RAFT Technology for the Production of Advanced Photoresist Polymers

RAFT (Reversible Addition-Fragmentation chain Transfer) technology is a very sophisticated form of controlled free radical polymerization often referred to as "living polymerization", because it can be stopped and restarted at anytime.

RAFT Technology for the Production of Advanced Photoresist Polymers

By Michael T. Sheehan, William B. Farnham, Hiroshi Okazaki, James R. Sounik, George Clark

ABSTRACT Reversible Addition Fragmentation Chain Transfer (RAFT) technology has been developed for use in producing high yield low polydispersity (PD) polymers for many applications. RAFT technology is being used to produce low PD polymers and to allow control of the polymer architecture. A variety of polymers are being synthesized for use in advanced photoresists using this technique. By varying the RAFT reagent used we can modulate the system reactivity of the RAFT reagent and optimize it for use in acrylate or methacrylate monomer systems (193 and 193i photoresist polymers) or for use in styrenic monomer systems (248 nm photoresist polymers) to achieve PD as low as 1.05.

RAFT polymerization technology also allows us to produce block copolymers using a wide variety of monomers. These block copolymers have been shown to be useful in self assembly polymer applications to produce unique and very small feature sizes.

The mutual compatibilities of all the components within a single layer 193 photoresist are very important in order to achieve low LWR and low defect count. The advent of immersion imaging demands an additional element of protection at the solid/liquid interface. We have used RAFT technology to produce block copolymers comprising a random "resist" block with composition and size based on conventional dry photoresist materials, and a "low surface energy" block for use in 193i lithography. The relative block lengths and compositions may be varied to tune solution behavior, surface energy, contact angles, and solubility in developer. The use of this technique will be explored to produce polymers used in hydrophobic single layer resists as well as additives compatible with the main photoresist polymer.

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