SPIE Advanced Lithography 2006
Conference paper

Investigation of the current resolution limits of advanced extreme ultraviolet (EUV) resists

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The past two years has brought tremendous improvements in the crucial area of resists for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. Nested and isolated line resolutions approaching 30 nm and 25 nm, respectively, have been demonstrated. These advances have been enabled, in large part, by the high-numerical (0.3) EUV imaging capabilities provided by the Berkeley microfield exposure tool (MET). Here we investigate the resolution limits in several advanced EUV resists using the Berkeley MET. Comparisons to aerial-image performance and the use of resolution-enhancing illumination conditions are used to establish the fact that the observed pattern resolution in the best chemically-amplified resists available today are indeed resist limited. Moreover, contrast transfer function (CTF) techniques are used to directly compare various advanced resists. Strong correlation is observed between relative CTF performance and observed resolution limits.