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Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS

Simulation and design of planarizing materials for reverse-tone step and flash imprint lithography
Author(s): Michael W. Lin; Brook H. Chao; Jianjun Hao; Kyle Osberg; Paul S. Ho; C. Grant Willson
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Paper Abstract

Reverse-tone step and flash imprint lithography (SFIL-R) shows promise as a cost-efficient, high-resolution patterning technique; however, the generation of satisfactory patterns requires the successful application of a planarizing topcoat over topography through spincoating. Photopolymerizable nonvolatile fluids are ideal topcoat materials because they planarize better than volatile fluids during spincoating and can continue to level after spincoating. Fluid mechanics analyses indicate that complete planarization using capillary force is slow. Therefore, defining the acceptable or critical degree of planarization (DOPcrit) becomes necessary. Finite difference simulation of the spincoat and postspin leveling processes was used to determine the planarization time for various topographic and material property combinations. A new material, Si-14, was designed to have ideal planarization characteristics (low viscosity—15.1 cP; low shrinkage—5.1%) and satisfy SFIL-R processing requirements (oxygen etch resistance—33 wt% silicon, photocurable) and was used to validate our models through profilometry and interferometry experiments. During spincoating, minimizing the spin speed generates more planar films; however, this increases the spin time. To rectify this problem, a two-stage spincoating process—a first step with high spin speeds to achieve the target thickness quickly and a second step with low spin speeds to improve planarization—was proposed and experimentally demonstrated.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 April 2008
PDF: 19 pages
J. Micro/Nanolith. 7(2) 023008 doi: 10.1117/1.2896047
Published in: Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS Volume 7, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Michael W. Lin, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Brook H. Chao, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Jianjun Hao, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Kyle Osberg, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Paul S. Ho, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
C. Grant Willson, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)


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