Nanoscale dimensions have long been used in semiconductor devices. The thickness of many of the thin films used is often below 1000 angstroms. There are many techniques for depositing thin films. Using electrons to create small structures and devices has long been a productive method of lithography. Electron beams can be used as a tool to pattern surfaces that essentially react in response to electrons. The technique of nanolithography is the patterning of a thin film where the line resolution is at the microscopic level, especially below 100 nm. There are many important techniques that are used for patterning in the nanoscale realm. They are:
• Dip-Pen nanolithography
• Photon nanolithography
• Soft nanolithography
• E-beam nanolithography
While the semiconductor industry struggles with the issues created by the end of optical lithography and the lack of a clear alternative, progress is continuing in critical areas of deep submicron patterning. In this regard, e-beam nanolithography allows for a significantly higher resolution than optical lithography. In many cases the low energy electrons are typically well suited to modify self-assembled monolayers, and e-beam lithography allows for the fabrication of monolayer nanostructures with lateral dimensions down to ~10 nm. E-beam nanolithography also emphasises processes and techniques relevant to the integration of advanced semiconductor nanofabrication technologies with chemical and biological nanosystems. Typical specifications of an e-beam lithography system, Raith 150 for example, is given by:
• Schottky thermal-field emission filament, resolution: 2 nm @ 20 kV
• 16 bits / 10 MHz pattern generator
• Interferometer stage: 2 nm positioning accuracy
• Overlay and stitching accuracy: 50 nm
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