Apertureless beam pen lithography based on fully metal-coated polyurethane-acrylate (PUA) pyramidal microstructure array

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This work demonstrates a form of arrayed transmitting apertureless near-field photolithography, called apertureless beam pen lithography. An array of fully chromium-coated polyurethane acrylate (PUA) pyramidal microstructures was illuminated by a traditional Ultraviolet (UV) lamp to generate an array of massive UV beam pens for realizing apertureless beam pen lithography. Experimental results reveal that significant UV energy can pass through the apex of a fully metal-coated PUA pyramid even though the thickness of the metallic coating exceeded the penetration depth. The patterned photoresist profiles were 117 nm deep and the full-width-at-half-magnitude (FWHM) was 180 nm when the exposure dosage was 54 mJ/cm2 and the wavelength was 365 nm. Both depth and FWHM increased with exposure dosage, implying that the profiles depended on exposure dosage rather than on physical imprinting. With the adjustment of the thickness of the photoresist layer and the exposure parameters, the lift-off process yields arrayed metal dots with a diameter of 300 nm. Finite-element simulation of the intensity distribution near the apex of the pyramid and within the photoresist layer was carried out to reveal that the energy concentration within the pyramids is increased by approximately an order of magnitude, significantly enhancing the UV energy that passes through the fully metal-coated apex. The contrast curve model of the photoresist was used to calculate the patterned photoresist profiles for various energies. Experimental results, theoretical analysis and potential improvements of the method are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10593-10604
Number of pages12
JournalOptics Express
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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