Focused ion beams (FIB) have been widely used as a patterning lithography technique for advanced ICs and optical masks fabrication. FIB lithography has certain advantages over the direct-write electron beam lithography in terms of resist sensitivity, backscattering and proximity effects. However, combining the FIB exposure with both Top Surface Imaging (TSI) and dry etching will further extend its advantages towards anisotropic processing of thicker resist layers in comparison to those used by the conventional lithography processes. The newly developed NERIME (Negative Resist Image by Dry Etching) process combines these advantages by the incorporation of focused Ga+ ion beam (Ga+ FIB) exposure, near UV exposure, silylation and dry etching. The work described here follows our investigations into the NERIME process for nanostructure applications and outlines a simplified (two-step) process incorporating FIB exposure and oxygen dry development. The two-step modified NERIME process is a negative working TSI system for DNQ/novolak based resists. Results show that Ga+ ion beam dose higher than 800μC/cm2 at 30keV can modify the exposed resist areas as to withstand the subsequent oxygen plasma etching, thus giving formation of negative resist image. In this study, nanometer resist patterns as small as 30nm with high aspect ratio of up to 15 were successfully resolved due to the high resolution ion beam exposure and anisotropic dry development. The proposed two-step lithography scheme could be utilized for the fabrication of critical CMOS process steps, such as sub-100nm gate formations and lithography over substantial topography.
Top Surface Imaging (TSI) is a well-established technique used to improve resolution for optical, ultraviolet and electron-beam lithography. The Positive Resist Image by Dry Etching (PRIME) is an advanced lithographic process incorporating electron beam exposure, near UV flood exposure, silylation and dry development. In this paper, the liquid-phase silylation process step in PRIME with Shipley SPR500A-series resists has been experimentally investigated as the most critical part of the process. FT-IR spectroscopy, UV spectroscopy, SIM spectrometry and cross-sectional SEM and TEM were used to characterise the silylation process. Electron-beam exposure with dose in the range of 25-100μC/cm2 at 30KeV was used to crosslinks the resist. Results show that an e-beam dose of 50µC/cm2 was sufficient to prevent silylation in the crosslinked areas. Two bifunctional silylating agents, the cyclic Hexamethylcyclotrisilazane (HMCTS) and the linear Bis[Dimethylamino] dimethylsilane (B[DMA]DMS), were examined and found that they silylate SPR505A much more efficiently than the previously reported Hexamethylcyclotrisiloxane (HMCTSx). The silylation contrast of the PRIME process using HMCTS silylating agent and SPR505A resist was found to be 11:1. The obtained silylated profiles of 1mm lines/spaces gratings for Shipley SPR510A resist have almost vertical sidewalls resulting in very high contrast between the silylated and unsilylated parts of the resist.
In this work, the authors explore the application of tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) developer chemical as a staining agent to enhance the top-down contrast of a silylated pattern to optical detection. When examining a silylated latent image top-down, the topographical differences generated due to the swelling of the silylated region are relied upon to identify pattern details. However, for lower exposure energy or shorter silylation times, there may not be sufficient silicon incorporation to allow clear identification of specific structures for cleaving. The authors have used the TMAH staining technique proposed by La Tulipe et al. to enhance the relief top-down, thereby facilitating analysis of even mildly silylated samples. Results will be presented illustrating the contrast enhancement after staining. Cross-sections of film profiles after aqueous silylation of an I-line photoresist with a solution of hexamethylcyclotrisilazane will also be generated.
Focused Ion beam (FIB) lithography has significant advantages over the electron beam counterpart in terms of resist sensitivity, backscattering and proximity effects. However, combining the FIB lithography with Top Surface Imaging (TSI) will extend its advantages by allowing anisotropic processing of thicker resist layers. This paper reports the development of novel single layer lithography process by combining focused Ga+ ion beam (Ga+ FIB) lithography, silylation and oxygen dry etching. The Negative Resist Image by Dry Etching (NERIME) is a TSI scheme for DNQ/novolak based resists and can result in either positive or negative resist images depending on the extent of the ion beam exposure dose. Results show that Ga+ ion beam dose in the range of 1μC/cm2 to 50μC/cm2 at 30keV can successfully prevent silylation of the resist, thus resulting in the formation of positive image after the dry etching. A negative image can be formed by using a second Ga+ ion beam exposure with a dose higher than 900 μC/cm2 at 30keV to pattern lines into the original exposed resist area. It was observed that resist regions exposed to such high doses can effectively withstand oxygen dry development, thus giving formation of negative resist image. In this study, nanometer resist patterns with high aspect ratio up to 15 were successfully resolved due to the ion beam exposure and anisotropic dry development. This novel TSI scheme for ion beam lithography could be utilized for the fabrication of critical CMOS process steps, such as deep isolation trench formation and lithography over substantial topography.
Proc. SPIE. 4690, Advances in Resist Technology and Processing XIX
KEYWORDS: Lithography, FT-IR spectroscopy, Spectroscopy, Ultraviolet radiation, Silicon, Diffusion, Scanning electron microscopy, Absorbance, Photoresist processing, Picture Archiving and Communication System
Top Surface Imaging (TSI) is a well-established technique to improve resolution for optical, ultraviolet (UV) and e-beam lithography. The Positive Resist Image by Dry Etching (PRIME) process is a high resolution single layer lithography system incorporating electron beam exposure, silylation and dry development. In this paper, modeling of nanostructures down to 30nm using PRIME with 0.5micrometers thick Shipley SPR505A resist are presented. The simulated profiles have been found to correlate closely with the published experimental data. Moreover, the liquid-phase silylation process step in PRIME has been experimentally characterised using FT-IR spectroscopy, UV spectroscopy, SIM spectrometry as well as cross-sectional SEM and TEM. The impact of different silylating agents on SPR505A is presented for both the UV exposed and e-beam crosslinked regions of the resist. Results show that an e-beam dose of 50(mu) C/cm2 at 30KeV is sufficient to crosslink the resist and prevent silylation. The silylation contrast using Hexamethylcyclotrisilazane (HMCTS) was found to be the highest (11:1) in comparison with other two silylating agents. It was found that the silicon incorporation in SPR505A resist follows Case II diffusion mechanisms.