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Nano Lett. 2012 Mar 14;12(3):1549-54. doi: 10.1021/nl2044088. Epub 2012 Mar 6.

High aspect subdiffraction-limit photolithography via a silver superlens.

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  • 1Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), 3 Research Link, Singapore 117602.


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.

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