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14 december 2018

Closed Industrial Partnership Programme 

Number i23.
Title Controlling photon and plasma induced processes at EUV optical surfaces (CP3E) 
Executive organisational unit DIFFER
Programme management Prof.dr. F. Bijkerk
Duration 2009-2015
Cost estimate M€ 5.5
Partner(s) Carl Zeiss, ASML

CP3E aims to understand and control the collective plasma, photochemical and thin film processes, as they occur in an advanced optical application of thin film physics: the use of multilayer reflective optics in Extreme UV photolithography. It addresses the basic research of nanoscale-multilayer growth, - composition and - surface conditioning on the one hand, and dynamically-balanced photo- and plasma-chemical processes at the multilayer surface on the other.

Background, relevance and implementation
Multilayer reflective optics essentially enable high-resolution photolithography at EUV wavelengths. However, the EUV photon fluxes required for IC-production are of such high intensity that photo-chemically induced contamination, mirror heating, and aggressive, radiation-driven plasmas occur. The complex interplay of these phenomena imposes extremely harsh conditions on the delicate, nano-scaled multilayer optics, and jeopardizes the short-wavelength imaging process. The simultaneous occurrence of these surface and layer affecting conditions poses a major research challenge to basic science. CP3E aims to address this challenge, so that the basic know-how can be developed and the required lifetime of the optics can be achieved. CP3E included a remote FOM research activity at the location of industrial partner ASML. The joint instrumentation included - thin film growth, surface analysis, and high-flux plasma-surface interaction set-ups at DIFFER, - high-flux EUV-exposure facilities at ASML, and - state-of-the-art optics fabrication and characterization set-ups at Zeiss.

The final evaluation in 2015 was based on a self-evaluation initiated by the programme leader.

Please find a research highlight that was achieved in 2013 within this FOM programme here.