Anisotropic acid catalyst displacement in a chemically amplified photoresist via application of an electric field

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Johnson, Ward A.
CAR; Chemically amplified resist; EFE-PEB
thesis / dissertation description
Electrostatic force theory and Fickean diffusion theory both predict that anisotropic movement can be conveyed to chemically amplified resist (CAR) acid catalysts via an electric field during the post exposure bake (PEB). A demonstration of this effect was attempted through photoresist thickness loss measurements with and without the addition of an electric field. The experimental design underwent multiple evolutionary iterations and measured as much as 86 nm of additional thickness loss with the presence of an electric field compared to a PEB control. Repeatability was inconsistent and several principal assumptions were found to be in violation. From measurements of current across exposed photoresist during an electric field enhanced post exposure bake (EFE-PEB), it was concluded that acid pileup at the electrode/photoresist interfaces caused charge separation which reduced the internal electric field; this effect was relieved by acid neutralization via electrons from the cathode.