Extraction of small molecule components into water from photoresist materials designed for 193 nm immersion lithography has been observed. Leaching of photoacid generator (PAG) has been
monitored using three techniques: liquid scintillation counting (LSC); liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LCMS); and scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM). LSC was also used to detect leaching of residual casting solvent (RCS) and base. The amount of PAG leaching from the resist films, 30 - 50 ng/cm2, was quantified using LSC. Both LSC and LCMS results suggest that PAG and photoacid leach from the film only upon initial contact with water (within 10 seconds) and minimal leaching occurs thereafter for immersion times up to 30 minutes. Exposed films show an increase in the amount of photoacid anion leaching by upwards of 20% relative to unexposed films. Films pre-rinsed with water for 30 seconds showed no further PAG leaching as determined by LSC. No statistically significant amount of residual casting solvent was extracted after 30 minutes of immersion. Base extraction was quantified at 2 ng/cm2 after 30 seconds. The leaching process is qualitatively described by a model based on the stratigraphy of
Immersion lithography has been proposed as a technique to print sub-100nm features using 193nm lithography. The process involves filling the space between the lens fixture of an exposure tool and the photoresist-coated silicon wafer with a liquid. In the case of immersion 193nm lithography, water can serve as that liquid. The immersion option raises questions about how photoresists and water interact. Components of the photoresist could be leached into the water, thus modifying the refractive index of the medium, depositing material on the lens, or altering the solubility switching process of the photoresist. Several phenomena could affect the optical properties of the resist and water and, ultimately, the resolution of the process. To better understand the impact that immersion lithography would have on photoresist performance, a study has been undertaken to measure the amount of resist components that are leached by water from model 193nm photoresists. The components studied were residual casting solvent (propylene glycol methyl ether acetate), the photoacid generator (triphenylsulfonium nonaflate), and the base quencher (triethanolamine). Since it was expected that only a small amount of each material would be leached into the water, 14C-labeled samples of each resist component were synthesized and added to the 193nm resists. Films of the labeled resists were coated onto a silicon wafer and immersed in water. The water was collected and the film was dissolved in casting solvent and collected. The amount of material leached into the water was determined by radiochemical analysis. Spectroscopic ellipsometry was also used to quantify changes in the optical constants of the resists and the water.
Three modes of scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) - voltammetry, pH, and conductivity - have been used to better understand the chemistry at, and diffusion through, the solid/liquid interface formed between a resist film and water in 193 nm immersion lithography. Emphasis has been placed on investigating the photoacid generator (PAG), triphenylsulfonium perfluorobutanesulfonate, and the corresponding photoacid. The reduction of triphenylsulfonium at a hemispherical Hg microelectrode was monitored using square wave voltammetry to detect trace amounts of the PAG leaching from the surface. pH measurements at a 100 μm diameter Sb microelectrode show the formation of acid in the water layer above a resist upon exposure with UV irradiation. Bipolar conductance measurements at a 100 μm Pt tip positioned 100 μm from the surface indicate that the conductivity of the solution during illumination is dependent upon the percentage of PAG in the film. Liquid chromatography mass spectrometric analysis of water samples in contact with resist films has been used to quantify the amounts (< 10 ng/cm2) of PAG leaching from the film in the dark which occurs within the first 30 seconds of contact time. Washing the film removes approximately 80% of the total leachable PAG.