Birmingham, England-based start-up Irresistible Materials has developed a couple of photo-resist products for use with EUV lithography based on a novel type of resist chemistry known as a multi-trigger resist system.

The resist is molecular rather than polymeric and brings a number of benefits compared with other chemically accelerated resists, company director David Ure told EE Times Europe.

The resist is metal-free, requires no post-exposure bake and demonstrates a sensitivity to EUV that is twice that of known alternatives, Ure said. This comes with excellent resolution and low line-edge roughness and should result in significantly improved machine cycle times, he added. The development will be reported in the paper "Sensitivity enhancement of the high-resolution xMT molecular resist for EUV lithography."

The paper is co-authored with a number of University of Birmingham researchers and an engineer from Nano-C (Westwood, Mass.). Nano-C is a developer of nanostructured carbon and fullerene derivatives and serves as a manufacturing partner for IM, which is a 2010 spin-off from the University of Birmingham.

The material is spin-on and has been tested for compatibility with waste flows in conventional flows. It is also compatible with 193nm wavelength optical lithography and makes a good e-beam resist, although for now focus is on EUV lithography of contact holes. This is likely to be the first commercial application of EUV lithography in 2018 or 2019, Ure said.

IM's primary business model will be as a licensor of intellectual property to resist suppliers, Ure said. But to get to that point the company has to behave like a resist supplier to demonstrate the advantages of its chemistry and to get test time on NXE EUV lithography machines.

Ure added that IM was looking to conduct an equity funding round in 2017.

This article first appeared on EE Times Europe