Extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) may be the next-generation patterning technique used to produce smaller and faster microchips with feature sizes of 32 nanometers and below. However, durable projection optics must be developed before this laboratory technique can become commercially viable. As part of its long-standing effort to develop EUVL metrology and calibration services (summarized in a recent paper*), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is creating a measurement system for accelerated lifetime testing of the mirrors used in EUVL.
The light to be used in EUVL has a wavelength of only 13 nm. It can only be efficiently reflected with mirrors consisting of 50 alternating bi-layers of molybdenum and silicon, each only 7 nm thick and deposited with near-atomic-scale precision. So although the EUVL mirrors will be very large, up to 35 centimeter (cm) in diameter, they are actually incredibly precise nanostructured devices. A single commercial lithography instrument may require six of these mirrors at a cost of more than $1 million each.
The mirrors are delicate, but the EUV radiation they must reflect is intense and damaging. The combination of this harsh radiation with the trace levels of water vapor and hydrocarbons typically found in the vacuum environment of EUV first-generation exposure tools can lead to rapid corruption of the EUVL mirror surfaces. And a loss of just 1 percent to 2 percent of a mirrors reflectivity renders the optical system useless for efficient production of nanometer-resolution circuit features.
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27.04.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
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More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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