Imec, Inpria and TEL demonstrate integrated fab process for metal-oxide EUV photoresist

Leuven, Belgium – Feb. 22, 2016 – At this week’s SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference, nanoelectronics research center imec, Inpria, a company pioneering high performance EUV photoresists, and TEL, a semiconductor/flat panel display production equipment company, will present the first integrated patterning process for next generation high-resolution devices using a non-chemically amplified metal containing photoresist and EUV lithography. 

The novel metal-oxide photoresist based process enables a significant process simplification and cost reduction compared to fab processes based on traditional organic EUV photoresists. The team transferred the metal-oxide photoresist process from lab to the fab, demonstrating manufacturing compatibility with standard fab equipment and excellent pattern transfer capability using ASML’s EUV NXE3300 full field scanner tool and imec’s integrated process line.

A negative tone metal-oxide EUV resist was developed by Inpria and integrated into imec’s 7nm BEOL process module on TEL’s etching system, more specifically as a block mask layer for metal patterning with pillar dimensions as small as 21nm. The intrinsic metal-oxide properties enabled the photoresist to also serve as a thin spin-on hard mask for the subsequent etching step. Moreover, because of the nature of the negative tone imaging of the photoresist, further simplification in the litho-etch patterning scheme is possible, as it eliminates the tone reversal scheme required by the conventional positive tone approaches for this block patterning layer.