Charge-induced pattern displacement in E-beam lithography

Kerim T. Arat, Thomas Klimpel, Aernout C. Zonnevylle, Wilhelmus S.M.M. Ketelaars, Carel Th H. Heerkens, Cornelis W. Hagen

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    Electron beam lithography (EBL) requires conducting substrates to ensure pattern fidelity. However, there is an increasing interest in performing EBL on less well-conducting surfaces or even insulators, usually resulting in seriously distorted pattern formation. To understand the underlying charging phenomena, the authors use Monte Carlo simulations that include models for substrate charging, electron beam-induced current, and electric breakdown. Simulations of electron beam exposure of glass wafers are presented, exposing regular patterns which become distorted due to charge-induced beam deflection. The resulting displacements within the patterns are mapped and compared to experimental displacement maps obtained from patterns in PMMA resist on glass substrates. Displacements up to several hundreds of nanometers were observed at a primary beam energy of 50 keV. Also, various scan strategies were used to write the patterns, in the simulations as well as the experiments, revealing their strong effect on pattern distortion, in shape and in magnitude. A qualitative, in some cases even quantitative, good agreement was found between the simulations and the experiments, providing enough confidence in Monte Carlo simulations to predict charge-induced pattern displacement and shape distortion and to find smart scan strategies to minimize the effects of charging.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number051603
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology B: Nanotechnology and Microelectronics
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Bibliographical note

    Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.

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