A two-beam-current method is introduced for e-beam writing in the fabrication of gray-scale masks. Compared with the simpler single-current method, the two-beam-current method offers two important advantages: (a) it can achieve a much larger dynamic range for e-beam exposure; (b) the writing time for a gray-scale mask can be reduced when a large pattern is to be written. Here, the new method is first described in detail and its application to the fabrication of our new gray-scale mask is demonstrated. Then, the improved gray-scale masks were employed to fabricate large dynamic range, high-resolution micro-optical elements of less than a couple of micrometers depth, using deep ultraviolet lithography at wavelength and an inductively coupled plasma reactive ion etching system.
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