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Title:
IMAGING OPTICAL UNIT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2012/163794
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An imaging optical unit (50) serves for imaging an object field (4) into an image field (8). An imaging beam path (AS) between the object field (4) and the image field (8) is subdivided into a plurality of partial imaging beam paths (TAS). The imaging optical unit (50) is embodied such that the partial imaging beam paths (TAS) run between the object field (4) and the image field (8) in a manner completely separated from one another and guided by optical components (Ml to M6) of the imaging optical unit (50), that is to say that nowhere in the beam path between the object field (4) and the image field (8) do the partial imaging beam paths (TAS) impinge on identical regions of beam-guiding surfaces (20) of the imaging optical unit (50). This results in an imaging optical unit in which a resolution capabil¬ ity, particularly in the production of micro- or nanostructured semiconduc- tor components, is increased.

Inventors:
WOLF, Alexander (Robert-Koch-Strasse 1, Oberkochen, 73447, DE)
Application Number:
EP2012/059697
Publication Date:
December 06, 2012
Filing Date:
May 24, 2012
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CARL ZEISS SMT GMBH (Rudolf-Eber-Strasse 2, Oberkochen, 73447, DE)
WOLF, Alexander (Robert-Koch-Strasse 1, Oberkochen, 73447, DE)
International Classes:
G03F7/20; G02B17/06
Domestic Patent References:
WO2012025365A12012-03-01
Foreign References:
US20100231884A12010-09-16
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RAU, SCHNECK & HÜBNER (Königstrasse 2, Nürnberg, 90402, DE)
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Claims:
Patent claims

1. Imaging optical unit (7; 17; 28; 50; 53; 56; 59) for imaging an object field (4) into an image field (8),

- wherein an imaging beam path (27; AS) between the object field

(4) and the image field (8) is subdivided into a plurality of partial imaging beam paths (22, 23; TAS),

wherein the imaging optical unit (7; 17; 28; 50; 53; 56; 59) is embodied such that the partial imaging beam paths (22, 23; TAS) run between the object field (4) and the image field (8) in a manner completely separated from one another and guided by optical components (18, 19; Ml to M6; GI, Ml to M6) of the imaging optical unit (7; 17; 28; 50; 53; 56; 59), that is to say that nowhere in the beam path between the object field (4) and the image field (8) do the partial imaging beam paths (22, 23, TAS) impinge on identical regions of beam-guiding surfaces (20) of the imaging optical unit (7; 17; 28; 50; 53; 56; 59).

2. Imaging optical unit according to Claim 1, characterized by at least two mutually separated partial pupils (33 to 36; 41 to 49) of partial optical units (29, 30; 51, 52; 54, 55; 57, 58) which guide the partial imaging beam paths (22, 23; TAS).

3. Imaging optical unit according to Claims 1 and 2, characterized in that the partial pupils (33 to 36; 41 to 49) of the partial optical units

(29, 30; 51, 52; 54, 55; 57, 58) - guiding the partial imaging beam paths (TAS) - of the imaging optical unit are arranged in a pupil (32; 40) of the imaging optical unit with multi-fold symmetry about a central optical axis (oA) running perpendicular to the pupil (32; 40). Imaging optical unit according to Claim 3, characterized in that the partial optical units (29, 30; 51, 52; 54, 55; 57, 58) are arranged with multi-fold symmetry about the optical axis (oA).

Imaging optical unit according to any of Claims 1 to 4, characterized in that the optical components (18, 19; Ml to M6) of the imaging optical unit undergo transition to one another by mirroring about a mirror symmetry plane (SE) in which the optical axis (oA) runs.

Imaging optical unit according to any of Claims 1 to 5, characterized in that the optical components (18, 19; Ml to M6) of two partial optical units (18, 19; 29, 30; 51, 52) are completely arranged each respectively in one of two half-spaces (38, 39) separated from one another by a half-space separating plane (HT) in which the optical axis (oA) runs.

Imaging optical unit according to any of Claims 1 to 5, characterized in that the optical components (Ml to M6; GI, Ml to M6) of at least one of the partial optical units (53, 54; 57, 58) are arranged in a distributed manner in both half-spaces (38, 39) separated from one another by the half-space separating plane (HT).

