The use of atomic layer deposition in advanced nanopatterning
Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a method that allows for the deposition of thin films with atomic level control of the thickness and an excellent conformality on 3-dimensional surfaces. In recent years, ALD has been implemented in many applications in microelectronics, for which often a patterned film instead of full area coverage is required. This article reviews several approaches for the patterning of ALD-grown films. In addition to conventional methods relying on etching, there has been much interest in nanopatterning by area-selective ALD. Area-selective approaches can eliminate compatibility issues associated with the use of etchants, lift-off chemicals, or resist films. Moreover, the use of ALD as an enabling technology in advanced nanopatterning methods such as spacer defined double patterning or block copolymer lithography is discussed, as well as the application of selective ALD in self-aligned fabrication schemes.