Solubility studies of inorganic–organic hybrid nanoparticle photoresists with different surface functional groups†
The solubility behavior of Hf and Zr based hybrid nanoparticles with different surface ligands in different concentrations of photoacid generator as potential EUV photoresists was investigated in detail. The nanoparticles regardless of core or ligand chemistry have a hydrodynamic diameter of 2–3 nm and a very narrow size distribution in organic solvents. The Hansen solubility parameters for nanoparticles functionalized with IBA and 2MBA have the highest contribution from the dispersion interaction than those with tDMA and MAA, which show more polar character. The nanoparticles functionalized with unsaturated surface ligands showed more apparent solubility changes after exposure to DUV than those with saturated ones. The solubility differences after exposure are more pronounced for films containing a higher amount of photoacid generator. The work reported here provides material selection criteria and processing strategies for the design of high performance EUV photoresists.