Microlithography 2003
Conference paper

X-ray absorption spectroscopy to probe interfacial issues in photolithography

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We utilize near edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (NEXAFS) to provide detailed chemical insight into two interfacial problems facing sub-100 nm patterning. First, chemically amplified photo-resists are sensitive to surface phenomenon, which causes deviations in the pattern profile near the interface. Striking examples include T-topping, closure, footing, and undercutting. NEXAFS was used to examine surface segregation of a photo-acid generator at the resist/air interface and to illustrate that the surface extent of deprotection in a model resist film can be different than the bulk extent of deprotection. Second, line edge roughness becomes increasingly critical with shrinking patterns, and may be intimately related to the line edge deprotection profile. A NEXAFS technique to surface depth profile for compositional gradients is described with the potential to provide chemical information about the resist line edge.