Neutron reflectivity and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy measurements are used to profile the deprotection reaction-diffusion front with nanometer resolution in a model photoresist polymer using three perfluoroalkane-based photoacid generators (PAG) with varying chain lengths. As expected, the spatial extent of the deprotection reaction front increases with decreasing PAG size. Although the total extent of deprotection increases with increasing postexposure bake time for each PAG, the reaction-diffusion of deprotection does not propagate continuously into the photoresist polymer. The form of the deprotection reaction front changes because the diffusion process is affected by the changing polymer composition. The data are well described by a reaction-diffusion model that includes a simple acid-trapping term and does not require a varying PAG diffusivity. This high-resolution profiling, together with modeling, illustrates details of the coupled diffusion and deprotection reaction processes that affect lithographic performance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry