Microlithography 2004
Conference paper

Rinse additives for defect suppression in 193 nm and 248 nm lithography

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Satellite spot defects are a class of defects widely observed in photoresist processing in 248 nm and 193 nm lithography. These defects become more and more significant as the feature sizes shrink and can potentially become "killer" defects, leading to bridging between lines and/or blocking vias. Traditional potential solutions (i.e., optimization of development rinse step) have yielded improvements in the past but did not eliminate the problem. The use of water-soluble topcoat layers was shown to eliminate these defects but it imposes limitations on throughput and cost and it is incompatible with 157 nm lithography and 193 nm immersion schemes. In this work, we report the use of aqueous surfactant solutions for the suppression of defects in 248 nm and 193nm lithography, with emphasis on satellite spot defects. Suppression of total defects by up to ∼99% and practically complete elimination of satellite spot defects were achieved by use of aqueous surfactant solutions for various resists. A handful of materials that can be incorporated into rinse solution for the successful elimination of blob defects in a variety of resists were identified. It was determined that the two most important factors that enable successful defect elimination are the surfactant concentration and the extent of surfactant adsorption to specific resist systems.