Imaging optical unit according to any of Claims 1 to 7, characterized in that, on the object side, the partial imaging beam paths (TAS) of at least two partial optical units (57, 58) of the imaging optical unit (56) have chief rays (HS1, HS2)

which proceed from a central object field point,

which run in a meridional plane (yz) running perpendicular to a half-space separating plane (HT), which run in the same half-space (38).

9. Imaging optical unit according to any of Claims 2 to 8, characterized in that at least one of the partial optical units (29, 30; 51, 52; 54, 55; 57, 58) has an image-side numerical aperture of 0.2.

10. Imaging optical unit according to any of Claims 1 to 9, characterized in that the imaging optical unit is embodied as a catoptric optical unit.

1 1. Imaging optical unit according to any of Claims 1 to 10, characterized in that at least one of the optical components (60) is embodied in monolithic fashion and has at least two mutually separated beam- guiding regions (61, 62) for guiding a respective partial imaging beam path (TAS).

12. Optical system

comprising an illumination optical unit (6) for illuminating the object field (4),

comprising an imaging optical unit according to any of Claims 1 to 1 1.

13. Projection exposure apparatus (1)

comprising an optical system according to Claim 12,

comprising a light source (2),

comprising an object holder (1 1),

comprising an image holder (13).

14. Method for producing a patterned component comprising the following method steps: - providing a reticle (10) and a wafer (12),

- projecting a structure on the reticle (10) onto a light-sensitive layer of the wafer (12) with the aid of the projection exposure apparatus according to Claim 13,

- producing a micro- or nanostructure on the wafer (12).

Patterned component, produced according to a method according to Claim 14.

Description:
Imaging optical unit

The contents of German patent application DE 10 201 1 076 752.5 are incorporated by reference.

The invention relates to an imaging optical unit for imaging an object field into an image field. Furthermore, the invention relates to an optical system comprising an imaging optical unit of this type and an illumination optical unit for illuminating the object field, a projection exposure apparatus com- prising an optical system of this type and a light source, a method for producing a micro- or nanostructured component with the aid of a projection exposure apparatus of this type, and a patterned component, produced according to a method of this type. Imaging optical units of the type mentioned in the introduction are known from US 2010/0231885 Al and US 7,414,781 B2.

It is an object of the present invention to develop an imaging optical unit of the type mentioned in the introduction in such a way that a resolution capa- bility of the imaging optical unit, particularly for use in the production of micro- or nanostructured semiconductor components, is increased.

This object is achieved according to the invention by means of an imaging optical unit comprising the features specified in Claim 1.

The guidance according to the invention of mutually separated partial imaging beam paths between the object field and the image field results in a total numerical aperture of the imaging optical unit, in particular a total image-side numerical aperture, which is composed of the numerical apertures of partial optical units which respectively guide the partial imaging beam paths. This effectively results in an enlargement of a field-side total numerical aperture. Said total numerical aperture can be spanned by the numerical apertures of the partial optical units, such that the total nu- merical aperture can be larger than a sum of the numerical apertures of the partial optical units. A pupil of the imaging optical units can be composed of partial pupils of the partial optical units which do not overlap one another in a pupil plane. A pupil obscuration of the imaging optical unit can be less than 50%, can be less than 40%, can be less than 35%, and can be in particular 31%. The numerical value of the pupil obscuration in percent is defined as a ratio of the area within a pupil that is masked out on account of the pupil obscuration relative to a total area of the pupil of the imaging optical unit. At least two mutually separated partial pupils according to Claim 2 firstly enable the partial imaging beam paths to be guided separately, and additionally produce illumination from different illumination angles. More than two mutually separated partial pupils are also possible, for example three or four mutually separated partial pupils of partial optical units guiding the partial imaging beam paths. An even greater number of partial pupils separated from one another is also possible, for example five, six, seven, eight or even nine partial pupils.

A multi-fold symmetrical arrangement of the partial pupils according to Claim 3 is adapted well to the symmetry of object structures typically to be imaged. The multi-fold symmetry can be a two-fold, three-fold, four- fold or generally an n-fold symmetry. A multi-fold symmetrical arrangement of partial optical units which build up the imaging optical unit, according to Claim 4, has advantages corresponding to those of the multi-fold symmetrically arranged partial pupils. A mirror symmetry of the optical component according to Claim 5 reduces the production outlay for the imaging optical unit.

A half-space separation of the optical component according to Claim 6 facilitates a design of the imaging optical unit. The half-space separating plane can coincide with the mirror symmetry. Since a half-space separation can be effected even when the partial optical units are not arranged mirror- symmetrically with respect to one another, this is not mandatory.

In the case of an arrangement according to Claim 7, at least one optical component of one of the partial optical units is arranged in one half-space and at least another optical component of said partial optical unit is arranged in the other half-space. Interpenetrating designs of the partial optical units are possible in this way, which increases the degrees of freedom of design.

In the case of an arrangement according to Claim 8, in particular reflective objects which are imaged can also be used. An oblique illumination is possible. An image-side numerical aperture of the partial optical units according to Claim 9 has proved to be advantageous. An image-side total numerical aperture can then be 0.5, for example. A catoptric embodiment according to Claim 10 has proved to be advantageous. It is possible to use e.g. six mirrors per partial optical unit. A different number of mirrors, in particular an odd number, is also possible. A monolithic embodiment of at least one of the optical components according to Claim 1 1 increases the stability of the imaging optical unit.

The advantages of an optical system according to Claim 12, of a projection exposure apparatus according to Claim 13, of a method for producing a micro- or nanostructured component according to Claim 14, and of a patterned component according to Claim 15, for example of an integrated semiconductor circuit, for example of a memory chip, correspond to those which have already been explained above with reference to the imaging optical unit according to the invention. The light source can be, in particu- lar, an EUV light source, which leads to a high structural resolution of the projection exposure apparatus.

Exemplary embodiments of the invention are explained in greater detail below with reference to the drawings, in which:

Figure 1 schematically shows a projection exposure apparatus for

EUV microlithography;

Figure 2 shows in a side view (plane of the drawing perpendicular to an object plane and to an image plane) an embodiment of a projection optical unit of the projection exposure apparatus; shows in a plan view a transmission mask used when the projection optical unit according to Figure 2 is used instead of a reflection mask shown in Figure 1 for imaging purposes; shows a plan view of an entrance pupil of the projection optical unit according to Figure 2; shows, in an illustration similar to Figure 2, a further embodiment of a projection optical unit for use in the projection exposure apparatus instead of the projection optical unit according to Figure 2; shows, in an illustration similar to Figure 4, an entrance pupil of the projection optical unit according to Figure 5; shows, in an illustration similar to Figure 6, an entrance pupil of a further embodiment of the projection optical unit; shows in a meridional section a further embodiment of the projection optical unit; shows, in an illustration similar to Figure 6, an entrance pupil of the projection optical unit according to Figure 8; shows in a meridional section a further embodiment of the projection optical unit; shows, in an illustration similar to Figure 6, an entrance pupil of the projection optical unit according to Figure 10; Figure 12 shows in a meridional section a further embodiment of the projection optical unit; Figure 13 shows, in an illustration similar to Figure 6, an entrance pupil of the projection optical unit according to Figure 12;

Figure 14 shows in a meridional section a further embodiment of the projection optical unit;

Figure 15 shows, in an illustration similar to Figure 6, an entrance pupil of the projection optical unit according to Figure 14.

