Photolithography is a common process in the semiconductor industry. Its most basic use is to print minute patterns on a silicon surface. This is accomplished by using complex photolithography systems. Find out more about what the process entails and how it can help you.

Photolithography in a Nutshell

Photolithography is essentially a system of light projection. To start a blueprint is placed in front of a chip. In most cases, this blueprint will be several times larger than the working surface. This blueprint, or a reticle, will act as a mask for a light source. The light that shines through will encode the pattern on the chip’s silicon surface. The photosensitivity of the silicon allows it to absorb the pattern much like a permanent print.

This process repeats several times. The chip is moved slightly before additional patterns are added. Most chips will require numerous layers of patterns to function correctly. It is also true that different photolithography systems may be used on individual layers. This will depend on the unique needs of the chip.

The Three Main Processes

In reality photolithography systems are a lot more complex. There are three different technologies that make the process possible. First is the resolution capability. Lenses with higher capabilities can create more intricate patterns. Next, the alignment accuracy ensures that the wafer and reticle remain lined up. This provides consistency when adding the pattern. Finally, the throughput rating of a machine indicates its productivity level. This figure tells you how many wafers can be completed in an hour block of time.

Putting It to Work

In the end, photolithography is a critical process for microfabrication. Modern microchips simply would not exist without this system. For more information about photolithography, contact DisChem Inc. at