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Hard mask for metal patterning

Image Number 4 for United States Patent #6093973.

An oxide hard mask is formed between a deep ultraviolet photoresist and an anti-reflective coating to prevent interactions with the photoresist, thereby preventing reduction of a critical dimension of a patterned conductive layer. Embodiments include depositing a substantially nitrogen free oxide layer on the anti-reflective coating, such as a silicon oxide derived from tertaethyl orthosilicate by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition.

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