A projection exposure apparatus 1 for microlithography has a light source 2 for illumination light or imaging light 3. The light source 2 is an EUV light source, which generates light in a wavelength range of, for example, between 5 nm and 30 nm, in particular between 5 nm and 15 nm. The light source 2 can be, in particular, a light source having a wavelength of 13.5 nm or 6.9 nm. An LPP (laser produced plasma) light source or a GDP (gas discharge produced plasma) light source can be involved. Other EUV wavelengths are also possible. Generally, even arbitrary wavelengths, for example visible wavelengths or else other wavelengths which can be used in microlithography and are available for the suitable laser light sources and/or LED light sources (for example 365 nm, 248 nm, 193 nm, 157 nm, 129 nm, 109 nm), are possible for the illumination light 3 guided in the projection exposure apparatus 1. A beam path of the illumination light 3 is illustrated extremely schematically in Figure 1. An illumination optical unit 6 serves for guiding the illumination light 3 from the light source 2 toward an object field 4 in an object plane 5. By means of a projection optical unit or imaging optical unit 7, the object field 4 is imaged into an image field 8 in an image plane 9 with a predetermined reduction scale. The illumination optical unit 6 and the projection optical unit 7 constitute an optical system of the projection exposure apparatus 1. One of the exemplary embodiments illustrated in Figures 2 ff. can be used for the projection optical unit 7. The projection optical unit 7 according to Figure 1 reduces by a factor of 8. Other reduction scales are also possible, for example 4x, 5x, or even reduction scales greater than 8x. For the illumination light 3 having an EUV wavelength, an imaging scale of 8x is suitable, in particular, since an object-side angle of incidence on a reflection mask as an example of a reticle 10 to be imaged can thereby be kept small. The reticle 10 carries the structures to be imaged by means of the projection exposure apparatus 1. Moreover, an imaging scale of 8x does not lead to the necessity of using unnecessarily large masks. In the case of the projection optical unit 7 in the embodiments according to Figures 2 ff, the image plane 9 is arranged parallel to the object plane 5. An excerpt from the reflection mask 10, which is also designated as reticle, said ex- cerpt coinciding with the object field 4, is imaged in this case. The reflection mask 10 is carried by a reticle or mask holder 1 1.

The imaging by the projection optical unit 7 is effected onto the surface a substrate 12 in the form of a wafer, which is carried by a substrate or wafer holder 13. Figure 1 schematically illustrates, between the reticle 10 and the projection optical unit 7, a beam 14 of the illumination light 3 entering into said projection optical unit and, between the projection optical unit 7 and the substrate 12, a beam 15 of the illumination light 3 emerging from the projection optical unit 7. An image-field-side numerical aperture of the projection optical unit 7 in the embodiment according to Figure 2 can be 0.4 or even greater. This is not represented to scale in Figure 1. In order to facilitate the description of the projection exposure apparatus 1 and the various embodiments of the projection optical unit 7, a Cartesian xyz coordinate system is indicated in the drawing, from which system the respective positional relationship of the components illustrated in the figures is evident. In Figure 1 , the x-direction runs perpendicular to the plane of the drawing into the latter. The y-direction runs toward the right, and the z-direction runs downward.

The projection exposure apparatus 1 is of the scanner type. Both the reticle 10 and the substrate 12 are scanned in the y-direction during the operation of the projection exposure apparatus 1. A stepper type of the projection exposure apparatus 1, in which a stepwise displacement of the reticle 10 and of the substrate 12 in the y-direction takes place between individual exposures of the substrate 12, is also possible. Concrete examples concerning the configuration of the projection optical unit 7 will also be explained below with reference to Figures 8 ff. and in particular with reference to Figures 12 and 13.

Instead of a reflection mask as in the case of the reticle 10 of the embodi- ment according to Figure 1, as reticle 10 it is also possible to use a transmission mask in the form of a phase mask, which is illustrated in a plan view in Figure 2. For the purpose of imaging the phase mask 16, Figure 2 illustrates a projection optical unit 17 that can be used instead of the projection optical unit 7 of the arrangement according to Figure 1. Components corresponding to those which have already been explained above with reference to the schematic illustration according to Figure 1 bear the same reference numerals and will not be discussed in specific detail again.

The projection optical unit 17 images the object field 4 into the image field 8 with an imaging scale of lx.

The projection optical unit 17 has two plane mirrors 18, 19, the reflection surfaces 20 of which face one another and run parallel to one another in each case in a plane parallel to the yz plane. The projection optical unit 17 is constructed in the manner of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer. The mir- rors 18, 19 constitute partial optical units of the projection optical unit 17.

The phase mask 16 has line structures 21 running parallel to the y- direction. The illumination optical unit 6 for illuminating the phase mask 16 is embodied such that the illumination light 3 impinges on the phase mask 16 in collimated fashion. A diffraction of the illumination light 3 arises on account of the linear structuring of the phase mask 16. The pitch of the line structures 21 is coordinated with a wavelength of the illumination light 3 such that the illumination light 3 which impinges on the phase mask 16 in the z-direction is split into a - 1 st diffraction order 22 and into a +1 st diffraction order 23. The rays of the illumination light 3 of the -1st diffraction order 22, on the one hand, and of the +1 st diffraction order 23, on the other hand, said rays being diffracted at the phase mask 16, all leave the phase mask 16 at exactly the same -1st and +1 st diffraction angle, re- spectively, and enter into the projection optical unit 17 at said -1st and +lst diffraction angle, respectively. Therefore, the illumination light 3 passes through an entrance pupil 24, which is illustrated in a plan view in Figure 4, at exactly two discrete pupil locations 25 and 26. In this case, the pupil location 25 represents the illumination angle of the -1st diffraction order 22. The pupil location 26 represents the illumination angle of the +l st diffraction order 23.

The two diffraction orders 22, 23 represent partial imaging beam paths of a total imaging beam path 27 of the illumination light 3 in the illumination optical unit 17 between the object field 4 and the image field 8. The two partial imaging beam paths 22, 23 run between the object field 4 and the image field 8 in a manner completely separated from one another and guided by the optical components of the projection optical unit 17, that is to say by the plane mirrors 18, 19. The -1st diffraction order 22 is exclusively reflected by the plane mirror 19 on the right in Figure 2. The +lst diffraction order 23 is exclusively reflected by the plane mirror 18 on the left in Figure 2. Nowhere in the imaging beam path 27 between the object field 4 and the image field 8 do the two partial imaging beam paths 22, 23 impinge on identical regions of beam-guiding surfaces of the projection optical unit 17, that is to say identical regions on the reflection surfaces 20 of the plane mirrors 18, 19.

The diameter - designated by NA in Figure 4 - of the entrance pupil 24 represents an effective numerical aperture of the projection optical unit 17. On account of the imaging scale of lx, the object-side numerical aperture NA is of exactly the same size as the image-side numerical aperture NA. A diameter SNA of the pupil locations 25, 26 represents a subaperture of the diffraction orders 22, 23. In the ideal case of a perfectly collimated illumination of the phase mask 16, the subaperture SNA is practically zero. The following generally holds true: SNA « NA. For the ratio, for example 2 < NA/SNA < 100 can hold true.

The projection optical unit 17, which is constructed in a very simple manner, makes it possible to realize a very high effective NA and thus a correspondingly high resolution capability, which can be used for the projection imaging of even very small structures, that is to say fine line structures 21.

A further embodiment of a projection optical unit 28 is explained below with reference to Figures 5 and 6, which can be used instead of the projection optical unit 17 according to Figure 2. Components corresponding to those which have already been explained above with reference to Figures 1 to 4 bear the same reference numerals and will not be discussed more specifically again.

The projection optical unit 28 does not presuppose perfectly or almost perfectly collimated illumination. The projection optical unit 28 comprises a total of four partial lenses, of which two partial lenses, namely the partial lenses 29 and 30, are illustrated in the sectional illustration along an xz central plane according to Figure 5. A total imaging beam path of the projection optical unit 28 is designated by AS. An imaging beam path guided only by one of the partial lenses is designated by TAS.

A first diffraction order 31 running substantially in the xz plane or adjacent thereto represents a partial imaging beam path between the object field 4 and the image field 8, said path being guided by the partial lens 29. A -1st diffraction order 31a running substantially in the xz plane or adjacent thereto represents a partial imaging beam path between the object field 4 and the image field 8, said path being guided by the partial lens 30. Figure 6 shows an entrance pupil 32 of the projection optical unit 28.

Within a diameter of the entrance pupil 32, that is to say within the effective numerical aperture NA, partial pupils 33 to 36 are arranged in four quadrants. The partial pupil 33, arranged in the left quadrant of the entrance pupil 32 in Figure 6, is assigned to the first diffraction order 31. The partial pupil 34, arranged in the right quadrant in Figure 6, is assigned to the -1st diffraction order 31a. Correspondingly, the two further partial pupils 35, 36 arranged in the upper and lower quadrants, respectively, in the figure are assigned to the +/- 1 st diffraction orders of the two further partial lenses (not illustrated) which are deflected in the yz plane.

