The cost-effectiveness and future progress of EUV (13.5 nm) lithography will largely depend on the resist technology development. Hybrid inorganic-organic photoresists have emerged as promising materials of EUV and have gained increasing attention in recent years. A crucial aspect for hybrid materials is their stability and the preservation of their molecular integrity when deposited as thin films. In this work, we study novel zinc (Zn) oxoclusters as molecular hybrid photoresists. Our aim is to combine the reactivity of methacrylate organic ligands with an inorganic cluster with high EUV photon absorption cross-section arising from this metal. To gain understanding on the shelf life of this material, changes in their structure under different conditions were monitored employing a combination of different spectroscopic techniques. The sensitivity of these oxoclusters under EUV light was investigated and their patterning performance is evaluated using EUV interference lithography. Our results indicate that these novel Zn-based oxoclusters are promising candidates for EUV lithography owing to their high dose sensitivity. Nevertheless, the labile nature of the methacrylate ligands has an important impact in the development process which seems to hamper their reproducibility. This work contributes to the understanding of the pitfalls and advantages of hybrid molecular resists

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Thakur, N, Vockenhuber, M, Ekinci, Y, & Castellanos, S. (2019). Zinc-based metal oxoclusters: towards enhanced EUV absorptivity. In Proc. SPIE 10957, Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Lithography X. doi:10.1117/12.2514814