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Standard x-ray lithographic techniques allow great flexibility of geometry in two dimensions. Typically, the third dimension is limited to depth, which is purely orthogonal to the surface. We have been developing a relatively simple technique using x-ray lithography and have fabricated a whole family of precisely controlled nonorthogonal structures such as tapers, bridges and various “leaning” or blazed structures. Traditional soft x-ray masks, create the modulation required to print into x-ray resists by having the absorbing elements of the x-ray mask patterned on a thin membrane. This technique involves the creation of the gold absorbing elements of the x-ray mask directly on the surface of the photoresist, i.e., a “surface” mask. These surface masks can create nonorthogonal exposures creating blazed structures as well as “bridges” by tilting the sample with respect to the x-ray beam during exposure. The exposures can also be done while having the tilted sample rotated, creating tapered exposure profiles. In addition to the novel geometries, a potentially useful feature of the rotated exposures is that the sidewalls have nanometer scale smoothness, due to the averaging of intensities during rotation. © 1997 American Vacuum Society.