Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Exposing the sensitivity of extreme ultraviolet photoresists

01.07.2008
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have confirmed that the photoresists used in next-generation semiconductor manufacturing processes now under development are twice as sensitive as previously believed.

This finding, announced at a workshop last month,* has attracted considerable interest because of its implications for future manufacturing. If the photoresists are twice as sensitive as previously thought, then they are close to having the sensitivity required for high volume manufacturing, but the flip side is that the extreme ultraviolet optical systems in the demonstration tools currently being used are only about half as effective as believed.

Extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) is a process analogous to film photography. A silicon wafer is coated with photoresist and exposed to EUV light that reflects off a patterned "photomask." Where the light strikes the resist it changes the solubility of the coating. When developed, the soluble portions wash away leaving the same pattern exposed on the silicon surface for the processing steps that ultimately create microcircuits.

The drive to make circuits with ever smaller features has pushed manufacturers to use shorter and shorter wavelengths of light. EUVL is the next step in this progression and requires developing both suitable light sources and photoresists that can retain the fine details of the circuit, balancing sensitivity, line edge roughness and spatial resolution. NIST researcher Steve Grantham says that optical lithography light sources in use today emit light with a wavelength of about 193 nanometers, which borders on optical wavelengths. EUVL sources produce light with wavelengths about an order of magnitude smaller, around 13.5 nanometers. Because this light does not travel through anything—including lenses—mirrors have to be used to focus it.

Until recently, EUV photoresist sensitivity was referenced to a measurement technique developed at Sandia National Labs in the 1990s. Late in 2007, scientists at the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., used a NIST-calibrated photodetector to check the standard. Their detector-based measurements indicated that the resist's sensitivity was about twice that of the resist-based calibration standard.

Following on the intense interest that these results generated when the Berkeley group presented them at a conference in February, the Intel Corporation asked scientists at NIST to make their own independent determination of the EUVL resist sensitivity to validate the results. Measurements conducted at the NIST SURF III Synchrotron Ultraviolet Radiation Facility agreed with those of the Berkeley group. The fact that the photoresist is now known to be twice as sensitive to the EUV light implies that half as much light energy as had been expected is arriving at the wafer.

"These results are significant for a technology that faces many challenges before it is slated to become a high-volume manufacturing process in 2012," Grantham says. "It should open the eyes of the industry to the need for accurate dose metrology and the use of traceable standards in their evaluations of source and lithography tool performance."

Mark Esser | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nist.gov

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht The taming of the light screw
22.03.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Struktur und Dynamik der Materie

nachricht Magnetic micro-boats
21.03.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The taming of the light screw

DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.

The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...

Im Focus: Magnetic micro-boats

Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.

The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...

Im Focus: Self-healing coating made of corn starch makes small scratches disappear through heat

Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.

Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...

Im Focus: Stellar cartography

The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.

A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...

Im Focus: Heading towards a tsunami of light

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Modelica Conference with 330 visitors from 21 countries at OTH Regensburg

11.03.2019 | Event News

Selection Completed: 580 Young Scientists from 88 Countries at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

01.03.2019 | Event News

LightMAT 2019 – 3rd International Conference on Light Materials – Science and Technology

28.02.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack

22.03.2019 | Life Sciences

Open source software helps researchers extract key insights from huge sensor datasets

22.03.2019 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>