In a photolithographic system, the mask patterns are imaged through a set of lenses on a resist-coated wafer. The image of mask patterns physically can be viewed as the interference of the plane waves of the diffraction spectrum captured by the lens set incident on the wafer plane at a spectrum of angles. Two-beam interference fringe is the simplest format of the image. Consequently, two-beam interferometric lithography is often employed for photolithographic researches. For two-beam interferometric lithography, beam pointing instability of the illumination source can induce fringe displacement, which results in a loss of fringe contrast if it happens during the exposure. Since some extent of beam pointing instability is not avoidable, it is necessary to investigate its effects on the contrast of the interference fringe. In this paper, the effects of beam pointing instability associated with a two beam interferometric lithography setup are analyzed. Using geometrical ray tracing technique and basic interference theory, the relationship between the beam tilt angle and interference fringe displacement is established. For a beam pointing instability with random distribution, the resulted fringe contrast is directly proportional to the Fourier transform of the pointing distribution evaluated at 1/2(pi). The effect of a pointing instability with normal distribution on interference contrast is numerically investigated.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



Copyright 2006 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.

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Document Type

Conference Paper

Department, Program, or Center

Microelectronic Engineering (KGCOE)


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