Patterning Enhancement Materials

Patterning Enhancement Materials offer solutions that improve process margin, defect control and higher resolution patterning steps associated in semiconductor fabrication of advanced integrated circuits.


There are two coatings in the Patterning Enhancement Materials (PEM) family:

TARCs - Top Antireflective Coatings 

TARCS are the industry standards as cost-effective solutions for reflectivity control in applications from i-line, KrF and ArF lithography. The straightforward process also adds values for improvement on resist performance by providing a capping layer to prevent contaminations. 

BARCs - Bottom Antireflective Coatings

These provide a comprehensive solution for reflectivity control. The materials pose low-outgassing, reduced defective and etch rates based on proprietary polymer platforms.


Target Application
  • Logic implant layers and CIS (i-line, KrF and ArF)
Value Proposition
  • Reflectivity control
  • Vertical profile
  • Defect reduction
Product range i-line
  • AZ AQUATAR-VIII-A series


Target Application
  • Logic and memory (i-line, KrF and ArF)
Value Proposition
  • Eliminates standing waves in Photoresist
  • Solves topography related lithography problems
  • Reflectivity control
  • Vertical profile
  • Gapfil, Planarization
Product Range
  • HERB
  • BARLi-II
  • BARLi-TF
  • BL-03R
  • KrF-17B
  • KrF-21D
  • KrF-17G7
  • KDB030
  • ArF-1C5D
  • ArF-2C5B
  • ArF-EB18B
  • ArF-EB52C

Summary of TARC vs. BARC




  • Fine tune necessary on PR, especially on topography
  • Coating on any substrate
  • X-link bake@>180C
  • Outgassing: Only EB52C & EB18B

Install concerns

Micro bubble



No need

Plasma etch


No need

O2 ashing, strong acid

PR swing reduction


1/10, no notching

Standing wave

No improvement


Resist profiles

Acidity control for CA PR round/T-top

Film density control for CA PR footing/undercut 

Side effect

Resist defect reduction


Chemical shrink and rinse

Chemical shrink

Chemical shrink is a post-resist-patterning process. Combining effects of physical and chemical interactions with photoresists sidewalls, a layer with reduced water solubility is formed. Post simple water rinse to remove excessive materials, the trench or hole pattern is shrunk to a smaller dimension. The volume of shrinkage is process controlled during standard bake temperatures.

Rinse chemical

Rinse chemical is another industry standard brought through our collaboration with TEL. By replacing deionized water with rinse chemical, resist pattern collapse could be significantly improved. The process helps customers expand process window and enable higher resolution. Some additional benefits include defective reduction and potentially LER/LWR improvement.

Chemical Shrink

Target Application
  • Logic, memory and CIS (i-line, KrF, ArF, NTD)
Value Proposition
  • Simple and low cost
  • Process window improvement
  • CDU improvement
  • LWR improvement
Product Range
  • R-200     
  • SH-11 4A

Chemical Rinse

Target Application
  • Logic and memory (KrF, ArF-d, ArF-I, EUV)
Value Proposition
  • Pattern collapsing elimination
  • Defect reduction
  • LWR improvement
Product range
  • SPC-116A
  • SPC-124A
  • SPC-402
  • SPC-708


Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany provides a broad material portfolio enabling advanced photolithography. Rinse material is a unique offering to alleviate capillary force hence mitigate pattern collapse in very fine photoresist pattern through reducing surface tension with novel surfactants. Based on the knowledge and know-hows acquired in the development of rinse materials for ArF dry/immersion lithography processes in the past decades, new material platforms have been developed to extend the technique to meet the ever critical requirements in the era of EUV lithography. We are committed to providing novel solutions to confront the increasing technical challenges in advanced patterning.

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