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High Aspect Subdiffraction-Limit Photolithography via a Silver Superlens

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journal contribution
posted on 2012-03-14, 00:00 authored by Hong Liu, Bing Wang, Lin Ke, Jie Deng, Chan Choy Chum, Siew Lang Teo, Lu Shen, Stefan A. Maier, Jinghua Teng
Photolithography is the technology of choice for mass patterning in semiconductor and data storage industries. Superlenses have demonstrated the capability of subdiffraction-limit imaging and been envisioned as a promising technology for potential nanophotolithography. Unfortunately, subdiffraction-limit patterns generated by current superlenses exhibited poor profile depth far below the requirement for photolithography. Here, we report an experimental demonstration of sub-50 nm resolution nanophotolithography via a smooth silver superlens with a high aspect profile of ∼45 nm, as well as grayscale subdiffraction-limit three-dimensional nanopatterning. Theoretical analysis and simulation show that smooth interfaces play a critical role. Superlens-based lithography can be integrated with conventional UV photolithography systems to endow them with the capability of nanophotolithography, which could provide a cost-effective approach for large scale and rapid nanopatterning.