In a photolithographic system, the mask patterns are imaged through a set of lenses on a resist-coated wafer. The image of mask patterns physically can be viewed as the interference of the plane waves of the diffraction spectrum captured by the lens set incident on the wafer plane at a spectrum of angles. Two-beam interference fringe is the simplest format of the image. Consequently, two-beam interferometric lithography is often employed for photolithographic researches. For two-beam interferometric lithography, beam pointing instability of the illumination source can induce fringe displacement, which results in a loss of fringe contrast if it happens during the exposure. Since some extent of beam pointing instability is not avoidable, it is necessary to investigate its effects on the contrast of the interference fringe. In this paper, the effects of beam pointing instability associated with a two beam interferometric lithography setup are analyzed. Using geometrical ray tracing technique and basic interference theory, the relationship between the beam tilt angle and interference fringe displacement is established. For a beam pointing instability with random distribution, the resulted fringe contrast is directly proportional to the Fourier transform of the pointing distribution evaluated at 1/2(pi). The effect of a pointing instability with normal distribution on interference contrast is numerically investigated.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



Proceedings of the SPIE Conference on Optical Microlithography XIX, vol. 6154, 2006 Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Department, Program, or Center

Microelectronic Engineering (KGCOE)


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