Characterization of Substituted Polynorbornenes for Advanced Lithography
Hoskins, Trevor P. J., II
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A fundamental characterization of hexafluoroalcohol substituted polynorbornene (HFAPNB) was completed to improve the final photoresist formulation using these materials. In this work, it was found that the dissolution behavior of these materials was controlled by the ability of polymer chains to form hydrogen bonds. This ability to form interchain hydrogen bonds was affected by stereochemical changes in the polynorbornene backbone as molecular weights increase. These observed changes in backbone polynorbornene stereochemistry were accurately modeled using the "helix-kink" theory, first described by Ahmed and Ludovice. It was found that several material properties altered the interchain hydrogen bonding within these materials, such as the polydispersity, polymerization catalyst, and the polymer film thickness. However, none of these material properties altered the unusual dissolution behavior observed in these materials. To improve the potential formulation of these materials, the interactions between HFAPNB and resist additives were studied. For all tested photoacid generators, it was found that some interchain hydrogen bonding occurred between resist additive molecules and HFA side groups, which retarded the dissolution rate in the formulated material. In particular, one can create a simple resist using unprotected HFAPNB polymer with an iodonium photoacid generator. Finally, a series of norbornene oligomers were evaluated as potential dissolution inhibitors for HFAPNB. It was found that the dissolution rate of HFAPNB can be completely inhibited with dissolution inhibitors at a loading of 15%.