SPIE Advanced Lithography 2013
Conference paper

Monitoring the evolution of Line Edge Roughness during resist development using an analog of quenched flow kinetics

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Line Edge Roughness (LER) continues to be a serious problem for high resolution 193 nm (ArF), E-beam and EUV resists despite years of research. Changes to the resist formulations, the use of low molecular weight (MW) materials, such as molecular glass resists, and special developers have all been used in attempts to minimize LER. In addition, much recent work has focused on post development processes such as rinses, special coatings and thermal treatments to reduce roughness. However there remains a lack of understanding of the origins of LER. Recently researchers have described interesting results based on the use of in situ high speed AFM to characterize LER during development. In this report we describe a complementary technique wherein the evolution of the roughness of the resist line is measured at different times during the development process. This is accomplished by using a specially designed flow cell to control the developer contact time for a series of identically patterned fields and measuring the partially developed patterns with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). We will describe the results for different resist chemistries at 248 nm (KrF). In one aspect of this study, we examine resists that have been patterned at different aerial image contrast (AIC) to systematically probe its effect on LER for a given resist. We intend to extend this work to different exposure systems including 193 nm, EUV and electron-beam.