Major challenges associated with 193 nm lithography using an ArF photoresist are low plasma resistance and roughness formation in the ArF photoresist during plasma processes. We have previously found decisive factors affecting the plasma resistance and roughness formation in an ArF photoresist: plasma resistance is determined by UV/VUV radiation, and roughness formation is dominated by chemical reactions. In this study, based on our findings on the interaction between plasma radiation species and ArF photoresist polymers, we proposed an ArF photoresist with a chemical reaction inhibitor, which can trap reactive species from the plasma, and characterized the performances of the resultant ArF photoresist through neutral beam experiments. Hindered amine light stabilizers, i.e. 4-hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-1-piperidinyloxy (HO-TEMPO), were used as the chemical reaction inhibitor. Etching rates of the ArF photoresist films were not dependent on the HO-TEMPO content in the irradiations without chemical reactions or under UV/VUV radiation. However, in the irradiation with chemical reactions, the etching rates of the ArF photoresist films decreased as the HO-TEMPO content increased. In addition, the surface roughness decreased with the increase in the additive amount of chemical reaction inhibitor. According to FTIR analysis, a chemical reaction inhibitor can inhibit the chemical reactions in ArF photoresist films through plasma radicals. These results indicate that a chemical reaction inhibitor is effective against chemical reactions, resulting in improved plasma resistance and less roughness in an ArF photoresist. These results also support our suggested mechanism of plasma resistance and roughness formation in an ArF photoresist.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films