by Natasha Sufi

For decades, photolithography with mask aligners has been the cornerstone of microfabrication. But what if there was a faster, more flexible way to create the intricate patterns needed for miniaturized devices? Discover Maskless Lithography or Direct Writing – a powerful technique revolutionizing the R&D and rapid prototyping landscape. It allows you to bypass the long process of ordering a photomask and enables you to transfer the design directly to the wafer.

Why ditch the masks?

Traditional photolithography relies on custom-designed masks that are ideal for high-volume sub-micron manufacturing, particularly in industries like semiconductor production. Our ULTRA and VPG+ excel in producing high-quality masks tailored for such large-scale operations. However, for low-volume production or research and development facilities, these masks come with drawbacks:

  • Costly: Masks can be expensive, especially for complex designs or small batches. Besides their production, their storage and cleaning also generate additional costs.
  • Time consuming: Mask fabrication adds significant lead time to the development cycle.
  • Inflexibility: Design changes necessitate new masks, hindering rapid iteration.

Here’s where Direct Laser Writing shines:

  • Eliminating masks translates to faster design iterations and quicker prototyping cycles.
  • Writing patterns directly on the substrate enables rapid exploration of intricate designs and on-the-fly modifications.
  • Direct Writing requires fewer steps and less equipment compared to traditional mask-based photolithography.
  • Alignment with pre-existing structures is fast and intuitive facilitating the fabrication of multi-layer devices.
  • Ideal for low-volume, high-complexity projects where mask costs become prohibitive.
  • With our real time autofocus, the exposure remains in focus across the entire substrate, even on corrugated surfaces.


Share this

Explore more

Popular posts