Open Access Nano Express

Polystyrene negative resist for high-resolution electron beam lithography

Siqi Ma, Celal Con, Mustafa Yavuz and Bo Cui*

Author Affiliations

Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN), University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave. West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:446  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-446

Published: 12 July 2011

Abstract

We studied the exposure behavior of low molecular weight polystyrene as a negative tone electron beam lithography (EBL) resist, with the goal of finding the ultimate achievable resolution. It demonstrated fairly well-defined patterning of a 20-nm period line array and a 15-nm period dot array, which are the densest patterns ever achieved using organic EBL resists. Such dense patterns can be achieved both at 20 and 5 keV beam energies using different developers. In addition to its ultra-high resolution capability, polystyrene is a simple and low-cost resist with easy process control and practically unlimited shelf life. It is also considerably more resistant to dry etching than PMMA. With a low sensitivity, it would find applications where negative resist is desired and throughput is not a major concern.