Robert McLeod have discovered an approach to photolithography that can create features not limited by the physics of diffraction. Like traditional photolithography, a projected pattern is used to initiate the polymerization in a photoresist or photopolymer. A second optical pattern in a different color is superimposed to inhibit polymerization, typically at the edge of the first pattern. The final size and shape is given by the difference of the first pattern and the second inhibiting pattern as well as the diffusion and reaction rates. The difference between the first and second patterns is not limited by diffraction like traditional photolithography, the limit is now given by the contrast ratio that can be maintained between initiation and inhibition. This method is applicable to both mask-less and mask-based photolithography.
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2 days ago