Monday, October 01, 2007

US Patent 7274998 - Near-field photolithography using nano-LEDs

This patent from Intel presents a very interesting alternative to conventional optical lithography that employs a nanowire crossbar arrays of intersecting p-doped and n-doped nanowires. The intersections of the nanowires form light emitting diodes which may be used to pattern a resist of a substrate at nanoscale dimensions. The device acts as a sort of programmable mask which may save a great amount of cost in high resolution semiconductor manufacture. Interestingly this device uses a nanowire crossbar as a major component for implementation which is similar to the nanoscale crossbar used by HP in constructing high density memory and logic devices. Claim 1 reads:

1. An apparatus comprising: an array of nanowires placed at a distance to a resist layer, the array forming a plurality of light emitting diodes (LEDs), the distance corresponding to a near field region of light emitted by the LEDs with respect to the resist layer; and a control circuit coupled to the array to control the LEDs to emit the light to pattern a feature in the resist layer.

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