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.
What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
17.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin
Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino
16.07.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
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