Maskless Lithography Highlighted at Kyoto University

Heidelberg Instruments talk on maskless lithography and grayscale direct write technology

Review Technical Workshop on June 11th, 2024

We were thrilled to have Kyoto University host one of our recent technical workshops on Maskless Lithography, attracting participants from both R&D and industry sectors.

With one MPO 100 3D Microprinting system and one MLA 150 Maskless Aligner recently installed at Kyoto University Nanotechnology Hub, as well as one DWL 2000 Grayscale Lithography tool in operation for over ten years, there was ample reason to conduct a technical training session at Kyoto University.

Professor Toshiyuki Tsuchiya from KyotoU welcomed the approximately 30 participants and introduced the workshop program. Following the company introduction, Dominique Collé, Technical Application Manager at Heidelberg Instruments, presented the advantages of Maskless Lithography and Direct Write technologies, and its applications while focusing on the Heidelberg Instruments MLA 150 Maskless Aligner and the DWL Grayscale tools and their applications.

In his talk ‘Fabrication of inclined helical channels using Grayscale Lithography with DWL 2000’ Hideki Takahashi, staff member of the Nanotechnology Hub at KyotoU, then provided insights into the research work being conducted at the facility.

Next, Dr. Satoshi Shimizu from GenISys showcased the BEAMER software, suitable for the DWL series, and discussed the writing strategies that ensure reliable and powerful processing of large and complex layout data.

Willi Mantei, Head of the TPP Process and Application Lab at Heidelberg Instruments introduced the basics of TPP technology, highlighting the features and applications of the innovative MPO 100 3D Laser Lithography and 3D Microprinting tool. He completed the theoretical part of his talk with a hands-on user training session in the cleanroom of Kyoto University’s Nanotechnology Hub. This training, conducted in small groups of 2-3 participants, offered in-depth practical experience with the MPO 100 system, including the fabrication of various designs using different fabrication strategies.

Fei Yang, Business Development Engineer of the Heidelberg Instruments Nano division in Zurich, Switzerland, introduced the Heidelberg Instruments NanoFrazor Nanolithography tool. She provided insights into Thermal Scanning Probe Lithography (t-SPL) and its applications. At its core, the NanoFrazor features an ultra-sharp, heatable probe tip that simultaneously writes and inspects complex nanostructures.

The Kyoto University Nanotechnology Hub, an open facility with state-of-the-art nano-micro prototyping line and specialized technical staff, was introduced by Masahiko Suzumura, staff member of the Nanotechnology Hub. This facility is accessible to any researcher inside or outside the country, including those from private companies, through a simple usage review procedure.

Finally, a special thanks to Kyoto University for their hospitality and support, and to the participants for their interest and active engagement throughout the workshop.

For more information about the Kyoto University Nanotechnology Hub:
Center for the Promotion of Interdisciplinary Education and Research Nanotechnology Hub
Nanotechnology Hub Kyoto University (in Japanese)

The Heidelberg Instruments systems and technology pool comprises high-precision Maskless Aligner (MLA) and Laser Lithography systems for Direct Writing of 2D, 2.5D and 3D microstructures to mask-making, and systems based on Thermal Scanning Probe Lithography (t-SPL) for the advanced nanopatterning. 3D laser lithography systems based on Two-Photon Polymerization (TPP) technology close the gap between conventional laser lithography – the basis of Heidelberg Instruments’ strong core business – and the Thermal Scanning Probe Lithography (t-SPL) for nanopatterning.

Maskless Lithography as the state-of-the-art, high-precision, highly flexible technology is ideal for use in both R&D as well as environments where rapid-prototyping of feature sizes greater than 1 µm are required. The maskless lithography technique enables you to transfer the design directly to the wafer without the need for a photomask.

In maskless lithography the pattern is exposed directly onto the substrate surface with the help of a spatial light modulator, or SLM, which serves as a “dynamic photomask”.

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