Kloe SAS is a French photolithography machines manufacturer which offers, for more than 20 years ago, all over the world, the global range of lithography equipment: direct laser writers for maskless lithography, high resolution 3D printer and UV-LED maskers and mask aligners.

Interview with Paul Coudray, PhD, C.E.O. of Kloe SAS.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Paul Coudray: Kloe specializes in the conception / manufacture of laser direct writing equipment for maskless lithography and mask alignment system for soft lithography, with a micron and submicron resolution. If our core business is aimed primarily at researchers in microfluidics, however our equipment is perfectly adapted to answer needs and constraints of researchers in many fields like microelectronics, photonics, MEMS, semiconductor manufacturing, 3D biotechnology…

E.E: What’s the news about new products? 

P.C: We just release a new equipment: Dilase 125, first plug and play direct laser writer for maskless lithography. This machine offers: 

  • a 5µm beam which allows writing in resist layers from <1µm to more than 150µm thickness,
  • a 405nm laser source aligned with a unique very large depth focus optical line,
  • a true vectorial writing mode,
  • the possibility of reaching 1×30 aspect ratio,
  • the less expensive direct laser writer of the world market.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

P.C: Dilase range, maskless equipment by direct laser writing and high resolution 3D printer, offers unique innovations: true vector writing mode, large depth of focus, dynamically controlled stages… This range currently has 5 products:

  • Dilase 125, our latest machine released
  • Dilase 250, tabletop direct laser writer
  • Dilase 650, multifunction maskless lithography equipment
  • Dilase 750, customizable direct laser writer
  • Dilase 3D, high resolution 3D micro-printer

UV-KUB range, exposure-masking system and new generation of mask aligners, equipped with high quality collimated and monochromatic UV-LED light source. This range currently has 4 products:

  • UV-KUB 2, UV-LED masking system, available in 4 or 6 inches version
  • UV-KUB 3, new generation of mask aligner, available in 4 or 6 inches version
  • UV-KUB 9, high-power density UV exposure system
  • K-ILU 2, UV-LED curing adhesive system

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

P.C: In microfluidics, researchers need to write in very thick layers of resin, as well as in thin layers.

There is therefore an increased demand for performance in order to be able to write very high, very straight channels, while maintaining a very low roughness.

This is where a great optical depth of field comes into its own, to be able to reach high aspect ratio (until 1×80).

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

P.C: There is an increase in demand:

  • for laser direct writing systems which reduce the time and cost of development for a new function
  • for mask aligners for 2 reasons:
    • Microtechnology democratization in developing countries like India or in countries in Eastern Europe
    • Renewal of the machine park

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

P.C: Our high-resolution 3D printer Dilase 3D fills the gap that could exist between:

  • so-called consumer 3D printers, offering a certain speed of execution, allowing the production of large volume objects but with a very low and insufficient resolution (minimum 100µm), for researchers, particularly in microfluidics and biomedical.
  • 3D printers allowing micro-printing at the nanometer scale: excellent resolution quality but not allowing the production of objects with dimensions over a few cubic millimeters. 

The high resolution 3D printer Dilase 3D offers a good compromise: a resolution of 5µm as standard (up to 2µm as an option) and the capacity of manufacturing objects with a size of up to 100x100x50mm.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2022?

P.C: After the 2 complicated years linked to the COVID crisis, a very strong return to activity all over the world.