High-throughput actinic mask inspection tools are needed as EUVL begins to enter into volume production phase. One of the key technologies to realize such inspection tools is a high-radiance EUV source of which radiance is supposed to be as high as 100 W/mm<sup>2</sup>/sr. Ushio is developing laser-assisted discharge-produced plasma (LDP) sources. Ushio’s LDP source is able to provide sufficient radiance as well as cleanliness, stability and reliability. Radiance behind the debris mitigation system was confirmed to be 120 W/mm<sup>2</sup>/sr at 9 kHz and peak radiance at the plasma was increased to over 200 W/mm<sup>2</sup>/sr in the recent development which supports high-throughput, high-precision mask inspection in the current and future technology nodes. One of the unique features of Ushio’s LDP source is cleanliness. Cleanliness evaluation using both grazing-incidence Ru mirrors and normal-incidence Mo/Si mirrors showed no considerable damage to the mirrors other than smooth sputtering of the surface at the pace of a few nm per Gpulse. In order to prove the system reliability, several long-term tests were performed. Data recorded during the tests was analyzed to assess two-dimensional radiance stability. In addition, several operating parameters were monitored to figure out which contributes to the radiance stability.
The latest model that features a large opening angle was recently developed so that the tool can utilize a large number of debris-free photons behind the debris shield. The model was designed both for beam line application and high-throughput mask inspection application. At the time of publication, the first product is supposed to be in use at the customer site.
High-throughput and -resolution actinic mask inspection tools are needed as EUVL begins to enter into volume production phase. To realize such inspection tools, a high-radiance EUV source is necessary. Ushio’s laser-assisted discharge-produced plasma (LDP) source is able to meet industry’s requirements in radiance, cleanliness, stability and reliability. Ushio’s LDP source has shown the peak radiance at plasma of 180 W/mm<sup>2</sup>/sr and the area-averaged radiance in a 200-μm-diameter circle behind the debris mitigation system of 120 W/mm<sup>2</sup>/sr. A new version of the debris mitigation system is in testing phase. Its optical transmission was confirmed to be 73 %, which is 4 % lower than that of the previous version and therefore will be improved. Cleanliness of the system is evaluated by exposing Ru mirrors placed behind the debris mitigation system. Ru sputter rate was proven to be sufficiently low as 3~5 nm/Gpulse at 7 kHz, whereas frequency-dependent sputter rate was 1~3 nm/Gpulse at 5~9 kHz as previously reported. Sn deposition remained very low (< 0.05 nm) and did not grow over time. A new technique to suppress debris was tested and preliminary results were promising. Time-of-flight signal of fast ions was completely suppressed and Ru sputter rate of exposed mirrors at 3 kHz was approximately 1.3 nm/Gpulse, whereas the conventional mitigation system (new version) resulted in Ru sputter rate of 0.7 nm/Gpulse. This new technique also allows increasing the radiance efficiency by 30 %. Stability tests were done at several different discharge frequencies. Pulse energy stability was approximately 10 %. Dose energy stability dropped from approximately 2 % to 0.1 % when feedback control was activated. EUV emission position stability was studied at 3 kHz. Deviation of the plasma center of gravity was 6 μm, which is 3 % of plasma diameter and therefore considered to be negligible. Reliability tests were performed on both R and D and prototype machines and up to 200 hours of non-interrupted operation was demonstrated.
Actinic mask inspection manufactures are currently searching for high-radiance EUV sources for their tools. LDP source, which was previously used for lithography purposes, was found to be a good candidate as it can provide sufficient power and radiance. Introduction of new techniques, modified modules and fine tuning of operational conditions (discharge pulse energy, discharge frequency, laser) has brought radiance level to 180 W/mm<sup>2</sup>/sr at plasma or 145 W/mm<sup>2</sup>/sr as clean-photon. The source has been modified in such a way to improve modules reliability, lifetime and radiance stability even though there is still a room for further improvement. Size of the source system is much smaller than that of the lithography source. A debris mitigation system has been tested. Optical transmission was improved to 77 % and several 8-nm-thick Ru samples were exposed to evaluate contamination and erosion of optics. Preliminary results show low sputter and deposition rates, which supports sufficiently long lifetime of the optics.
High-radiance EUV source is needed for actinic mask inspection applications. LDP source for a lithography application was found to be also able to provide sufficient radiance for mask inspection purpose. Since the plasma size of LDP is properly larger than LPP, not only radiance but also power is suitable for mask inspection applications. Operating condition such as discharge pulse energy, discharge frequency and laser parameter have been tuned to maximize radiance. Introduction of new techniques and several modifications to LDP source have brought radiance level to 180 W/mm<sup>2</sup>/sr at plasma (or 130 W/mm<sup>2</sup>/sr as clean-photon radiance). The LDP source is operated at moderate power level in order to ensure sufficient component lifetime and reliability. The first lifetime test done at 10 kHz resulted in 6.5 Gpulse without failure. Debris mitigation system has been successfully installed showing optical transmission as high as 71 %.
Debris-mitigation tools (DMTs) have been used in DPP sources and the performance has been well proven in alpha
sources. In beta and HVM sources, requirement to the DMT is increasing to fulfill the power and lifetime requirements
simultaneously. In order to bring DPP technology into HVM level, a high-performance DMT has been developed. It has
high mitigation performance for both neutral and ionic debris, large collection angle of the collector having high optical
transmission, and withstand large thermal input from the discharge source head. Experiments were carried out using
mirror samples and proved sufficient performance with which no sputtering and deposition were observed.
Discharge-produced plasma (DPP)-based EUV source is being developed at Gotenba Branch of EUVA Hiratsuka R&D Center. A high-repetition-rate high voltage power supply (HVPS) was developed and put into operation on the magnetic pulse compression (MPC)-driven DPP source, enabling 8-kHz operation with 15 J/pulse of maximum charging energy and 0.11 % of stability. SnH4 gas was used as a fuel gas in order to obtain high conversion efficiency. SnH4-fueled Z-pinch source demonstrated EUV power of 700 W/2&pgr;sr within 2 % bandwidth around 13.5 nm. Using a nested grazing-incidence collector, EUV power at the intermediate focus which is defined as an interface to the exposure tool reached 62 W with 3.3 mm2sr of etendue. Tin deposition rate on the collector surface, which is the concern in any tin-fueled EUV sources, was decreased by four orders of magnitude as a result of debris-shield development. Cleaning processes were also developed to enhance total lifetime of the collector. A sequence of intentional deposition and cleaning process for the ruthenium grazing-incidence mirror sample was repeated 13 times. By measuring reflectivity of the mirror, it was confirmed that halogen cleaning process worked very effectively and did not get the mirror damaged after such a long-term cleaning experiment.
Discharge-produced plasma (DPP) based EUV source is being developed at Gotenba Branch of EUVA Hiratsuka R&D Center. Among the several kinds of discharge scheme, Z-pinch is employed in our source. An all-solid-state magnetic pulse compression (MPC) generator is used to create a Z-pinch plasma. Low inductance MPC generator is capable of producing a pulsed current with over 50 kA of peak amplitude and about 100 ns of pulse duration at 7 kHz of pulse repetition frequency. In order to obtain sufficient output radiation power, tin-containing gas is being used as well as xenon. Due to the high spectral efficiency of tin, demonstrated EUV output power reached 645 W/2πsr within 2% bandwidth around 13.5 nm. A novel scheme of fuel gas supply led to as good output energy stability as xenon can achieve. Using a nested grazing-incidence collector, EUV power at intermediate focus point which is defined as an interface to the exposure tool reached 42 W with 3.3 mm<sup>2</sup>sr of etendue.