A Japanese team has found a way to bend and shape silicon substrates by growing a thin layer of diamond on top.
Professor Tetsuo Soga, of the Nagoya Institute of Technology, has proposed the technique as an alternative to mechanical bending, which is currently used to make reflective lenses for X-ray systems and particle physics systems. Extreme UV lithography touted for 45nm processes is likely to need similar lenses.
The stress, and therefore the curvature, that the nano-crystal diamond film applies to the silicon substrate is controlled ultimately by the bias current density in the microwave plasma chemical vapour deposition system used to form the diamond film.
Prof Soga said: "The film is almost as hard as natural diamond and [it's ability to] stick to the substrate is very strong."
The next steps in the research will be to try the technique out on actual devices.
Prof Soga said: "It is still fundamental research. I want to apply this technology to real products."