We report on the linewidth fluctuations in resist patterns and their influence on etched patterns. The linewidth fluctuations observed as line edge roughness are mainly caused by polymer aggregates in the resist materials. Polymer aggregates more than 30 nm in diameter are observed in both the positive and negative resist films. Because the polymer aggregates are not dissolved but extracted during development, they remain stuck on the pattern sidewall and cause linewidth fluctuations. When substrates, such as Si, are etched using resist patterns as a mask, the linewidth fluctuations of the resist patterns are faithfully transferred to the substrate. This means that the linewidth fluctuations in device patterns are originally due to the polymer aggregates in the resist films. The linewidth fluctuation is also found to decrease through substrate etching, depending on resist thickness loss. This possibly results from degradation of the resist patterns in lateral directions through etching. However, it does not provide a sufficient decrease in linewidth fluctuations because the large thickness loss of the resist during etching results in critical dimension loss. Therefore, the reduction of the effect of the aggregate size, for example, by using the resist with small aggregates, such as hydrogen silsesquioxane, is necessary.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering