Thursday, October 08, 2009

US Patent 7598021 - Nanodot probe lithography

This patent from Micron Technology teaches a new scanning probe lithography system and method based on the use of nanodots (i.e. CdS or CdSe quantum dots) on the tips of scanning probes which are used to direct light and pattern a mask layer. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for fabricating an integrated circuit, comprising:

moving an array of regularly spaced nanodots over a surface of a partially fabricated integrated circuit, each nanodot having a different associated light source, wherein each light source is independently controlled; and

directing light energy from the associated light source to the one of the nanodots associated with the light source when the nanodot is positioned over a desired location on the surface, thereby defining a pattern on the surface, while light sources associated with others of the nanodots, which are not at desired locations on the surface, do not direct light energy to the surface of the partially fabricated integrated circuit.