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PHOTOMECHANICAL PRODUCTION OF TEXTURED OR PATTERNED SURFACES, e.g. FOR PRINTING, FOR PROCESSING OF SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; MATERIALS THEREFOR; ORIGINALS THEREFOR; APPARATUS SPECIALLY ADAPTED THEREFOR (phototypographic composing devices B41B; photosensitive materials or processes for photographic purposes G03C; electrophotography, sensitive layers or processes therefor G03G)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Photolithographic materials, processing these materials for producing textured or patterned surfaces, and apparatus for processing these materials.

References relevant to classification in this subclass
This subclass/group does not cover:
Phototypographic composing devices
Apparatus or arrangements for taking, projecting or viewing photographs
Photosensitive materials or processes for photographic purposes
Electrophotography, sensitive layers or processes thereof
Holographic processes and apparatus
Reproduction of pictures or patterns by scanning and converting into electrical signals
Special rules of classification within this group

The following IPC groups are not used in the internal ECLA classification system. Subject-matter covered by these groups is classified in the following ECLA groups:

G03F3/08 covered by H04N 1/46

G03F7/207 " G03F 7/20

G03F7/23 " G03F 7/22

G03F9/02 " G03F 9/00

Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:
Photosensitive
Sensitive to electromagnetic radiation but also to corpuscular radiation
Photosensitive compositions
Photosensitive substances, e.g. quinonediazides, and, if applicable, binders or additives
Photosensitive materials
Photosensitive compositions, e.g. photoresists, the bases carrying them and, if applicable, auxiliary layers
Originals for the photomechanical production of textured or patterned surfaces e.g., masks, photo-masks, reticles; Mask blanks or pellicles therefor; Containers specially adapted therefor; Preparation thereof
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Products modifying the pattern of radiation being transmitted through or reflected by said products (e.g. masks, photomasks, reticles), substrates therefor, auxiliary features (e.g. pellicles or auxiliary structures), process for their preparation, control and repair, containers for storage and/or transport of said products.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Masks for photoablative processes
Deposition masks
Aperture plates for light beam shaping, e.g. diaphragms
Masking layers which are integral part of a photosensitive element and photosensitive as such
Masking layers which are integral part of a photosensitive element provided they are not photosensitive as such
Addressable masks, e.g. transmissive liquid crystal arrays or micromirror devices
Holographic devices to modify light pattern
Shaping beams in charged particle lithography
Shadow mask for CRT
Etch masks in semiconductor manufacturing
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Stencil masks
Transparent substrates
Phase plates (phase retarding optical elements)
Mirrors, particularly UV and EUV
Phase masks for gratings
Photographic masks, negatives
Inspection of patterns and materials
Mask or circuit layout
Membranes for X-Ray windows
Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:
Mask or photomask
Normally refers to 1:1 reproduction
Reticle
Normally involves (de)magnification - the terms mask and reticle are however often considered synonyms.
Pellicle
Protective cover placed at a distance from the surface of a reticle.
EUV (extreme ultra-violet)
Electromagnetic radiation in the 5-15 nm range (typically 13.4 nm)
SCALPEL
Scattering with angular limitation in projection electron beam lithography (characterized by the use of a membrane mask rather than a stencil mask)
PSM
Phase-shifting mask
AttPSM
Attenuated phase-shifting mask, aka half-tone PSM
AltPSM
Alternating phase-shifting mask, aka Levenson-Shibuya mask
Phase edge PSM
No absorber between phase shifting areas
OPC
Optical proximity correction
PPC
Process proximity correction
Synonyms and Keywords

In patent documents the following words "mask", "photomask", "reticle" and "reticule" are often used as synonyms.

In patent documents the following words and expressions "AttPSM", "Half-tone PSM" and "Leaky chrome PSM" are often used as synonyms.

In patent documents the following words and expressions "Grey level" and "Half-tone" are often used as synonyms.

[N: The masking pattern being obtained by thermal means, e.g. laser ablation (thermal transfer from a ribbon, e.g. G03F 1/0023)]
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Thermal transfer from a ribbon
[N: Hybrid phase shift masks, i.e. combining plural types of phase-shifting pattern in a single common pattern]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Hybrid masks combining a binary pattern with a phase-shifting pattern are only classified in the group corresponding to the phase shifting aspect, the binary pattern being considered a trivial feature in this context.

Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:

In this subgroup, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:

Hybrid
The combination of plural types of phase-shifting pattern in a single common pattern; a mere structural, e.g. geometrical, association of masks with separate patterns is not considered hybrid
Originals having inorganic imaging layers, e.g. chrome masks (G03F1/12 takes precedence; [N: X-Ray absorbers G03F 1/148])
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Originals obtained by exposing silver halide-containing photosensitive materials
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
X-Ray absorbers
[N: Auxiliary patterns; Corrected patterns, e.g. proximity correction, grey level masks (G03F 1/0046, G03F 1/146, G03F 9/00 take precedence)]
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Phase shift masks
Originals for X-Ray exposures, X-Ray masks
Registration and positioning of masks
Colour separation; Correction of tonal value (photographic copying apparatus in general G03B)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Non numerical rendition of colours; non numerical colour proofing.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Producing decorative effects (e.g. by transfer pictures, decalcomanias, by pressing or stamping ornemental designs on surfaces)
General purpose image data processing (e.g. numerical colour conversion)
Numerical treatment of images
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Duplicating or marking methods; sheet materials for use therein
Photographic copying apparatus in general
Screening processes; Screens therefor [N: (plates or light sensitive layers with incorporated screen G03F 7/004)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Creation of half-tone patterns from continuous tone images using photolithographic / photomechanical processes.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Screen printers, printing screens and processes in general
Photolith films, i.e. high contrast AgX photographic materials
Plates or light sensitive layers with incorporated screen
Digital treatment of continuous tone images in order to transform them into half-tone patterns
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Image treatment
Cameras
Photomechanical, e.g. photolithographic, production of textured or patterned surfaces, e.g. printing surfaces; Materials therefor, e.g. comprising photoresists; Apparatus specially adapted therefor (using photoresist structures for special production processes, see the relevant places, e.g. B44C, H01L, e.g. H01L 21/00, H05K)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Photolithographic production of textured or patterned surfaces, e.g. printing surfaces; materials therefor, e.g. comprising photoresists; apparatus specially adapted therefor (using photoresist structures for special production processes, see the relevant places, e.g. B44C, H01L, e.g. H01L 21/00, H05K); imprint lithography.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Structuring a surface by laser beam
Stereolithographic processes and apparatus
Printing plate preparation (e.g. by laser ingraving)
Duplicating or marking methods; Sheet materials for use therein (e.g. inkjet printing, ablative recording, thermography)
Preparing for use and conserving printing surfaces (e.g. chemical or electrical treatment of aluminum support)
Producing decorative effects (e.g. by transfer pictures, decalcomanias, by pressing or stamping ornemental designs on surfaces)
Investigating or analyzing materials by use of optical means (e.g. pattern inspection)
Apparatus for photographic purposes
Photosensitive materials for photographic purposes (mainly silver halide containing system)
Electrography, electrophotography, magnetography
Holographic processes and apparatus using light
General purpose image data processing (e.g. numerical colour conversion)
Lithographic apparatus using electron beam
Process or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductors (except for coating, exposure and development of photoresist)
Numerical treatment of images
Printed circuit boards
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Process for applying liquids
Lithographic printing form preparation using heat
Infrared sensitive printing plate
Inkjet printers, thermal printers
Printing form preparation by laser ingraving
Nanostructures
Inorganic glasses
Detergent compositions
Polymerization processes using a photoinitiator system
Addition polymers or copolymers, ethylenic monomers
Homopolymers or copolymers of compounds having one or more unsaturated aliphatic radicals, each having only one carbon-to-carbon double bond, and only one being terminated by only one carboxyl radical, or of salts, anhydrides, esters, amides, imides or nitriles thereof
Polystyrenes
Polyurethanes
Polyesters
Polyamides
Polyimides
Polysiloxanes
Epoxide compounds, epoxy resins
Condensation polymers of aldehydes or ketones with phenols only, e.g. novolak resins
Organic dyes / pigments
Curable inks
Adhesives
Biological test and sensors
Colour filters (structures):
Optical fibres, mirrors, lenses
Liquid crystal display
Recording or reproducing by optical means, by modifying optical properties or the physical structure (holographic medium, optical disks, compact disks or CD, digital versatile disks or DVD)
Cathode ray tubes, electron or ion beam tubes
Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:
Photolithography
(1) Printing: Lithography in which the image is photographically transferred to the printing surface; esp. a planographic printing process using plates prepared from photographic negatives, usually printed by offset methods. (2) Electronics: A photoetching process in which a photomask is used in transferring the pattern to the photoresist, used esp. in the making of integrated circuits.
Radiation
Energy radiated in the form of electromagnetic waves or particles
Photoresist
Radiation-sensitive material, whose solubility is altered by exposure to radiation.
Negative-tone resist
The resist film beneath the clear areas of the photomask undergoes a chemical change that renders it insoluble in the developing solution.
Positive tone resist
The resist film beneath the clear areas of the photomask undergoes a chemical change that renders it soluble in the developing solution.
Imprint Lithography
A technique that creates patterns by mechanical deformation of imprint resist and subsequent processes.
Synonyms and Keywords

In this group, the following terms or expressions are used with the meaning indicated:

ARC
Antireflective coating
BARC
Bottom antireflective coating
CAR
Chemically amplified resist
DUV
Deep UV (248 nm)
EUV
Soft X-ray (13 nm)
Flexographic plate
Relief or intaglio printing plate
I-line
365 nm
LCD
Liquid crystal display
LIGA
Lithography Electroplating Molding
LER
Line edge roughness
Lithographic printing plate
Planographic printing plate or offset printing plate
PAG
Photoacid generator
PAC
Photoactive compound
PEB
Post exposure bake
Photomask
Optical mask
Relief Printing
Letterpress, flexography
Resin
Polymeric compound
Serigraphy
Screen printing
[N: Lithographic processes using patterning methods other than those involving the exposure to radiation, e.g. by stamping]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Micro- and nanostructuring of surfaces based on transfer printing and imprinting processes, specially adapted as alternatives for photolithographic processes. It also includes use of cantilevers for depositing, mechanically removing or displacing material for the same purpose.

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Patternwise deposition of biomolecules
Handling of individual nanostructures, atoms or molecular structures using cantilevers
Patterning of substrates with cantilevers, based on electrically induced processes
Cantilevers or micropoint sources in e-beam lithography
Embossing processes for optical data carriers (CD, DVD)
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Embossing in general
Printing processes for forming pattern structures of organic semiconductive material
Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:

In this subgroup, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:

SFIL
Step and Flash Imprint Lithography
NIL
Nanoimprint lithography
Dip-Pen nanolithography, aka DPN
Deposition from cantilever using fluid transfer
[N: Filters, e.g. additive colour filters; Components for display devices]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Radiation-sensitive compositions for colour filters, black matrix, etc, and processes

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Colour filters (structures)
Liquid crystal displays
[N: Phase modulating patterns, e.g. refractive index patterns]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Radiation-sensitive compositions for holographic applications, and processes.

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Holographic processes and apparatus using light
Recording or reproducing by optical means, by modifying optical properties or the physical structure (holographic medium, optical disks, compact disks or CD, digital versatile disks or DVD)
[N: Production of three-dimensional images]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Radiation-sensitive compositions for stereolithographic applications and processes.

Photosensitive materials (G03F 7/12, G03F 7/14 take precedence)
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Production of screen printing forms or similar printing forms, e.g. stencils
Production of collotype printing forms
[N: providing an etching agent upon exposure] (G03F 7/075 takes precedence; photolytic halogen compounds G03F 7/0295 )]
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Silicon-containing compounds
Photolytic halogen compounds
[N: with inorganic or organometallic light-sensitive compounds not otherwise provided for, e.g. inorganic resists (G03F 7/075 takes precedence)]
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Silicon-containing compounds
[N: Chalcogenides; Silicon, germanium, arsenic or derivatives thereof; Metals, oxides or alloys thereof (G03F 7/0044 takes precedence)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

e.g. use of metal alkoxide compounds (sol-gel technology) in photosensitive materials.

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Organometallic compounds involving an interaction between the metallic and non-metallic component, e.g. photodope systems
[N: with organic non-macromolecular light-sensitive compounds not otherwise provided for, e.g. dissolution inhibitors]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Photoacid generating compounds, photobase generating compounds; acid diffusion inhibiting compounds (i.e. quencher).

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Diazonium compounds
Diazoquinone compounds
[N: with perfluoro compounds, e.g. for dry lithography (G03F 7/0048 takes precedence)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Radiation-sensitive compositions containing fluorine-containing compounds in general

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Photosensitive materials characterized by the solvents or agents facilitating spreading, e.g. surfactants
[N: characterised by additives for obtaining a metallic or ceramic pattern, e.g. by firing]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Radiation-sensitive compositions containing inorganic microparticles as additives.

Azides (G03F 7/075 takes precedence)
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Silicon-containing compounds
Macromolecular azides; Macromolecular additives, e.g. binders [N: (G03F 7/0085 takes precedence)]
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Non-macromolecular azides characterized by the non-macromolecular additives
Diazonium salts or compounds (G03F 7/075 takes precedence)
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Silicon-containing compounds
Macromolecular diazonium compounds; Macromolecular additives; e.g. binders [N: G03F 7/0166 takes precedence]
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Non-macromolecular diazonium salts characterised by the non-macromolecular additive
Quinonediazides (G03F 7/075 takes precedence)
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Silicon-containing compounds
Macromolecular quinonediazides; Macromolecular additives, e.g. binders [N: (G03F 7/0226 takes precedence)]
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Quinonediazides characterised by the non-macromolecular additives
[N: Condensation products of carbonyl compounds and phenolic compounds, e.g. novolak resins]
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Condensation polymers of aldehydes or ketones with phenols only, e.g. novolak resins
Non-macromolecular photopolymerisable compounds having carbon-to-carbon triple bonds, e.g. acetylenic compounds (G03F 7/075 takes precedence)
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Silicon-containing compounds
Non-macromolecular photopolymerisable compounds having carbon-to-carbon double bonds, e.g. ethylenic compounds (G03F 7/075 takes precedence)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Radiation-sensitive composition containing an addition polymerizable monomer having at least one ethylenically unsaturated double bond such as an acrylate or a methacrylate compound

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Silicon-containing compounds
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Macromolecular compounds obtained by reactions involving carbon-to carbon unsaturated bonds
Inorganic compounds; Onium compounds; Organic compounds having hetero atoms other than oxygen, nitrogen or sulfur
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Inorganic photoinitiators or photosensitizers; Photoinitiators or photosensitizers containing other elements than carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Polymerization processes using a photoinitiator system
Organic compounds not covered by group G03F 7/029
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Photoinitiators or photosensitizers containing the following elements only: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulfur.

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Organic compound having hetero atoms other than oxygen, nitrogen or sulfur
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Polymerization processes using a photoinitiator system
the binders being polymers obtained by reactions only involving carbon-to carbon unsaturated bonds, e.e. vinyl polymers
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Addition polymers as binders.

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Addition polymers or copolymers
Compositions of homopolymers or copolymers of compounds having one or more unsaturated aliphatic radicals, each having only one carbon-to-carbon double bond, and only one being terminated by only one carboxyl radical, or of salts, anhydrides, esters, amides, imides or nitriles thereof
Polystyrenes
the binders being polyurethanes
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Polyurethanes
the binders being polyamides or polyimides
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

e.g. polyamic acid, polybenzoxazoles, etc.

Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Polyamides
Polyimides
Macromolecular compounds which are rendered insoluble or differentially wettable (G03F 7/075 takes precedence; macromolecular azides G03F 7/012; macromolecular diazonium compounds G03F 7/021)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Macromolecular photopolymerizable compounds; Non-macromolecular crosslinkable epoxy compounds are also classified in this subgroup.

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Macromolecular azide compounds
Macromolecular diazonium compounds
Silicon-containing compounds
The macromolecular compound being present in a chemically amplified negative photoresist composition
Epoxidized novolak resins
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Epoxide compounds, epoxy resins
[N: Using epoxydized novolak resin]
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Epoxy resins
[N: Polyamides or polyimides]
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Polyamides
Polyimides
Macromolecular compounds which are photodegradable, e.g. positive electron resists (G03F 7/075 takes precedence; macromolecular quinonediazides G03F 7/023)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Macromolecular and non-macromolecular photodegradable compounds.

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Macromolecular quinonediazides
The macromolecular compound being present in a chemically amplified positive photoresist composition
Silicon-containing compounds
Chromates (G03F 7/075 takes precedence)
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Silicon-containing compounds
Silver salts (G03F 7/075 takes precedence)
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Silicon-containing compounds
used for diffusion transfer [N: (G03F 7/063 takes precedence)]
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Additives in silver salts systems; additives or means to improve the lithographic properties; processing solutions characterised by such additives; treatment after development or transfer, e.g. finishing, washing; correction or deletion fluids
[N: Non-macromolecular compounds containing silicon-to-silicon bonds (G03F 7/0752 takes precedence)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Macromolecular compounds containing silicon-to-silicon bonds are also classified in this subgroup.

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Silicon-containing compounds in non photosensitive layers or as additives
[N: Non-macromolecular compounds containing Si-O, Si-C or Si-N bonds (G03F 7/0752 takes precedence)]
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Silicon-containing compounds in non photosensitive layers or as additives
[N: Macromolecular compounds containing Si-O, Si-C or Si-N bonds (G03F 7/0752 takes precedence)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Polymerized siloxanes or polysiloxanes (silicones), polysilazanes, etc.

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Silicon-containing compounds in non photosensitive layers or as additives
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Polysiloxanes
Photosensitive compositions characterised by adhesion-promoting non-macromolecular additives (G03F 7/0752 takes precedence)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Adhesion-promoting macromolecular additives are also classified in this subgroup

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Silicon-containing compounds used as adhesion-promoting additives
Characterised by structural details, e.g. supports, auxiliary layers (supports for printing plates in general B41N)
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Supports for printing plates in general
[N: characterised by antireflection means or light filtering or absorbing means, e.g. anti-halation, contrast enhancement]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Antireflective compositions for bottom antireflective coating, top antireflective coating, etc.

having more than one photosensitive layer (G03F 7/0752 takes precedence)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Versatile radiation-sensitive compositions (i.e. positive-negative tone) are also classified in this subgroup.

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Photosensitive layers containing silicon-containing compounds
having cover layers or intermediate layers, e.g. subbing layers [N: (G03F 7/091 to G03F 7/093, B41N 3/03 take precedence)]
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Preparing for use and conserving printing surfaces
Antireflective coatings
Electroconductive coatings
Coating processes; Apparatus therefor (applying coatings to base materials in general B05; applying photosensitive compositions to base for photographic purposes G03C 1/74)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Processes for coating a substrate. Specific treatments of the substrate before coating are also classified in this subgroup.

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Applying coatings to base materials in general
Preparing for use and conserving printing surfaces
Applying photosensitive compositions to base for photographic purposes
[N: From the gas phase, by plasma deposition (G03F 7/2035 takes precedence)]
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Simultaneous coating and exposure
[N: Finishing the coated layer, e.g. drying, baking, soaking]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Edge bead removal is also classified in this subgroup.

Exposure; Apparatus therefor (photographic printing apparatus for making copies G03B 27/00)
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Photographic printing apparatus for making copies
[N: in the presence of a fluid, e.g. immersion; using fluid cooling means]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Radiation-sensitive composition for immersion lithography, fluids used in immersion lithography.

[N: Using a cantilever]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

e.g. Atomic force microscopy, scanning tunnel exposure techniques.

[N: Exposure without an original mask, e.g. using a programmed deflection of a point source, by scanning, by drawing with a light beam, using an addressed light or corpuscular source (G03F7/20T takes precedence]
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Apparatus for microlithography
G03F7/20T
[N: Using a laser (ablative removal B41C)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Multiphoton lithography is classified in this subgroup

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Ablative removal of materials
[N: Apparatus for microlithography]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Apparatus using light for transferring patterns to a photosensitive material, the patterns having features in the micrometer range or smaller.

