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15 March 2016 High dynamic grayscale lithography with an LED-based micro-image stepper
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We developed a novel LED projection based direct write grayscale lithography system for the generation of optical surface profiles such as micro-lenses, diffractive elements, diffusors, and micro freeforms. The image formation is realized by a LCoS micro-display which is illuminated by a 405 nm UV High Power LED. The image on the display can be demagnified from factors 5x to 100x with an exchangeable lens. By controlling exposure time and LED power, the presented technique enables a highly dynamic dosage control for the exposure of h-line sensitive photo resist. In addition, the LCoS micro-display allows for an intensity control within the micro-image which is particularly advantageous to eliminate surface profile errors from stitching and limited homogeneity from LED illumination. Together with an accurate calibration of the resist response this leads to a superior low surface error of realized profiles below <0.2% RMS. The micro-display is mounted on a 3-axis (XYθ) stage for precise alignment. The substrate is brought into position with an air bearing stage which addresses an area of 500 × 500 mm2 with a positioning accuracy of <100 nm. As the exposure setup performs controlled motion in the z-direction the system to maintain the focal distance and lithographic patterning on non-planar surfaces to some extent. The exposure concept allows a high structure depth of more than 100 μm and a spatial resolution below 1 μm as well as the possibility of very steep sidewalls with angles larger than >80°. Another benefit of the approach is a patterning speed up to 100 cm2/h, which allows fabricating large-scale optics and microstructures in an acceptable time. We present the setup and show examples of micro-structures to demonstrate the performance of the system, namely a refractive freeform array, where the RMS surface deviation does not exceed 0.2% of the total structure depth of 75 μm. Furthermore, we show that this exposure tool is suitable to generate diffractive optical elements as well as freeform optics and arrays with a high aspect ratio and structure depth showing a superior optical performance. Lastly we demonstrate a multi-level diffraction grating on a curved substrate.
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Hans-Christoph Eckstein, Uwe D. Zeitner, Robert Leitel, Marko Stumpf, Philipp Schleicher, Andreas Bräuer, and Andreas Tünnermann "High dynamic grayscale lithography with an LED-based micro-image stepper", Proc. SPIE 9780, Optical Microlithography XXIX, 97800T (15 March 2016);

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