EUV, Laser, Plasma, Debris, Ions, Mitigation


Extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) is a next generation lithographic techniques under development for fabricating semiconductor devices with feature sizes smaller than 32 nm. The optics to be used in the EUVL steppers is reflective optics with multilayer mirror coatings on each surface. The wavelength of choice is 13.5 nm determined by the optimum reflectivity of the mirror coatings. The light source required for this wavelength is derived from a hot-dense plasma produced by either a gas discharge or a laser. This study concentrate only on the laser produced plasma source because of its advantages of scalability to higher repetition rates. The design of a the laser plasma EUVL light source consists of a plasma produced from a high-intensity focused laser beam from a solid/liquid target, from which radiation is generated and collected by a large solid angle mirror or array of mirrors. The collector mirrors have the same reflectivity characteristics as the stepper mirrors. The EUVL light source is considered as the combination of both the hot-dense plasma and the collector mirrors. The EUVL light sources required by the stepper manufacturers must have sufficient EUV output power and long operational lifetimes to meet market-determined chip production rates. The most influential factor in achieving the required EUV output power is the conversion efficiency (CE) of laser input energy relative to the EUV radiation collected. A high CE is demonstrated in a separate research program by colleagues in the Laser Plasma laboratory at CREOL. Another important factor for the light source is the reflectivity lifetime of the collection optics as mirror reflectivity can be degraded by deposition and ablation from the plasma debris. Realization of a high CE but low debris plasma source is possible by reducing the mass of the target, which is accomplished by using tin-doped droplet targets. These have sufficient numbers of tin atoms for high CE, but the debris generation is minimal. The first part of this study investigates debris emissions from tin-doped droplet targets, in terms of aerosols and ions. Numerous tin aerosols can be created during a single laser-target interaction. The effects these interactions are observed and the depositions are investigated using SEM, AFM, AES, XPS, and RBS techniques. The generation of aerosols is found to be the result of incomplete ionization of the target material, corresponding to non-optimal laser coupling to the target for maximum CE. In order to determine the threats of the ion emission to the collector mirror coatings from an optimal, fully ionized target, the ion flux is measured at the mirror distance using various techniques. The ion kinetic energy distributions obtained for individual ion species are quantitatively analyzed. Incorporating these distributions with Monte-Carlo simulations provide lifetime estimation of the collector mirror under the effect of ion sputtering. The current estimated lifetime the tin-doped droplet plasma source is only a factor of 500 less than the stepper manufacturer requirements, without the use of any mitigation schemes to stop these ions interacting with the mirror. The second part of this investigation explores debris mitigation schemes. Two mitigation schemes are applied to tin-doped droplet laser plasmas; electrostatic field mitigation, and a combination of a foil trap with a magnetic field. Both mitigation schemes demonstrate their effectiveness in suppressing aerosols and ion flux. A very small number of high-energy ions still pass through the combination of the two mitigation schemes but the sputtering caused by these ions is too small to offer a threat to mirror lifetime. It is estimated that the lifetime of the collector mirror, and hence the source lifetime, will be sufficient when tin-doped targets are used in combination with these mitigation schemes.


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Graduation Date





Richardson, Martin


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Degree Program

Electrical Engineering








Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)