Heidelberg MLA150 installation

Last week, a Heidelberg Instruments MLA150 maskless aligner was installed in our cleanroom, becoming the latest addition to our fabrication toolset. The MLA150 is a high-speed direct write lithography tool extended by capabilities formerly only available on mask aligners. Using laser light impinging on a digital micromirror array, the system exposes patterns from a CAD file directly onto photoresist-coated substrates, eliminating the need for a photomask, and resulting in a significantly shorter prototyping cycle. It offers automated topside and backside alignment with high accuracy, as well as two light sources which generate sufficient dose to expose even thick and less-sensitive resists.

The main features of this tool are:

  • Substrates from 5 × 5 mm² up to 150 × 150 mm² can be directly patterned without the use of photomasks
  • Two light sources: 405 nm (for standard g/h/broadband photoresists) and 375 nm (for i-line resists such as SU-8)
  • Minimum feature size of 1 µm
  • 100 × 100 mm² substrates patterned in less than 10 minutes (405 nm, dose of 100 mJ/cm²)
  • Alignment accuracy of 500 nm (topside) / 1 µm (backside)
  • Real-time pneumatic and optical auto-focus systems

Additional capabilities:

  • Greyscale photolithography (128 grey levels)
  • Draw Mode for CAD-less exposure (no design file required)
  • High Aspect Ratio Mode, for vertical sidewalls when exposing thick resists

Trial services will be available during commissioning period. If you are interested in using this tool to pattern your samples instead of having a photomask made, please contact the fabrication group manager, Aaron Hryciw (ahryciw@ualberta.ca). The system is expected to be open for training and fee-for-service by Spring 2020.

Timelapse video of MLA150 installation