Understanding and Controlling the Structure of Thin Polymer Films used in Photolithography (2013–2015)
Photolithography is the basis of the multi-$B dollar IC industry. The continued success of the industry depends on the ability to project ever smaller images, and this is critically dependent on the performance of a thin layer of polymer, the polymer resist. At the moment there is no technology to control the roughness (LER) produced on the circuit features; it is suggested that a major contributor to the LER is the inherent heterogeneity of the glass polymer resist. In this project we will provide a detailed understanding of the contribution of heterogeneity to LER, and develop materials which overcome this heterogeneity. The project will provide important understanding of the structure of glassy polymers especially in thin film devices.