Microlithography 2005
Conference paper

Studies of acid diffusion in low Ea chemically amplified photoresists

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Critical lithographic dimensions will soon place particularly severe demands on the performance of chemically amplified (CA) resists. Although Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) and 193 nm (immersion interferometric) lithographic results have demonstrated half pitch imaging down to 35 nm there is nonetheless a concern that image blur due to acid diffusion will begin to seriously impact the utility of CA photoresists. Previously we demonstrated that low activation energy resists and E- Beam lithography can be used to print line/space arrays with resolution approaching 20 nm. 1 We described the factors impacting the reactivity of ketal/pHOST based resists and compared the attainable resolution under different processing conditions. In this report we describe studies on acid diffusion emphasizing the role of water in low Ea systems. We also discuss methods for the control of water absorption in low Ea resists.