Proceedings of SPIE 2007
Conference paper

The effect of photoresist/topcoat properties on defect formation in immersion lithography

View publication


The interaction of water with the photoresist film stack is proving to be a key factor in the current generation of 193-nm immersion lithography. Photoresist performance, CD control, optics lifetime, defectivity, overlay and possibly even tool throughput can all be affected by this interaction. Defect control has been an area of increasing concern as the source of the defects can be quite different than that found in conventional dry lithography [1]. Defects can originate from the UPW (Ultra Pure Water) either as particulates or as dissolved solids that precipitate from residual droplets left behind after scanning. Another source of defects can be particulates generated by the immersion fluid as it flows through the exposure tool or as a consequence of water contact with the resist film or resist/topcoat film stack. Recently there have been reports of printable defects due to stains or "watermarks" on the surface of the photoresist [2]. In this report we describe techniques for the visualization of watermarking and particulate formation on a variety of film surfaces. We also describe experiments testing the staining of a variety of water contaminants and additives and their effect on imaging performance. We will also describe the effect of different topcoats on imaging and defectivity in terms of their surface properties.