|dc.description.abstract||Since the dawn of large scale integrated circuitry photolithography has been the primary means of pattern production. Over the following 60 years the size of these patterns has shrunk massively, along with the consequent increase in the complexity of the photolithography process. The demand for smaller, more powerful, and more energy efficient computational devices requires further shrinking of the patterns. The development of processes for further pattern size reduction however is not a simple one, thus a great deal of research and investments has been focused towards it. The research within this thesis is aimed at discovering new methods and techniques for photolithography pattern reduction by exploiting fields in an interference lithography setting.
Previously it was shown that dielectric resonant underlayers could be employed to enhance the depth of field for evanescent interference lithography. This however is limited by the availability of transparent high refractive index dielectric layers. To extend this to higher effective refractive indices an investigation into applying Herpin effective media within resonant underlayers was carried out. These underlayers were shown to be effective for combinations which have propagating fields within at least one layer; for combinations where all layers were evanescent however, the method broke down. Investigations into generic resonant underlayers also led to the development of a resonant overlayer method for increasing the evanescent field strength within a PR layer while allowing thicker and/or lower refractive index IMLs.
Further to this a new form of BARC for hyper-NA photolithography termed an evanescent-coupled ARC was developed. These ARCs rely on evanescently-coupled dielectric or surface state polariton resonators to produce destructive interference within the PR. The properties and design constraints for each of these systems was explored and two experimental designs developed. Experiment verification of evanescent-coupled ARCs was successfully demonstrated for a SiO2jHfO2 dielectric resonator based ARC. Demonstration of a MgF2jCr surface state polariton resonator based ARC was partially demonstrated with resonance within the underlayer and the consequent alteration of the PR standing wave pattern observed.
The use of prism coupling for interference lithography is limited by the maximum refractive index of the coupling prism; above this refractive index all fields are evanescent and no energy will coupled into the PR. To overcome this limit grating coupled evanescent near-field interference lithography methods are employed. The higher order diffraction orders from the grating can have NAs far greater than the refractive index of naturally occurring materials, thus patterning with these diffraction orders produces far smaller interference pitches than prism coupled systems are capable of. Grating coupled systems involve the use of evanescent fields, plasmonic resonances,as well as coupled resonators all within subwavelength scales, consequently simulation and optimization of these systems is very computationally intensive. To improve this a genetic algorithm process was applied to reduce the computational time for optimization, and to allow the use of an inverse design process. Application of this method produced an order of magnitude improvement in optimization time compared to a full parameter sweep. Models including resonant overlayers, overlayers and underlayers, as well as those employing extremely high NAs and/or higher |m| diffraction orders were produced. Simulations showed that extremely high NAs up to 20 may theoretically be used for patterning of structures with a pitch of lambda/40 equating to a full pitch of 10.1 nm with an exposing wavelength of 405 nm.||