We present a comparison of patterned 193 nm photoresist (PR) line width roughness (LWR) of samples processed in a well characterized argon (Ar) inductively coupled plasma (ICP) system to RMS surface roughness and bulk chemical modification of blanket 193 nm PR samples used as control samples. In the ICP system, patterned and blanket PR samples are irradiated with Ar vacuum ultraviolet photons (VUV) and Ar ions while sample temperature, photon flux, ion flux and ion energy are controlled and measured. The resulting chemical modifications to bulk 193 nm PR (blanket) and surface roughness are analysed with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM). LWR of patterned samples are measured with scanning electron microscopy and blanket portions of the patterned PRs are measured with AFM. We demonstrate that with no RF-bias applied to the substrate the LWR of 193 nm PR tends to smooth and correlates with the smoothing of the RMS surface roughness. However, both LWR and RMS surface roughness increases with simultaneous high-energy (>70 eV) ion bombardment and VUV-irradiation and is a function of exposure time. Both high- and low-frequency LWR correlate well with the RMS surface roughness of the patterned and blanket 193 nm PR samples. LWR, however, does not increase with temperatures ranging from 20 to 80 °C, in contrast to the RMS surface roughness which increases monotonically with temperature. It is unclear why LWR remains independent of temperature over this range. However, the fact that blanket roughness and LWR on patterned samples, both scale similarly with VUV fluence and ion energy suggests a similar mechanism is responsible for both types of surface morphology modifications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films