Joel M. Frendt - Boise ID
Micron Technology, Inc. - Boise ID
A process for forming an etch mask having a discontinuous regular pattern utilizes beads, each of which has a substantially unetchable core covered by a removable spacer coating. Beads which have a core and a spacer coating are dispensed as a hexagonally-packed monolayer onto a thermo-adhesive layer, which is on a target layer. The beads are kept in place by a bead confinement wall. Following a vibrational step which facilitates hexagonal packing of the beads, the resultant assembly is heated so that the beads adhere to the adhesive layer. Excess beads are then discarded. Spacer shell material is then removed from each of the beads, leaving core etch masks. The core-masked target layer is then plasma etched to form a column of target material directly beneath each core. The cores and any spacer material underneath the cores are removed. The resulting circular island of target material may be used as an etch mask during wet isotropic etching of an underlying layer.