Comparing 193 nm photoresist roughening in an inductively coupled plasma system and vacuum beam system

M. J. Titus, D. G. Nest, T. Y. Chung, D. B. Graves

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28 Scopus citations


We present a comparison of blanket 193 nm photoresist (PR) roughening and chemical modifications of samples processed in a well-characterized argon (Ar) inductively coupled plasma (ICP) system and an ultra-high vacuum beam system. In the ICP system, PR samples are irradiated with Ar vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) and Ar ions, while in the vacuum beam system, samples are irradiated with either a Xe-line VUV source or Ar-lamp VUV source with Ar ions. Sample temperature, photon flux, ion flux and ion energy are controlled and measured. The resulting chemical modifications to bulk 193 nm PR and surface roughness are analysed with Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy. We demonstrate that under VUV-only conditions in the vacuum beam and ICP (with no substrate bias applied) systems 193 nm PR does not roughen. However, roughness increases with simultaneous high energy (>70 eV) ion bombardment and VUV irradiation and is a function of VUV fluence, substrate temperature and photon-to-ion flux ratio. PR processed in the ICP system experiences increased etching, probably due to release of H- and O-containing gaseous products and subsequent chemical etching, in contrast to samples in the vacuum beam system where etch-products are rapidly pumped away. The surface roughness structure and behaviour, however, remain similar and this is attributed to the synergy between VUV-photon and positive ions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number245205
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number24
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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