Abstract

Immersion lithography has become attractive since it can reduce critical dimensions by increasing numerical aperture (NA) beyond unity. Among all the candidates for immersion fluids, those with higher refractive indices and low absorbance are desired. Characterization of the refractive indices and absorbance of various inorganic fluid candidates has been performed. To measure the refractive indices of these fluids, a prism deviation angle method was developed. Several candidates have been identified for 193  nm application with refractive indices near 1.55, which is approximately 0.1 higher than that of water at this wavelength. Cauchy parameters of these fluids were generated and approaches were investigated to tailor the fluid absorption edges to be close to 193  nm. The effects of these fluids on photoresist performance were also examined with 193  nm immersion lithography exposure at various NAs. Half-pitch 32  nm lines were obtained with phosphoric acid as the immersion medium at 1.5  NA. These fluids are potential candidates for immersion lithography technology.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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