Enhanced Evanescent Near Field Optical Lithography with Embedded Metal Masks

B. Sefa-Ntiri, and P.D. Prewett
University of Birmingham

Simulations of evanescent near field optical lithography (ENFOL) using an embedded metal mask (EMM) show that the resolution and throughput are significantly enhanced over conventional ENFOL, due to the coupling between surface plasmon polaritons and cavity mode excitations.

The key role played by surface plasmon polaritons and the necessity for wave vector matching between the incoming photon and the grating mask is clear from the simulation.

The EMM-ENFOL process has a considerable potential for cheap, high throughput nanolithography with resolution well below diffraction limits.

The technique, offers the design process a "virtual testing" ground for the physics-based predictions which bring high manufacturing yields, in terms of enhanced resolution, enhanced image contrast, and optical throughput.