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Proceedings Paper

Behavior and effects of water penetration in 193-nm immersion lithography process materials
Author(s): Takafumi Niwa; Steven Scheer; Mike Carcasi; Masashi Enomoto; Tadatoshi Tomita; Kouichi Hontake; Hideharu Kyoda; Junichi Kitano
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Paper Abstract

The development of next-generation exposure equipment in the field of lithography is now underway as the demand increases for faster and more highly integrated semiconductor devices. At the same time, proposals are being made for lithography processes that can achieve finer pattern dimensions while using existing state-of-the-art ArF exposure equipment. Immersion exposure technology can use a high-refraction lens by filling the space between the exposed substrate and the projection lens of the exposure equipment with a liquid having a high refractive index. At present, the development of 193-nm immersion exposure technology is proceeding at a rapid pace and approaching the realm of mass production. However, the immersion of resist film in de-ionized water in 193-nm immersion exposure technology raises several concerns, the most worrisome being the penetration of moisture into the resist film, the leaching of resist components into the water, and the formation of residual moisture affecting post-processing. To mitigate the effects of directly immersing resist in de-ionized water, the adoption of a top coat is considered to be beneficial, but the possibility is high that the same concerns will rise even with a top coat. It has been reported that immersion-specific defects in 193-nm immersion exposure lithography include "slimming," "large bridge," "swell," "micro-bridge," and "line pitch expansion," while defects generated by dry lithography can be summarized as "residue," "substrate induced," "discoloration," and "pattern collapse." Nevertheless, there are still many unexplained areas on the adverse effects of water seeping into a top coat or resist. It is vitally important that the mechanisms behind this water penetration be understood to reduce the occurrence of these immersion-induced defects. In this paper, we use top coats and resist materials used in immersion lithography to analyze the penetration and diffusion of water. It is found that the water-blocking performance of protective-film materials used in immersion lithography may not be sufficient at the molecular level. We discuss the diffusion of water in a top coat and its effects.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 March 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6519, Advances in Resist Materials and Processing Technology XXIV, 651922 (22 March 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.711359
Show Author Affiliations
Takafumi Niwa, Tokyo Electron Kyushu Ltd. (Japan)
Steven Scheer, Tokyo Electron America, Inc. (United States)
Mike Carcasi, Tokyo Electron America, Inc. (United States)
Masashi Enomoto, Tokyo Electron Kyushu Ltd. (Japan)
Tadatoshi Tomita, Tokyo Electron Kyushu Ltd. (Japan)
Kouichi Hontake, Tokyo Electron Kyushu Ltd. (Japan)
Hideharu Kyoda, Tokyo Electron Kyushu Ltd. (Japan)
Junichi Kitano, Tokyo Electron Kyushu Ltd. (Japan)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6519:
Advances in Resist Materials and Processing Technology XXIV
Qinghuang Lin, Editor(s)

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