An electroetching tool using scanned localized application of flowing electrolyte against a workpiece such as a large area mask having high density features for the fabrication of microelectronic components. A masked molybdenum plate is suspended in a vertical direction within a tank which functions as a reservoir for a recirculating electrobyte. The electrolyte in the reservoir is filtered and pumped to a pair of travelling cathode assemblies from which the flowing electrolyte is simultaneously applied through respective charged orifices to both sides of the workpiece. The workpiece is masked on its opposite sides with mirror imaged mask apertures having corresponding opposite-sided features in registration with each other.
Each orifice through which the electrolyte is applied comprises an open groove in the surface of a block of polyvinal chloride material which groove extends in a vertical direction relative to the tank. The bottom of the groove is adjacent to a conductive plate. The open top of the groove is held closely against the masked plate as the cathode assembly is moved along the guide rails. The fresh electrobyte is introduced to the groove at the upper end thereof while the used electrolyte exits from the groove at the lower end thereof and into the tank reservoir for recirculation.
D. J. Brophy, Dr. Madhav Datta, Harris, D. B., Ryan, F. S., and Spera, F. A., “Tool and method for electroetching”, U.S. Patent US 08/608,8911997.