SPIE Photomask Technology + EUV Lithography 2012
Conference paper

Conductive layer for charge dissipation during electron-beam exposures

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Electron beam resists develop a surface potential during exposure that can lead to image placement errors of up to several nanometers [1] and cause poor CD uniformity and image quality. To address this problem, we have formulated a conductive polymer that can be coated onto the resist. Our conductive discharge layer (CDL) is water-soluble and it is easily removed during subsequent processing steps. We have established that our material has low enough resistance for full charge dissipation during e-beam exposure and have carried out extensive tests to evaluate the impact of the layer on lithographic performance. We will report these findings, which include measurements of the effect of the CDL application on resist resolution, contrast, speed, and roughness on both wafer and on mask.