Optical lithography is an offshoot of the principles of lithography, where printing multiple copies of a single image or page can be done using a lithographic limestone or any other metal surface. However, the procedure is much more complex as it involves a sequence of mechanisms. Such sequence requires an automated system solely for optical lithography.
It is considered as one of the more important printing technologies, since it can replicate a copy with high-resolution. It also allows replicating an image without having to manually paint on a lithographic limestone.
The primary step in optical lithography is creating a mask substrate. This mask substrate is usually a borosilicate glass, which is necessary for the reason of its high-transmission capacity. After this, a resist coating will be applied to the mask substrate. After this, the pattern of the resist will be done through a pattern generator. This pattern will contain the illustrations or characters that you want to be replicated. To replicate it using the pattern on the resist, a light, usually a mercury arc lamp, will move through the resist and generate the copy. After this, a mask will develop to form a metal coating. The resist coating will then be taken away leaving the metal coating behind.
Though the process of optical lithography is seemingly complex, it actually simply follows the principle of lithography and embossed printing combined. However, the cost of optical lithography may be expensive, since there are many materials required in the process of optical lithography, such as borosilicate and chromium.