Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering

Use of KRS-XE positive chemically amplified resist for optical mask manufacturing

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The traditional mask making process uses chain scission-type resists such as PBS, poly(butene-1-sulfone), and ZEP, poly(methyl α-chloroacrylate-co-α-methylstyrene) for making masks with dimensions greater than 180nm. PBS resist requires a wet etch process to produce patterns in chrome. ZEP was employed for dry etch processing to meet the requirements of shrinking dimensions, optical proximity corrections and phase shift masks. However, ZEP offers low contrast, marginal etch resistance, organic solvent development, and concerns regarding resist heating with its high dose requirements. Chemically Amplified Resist (CAR) systems are a very good choice for dimensions less than 180nm because of their high sensitivity and contrast, high resolution, dry etch resistance, aqueous development, and process latitude. KRS-XE was developed as a high contrast CA resist based on ketal protecting groups that eliminate the need for post exposure bake (PEB). This resist can be used for a variety of electron beam exposures, and improves the capability to fabricate masks for devices smaller than 180 nm. Many factors influence the performance of resists in mask making such as post apply bake, exposure dose, resist develop, and post exposure bake. These items will be discussed as well as the use of reactive ion etching (RIE) selectivity and pattern transfer.