To eliminate ammonium sulfate haze caused from sulfuric acid residue on the mask surface, we have been working for resist stripping and cleaning without the use of sulfuric acid process. This paper describes sulfate-free photomask cleaning technology by improving ozone cleaning process.
The critical dimensions (CD) change by the process delay is the most critical issue to apply the chemically amplified resists (CAR) for photomask fabrication. In the photomask fabrication processes, the resist should have both post coating delay (PCD) and post exposure delay (PED) stability, while keeping higher sensitivity. To achieve this requirement, overcoat process has been examined for the purpose of CD stabilization in CAR process for photomask manufacture. The material, which consists of hydrophobic polymer and PAG, was used for the overcoat in this study. Consequently, it has become clear that pattern formations have been possible without unnecessary thickness loss. Moreover, it has been proved that the overcoat shows the effect of controlling CD change and improvement of CD uniformity. From these results, it is thought that the overcoat process is promising for the size stabilization in photomask manufacture for devices less than 90 nm.