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 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 . The effects of these fluids on photoresist performance were also examined with immersion lithography exposure at various NAs. Half-pitch lines were obtained with phosphoric acid as the immersion medium at . These fluids are potential candidates for immersion lithography technology.
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