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31 March 2016 Quantification of the resist dissolution process: an in situ analysis using high speed atomic force microscopy
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This work focuses on the application of a high speed atomic force microscope (HS-AFM) for the in situ visualization / quantification of the resist dissolution process. This technique, as reported in the past, has provided useful pointers on the formation of resist patterns during dissolution. This paper discusses about an investigation made on the quantification of what we refer to as “dissolution unit size” or the basic units of patterning material dissolution. This was done through the establishment of an originally developed analysis method which extracts the difference between two succeeding temporal states of the material film surface (images) to indicate the amount of change occurring in the material film at a specific span of time. Preliminary experiments with actual patterning materials were done using a positive-tone EUV model resist composed only of polyhydroxystyrene (PHS)-based polymer with a molecular weight of 2,500 and a polydispersity index of 1.2. In the absence of a protecting group, the material was utilized at a 50nm film thickness with post application bake of 90°C/60s. The resulting film is soluble in the alkali-based developer even without exposure. Results have shown that the dissolution components (dissolution unit size) of the PHS-based material are not of fixed size. Instead, it was found that aside from one constantly dissolving unit size, another, much larger dissolution unit size trend also occurs during material dissolution. The presence of this larger dissolution unit size suggests an occurrence of "polymer clustering". Such polymer clustering was not significantly present during the initial stages of dissolution (near the original film surface) but becomes more persistently obvious after the dissolution process reaches a certain film thickness below the initial surface.
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Julius Joseph Santillan, Motoharu Shichiri, and Toshiro Itani "Quantification of the resist dissolution process: an in situ analysis using high speed atomic force microscopy", Proc. SPIE 9779, Advances in Patterning Materials and Processes XXXIII, 97790D (31 March 2016);

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