Narrow band light sources in the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) region are attractive for photo lithography and high resolution photoelectron spectroscopy. Phase matching is essential to generate high power VUV lights by using a narrow band, low peak intensity and nanosecond pump source. In this research, sum frequency mixing has been demonstrated below 150 nm in KBe<sub>2</sub>BO<sub>3</sub>F<sub>2</sub> by using the fundamental with its fourth harmonic of a 6 kHz Ti:sapphire laser. The laser system we have developed in this research, consists of a Ti:sapphire laser system and a frequency conversion stage. We generated 149.8-nm radiation, which is the shortest wavelength ever obtained to our knowledge by phase matching in nonlinear crystals. The fifth harmonic output powers were 3.6 μW at 149.8 nm and 110 μW at 154.0 nm, respectively. The phase matching angles measured from 149.8 nm to 158.1 nm are larger by 3-4 degrees than those expected from the existing Sellmeier equation. The optical transmission spectra of some KBBF crystals were measured by the spectrophotometer. The transmittance near the absorption edge supports the generation of coherent radiation below 150 nm. The improvement of a prism-coupled device contributed to the generation of coherent radiation below 150 nm. Another reason for the present break through to the shorter wavelength is the use of the short pulse driving source compared with our previous research.
The high coherent, high power 193-nm ArF lasers are useful for interference lithography and microprosessing applications. In order to achieve high coherence ArF lasers, we have been developing a high coherence 193 nm solid state laser for the seeding to a high power ArF laser. We used the sum frequency mixing of the fourth harmonic (FH) of a 904-nm Ti:sapphire laser with a Nd:YVO<sub>4</sub> laser (1342 nm) to generate 193-nm light. The laser system consists of a single-mode Ti:sapphire oscillator seeded by a 904-nm external cavity laser diode, a Pockels cell, a 6-pass amplifier, a 4-pass amplifier, a 2-pass amplifier and a wavelength conversion stage. The required repetition rate of 6 kHz corresponding to the ArF laser, along with a low gain at 904 nm induces serious thermal lens effects; extremely short focal lengths of the order of cm and bi-foci in the vertical and horizontal directions. From the analysis of thermal lens depending on pump intensity, we successfully compensated the thermal lens by dividing a 527-nm pump power with 15, 25 and 28 W to 3-stage amplifiers with even passes, resulting in the output power above 10W with a nearly diffraction limited beam. This 904-nm output was converted to 3.8 W in the second harmonic by LBO, 0.5 W in FH by BBO sequentially. Finally the output power of 230 mW was obtained at 193 nm by mixing the FH with a 1342-nm light in CLBO.