Electron Beam Lithography

Electron beam lithography (often abbreviated as e-beam lithography) is the practice of emitting a beam of electrons in a patterned fashion across a surface covered with a film (called the resist), ("exposing" the resist) and of selectively removing either exposed or non-exposed regions of the resist ("developing"). The purpose, as with photolithography, is to create very small structures in the resist that can subsequently be transferred to the substrate material, often by etching. It was developed for manufacturing integrated circuits, and is also used for creating nanotechnology architectures.

The primary advantage of electron beam lithography is that it is one of the ways to beat the diffraction limit of light and make features in the nanometer regime. This form of maskless lithography has found wide usage in photomask-making used in photolithography, low-volume production of semiconductor components, and research & development.

The key limitation of electron beam lithography is throughput, i.e., the very long time it takes to expose an entire silicon wafer or glass substrate. A long exposure time leaves the user vulnerable to beam drift or instability which may occur during the exposure. Also, the turn-around time for reworking or re-design is lengthened unnecessarily if the pattern is not being changed the second time.

Read more about Electron Beam LithographyElectron Beam Lithography Systems, Electron Energy Deposition in Matter, Charging, Electron Beam Resist Performance, New Frontiers in Electron-beam Lithography

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Multiple Patterning - Implementations - Electron-beam Lithography
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Litho - Microlithography and Nanolithography
... Some, for example electron beam lithography, are capable of much greater patterning resolution (sometimes as small as a few nanometers) ... Electron beam lithography is also important commercially, primarily for its use in the manufacture of photomasks ... Electron beam lithography as it is usually practiced is a form of maskless lithography, in that a mask is not required to generate the final pattern ...
Electron Beam Lithography - New Frontiers in Electron-beam Lithography
... To get around the secondary electron generation, it will be imperative to use low-energy electrons as the primary radiation to expose photoresist ... Ideally, these electrons should have energies on the order of not much more than several eV in order to expose the photoresist without generating any secondary electrons, since they will not have sufficient ... demonstrated using a scanning tunneling microscope as the electron beam source ...
Proximity Effect (electron Beam Lithography)
... The proximity effect in electron beam lithography (EBL) is the phenomenon that the exposure dose distribution, and hence the developed pattern, is wider than the scanned pattern, due to the ... (for positive resists) or crosslinking (for negative resists) come from electron forward scattering and backscattering ... The forward scattering process is due to electron-electron interactions which deflect the primary electrons by a typically small angle, thus statistically broadening the beam in the resist (and ...

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