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Robust auto-alignment technique for orientation-dependent etching of nanostructures

[+] Author Affiliations
Craig D. McGray

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899

Richard Kasica

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899

Ndubuisi G. Orji

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899

Ronald Dixson

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899

Michael W. Cresswell

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899

Richard A. Allen

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899

3D Enablement Center, SEMATECH, 257 Fuller Road, Suite 2200, Albany, New York 12203

Jon Geist

National Institute of Standards and Technology, Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division, 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899

J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 11(2), 023005 (May 29, 2012). doi:10.1117/1.JMM.11.2.023005
History: Received December 6, 2011; Revised February 12, 2012; Accepted February 27, 2012
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Abstract.  A robust technique is presented for auto-aligning nanostructures to slow-etching planes during crystallographic etching of silicon. Lithographic mask patterns are modified from the intended dimensions of the nanostructures to compensate for uncertainty in crystal axis orientation. The technique was employed in fabricating silicon nanolines having lengths of 600 nm and widths less than 5 nm, subjected to intentional misalignment of up to ±1deg. After anisotropic etching, the auto-aligned structures exhibited as little as 1 nm of width variation, as measured by a critical dimension atomic force microscope, across 2 deg of variation in orientation. By contrast, the widths of control structures fabricated without auto-alignment showed 8 nm of variation. Use of the auto-alignment technique can eliminate the need for fiducial-based alignment methods in a variety of applications.

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© 2012 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Craig D. McGray ; Richard Kasica ; Ndubuisi G. Orji ; Ronald Dixson ; Michael W. Cresswell, et al.
"Robust auto-alignment technique for orientation-dependent etching of nanostructures", J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 11(2), 023005 (May 29, 2012). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JMM.11.2.023005


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