Without lithography, there would be no semiconductor industry, which means there would also be no microchips, games consoles or mobile phones! No other technology since the invention of the automobile has changed the world as massively as lithography has. Similarly to electronic microcomponents, IMT uses modern lithography processes to produce microstructures on or in glass. The technology we have available to us allows for the production of masks manufacturing up to 24 x 32 inches, with the smallest structure width being 2 µm.
Mask aligners are used in the semiconductor back-end for less critical lithographic processes. In contrast to wafer steppers in the front-end, the photoresist is fully exposed due to the shadowing of the mask structure.
The positioning of the mask over the substrate is carried out using positioning marks, which are applied to the cover during the process using microscopes. In new systems, the accuracy that can be achieved using this method is around ≥ 0.5 µm.
In addition to excellent process stability, mask aligners allow for a very high throughput, making them the first choice for price-sensitive applications, such as microfluidic disposable components.