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Chemically Amplified Molecular Photoresist for High-Resolution Lithography
Users from Intel collaborated with staff from the Molecular Foundry and the ALS to create a new approach to photoresist that achieves both high-resolution and sensitivity.
Significance and Impact
Current photoresist designs have a tradeoff between resolution and sensitivity but this approach could lead to resists capable of patterning features at the molecular level with high sensitivity.
- Cross-linking resists have good mechanical stability and do not distort during development, leading to good resolution (measured by half-pitch resolution (HP)), but suffer from poor sensitivity.
- Chemically amplified resists generate an acid catalyst that enhances sensitivity but degrades resolution and increases line edge roughness (LER).
- Industry users working at the Molecular Foundry combined the best of both worlds with a new small molecule resist matrix, which uses chemically amplified deprotection, and adding a dilute cross-linker.
- Extreme UV from the ALS was used to expose the new resist and demonstrate the superior performance (HP, LER) shown in the figure.
P. K. Kulshreshtha,K. Maruyama, S. Kiani, J. Blackwell, D. L. Olynick & P. D. Ashby. Nanotechnology 2014 25, 31.