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/mm2/sr and the area-averaged radiance in a 200-μm-diameter circle behind the debris mitigation system of 120 W/mm2/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/mm2/sr at plasma or 145 W/mm2/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/mm2/sr at plasma (or 130 W/mm2/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 %.