Journal of Chemical Physics

Fundamental understanding of chemical processes in extreme ultraviolet resist materials

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New photoresists are needed to advance extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. The tailored design of efficient photoresists is enabled by a fundamental understanding of EUV induced chemistry. Processes that occur in the resist film after absorption of an EUV photon are discussed, and a new approach to study these processes on a fundamental level is described. The processes of photoabsorption, electron emission, and molecular fragmentation were studied experimentally in the gas-phase on analogs of the monomer units employed in chemically amplified EUV resists. To demonstrate the dependence of the EUV absorption cross section on selective light harvesting substituents, halogenated methylphenols were characterized employing the following techniques. Photoelectron spectroscopy was utilized to investigate kinetic energies and yield of electrons emitted by a molecule. The emission of Auger electrons was detected following photoionization in the case of iodo-methylphenol. Mass-spectrometry was used to deduce the molecular fragmentation pathways following electron emission and atomic relaxation. To gain insight on the interaction of emitted electrons with neutral molecules in a condensed film, the fragmentation pattern of neutral gas-phase molecules, interacting with an electron beam, was studied and observed to be similar to EUV photon fragmentation. Below the ionization threshold, electrons were confirmed to dissociate iodo-methylphenol by resonant electron attachment.