ST. CHARLES, Mo. -- Raising the bar for next-generation lithography (NGL) sources, TRW Inc.'s Cutting Edge Optronics subsidiary here today demonstrated a 1500-watt laser module for an NGL technology called extreme ultraviolet (EUV.
The new laser has been integrated with a xenon jet target and is producing EUV output. Cutting Edge has demonstrated one 1500-watt module thus far, but it plans to develop and integrate three modules in a compact enclosure, which will produce a total of 4500 watts of power.
The three-module system, to be demonstrated by year's end, will provide enough power to enable a fully functional "beta EUV tool," said Armando Martos, Cutting Edge's program manager for the EUV source program, in an interview.
"By combining three of the new 1500-watt lasers in one cabinet to generate 4500 watts of laser power, we will produce 25 watts of clean EUV power," Martos said. "As a beta tool, 25 watts is acceptable. That is a major step toward attaining the EUV power levels required for production lithography," he said.
To achieve a production-worthy EUV tool, TRW, Cymer, and others are working on laser sources capable of 50 watts of power.
The 1500-watt laser produces three times the power of the TRW module that was recently demonstrated at Sandia National Laboratories. TRW and Sandia demonstrated a laser-produced plasma source on an alpha tool developed by the Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) LCC (see March 14 story ).
The EUV LLC is a U.S.-led consortium backed by Advanced Micro Devices, IBM, Infineon, Intel, Micron, Motorola, and U.S. national labs, including Sandia. Lawrence Livermore and Lawrence Berkeley are also part of the lab. EUV promises to develop chips at the 70-nm (0.07-micron) node and below.
The improved, more powerful laser results from learning derived from the U.S.-led consortium. Testing experience there has resulted in a module with smaller footprint, greater reliability, lower operating cost, higher maintainability and increased power output.
TRW is now working with various xenon targets to optimize EUV output of the new laser module, said Richard Walker, president of Cutting Edge.
"This laser allows production of EUV energy that is debris-free, spectrally pure and capable of providing high-throughput lithography," he said. "We are confident that the 1500-watt laser demonstrates a practical path to cost-effective EUV lithography," he added.