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30 December 1999 Characterization of a non-chemically amplified resist for photomask fabrication using a 257-nm optical pattern generator
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I-line optical pattern generators using non-chemically amplified resists have become the workhorses for high throughput mask fabrication. The demand for smaller and more uniform features on photomasks has driven the development of a 257 nm optical pattern generator. A non-chemically amplified resist is being developed to maximize the performance of this new 257 nm mask tool. Resist characterization and lithography simulation are being used to formulate a non-chemically amplified resist for 257 nm optical pattern generators. Non- chemically amplified resists are advantageous for us in mask fabrication due to their storage and post-exposure stability. Chemically amplified resists may provide higher performance but they also require environmental mini-environments and a post-exposure bake equipment not commonly present in mask houses. Diazonaphthoquinone (DNQ)/novolak resists have not been used for DUV Integrated Circuit (IC) applications mainly due to the low sensitivity and the strong absorbance of the DNQ photoactive compound (PAC) at 248 nm. However, a 2,1,4 DNQ based resist has been characterized that bleaches at 257 nm and inhibits novolak. The photoproduct of the 2,1,4 DNQ PAC is much more transparent at 257 nm than 248 nm. Novolak resin is too strongly absorbing for use in formulating efficient 248 nm resists, but novolak has an absorbance minimum at 257 nm that provides transparency similar to poly (hydroxystyrene). Lithography simulation is being used to develop a non- chemically amplified resist to minimize the expensive iteration of manufacturing trials. An exposure system using a 257 nm frequency double Ar laser system has been constructed to study the resist photokinetics. Dill exposure parameters (A, B and C) have been extracted for a 2,1,4 DNQ/novolak based resist. Dissolution rate measurements have been made with a DRM developed at the University of Texas at Austin. Simulation is used to determine the optimal resist absorption, bleaching, dose and dissolution properties to maximize resolution. It is possible to formulate a high performance resist for 257 nm if care is taken in optimization of the formulation.
© (1999) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Benjamen M. Rathsack, Cyrus Emil Tabery, Timothy B. Stachowiak, Tim E. Dallas, Cheng-Bai Xu, Mike Pochkowski, and C. Grant Willson "Characterization of a non-chemically amplified resist for photomask fabrication using a 257-nm optical pattern generator", Proc. SPIE 3873, 19th Annual Symposium on Photomask Technology, (30 December 1999);

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