Vol. 49, Issue 1, pp. 177-185
photolitography, polymer degradation, atomic force microscopy
In this paper we present the investigation aimed at the photoresist roughness change determination as a reliable estimator of the exposition rate in the processing verification in semiconductor industry. By employing atomic force microscopy as the 3D high resolution surface imaging tool, we tested twelve popular photoresists in terms of the morphological properties changes, while the following radiation doses were applied. Basing on high precision, and repetitive sample positioning, it was possible to perform the tests with high degree of confidence and observe the roughness change dynamics. Various profiles of roughness changes were observed, showing the need for individual study of each material. Moreover, it was possible to select the photoresists which due to poor homogeneity and small roughness changes are not suitable to such a verification. According to our knowledge, no such study was performed so far.