29 June 1998 Diffusion of photoacid generators by laser scanning confocal microscopy
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Diffusion of the photogenerated acid during the period of time between exposure and development can cause contrast loss and ultimately loss of the latent image. This is especially relevant for chemically amplified photoresists that require a post-exposure baking step, which in turn facilitates acid diffusion due to the high temperature normally employed. It is thus important to develop techniques with good spatial resolution to monitor the photogeneration of acid. More precisely, we need techniques that provide two distinct types of information: spatial resolution on various length scales within the surface layer and also sufficient depth resolution so that one can observe the transition from very surface layer to bulk structure in the polymer blend coated on silicon substrate. Herein laser scanning confocal microscopy is used to evaluate the resist for the first time. We report the use of the confocal microscopy to map the pag/dye distribution in PHS matrices, with both reflectance images and fluorescence images. A laser beam is focused onto a small 3D volume element, termed a voxel. It is typically 200 nm X 200 nm laterally and 800 nm axially. The illuminated voxel is viewed such that only signals emanating from this voxel are detected, i.e., signal from outside the probed voxel is not detected. By adjusting the vertical position of the laser focal point, the voxel can be moved to the designated lateral plane to produce an image. Contrast caused by topology difference between the exposed and unexposed area can be eliminated. Bis-p-butylphenyl iodonium triflat (7% of polyhydroxystyrene) is used as photoacid generators. 5% - 18% (by weight, PHS Mn equals 13 k) resist in PGMEA solution is spin cast onto the treated quartz disk with thickness of 1.4 micrometers , 5 micrometers space/10 micrometers pitch chrome mask is used to generate the pattern with mercury DUV illumination. Fluoresceinamine, the pH-sensitive dye, is also used to enhance the contrast of fluorescence image. The typical PEB temperature is 90 degree(s)C for 90 seconds. 488 nm is used as the excitation wavelength. Both reflectance and fluorescence images (> 510 nm) are processed by using Adobe Photoshop. It was found that the reflectance is more sensitive to the change of the refractive index of the resist while the fluorescence is more sensitive to the distribution of the PAG/dye. The NIH Image software is used for acid exchange rate calculation. Second Fick's Law is applied to analyze the image change. The diffusion coefficient for this PAG in PHS during PEB is smaller than 8.8 X 10-13 cm2/s.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Ping Zhang, Stephen E. Webber, J. Mendenhall, Jeff D. Byers, Keith K. Chao, "Diffusion of photoacid generators by laser scanning confocal microscopy", Proc. SPIE 3333, Advances in Resist Technology and Processing XV, (29 June 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.312397; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.312397

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