- We present a novel micromachined shadow mask system, which is capable of accurate self-alignment and mask-substrate gap control. The shadow mask system consists of a silicon shadow mask and a silicon carrier wafer with pyramidal cavities fabricated with bulk micromachining. Self-alignment and gap control of the shadow mask and the fabrication substrate can readily be achieved by using matching pairs of pyramidal cavities and steel spheres placed between. The layer-to-layer alignment accuracy of the new shadow mask system has been experimentally characterized and verified using both optical and atomic force microscopic measurements. As an application of this new shadow mask system, an organic thin-film transistor (OTFT) using pentacene as the semiconductor layer has been successfully fabricated and tested. 2008 IOP Publishing Ltd.