Quantum interferometric optical lithography: exploiting entanglement to beat the diffraction limit

Agedi N. Boto, Pieter Kok, Daniel S. Abrams, Samuel L. Braunstein, Colin P. Williams, and Jonathan P. Dowling

Physical Review Letters 85, 2733 (2000)


Classical, interferometric, optical lithography is diffraction limited to writing features of a size l/4 or greater, where l is the optical wavelength. Using non-classical photon-number states, entangled N at a time, we show that it is possible to write features of minimum size l/(4N) in an N-photon absorbing substrate. This result surpasses the usual classical diffraction limit by a factor of N. Since the number of features that can be etched on a two-dimensional surface scales inversely as the square of the feature size, this allows one to write a factor of NxN more elements on a semiconductor chip. A factor of N=2 can be achieved easily with entangled photon pairs generated from optical parametric down-conversion.

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© 2017 Pieter Kok

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