A method for patterning of resist surfaces which is particularly advantageous for systems having low photon flux and highly energetic, strongly attenuated radiation. A thin imaging layer is created with uniform silicon distribution in a bilayer format. An image is formed by exposing selected regions of the silylated imaging layer to radiation. The radiation incident upon the silyliated resist material results in acid generation which either catalyzes cleavage of Si--O bonds to produce moieties that are volatile enough to be driven off in a post exposure bake step or produces a resist material where the exposed portions of the imaging layer are soluble in a basic solution, thereby desilylating the exposed areas of the imaging layer. The process is self limiting due to the limited quantity of silyl groups within each region of the pattern. Following the post exposure bake step, an etching step, generally an oxygen plasma etch, removes the resist material from the de-silylated areas of the imaging layer.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with Government support under contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention.