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POWERLASE and University of Central Florida Achieve World’s First in Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUVL) Sources

Multiple modular lasers used for the first time ever in EUV source generation to increase power scalability

  • Collaboration with University of Central Florida results in significant breakthrough in the scalability of the EUV source. The research will achieve a workable solution for high volume manufacture of semiconductor chips by 2009
  • Multiple modular lasers used for the first time ever in EUV source generation to increase power scalability
  • Power output at the EUV target has increased from 10 to 23 Watts – an increase of over 100%
  • The research will enable the faster production of more accurate and powerful semiconductor chips.

POWERLASE Limited, manufacturers of the world’s most powerful nanosecond Q-switched, diode-pumped solid state (DPSS) lasers, today announces a major development in the field of Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUVL) with its research partner, the University of Central Florida.

The breakthrough sees the combination of two lasers for the first time in the generation of a Laser Produced Plasma (LPP) EUV light source. The research will develop the EUVL approach into a workable solution for high volume manufacture (HVM) of semiconductor chips.

POWERLASE has provided UCF with two of its kilo Watt-class Starlase lasers for use as a light source in the development of LPP EUVL. The two lasers have been multiplexed together in order to increase the power aimed at the EUV target. EUV power generated at the target has been increased to 23 Watts, compared 10 Watts achieved with one laser. This has the major benefit of increasing the power scalability of the LPP EUV approach. EUV lithography is the most promising technology for producing semiconductors accuracy of 32nm and below.

This is the first time more than one laser has been used in EUVL light source generation. In addition, the conversion efficiency of the laser light into 13.5nm wavelength EUV light from both lasers is similar to when they are used independently of each other. This demonstrates the capacity to add more lasers to the process without lowering the conversion efficiency - a vital element in making EUV a viable HVM solution.

Dr Samir Ellwi, POWERLASE Vice President of Strategic Innovations comments: “We are very pleased to have achieved such a breakthrough in the development of LPP-based EUV Lithography. The collaboration with UCF has yielded positive results and our combined research is helping to prove that EUVL is a viable production method for delivering semiconductors with an accuracy of 32nm.”

Professor Martin Richardson, Trustee Chair and Northrop-Grumman Professor of X-ray Photonics at UCF, adds: “The two POWERLASE lasers used in this collaboration have provided an ideal solid-state laser driven plasma source required for EUV lithography. Initial research demonstrated a power of 10 Watts at the EUV target and the addition of a second laser has more than doubled this to 23 Watts, with improvements not only in total output power, but also in power conversion efficiency. A direct scale-up of our current system will permit a five-fold increase in power, with additional lasers.”

Alongside this successful collaboration with UCF, POWERLASE continues to work with leading institutions across the globe. A Project with University College Dublin is examining ion-emissions at EUV source and a research partnership with the Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography Association (EUVA) in Japan is providing lasers and technical expertise to further develop the EUVL approach.

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