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Are Surfaces Of Silicon Hardmasks Adaptive?

Knowing the adaptive capability of Si-HM materials will greatly facilitate the development of better underlayer materials for improved lithography.

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Silicon hardmask (Si-HM) materials used in lithography processes play a critical role in transferring patterns to desired substrates. In addition, these materials allow for the tuning of optical properties such as reflectivity and optical distribution for better lithography. Si-HM materials also need to possess good compatibility with photoresists before and after optical exposure, during which the photoresist in the exposed area may change polarity. Therefore, Si-HM materials may benefit from adaptive or amphiphilic capabilities to keep both exposed and unexposed photoresist compatible with the substrate. In this work, we will demonstrate that Si-HM surfaces may be adaptive or amphiphilic through both experiments and computer simulation. Specifically, we will demonstrate that the functional groups (polar and nonpolar) at the Si-HM surface may be switchable, and the surface will be dictated by the environment to which the Si-HM is exposed. Knowing the adaptive capability of Si-HM materials will greatly facilitate the development of better underlayer materials for improved lithography.

Authors: (all affiliated with Brewer Science, Inc. (United States) Xianggui (Shawn) Ye, Joyce Lowes, Zhimin Zhu Sr., Richard Daugherty, Zhiqiang Fan, James Lamb III, Tim Limmer, and Srikanth Kommu

Conference presentation and paper available here (gated content that requires membership or fee).



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