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23 June 2000 Using alicyclic polymers in top surface imaging systems to reduce line-edge roughness
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Top surface imaging (TSI) systems based on vapor phase silylation have been investigated for use at a variety of wavelengths. This approach to generating high aspect ratio, high resolution images held great promise particularly for 193 nm and EUV lithography applications. Several 193 nm TSI systems have been described that produce very high resolution (low k factor) images with wide process latitude. However, because of the line edge roughness associated with the final images, TSI systems have fallen from favor. In fact, top surface imaging and line edge roughness have become synonymous in the minds of most. Most of the 193 nm TSI systems are based on poly(p-hydroxystyrene) resins. These polymers have an unfortunate combination of properties that limit their utility in this application. These limiting properties include (1) High optical density (2) Poor silylation contrast (3) Low glass transition temperature of the silylated material. These shortcomings are related to inherent polymer characteristics and are responsible for the pronounced line edge roughness in the poly(p-hydroxystyrene) systems. We have synthesized certain alicyclic polymers that have higher transparency and higher glass transition temperatures. Using these polymers, we have demonstrated the ability to print high resolution features with very smooth sidewalls. This paper will describe the synthesis and characterization of the polymers and their application to top surface imaging at 193 nm. Additionally, it will describe the analysis that was used to tailor the processing and the polymer's physical properties to achieve optimum imaging.
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Mark H. Somervell, David S. Fryer, Brian Osborn, Kyle Patterson, Sungseo Cho, Jeff D. Byers, and C. Grant Willson "Using alicyclic polymers in top surface imaging systems to reduce line-edge roughness", Proc. SPIE 3999, Advances in Resist Technology and Processing XVII, (23 June 2000);

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