Exploring the resolution limit of electron-beam lithography is of great interest both scientifically and technologically. However, when electron-beam lithography approaches its resolution limit, imaging and metrology of the fabricated structures by using standard scanning electron microscopy become difficult. In this work, the authors adopted transmission-electron and atomic-force microscopies to improve the metrological accuracy and to analyze the resolution limit of electron-beam lithography. With these metrological methods, the authors found that sub-5 nm sparse features could be readily fabricated by electron-beam lithography, but dense 16 nm pitch structures were difficult to yield. Measurements of point- and line-spread functions suggested that the resolution in fabricating sub-10 nm half-pitch structures was primarily limited by the resist-development processes, meaning that the development rates depended on pattern density and/or length scale.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B:Nanotechnology and Microelectronics|
|State||Published - Nov 2010|