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Proceedings Paper

Comparison of acid-generating efficiencies in 248 and 193-nm photoresists
Author(s): James F. Cameron; Nicholas Chan; Kathryn Moore; Gerd Pohlers
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Paper Abstract

Photoacid generation is a critical step in the application of chemically amplified (CA) resist technology. During the key exposure step, a catalytic amount of a strong Bronsted acid is released within these resists. The photoacid is subsequently used in a post-exposure bake step to catalytically react with the resist polymer. In the case of a positive tone resist, an acid sensitive polymer is deprotected to render the exposed areas soluble in dilute aqueous base thereby allowing for pattern development. As the semicondutor industry beings to focus on developing 193 nm photoresists for production, it si important to identify and understand differences between prototype 193nm CA resists and current state of the art 248nm production worth photoresists. The major difference between 193 and 248 nm photoresists is the exposure wavelength, which isr educed to achieve higher resolution based on the Rayleigh equation. However, this change in wavelength has several ramifications: Firstly, the tried, tested and true phenolic polymers used in DUV resists are too absorbent to be used fo 193nm application and had to be replaced by low absorbing, non-aromatic systems. Second, since even these new platforms are still more absorbing at 193 nm than the phenolic matrices are at 248nm, the PAG loading had to be lowered significantly in order to keep the overall absorbance of the resist down. This paper descibes the results of our systematic studies on understanding the reasons for observed differences in photoacid generating efficincy between 193 and 248nm chemically amplified resist systems. First the wavelength effect is studied by comparing the relative acid generating efficiency of onium type PAGs in a prototype 193nm and a DUV photoresist at both 193 nm and 248 nm exposure. Second, the photoacid generating efficiency for these PAGs at 238 nm is compared in both phenolic and non-phenolic based photoresists to probe resist polymer matrix effects. Third, these experiments were repeated while varying the PAG loading in order to probe whether there is an effect of PAG loading on acid generation efficiency. Lastly, by performing all of these studies on two different onium PAG classes (iodonium and sulfonium slats), the impact of the PAG chromophore on acid generation efficiency in both sensitized and unsensitized environments was probed. In all these studies, the C-parameter method is used to determine the quantum yield of photoacid generation. First the exposure wavelength was found to play a significant role in determining the acid generation efficiency of both PAGs, namely efficiency significantly decreases when switching exposure wavelength from 248 to 193nm. Second, it was also found that the change in the resist matrix polymer has a profound impact on the manner in which acid is generated: the phenolic matrix enables sensitized acid generation via electron transfer from the matrix to the PAG, whereas in the acrylate polymer only direct acid generation is observed. Due to the different oxidation potential of iodonium and sulfonium PAGs, the matrix effect impacts the photoacid generation efficiency of the two PAGs very differently. This is apparent in the observed change when going form the phenolic to the methacrylate matrix. Lastly, the presence of the sensitized channel is also responsible for the observed impact of PAG loading in the phenolic polymer, which is largely absent in the acrylate matrix.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 August 2001
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 4345, Advances in Resist Technology and Processing XVIII, (24 August 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.436838
Show Author Affiliations
James F. Cameron, Shipley Co. Inc. (United States)
Nicholas Chan, Shipley Co. Inc. (United States)
Kathryn Moore, Shipley Co. Inc. (United States)
Gerd Pohlers, Shipley Co. Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4345:
Advances in Resist Technology and Processing XVIII
Francis M. Houlihan, Editor(s)

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