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

High resolution electron beam lithography using ZEP-520 and KRS resists at low voltage

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ZEP-520 and KRS resist systems have been evaluated as candidates for use in low voltage electron beam lithography ZEP-520 is a conventional chain scission resist which has a positive tone for over two orders of magnitude in exposure dose. KRS is a chemically amplified resist which can be easily tone reversed with a sensitivity ∼8 μC/cm2 at 1 keV. Both resist systems are shown to have sensitivities ∼1 μC/cm2 for positive tone area exposures to 1 keV electrons. A decrease in contrast in 50 nm thick resist layers is seen when exposure voltage is lowered from 2 to 1 keV, indicating nonuniform energy deposition over the resist thickness. High resolution single pass lines have been transferred into both Si and SiO2 substrates at both low and high voltages in each resist system without using multilayer resist masks. The ZEP-520 and KRS resists are shown to have resolutions of 50 and 60 nm respectively, at 1 kV, within a factor of 2 of their high voltage resolutions under identical development conditions. A cusp shaped etch profile in Si allows high aspect ratio 20 nm wide trenches to be fabricated using these resists on bulk Si. Low voltage exposures have been used to pattern gratings with periods as small as 75 and 100 nm in ZEP-520 and KRS, respectively. Low voltage exposures on SiO2 show no indications of pattern distortion due to charging or proximity effects. © 1996 American Vacuum Society.