Design, synthesis, and evaluation of materials for microelectronics applications



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The advancement of the microelectronics industry is heavily dependent on the design, synthesis, and integration of new materials. Non-chemically amplified photoresists (NCAR) consist of a base resin and photoactive additive which inhibits the dissolution of the this resin. The robustness of NCARs has made them well suited to the unique material requirements of the photomask making industry for many years. However, smaller feature sizes now require mask makers to move to shorter wavelengths of light and thus a more transparent polymer and photoactive compound are needed for these applications. During the search for 157nm photoresists, it was found that polymers containing the hexafluoroisopropanol functionality are transparent well into the ultraviolet region and possess dissolution characteristics similar to the Novolak resins utilized in NCARs. A suitable photoactive compound (PAC) has been identified; the synthesis of the PAC and transparent polymers, as well as their formulation, dissolution properties, and lithographic evaluation will be presented. Additionally, the base catalyzed imidization of poly(amic acid ethyl ester) (PAETE) provides a good tool for developing a photosensitive polyimide insulator. However few base photogenerators (PBG) exist that absorb at the appropriate wavelength (>400nm) for use in these opaque films. Two sensitized systems were evaluated; their synthesis, photophysical evaluation, and attempted imaging in PAETE will be described. Additionally, the synthesis and photophysical evaluation of a red-shifted thiophene-based PBG will be described. Finally, step and flash imprint lithography exhibits a great promise as a cost effective alternative imaging solution to traditional optical lithography. A strippable resist is needed to preserve the templates used in this process should they become contaminated. The thermal reversibility of urethanes, specifically those derived from aromatic oximes, make them well suited for integration into a thermally degradable diacrylate crosslinker. The synthesis of urethane linked diacrylates, their incorporation into cross-linked polymer networks, and thermal degradation will be described.