The fabrication of optical nano-structures requires specially adapted technologies which are offering a huge flexibility also in an industrial production environment. A very promising approach towards this direction is the use of diffraction based UV-photo-lithography. The main focus of the research group's activities is on the technological implementation of this new kind of photolithography, the development of the scientific background, and methods for flexible design of diffractive photo-masks. Goals are the resolution enhancement into the sub-500nm range to be achieved at mask-to-wafer exposure gaps of 20µm or more, and the realization of almost arbitrary non-periodic pattern. The knowledge gained will be used for the precise realization of very small optical structures on application-relevant areas.

In addition to the resolution increase the method also offers a huge flexibility to generate continuous surface profiles which are necessary in optical applications for the dedicated control of the element function. Another important aspect of the group's activities represents the nano-structuring of high-refractive index materials which offers an outstanding potential for the realization of new customized optical functionalities. In this context the typical layer materials such as Ta2O5, TiO2, or HfO2, but also diamond are of interest.
Based on the work for the development of the new structuring technologies promising example applications are addressed and investigated together with external partners. This includes e.g. the use of diffraction lithography for the realization of photonic crystal structures to improve the light extraction from LEDs as well as the development of high efficient diamond gratings for the wavelength coupling of high-power lasers.

Principle of using the Talbot-effect for high-resolution lithography (left). By specially designed mask illumination the realization of continuous surface profiles by Talbot-lithography is possible. The right image shows an AFM-measurement of a high-resolution resist grating fabricated by this technology.

Publications     2010      2011      2012      2014      2015     2016      2017


M. Heusinger, M. Banasch, U.D. Zeitner "Rowland ghost suppression in high efficiency spectrometer gratings fabricated by e-beam lithography,"
Opt. Express 25 (6), 6182-6190 (2017).


K. Puthankovilakam, T. Scharf, M. S. Kim, A. Naqavi, H. P. Herzig, T. Weichelt, U. Zeitner, U. Vogler, R. Völkel "Intensity and phase fields behind phase-shifting masks studied with high-resolution interference microscopy,"
J. Micro-Nanolithogr. MEMS MOEMS 15 (2), 021203 (2016).

M. Heusinger, T. Flugel-Paul, U.D. Zeitner "Large-scale segmentation errors in optical gratings and their unique effect onto optical scattering spectra,"
Appl. Phys. B-Lasers Opt.122 (8), 222 (2016).

T.Weichelt, R. Kinder, U.D. Zeitner "Photomask displacement technology for continuous profile generation by Mask Aligner Lithography,"
J. Opt.18 (12), 125401 (2016).


L. Stürzebecher, F. Fuchs, U.D. Zeitner, A. Tünnermann, "High resolution proximity lithography for nano-optical components," Microelectr. Eng. 132, 120-134 (2015).

T. Paul, A. Matthes, T. Harzendorf, S. Ratzsch, U.D. Zeitner "Half-wave phase retarder in the VIS realized by atomic layer deposition of sub-wavelength gratings," Opt. Mater. Express 5, 124-129 (2015).


Y. Bourgin, T. Käsebier, U.D. Zeitner, "250nm period grating transferred by proximity i-line mask-aligner lithography," Opt. Lett. 39 No. 6, 1665 (2014).

L. Stürzebecher, F. Fuchs, T. Harzendorf, U.D. Zeitner, "Pulse compression grating fabrication by diffractive proximity photolithography," Opt. Lett. Vol. 39 No. 4, 1042-1045 (2014).

O. Stenzel, S. Wilbrandt, X. Chen, R. Schlegel, L. Coriand, A. Duparré, U. Zeitner, T. Benkenstein, C. Wächter, "Observation of the waveguide resonance in a periodically patterned high refractive index broadband antireflection coating," Appl. Opt. Vol. 53 No. 14, 3147-3156 (2014).

D. Stumpf, U.D. Zeitner, "Extending standard mask lithography exposure technique to spherical surfaces," Appl. Phys. B Vol. 115 No. 3, 371-377 (2014).

T. Weichelt, U. Vogler, L. Stuerzebecher, R. Voelkel, U.D. Zeitner, "Resolution enhancement for advanced mask aligner lithography using phase shifting photomasks," Opt. Express. 22, 16310-16321 (2014).



L. Stürzebecher, T. Harzendorf, F. Fuchs, U.D. Zeitner: "Wafer scale fabrication of submicron chessboard gratings using phase masks in proximity lithography", Proc. SPIE Vol. 8249, 82490R (2012).

U.D. Zeitner, L. Stürzebecher, T. Harzendorf, F. Fuchs, D. Michaelis: "Submicrometer pattern generation by diffractive mask-aligner lithography", Proc. SPIE Vol. 8249, 82490Q (2012).

R. Voelkel, U. Vogler, A. Bramati, T. Weichelt, L. Stürzebecher, U.D. Zeitner, K. Motzek, A. Erdmann, M. Hornung, R. Zoberbier: "Advanced mask aligner lithography (AMALITH)", Proc. SPIE Vol. 8326, 83261Y (2012).

T. Harzendorf, L. Stürzebecher, U.D. Zeitner: "Novel gap alignment sensor for high-resolution proximity lithography", Proc. SPIE Vol. 8428, 842815 (2012).

Y. Jourlin, S. Tonchev, O. Parriaux, J. Sauvage-Vincent, T. Harzendorf, U. Zeitner, "Waveguide Grating Radial Polarizer for the Photolithography of Circularly Symmetrical Optical Elements," IEEE Photonics Journal 4, 1728-1736 (2012).

U.D. Zeitner, M. Oliva, F. Fuchs, D. Michaelis, T. Benkenstein, T. Harzendorf, E.-B. Kley, "High-performance diffraction gratings made by e-beam lithography," Appl. Physics A 109 No. 4, 789-796 (2012).


U. Vogler, A. Bich, R. Voelkel, L. Stürzebecher, U. Zeitner, M. Hornung, "Mask aligner process enhancement by spatial filtering", Proc. SPIE Vol. 8170, 81700E (2011).

U. Vogler, A. Bich, R. Voelkel, L. Stürzebecher, U. Zeitner, M. Hornung, "Mask aligner process enhancement by spatial filtering", Proc. SPIE Vol. 8170, 81700E (2011).


E. Cullmann, L. Stuerzebecher, T. Harzendorf, U.D. Zeitner, "Advanced Mask Aligner Lithography: New Illumination System", Opt. Express 18, 20968-20978 (2010).

R. Voelkel, U. Vogler, A. Bich, P. Pernet, K.J. Weible, M. Hornung, R. Zoberbier, E. Cullmann, L. Stuerzebecher, T. Harzendorf, U.D. Zeitner, "Advanced Mask Aligner Lithography: New Illumination System," Opt. Express 18, 20968-20978 (2010).

L. Stuerzebecher, T. Harzendorf, U. Vogler, U.D. Zeitner, R. Voelkel, "Advanced mask aligner lithography: fabrication of periodic patterns using pinhole array mask and Talbot effect", Opt. Express 18, 19485-19494 (2010).

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