Photoresist materials are used in lithography to transfer patterns onto silicon wafers. However, not much is known about the mechanisms triggered by EUV light in these photosensitive compounds. The high energy of EUV photons has a devastating effect on the molecules within the resist that ultimately leads to the solubility contrast between the exposed and unexposed areas. ARCNL focusses on gaining a thorough fundamental understanding of the parameters influencing the chemical changes occurring in the material at a molecular and atomic level.
Within the EUV Photoresists group, a broad range of analytical techniques will be used to study the interaction of EUV light with tailor-made materials at different levels and timescales. Time resolved spectroscopy and photoelectron spectroscopy are performed in close collaboration with the Nanophotochemistry and EUV Photoemission groups at ARCNL to identify transient processes. Furthermore, techniques for materials characterisation such as infrared spectroscopy are used to determine the light induced changes in the material.
Instead of merely tuning the properties of existing photosensitive materials, the final aim of this group is to propose a new, commercially producible material with desired EUV sensitivity, based on an extensive understanding of the photochemistry.