Asahi develops high-performance fluoropolymer

Asahi Glass announced at the end of January that it has developed a high-performance fluoropolymer as the base material of a photoresist to be used in a future generation of photolithographic semicond…

Asahi Glass announced at the end of January that it has developed a high-performance fluoropolymer as the base material of a photoresist to be used in a future generation of photolithographic semiconductor manufacturing that will employ fluorin dimmer (F2) eximer lasers. With a thickness of 250 nanometers, the highly transparent polymer is reportedly capable of forming circuit patterns with a line width of 100 nanometers. Asahi Glass plans to expand a pilot plant at its central research center in Kanagawa Prefecture, completing it in the spring of 2003. The company intends to start full-scale distribution of samples to photoresist makers and other potential customers. A prototype of the fluoropolymer was developed in 2001. During the improvement of the original version, the Tokyo-based firm worked with Semiconductor Leading Edge Technologies (Selete) on the evaluation of its development sensitivity, resolution, and dry-etching resistance. According to Asahi Glass, a major challenge lay in producing a 200-300 nanometer-thick polymer and enabling it to form fine circuit patterns. Employing its partial fluorination technology, the firm has succeeded in synthesizing a fluoropolymer with an absorption coefficient of less than 1.0 micrometer-1, compared with the conventional level of 1.5 micrometer-1.