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Sub-µ LIGA is a recently launched project to enhance the market value of x-ray LIGA parts. Microworks, the Technische Universität München (TUM), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and micro resist technologies GmbH have joined forces to develop a material and a process technology for metallic LIGA patterns with structure sizes below 1µm. The partners have identified two applications which they consider to have high market potential:

  • Diffractors and polarizers for visible light show a high sensitivity to line width and plating thickness fluctuations. They will benefit from the excellent precision and repeatability of X-ray LIGA.
  • Gratings for phase-contrast X-ray imaging (PCI) and X-ray dark-field imaging with periods below 2µm. The latter will exploit X-ray LIGA's high aspect ratio, since great heights are needed to absorb X-rays. In combination with periods around or below 2µm, such gratings will be able to resolve the very small angle deviation which X-rays undergo when passing through an object.

This project is made possible with support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) via the ZIM program under contract No. 2780302MU4.

Sub-µm structures made by e-beam lithography and gold plating. The intention of the project is to provide a process chain to replicate similar structures using X-ray lithography.