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Publication Citation: Additive-Containing Rinses for LER and Defectivity Control During High-Resolution Resist Patterning

NIST Authors in Bold

Author(s): D L. Goldfarb; S D. Burns; M Angelopolous; S Skordas; R L. Burns; M C. Lawson; C J. Brodsky; V Vishnu; E Jablonski; Vivek M. Prabhu; Ronald L. Jones; B D. Vogt; Christopher L. Soles; Eric K. Lin; Wen-Li Wu;
Title: Additive-Containing Rinses for LER and Defectivity Control During High-Resolution Resist Patterning
Published: Date Unknown
Abstract: The addition of a surface conditioning agent to the de-ionized water rinse used to quench the photoresist development process is an attractive methodology that can afford a controlled decrease in resist line edge roughness (LER) or a reduction in defectivity levels, during lithographic patterning. The use of additive-containing rinses involves the interfacial adsorption of the surface-active material (e.g. ionic surfactants, neutral polymers, polyelectrolytes) and/or its penetration into the patterned resist structure, which can be held responsible for polymer chain relaxation and reorganization within the resist matrix, resulting in reduced LER. The non-specific adsorption process can also lead to the creation of repulsive (electrostatic or steric) forces between additive-coated surfaces, thus allowing for particulate stabilization in the rinse liquid and the minimization of defects. In this study, LER improvement (8 % to 16 %) induced by an organic salt and defectivity reduction (ca.= 100) created by a polyelectrolyte contained in the rinse liquid are demonstrated in 193 nm resist systems. Also, additive adsorption to a 193 nm resist surface is monitored using a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), while the repulsive force created between additive-coated surfaces is detected using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and the presence of residual additive is quantified using total x-ray reflection fluorescence (TXRF), near edge x-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) and contact angle measurements. The experimental evidence provided supports the proposed mechanisms leading to LER and defectivity improvement.
Citation: Journal of Microlithography Microfabrication and Microsystems
Keywords: adsorption,LER,line edge roughness,resist defetivity,rinse additive,surface conditioning,surfactants
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