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24 August 2001 Mechanistic understanding of line-end shortening
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Abstract
In recent years the line end shortening (LES) phenomena, known also as line end pullback, has emerged as a significant issue in microlithography. The causes of LES include aerial image formation, simple pattern geometry considerations, and diffusion effects. This paper presents an overview of the main causes of LES with particular attention to contributions due to exposure gradients at the feature edge. The effect of exposure gradients on acid diffusion is described and results of experiments designed to study gradient effects are presented along with simulation of diffusion contributions to LES. Simulation and experiment suggest that transport-related resist bias mechanisms affect LES in complex ways. In addition to diffusion simulations, aerial image calculations are presented as simple demonstration of the contribution of the imaging system to LES.
© (2001) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Michael D. Stewart, Gerard M. Schmid, Sergei V. Postnikov, and C. Grant Willson "Mechanistic understanding of line-end shortening", Proc. SPIE 4345, Advances in Resist Technology and Processing XVIII, (24 August 2001); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.436844
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