Advantages and Disadvantages of e-beam Lithography
Patterning is possible at a resolution of ~20nm with e-beam lithography. This compares to a resolution of ~1micron for conventional photolithography.
No physical mask-plates are needed unlike photolithography, thus eliminating costs and time delays associated with mask production. Patterns can be optimised and changed very simply using flexible CAD software.
The electron beam must be scanned across patterned areas pixel by pixel. Exposures can therefore take many hours to complete.
Conventional fabrication techniques such as metal lift-off and etching can become difficult at sub-micron length scales.
Cost and Maintenance
EBL systems are generally expensive and highly complex machines requiring substantial maintenance.