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Problem Addressed

This system is designed to do 2D patterning via a dewetting mechanism that can reach competitive resolutions with current systems without the need for several key attributes: (1) photosensitive media, (2) post-exposure baking, and (3) development. Step (1) has two distinct implications: (1.i) Polymers for dewetting can be much cheaper than photoresist polymers (lab grade polystyrene is ~$0.20 per gram (which is 2 wt% of the solution) and coating solvent is ~$0.05 per mL compared to ~$2 per mL of a typical photoresist) and (1.ii) lab facilities where photosensitive media are handled often must have dark-room-like environments or exposure limits must be enforced. Step (2) simply reduces the number of steps. Step (3) can be a major cost consideration as labs where development is a necessity require both (3.i) a large supply of fresh developer and also (3.ii) the means to dispose of used developer. Removal of this step could present a large reduction in both the chemical costs and also the environmental footprint of a facility. Beyond equipment companies, companies who do their own in-house patterning, such as those who manufacture photomasks and stamps, could employ this method in a custom system to produce grating structures in a much more affordable fashion.