Relationship between large subject matter areas

Components of the microlithographic apparatus covered by specific subclasses (e.g. laser light sources, masks, interferometers, encoders etc.):

  • if relevant for the microlithographic apparatus (e.g. through their particular interaction with other components of the apparatus) are also classified in G03F7/20T;
  • if relevant only per se are generally not classified in G03F7/20T, but in their specific group (see table below).
Fluid bearings
Interferometers
Encoders
Tools for optical wafer pattern monitoring
Mounts for optical elements
Optical design aspect details of projection optical systems
Optical devices or arrangements using movable or deformable optical elements for controlling the intensity, colour, phase, polarisation or direction of light, e.g. addressable masks
Masks, tools for mask inspection
Alignment scopes
Tools for defect inspection
Discharge lamps
Lasers
Semiconductor lasers
Laser plasma sources
Holders for wafer processing apparatus
Wafer stages for workpiece processing apparatus
Load-lock chambers for wafer processing apparatus
H01L21/00S2Z9
Motors (e.g. linear)
References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:

Examples of places where the subject-matter of this subgroup is covered when specially adapted, used for a particular purpose, or incorporated in a larger system:

Apparatus for processing a wafer in a plurality of work-stations including at least one lithography station
H01L21/00S2Z10L
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Lamp housings for photographic printing apparatus
Temperature control of mirrors
Cleaning methods involving radiation or fluid flow

Further, where appropriate, places relevant for search are indicated in the titles for the subgroups belonging to G03F7/20T.

Special rules of classification within this group

When appropriate, subgroups should be combined when classifying a document (invention information and additional information):

Example: a document concerning a microlithographic apparatus comprising means for reducing vibrations when operating a deformable mirror of the projection optics should be classified in both G03F7/20T16G2 (projection optical system comprising adaptive optics) and G03F7/20T26G6 (vibration).

Example: a document concerns a wafer stage for a microlithographic apparatus. The embodiment merely mentions that the stage can also be applied to an immersion exposure apparatus. Since no special adaptations are made to the stage to make it suitable for immersion lithography, the document should only be classified in G03F7/20T24F (stage).

Subgroups G03F7/20T to G03F7/20T26 will be transferred to G03F 7/70 and subgroups thereof from 01/12/2011 onwards.

Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:

In this subgroup, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:

EUV
Extreme ultraviolet; electromagnetic radiation in the 5 - 15 nm range (typically 13.4 nm)
LED
Light-emitting diode
REMA
Reticle-masking; means for delimiting the illuminated field on the mask. Positioned in the vicinity of the mask or in a plane conjugate with the mask plane.
NA
Numerical aperture
LCD
Liquid crystal display
DMD
Digital micromirror device
FLEX
Focus latitude extended exposure; method for increasing depth of focus involving imaging the mask pattern at different positions in the optical axis direction
CCD
Charge-coupled device
CD
Critical dimension
SMIF
Standard mechanical interface
Exposing with the same light pattern different positions of the same surface at the same time [N: G03F7/20T takes precedence]
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Apparatus for microlithography
G03F7/20T
Exposing sequentially with the same light pattern different positions of the same surface [N: G03F7/20T takes precedence]
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Apparatus for microlithography
G03F7/20T
Curved surfaces [N: G03F7/20T takes precedence]
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Apparatus for microlithography
G03F7/20T
Processing photosensitive materials; Apparatus therefor (G03F 7/12 to G03F 7/24 take precedence)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Various techniques of purification of radiation-sensitive materials are also classified in this subgroup.

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Coating processes, apparatus thereof
Exposure, apparatus thereof
[N: Selective reaction with inorganic or organometallic reagents after image-wise exposure, e.g. silylation]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Selective reaction with a reagent taking place before development. Selective reactions with organic reagents are also classified in this subgroup.

Processing photosensitive materials for obtaining powder images (G03F 3/10 takes precedence)
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Checking the colour or tonal value of separation negatives or positives, using tonable photoresist or photopolymerizable systems
[N: from printing plates fixed on a cylinder or on a curved surface; from printing cylinders]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

On press development is also included in this subgroup.

