SPIE Advanced Lithography 2018
Conference paper

Introduction of pre-etch deposition techniques in EUV patterning

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The thin nature of EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) resist has posed significant challenges for etch processes. In particular, EUV patterning combined with conventional etch approaches suffers from loss of pattern fidelity in the form of line breaks. A typical conventional etch approach prevents the etch process from having sufficient resist margin to control the trench CD (Critical Dimension), minimize the LWR (Line Width Roughness), LER (Line Edge Roughness) and reduce the T2T (Tip-to-Tip). Pre-etch deposition increases the resist budget by adding additional material to the resist layer, thus enabling the etch process to explore a wider set of process parameters to achieve better pattern fidelity. Preliminary tests with pre-etch deposition resulted in blocked isolated trenches. In order to mitigate these effects, a cyclic deposition and etch technique is proposed. With optimization of deposition and etch cycle time as well as total number of cycles, it is possible to open the underlying layers with a beneficial over etch and simultaneously keep the isolated trenches open. This study compares the impact of no pre-etch deposition, one time deposition and cyclic deposition/etch techniques on 4 aspects: resist budget, isolated trench open, LWR/LER and T2T.