Laser-produced Sn plasma is an efficient extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light source, however the highest risk in the Sn-based EUV light source is contamination of the first EUV collection mirror caused by debris emitted from the Sn plasma. Minimum mass target is a key term associated with relaxation of the mirror contamination problem. For design of the optimum minimum mass Sn target, opacity effects on the EUV emission from the laser-produced Sn plasma should be considered. Optically thinner plasma produced by shorter laser pulse emits 13.5 nm light more efficiently; 2.0% of conversion efficiency was experimentally attained with drive laser of 2.2 ns in pulse duration, 1.0 × 1011 W/cm2 in intensity, and 1.064 μm in wavelength. Under the optimum laser conditions, the minimum mass required for sufficient EUV emission, which is also affected by the opacity, is equal to the product of the ablation thickness and the required laser spot size. Emission properties of ionized and neutral debris from laser-produced minimum mass Sn plasmas have been measured with particle diagnostics and spectroscopic method. The higher energy ions have higher charge states, and those are emitted from outer region of expanding plasmas. Feasibility of the minimum mass target has been demonstrated to reduce neutral particle generation for the first time. In the proof-of-principle experiments, EUV emission from a punch-out target is found to be comparable to that from a static target, and expansion energy of ion debris was drastically reduced with the use of the punch-out target.
For EUV lithography the generation of clean and efficient light source and the high-power laser technology are key issues. Theoretical understanding with modeling and simulation of laser-produced EUV source based on detailed experimental database gives us the prediction of optimal plasma conditions and their suitable laser conditions for different target materials (tin, xenon and lithium). With keeping etendue limit the optimal plasma size is determined by an appropriate optical depth which can be controlled by the combination of laser wavelength and pulse width. The most promising candidate is tin (Sn) plasma heated by Nd:YAG laser with a pulse width of a few ns. Therefore the generation technology of clean Sn plasma is a current important subject to be resolved for practical use. For this purpose we have examined the feasibility of laser-driven rocket-like injection of extremely mass-limited Sn or SnO2 (punched-out target) with a speed exceeding 100m/s. Such a mass-limited low-density target is most preferable for substantial reduction of ion energy compared with usual bulk target. For high average power EUV generation we are developing a laser system which is CW laser diode pumped Nd:YAG ceramic laser (master oscillator and power amplifier system) operating at 5-10 kHz repetition rate. The design of practical laser for EUV source is being carried out based on the recent performance of >1 kW output power.
Properties of laser-produced tin (Sn) plasmas were experimentally investigated for application to the Extreme Ultra-Violet (EUV) lithography. Optical thickness of the Sn plasmas affects strongly to EUV energy, efficiency, and spectrum. Opacity structure of uniform Sn plasma was measured with a temporally resolved EUV spectrograph coupled with EUV backlighting technique. Dependence of the EUV conversion efficiency and spectra on Sn target thickness were studied, and the experimental results indicate that control of optical thickness of the Sn plasma is essential to obtain high EUV conversion efficiency and narrow spectrum. The optical thickness is able to be controlled by changing initial density of targets: EUV emission from low-density targets has narrow spectrum peaked at 13.5 nm. The narrowing is attributed to reduction of satellite emission and opacity broadening in the plasma. Furthermore, ion debris emitted from the Sn plasma were measured using a charge collector and a Thomson parabola ion analyzer. Measured ablation thickness of the Sn target is between 30 and 50 nm for the laser intensity of 1.0 x 1011 W/cm2 (1.064 μm of wavelength and 10 ns of pulse duration), and the required minimum thickness for sufficient EUV emission is found to be about 30 nm under the same condition. Thus almost all debris emitted from the 30 nm-thick mass-limited Sn targets are ions, which can be screened out by an electro-magnetic shield. It is found that not only the EUV generation but also ion debris are affected by the Sn target thickness.
It is very effective for mass-limited tin-foil targets to adapt for the EUV source. Tin-foil targets in account of formation, size, and thickness have been developed for debris mitigation. The amount of ions from targets is 40 % decreased tin-foil targets of 1μm or 5μm thickness than tin-bulk targets. The ion velocity is one order of magnitude less than bulk targets. The EUV emission spectra of tin-foil are more narrowing than bulk targets. The targets supply for high repetition rate of 10 kHz is applied for a novel method. It is called "Punch-out" method. The flight of graphite foil that it is a test targets was succeed to observe by using a gated ICCD camera. The target velocity is achieved to be about 120 m/s. This value can be applied for targets supply with high repetition rate of 10 kHz.
Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) emission from laser produced tin plasma was investigated for 1064, 532 and 266 nm laser wavelengths. The EUV conversion with tin target tends to be high for shorter laser wavelength and is optimized at 4-5x1010 W/cm2 for 1064 and 532 nm. The EUV emission exhibits laser wavelength dependence in terms of angular distribution and structures of emission spectra. It is found that spectra for 532 nm and 266 nm showed spectral dips at around 13.5 nm and these dips are well replicated in computer simulations. Both the angular distribution together with the spectral dips may suggest existence of opaque plasmas surrounding the EUV emission region.
Extreme Ultra Violet (EUV) light source produced by laser irradiation emits not only the desired EUV light of
13 ~ 14 nm (about 90 eV) but also shorter x-rays. For example, emissions around 4 ~ 8 nm (about 150 ~ 300 eV)
and 1 ~ 2.5 nm (about 0.5 ~ 1.2 keV) are experimentally observed from Sn and/or SnO2 plasmas. These
emissions are correspond to the N-shell and M-shell transitions, respectively. From the view point of energy
balance and efficiency, these transitions should be suppressed. However, they may, to some extent, contribute
to provide the 5p and 4f levels with electrons which eventually emit the EUV light and enhance the intensity.
To know well about radiative properties and kinematic of the whole plasma, atomic population kinetics and
spectral synthesis codes have been developed. These codes can estimate the atomic population with nl-scheme
and spectral shapes of the EUV light. Radiation hydrodynamic simulation have been proceeding in this analysis.
Finally, the laser intensity dependence of the conversion efficiency calculated by these codes agrees with that of
the corresponding experimental results.
Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) emission from laser produced plasma attracts much attention as a next generation lithography
source. The characterization of EUV emission has been carried out using GEKKO XII laser system. The twelve beams
irradiated tin or tin-oxide coated spherical targets uniformly and dependence of EUV spectra on laser intensity were
obtained with a transmission grating spectrometer and two grazing incidence spectrometers. The EUV Conversion
Efficiency (CE, the ratio of EUV energy at the wavelength of 13.5 nm with 2 % bandwidth to incident laser energy) was
measured using an absolutely calibrated EUV calorimeter. Optimum laser intensities for the highest conversion were
found to be 0.5- 1x1011 W/cm2 with CE of 3 %. The spectroscopic data indicate that shorter wavelength emission
increases at higher laser intensities due to excessive heating beyond optimum temperatures (20- 40 eV). The CE was
almost independent on the initial coating thickness down to 25 nm.
Extremely ultraviolet (EUV) light at around 13.5 nm of wavelength is the most probable candidate of the light source for lithography for semiconductors of next generation. We have been studying about the EUV light source from laser-produced plasma. Detailed understanding of the EUV plasma is required for developments of modeling with simulation codes. Several parameters should be experimentally measured to develop the important issues in the simulation codes. We focused on density profile, properties of EUV emission, and opacity of the laser-produced plasmas. We present re-cent experimental results on these basic properties of the laser-produced EUV plasmas.
A new research project on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) source development has just been started at the Institute of Laser Engineering, Osaka University. The main task of this project is to find a scientific basis for generating efficient, high-quality, high power EUV plasma source for semiconductor industry. A set of experimental data is to be provided to develop a detailed atomic model included in computer code through experiments using GEKKO-XII high power laser and smaller but high-repetitive lasers. Optimum conditions for efficient EUV generation will be investigated by changing properties of lasers and targets. As the first step of the experiments, spherical solid tin and tin-oxide targets were illuminated uniformly with twelve beams from the GEKKO XII. It has been confirmed that maximum conversion efficiency into 13.5 nm EUV light is achieved at illumination intensity less than 2 x 1011 W/cm2. No significant difference is found between laser wavelengths of one μm and a half μm. Density structure of the laser-irradiated surface of a planar tin target has beem measured experimentally at 1012 W/cm2 to show formation of double ablation structure with density plateau by thermal radiation transport. An opacity experiment has just been initiated.
We selected UV lasers which have the advantage of getting a long plasma channel in air and high repetition rate of laser operation. We investigated the fundamental characteristics of laser induced-discharge for different kinds of gases using a kHz order repetition rate UV lasers. Consequently, the 50 percent breakdown voltage in oxygen and dry air except in nitrogen decrease with the burst of frequency with a KrF laser beam. This phenomena seems to be due to the photodetachment of negative ions of oxygen. On the other hand, when nitrogen gas was used, the effect of photodetachment could not be confirmed. For the KrF laser beam irradiations, the 50 percent breakdown voltage was lowest in oxygen gas.