Advantages and Disadvantages of e-beam Lithography

Advantages

  1. Scale
    Patterning is possible at a resolution of ~20nm with e-beam lithography. This compares to a resolution of ~1micron for conventional photolithography.

  2. Masks
    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.

Disadvantages

  1. Time
    The electron beam must be scanned across patterned areas pixel by pixel. Exposures can therefore take many hours to complete.

  2. Fabrication
    Conventional fabrication techniques such as metal lift-off and etching can become difficult at sub-micron length scales.

  3. Cost and Maintenance
    EBL systems are generally expensive and highly complex machines requiring substantial maintenance.