The MLA 150 Success Story

From pioneering work to market leadership in maskless laser lithography – 
The Heidelberg Instruments MLA 150 Maskless Aligner is an unparalleled success story

Since its market launch in 2015, the revolutionary maskless technology of the MLA 150 has become firmly established within the advanced microfabrication community. The MLA 150 was the first and only tool that has become a true alternative to mask-based aligners, offering extremely high exposure speed, high frontside and backside alignment accuracies, warpage compensation, high resolution and high accuracy, and the ability to expose on any substrate size from pieces that are a few square millimeters up to full 8” wafers.

After having developed the first working prototype we decided to collaborate with selected users to evaluate and refine the tool. The first beta-version of the MLA 150 Maskless Aligner was installed in 2014 at the Center of MicroNanoTechnology (CMi) of the renowned École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), located in Switzerland, being one of Europe’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan science and technology centres. The CMi is a complex of clean rooms and processing equipment devoted to microtechnology made accessible to trained academic and industrial users. In 2022, the CMi purchased their second MLA 150 Maskless Aligner, which was installed most recently.

To better understand the CMi, the way it is run, its role within the EPFL, the research that it serves and the industries that it supports, we invited Julien Dorsaz, the Manager of the Photolithography Division of the CMi, for an interview that we conducted online. And of course, we were curious to learn about the MLA 150 experience of the users at the CMi, and what were the reasons to purchase a second system: “The MLA 150 is today one of the most important equipment in our facility and there are many users that daily use the machine for printing. We don’t want to have downtime on this equipment, so it can really affect specific projects. So, we wanted to have two of them”, emphasizes Julien Dorsaz.

To get the interview in the full length of 30 minutes, follow this link: User Interview – Julien Dorsaz, EPFL / CMi

Since its introduction, the MLA 150 Maskless Aligner is providing customers with state-of-the-art maskless lithography solutions. Application areas include MEMS, sensors, electronic components, microfluidics and many more.

MLA 150 – The Advanced Maskless Aligner – Key Features  

  • Flexible maskless technology across multiple resolutions
  • High-power lasers with multiple wavelengths combined in a single system
  • Both frontside and backside alignment capabilities
  • Faster time-to-market for prototypes and low volume production use
  • Allows mix and match between different tool sets, e.g., e-beam or thermal scanning probe lithography and laser lithography
  • Less than 1 hour training to fully qualify as a user


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