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High Contrast Superlens Lithography Engineered by Loss Reduction

Authors

  • Hong Liu,

    1. Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), 3 Research Link, Singapore 117602
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  • Bing Wang,

    1. Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), 3 Research Link, Singapore 117602
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  • Lin Ke,

    1. Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), 3 Research Link, Singapore 117602
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  • Jie Deng,

    1. Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), 3 Research Link, Singapore 117602
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  • Chan Chum Choy,

    1. Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), 3 Research Link, Singapore 117602
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  • Ming Sheng Zhang,

    1. Data Storage Institute, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), DSI Building, 5 Engineering Drive 1, Singapore 117608
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  • Lu Shen,

    1. Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), 3 Research Link, Singapore 117602
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  • Stefan A. Maier,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physics, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
    • Department of Physics, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
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  • Jing Hua Teng

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), 3 Research Link, Singapore 117602
    • Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), 3 Research Link, Singapore 117602.
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Abstract

Although sub-diffraction-limit-resolution optical imaging has been attained via superlenses in the UV regime, the corresponding resist profile in general exhibits a very poor contrast, far below the minimum requirement for photolithography. Here, it is experimentally demonstrated thin flat silver superlenses, engineered through refining interfacial roughness to reduce scattering loss, capable of resolving grating features of sub-50 nm resolution with a high contrast of about 2.2. The seed layer effect on the superlens performance at a wavelength of 365 nm has been probed through both experimental and analytical methods. The performance of Ag, Ag/Ni and Ag/Ge superlenses agrees well with theoretical predications. The results show that a smooth interface is a key factor for realizing high performance superlensing, while damping losses become dominant when the roughness is reduced to less than 2 nm. This work verifies that a superlens is a potential tool for sub-diffraction limit nano-photolithography.

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