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Proceedings Paper

Acid diffusion, standing waves, and information theory: a molecular-scale model of chemically amplified resist
Author(s): Peter Trefonas; Mary Tedd Allen
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Paper Abstract

Shannon's information theory is adapted to analyze the photolithographic process, defining the mask pattern as the prior state. Definitions and constraints to the general theory are developed so that the information content at various stages of the lithographic process can be described. Its application is illustrated by exploring the information content within projected aerial images and resultant latent images. Next, a 3-dimensional molecular scale model of exposure, acid diffusion, and catalytic crosslinking in acid-hardened resists (AHR) is presented. In this model, initial positions of photogenerated acids are determined by probability functions generated from the aerial images and the local light intensity in the film. In order to simulate post-exposure baking processes, acids are diffused in a random walk manner, for which the catalytic chain length and the average distance between crosslinks can be set. Crosslink locations are defined in terms of the topologically minimized number required to link different chains. The size and location of polymer chains involved in a larger scale crosslinked network is established and related to polymer solubility. In this manner, the nature of the crosslinked latent image can be established. Good correlation with experimental data is found for the calculated percent insolubilization as a function of dose when the rms acid diffusion length is about 500 angstroms. Information analysis is applied in detail to the specific example of AHR chemistry. The information contained within the 3-D crosslinked latent image is explored as a function of exposure dose, catalytic chain length, average distance between crosslinks. Eopt (the exposure dose which optimizes the information contained within the latent image) was found to vary with catalytic chain length in a manner similar to that observed experimentally in a plot of E90 versus post-exposure bake time. Surprisingly, the information content of the crosslinked latent image remains high even when rms diffusion lengths are as long as 1500 angstroms. The information content of a standing wave is shown to decrease with increasing diffusion length, with essentially all standing wave information being lost at diffusion lengths greater than 450 angstroms. A unique mechanism for self-contrast enhancement and high resolution in AHR resist is proposed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 1992
PDF: 20 pages
Proc. SPIE 1672, Advances in Resist Technology and Processing IX, (1 June 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.59728
Show Author Affiliations
Peter Trefonas, Shipley Co. Inc. (United States)
Mary Tedd Allen, Shipley Co. Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1672:
Advances in Resist Technology and Processing IX
Anthony E. Novembre, Editor(s)

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