Nanofabrication of x-ray diffractive optics using electron beam lithography requires a complex process of electron exposure optimization and resist development. Thermal scanning probe lithography (TSPL) offers a high resolution, maskless, gray scale patterning method with reduced complexity. Thin diffractive optics with high efficiency for the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and soft x-ray (SXR) photon range could be fabricated by combining TSPL with a single etching step if the TSPL resist, polyphthalaldehyde (PPA), can be used as an etch mask to direct-etch the pattern into a substrate using reactive ion etching. This condition critically depends on high etch selectivity between the substrate and the PPA, because TSPL resolution deteriorates as the PPA patterning depth increases beyond tens of nanometers. In this work, the authors have evaluated the etch selectivity for PPA and Si3N4 using SF6/C4F8 gases and the influence of process parameters, including gas flow rate, vacuum pressure, radio frequency bias power, and inductively coupled plasma power. The experimental results indicate that an etch selectivity of 7 (Si3N4:PPA) is achievable, and the authors demonstrate that diffractive optics for EUV/SXR can be fabricated in only two steps.
Investigation and optimization of reactive ion etching of Si3N4 and polyphthalaldehyde for two-step gray scale fabrication of diffractive optics
Alaleh Aminzadeh, Manjith Bose, Dan Smith, Md Hemayet Uddin, Andrew G. Peele, Grant van Riessen; Investigation and optimization of reactive ion etching of Si3N4 and polyphthalaldehyde for two-step gray scale fabrication of diffractive optics. J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 1 November 2019; 37 (6): 061608. https://doi.org/10.1116/1.5121760
Download citation file: