For more than 45 years, photon- and electron-sensitive materials have been used to produce pattern-transfer masks in the lithographic manufacturing of integrated circuits. With the semiconductor technology feature size continuing to shrink and the requirements of low-variability and low-cost manufacturing, optical lithography is driven to its limits. In this paper, we report a novel nanoinjection lithography (NInL) technique that employs electron-beam-assisted deposition to form pattern-transfer hard mask in a direct-write deposit approach. By scanning the 4.6-nm-diameter electron beam while injecting a suitable organometallic precursor gas around the location of e-beam and just above the substrate, we form a high-density (pitch: 40 nm) high-uniformity (3-sigma linewidth roughness: 2 nm) hard mask for subsequent etching without using proximity-effect correction techniques. Furthermore, this technique can also directly deposit a metal pattern for interconnect or a dielectric pattern without the need for separate metal or dielectric deposition, photoresist etch-mask, and etching processes. The NInL approach simplifies the hard-mask creation or even metal or dielectric pattern creation process modules from five or tens of steps to only a single step. Therefore, it saves both photomask making and wafer processing costs. In addition, room-temperature NInL deposition of conductor/dielectric materials enables the fabrication of small versatile devices and circuits. For demonstration, we fabricated a functional 16-nm six-transistor static random access memory (SRAM) cell (area: occupying only 0.039 μm2), 43% the size of the smallest previously reported SRAM cell, using the FinFET structure and a dynamic Vdd regulator approach. The NInL technique offers a new way of exploring low-volume high-value 16-nm complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) devices and circuit designs with minimal additional investment and obtains early access to extreme CMOS scaling.
- electron beam (e-beam)
- nanoinjection lithography (NInL)
- static random access memory (SRAM)