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Opt Express. 2009 Oct 26;17(22):19981-7. doi: 10.1364/OE.17.019981.

Grayscale photomask fabricated by laser direct writing in metallic nano-films.

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  • 1National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, China, No. 11Beiyitiao, Zhongguancun, Beijing100190, China.


The grayscale photomask plays a key role in grayscale lithography for creating 3D microstructures like micro-optical elements and MEMS structures, but how to fabricate grayscale masks in a cost-effective way is still a big challenge. Here we present novel low cost grayscale masks created in a two-step method by laser direct writing on Sn nano-films, which demonstrate continuous-tone gray levels depended on writing powers. The mechanism of the gray levels is due to the coexistence of the metal and the oxides formed in a laser-induced thermal process. The photomasks reveal good technical properties in fabricating 3D microstructures for practical applications.

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