Adhesion of proton beam written high aspect ratio hydrogen silsesquioxane (HSQ) nanostructures on different metallic substrates

S. Gorelick, F. Zhang, J. A. van Kan, H. J. Whitlow, F. Watt

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Hydrogen silsesquioxane (HSQ) behaves as a negative resist under MeV proton beam exposure. HSQ is a high-resolution resist suitable for production of tall (<1.5 μm) high aspect ratio nanostructures with dimensions down to 22 nm. High aspect ratio HSQ structures can be used in many applications, e.g. nanofluidics, biomedical research, etc. Isolated HSQ nanostructures, however, tend to detach from substrates during the development process due to the weak adhesive forces between the resist and the substrate material. Larger proton fluences were observed to promote the adhesion. To determine an optimal substrate material and the proton irradiation doses for HSQ structures, a series of 2 μm long and 60-600 nm wide free-standing lines were written with varying fluences of 2 MeV protons in 1.2 μm thick HSQ resist spun on Ti/Si, Cr/Si and Au/Cr/Si substrates. The results indicate that the Ti/Si substrate is superior in terms of adhesion, while Au/Si is the worst. Cr/Si is not suitable as a substrate for HSQ resist because debris was formed around the structures, presumably due to a chemical reaction between the resist and Cr.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3314-3318
Number of pages5
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Adhesion
  • Cr
  • High aspect ratio
  • Hydrogen silsesquioxane
  • Proton beam writing
  • Ti

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