Aberration-corrected Electron Beam Lithography at the One Nanometer Length Scale

A. Stein, V.R. Manfrinato, L. Zhang, C.-Y. Nam, E.A. Stach, C.T. Black
Brookhaven National Laboratory,
United States

Keywords: electron beam lithography, transmission electron microscopy, single digit nanometer lithography, polymers


Electron-beam lithography (EBL) is the principal nano-patterning method to fabricate arbitrary-shaped sub-10 nm structures. However, EBL has not been able to consistently provide sub-4 nm patterns. Nano-patterning techniques that can surpass the 4 nm resolution limit, such as electron-beam induced deposition and scanning probe lithography require orders of magnitude larger dose than EBL. In addition, transferring patterns from the resist to another material (i.e., pattern transfer) at the sub-4 nm length scale is currently a challenge. To improve the resolution of EBL we used an aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) with probe diameter of 1 Å. Here we show a fully functional aberration-corrected EBL system at the 1 nm length scale on widely available resist poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and demonstrate pattern transfer to semiconductor and metallic materials at the sub-5 nm scale. These results are the smallest and highest density patterns in PMMA and in any conventional electron-beam resist.