LITHOGRAPHY

Lithos – stone + graphein – to write Process invented in 1796 by Aloys senfelder , used inked limestone (used chemically treated stones affinity to water/oil affected by chemical treatment ) for printing images on paper . Lithography in MEMS • Photolithography is the most widely used • Widely used in IC industry for pattern transfer, for multilayered IC’s, accurate registration and exposing a series of successive patterns. • This is a 2 D process. • What is the science involved? o Miniaturizing feature sizes. o Improving resolution. Pattern transfer by photolithography: Figure shows basics of photolithography and pattern transfer. Example uses an oxidized Si wafer and a negative photoresist system . Process steps 1. Oxidized wafer is coated with negative photo resist layer. 2. Exposure with a mask on glass plate, using UV light. 3. Wafer is rinsed in developing solution, to remove unexposed areas of photo resist. This results in bare and photo resist coated areas of oxide Note: Photo resist pattern now is the negative image of the pattern on the photo mask. 4. Wafer is placed in an etchant (eg HF or NH4F) , this attacks oxide, and not the photo resist. (Wet anisotropic etching) 5. After etching is completed, remaining photo resist is stripped off with a Strong acid ( H2SO4), this attacks only the photo resist , not Si or SiO2 Some Definitions of Lithography Critical dimension : Absolute size of a minimum feature in an IC (line width/ spacing / contact dimension) Overall resolution of a process describes consistent ability to point a minimum size image, a critical dimension under conditions of reasonable manufacturing variation. Resolution is measured by line width measurements, approximately 0.25µm measurement precision of 0.02µm (SEM , AFM) Resolution is the minimum feature size that can be transferred with high fidelity to a resist film on the surface of the wafer. A usual requirement during characterization: Tolerance ± 1/5 of the minimum feature size . Depending on resolution, different types of radiation may be employed in lithography Registration is a measure of how accurately patterns on successive masks can be aligned with respect to previously defined patterns on a wafer

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. These can have good resolution (e.Throughput is the number of wafers that can be exposed per hour for a given mask level. (eg.g. 20 . which is not in touch with the substrate.contact (usually raised by 10-20µm above wafer used for VLSI. better than ~0. mask making becomes less challenging. Other option? Non. complex maintenance requirements Lower throughput Resists Polymer (base resin) –changes structure when exposed to radiation Sensitizer – controls photochemical reactions Casting solvent – allows spin application of this layer on the wafer. Hard contact masks are used in R&D Mask making Prototyping Contact and proximity mask printing together is called shadow printing.25µm resolution is achievable) The imaging lens used here can reduce the mask pattern by 1:5 or 1:10. Resist tone : positive / negative Positive tone: Photochemical reaction weakens the polymer by rupture of the main/side polymer chain. Mask is a stencil used to repeatedly generate a desired pattern and resist coated wafers is called a mask. How is the pattern made (on the mask)? e-beam lithography (higher resolution patterns) Use CAD to make L-edit Use LASER plotter (resolution) Advantages of contact lithography Fast: capable of exposing the entire wafer at once Inexpensive: Mature technology Disadvantages Lowest resolution Pattern defects Mask wear due to physical contact between mask and substrate contact mask degrade fast. Stepper photolithography uses a stepper mask. Consists of optically flat glass / quartz plate coated with an absorber (opaque to UV) pattern of metal. In ‘Projection printing’ the photo mask is imaged with a high resolution lens system onto the resist coated wafer. Photochemical quantum efficiency of a resist from spectral response curve of the resist that is if the resist absorbs strongly in ranges where the radiation source shows strong emission lines –relatively short exposure time is required. (proximity mask) also called “Soft contact masks”. 800 Å thick Chromium layer) Usually the mask is kept in direct contact with the photoresist while exposing to UV. This results in 1:1 image on the wafer (contact lithography). Advantages Higher resolution Simpler mask design Superior alignment capabilities Cleaner than contact alignment Disadvantages Much more expensive equipment.

speed .exposed resist becomes more soluble in developer typically the development rate is 10 times faster as unexposed resist . (2 component) Kodak KTFR azide sensitized poly(isoprene). development. Xylene is used as solvents for negative resists. since increase in molecular weight by UV exposure or photochemical transformation. cross-linking of polymers adversely affecting the solubility e. (diazoquinone ester (DQ) (20-50 wt %) + phenolic novolak resin N) PQN. Choice of negative / positive photo resist depends on application Eg: Resolution. Positive and negative resist exposure. Negative tone is more frequently used • Exposed resist hardens by random cross linkage of main chains.: (single component) Bis (aryl ) azide rubber resist with matrix resin: cyclized poly (cis-isoprene) (a form of synthetic rubber) Bis (aryl) azide sensitizer loses nitrogen and generate highly reactive nitrene on exposure. • Polymerization taking place at exposure. cost. • Less soluble . Positive resists develop in the exposed region. ease of processing . Resists are first applied to the surface by spin coating. 21 . Negative resists remain in the exposed region.g. and pattern transfer. eg: poly (methyl methacrylate) PMMA .

Typical negative and positive photoresists and their lithographic sensitivity Other commercially available resists for optical lithography Resist Kodak 747 AZ 1350J Tone negative Positive PR 102 Positive 22 .

Comparison of traditional negative and positive photoresists 23 .

