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Optimization of a gas discharge plasma source for extreme ultraviolet interference lithography at a wavelength of 11 nm

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3 Author(s)
Bergmann, K. ; Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology, Steinbachstrasse 15, D-52074 Aachen, Germany ; Danylyuk, S.V. ; Juschkin, L.

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In this work, we report about the optimization of the spectral emission characteristic of a gas discharge plasma source for high-resolution extreme ultraviolet (EUV) interference lithography based on achromatic Talbot self-imaging. The working parameters of the source are optimized to achieve a required narrowband emission spectrum and to fulfill the necessary coherence and intensity requirements. The intense 4f-4d transitions around 11 nm in a highly ionized (Xe8+Xe12+) xenon plasma are chosen to provide the working wavelength. This allows us to increase the available radiation intensity in comparison with an in-band EUV xenon emission at 13.5 nm and opens up the possibility to strongly suppress the influence of the 5p-4d transitions at wavelengths between 12 and 16 nm utilizing a significant difference in conditions for optical thickness between 4f-4d and 5p-4d transitions. The effect is achieved by using the admixture of argon to the pinch plasma, which allows keeping the plasma parameters approximately constant while, at the same time, reducing the density of xenon emitters. It is demonstrated that with this approach it is possible to achieve a high intensity 11 nm EUV radiation with a bandwidth of 3%–4% without the use of multilayer mirrors or other additional spectral filters in the vicinity of the working wavelength. The achieved radiation parameters are sufficient for high-performance interference lithography based on the achromatic Talbot effect.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:106 ,  Issue: 7 )