Powerlase and UCD collaborate on laser-produced-plasma light source for EUV lithography

Feb. 9, 2007
February 9, 2007, Crawley, England, and Dublin, Ireland--Powerlase, which makes nanosecond Q-switched, diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) lasers, will collaborate with the University College Dublin (UCD) to further the development of laser-produced plasma (LPP) light sources for extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) lithography.

February 9, 2007, Crawley, England, and Dublin, Ireland--Powerlase, which makes nanosecond Q-switched, diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) lasers, will collaborate with the University College Dublin (UCD) to further the development of laser-produced plasma (LPP) light sources for extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. The LPP EUV approach is currently the most-promising technology for high-volume manufacture of semiconductor integrated-circuit (IC) chips with minimum feature sizes of 32 nm and below.

The aim of the effort is to provide the industry with a proven, robust, and cost-effective laser capable of driving a LPP. Researchers from UCD will study ion emissions from the LPP EUV source. It is the LPP, and not the DPSS laser itself, that emits the short-wavelength (13 nm) light that will be used for patterning IC chips.

The light source is not the only technological challenge at EUV wavelengths. Because refractive optical elements do not transmit at 13 nm, all optics to be used for lithography at EUV wavelengths will be reflective; to maintain wavefront quality, EUV optical systems will have to be an order of magnitude more precise in construction than the best conventional lithographic optics.

Powerlase has previously collaborated on EUV lithography with researchers at the Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography Association (Tokyo, Japan) and the University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL). Powerlase supplied both organizations with DPSS lasers for the EUV-source development required for EUVL.

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