Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology empowers integrated circuit industry to mass produce chips with smaller pitches and higher density. Along with EUV tool advancement, significant progress has also been made in the development and advancement of EUV chemically amplified resist (CAR) materials, which allows for the improvement of resolution, line edge roughness, and sensitivity (RLS) trade-off. The scarce number of EUV photons has triggered the development of resist material with high absorption at 13.5 nm. However, a review of open literature reveals very limited reports on the effect of high EUV absorption elements on etch properties of advanced EUV resist. To ensure Moore’s Law continues to move forward, further resist performance improvement is required. In this regard, stochastic defects originating from photon shot noise, materials, and processing variabilities present a unique challenge for the extension of CAR platform for the patterning of smaller nodes. Notably, less attention has been paid to defects formed during the etching process used for pattern transfer. In this paper, we report on the relationship between resist make-up and etch properties. In particular, the effect of incorporation of EUV high absorbing elements are examined. New resist material design strategies for continuous improvement of EUV CAR lithographic performance will be discussed.
In extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL), underlayers have been introduced to improve process window, stochastic printing failures, LWR and even photo-speed. As a result, studies about chemical and physical interactions at resist-underlayer interface have been reported and appropriate designs of silicon based hardmasks and thin organic underlayers for EUVL have been proposed for recent years. EUV underlayers are required to have not only chemical moieties for EUV specific functions but also proper physical properties. The thickness of underlayer has continuously shrink down to a few nanometers to reduce dry etch burden for effective transfer of small patterned features to substrates. In this paper, we report noticeable property variation of an organic underlayer thin film by confinement effect upon thickness reduction. We investigated the thickness effect on key factors, such as film density, coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE), film Tg and surface energy, and consequent impact on EUVL performance while chemical composition of underlayers were not altered.
As the critical dimension (CD) in semiconductor devices continues to shrink, the multilayer patterning process to transfer fine line patterns into an underlying substrate is becoming increasingly important. The trilayer processes consist of a photoresist film, a silicon-containing layer and a carbon rich underlayer. The distinctive difference in etch selectivity toward fluorine and oxygen based reactive ion etching (RIE) chemistry is critical to provide highly selective pattern transfer to the substrate. In response to the need for high etch resistant underlayers, we have developed carbon rich spin-on carbon (SOC) materials with good solubility in preferred casting solvents, high thermal stability and high dry etch resistance. To better understand structure-property relationships of high etch resistant SOC films, cured SOC films were analyzed by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis), X-ray reflectivity (XRR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). The design considerations for high etch resistance SOC underlayers, such as Ohnishi parameter, crosslinking and film density, will be discussed in this paper.
The use of multilayer processes in advanced ArF patterning schemes continues to increase as device critical dimensions shrink. In a multilayer stack, underlayer materials play a critical role in terms of gap fill, planarization and etch resistance to enable high resolution and high aspect ratio patterning. The emerging quadlayer imaging process requires a unique spin on carbon (SOC) layer with high thermal stability to withstand subsequent deposition of an inorganic hard mask layer, commonly deposited via chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The thermal stability requirement associated with CVD compatibility largely limits the options of organic materials, which mostly decompose in the 300-450°C range. Thermal shrinkage and coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) differences between layers are other key considerations in designing a high temperature stable, CVD compatible SOC material. Furthermore, the SOC polymer resin must be compatible with solvents and spin on products commonly used in the FAB. This paper highlights the development of a novel CVD compatible HT-SOC platform with excellent thermal stability (>500°C) and good FAB drain line compatibility. In addition, this polyaromatic SOC platform shows various improvements compared to traditional Novolacbased SOC, including reduced shrinkage, good gap fill, improved planarization, and low defectivity. Robust formulation design, high quality raw materials, and advanced metal removal technique synergistically enabled manufacturing of multigallon HT-SOC product with high quality. Application specific versions are available for more demanding planarization requirement and applications that require good adhesion to metal substrate. In addition, a newly developed method for quantitative measurement of long-range planarization was used to validate new material designs aimed at improving planarization.