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4 November 2005 Expanding grayscale capability of direct-write grayscale photomask by using modified Bi/In compositions
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Bimetallic thin films have been proven to be effective in creating analog direct write grayscale photomasks. DC-sputtered Bi/In or Sn/In oxidizes under laser writing exposure. The optical density decreases from >3OD as deposited to a transparency of <0.22OD at 365 nm with increasing laser power. The bimetallic film has a response curve that is nearly linear for much of the curve, but non-linear at maximum absorption and transmission. In order to create more accurate gray levels, a more gradual OD change versus laser writing power is desired. In this research a new reactive sputtered, oxygenated Bi/In film was created that has an 8-bits grayscale level sensitivity of 1.1 gray levels/mV, compared with the previous Bi/In of 3.2 gray levels/mV and Sn/In of 2.8 gray levels/mV. This modified Bi/In film provides more than twice the laser writing power range for controlling the same OD range, as compared to our original Bi/In or Sn/In films. This wider power range provides easier and more accurate laser power-to-grayscale calibration, because each grayscale can now be spaced more evenly over the increased laser writing power range. In addition, the surface of modified Bi/In is found to be much smoother than the original Bi/In and Sn/In films, thus increasing the overall quality of grayscale photomask. Finally grayscale uniformity of the laser writing process has been investigated and techniques such as laser beam shaping and defocusing have been used successfully to eliminate the variations.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
David K. Poon, Glenn H. Chapman, Chinheng Choo, Jun Wang, Yuqiang Tu, and Michelle L. La Haye "Expanding grayscale capability of direct-write grayscale photomask by using modified Bi/In compositions", Proc. SPIE 5992, 25th Annual BACUS Symposium on Photomask Technology, 59920K (4 November 2005);

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