Canadian Light Source (CLS)

Microstructure Research at the Canadian Light Source (CLS)

While the first calculator filled an entire room in 1935, modern calculators can fit into a pocket. Miniaturization of integrated circuits has enabled many modern devices such as integrated circuits, microcomputers, cell phones, heart pace makers and air bag sensors in cars. For many of these devices, fabrication is based on microlithography. At the CLS we are studying X-ray lithography, an even more advanced approach that allows fabrication of tall three-dimensional devices with even higher performance. The SyLMAND (Synchrotron Laboratory for Micro and Nano Devices) facility at the CLS is one of the world's newest laboratories devoted to research in X-ray lithography and nano-fabrication. Supporters of this facility include TRLabs and development has been guided by Professors Achenbach and Klymyshyn. Graduate students in engineering and science are invited to participate in this challenging multidisciplinary research.

Sven Achenbach

David Klymyshyn

X-ray lithography

X-ray lithography takes advantage of the high intensity, high degree of collimation and broad spectral range of synchrotron radiation to fabricate extremely tall (vertical dimension) high precision polymer microstructures with very vertical sidewalls. Aspect ratios exceeding 100:1 have been demonstrated, and the typical sidewall roughness is below 30nm. SyLMAND (currently under construction) focuses on this technique, consisting of a unique synchrotron radiation beamline and supporting cleanroom laboratories for dry and wet processing and inspection. Metal microstructures based on the X-ray lithography polymer templates can be fabricated in collaboration with partners.

At the CLS, research is conducted by multidisciplinary teams of engineers, physicists, chemists and biologists with focus around the design of processes and devices. Students, research associates and professors work in a cleanroom environment. Key SyLMAND applications include radio frequency devices (e.g. tall vertical capacitors, resonators, transmission lines etc.) and biomedical sensors. The research includes experimental work with tiny gadgets as well as the operation of huge research tools such as an electron microscope, a sputtering system or the entire synchrotron beamline.