TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 870/2007
By C N Ribton and T Atkinson
Electron beam (EB) processing has been deployed for a wide range of applications over the past 40 years. For each application area, specific EB equipment designs have evolved, to give the optimum beam power, energy and intensity. Beam powers used range from less than a milliwatt for EB lithography to hundreds of kilowatts for electron beam melting. Typically, at the low-power end of the range, eg for EB lithography, the beams are intense and precisely controlled and can be used to produce features of dimensions of 10nm or less. At high powers, the applications are less demanding on the beam precision, and in the extreme, for example for EB melting, the beam can be 10mm diameter or more.
It has been identified that within the range of EB application there is an area defined by the beam power and diameter that has not been exploited. We have called this area of application high-brightness EB, with beam powers from 1 to 1000W and diameters of approximately 10 micron. The design of equipment for processing with beams of this power and diameter has required some specialised developments and these are described in a separate report (1). This work has been concerned with applying the process, demonstrating unique capabilities, and developing tools for process viewing at fine-scales.
The objectives of this work were to:
- Characterise equipment capabilities in fine-scale processing for a range of applications.
- Develop viewing systems for process observation and control.