PVD prepared molecular glass resists for scanning probe lithography
In the presented work solvent-free film preparation from molecular glass resists, the evaluation of the patterning performance using thermal scanning probe lithography (tSPL) and an efficient etch transfer process are demonstrated. As the presented materials have a high tendency to crystallize and thus form crystalline films of bad quality when processed by solution casting, two component mixtures prepared by coevaporation were investigated. Stable amorphous films were obtained by selecting compatible material pairs for the coevaporation. One optimized material pair is based on trissubstituted, twisted resist materials with a distinct difference in molecular design. Here a high resolution tSPL prepared pattern of 18 nm half pitch in a 10 nm thick film is demonstrated. A further optimization is reported for "small" cubic silsequioxane molecules. Again single component films show independent to applied film preparation techniques bad film forming properties due to the high crystallinity of the symmetric cubic silsequioxane molecules. But coevaporation of the phenyl substituted octaphenylsilsequioxane combined with the fully aromatic 2,2',7,7'-tetraphenyl-9,9'-spirobi[fluorene] results in stable amorphous thin films. tSPL investigations demonstrate the patternability by writing high resolution line features of 20 nm half pitch. An important advantage of such a silicon rich resist material is that it can be directly converted to SiO2, yielding to a patterned hardmask of SiO2. This proof of principle is demonstrated and an efficient pattern transfer of 60 nm half pitch line into the underlying HM8006 is reported.