Oregon Patent of the Month – June 2024

Inpria Corp., a chemical company on metal oxide photoresistors, has secured a patent focused on transforming semiconductor manufacturing. 

Their pioneering method involves forming a patterned film on a substrate through a unique process that enhances precision and efficiency. By irradiating a thin material layer with patterned radiation, an irradiated structure is created. This structure features regions of both irradiated and non-irradiated material. The non-irradiated material is a metal oxo-hydroxo network with metal cations bonded to organic ligands, which, upon irradiation, partially condense to enhance metal oxide characteristics.

This method allows for the selective removal of either irradiated or non-irradiated material to form intricate patterns on the substrate. Notably, the technology leverages the stability of the metal oxo-hydroxo network against ligand cleavage, ensuring controlled responses to irradiation and providing a reliable foundation for advanced patterning. The irradiation process triggers specific reactions, such as the breaking of metal-carbon and metal-carboxylate bonds, leading to differential dissolution rates that support both positive and negative tone imaging.

A standout feature of this approach is its flexibility with various metals like tin, antimony, and indium, along with organic ligands that form radiation-sensitive metal bonds. This versatility ensures compatibility with different semiconductor applications. Moreover, the technology supports EUV, UV, and e-beam radiation exposures, further broadening its applicability.

Inpria’s innovation not only enhances the precision of pattern formation but also integrates seamlessly with existing semiconductor fabrication processes. By enabling finer, more controlled patterns, this method significantly reduces feature sizes, pushing the boundaries of high-integration density in micro- and nanofabrication. 

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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