As the original bottom antireflective coatings (BARCs), ARC® antireflective coatings continue to be the industry benchmark for reflection control and light absorption during photolithography. Our proven line of anti-reflective coatings spans all the way from legacy 365-nm (i-line) processes to cutting-edge 193-nm immersion processes. ARC® materials are known for their customizable process window, broad photoresist compatibility, and benchmark pattern fidelity.
Once considered a niche technology, ARC® materials rapidly joined the mainstream of lithography processing throughout the 1980s and 1990s and are now considered an integral part of every exposure step.
Brewer Science offers the most diverse catalog of 193-nm BARCs in the industry, with over 50 materials available commercially. Our 193-nm BARCs are designed with photoresist compatibility and process flexibility in mind, and many offer tunable optical properties allowing for further process customization.
DUV and i-line materials
Although cutting-edge lithography has moved to shorter wavelengths, i-line (365-nm) and deep ultraviolet (DUV, or 248-nm) lithography continue to be industry workhorses for many critical steps of the IC manufacturing process. In addition, many devices that are part of the Internet of Things are created using these legacy processes. Brewer Science maintains a full catalog of DUV and i-line antireflective coatings to meet all of these needs.
Why we need antireflective coatings
Before ARC® materials were introduced in 1981, IC manufacturers faced increasing challenges posed by reflections from the underlying substrate during the exposure step. The highly reflective substrate (typically a polished silicon wafer) would cause light from the exposure to bounce back into the photoresist, resulting in phenomena such as standing waves and reflective notching. These defects could ruin the fidelity of the pattern in the photoresist. Brewer Science introduced ARC® antireflective coatings to mitigate these reflections and allow for the continued reduction of IC feature sizes for decades to come. Without the introduction of ARC® materials, the nanoscale circuitry that drives modern electronic devices would not be possible.
The biggest problem facing lithographers using EUV is the RLS trade-off: simultaneous improvement of resolution, line width roughness, and photosensitivity.
OptiStack® multilayer systems are our flagship lithography technology, and are used for leading-edge high volume IC manufacturing.