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Browse Prior Art Database

New Methods For Defining Fine Lines and Small Geometry Patterns from Polymer Swelling Phenomenon

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000104854D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 42K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Kuo, Y: AUTHOR

Abstract

Disclosed are methods of defining fine lines and small geom- etry patterns with the polymer swelling phenomenon. It was discovered when a patterned photoresist was exposed to cer- tain plasmas, the top of the photoresist swelled to form a mushroom shape as shown in Fig. 1. The dimension of the pattern changed with the swelling phenomenon. The swollen photoresist is very resistant to certain plasma etching or sputter deposition conditions. Therefore, the new photoresist can be used as the mask to define small geometry patterns.

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New Methods For Defining Fine Lines and Small Geometry Patterns from Polymer Swelling Phenomenon

      Disclosed are methods of defining fine lines and small geom-
etry patterns with the polymer swelling phenomenon.  It  was
discovered  when a patterned photoresist was exposed to cer- tain
plasmas, the top of the photoresist swelled to  form  a mushroom
shape  as  shown in Fig. 1.   The dimension of the pattern changed
with the swelling phenomenon.   The  swollen photoresist  is  very
resistant to certain plasma etching or sputter  deposition
conditions.      Therefore,   the   new photoresist can be used as
the mask to define small geometry patterns.

      Fig.  2  shows  that  an original photoresist opening of larger
than one micron was shrunk to less  than  one  micron after  the
plasma exposure.  The new dimension could be imi- tated to the
substrate with  a  directional  plasma  etching method.    Therefore,
we  can  use a larger-than-one-micron lithography tool, such as the
g-line stepper,  to  define  a submicron pattern with this swelling
phenomenon.

      We  can  also  use  the  mushroom-shape photoresist as a
lift-off mask to prepare metal patterns as shown in Fig.  3.  This
polymer  swelling  method is simpler than conventional lift-off
methods which need special  kinds  of  photoresist, solvents, and
process conditions.