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10 April 2013 Postiive tone resists based on network deploymerization of molecular resists
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Conventional chemically amplified resists have several issues that can potentially limit their capability for sub-40 nm imaging. One of the major issues at this size scale is that the mechanical strength of positive tone CARs limits the amount of stress they can withstand during development, rinse, and drying, thus leading to problems with pattern collapse due to the high capillary forces generated during drying. This problem is exasperated by the fact that linear polymers show dramatically reduced modulus at sub-50 nm features sizes. To improve on this problem, we have made a positive tone resist based on network depolymerization of molecular resists. The resist thermally cross-links after being spin cast into thin film form through reactions between vinyl ether groups and carboxylic acid groups. By cross-linking the resist to form a dense three dimensional polymer network, the mechanical strength of the resist is greatly improved compared to linear polymers. The network is depolymerized using an acid catalyzed reaction to create development contrast that allows for patterning of the resist via development in either aqueous base or organic solvent. One drawback of the current resist design is that the free carboxylic acids on the resist molecule appear to react in solution at room temperature with both the vinyl ether groups on adjacent molecules and with any added base quencher. These reactions cause reduced effectiveness of the base quencher and produce a noticeable resist shelf life problem. Despite these limitations, the material was used to compare the effect of development in aqueous base versus organic solvent. The resist formulated in this work showed a DUV sensitivity of 7 mJ/cm2 and a contrast of 5.2 for development in either solvent or aqueous base. Under 100 keV e-beam imaging, the material showed 40 nm resolution for both development types. In standard 0.26 N TMAH, the dose-to-size was 84 μC/cm2 with 3σ LER of 14.2 nm. Using methyl isobutyl ketone for organic solvent development, the dose-to-size was 104 μC/cm2 with 3σ LER of 7.4 nm.
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Richard A. Lawson, Jing Cheng, Ameneh Cheshmehkani, Laren M. Tolbert, and Clifford L. Henderson "Postiive tone resists based on network deploymerization of molecular resists", Proc. SPIE 8682, Advances in Resist Materials and Processing Technology XXX, 868221 (10 April 2013);

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