Electron beam lithography is a term well known in the world of microelectronics. It provides an effective but costly solution for producing the smallest electronic devices (transistors, memories, etc). Many fields of science and research also require small structures below the one micron dimension. The ability to generate these structures “in house” without going to external sources has been a luxury only the largest corporations and universities could afford. Even when a production lithography system is available, the time allocated for research work can sometimes be extremely limited. Those with the need for these small devices are now realizing there is new way to get the most use from their SEM, STM or STEM.
In the past few years, experimental e-beam systems have been developed by making use of the basic capabilities of the scanning electron microscope. Mow a variety of home built and commercially available systems are being used throughout the world. The mast basic system can take control of the e-beam in the SEM and write a simple pattern on a sample coated with materials sensiiive to electrons.