to quickly realize their designs in hardware for prototyping and even low-volume manufacturing. This new tool could potentially benefit a wide spectrum of industries including micro-electro-mechanical devices (MEMs), nano-electro-mechanical devices (NEMs), nano-electronics, nano-magnetics, integrated optics, photonics, biochips, and microfluidics.
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