This thesis describes the development and characterizationof a liquidxenon- jet laser-plasma source forextreme-ultraviolet (EUV) radiation. It is shown how thissource may be suitable for production-scale EUV lithography(EUVL).
EUVL is one of the main candidates to succeeddeep-ultraviolet (DUV) lithography for large-scalemanufacturing of integrated circuits (IC). However, a majorobstacle towards the realization of EUVL is the currentunavailability of a source meeting the tough requirements onespecially power and cleanliness for operation in an EUVLstepper. The liquid-xenon-jet laser-plasma concept has keyadvantages that may make it suitable for EUVL since, e.g., itsplasma consists only of the inert noble gas xenon and since theliquidjet target technology enables plasma operation at largedistances from the source-hardware thereby reducing sputteringand to allowing for high-power operation.
At the beginning of the work described in this thesis, aspatial instability of the liquid-xenon-jet made stableoperation of a plasma at practical distances from the nozzleorifice dicult. However, an invention of a stabilization methodbased on applying localized heating to the tip of thejet-forming nozzle, resulted in stable jet operation. Thelongitudinal droplet stability of a liquid-droplet laser-plasmasource has also been investigated and improved.
Continuous improvements of especially the laser-power toEUV-radiation conversion eciency (CE) and the stability oflaser-plasma operation at large distances (several centimeter)from the nozzle are reported for the liquidxenon- jet laserplasma source. Furthermore, this source is characterizedregarding many parameters relevant for EUVL operationincluding, ion emission from the plasma and related sputteringof nearby components, source size and shape, therepetition-rate limit of the source and non-EUV emission fromthe plasma.
Although the main focus of the thesis has been thedevelopment and characterization of a liquid-xenon-jetlaser-plasma source for production-scale EUVL, the source mayalso be suitable for small field applications that benefit fromthe high potential brightness of the source. A method to scanthe plasma and thus minimize the photon losses whilemaintaining the object plane uniformity was developed.Furthermore, the first operation of a liquidtin- jet laserplasma is reported. Quantitative EUV flux measurements yieldrecord CE, but quantitative contamination measurements alsoindicate that a liquid-tin-jet laser plasma is not likely to beapplicable as a source for EUVL.
Stockholm: Fysik , 2003. , xi, 58 p.