Exploring the use of oxide thin films as photolithographic resists

The Center brings together numerous research techniques to study compositional and structural variations at near-atomic dimensions. By incorporating light and radiation-sensitive ligands into inorganic cluster solutions, we can induce cluster condensation via nonthermal methods. Such controlled, radiation-induced condensation leads to a change in material solubility that can be used to directly pattern inorganic structures at dimensions smaller than 10 nm. Center chemistries have been used to produce the smallest, densest features ever written with photons.  

PROJECT: Investigation of radiolytic behavior of “onium” polyoxometalates and organo-tin clusters for using as thin film photolithographic resists in nanopatterning. Polyoxometalates (POMs) are a large group of structurally well-defined molecular metal-oxide clusters with diverse physical properties and applications. The pairing of a POM with an appropriate onium cation results in organic-inorganic hybrids that combine the properties of both counterparts. The versatile nature of POMs in terms of structure, size, redox chemistry, photochemistry, and charge distribution makes this family of compounds perfect candidates to explore their onium-salts as a photolithographic resists.  The wide family of POM anions and onium cations increases the possibilities of tuning the properties of these materials.  In related work, methods are being examined for high-yield synthesis of well-defined organo-tin clusters.

The primary objects of this project are the following:

  • synthesize and characterize onium-polyoxometalates and organotin clusters and thin films;
  • evaluate onium POM and organo-tin solutions as film precursors;
  • investigate chemical reactions occurring on radiation exposure and throughout the lithographic process.