This project addresses polymer photoresist processing through infrared near field optical micros-copy (IR NSOM) and Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy (CARS) microscopy. These methods permit access to latent images in the polymer film at various stages in the photoresist processing. A key aspect is to probe the films spatially and chemically through observations of chemically modified vibrational bands within the polymer films. The project involves an active collaboration with scientists at IBM Almaden, William Hinsberg and Frances Houle, who also provide deep ultraviolet, chemically amplified polymer photoresists tailored to special require-ments of the experiments. The project involves experiments to probe line dimensions, acid diffu-sion, the influence of vapor uptake, and other deep UV polymer lithographic chemistries.
The project addresses fundamental research issues associated with electronic/photonic materials having technological relevance. Broader impacts of this work to society are that new methods of measuring line dimensions and for following chemical processes are developed to address ultra-small feature sizes. The results of these studies assist industry in making less expensive and more powerful tools for society. Through the active collaboration with William Hinsberg and Frances Houle at IBM on this particular project, students learn essential teamwork skills and how to be responsive to additional challenges and deadlines outside the academic environment. Students are trained in a variety of important technologies, including lasers, optics, photoresist chemistry, and nanoscale measurements.