SPIE Advanced Lithography 2017
Conference paper

Development of TiO2 containing hardmasks through PEALD deposition

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With the increasing prevalence of complex device integration schemes, tri layer patterning with a solvent strippable hardmask can have a variety of applications. Spin-on metal hardmasks have been the key enabler for selective removal through wet strip when active areas need to be protected from dry etch damage. As spin-on metal hardmasks require a dedicated track to prevent metal contamination, and are limited in their ability to scale down thickness without comprising on defectivity, there has been a need for a deposited hardmask solution. Modulation of film composition through deposition conditions enables a method to create TiO2 films with wet etch tunability. This paper presents a systematic study on development and characterization of PEALD deposited TiO2-based hardmasks for patterning applications. We demonstrate lithographic process window, pattern profile, and defectivity evaluation for a tri layer scheme patterned with PEALD based TiO2 hardmask and its performance under dry and wet strip conditions. Comparable structural and electrical performance is shown for a deposited vs a spin-on metal hardmask.