Novel Patterning for Metallic Thin Films
Ultra clean, fast and environmentally friendly process for patterning metallic thin films For producing conducting wires for micro- / nano-electronics and bio-sensing applications Simulation demonstrated production of conducting wires at widths of less than 50 nm can be obtained over areas the size of a laser spot, i.e. up to several millimeters in diameter Our Innovation
A simple all-in-vacuum technique to produce patterns (potentially less than 50 nm wide) in thin films of metallic or other materials, such as oxides, layered on top of semiconductor substrate. The process employs a single laser pulse at low power densities and has been termed Buffer Layer Assisted Laser Patterning (BLALP). A recent development, called lift-off BLALP, employing two laser pulses has been tested and shown to provide smoother metallic lines.
Product obtained without removal of the substrate from the ultra high vacuum, ultra clean environment in which the patterns are produced. Uses environmentally friendly materials (e.g. Xe); safer than lithographic procedures that involve hazardous and problematic materials Width of the metallic stripes obtained this way is determined by wavelength of laser, angle of incidence and pulse energy. Development Milestones
Obtain patterns at laser wavelength down to 266 nm to demonstrate experimental limits of the technique – 1.5 years Perform complex patterns through a mask using a single laser beam – 3 years. Perform large scale Molecular Dynamics simulations of the BLALP procedure to get predictive image of the process for future developments - 2 years. Attempt to utilize the method for templates that will be used for directing stem cells differentiation – 4 years. The Opportunity
The process will be developed using other technologically important metals such as copper, silver and gold. Worldwide biosensors market $7.3 billion in 2003, projected to reach $10.8 billion in 2007.
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