When UV is used. Required thickness. resist contains upto 15% organic solvent. Spin speed. For IC’s resist thickness :0. This step also Releases stress Improves adhesion of resist to wafer Process optimization by: Temperature profile Time/duration Exposure 4. After spin coating . Involves Spin coating and soft baking. Photo resist (usually an organic polymer) sensitive to UV is deposited. Dispense volume. After soft baking. spinning at 1500-8000 rpm depending on the Viscosity of the resist. • Treatment with reactive gas. Post exposure treatments: • Post exposure baking. This is removed by soft baking at 75-100ºC for approximately 10 mins.Detailed description of steps involved in Lithography: Coating of resist. Ambient temperature and humidity. wafer is kept on a spinner (a vacuum chuck holds the wafer in place. 3. Usually an UV lamp is used to illuminate the resist Proper intensity Directionality Spectral characteristics Uniformity across the wafer Means of Exposure UV: Extreme UV (EUV) 10-14nm Deep UV (DUV) 150-300nm Near UV (UV) 350-500nm Typical: g-line: 436nm} h-line: 405nm} of a high intensity mercury lamp i-line: 365nm} Note: smallest feature size by projection lithography is the same as the λ of the UV source. throughput: 50-100 wafers/hr.5 -2µm Greater thickness required for 3D structures. typical resultion:~1µm. Oxide formation by heating the surface 900-1150ºC in steam or humidified oxygen stream. oxide serves as a mask for subsequent wet etching (Oxidation furnace) 2. registration~0. film thickness uniformity of ~5nm is required for (1. Uses a wafer with an oxide layer on top. Exposure and post-exposure treatment A very good alignment is required. Thickness optimization by Resist disperse rate. 24 . 1. the resist coated wafers are transferred to an exposure system when they are aligned with the features on the mask.5µm. • Vaccum treatment. • Flood exposure with other types of radiation.5 µm film) within and between layers.

For λ =400 nm. z = 1µm. Modularity. o Patterned resistances are also thinned during this process. other methods will be required by MEMS industry.Development 5. finer geometries and batch processing are necessities. Extreme ultraviolet lithography X-ray lithography • No need for vaccum. In MEMS industry on the other hand. Good depth of focus. Post –baking is also called hard-baking. eg: acetone. also in use : organic solvent strippers. (Development) • Selective dissolving of resist. So even if IC industry sticks to photo lithography. 7. use strong acid H2SO4 or acid –oxidant combination: H2SO4 –Cr2O3 attack the resist not the oxide/ Si . Theoretical limits of photo lithography Factors affecting resolution : Diffraction of light at the edge of an opaque feature in the mask as the light passes through alignment of wafer to mask . done at 120°C for approximately 20 minutes. eg: Reactive plasma stripping with oxygen gaseous chemical reactants (ozone) radiation (UV). • Chemicals used do not disintegrate with time. Development transforms latent resist images joined during exposure into a relief image that will serve as a mask during the subsequent processing. o Polarity changes. (Occuring while exposure ) o Reactivity changes 6. debris between mask and wafer . • Doesn’t cause undercutting/ broadening of photoresist features. o Annealing of film to improve adhesion o Improves hardness of the film. non-uniformities in wafer flatness. Resist stripping Wet stripping – complete removal of the photo resist without damaging the device under construction. Post-baking of wafer before subsequent steps (etching/deposition) o To remove residual solvents. • More controllable. Use of non-traditional materials. Resolution is approximately 1 µm New generation lithography techniques In IC industry : Throughput. 25 . Dry stripping (ashing) • Fewer disposal problems. Height of features. De-scumming and post-baking Descumming by a mild oxygen plasma treatment o To remove unwanted resist left behind after development. Etching of the oxide layer 8. makes use of o Variation in molecular weight. • Wet development (by immersion or spray-for a fixed period in a developer bath) by solvents .

mould is made by resist . • Diffraction effects are less. e. Abformung) Involves thick layer of resist (µm to cm). The positive resist is spin coated and then exposed to the radiation though a mask. • Exposure time and development conditions are not stringent. Features of X-ray lithography: Resolution~0. filled with metal by galvanizing techniques-resist removed. The primary criterion for this lift-off process to be effective is that the thickness of the deposited thin film should be less than that of the resist. LIGA (Lithographic . • Immune to particle contamination. which detaches the film on top of the resist as well. • High reproducibility. (b) Radiation (d) (a) Resist Substrate Mask (c) (e) Steps involved in the lift-off process of patterning • Film thickness should be smaller than that of the resist • capable of producing high resolution geometries • used for patterning discrete devices 26 .. registration ~0. A thin film of the desired material (e. metal) is then deposited on top of this structure by any of the processes. • Aspect ratio (height: lateral dimension) of up to 100 possible.. The process steps involved in this are schematically shown in the figure below. X-ray has • Shorter λ .2µm Disadvantage: 1:1 shadow printing is the only possibility. The resist can be dissolved in an appropriate solution.Galvanoformung.g. Note: IC’s require aspect ratios of 1 or 2.g. Complicated mask production. Charged particle beam lithography Electron beam lithography: Ion-beam lithography Emerging Lithography Technologies Embossing lithography (nano imprinting) Molds made by e-beam lithography Re-used several times Lower resolution Much higher throughput Stamp lithography (soft lithography) Probe lithography Self-assembly lithography Lift-off Technique Lift-off technique is used to define a structural geometry on a substrate. No image reduction. • No optics involved. larger depth of focus . high energy x-ray.5µm. proximity masking can be used.• Flood exposure is possible.

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