Gigaphoton Inc. has recently announced that they were able to produce a light output for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography scanners with more than twice of the amount they had three months ago. From the 43 watts at 2.4 conversion efficiency (CE) reported output last February, their prototype laser-produced plasma (LPP) is now emitting light at 92 watts with 4.5 CE.
As one of the main manufacturers in lithography light sources, Gigaphoton has committed to continuously explore the EUV light sources until its output is ample for mass-production. Because of the low output power of the light sources used in EUV systems, wafer exposure takes longer time to complete, which results to throughput insufficiency for high-volume manufacturing (HVM). To demonstrate it with an actual manufacturing data, a 70 watts light output can only produce 52 wafers per hour. With 92 watts, on the other hand, Gigaphoton estimated that the throughput will increase to 60 wafers per hour. By the end of 2014, Gigaphoton aims to produce as much as 150 watts and eventually push it further until it reaches the minimum considered output for HVM, which is 250 watts.
Hitoshi Tomaru, Gigaphoton’s president and CEO, said that their achievement of 92 watt output with their light sources is a fruit of the steady, yet unique, R&D efforts to achieve development of higher output, stable, and lower cost of ownership [on] LPP light sources. He also believes that their expertise and efforts to develop LPP light source that accelerates the development of EUV scanners for HVM will encourage the industry to introduce the EUV scanners as the next-generation lithography tools.
The big leap in the energy output of Gigaphoton’s LPP prototype can be attirbuted to the optimized lasers, which radites small tin droplets of diameter less than 20 micrometer with solid state, pre-pulser laser (Yag laser) and high power CO2 laser. The Yag laser breaks up the tin droplets into smaller fragments, which when once spread at a sufficient diameter is theexposed on the CO2 laser. The electrons of the plasma radiate with the tin ions, emitting photons of a desired wavelength of 13.5 nanometers. To optimize the performance of the collector mirror, the unwanted tin debris of the radiation are removed by a high output, super conducting magnet and tin etching.
Gigaphoton is a wholly owned subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd. Their EUV light source reasearch and development is a program subsidized by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). Gigaphoton’s innovative efforts on LPP EUV technology and other laser technologies has paved the way to cost effective and productive lithography light sources. They have been working aggressively on EUV lithography with the obejctive of surpassing the era of ArF lithography.
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