The partial pupils 33 to 36 each have a circular border. The partial pupils 33 to 36 each have the same diameter SNA in the entrance pupil 32. In the case of the embodiment according to Figure 6, the following holds true:

The partial pupils 33 to 36 are completely separated from one another, that is to say do not overlap, in the entrance pupil 32. Outside the four partial pupils 33 to 36, an obscuration area 37 is present in the entrance pupil 32, said obscuration surface not being used for the passage of imaging light. The projection optical unit 28 has a pupil obscuration of 31%. In this case, the pupil obscuration represents the ratio of the obscuration area 37, that is to say the area within the entrance pupil 32 that is masked out on account of a pupil obscuration, relative to the total area of the entrance pupil 32. The partial pupils 33 to 36 are arranged in a pupil plane predetermined by the entrance pupil 32, said pupil plane running parallel to the xy plane, with four-fold symmetry about a central optical axis oA. The optical axis oA runs perpendicular to the pupil plane of the entrance pupil 32. The optical axis oA runs perpendicular to the object plane 5. The optical axis oA runs perpendicular to the image plane 9.

In accordance with the multi-fold symmetry of the arrangement of the par- tial pupils 33 to 36 about the optical axis oA, the partial lenses 29, 30 and the two further partial lenses (not illustrated in Figure 5) of the projection optical unit 28 are also arranged with multi-fold symmetry about the optical axis oA. The partial optical units of the projection optical unit 28, that is to say for example the partial optical units 29 and 30, undergo transition to one another by mirroring about a mirror symmetry plane SE in which the optical axis oA runs. In the case of the two partial optical units 29, 30, the mirror symmetry plane SE runs perpendicular to the image plane in Figure 5, that is to say is a plane parallel to the yz plane. A further mirror symmetry plane for the other two partial lenses (not illustrated) of the pro- jection optical unit 28 coincides with the plane of the drawing in Figure 5.

The optical components of the two partial optical units 29, 30 run completely in each respectively one of two half-spaces 38, 39, which are separated from one another by a half-space separating plane HT in which the optical axis oA runs. In the case of the embodiment according to Figure 5, the half-space separating plane HT coincides with the mirror symmetry plane SE. The partial pupils 33 to 36 are arranged such that structures running in the x-direction and/or in the y-direction on the phase mask 16 can be imaged preferably and with good, high-resolution imaging quality by means of the projection optical unit 28.

Figure 7 shows, in an illustration similar to Figure 6, an entrance pupil 40 of a further embodiment of a projection optical unit (otherwise not illustrated) with a total of nine partial pupils 41 to 49. Components corresponding to those which have already been explained above with reference to the embodiments according to Figures 1 to 6 bear the same reference numerals and will not be discussed more specifically again.

The partial pupil 41 lies centrally in the entrance pupil 40 and has a diameter SNAl in the entrance pupil 40. The four further partial pupils 42 to 45 are arranged in the four quadrants of the entrance pupil 40 in a manner comparable to the partial pupils 33 to 36 of the embodiment according to Figures 5 and 6. The partial pupils 42 to 45 also have the diameter SNAl in the entrance pupil 40. A ratio SNA1/NA is smaller in the case of the arrangement according to Figure 7 than in the case of that according to Fig- ure 6. In a circumferential direction in each case between adjacent partial pupils from among the partial pupils 42 to 45, the remaining four partial pupils 46 to 49 are situated in the entrance pupil 40, and have a diameter of SNA 2 in the entrance pupil 40. SNAl > SNA2 holds true. The partial pupils 41 to 49 also do not overlap in the entrance pupil 40. All of the partial pupils 41 to 49 are spatially separated from one another.

The partial pupils 42 to 49 are inscribed into the entrance pupil 40 such that the circumferential lines around the partial pupils 42 to 49 touch the circumferential line around said entrance pupil 40. A configuration of a projection optical unit with partial lenses or partial optical units having the partial pupils 41 to 49 makes it possible to image even relatively complicated structures on the reticle, that is to say the re- flection mask 10 and/or the phase mask 16.

