Kawasaki, Japan--The technology consortium Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography System Development Association (EUVA) announced that its extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light source achieved a power output of 104 Watts at the intermediate focus (IF). Supported by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), the EUVA has been working on the development of laser produced plasma (LPP) light sources for EUV lithography tools since 2002 and proposed several unique methods, such as the combination of tin (Sn) and carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers for improved conversion efficiency, as well as the use of magnetic fields for debris removal. Today's announcement demonstrates the performance achieved by integrating a number of accumulated element technologies like these into a light source system for advanced semiconductor production applications (see related story "EUV mirror shows near-zero reflectance at CO2 laser wavelength").
Double patterning lithography using 193-nm argon fluoride (ArF) immersion lithography tools is rapidly approaching the limits of half-pitch scaling in advanced semiconductor manufacturing due to restriction of the freedom in pattern layout and rising costs associated with the need for additional processing steps. Developing a production-worthy EUV light source with a shorter wavelength of 13.5 nm is considered to be one of the most promising next-generation lithography solutions to not only extend the limits of semiconductor scaling, but also allow single patterning lithography again to dramatically reduce production costs as well as eliminate pattern restrictions. However, one of the biggest challenges facing EUV lithography tools is the ability to achieve a higher output power, which is essential to enabling the patterning throughput needed for high-volume semiconductor production applications.
The EUVA achieved its breakthrough 104 W power output at a conversion efficiency of 2.5% by having a CO2 laser of 7.9 kW radiated onto a Sn droplet target of 60 microns in diameter. The organization plans to achieve greater gains in power output by increasing the CO2 laser output and enhancing the conversion efficiency, and has an aggressive roadmap to achieve the output power needed for EUV lithography systems geared toward volume production applications. Today's announced achievement was done in close cooperation with Komatsu, a member company of the EUVA. The EUV light sources that will leverage this technology will be marketed by Gigaphoton, another member of the EUVA.
The EUVA was formed in June 2002 to develop EUV lithography technologies, which would be used to produce 45 nm or beyond semiconductors. Nine companies gathered to establish EUVA: Three EUV source suppliers—Gigaphoton, Komatsu, and Ushio; two EUV exposure tool manufacturers--Canon and Nikon; and four semiconductor makers—Fujitsu Micro Electronics, NEC Electronics, Toshiba, and Renesas.