Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering

When is bilayer thin-film imaging suitable: Comparison with single layer resists

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Silicon-containing bilayer thin-film imaging resists versus single layer resists for a variety of different mask types, from both a focus-expose window, etch selectivity, and process integration perspective are examined. Comparable lithographic performance is found for 248 nm single layer and bilayer resists for several mask levels including: a 135 nm dense contact/deep trench mask level, a 150 and 125 nm equal tine space mask printed over trench topography, and dual damascene mask levels with both vias and line levels. The bilayer scheme is shown to significantly relax the dielectric to resist etch selectivity constraint for the case of a dense contact or trench hardmask level, where high aspect ratio dielectric features are required. Only a bilayer resist scheme in combination with a transfer etch process enables the line/space pattern transfer from the imaging layer to the bottom of a trench with a combined aspect ratio > 10. When the single layer resist depth of focus window is limited by both the topography and variations in the underlying dielectric stack thickness, as is the case for the dual damascene via and line levels, bilayer resist is shown to be a practical alternative © 2001 SPIE · 0277-786X/01/$15.00.