The effectivity of 193nm photoresists as dry etch masks is becoming more and more critical as the size of integrated
devices shrinks. 193nm resists are known to be much less resistant to dry etching than 248nm resists based on a
poly(hydroxystyrene) polymer backbone. The decrease in the resist film budget implies a better etch resistance to use
single layer 193nm photoresists for the 65nm node and beyond. In spite of significant improvements made in the past
decade regarding the etch resistance of photoresists, much of the fundamental chemistry and physics that could
explain the behaviour of these materials has to be better understood. Such knowledge is necessary in order to propose
materials and etch processes for the next technology nodes (45nm and below).
In this paper, we report our studies on the etch behaviour of different 193nm resist materials as a function of etch
chemistry. In a first step, we focus our attention on the interactions between photoresists and the reactive species of a
plasma during a dry etch step. Etch experiments were carried out in a DPS (Decoupled Plasma Source) high density
chamber. The gas chemistry in particular was changed to check the role of the plasma reactive species on the resist. O2,
Cl2, CF4, HBr and Ar gas were used.
Etch rates and chemical modifications of different materials were quantified by ellipsometry, Fourier Transformed
Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-Ray Photoelectrons Spectroscopy (XPS). We evaluated different materials
including 248nm model polymer backbones (pure PHS or functionalized PHS), and 193nm model polymers (PMMA
and acrylate polymers) or resist formulations. Besides the influence of resist chemistry, the impact of plasma parameters