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R&D: Nanoimprint Lithography Guiding Templates for Advanced Magnetic Media Fabrication

Results show that tri-layer process using carbon resulted in lowest line edge roughness of ≈0.65 nm at imprinted disk level, and show that Tri-layer masking allowed for use of conventional ZEP e-beam resist and fast writing speeds, while gaining high selectivity during quartz patterning.

Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B has published an article written by Daniel Staaks, Yautzong Hsu, Kim Y. Lee, Philip L. Steiner, Zhaoning Yu, Jason J. Wu, ShuaiGang Xiao, XiaoMin Yang, Seagate Technology, 47488 Kato Rd, Fremont, CA 94538, and Thomas Y. Chang, Seagate Technology, 90 Woodlands Avenue 7, Singapore 737911, Singapore.

Abstract: Nanoimprint lithography presents unique opportunities for advanced magnetic storage media with ordered bit arrangements such as bit patterned media or heated dot magnetic recording. Providing sub-10 nm resolution and full disk imprinting capability, UV-nanoimprint lithography based on rigid quartz templates bears the entitlement for patterned recording media manufacturing with high throughput at low cost. However, a key challenge is the fabrication of the high-resolution template that can transfer the desired pattern onto the disk with high fidelity and low line edge roughness. In this article, we present fabrication routes and overcome challenges to the fabrication of quartz templates suitable for self-alignment and guiding purposes to be used for template replication toward full disk imprints. Guiding patterns down to 40 nm pitch are prepared using a rotary electron beam lithography tool. We compare three different process approaches to fabricate an etching mask for patterning the quartz. Two methods target chromium patterning, one with traditional lift-off and another by dry etching, both using an e-beam resist mask. The third approach is based on the development of a carbon-based Tri-layer hard mask. The template pattern profile is optimized for imprint-suitable sidewall angles using dry etching in a CF4/O2 chemistry. The templates were characterized using scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy to evaluate the quality of the transferred pattern as well as line edge roughness. Our results show that the Tri-layer process using carbon resulted in the lowest line edge roughness of ≈0.65 nm at the imprinted disk level. In addition, we show that Tri-layer masking allowed for the use of conventional ZEP e-beam resist and fast writing speeds, while gaining high selectivity during quartz patterning.

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