SPIE Advanced Lithography 2007
Conference paper

Building an immersion top coat from the ground up - Materials perspective

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Over a period of last several years 193 nm immersion lithography from a remote and unlikely possibility gradually became a reality in many fabrication facilities across the globe and solid candidate for high volume manufacturing for the next generation technology node. It is being widely understood in the industry that top-coatless resist approach is a desirable final stage of the immersion process development. However creating low-defect high performance top-coatless resist materials requires understanding of the fundamental material properties of the top layer, responsible for leaching suppression, immersion fluid meniscus stability, and in this way enabling high speed low-defect scanning. While a lot of progress has been made in implementing specific top coat materials into the process flow, clear understanding effects of the top coat properties on the lithographic conditions and printing capability is still lacking. This paper will discuss top coat materials design, properties and functional characteristics in application to novel fluoroalcohol polymer-based immersion top coat. We have used our fluoroalcohol based-series designs (titled MVP top coat materials further on in the paper) as a test vehicle for establishing correlations between top coat performance and its physical and chemical properties including hydrophobicity, molecular weight/dispersity etc. Effects of polymer-solvent interactions on the contact angle and characteristics of the top coat material are explored, providing valuable understanding transferable to design of new generation top coats and top-coatless materials. Our resultant new designs demonstrated excellent lithographic performance, profiles and low leaching levels with commercially available resist and high receding contact angles, comparable to the commercial top coat materials.