Precision of micromilled x-ray masks and exposures

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Micromechanical milling has been shown to be a rapid and direct method for the fabrication of structures with the geometry and size suitable for use as x-ray mask absorbers. While the micromilling process can not duplicate the size and resolution of absorber patterns created by high energy electron beam or optical lithography methods, micromilling can repeatedly create absorber line widths down to 10 micrometers, or less, with a one-sigma tolerance of 0.5 micrometers. A method for easily characterizing milling tool run out has been adapted so tool change out can be more routine. The milling process leaves some absorber burrs and the absorber is apparently tapered at the machined wall which introduce process biases, both of which add to exposure degradation. Nevertheless, based on work to date, it appears both of these effects can be reduced to acceptable limits.

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Microsystem Technologies