Chemistry startup claims EUV resist breakthrough

March 02, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Startup company Irresistible Materials Ltd. (Birmingham, England) is set to claim a breakthrough in the development of resist material for extreme ultra violet (EUV) lithography at the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference in San Jose, California.

Irresistible Materials (IM), a 2010 spin-off from the University of Birmingham, has developed a couple of photo-resist products for use with EUV lithography based on a novel type of resist chemistry known as a multi-trigger resist system.

The resist is molecular rather than polymeric and brings a number of benefits compared with other chemically accelerated resists, company director David Ure told EE Times Europe.

The resist is metal-free, requires no post-exposure bake and demonstrates a sensitivity to EUV that is twice that of known alternatives, Ure said. This comes with excellent resolution and low line-edge roughness and should result in significantly improved machine cycle times, he added. The development will be reported in the paper "Sensitivity enhancement of the high-resolution xMT molecular resist for EUV lithography" due to be presented on Wednesday March 1 in the EUV Lithography strand of the conference.

The paper is co-authored with a number of University of Birmingham researchers and an engineer from Nano-C Inc. (Westwood, Mass.). Nano-C is a developer of nanostructured carbon and fullerene derivatives and serves as a manufacturing partner for IM.

The material is spin-on and has been tested for compatibility with waste flows in conventional flows. It is also compatible with 193nm wavelength optical lithography and makes a good e-beam resist although for now focus is on EUV lithography of contact holes. This is likely to be the first commercial application of EUV lithography in 2018 or 2019, Ure said.

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