Extreme ultraviolet patterning of tin-oxo cages
We report on the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) patterning performance of tin-oxo cages. These cage molecules were already known to function as a negative tone photoresist for EUV radiation, but in this work, we significantly optimized their performance. Our results show that sensitivity and resolution are only meaningful photoresist parameters if the process conditions are optimized. We focus on contrast curves of the materials using large area EUV exposures and patterning of the cages using EUV interference lithography. It is shown that baking steps, such as postexposure baking, can significantly affect both the sensitivity and contrast in the open-frame experiments as well as the patterning experiments. A layer thickness increase reduced the necessary dose to induce a solubility change but decreased the patterning quality. The patterning experiments were affected by minor changes in processing conditions such as an increased rinsing time. In addition, we show that the anions of the cage can influence the sensitivity and quality of the patterning, probably through their effect on physical properties of the materials.