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Module Abstract

This module presents an introduction and demonstration of a key step in photolithography, the process of patterning a substrate used in the manufacture of integrated circuit chips. Students replicate some of the steps in the process of photolithography, and learn how these processes fit into the fabrication of micro- and nanoscale devices such as integrated circuits. This activity uses water-based chemicals and processes, allowing it to be used with younger students and/or in classrooms and labs without a fume hood. 

Module Resources and Documents

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Photolithography Slides

Photolithography Module (Option B)

Nano Concepts (Which nanotechnology areas are being explored)

  • Lithography is a method of fabricating devices at the nanoscale

Traditional Science Concepts (Which science areas are being explored)

  • Interaction of light with matter

List of Required Materials (Per person/team)
The full list of items needed for this module is below.  Note that materials for DIY modules are not available through Nano-Link or the Nano-Infusion program.

  • Light duty plastic gloves 
  • Clean compressed air (e.g., Dust-off particle-free compressed air in a can)  
  • Lint-free laboratory wipes 
  • Disposable plastic droppers 
  • Liquid photoemulsion.  Store the emulsion in its opaque bottle until ready to use.  
  • Distilled or filtered tap water 
  • Solvents: acetone, isopropanol (rubbing alcohol with 70% isopropanol can also be used) 
  • 10 polished silicon wafers (can be cleaned and re-used many times) 
  • Transparent photomask with pattern to be transferred  
  • Spin coater 
  • Clear plastic containment box 
  • Safety goggles 
  • Tweezers 
  • Stopwatch or digital timer 
  • One or two hotplates, preferably with temperature readouts 
  • One or two desk lamps with a 45W compact fluorescent lightbulb 
  • Optional: an optical microscope capable of using reflected (not transmitted) light