A new supercritical resist dryer (SRD) has been developed. Supercritical drying is the most effective way to prevent pattern collapse, which limits pattern resolution; and a special dryer is needed to carry it out. The dryer developed in this study is a more efficient version of our previous model in that only the wafer and wafer holder, rather than the whole chamber are heated. To accomplish this, the dryer is equipped with a hot holder, which quickly heats the wafer to the temperature required for drying without a high-power heater. That is, the heater quickly converts only the carbon dioxide surrounding the holder to the supercritical state. Furthermore, the temperature gradient between the holder and the chamber wall induces convection currents that rapidly replace the rinse resolution with supercritical CO2 without the need for a flow of liquid CO2. The SRD enables extremely fine resist and Si line patterns to be formed without any collapse or bending.© (2002) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.