MLA150

The Advanced Maskless Aligner
for R&D and Low-Volume Production

Non-contact exposure, outstanding ease of use, and high speed make the Maskless Aligner MLA150 the ideal tool in rapid prototyping environments, for low- to mid-volume production, and in Research & Development. Our once revolutionary, now state-of-the-art maskless technology has become firmly established since our Maskless Aligner series was first introduced in 2015. The MLA150 now presents the modern-day alternative to the traditional Mask Aligner.

Maskless photolithography eliminates the need for a photomask: The system exposes the pattern directly onto the resist-covered surface. Should design modifications be required, these can be quickly implemented by changing the CAD layout, resulting in much-reduced cycle-times. You will also benefit from a fast, automated front- and backside alignment procedure as well as the outstanding speed: Exposing an area of 100 x 100 mm² with structures as small as 1 micron will take less than 10 minutes. The application areas of the MLA150 include life sciences, MEMS, micro-optics, semiconductors, sensors, actuators, MOEMS, material research, nano-tubes, and graphene.

 

Key Features

  • Minimum substrate size: 3 mm x 3 mm
  • Maximum exposure area: 6” x 6” (optional 8”x 8”)
  • Minimum structure size down to 0.6 μm
  • Maximum write speed: 1400 mm2/min at 1 μm feature size
  • Real-time autofocus
  • Overview camera for fast alignment and inspection
  • Front- and backside alignment
  • Temperature-controlled environmental chamber
  • Exposure wavelengths: 405 nm and / or 375 nm
  • Draw Mode for CAD-less exposure
  • Standard Grayscale Exposure Mode
  • High-Aspect Ratio Mode
  • Easy-to-use operating software

Application images

  

Microfluidics

A master for a microfluidic mixer to be transferred by soft lithography in PDMS. The structure is patterned in 100 μm SU-8 with the 375 nm laser wavelength of the MLA150. This type of structures requires high-throughput for fast large-area patterning and precise stitching to ensure channel smoothness.
Courtesy of CMi EPFL Center of MicroNanoTechnology

Medical devices

Specific patterning of “OSTEmers” retinal implants shows an example of novel medical implants. Bio-compatible, impermeable, and UV-curable OSTEmers are highly promising for artificial retinae. Contactless exposure with MLA150 enables the patterning of this material, which is a viscous liquid during processing, and is virtually impossible to work with using other lithography tools. Courtesy of EPFL, Laboratory of NeuroEngineering

Overlay accuracy

An array of SQUIDs (superconducting quantum interference device) used for the readout of metallic magnetic microcalorimeters (high-resolution particle detectors operated at low temperatures). These devices are micro-fabricated in large arrays, and comprise up to 18 layers with submicron features. The MLA150 ensures the extreme overlay accuracy crucial for this application.
Courtesy of the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics (KIP), Heidelberg University

High-aspect-ratio microstructures

A gear wheel patterned in 800 µm thick SU-8 demonstrates the capability of MLA150 to create vertical sidewalls in thick resists. MEMS (Microelectromechanical systems) usually comprise a combination of microprocessor and functional components. MEMS may feature tuning forks, gear wheels, piezoelectric material, bio-, chemical or pressure sensors, or other miniaturized physical devices. Courtesy of HIMT

Mix&Match Lithography

Nanoholes as precisely positioned traps for nanoparticles fabricated using “mix-and-match” lithography. 100-nm square “nanoholes” patterned with e-beam lithography are separated by the coarse trenches created using the MLA150 precisely aligned to the existing nanohole pattern.
Courtesy of EPFL LMIS1, Lausanne

Large-throughput submicron features

A wafer of superconducting detectors for the South Pole Telescope (SPT) camera. The camera carries an array of over 16,000 such devices. Each of them comprises ultra-thin superconducting elements with features as small as 1 μm. Here, the MLA150 was used to fabricate the Nb leads, which appear as bands in between the pixels.
Courtesy of CNM at Argonne National Laboratory (Photo by Clarence Chang)

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