New Maskless Aligner MLA300
Maskless Aligner MLA300: New Technology Disrupts Industrial Microfabrication
November 12, 2019
Heidelberg Instruments – a leading power in direct-write photolithography – officially released their new Maskless Aligner MLA300 for volume production of wafers up to 300 mm.
The MLA300 brings the flexibility and performance of maskless lithography to the production line in a wide range of applications: Integrated circuits, advanced packaging, discrete electronic devices and sensors, micro-optics, microfluidics, MEMS, probe cards for IC testing – just to name a few.
The expertise accumulated over more than 35 years of developing photolithography tools was poured into an engineering masterpiece: The MLA300 technology is based on the combination of high-speed optical engines powered by solid-state light sources, and MEMS-based optical modulators. The system can integrate up to 4 optic modules to provide the high throughput required in industrial volume production. These modules can have different wavelengths and resolutions, allowing the users to customize the system according to their requirements regarding feature size, writing speed, resists and substrate handling.
Steffen Diez, COO of Heidelberg Instruments, says: “Our R&D team really pushed the limits of direct-write lithography. We are very proud of the MLA300, it is the most advanced tool we have ever built. It is unique in many ways, and it is also the only production-ready solution for industrial microfabrication currently available in the market. The MLA300 can be used as a replacement for Mask Aligners or Steppers and in particular in applications where maskless lithography has a significant advantage: For example, in applications which use materials with different thermal expansion, where warpage can measure up to 300 µm. Our tool compensates warpage with the real-time Autofocus system and ensures that each section of the substrate is exposed in focus.”
Philip Paul, the product manager of the MLA300, adds: “The flexibility of the dynamic mask approach enables our customers to easily implement any changes in the device design. The users can also measure and immediately compensate for variations from previous processing steps or the die shift in packaging applications.”
The MLA300 is designed as a fully integrated solution with a minimal footprint. The maskless technology eliminates the time and costs associated with the use of photomasks and frees the customers from data security risks related to producing masks externally. The tool is fully automated and can be customised to match the production facility requirements. The standard resolution is specified at 2 mm lines and spaces, with throughput being 2.6 minutes for a 100 x 100 mm substrate. The first MLA300 system operates successfully at a production site in Germany. More are on order, their delivery scheduled by the end of 2019.
About Heidelberg Instruments: With an installation base of well over 900 systems in more than 50 countries, Heidelberg Instruments is a world leader in production of high-precision maskless lithography systems. Due to their flexibility, these systems are used in research, development and industrial applications for direct writing and photomask production by some of the most prestigious universities and industry leaders in the areas of MEMS, BioMEMS, nanotechnology, ASICS, TFT, plasma displays, micro optics, and many other related applications.
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