Materials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings

Effects of mask materials on near field optical nanolithography


Simulations have been performed to study the effects of different masking materials (Cr, Au, W and Si) on near field optical contact lithography. For near field amplitude masks it is found that Cr is an excellent material at blue/UV wavelengths, due to its small skin depth. Au is too transmissive to be considered. W has a small skin depth like Cr, although its dielectric behaviour at blue/UV wavelengths leads to image reversal phenomena that may be undesirable. Image reversal is even more pronounced for Si. For Evanescent Interferometric Lithography (EIL) - a technique that relies on surface-plasmon-induced resonant enhancement of the evanescent fields beneath a grating - Cr and W are again superior to Au, and significant intensity enhancements are predicted beyond the grating cutoff. For Si the resonant enhancements can be very large and narrow band, which may be of great advantage. For example, near field exposure intensity approximately 100 times the incident intensity is predicted for a 270 nm period silicon grating illuminated at a wavelength less than 10 percent higher than cutoff.