A micro-spectroscopy study on the influence of chemical residues from nanofabrication on the nitridation chemistry of Al nanopatterns
Journal article, 2012
We applied spatially resolved photoelectron spectroscopy implemented with an X-ray photoemission electron microscopy (XPEEM) using soft X-ray synchrotron radiation to identify the compositional and morphological inhomogeneities of a SiO2/Si substrate surface nanopatterned with Al before and after nitridation. The nanofabrication was conducted by a polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)-based e-beam lithography and a fluorine-based reactive ion etching (RIE), followed by Al metalization and acetone lift-off. Three types of chemical residues were identified before nitridation: (1) fluorocarbons produced and accumulated mainly during RIE process on the sidewalls of the nanopatterns; (2) a thick Al-bearing PMMA layer and/or (3) a thin PMMA residue layer owing to unsuccessful or partial lift-off of the e-beam unexposed PMMA between the nanopatterns. The fluorocarbons actively influenced the surface chemical composition of the nanopatterns by forming Al-F compounds. After nitridation, in the PMMA residue-free area, the Al-F compounds on the sidewalls were decomposed and transformed to AIN. The PMMA residues between the nanopatterns had no obvious influence on the surface chemical composition and nitridation properties of the Al nanopatterns. They were only partially decomposed by the nitridation. The regional surface morphology of the nanopatterns revealed by the secondary electron XPEEM was consistent with the scanning electron microscopy results.
X-ray photoemission electron microscopy