Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Polymer Dynamics and Diffusive Properties in Ultra-Thin Photoresist Films



Christopher L. Soles, Ronald L. Jones, Joseph~undefined~undefined~undefined~undefined~undefined Lenhart, Vivek M. Prabhu, Wen-Li Wu, Eric K. Lin, D L. Goldfarb, M Angelopoulos


A series of experiments are presented to demonstrate thin film confinement effects on the diffusive properties in poly(tert-butoxycarboxystyrene) (PBOCSt). Bilayer diffusion couple measurements reveal that as the thickness of a PBOCSt film is decreased, the kinetics of the deprotection reaction-front propagation (a process involving both the diffusion and reaction of photochemically activated acidic protons) are dramatically hindered. Incoherent neutron scattering measurements suggest that this retardation can be traced to a suppression of local fast relaxations (200 MHz or faster) native to the PBOCSt polymer. The reduced mobility in the thin PBOCSt films is further confirmed with moisture vapor uptake studies performed on a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM).As the film thickness drops below 500 there is a strong reduction in the diffusivity of water in the film. In total, these are the first evidences suggesting that the deviations in lithographic performance with decreasing film thickness observed with the bilayer experiments are due to changes in mobility, not reactivity, within a chemically amplified resist.
Proceedings Title
Advanced Environmental and Chemical Sensing Technology, Coference | 20th | | SPIE
No. 1
Conference Dates
February 1, 2003
Conference Title
Proceedings of SPIE--the International Society for Optical Engineering


confinement, diffusion, moisture transport, neutron scattering, photoacid mobility, thin films


Soles, C. , Jones, R. , Lenhart, J. , Prabhu, V. , Wu, W. , Lin, E. , Goldfarb, D. and Angelopoulos, M. (2003), Polymer Dynamics and Diffusive Properties in Ultra-Thin Photoresist Films, Advanced Environmental and Chemical Sensing Technology, Coference | 20th | | SPIE, [online], (Accessed May 23, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created February 1, 2003, Updated February 17, 2017