Translator Disclaimer
19 March 2012 Blob defect prevention in 193nm topcoat-free immersion lithography
Author Affiliations +
In 193nm immersion lithography, immersion top coat was the first proposed technique for preventing the leaching of photoresist (resist) components, such as photoacid generator (PAG) and quencher base, into the immersion fluid (DI water). In this approach, the top coat is coated onto a resist film in a separate step including coating the top coat film and baking the film. This approach certainly adds extra cost to the device manufacturing and incurs reduced throughput as compared to the dry lithography process. The embedded barrier layer (EBL) technology1-5 developed at Dow Electronic Materials has been demonstrated to be a revolutionary approach, in which a suitable EBL material is formulated into an existing resist, and in a spin coating process the EBL material comes to the resist surface to forms a leaching barrier in situ. This approach has now been widely accepted and implemented in the integrated circuit manufacturing industry for replacing the conventional immersion top coat process. In addition to being an excellent leaching barrier, EBL materials, in general, result in a resist surface with a high receding angle for water. This property makes the EBL approach more desirable in topcoat free immersion lithography, since it allow for the latest scanners to perform at their maximum scan speed without generating watermark defects. For immersion lithography, the most important issue for mass production is defectivity control. This is true for both top coat and topcoat free approaches. In the top coat approach, the formulation optimization for both top coat and resists was extensively involved for this technique finally to reach an acceptable defectivity level for mass production of semiconductor devices. As a later developed technology, the EBL approach has gone through a series of research and development stages particularly in material innovation to reach the same low defectivity level as that of an immersion top coat process. After achieving the target of low defectivity in lithography, the challenges left to the EBL approach were to solve high defectivity in bulk exposed and bulk unexposed regions, which became prominent in both bright field and dark field lithographic applications. To solve the high defectivity issues, a thorough understanding of the blob defect formation mechanism was imperative. In this paper, the defect formation mechanism in both bulk exposed and unexposed regions is proposed, and this proposed mechanism is applicable not only to the EBL approach but also to the immersion top coat approach in general.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Deyan Wang, Jinrong Liu, Doris Kang, Cong Liu, Tom Estelle, Cheng-Bai Xu, George Barclay, and Peter Trefonas "Blob defect prevention in 193nm topcoat-free immersion lithography", Proc. SPIE 8325, Advances in Resist Materials and Processing Technology XXIX, 83252G (19 March 2012);

Back to Top