Gray Scale Masks

Benchmark Technologies' GrayPIX™ approach to gray scale lithography uses half-toning techniques that have been applied to commercial printing for decades. These well-known techniques are scaled to address the needs of micro-lithographers desiring to shape resist using a single exposure with a custom attenuating mask comprised of sub-resolution pixels.

Using readily available high resolution mask shop laser or e-beam writers and associated processes, proprietary pattern rendering software and knowledge of the customer’s resist and etch processes, gray scale masks can be fabricated in far less time than competing materials based approaches.

The GrayPIX™ approach can be used in applications where a slope in the resist pattern is desired or for more complex 3-D shapes. The method is most successful using reduction lithography with low contrast resists, where shaping over distances of many microns is desired.

  • Key Considerations for GrayPIX™ suitability
    • Feature Sizes (ie. the distance over which the resist will be shaped)
    • Number of gray levels (ie. continuous vs. ramped)
    • Minimum printable feature size for candidate resist and lithography tool
    • Litho approach (1X or reduction)
    • Customer’s resist response curve
    • Customer’s etched selectivity
  • Typical process flow
    • Supply pattern requirements and litho approach
    • Benchmark recommends pixel size and mask fabrication approach
    • Fabricate calibration test mask
    • Customer confirms resist response using test mask
    • Integrate GrayPIX™ into product mask
V-Groove demonstration using GrayPIX™
  Design A Design B Design C
Gray Rendering
Resist Response

For more information on GrayPIX™ suitability for your project, please contact us.