Imprint Lithography

Micro and Nanoimprint Solutions for SUSS Mask Aligners

SUSS MicroTec offers various approaches to the imprint technology, tailored to the specific process requirements of different applications. All imprint solutions are based on SUSS MicroTec’s highly regarded semi-automated mask aligner suite and support multiple substrate materials and sizes from small pieces up to 200mm wafers. The mask aligner platform not only allows for accurate alignment of stamp to substrate but also provides valuable functionalities such as precise stamp-to-substrate levelling and contact pressure control. Process recipes are conveniently edited, offering a high degree of tunability for all relevant parameters. SUSS mask aligners already in the field are easily upgraded with imprint tooling.

 

SUSS Imprint Technologies

SUSS manual and semi-automated mask aligners are designed for maximum versatility. Fast and easy switching between all options and wafer/substrate sizes is at the core of SUSS MicroTec’s imprint technologies. Different options in one tool save cleanroom space as well as investment costs, thus providing a high degree of flexibility in process and device development.

SCIL

Large-Area Nano-Imprinting

SMILE

Micro- and Nano-Imprinting

UV-NIL

High-Resolution Nano-Imprinting

Highlights

  • Full-area imprint up to 200 mm
  • High resolution (< 70 nm)
  • High alignment accuracy (± 1 µm)
  • Long-life stamp

Highlights

  • Precise control over resist layer thickness and uniformity
  • Structures on both wafer sides are possible
  • Lens wafers stacking and UV bonding
  • High alignment accuracy (+/- 1 µm)
  • Edge handling or the application of buffer wafers to avoid active area contact
  • Handling of warped wafers 

Highlights 

  • Resolution in the two-digit nanometer range (< 50 nm)
  • Control of process parameters using recipe editor
  • Simple to use
  • High homogeneity of resist residual layer thickness 

SCIL (substrate conformal imprint lithography) technology is particularly suitable for high demand imprint processes. Here a soft stamp is used in combination with a hard but flexible glass carrier, thereby achieving superior evenness of contact and exceptionally high fidelity in pattern transfer. 

Imprinting results from capillary forces rather than pressure so that any changes in structure are avoided during the contact process. Furthermore, the sequential contact routine  does not allow air gaps to form, which results in extremely high yields and increases productivity. 

As a result of its excellent structure replication and high uniformity, SCIL technology is suited for all highly demanding processes where a high-quality etching mask is employed, such as the production of optical elements and MEMS/NEMS as well as in the production of HB LEDs and VCELS. 

SCIL technology was developed in collaboration with Philips Research.

For the transfer of patterns in the micro- to nanometer range, SUSS MicroTec offers SMILE (SUSS MicroTec imprint lithography equipment) technology. 

There are two process variants, the use of which depends on the desired resolution.

  • For the imprinting of microstructures, the photosensitive polymer is deposited in the center of the substrate, from where it spreads radially to the outer edges, filling the stamp cavities. The exact positioning of the process gap is actively controlled via a closed feedback loop, allowing a residual layer thickness to be achieved with superior reliability.
  • To imprint nanostructures, a flexible stamp is used to contact the middle of a coated substrate and subsequently the contact is widened radially. 

The process allows very precise exposure of both micro- and nano-patterns, thereby offering a wide spectrum of potential applications and thus excellent process flexibility. SMILE is used for example in the production of MEMS and optical lenses for wafer-level-cameras. 

Using UV-NIL (UV nano-imprint lithography) SUSS MicroTec offers a classic imprint process to transfer patterns having a resolution down to 50 nm with superior fidelity. The transfer of the patterns is achieved using a hard quartz glass stamp, which is brought into contact with a UV-sensitive photoresist on the substrate. This setup allows very precise control of process parameters such as pressure, process gap and duration. The UV-NIL method allows the highest resolution of the three SUSS MicroTec imprint processes and is recommended for all R&D setups due to ease of use. 

 

SCIL - Nanoimprinting Process

 

 

Applications

Special substrate conditions such as uneven or warped wafers, materials like glass, sapphire, II-V compounds and challenging structure properties such as high aspect ratios, small feature sizes or non-periodic structures, place high demands on imprint equipment. SUSS MicroTec’s imprint solution portfolio offers the flexibility to cover a wide range of applications.

LED

The demand for high performing LED is leading manufacturing towards PSS/ nPSS technology. The costeffectiveness and high yield of SUSS imprint technologies optimally address the challenges of this competitive market.

MEMS/ NEMS

MEMS typically pose manufacturing challenges with their high topography and nonperiodic structures. SUSS MicroTec not only offers a wide range of specific functions especially adapted for MEMS, but also delivers highly accurate alignment as needed for optical gratings.

Microoptics

Imprint lithography ideally implements the manufacture of optical devices such as wafer-level cameras and image sensors into well-established semiconductor processes. SUSS MicroTec provides reliable imprint solutions specially for patterning optical elements.

Photovoltaics

The non-periodic structures and specific substrate materials of solar applications make them challenging for standard imprint lithography. SUSS MicroTec provides a full-field imprint solution that accurately reproduces irregular structures on fragile materials.

 

Products

All imprint solutions are based on SUSS MicroTec’s highly regarded semi-automated mask aligner suite and support multiple substrate materials and sizes from small pieces up to 200mm wafers. The mask aligner platform not only allows for accurate alignment of stamp to substrate but also provides valuable functionalities such as precise stamp-to-substrate levelling and contact pressure control. Process recipes are conveniently edited, offering a high degree of tunability for all relevant parameters. SUSS mask aligners already in the field are easily upgraded with imprint tooling.

 

MA/BA Gen4 Pro Series Mask & Bond Aligner

For Industrial Research and Operator-Assisted Production

MA/BA Gen4 Series Mask and Bond Aligner

Semi-Automated Platform for Wafers up to 8"/200mm

MA/BA6 Mask and Bond Aligner

Manual Mask and Bond Aligner for Wafer Sizes up to 6"/150 mm

MJB4 Mask Aligner

State-of-the art R&D Solution for Small Substrates and Pieces

 

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