/How does the chemistry of photoresists influence patterning performance in EUV lithography?

How does the chemistry of photoresists influence patterning performance in EUV lithography?

Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Characterization of EUV photoresists by state-of-the-art spectroscopic techniques.

Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography has become a standard technique in the fabrication of semiconductor devices for the latest process nodes because the short wavelength of 13.5 nm enables printing of few nanometer sized features on wafers. However, the chemistry of photoresists, which change their solubility upon exposure to EUV photons, is only partially understood. This makes it challenging to develop better photoresist materials, which would enable even smaller feature dimensions and therefore make it possible to keep up with Moore’s law.

In order to find out how the chemistry of the photoresist influences the patterning performance, a series of state-of-the-art spectroscopic techniques will be employed to characterize several open-source EUV resists: Infrared spectroscopy and photon-induced desorption mass spectrometry in imec’s cleanroom, EUV absorption measurements and photoemission spectroscopy using a unique laser-based EUV source in imec’s AttoLab, and potentially photofragmentation experiments at a synchrotron. Results of these fundamental techniques will be complemented with patterning data obtained by imec researchers. The goal of this project is to collect large datasets with the above-mentioned techniques and find out if the results from the fundamental spectroscopic techniques can predict the patterning performance of photoresists with different chemistries.

The student will get hands-on training in the cleanroom to learn selected basic lithography processing steps and to perform standard and state-of-the-art spectroscopic experiments. The student will then analyze and cross-compare the experimental data. Diverse expert scientists from the AttoLab and Exploratory Patterning Materials teams will support this work. This versatile project will introduce the student to a large variety of experimental techniques, sophisticated data analysis, and potentially also modelling and simulation. It prepares the applicant for future academic research but also yields deep insights into the way of working in the semiconductor industry.




Who You Are:

  • Motivated, inquisitive student with a passion for learning state of the art spectroscopic techniques
  • Bachelor’s or (in-progress) Master’s degree in chemistry, physics, nanoscience (or comparable).
  • Basic experiences in standard spectroscopic techniques (e.g. mass spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy) and advanced data analysis are a plus.
  • Experience with data analytical software and coding (e.g., Matlab, Python, Origin, etc.) is a plus.
  • Good written and verbal English skills.


Type of work:

40% experimental work, 50% data analysis, 10% literature

Type of project: Combination of internship and thesis


Duration: up to 6 months

Required degree: Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Chemistry/Chemical Engineering, Physics, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Fabian Holzmeier (Fabian.Holzmeier@imec.be) and Kevin Dorney (Kevin.Dorney@imec.be)

Imec allowance will be provided for students studying at a non-Belgian university.

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