The partial optical units to which the partial pupils 41 to 49 are assigned are also spatially separated from one another. A further embodiment of a projection optical unit 50 is described below with reference to Figures 8 and 9, which can be used instead of the projection optical units 7, 17 and 28. Components and functions that have already been explained above with reference to Figures 1 to 7 bear the same reference numerals and will not be discussed more specifically again. The pro- jection optical unit 50 has in total, in a manner comparable to the projection optical unit 28 according to Figure 5, four partial lenses or partial optical units, of which two partial lenses 51, 52 are illustrated in Figure 8. The projection optical unit 50 is embodied overall as an optical unit purely comprising mirrors, that is to say as a catoptric optical unit. The mirrors Ml to M6 of the partial lenses 51, 52 are numbered consecutively in the order in which they reflect the imaging light 3 starting from the object field 4.

In a manner comparable to the partial lenses 29, 30 of the projection optical unit 28, the partial lenses 51, 52 are also mirror-symmetrical with respect to the mirror symmetry plane SE and separated from one another by the half-space separating plane HT. The same correspondingly holds true for the two partial lenses of the projection optical unit 50 which are not illustrated in Figure 8. The partial lens 51 corresponds, with regard to the optical design, to that imaging optical unit which is disclosed in Figure 12 of US 7,414,781 B2. In the case of the projection optical unit 50, the arrangement of the partial pupils in the entrance pupil corresponds to that of the projection optical unit 28. Figure 9 once again shows the arrangement of said partial pupils for the projection optical unit 50. The partial pupil 33 corresponds to the entrance pupil of the partial lens 51. The partial pupil 34 corresponds to the entrance pupil of the partial lens 52. The respective mirrors Ml to M6 of the two further partial lenses (not illustrated in Figure 8) with the partial pupils 35 and 36 according to Figure 9 are arranged with a corresponding construction and in a manner spaced apart from the xz plane (plane of the drawing in Figure 8) in the +/-y-direction. For these two partial lenses that are not illustrated, the plane of the drawing according to Figure 8 represents the mirror symmetry plane, on the one hand, and the half-space separating plane, on the other hand. These further partial lenses are constructed in the same way as the partial lenses 51, 52. The partial lenses 51, 52 each have an intermediate image ZB in the respective partial imaging beam path between the mirrors M4 and M5. The two intermediate images ZB of the partial lenses 51, 52 are arranged such that they are completely spatially separated from one another. A further embodiment of a projection optical unit 53 is explained below with reference to Figures 10 and 1 1, which can be used instead of the projection optical unit 50. Components and functions corresponding to those which have already been explained above with reference to Figures 1 and 9, and in particular with reference to Figures 8 and 9, bear the same reference numerals and will not be discussed more specifically again.

In contrast to the arrangement of the partial lenses 51, 52 of the projection optical unit 50 in a manner completely separated from one another by the half-space separating plane HT, the arrangement of partial lenses 54, 55 of the projection optical unit 53 is such that the mirrors Ml to M4 of the partial lenses 54, 55 are in each case arranged in one of the two half-spaces 38, 39, while the mirrors M5, M6 are arranged in the other of the two half- spaces 38, 39. In the case of the partial lens 54, the mirrors Ml to M4 are arranged in the half-space 38 and the mirrors M5 and M6 are arranged in the half-space 39. In the case of the partial lens 55, the mirrors Ml to M4 are arranged in the half-space 39 and the mirrors M5 and M6 are arranged in the half-space 38. The partial lenses 54, 55 therefore have interpenetrat- ing designs. Despite this arrangement in the two half-spaces, the two partial lenses 54, 55 undergo transition to one another by mirroring about the mirror symmetry plane SE.

The two further partial lenses (not illustrated in Figure 10) associated with the partial pupils 35 and 36 according to Figure 1 1 are correspondingly arranged with mirrors Ml to M6 arranged in a distributed manner in two half-spaces separated from one another by the plane of the drawing in Figure 10. A further embodiment of a projection optical unit 56 is described below with reference to Figures 12 and 13. Components corresponding to those which have already been explained above with reference to Figures 1 to 1 1 bear the same reference numerals and will not be discussed more specifically again. In contrast, for example, to the illustrations according to Figures 8 and 10, Figure 12 illustrates a meridional section taken parallel to the yz plane. A partial lens 57 of the projection optical unit 56 belongs to the partial pupil 35 according to Figure 13. A partial lens 58 belongs to the partial pupil 36 according to Figure 13. That partial imaging beam path of the partial lens 57 which therefore belongs to the partial pupil 35 has a chief ray HSl emerging from a central point of the object field 4, that is to say from a central object field point. Correspondingly, the partial lens 58 has a chief ray HS2 likewise emerging from the central object field point. The two chief rays HSl, HS2 of the two partial lenses 57, 58 run in the yz plane, that is to say in a plane running perpendicular to the main separating plane HT - running parallel to the xz plane - between the two half-spaces 38, 39. Both chief rays HSl, HS2 run in the same half-space 38, proceeding from the object field 4. This differentiates the projection optical unit 56 for example from the projection optical units 50, 53, where the chief rays - proceeding from the central object field point - of the two partial optical units, each mirror-symmetrical with respect to one another, run in different half- spaces 38, 39.

