Industrial Liaison Office

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Lithography of micro and nanostructures

<p>Fresnel microlenses for X-rays manufactured using lithographic techniques.</p>

Fresnel microlenses for X-rays manufactured using lithographic techniques.

Photolithography is the technology traditionally used to manufacture microelectronic and microelectromechanical devices of the kind found in computer microprocessors and GPS systems. A continuing process of evolution and refinement has led to ever smaller and more compact devices that can now hold structures no more than a few tens of nanometres (billionths of a metre) in scale. However, miniaturisation of structures is limited by the wavelength of the light used to build them: for computer chips currently in commercial production, radiation in the far ultraviolet range of the spectrum is employed. This limitation can be overcome through the use of X-rays.


Elettra's contribution
X-ray lithography is commonly used to build structures with a resolution of the order of 100 nanometres. The greater penetrating power of X-rays compared to ultraviolet makes this technology particularly suited to the fabrication of complex three dimensional structures in innovative materials. Elettra has exploited this technique to manufacture special Fresnel lenses, which are used to build extremely high resolution microscopes because of their ability to focus X-rays.
Elettra, and the neighbouring TASC-INFM Laboratory of CNR, can provide ion beam and electron beam lithography, the nanolithographies that are used in combination with techniques such as Reactive Ion Etching and Inductive Coupled Plasmon to manufacture silicon based and organic microstructures.


Facility: LILIT and DXRL Beamlines, Nanostructure Laboratory
On the feasibility of large-aperture Fresnel lenses for the microfocusing of hard X-rays; W. Jark, F. Perennes, M. Matteucci; Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 13, p. 239, 2006.