Time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) calculations using the B3LYP hybrid functional were performed to investigate the transparencies of organic molecules and polymers in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) region. The calculated photoabsorption spectra obtained from the combination of geometry optimization using the 6-311G(d) basis set and subsequent calculations of transition energies and oscillator strengths using the 6-311++G(d,p) basis set agree well with the experimental spectra. This method is a useful to infer the transparency of polymers in the VUV region, and in particular helpful for design of photoresist materials for F2 lithography (157 nm). The transparencies of the model compounds relating to the representative polymer platforms were estimated, and the calculated spectra demonstrate the effectiveness of judicious introduction of -F and -CF3 groups in reducing optical absorption at the wavelength. In addition, the absorption spectra of model compounds having a sulfonyl fluoride (-SO2F) and sulfonyl ester (-SO2OR) groups, which were proposed by the present authors as novel resist platforms, were calculated and compared with the experimental spectra of corresponding homopolymers.
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