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7 July 1997 Acid evaporation property in chemically amplified resists
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The lithographic performance of a chemically amplified resist system very much depends on the photo-generated acid structure. In a previous paper, we reported the molecular structure dependence of two typical photo-generated acids (aromatic sulfonic acid and alkyl sulfonic acid) from the viewpoints of lithographic performance and acid characteristics such as acid generation efficiency, acid diffusion behavior and acid evaporation property. In this paper, we evaluate the effect of the remaining solvent in a resist film on the acid evaporation property. Four types of two-component chemically amplified positive KrF resists were prepared consisting of tert-butoxycarbonyl (t-BOC) protected polyhydroxystyrene and sulfonic acid derivative photo-acid generator (PAG). Here, a different combination of two types of PAGs [2,4-dimethylbenzenesulfonic acid (aromatic sulfonic acid) derivative PAG and cyclohexanesulfonic acid (alkyl sulfonic acid) derivative PAG] and two types of solvents (propylene glycol monomethyl ether acetate; PGMEA and ethyl lactate; EL) were evaluated. The aromatic sulfonic acid was able to evaporate easily during post exposure bake (PEB) treatment, but the alkyl sulfonic acid was not. The higher evaporation property of aromatic sulfonic acid might be due to the higher vapor pressure and the longer acid diffusion length. Furthermore, the amount of aromatic sulfonic acid in the PGMEA resist was reduced by more than that in the EL resist. The amount of acid loss also became smaller at a higher prebake temperature. The concentration of the remaining solvent in the resist film decreased with the increasing prebake temperature. We think that the acid evaporation property was affected by the remaining solvent in the resist, film; the large amount of remaining solvent promoted the acid diffusion and eventually accelerated the acid evaporation from the resist film surface in the PGMEA resist. In summary, the acid evaporation property depends on both the acid structure and the remaining solvent in the resist film. These results can be applied to other chemically amplified resist systems to suppress the T-topping profile and achieve a superior resist performance.
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Shuichi Hashimoto, Toshiro Itani, Hiroshi Yoshino, Mitsuharu Yamana, Norihiko Samoto, and Kunihiko Kasama "Acid evaporation property in chemically amplified resists", Proc. SPIE 3049, Advances in Resist Technology and Processing XIV, (7 July 1997);

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