What is Lithography: Definition and 13 Discussions

Lithography (from Ancient Greek λίθος, lithos 'stone', and γράφειν, graphein 'to write') is a method of printing originally based on the immiscibility of oil and water. The printing is from a stone (lithographic limestone) or a metal plate with a smooth surface. It was invented in 1796 by German author and actor Alois Senefelder as a cheap method of publishing theatrical works. Lithography can be used to print text or artwork onto paper or other suitable material.Lithography originally used an image drawn with oil, fat, or wax onto the surface of a smooth, level lithographic limestone plate. The stone was then treated with a mixture of acid and gum arabic, etching the portions of the stone that were not protected by the grease-based image. When the stone was subsequently moistened, these etched areas retained water; an oil-based ink could then be applied and would be repelled by the water, sticking only to the original drawing. The ink would finally be transferred to a blank paper sheet, producing a printed page. This traditional technique is still used in some fine art printmaking applications.
In modern lithography, the image is made of a polymer coating applied to a flexible plastic or metal plate. The image can be printed directly from the plate (the orientation of the image is reversed), or it can be offset, by transferring the image onto a flexible sheet (rubber) for printing and publication.
As a printing technology, lithography is different from intaglio printing (gravure), wherein a plate is engraved, etched, or stippled to score cavities to contain the printing ink; and woodblock printing or letterpress printing, wherein ink is applied to the raised surfaces of letters or images. Today, most high-volume books and magazines, especially when illustrated in colour, are printed with offset lithography, which has become the most common form of printing technology since the 1960s.
The related term "photolithography" refers to the use of photographic images in lithographic printing, whether these images are printed directly from a stone or from a metal plate, as in offset printing. "Photolithography" is used synonymously with "offset printing". The technique as well as the term was introduced in Europe in the 1850s. Beginning in the 1960s, photolithography has played an important role in the fabrication and mass production of integrated circuits in the microelectronics industry.

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  1. Hananism

    A A question about photolithography (optical lithography)?

    I want to know what are the exposure methods that are used in photolithography? I've heard there are three, but not sure about them .. Thanks
  2. A

    How Can the Optimum Aperture Angle in Electron Beam Lithography Be Determined?

    Hi, Is there anybody who knows about this subject and can guide kindly? Regards, In electron beam lithography, there is an optimum aperture angle to obtain a minimum beam size: a) Determine this angle considering only the influence of the source and spherical aberrations. b) What is the...
  3. Edge5

    How does photolithography align wafers through opaque layers?

    In a lithography process I have a hard mask which is opaque. I have to make a wafer alignment, however I use optical techniques to align my wafer (lasers etc.) . How can I align my wafer through an opaque layer?
  4. jedishrfu

    Computer Axial Lithography: Just Awesome

    In this video, CAL is shown printing the Thinker in minutes all at once: not layer by layer as is done with many of today's 3D printers.
  5. A

    Is ZEP-520A the only e beam resist available on the market?

    Hi friends, I need to identify the e beam resist and developer on a sample. Does anyone know whether ZEP-520A is only manufactured by ZEON? Or in general, is any e beam resist type (e.g. PMMA, ZEP520) the product of one company? And, is there somewhere a list of materials used as ebeam...
  6. C

    Processor Interior Schematics?

    Does anybody know where to find schematics of the interior of modern processors for lithography? Not brand new, as far back as 32nm nodes? Or where to begin with this search? Thank
  7. S

    Electroplating Cu on Cu sputtered Si Substrate (Lithography)

    I have been trying to plate Copper on Copper sputtered Electronic grade Silicon Substrate which has been patterned and developed using UV photolithography. The patterns measure about 50-100microns in width and are about 1600microns long. I have tried plating 10micrometer thick Cu using a stock...
  8. S

    How can I plate Cu at very low currents

    Hello, I have a silicon wafer with a 50nm layer of copper sputtered on it. I coated it with a 1µm of positive photo resist and patterned it with a UV laser stepper. Then I developed it and washed it thoroughly. The pattern has a surface area which measures appx 1300µm x 8µm. What I want to do...
  9. J

    Is it possible to make a thermoplastic also photoactive?

    Could a polymer that acts like a photoresist (either positive or negative) also be a thermoplastic. Do you have any ideas on what polymer/mechanisms could be used to achieve this?
  10. S

    What is "Proximity Effect Control" in ebeam lithography?

    Hello all, Can somebody explain to me what PEC (proximity effect control) means in nanofabrication? Thanks :)
  11. E

    How has lithography evolved over the past 20 years in relation to Moore's laws?

    researching "lithography" I've been researching "lithography" and have been looking for some info on the evolution of various techniques that have improved this process over the last 20 years. Anybody have some knowledge on this? (In relation to Moore's laws).
  12. E

    Harder Uv Source For Lithography

    Hello semiconductor technologists! I'm thinking at a source of extreme UV for semiconductor lithography, so what would be your wishes, as compared to the first figures that emerge from my rantings? I take 30nm wavelength. Would less be better? I fear fluorescence hampers lithography...
  13. P

    Diffraction and Semi-Conductor Lithography

    I was curious as to how semiconductor manufacturing gets around the fact that diffraction should prevent processors with transistors on the scale of tens of nanometers from being possible. How do we get around this if the diffraction of light is a fundamental limit to how small we can do any...