Recently, with the advancement in bio-MEMS and micro optoelectromechanical systems (MOEMS), 3D microstructures have become increasingly important and efficient fabrication processes are currently being sought. In this paper, a novel 3D fabrication process has been proposed by utilizing the proximity effect of electron beam lithography (EBL) to create 3D microstructures on negative photoresists as the primary molds, which are subsequently transferred to their corresponding negative molds using nanoimprinting lithography (NIL), and to form the final replicas by either electroforming or polymer spin casting to reduce cost. The effect of electron backscattering on the 3D topography is firstly investigated and the relationship among the spatial distribution of electron beam irradiation, the spot size and the dosage level of irradiation is experimentally characterized in SU-8 to establish a dosage kernel distribution function. A mathematical procedure based on linear operation of this kernel function is then proposed to mimic the EBL fabrication process. The subsequent experiments indicate that the predicted surface profiles agree with the experimental results to large extent and the proposed mathematical operations are valid for the purpose of designing the fabrication process. Finally, the SU-8 primary molds are transferred to NEB to form secondary molds via the nanoimprinting process. It shows that the nanoimprinting process can essentially reproduce the shape and geometry of the primary molds. However, due to the nature of polymer-to-polymer contact printing, the elastic restitution of materials induces a slight deviation of the final device size and a further study should be made in the future to minimize such types of error. Although the above problems are reported, nevertheless, the primary experimental results indicate that this proposed fabrication process is capable of creating 3D shape microstructure in the order of 1 νm and should be useful for related optical-, bio- and RF-MEMS applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering