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Title:
LASER-PRODUCED PLASMA EUV SOURCE WITH REDUCED DEBRIS GENERATION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2013/036666
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method and apparatus for generating extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light is disclosed. The method may comprise non-thermally ablating a target material utilizing a first laser beam. The first laser beam may be configured for ejecting a portion of the target material in a non-thermal manner to create a plume. The method may further comprise irradiating the plume utilizing a second laser beam to produce a high-temperature plasma for EUV radiation.

Inventors:
DELGADO, Gildardo (5945 Linwood Common, Livermore, California, 94550, US)
WACK, Daniel (16027 Tidewater Trail, Fredericksburg, Virginia, 22408, US)
Application Number:
US2012/053998
Publication Date:
March 14, 2013
Filing Date:
September 06, 2012
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
KLA-TENCOR CORPORATION (Legal Department, One Technology DriveMilpitas, California, 95035, US)
DELGADO, Gildardo (5945 Linwood Common, Livermore, California, 94550, US)
WACK, Daniel (16027 Tidewater Trail, Fredericksburg, Virginia, 22408, US)
International Classes:
H01S3/0977; H01J63/08
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011102277A12011-08-25
Foreign References:
US20070158577A12007-07-12
US20060215712A12006-09-28
US20100078577A12010-04-01
RU2301485C22007-06-20
US20100090133A12010-04-15
US20070158577A12007-07-12
Other References:
See also references of EP 2754213A4
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCANDREWS, Kevin (KLA-TENCOR CORP, Legal DepartmentOne Technology Driv, Milpitas California, 95035, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1 . A method for generating extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light, the method comprising:

non-thermally ablating a target material utilizing a first laser beam, the first laser beam configured for ejecting a portion of the target material in a non-thermal manner to create a plume;

irradiating the plume utilizing a second laser beam to produce a high- temperature plasma for EUV radiation.

2. The method of claim 1 , wherein the first laser beam is a short pulsed ultraviolet laser beam having a pulse duration in the order of picoseconds or femtoseconds.

3. The method of claim 1 , wherein the second laser beam is a high intensity pulsed infrared or C02 laser beam.

4. The method of claim 1 , further comprising:

controlling a shape of the plume by shaping the first laser beam utilizing at least one of: an aperture or a mask.

5. The method of claim 1 , wherein the target material is enclosed in at least one of: a vacuum chamber or a high pressure chamber.

6. An apparatus for generating extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light, the apparatus comprising:

an enclosure, the enclosure configured for enclosing a target material, the enclosure having at least a first window and a second window; a first laser device, the first laser device configured for providing a first laser beam through the first window to non-thermally ablate the target material positioned inside the enclosure to create a plume;

a second laser device, the second laser device configured for providing a second laser beam through the second window to irradiate the plume inside the enclosure, wherein the irradiated plume produces a high- temperature plasma for EUV radiation.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the first laser beam is a short pulsed ultraviolet laser beam having a pulse duration in the order of picoseconds or femtoseconds.

8. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the second laser beam is a high intensity pulsed infrared or C02 laser beam.

9. The apparatus of claim 6, further comprising:

an aperture positioned in an optical path between the target material and the first laser device, the aperture configured for shaping the first laser beam to control a shape of the plume.

10. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the enclosure is at least one of: a vacuum chamber or a high pressure chamber.

1 1 . The apparatus of claim 6, further comprising: a third laser device, the third laser device configured for providing a third laser beam through a third window of the enclosure to non-thermally ablate the target material positioned inside the enclosure.

12. The apparatus of claim 6, further comprising:

a fourth laser device, the fourth laser device configured for providing a fourth laser beam through a fourth window of the enclosure to jointly irradiate the plume inside the enclosure with the second laser beam.

13. The apparatus of claim 6, further comprising:

a support substrate for securing and supporting the target material inside the enclosure.

14. An apparatus for generating extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light, the apparatus comprising:

an enclosure, the enclosure configured for enclosing a target material, the enclosure having at least a first window and a second window; a first laser device, the first laser device configured for providing a first laser beam through the first window to ablate the target material positioned inside the enclosure, the first laser beam having a pulse duration shorter than a time of dissipation of absorbed laser energy by thermal conduction of the target material, thereby ejecting a portion of the target material in a non-thermal manner to create a plume;

a second laser device, the second laser device configured for providing a second laser beam through the second window to irradiate the plume inside the enclosure, wherein the irradiated plume produces a high- temperature plasma for EUV radiation.

15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the first laser beam is an ultraviolet laser beam.

16. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the second laser beam is a high intensity pulsed infrared or C02 laser beam.

17. The apparatus of claim 14, further comprising:

an aperture positioned in an optical path between the target material and the first laser device, the aperture configured for shaping the first laser beam to control a shape of the plume.

18. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the enclosure is at least one of: a vacuum chamber or a high pressure chamber.

19. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the first laser beam directly illuminates a surface of the target material to non-thermally ablate the target material.

20. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the first laser beam illuminates a surface of the target material through a transparent substrate to non- thermally ablate the target material.

Description:
LASER- PRODUCED PLASMA EUV SOURCE WITH REDUCED DEBRIS GENERATION

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001 ] The disclosure generally relates to extreme ultraviolet, and more particularly to a method and apparatus for generating extreme ultraviolet light via laser produced plasma.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light is high-energy ultraviolet radiation generally defined to be electromagnetic radiation having wavelengths ranging between about 10 nm to about 120 nm. EUV may be artificially generated by laser produced plasma.

[0003] In a conventional laser produced plasma (LPP) EUV generator, a EUV light generating substance may be released as droplets in to a chamber. A laser beam may then irradiate the droplets inside the chamber. When the laser beam irradiates a droplet, the droplet is excited to a plasma state and generates EUV light. However, a portion of the droplet may fragment and scatter during this process, forming debris. Such debris may not transform to plasma, and may remain inside the chamber.

[0004] Therein lies a need for a method and apparatus for generating EUV light via laser produced plasma with reduced debris. SUMMARY

[0005] The present disclosure is directed to a method for generating extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light. The method may comprise non-thermally ablating a target material utilizing a first laser beam. The first laser beam may be configured for ejecting a portion of the target material in a nonthermal manner to create a plume. The method may further comprise irradiating the plume utilizing a second laser beam to produce a high- temperature plasma for EUV radiation.

[0006] A further embodiment of the present disclosure is directed to an apparatus for generating EUV light. The apparatus may comprise an enclosure, a first laser device and a second laser device. The enclosure may be configured for enclosing a target material. The first laser device may be configured for providing a first laser beam through a first window to non-thermally ablate the target material positioned inside the enclosure to create a plume. The second laser device may be configured for providing a second laser beam through a second window to irradiate the plume inside the enclosure, wherein the irradiated plume produces a high-temperature plasma for EUV radiation. In one embodiment, the first laser beam may have pulse duration shorter than a time of dissipation of absorbed laser energy by thermal conduction of the target material, thereby ejecting a portion of the target material in a non-thermal manner to create the plume.

[0007] It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not necessarily restrictive of the present disclosure. The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification, illustrate subject matter of the disclosure. Together, the descriptions and the drawings serve to explain the principles of the disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] The numerous advantages of the disclosure may be better understood by those skilled in the art by reference to the accompanying figures in which:

FIG. 1 is an illustration depicting an apparatus for generating EUV light;

FIG. 2 is an illustration depicting another apparatus for generating EUV light; and

FIG. 3 is a flow diagram illustrating a method for generating EUV light.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0009] Reference will now be made in detail to the subject matter disclosed, which is illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

[0010] The present disclosure is directed to a method and apparatus for generating EUV light via laser produced plasma from solid or liquid quasi- planar targets. The method and apparatus in accordance with the present disclosure minimizes debris usually associated with unused target material. In one embodiment, the target material is non-thermally ablated by very short pulsed laser beam(s), creating a plume above the surface of the target material. The plume created in this non-thermal manner may be subsequently irradiated with high intensity pulsed laser beams, producing a high-temperature plasma (e.g., 20-40 eV) for EUV radiation. [001 1 ] Referring generally to FIGS. 1 and 2. FIG. 1 is an illustration depicting an apparatus 100 for generating EUV light. The apparatus 100 includes an enclosure 102, which is configured for enclosing a target material 104. The target material 104 may be any solid or liquid EUV light generating substance having a quasi-planar surface 106. Such substances may include, for example, Tin (Sn), Xeon (Xe) or the like. The enclosure 102 may also include one or more windows, allowing laser beams to enter the enclosure 102. Such windows may be made of calcium fluoride (CaF2), high quality silicon dioxide (Si02) or the like.

[0012] The apparatus 100 further includes a first laser device 108 and a second laser device 1 10. The first laser device 108 is configured for providing a very short pulsed (e.g. , in the order of picoseconds or femtoseconds) ablation laser beam 1 12 through a first window 1 14 to non- thermally ablate the target material positioned inside the enclosure 102. Such laser ablation may lead to a material removal rate (ablation rate) exceeding one-tenth monolayer per pulse (depending on laser and material properties), causing the ejection of atoms, ions, molecules, and clusters from the surface of the target material 104 as a result from the conversion of an initial electronic (or vibrational) photoexcitation into kinetic energy. That is, the short pulsed ablation laser beam 1 12 may eject a portion of the target material 104 in a non-thermal manner to create a plume 1 16 above the surface of the target material 104.

[0013] The plume 1 16 may then be irradiated by the laser beam from the second laser device 1 10. In one embodiment, the second laser device 110 is configured for providing a high intensity pulsed infrared (IR) or C02 laser beam 124 through a second window 1 18 to irradiate the plume 1 16 inside the enclosure 102. The irradiated plume then produces a high-temperature plasma (e.g., 20-40 eV) for EUV radiation. [0014] The apparatus 100 in accordance with the present disclosure may be utilized to generate 13.5 nm EUV, in which case the enclosure 102 may be configured as a vacuum chamber. The apparatus 100 may also be utilized to generate EUV radiations having various other wavelengths, in which case the enclosure 102 is not required to be a vacuum chamber. For instance, a high pressure chamber may be utilized to generate EUV having wavelengths of above 120 nm.

[0015] The non-thermal ablation process in accordance with the present disclosure is advantageous over conventional systems. For example, utilizing very short pulsed ablation laser beam(s) may provide direct conversion of the target material to vapor, allowing the ablation process to take place without (or with very little) heat dissipation. In addition, the non-thermal ablation process only generates gas phase species, and the number of the pulses may be optimized for efficient EUV light generation, therefore avoiding excess generation of gas and subsequent transport and deposition elsewhere in the system. In this manner, a mass-limited target may be achieved without the difficulties encountered when droplet geometry is used for the target material, such as droplet gun reliability, position and timing control as well as other challenges associated with conventional systems.

[0016] In one embodiment, the target material 104 may be illuminated by the ablation laser beam 1 12 from the front side (the side that surface 106 faces) at normal incidence or at given angle Θ from normal, as illustrated in FIG. 1. Alternatively, as illustrated in FIG. 2, the target material 104 may be illuminated by the ablation laser beam 1 12 from the back side through a transparent substrate 120 that focuses on the surface 106 of the target material 104. The angle of incidence may be at normal incidence or at given angle γ from normal.

[001 7] It is contemplated that the plume 116 produced by the ablation process may be shaped in an effort to increase efficiency when the plume 1 16 is subsequently irradiated with the IR or C02 laser beam 124. Various techniques may be utilized to shape the plume 116. For example, the surface of the target material 104 may define cavities such as grooves or the like to confine and shape expansions prior to and/or during the ablation process. In another example, an aperture or mask 122 may be positioned in the optical path between the target material 104 and the laser device 108. The aperture 122 may be used to shape the ablation area/shape, which in turn may control the shape of the plume 1 16 generated. In still another example, more than one laser device 108 may be utilized to ablate the target material 104, and the ablation laser beams provided by these laser devices may be angled in order to shape the plume 116.

[0018] It is also contemplated that more than one laser device 1 10 may be utilized to irradiate the plume 1 16 inside the enclosure 102. Such laser devices 110 may be positioned at various locations to provide laser beams 124 (e.g. , IR or C02 laser beams) that irradiate the plume 116 from various angles. In one embodiment, the ablation laser beams 112 and the laser beams 124 may generally set to have different wavelengths, different pulse widths and different irradiation intensities. The laser beams 124 may be focused at the plume 1 16 produced by the ablation process. It may be preferable that the time of irradiation with laser beams 124 be delayed to later than the time of irradiation with the ablation laser beams 1 12 to produce the desirable LPP at a preconfigured plane/location. [0019] It is further contemplated that the efficiency of the non-thermal ablation process in accordance with the present disclosure may be optimized based on the properties of the ablation laser beam(s) 1 12 and the target material 104. Such properties may include, but are not limited to, angler of incidence, aspect ratio, target material characteristics, surface finish and the like. For instance, the energy absorbed in the target material 104 per unit surface area may depend on the laser fluence over the pulse duration t p . Therefore, the ablation rate may be expressed as a function of fluence. A typical ablation threshold may be of the order of 0.1-1 J/cm 2 , depending on the target material and the laser wavelength. The amount of ablated material (depth and volume) per pulse may be determined based on the pulse duration and the wavelength of the ablation laser beam 112, as explained in details below.

[0020] The pulse duration of the ablation laser beam is one of the parameters that may affect the ablation rate per pulse. For example, the penetration depth of the target material may be calculated based on the diffusivity of the target material and the pulse duration. A short laser pulse may restrict the energy deposition within the absorbing volume and minimize the collateral (mainly thermal) energy propagation. For instance, if the pulse width is less than the electron lattice- relaxation time of the material, then high energy densities can be created in a thin subsurface layer of the material. This results in rapid ionization and material removal with most of the deposited energy being carried by the ejected material. This means that heat diffusion and/or melting is significantly reduced. This also implies that electronic process are faster than thermal processes and that the ablation process can take place without (or with very little) heat dissipation. The outcome is direct conversion of solid to vapor with less plasma formation. [0021 ] In one embodiment, the laser pulse duration t p is configured to be shorter than the time of dissipation of the absorbed laser energy by the thermal conduction . Reducing the laser interaction time reduces the thermal load on the target material. This reduces melting and the heat affected volume. In general, as pulses shorten below nanosconds, the thermal penetration depth will near that of the optical absorption depth, minimizing bulk thermal damage. Furthermore, as pulses shorten, the power density or irradiance (W/cm 2 ) for each pulse may rise, improving the ablation rate and reducing thermal damages, as higher irradiance will induce a more rapid phase change. Ablation rate mechanism may take place several orders of magnitude faster than thermal conduction so that thermal effects may be avoided altogether. It is contemplated that utilizing laser systems/devices having a broad spectrum of pulse durations, ranging from nanoseconds to femtoseconds may be beneficial.

