When an elastomeric photomask is used for near-field contact printing, the high deformability of the elastomer mask plate enables gap-free full contact with the substrate, minimizing the effect of diffraction. This image-transfer technique provides sub-50 nm resolution and depth-of-focus-free lithographic capability with cost-efficient equipment. However, the method's application is limited due to the lack of a well-established protocol for fabricating a nanoscale mask pattern on an elastomeric substrate, which remains a major technical challenge in the field of near-field contact printing. In this study, we present a reliable protocol for fabricating a metal-embedded polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) photomask. Our fabrication protocol uses conventional nanofabrication processes to fabricate nanosized chromium mask patterns and then transfers the chromium patterns to an elastomeric mask plate using a sacrificial Ni layer. Our protocol provides a high flexibility mask pattern design, and highly stable metal patterns during transferring process. By careful optimizing the experimental parameters, we determined a perfect pattern transfer ratio, which avoided any mechanical failure of the metal pattern, such as debonding or wrinkling. We then fabricated a PDMS photomask and confirmed its nanoscale patterning resolution, with the smallest feature 51 nm in width under a 400-nm light source. We anticipate that our fabrication protocol will enable the application of cost-efficient and high-resolution near-field photolithography.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Korean Institute of Metals and Materials
|Published - 2021 Jan
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2021 Korean Institute of Metals and Materials. All rights reserved.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Modelling and Simulation
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Metals and Alloys