Photolithography is an amazing machining technique that adds microscopic pictures or symbols to even tinier surfaces. One example of a product made from the photolithography process is imprinting an entire quote or verse on the surface of a metal disk that is less than 3mm in diameter. You need a magnifying lens to see the verse, but it’s all there. Here is how the photolithography process is done.

The Photo Mask and Photo-Sensitive Surface

The photomask is the component containing the geometric shapes or other designs used to cast light onto a photo-sensitive surface. The areas where you don’t want to create a pattern or blocked out in the mask, while open areas in the mask help create the desired shapes or patterns. The photo-sensitive surface reacts to UV light, a lot like photo-sensitive paper in photography. When UV light shines through the mask onto this surface, the design appears on the photosensitive surface.

The Role of UV Light

The role of UV light is vital to this process. Only UV light can be used to shine through the mask and onto the photosensitive surface. Other types of light will not work. Special UV lights in the factory are used in enclosed spaces to block all other light so that the UV light can do exactly what it is expected to do during this process.

The Etching Part of the Process

After the mask has helped create the design on the photosensitive surface, chemicals are used to etch this design into the metal substrate. If you want to know more about how this process can work for your industry’s equipment, contact DisChem Inc via