20 March 2018 Selective dry etching of silicon containing anti-reflective coating
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Multi-layer patterning schemes involve the use of Silicon containing Anti-Reflective Coating (SiARC) films for their anti-reflective properties. Patterning transfer completion requires complete and selective removal of SiARC which is very difficult due to its high silicon content (>40%). Typically, SiARC removal is accomplished through a non-selective etch during the pattern transfer process using fluorine containing plasmas, or an ex-situ wet etch process using hydrofluoric acid is employed to remove the residual SiARC, post pattern transfer. Using a non-selective etch may result in profile distortion or wiggling, due to distortion of the underlying organic layer. The drawbacks of using wet etch process for SiARC removal are increased overall processing time and the need for additional equipment. Many applications may involve patterning of active structures in a poly-Si layer with an underlying oxide stopping layer. In such applications, SiARC removal selective to oxide using a wet process may prove futile. Removing SiARC selectively to SiO2 using a dry etch process is also challenging, due to similarity in the nature of chemical bonds (Si – O) in the two materials.

In this work, we present highly selective etching of SiARC, in a plasma driven by a surface wave radial line slot antenna. The first step in the process involves an in-situ modification of the SiARC layer in O2 plasma followed by selective etching in a NF3/H2 plasma. Surface treatment in O2 plasma resulted in enhanced etching of the SiARC layer. For the right processing conditions, in-situ NF3/H2 dry etch process demonstrated selectivity values greater than 15:1 with respect to SiO2. The etching chemistry, however, was sensitive to NF3:H2 gas ratio. For dilute NF3 in H2, no SiARC etching was observed. Presumably, this is due to the deposition of ammonium fluorosilicate layer that occurs for dilute NF3/H2 plasmas. Additionally, challenges involved in selective SiARC removal (selective to SiO2, organic and Si layers) post pattern transfer, in a multi-layer structure will be discussed.
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Shyam Sridhar, Shyam Sridhar, Andrew Nolan, Andrew Nolan, Li Wang, Li Wang, Erdinc Karakas, Erdinc Karakas, Sergey Voronin, Sergey Voronin, Peter Biolsi, Peter Biolsi, Alok Ranjan, Alok Ranjan, "Selective dry etching of silicon containing anti-reflective coating", Proc. SPIE 10589, Advanced Etch Technology for Nanopatterning VII, 1058908 (20 March 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2297418; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2297418

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