Microfield exposure tool enables advances in EUV lithography development

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With demonstrated resist resolution of 20 nm half pitch, the SEMATECH Berkeley BUV microfield exposure tool continues to push crucial advances in the areas of BUY resists and masks. The ever progressing shrink in computer chip feature sizes has been fueled over the years by a continual reduction in the wavelength of light used to pattern the chips. Recently, this trend has been threatened by unavailability of lens materials suitable for wavelengths shorter than 193 nm. To circumvent this roadblock, a reflective technology utilizing a significantly shorter extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelength (13.5 nm) has been under development for the past ... continued below

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Naulleau, Patrick September 7, 2009.

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With demonstrated resist resolution of 20 nm half pitch, the SEMATECH Berkeley BUV microfield exposure tool continues to push crucial advances in the areas of BUY resists and masks. The ever progressing shrink in computer chip feature sizes has been fueled over the years by a continual reduction in the wavelength of light used to pattern the chips. Recently, this trend has been threatened by unavailability of lens materials suitable for wavelengths shorter than 193 nm. To circumvent this roadblock, a reflective technology utilizing a significantly shorter extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelength (13.5 nm) has been under development for the past decade. The dramatic wavelength shrink was required to compensate for optical design limitations intrinsic in mirror-based systems compared to refractive lens systems. With this significant reduction in wavelength comes a variety of new challenges including developing sources of adequate power, photoresists with suitable resolution, sensitivity, and line-edge roughness characteristics, as well as the fabrication of reflection masks with zero defects. While source development can proceed in the absence of available exposure tools, in order for progress to be made in the areas of resists and masks it is crucial to have access to advanced exposure tools with resolutions equal to or better than that expected from initial production tools. These advanced development tools, however, need not be full field tools. Also, implementing such tools at synchrotron facilities allows them to be developed independent of the availability of reliable stand-alone BUY sources. One such tool is the SEMATECH Berkeley microfield exposure tool (MET). The most unique attribute of the SEMA TECH Berkeley MET is its use of a custom-coherence illuminator made possible by its implementation on a synchrotron beamline. With only conventional illumination and conventional binary masks, the resolution limit of the 0.3-NA optic is approximately 25 nm, however, with EUV not expected in production before the 22-nm half pitch node even finer resolution capabilities are now required from development tools. The SEMATECH Berkeley MET's custom-coherence illuminator allows it to be used with aggressive modified illumination enabling kJ factors as low as 0.25. Noting that the lithographic resolution of an exposure tool is defined as k{sub 1}{lambda}/NA, yielding an ultimate resolution limit of 11 nm. To achieve sub-20-nm aerial-image resolution while avoiding forbidden pitches on Manhattan-geometry features with the centrally-obscured MET optic, a 45-degree oriented dipole pupil fill is used. Figure 1 shows the computed aerial-image contrast as a function of half pitch for a dipole pupil fill optimized to print down to the 19-nm half pitch level. This is achieved with relatively uniform performance at larger dimensions. Using this illumination, printing down to the 20-nm half pitch level has been demonstrated in chemically amplified resists as shown in Fig. 2. The SEMATECH Berkeley MET tool plays a crucial role in the advancement of EUV resists. The unique programmable coherence properties of this tool enable it to achieve higher resolution than other EUV projection tools. As presented here, over the past year the tool has been used to demonstrate resist resolutions of 20 half pitch. Although not discussed here, because the Berkeley MET tool is a true projection lithography tool, it also plays a crucial role in advanced EUV mask research. Examples of the work done in this area include defect printability, mask architecture, and phase shift masks.

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  • Journal Name: SPIE online technical magazine

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  • Report No.: LBNL-2725E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 974270
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc925638

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • September 7, 2009

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Oct. 2, 2017, 4:24 p.m.

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Naulleau, Patrick. Microfield exposure tool enables advances in EUV lithography development, article, September 7, 2009; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc925638/: accessed September 25, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.