Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


The deprotection reaction front profile in model 193 nm methacrylate-based chemically amplified photoresists

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2006


An understanding of acid diffusion-reaction in chemically amplified photoresists during the post-exposure bake (PEB) is critical for both critical dimension (CD) and line edge roughness (LER) control. Despite its importance, there remains insufficient understanding of the diffusion-reaction process. This is due in part to the complex interplay between diffusion and reaction where the deprotection of the resin modifies the local acid diffusivity which in turn changes the rate of deprotection. Here, we report the direct measurement of the reaction diffusion front at a model line edge from neutron reflectivity and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy measurements. The photoacid generator size influences the reaction extent and breath of the deprotection profile. A larger photoacid results in a sharper deprotection profile and a shorter reaction length. Under the same post-exposure bake time and temperature, the smaller photoacid leads to a much broader deprotection profile. These measurements illustrate the complexity of the reaction-diffusion process.