Group leader: Prof. dr. Fred Brouwer

Research activities

The Nanophotochemistry group investigates the fundamental mechanisms of pattern formation by extreme ultraviolet radiation in photoresist films.

Photoresists are an essential element of photolithographic technology, because they transfer the pattern of irradiation to the underlying substrates. In order to be able to write smaller patterns, radiation at very short wavelengths (Extreme UV, 13.5 nm) is currently used. For this wavelength, new photoresists need to be designed and optimized. Our ambition is to support this development by providing the fundamental understanding of the processes from EUV photon absorption to chemical change.

Recently, photoresist materials have been proposed that are composed of metal oxide nanoparticles and organometallic compounds. Our research in the near future will be aimed at the early events in such materials after EUV photon absorption. Which steps can be identified? At which point is the efficiency of the pattern formation determined? How can our results guide the improvement of photoresists? Our main tools are state-of-the-art time- and space-resolved optical absorption and luminescence spectroscopies using table-top laser-based EUV generation. For several experiments external light sources at synchrotrons will be used.