Extreme Ultra Violet Lithography (EUVL) has been widely regarded as the lithography technology to succeed optical lithography. It is now considered as one of the most promising technologies below hp45nm node , following ArF immersion lithography considering trend of achievable process K1 factors shown in Fig. 1. In this paper we would like to present significant progress on the development of EUV exposure tool. There are several key important areas which should be developed to realize EUVL to be feasible such as reflective mask, resist, and tool itself. The reflective mask features such characteristics as pellicle-less, ultra-smooth blank flatness and defect free. The resist should be of high sensitivity and small line edge roughness (LER) as well as fine resolution. EUV exposure tool itself consists of major modules such as EUV light source, projection optics, vacuum body, vacuum stages, and so on. As far as EUVL optics development is concerned, through the development of high-NA small-field EUV exposure system (HiNA) in conjunction with EUVA (Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography System Development Association) projects, we have developed new polishing technologies such as ion-beam figuring and elastic emission machining, and new ultra high-precision interferometers for aspheric surface metrology. Wave front sensor system has been also developed partly in EUVA project. A new wave front sensor system which can be used for evaluating the projection optics with EUV light has already been installed in New SUBARU synchrotron facility in University of Hyogo. Our multi-layer coating technology has been also improved. High reflective Mo/Si multi layer coating has been successfully achieved and irradiation tests using synchrotron radiation have been conducted . Successful achievement of those developments enables us to produce full-field projection optics for EUVL process development tool called EUV1. Proto-type development of full-field projection optics has been successfully completed and evaluated to be of enough performance. Preparation of complete set of production and metrology tools necessary for projection optics production was completed and all tools are now in full operation.
Nikon has studied reticle protection method and developed Dual Pod Concept in cooperation with Canon. Nikon also has developed its own reticle cover to be implemented in EUV1 tool.
Nikon has completed almost all module fabrication such as full-field projection optics module, illumination optics module, vacuum body module, vacuum compatible reticle/wafer stage modules, reticle/wafer loader modules, and EUV light source module. Nikon has already got into module integration production process to meet EUV1 development schedule. Nikon announced to start EUV1 tool installation in 1st half of 2007 and has been proceeding it on schedule. Nikon also would like to announce that development of 1st generation production EUVL tool dubbed EUV2 is now considered and that system concept design is under way.