Electron beam lithography is a special procedure for the structuring of electron beam sensitive resist layers in order to produce microelectronic circuits and photomasks used in photolithography. Electron beam lithography is a promising technology for the 32-nm structures aimed for in the near future with the potential to generate structures with even smaller resolution and in mass production later. The competing extreme deep UV lithography, which is likewise predestined for solving this ambitious task, is not analyzed in this Wiki because these resists are not focal for us.
By exposure to accelerated electron beams, the polymers in the e-beam resist are chemically modified in such a way that their dissolving behavior changes in the developers used (mostly organic solvent mixtures in the case of positive resists) and the resist layer thus can be structured systematically up to the nanometer range. The developed structures can subsequently be transferred to other materials, either by metal deposition or by etching of the substrate beneath.
Overview E-beam Other Resists