The LaserWriter pattern generator

Planar laser lithography and direct writing



The LaserWriter (LW405 model). 

The LaserWriter system by MICROTECH is designed for the definition of planar geometries and for surface diagnostics, in applications where maximum resolutions down to 0.7 m are required. The system transforms a laser beam into a controlled writing tool for photolithographic mask fabrication or for direct in situ processing on planar substrates. Besides microlithographic applications, its optical apparatus and substrate motion management are also well suited for surface inspection or diagnostics. Hence, the same machine can be used first for producing a pattern and later for inspecting the results. The patterns are generated by accurately moving the target (mask or substrate) underneath a focused and scanning laser beam with proper wavelength. The performance and cost of the system are optimised for research and development or small/medium productions.
 

Application fields Pattern generator   LW405 specifications
 Picture gallery


Sample 0.5 to 1 micron linewidth test.

Application fields of the LaserWriter

 

Microelectronics 

Integrated Optics 

Diffractive Optics 

Micromechanics 

Microcryogenics 

Hybrid circuits 

Flat panel displays 

Microwave Integrated Circuits (MICs) 

MultiChip Modules (MCM) 

Photovoltaics 

Photoelectrochemistry

 

For each application the proper LaserWriter configuration can be selected and customised.
 


Detail of a grey-level diffractive optic element. 

A PATTERN GENERATOR

 The in house availability of a LaserWriter system for microlithography means: 

- cutting down mask costs when developing new prototypes; 

- minimal mask making times (masks are available just a few minutes after patterning ends); 

- possible elimination of masks and mask aligner. For single or low quantity prototypes it can be convenient to draw directly on the final substrate. This possibility is also profitable when a clean room suitable for the use of a mask aligner/exposer is not available: direct writing results in reduced substrate handling, that is a reduction of microcontamination induced defects. 
 


Detail of the work chamber.

 

A GENERAL PURPOSE MICROTOOL

Depending on customer needs, the LASER WRITER system can also be configured as a research or production tool for surface microprocessing, such as:

  • localized microablation trimming and scribing on planar devices; 
  • mask repair by ablation of opaque areas or metallization of clear defects; 
  • in situ microwave circuit trimming by laser induced metal deposition from metalloorganic films; 
  • in situ laser assisted wet or dry film deposition or surface etching
  • marking of identification labels or reference patterns on planar substrates.
  • circuit reconfiguration.


Example of gray-level mask for diffractive optics.

 

AN INSPECTION AND DIAGNOSTIC TOOL

Both laser and non laser applications can be developed for:

  • photoelectric diagnostics on arrays, single detectors and optical microdevices; 
  • luminescence and photocurrent mapping of semiconductor wafers; 
  • 2-D testing of optical thin films with constant or non constant thickness (gaussian mirrors) for reflection, transmission, absorption, scattering); 
  • microspectrophotometric mapping of luminescent sources; 
  • mapping and diagnostics of electrochemical systems. 

 

When you need a discretionary 2-D process, why spend time with electronics, mechanics, optics, high and low level programming, electrooptics? Concentrate your efforts on the process, minimize development time and let MICROTECH take care of the hardware.

 

Is it expensive to buy and maintain?

Major characteristics of the LaserWriter are competitive price and reliability. These are obtained by customizing the system and by carefully selecting and sizing all its components, for years of maintenance-free use.

Among competitors' systems with similar performances, the LaserWriter is by far the lowest priced. Note that commercially available systems from other manufacturers are mostly oriented to high-volume microelectronic production. Therefore, their performances - and prices as well! - match such target market. The LaserWriter is designed and optimised for research and development applications and for small/medium productions. Hence, while keeping the precision patterning features available in alrger and much more research centres or small/medium manufacturers.

The maintenance  costs of the LaserWriter are also very low. The system is designed to require virtually null maintenance over several years of use. Of course, the natural aging of the laser source is unavoidable, but the refurbishment timecan be easily predicted and laser replacement is typically a matter of minutes.

 

Which system configuration should be selected?

One basic LaserWriter model is available for microlithographic applications, with some options. Such model is just the starting point for customisation. Its main features are detailed in the specifications table.

Note our commercial approach as follows. When dealing with MICROTECH, the client can choose between two procedures:

  1. The potential customer specifies his technical needs and asks for a quotation. After knowing the price, he decides whether or not to buy the system.
  2. The customer specifies his technical needs and indicates the available budget. MICROTECH proposes the best possible equipment configuration that matches the budget, optimising the price/performance ratio for that specific application.

 

Each system is driven by LaserDraw-2D, a MICROTECH proprietary software package.

Details of typical patterns are reported in the 2-D lithography picture gallery page.
 

Are you concerned for the limited floor space available? Place the LaserWriter everywhere in your clean-room. The footprint of the latest release of the system is just 65x65 cm, including drive electronics!
 

Are you concerned for system servicing? The hardware and software modular design of the LaserWriter minimizes system downtime and makes servicing or upgrading simple and quick.

 

MORE INFORMATION?
Please print and send us a fax form or simply use our Info request page, indicating your specific requirements. MICROTECH specialists will be glad to configure the system that best fits your specification and your budget!