Liquid compositions therefor, e.g. developers
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Gumming or finishing solutions for printing plates
Imagewise removal not covered by groups G03F 7/30 to G03F 7/34, e.g. using gas streams, using plasma
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

e.g. thermal development, development using gas streams, using plasma, photoembossing.

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Imagewise removal using liquid means
Imagewise removal by selective transfer, e.g. peeling away
Etching (semiconductor technology)
Treatment before imagewise removal, e.g. prebaking [N: (G03F 7/265 takes precedence)]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Treatments such as post exposure bake

References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Selective reaction with organic, inorganic or organometallic reagents before imagewise removal
Treatment after imagewise removal, e.g. baking
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Treatments such as post-development bake, thermal flow, pattern profile improvement.

[N: Treatment with inorganic or organometallic reagents after imagewise removal]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Treatments with organic reagents after imagewise removal are also classified in this subgroup.

Stripping or agents therefor [N: Stripping involving the use of a combination of means, e.g. plasma and radiation, is classified in group G03F 7/42 only]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Stripping involving the use of a combination of means, e.g. plasma and radiation.

[N: Using liquids only (G03F 7/421 takes precedence)]
References relevant to classification in this subgroup
This subclass/group does not cover:
Using biological means only, e.g. enzymes
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Detergent compositions
[N: containing mineral acids or salts thereof, containing mineral oxidizing substances, e.g. peroxy compounds]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Stripping agents containing organic oxidizing substances are also classified in this subgroup.

[N: containing organic halogen compounds; containing organic sulfonic acids or salts thereof; containing sulfoxides]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Stripping agents containing carboxylic acids or salts thereof are also classified in this subgroup.

[N: using plasma means only]
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Stripping treatments using plasma, gaz or supercritical fluids.

Registration or positioning of originals, masks, frames, photographic sheets or textured or patterned surfaces, e.g. automatically (G03F 7/22 takes precedence; preparation of photographic masks G03F 1/00; within photographic printing apparatus for making copies G03B 27/00)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Positioning and alignment of originals, i.e. mask or reticle with the target substrate to be exposed by actinic radiation. Positioning and alignment of a radiation beam with respect to the target in direct-write lithographic processes. Alignment marks on mask and target. Devices for carrying out the positioning and alignment.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Positioning of printing elements
Positioning within photographic printing apparatus for making copies
Positioning in the preparation of photographic masks
Positioning in exposing sequentially with the same light pattern different positions of the same surface
Positioning ion beams for patterning purposes
Overlay of successive layers in a multilayer patterned semiconductor or solid state device
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Detection of the position of an object on a substrate
[N: For microlithography (monitoring exposed area for alignment control G03F7/20T22; positioning devices G03F7/20T24)
Definition statement
This subclass/group covers:

Aligning an original with a workpiece in a lithographic apparatus. Alignment marks for originals or workpieces. Devices for carrying out the aligning.

References relevant to classification in this group
This subclass/group does not cover:
Measuring printed patterns for overlay control
G03F7/20T22
Measuring printed patterns for focus control
G03F7/20T22
Positioning device and position control in a lithographic apparatus
G03F7/20T24
Alignment of original or workpiece in charged particle beam lithography
H01J37/317B27
Beam registration in direct write photolithography
G03F7/20T18
Illumination system adjustment, alignment during assembly of illumination system and regular adjustment
G03F7/20T14
Projection system adjustment, alignment during assembly of projection system and regular adjustment
G03F7/20T16
Informative references
Attention is drawn to the following places, which may be of interest for search:
Alignment marks specific to photomasks
Photomasks
Lithographic processes using patterning methods other than those involving exposure to radiation, e.g. by imprinting or transfer printing
Apparatus for microlithography
G03F7/20T
Glossary of terms
In this subclass/group, the following terms (or expressions) are used with the meaning indicated:
Lithography
micro- and nano- projection, proximity or contact photolithography; micro- and nano- imprint or transfer printing lithography
Original
e.g. reticle, photomask, addressable mask, imprint mold, stamp
Workpiece
target substrate to be patterned via lithography
Aligning
includes aligning in the substrate plane (i.e. aligning as such) and perpendicularly to the substrate plane (i.e. focussing or gap setting)
This page is owned by Office of Patent Classification.
Last Modified: 10/11/2013