Two fundamentally different approaches for chemical ArF resist shrinkage are evaluated and integrated into process flows for 90 nm technology node. The chemical shrink and the corresponding gain in process window is studied in detail for different resist types with respect to CD uniformity through pitch, linearity and resist profiles. For both, SAFIER and RELACS material, the sensitivity of the shrink process with respect to the baking temperature is characterized by a temperature matrix to check process stability, and optimized conditions are found offering an acceptable amount of
shrinkage at contact and trench levels. For the SAFIER material, thermal flow contributes to the chemical shrink which is a function of the photoresist chemistry and its hydrodynamic properties depending on the resists’ glass transition temperature (Tg) and the baking temperature: at baking temperatures close to Tg, a proximity and pattern dependent shrink is observed. For a given resist, line-space patterns and contact holes shrink differently, and their resist profiles are affected significantly. Additionally, the chemical shrinkage depends on the size of contact holes and resist profile prior to the application of the SAFIER process. At baking temperatures below Tg some resists exhibit no shrink at all. The
RELACS technique offers a constant shrink for contacts at various pitches and sizes. This shrink can be moderately adjusted and controlled by varying the mixing bake temperature which is generally and preferably below the glass transistion temperature of the resist, therefore no resist profile degradation is observed. A manufacturable process with a shrink of 20nm using RELACS at the contact layer is demonstrated. Utilizing an increased reticle bias in combination
with an increased CD target prior to the chemical shrink, the common lithography process window at contact layer was increased by 0.15um. The results also indicate a possibility for an extension of the shrink to greater than 50nm for more advanced processes.