Laser-Induced front Side Etching: An Easy and Fast Method for Sub-μm Structuring of Dielectrics
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Laser-induced front side etching (LIFE) is a method for the nanometer-precision structuring of dielectrics, e.g. fused silica, using thin metallic as well as organic absorber layer attached to the laser-irradiated front side of the sample. As laser source an excimer laser with a wavelength of 248 nm and an pulse duration of 25 ns was used. For sub-μm patterning a phase mask illuminated by the top hat laser beam was projected by a Schwarzschild objective. The LIFE process allows the fabrication of well-defined and smooth surface structures with sub-μm lateral etching regions (Δx < 350 nm) and vertical etching depths from 1 nm to sub-mm.