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1 April 2009 Defect reduction in non-topcoat resist by selective segregation removal step
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A non-topcoat (non-TC) resist is a photoresist that contains a hydrophobic additive, which segregates to the surface and forms a layer to minimize surface free energy. The improvement of surface hydrophobicity and the suppression of resist component leaching were confirmed by using this segregation layer. Compared to conventional topcoat process, it is speculated that the use of non-TC resist will reduce the cost of lithographic materials, improve throughput, and will be compatible for the scanning speed improvement of immersion scanners. One issue for the non-TC resist is the possibility of increased defect generation compared to processes using topcoats. It is assumed that the high resist surface hydrophobicity and the developer insolubility of the hydrophobic additive are main factors causing the increase in defect. Therefore, it is important to work out solutions for reducing these defects to realize the non-TC resists. A process of selectively removing the hydrophobic additive between exposure and development process for the purpose of defective reduction of non-TC resist was investigated. Specifically, wet processing was performed to the wafer after exposure using an organic solvent to dissolve the hydrophobic additive. As a result, defect count was reduced to less than 1/1000 with the effective removal of the segregation layer without affecting pattern size. These results prove the effectiveness of the proposed process named 'selective segregation removal (SSR)' treatment in reducing defects for non-TC resists.
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Takuya Hagiwara, Mamoru Terai, Takeo Ishibashi, Tomofumi Miyauchi, Shinya Hori, Teruhiko Kumada, Tomoya Kumagai, Atsushi Sawano, Kosuke Doi, Takeshi Matsunobe, Naoki Man, Hirofumi Seki, Yusaku Tanahashi, and Tetsuro Hanawa "Defect reduction in non-topcoat resist by selective segregation removal step", Proc. SPIE 7273, Advances in Resist Materials and Processing Technology XXVI, 727324 (1 April 2009);

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