The use of a single figure of merit to judge resist performance
with respect to resolution, linewidth roughness (LWR), and sensitivity is proposed and evaluated. Chemically amplified photoresists used in advanced lithography nodes need to fulfill stringent requirements for a considerable number of resist and process characteristics. Along with resolution, linewidth roughness and resist sensitivity are important examples where the specifications have become very tight. Previously, it has been shown that resolution, linewidth roughness, and resist sensitivity are undamentally interdependent. Hence, when evaluating or optimizing resist performance, it is very important to take these three characteristics into consideration simultaneously. We propose to combine these characteristics into a single photoresist figure of merit KLUP. This figure of merit, which is determined from sizing dose, imaging wavelength, resist thickness, exposure latitude, acid diffusion length, linewidth roughness, and pitch, allows for a direct comparison of very different resist formulations independent of the exposure tool used. Thus, KLUP has great potential to assist in evaluating resist performance for the next lithography nodes, for both ArF and for EUV wavelengths.