MEEF (Mask Error Enhancement Factor) is the most representative index which CD (Critical Dimension) variation in wafer is amplified by real specific mask CD variation. Already, as it was announced through other papers, MEEF is increased by small k1 or pattern pitch. Illumination system, just like lens aberration or stage defocus affects directly MEEF value, but the leveling or species of substrate and the resist performance are also deeply related to MEEF value. Actually, when the engineers set up the photo process of shrink structure in current device makers, they established minimum shot uniformity target such as MEEF value within wafer uniformity and wafer to wafer uniformity, besides UDOF (Usable Depth of Focus) or EL (Exposure Latitude) margin. We examined MEEF reduction by checking the difference in resist parameters and tried to correlate the results between experiment and simulation. Solid-C was used for simulation tool. The target node was dense L/S (Line/Space) of sub-80 nm and we fix the same illumination conditions. We calculated MEEF values by comparing to original mask uniformity through the optical parameters of each resist type. NILS (Normalized Image Log Slope) shows us some points of the saturation value with pupil mesh points and the aberration was not considered. We used four different type resists and changed resist optical properties (i.e. n, k refractive index; A, B, and C Dill exposure parameters). It was very difficult to measure the kinetic phenomenon, so we choose Fickian model in PEB (Post Exposure Bake) and Weiss model in development. In this paper, we tried to suggest another direction of photoresist improvement by comparing the resist parameters to MEEF value of different pitches.
ArF lithography has been successfully implemented for the development of sub-90nm DRAM devices. Line width control for the ArF lithography is becoming increasingly challenging as design rules shrink. Many works have been performed on the mask, exposure tools, and tracks to obtain better critical dimension (CD) uniformity, however in-field uniformity, in-wafer uniformity, and wafer-to-wafer uniformity from resist itself was not considered thoroughly. In this experiment, resist parameters that contributes to line width variation were considered in resist perspective. For the in-field uniformity, mask CD uniformity is very important. However, the mask error enhancement factor (MEEF) was different ranging from 3.27 to 5.12 depending on the resists in the k1 0.35 processes even though the screened resists met all the required resolution, depth of focus (DOF), exposure latitude (EL), line edge roughness (LER), and profile. For the resists having good MEEF, the in-filed uniformities of the critical layers were highly improved. The PEB sensitivities of the screened resists were evaluated again in terms of post exposure bake (PEB) sensitivity, which were quite higher than those of KrF resists. They ranged from 4.0 to 11.3 nm/°C. In-wafer uniformity was evaluated and compared using the resists having different PEB sensitivity. The resist with better PEB sensitivity showed better result in in-wafer uniformity. Finally, the wafer-to-wafer uniformities of the resists were evaluated. There was different delay after exposure depending on the sequence of the loaded wafers because it was not easy to control the delay time at the interface of a scanner and a track. The CD increased depending on the sequence, and it coincided well with the delay time of the wafers after exposure. The wafer-to-wafer CD variations were improved using the resists having strong resistance to the delay.
The shrinkage of resist pattern during in-line SEM measurement has been argued and studied as one of the problems unsettled for manufacturing with ArF photolithography. Many of attempts to solve this problem have focused their attentions on the improvement of resist and inspection equipment. We bring up BARC (bottom anti-reflective coating) as a new impact factor on SEM shrinkage of resist. Practically, although the same resist was employed, our shrinkage tests gave the results depending on the kind of BARC. Feature size and depth of focus also affect SEM shrinkage of resist. Effect of reflectivity on SEM shrinkage was evaluated by changing thickness of BARCs and resultantly was somewhat significant. In this paper, the BARC-dependent results of SEM shrinkage are analyzed and discussed to provide a possibility that BARC may have another function of reducing SEM shrinkage.
LER of an acetal-type photoresist (PR) and an annealing-type PR was measured by Atomic Force Microscopy, with which LER is more quantitatively measurable than using SEM. The annealing-type PR showed smaller LER than acetal-type did. Acid diffusion length measurement of these two types of KrF photoresists with a practical method that is a measurement of the thickness loss in a resist film after development which follows placement of exposed resist powder on the surface and applying PEB was also executed. The annealing-type PR has been found to show longer acid diffusion length than that of acetal-type PR. Considering deblocking temperature, acetal group is cleaved right upon exposure before PEB due to its relatively low activation energy. This means that there would be more hydroxystyrene units in acetal-type PR at the beginning of PEB than in annealing-type one. Tg of photoresist samples before and after deblocking reaction was also measured by DSC. After deblocking reaction, it was found that Tg of acetal-type PR is much higher than that of annealing-type PR. This relatively high Tg will make acetal-type PR to have shorter acid diffusion length in conjunction with relatively low PEB temperature comparing with annealing-type in general. The absolute Tg value and Tg change with deblocking reaction depending on types of PRs were correlated to explain the inherent difference in LER performance in different types of PRs.
The ArF resist has been evaluated focusing on resin character such as molecular weight, monomer composition and polydispersity (Pd). The resin properties were investigated to elucidate that which parameter was affected to the line edge roughness (LER). The Pd was correlated with LER. As the Pd was large, the LER was small. The resin molecular weight and monomer composition were affected to their vertical profile. Low molecular weight portion rich resin resulted in round and t-top profile, whilst high molecular weight rich resin resulted in square profile. The amount of lower molecular weight fraction was changed by purification method. The lower molecular weight resin caused severe tapered profile. It was concluded that 1) shift of Mw to smaller and 2) higher content of low molecular size fraction lead to rounded and tapered pattern profile. Lot-to-lot stable good pattern profile has achieved by controlling polymer molecular weight and content of low molecular size fraction in small variation range.