The course of the two chief rays HSl, HS2 of the projection optical unit 56 proceeding from the same half-space makes it possible to use a reflection mask 10, which is then imaged by the projection optical unit 56. An illumi- nation beam path BS for the illumination of such a reflective reticle 10 is indicated by an arrow in Figure 12. Such illumination, which impinges on the object field 4 at an angle with respect to the optical axis oA, is also designated as oblique illumination. The latter is defined by the fact that the center of an illumination pupil does not lie on the optical axis oA of the projection optical unit 56. This is clarified by the coordinate illustration of the entrance pupil 32 in Figure 13. The optical axis intersects a pupil plane, in which the entrance pupil 32 is situated, at the coordinates (0,0). A center of the entrance pupil 32 lies at the coordinates (0,NA/2).

The two partial lenses 57, 58 do not undergo transition to one another by mirroring at a plane which contains the optical axis and which is perpendicular to the plane of the drawing in Figure 12. Between the object field 4 and a first normal incidence mirror Ml, the partial lens 58 has a grazing incidence mirror GI. For the purposes of this application, a normal incidence mirror is a mirror having an angle of incidence of at most 30°. A grazing incidence mirror is a mirror having an angle of incidence of at least 60°. Besides the grazing incidence mirror GI, the partial lens 58 has six mirrors Ml to M6 in the further course of the partial imaging beam path. The partial lens 57 has six mirrors Ml to M6 between the object field 4 and the image field 8. Therefore, the two partial lenses 57, 58 have a different number of mirrors.

A further embodiment of a projection optical unit 59 is described below with reference to Figures 14 and 15, which can be used instead of the projection optical units explained above. Components and functions corresponding to those which have already been explained above with reference to Figures 1 to 13 bear the same reference numerals and will not be discussed more specifically again.

In contrast to the projection optical unit 50 according to Figure 8, the projection optical unit 59 has a monolithically embodied mirror component 60 instead of the mirrors M6 of the two partial lenses 51 , 52, said mirrors M6 being embodied separately from one another. Said mirror component has two mutually separated beam-guiding regions 61, 62 for reflectively guiding the imaging light respectively of the partial lens 51 , on the one hand, and of the partial lens 52, on the other hand, of the projection optical unit 59, that is to say for guiding a respective partial imaging beam path of the projection optical unit 59, in a manner guided via the two partial lenses 51, 52. The monolithic mirror component 60 can overall even have four mutually separated beam-guiding regions for guiding the partial imaging beam paths, which are assigned to the partial pupils 33 to 36 of the projection optical unit 59. The two further beam-guiding regions of these additional partial lenses (not illustrated in Figure 14) are arranged in a manner spaced apart from the plane of the drawing in Figure 14 in the +/- y-direction and belong to the two partial lenses of the projection optical unit 59 which are not illustrated in Figure 14.

In order to produce a patterned component, that is to say for example a semiconductor component in the form of an integrated circuit, e.g. in the form of a memory chip, firstly the reticle 10 and the wafer 12 are provided. Afterward, a structure on the reticle 10 is projected onto a light-sensitive layer of the wafer 12 with the aid of the projection exposure apparatus 1. By developing the light-sensitive layer, a micro- or nanostructure is then produced on the wafer 12. An imaging of the object field with a high numerical aperture and thus a correspondingly high structural resolution is ensured on account of the guidance of the imaging light 3 via the partial imaging beam paths running separately from one another.