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21 July 2000 Manufacturability of the ultrathin resist process
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As lithographic technology nodes advance beyond the 193 nm generation, the optical absorption of organic materials will require the use of thin layer imaging (TLI) techniques. Of the techniques under consideration, the use of ultra-thin resist (UTR) over a hardmask is the most desirable because of its simplicity and close similarity to standard single layer resist processes. Prior work has demonstrated that the UTR process is capable of pattern transfer to poly silicon device layers with as little as 1000 Angstrom of resist on flat wafers using 248 nm lithography. This was achieved with defect levels comparable to a conventional 5000 Angstrom resist process. In this work, we demonstrate 'proof of concept' by integrating the UTR process into the transistor gate module of a production device using 248 nm lithography. In doing so we focus on three key areas for manufacturability: inherent defectivity of UTR films, sensitivity of thin resist to topography, and quality of pattern transfer. We find that pinhole defects are of little concern in the UTR process after SEM review of defects on un-patterned UTR films. We show that the UTR process is sensitive to wafer topography, since it does not provide a completely planar surface over the underlying device features. Finally, we demonstrate that the UTR process is capable of reliable pattern transfer on a production device with defect levels comparable to the thicker baseline single layer resist process.
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Christopher Pike, Scott Bell, Marina V. Plat, Paul King, Khanh B. Nguyen, Christopher F. Lyons, Harry J. Levinson, Khoi A. Phan, and Uzodinma Okoroanyanwu "Manufacturability of the ultrathin resist process", Proc. SPIE 3997, Emerging Lithographic Technologies IV, (21 July 2000);

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