The present invention is directed to the use of vitreous carbon as a substrate material for providing masks for X-ray lithography. The new substrate also enables a small thickness of the mask absorber used to pattern the resist, and this enables improved mask accuracy. An alternative embodiment comprised the use of vitreous carbon as a LIGA substrate wherein the VC wafer blank is etched in a reactive ion plasma after which an X-ray resist is bonded. This surface treatment provides a surface enabling good adhesion of the X-ray photoresist and subsequent nucleation and adhesion of the electrodeposited metal for LIGA mold-making while the VC substrate practically eliminates secondary radiation effects that lead to delamination of the X-ray resist form the substrate, the loss of isolated resist features, and the formation of a resist layer adjacent to the substrate that is insoluble in the developer.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 between the United States Department of Energy and Sandia Corporation for the operation of Sandia National Laboratories.