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1 January 2009 Cure-induced photoresist distortions in double patterning
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Many processes are under evaluation as simplifications to current double patterning methods. Reduction in process complexity and cost may be achieved by use of track-based photoresist stabilization methods that eliminate one etch step by allowing a second resist to be patterned over a first resist. Examples of stabilization methods using numerous curing processes have been reported. At least some resist shrinkage during stabilization appears to be generally observed for these methods. We evaluate the link between shrinkage and three-dimensional pattern distortions at line ends and elbow corners using experimental and simulation-based methods. A 172-nm UV resist curing process was used to produce controlled shrinkage ranging from 5% to 30%: shrinkage was correlated with resist distortions. At cure dose sufficient to stabilize the resist, shrinkage of approximately 23% results in measured line-end pullback and elbow displacement of approximately 16% and 13% of nominal linewidth respectively, when measured at resist half-height. Finite element analysis of resist beam structures produces shrinkage distortions that are in good qualitative and semiquantitative agreement with these measurements and thus appears to provide a provisionally general and useful method for predicting pattern distortions that arise during cure-based resist stabilization methods used in double imaging.
©(2009) Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Thomas I. Wallow, Mahidhar Rayasam, Masanori Yamaguchi, Yohei Yamada, Ryoung-Han Kim, Jongwook Kye, and Harry J. Levinson "Cure-induced photoresist distortions in double patterning," Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS 8(1), 011010 (1 January 2009).
Published: 1 January 2009

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