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Researchers successfully map EUV emissions

09 Oct 2013

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Researchers from ETH-Zurich in Switzerland have mapped extreme ultraviolet light emission, which gives off higher frequency and more energy than normal ultraviolet. The researchers also created a theoretical model that illustrates how the emission depends on the three-dimensional shape of the plasma. The finding could have potential uses in various fields, including semiconductor lithography, the procedure employed in developing integrated circuits.

In the experiments, Andrea Giovannini and Reza Abhari from ETH-Zurich in Switzerland blasted a 30µm-diameter droplet of tin with a high-powered laser 6,000 times per second. They measured the spatial distribution of the resulting EUV emission and found that 30 per cent of it came from behind the region of the droplet that was struck by the laser. According to their model, this unexpected distribution was due to the fact that the plasma partially surrounding the droplet was elongated in the direction of the laser pulse.

Devices that produce narrow beams of EUV for purposes such as in semiconductor lithography use mirrors to focus the emission. But no one previously thought to collect the EUV light radiating from behind the droplet.

The research may allow future devices to benefit from this new source of EUV emission. The new experiments can also inform the development of EUV devices by showing where mirrors should be placed around a droplet in order to collect and focus as much EUV light as possible.

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