Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures

Conductive polyaniline: Applications in x-ray mask making

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Image-placement control with electron-beam lithography is directly influenced by charging effects during exposure. One of the primary charging sources is the buildup of electrons in the nonconductive resist film. We have evaluated the use of a conductive-polyaniline film as a topcoat over the resist during exposure. Critical parameters including image-size variation, image placement, and defect density were compared for masks with and without the conductive-polyaniline topcoat. It was found that the performance is dependent on the resist exposure dose. For a low-sensitivity resist (i.e., a resist requiring high exposure dose), significant improvements for image size and image placement can be achieved with the implementation of a conductive topcoat. For a high-sensitivity resist (i.e., a resist requiring low exposure dose) with single-pass writing, preliminary results show that charging is currently not the primary driver of image-placement errors. © 1997 American Vacuum Society.