Image Number 6 for United States Patent #8133659.
This invention provides methods of creating via or trench structures on a developer-soluble hardmask layer using a multiple exposure-development process. The hardmask layer is patterned while the imaging layer is developed. After the imaging layer is stripped using organic solvents, the same hardmask can be further patterned using subsequent exposure-development processes. Eventually, the pattern can be transferred to the substrate using an etching process.