[0022] The wavelength of the ablation laser beam is another parameter that may affect the ablation rate per pulse. For example, the wavelength interaction with the target material may affect the penetration depth, which in turn may affect the ablation rate. For laser ablation with minimal thermal energy transfer to the bulk, the laser pulse with the energy delivered should exceed the binding energy of that material. In addition, target material properties and surface finishes may also need to be taken into consideration. Furthermore, nonlinear absorption by multiphoton processes may become important at high intensities. This may happen when free carriers can contribute to enhance absorption. The nonlinear absorption multiphoton processes may need to be considered and may be utilized to enhance or adjust for penetration depth and removal rate. [0023] In one embodiment, utilizing ultraviolet (UV) laser wavelengths are highly effective since UV energies approach the dissociation energies of chemical bonds. This may result in material removal by the photochemical breakdown of covalent bonds, providing a non-thermal ablation process. Such a non-thermal ablation process may achieve very fine features with no heat affected zone. It is understood that the exact material removal rate may depend on the laser pulse penetration depth of the laser light. Various equations may be utilized to calculate the penetration depth, which may be expressed as a function of the laser wavelength as well as other parameters such as the extinction coefficient of the laser, absorption coefficient, intensity and the like.

[0024] In one exemplary implementation, Sn or Sn mixtures may be utilized as the target material 104, and short pulsed (e.g., picoseconds to femtoseconds) UV laser(s) 1 12 may be utilized for the ablation process. For effective EUV generation and reduced amount of unused Sn material, it may be beneficial to maximize the Sn plume for LPP EUV generation. Suppose that approximately 20 to 100 nm solid Sn material may be sufficient for generating the required EUV (e.g. , for use of an inspection system), and that the penetration depths of Sn or Sn mixtures is determined to be of approximately ten's of nm's. This would suggest that one single pulse to a few pulses may be sufficient to produce the amount of material necessary for the Sn plume.

[0025] Experimental results have indicated that, for laser penetration depth of about 355 nm, 90% of the laser pulse is absorbed in the first 20 nm of the target material. For a very short pulse (e.g., femtoseconds), this may imply that one can ablate as much as 20 nm per pulse. Depending on the exact amount of material needed, one may use up to several or as may pulses necessary. If stronger absorption is require (e.g., in order to tune the amount of ablation material that is ejected), the target material (e.g., Sn) may be doped with a strong absorber. Such absorbers may include, for example, anthracene or the like. This permits max absorption of laser wavelengths such as 351 and 355 nm that induce less electronic excitation than UV lasers operating near 300 nm and below. Furthermore, longer wavelength may also be utilized if it is desirable to have more material removed per pulse.

[0026] In addition to the pulse duration and wavelength properties of the ablation laser beam(s), other factors such as the number of laser devices 108 utilized for the ablation process, the angle of incidence of each ablation laser beam or the like may be taken into consideration when calculating the ablation rate. Calculating the ablation rate may help determining the ideal number of pulses needed from the ablation laser beam(s) to produce the optimal amount of material necessary to form the plume (for EUV generation) while minimizing the potential debris that may be deposited if too much material is ejected.

[0027] Referring to FIG. 3, a method 300 for generating EUV light in accordance with the present disclosure is shown. Step 302 may non- thermally ablate a target material utilizing a first laser beam. The first laser beam is configured for ejecting a portion of the target material in a non-thermal manner to create a plume. In one embodiment, the first laser beam is a short pulsed laser beam having pulse durations shorter than the time of dissipation of absorbed laser energy by thermal conduction of the target material. Subsequently, step 304 may irradiate the plume utilizing a second laser beam to produce a high-temperature plasma for EUV radiation. In one embodiment, the second laser beam is a high intensity pulsed infrared or C02 laser beam. [0028] It is contemplated that the steps may be repeated for continuous generation of EUV light. It is understood that specific parameters (intensities, pulse durations, number of pulses or the like) for the first laser beam and /or the second laser beam may be determined based on specific requirements, including, but not limited to, desired amount of EUV light, properties of the target material, space availabilities, costs, as well as other factors.

[0029] It is believed that the system and method of the present disclosure and many of its attendant advantages will be understood by the foregoing description, and it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the components without departing from the disclosed subject matter or without sacrificing all of its material advantages. The form described is merely explanatory.