This paper presents a microlens fabrication process using the timed-development-and-thermal-reflow process, which can fabricate various types of aperture geometry with a parabolic profile on a single substrate in the same batch of the process. By controlling the development time of the uncrosslinked negative photoresist, a state of partial development of the photoresist is achieved, called the timed development process. The thermal reflow process is followed after the timed development, which allows the photoresist to regain its liquid state to form a smooth meniscus trench surrounded by a crosslinked photoresist sidewall. Microlens with larger aperture size forms deeper trench with constant development time. With constant aperture size, longer developing time shows deeper meniscus trench. The depth of the meniscus trench is modeled in the relationship of the development time and aperture size. Other characteristics for the microlens including the radius of curvature, focal length, and the parabolic surface profile are modeled in the relationship of the microlens thickness and diameter. Microlens with circular, square, and hexagonal bases have been successfully fabricated and demonstrated where each geometry of the lens-bases shows different fill factors of the lens arrays. To test the fabricated lenses, a miniaturized projection lithography scheme was proposed. A centimeter-scale photomask pattern was photo-reduced using the fabricated microlens array with a ratio of 133, where the smallest linewidth was measured as 2.6 µm.
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