Heidelberg MLA150

The Heidelberg MLA150 is a direct write lithography tool located in SHyNE Resource’s Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility (PNF) at The University of Chicago. The Heidelberg MLA150 uses ultraviolet light to pattern substrates with a light-sensitive polymer, called a photoresist. Those patterns can be further transferred to the substrate by adding or removing material. By creating multiple patterned layers of material and aligning them to each other, one can fabricate a semiconductor device such as a transistor.

Unlike other common photolithography tools, which have disadvantages in photomask fabrication, time-consuming alignment, and a limited exposure field, the Heidelberg doesn’t require prior mask fabrication and can expose design directly onto a wafer with 1 um resolution. It can also perform an automatic front side and back side alignment procedure within a couple of minutes.

Microscope image of 1.5 um lines and spaces structure produced by the Heidelberg MLA150.

Because of these unique features, the Heidelberg MLA150 is a very popular instrument among users and students who want to perform device fabrication for applications in quantum computing, microfluidics technology, and detectors in astrophysics. Internal users include students of the molecular engineering, physics, chemistry, material science and mechanical engineering programs at Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Anna Mukhortova is a staff member for the Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility. She has a nanotechnology background in superconducting devices for signal detection and processing, as well as semiconductor devices for infrared applications. As a staff member, Mukhortova trains new users, provides technical assistance for users, and maintains the instruments’ working conditions. She has also developed standard photolithography recipes, which can be used as a starting point in one’s fabrication process. Anna Mukhortova has been with PNF since it opened in March 2016. When she is not working at PNF, she enjoys cooking, running, and listening to podcasts.

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