Direct fabrication of deep x-ray lithography masks by micromechanical milling

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Micromechanical milling has been shown to be a rapid and direct method for fabricating masks for deep x-ray lithography with lateral absorber features down to 10 micrometers. Conventional x-ray mask fabrication requires complex processes and equipment, and a faster and simpler method using micromechanical milling was investigated for larger microstructures for mesoscale applications. Micromilled x-ray masks consisting of a layered architecture of gold and titanium films on graphite yielded exposures in PMMA with accuracy and repeatability suitable for prototype purposes. A method for compensating milling tool radial runout was adapted, and the average accuracy of mask absorber features was 0.65 micrometers, with an average standard deviation of 0.55 micrometers. The milling process leaves some absorber burrs, and the absorber wall is tapered, which introduces an additional process bias. Mask fabrication by micromilling is fast and, therefore, less costly than conventional mask fabrication processes. © 1998 Elsevier Science Inc.

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Precision Engineering