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Facile wide-scale defect detection of UV-nanoimprinted resist patterns by fluorescent microscopy

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4 Author(s)
Kobayashi, Kei ; Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials (IMRAM), Tohoku University, 2-1-1 Katahira, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8577, Japan and Core Research Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST), Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), 5 Sanbancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0075, Japan ; Kubo, Shoichi ; Matsui, Shinji ; Nakagawa, Masaru

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The occurrence of resist pattern defects in UV nanoimprinting with a spincoated resin thin film on a silicon wafer was studied by fluorescent microscopy using a fluorescent UV-curable liquid resin causing radical photopolymerization. The generation of nonfill defects with a surface-modified silica mold with submicrometer line cavities was compared between UV nanoimprinting atmospheres of air and pentafluoropropane. It was visualized in a rapid and nondestructive manner that nonfill defects were hardly induced by UV nanoimprinting under easily condensable pentafluoropropane atmosphere, while nonfill defects owing to bubble trap and resin adhesion to a mold surface were observed in the case of UV nanoimprinting under air atmosphere. The fluorescent microscopy using the fluorescent UV-curable resin was useful for mold inspection whether or not the submicrometer-scale mold cavities were partially filled with the resin. To investigate a resolution limit to nonfill defect, the authors examined a pattern pitch and a space width for convex resist line patterns in the line width range of 80–3000 nm with various ratios of space width to line width. Linear analysis of fluorescence intensity using fluorescent microscope images revealed that line pattern pitches with a space width of 0.30 μm could be detected by fluorescent microscopy. The 0.30 μm space width was almost consistent with a value calculated according to a Sparrow resolution limit.

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Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 6 )