KAWASAKI, JAPAN: Technology consortium, the Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography System Development Association (EUVA), announced that its extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light source has achieved a power output of 104 Watts at the intermediate focus (IF), at which EUV is effectively radiated.
Supported by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), the EUVA has been working on the development of laser produced plasma (LPP) light sources for EUV lithography tools since 2002 and proposed several unique methods, such as the combination of tin (Sn) and carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers for improved conversion efficiency, as well as the use of magnetic fields for debris removal.
The announcement demonstrates the performance achieved by integrating a number of accumulated element technologies like these into a light source system for advanced semiconductor production applications.
Double patterning lithography using 193-nm argon fluoride (ArF) immersion lithography tools is rapidly approaching the limits of half-pitch scaling in advanced semiconductor manufacturing due to restriction of the freedom in pattern layout and rising costs associated with the need for additional processing steps.
Developing a production-worthy EUV light source with a shorter wavelength of 13.5 nm is considered to be one of the most promising next-generation lithography solutions to not only extend the limits of semiconductor scaling, but also allow single patterning lithography again to dramatically reduce production costs as well as eliminate pattern restrictions.
However, one of the biggest challenges facing EUV lithography tools is the ability to achieve a higher output power, which is essential to enabling the patterning throughput needed for high-volume semiconductor production applications.
The EUVA achieved its breakthrough 104 Watt power output at a conversion efficiency of 2.5 percent by having a CO2 laser of 7.9 kW radiated onto a Sn droplet target of 60 microns in diameter. The organization plans to achieve greater gains in power output by increasing the CO2 laser output and enhancing the conversion efficiency, and has an aggressive roadmap to achieve the output power needed for EUV lithography systems geared toward volume production applications.
The announced achievement was done in close cooperation with Komatsu Ltd, a member company of the EUVA. The EUV light sources that will leverage this technology will be marketed by Gigaphoton Inc., another member of the EUVA.