The Micro/Nano Fabrication Center at the University of Arizona


ABM Mask Aligner Operating Instruction


*Note – Nitrogen should be on at all times when using the aligner. The flow should be set at 4 scfm


  1. Verify the power to the lamp controller is on. If this is not the case contact MFC Staff and wait until the machine is ready. DO NOT CHANGE ANY SETTINGS
  2. Make sure all pneumatic switches are set to “OFF” position and the Aligner and light sources are set to “Home”
  3. Turn on power by pressing the switch at the lower right of the ABM aligner
  4. Set the timer to the desired exposure time (2-3 seconds for AZ-3512)
  5. Select the mask to be used and clean it with acetone and IPA on both sides.
  6. Set the desired mask into the holder, silvery side up and push in the Mask Vac. Knob.
  7. Raise the mask by switching the mask position to “Raise”
  8. Place desired substrate on chuck and turn on the substrate vacuum
  9. Lower mask
  10. Turn Z Control knob (black micrometer) counter clockwise while pressing the button located in the front of the module (chuck leveling) until the clutch begins to slip.
  11. Release the button to lock the chuck planar to the mask
  12. Switch “CONTACT” to “ON”
  13. If Alignment is required skip to next page
  14. Switch “HOME/EXPOSE” to “EXPOSE”
  15. Hit the auto exposure button, the lamp shutters will open exposing the wafer to ultraviolet light. When the exposure time is complete the shutter will close.
  16. Switch “HOME/EXPOSE” to “Home”
  17. Switch “CONTACT” to “OFF”
  18. Switch “MASK RAISE” to lift mask assembly
  19. Switch “SUBSTRATE” to “OFF”
  20. Unload wafer and develop
  21. Remove the mask and return it to its box and put it away.
  22. When finished with the aligner, the machine should be turned off (not the intensity controller), all neumatic switches to the “OFF” position, and both the light source and align should be in their “HOME” positions. And the mask frame should be in the lower position.




  • Have wafer mounted and brought into contact with mask
  • Switch “CONTACT” to the “OFF” position
  • Set separation gap by turning the Z control knob clockwise to the desired gap setting.
    Note: With automatic planarization function, after setting separation gap wafers thereafter can be planarized by pushing, then releasing Chuck Level. Wafer will planarize to mask then drop to pre set gap setting.
  • Switch “ALIGN” button to bring alignment optics over tooling module.
  • The wafer can now be aligned to the mask using the X, Y, and THETA micrometers. The operator can easily scan the microscope over the substrate in either the X or Y direction, or both simultaneously, by using the precision microscope manipulator. The buttons on the handle of the scanning mechanism can be pressed to move the microscope one at a time or together.
  • When satisfactory alignment has been achieved, switch “CONTACT” to the “ON” position. The wafer is now ready to be exposed.


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