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Gigaphoton achieves 3-hour continuous operation of EUV light source

Gigaphoton Inc., a lithography light source manufacturer, announced today that it has succeeded in achieving 3-hour continuous operation of its prototype LPP EUV light source at 50 percent duty cycle and 42-W output, equivalent to usage in a high-volume-manufacturing (HVM) environment.

The 3-hour continuous operation under such HVM environment as above was achieved by irradiating an Sn target (tin droplet) with a solid-state pre-pulse laser and a CO2 laser after combining and optimizing these lasers. Achievement of 3-hour continuous operation at a duty cycle of 50 percent with the high output of 42 W is proof that the development of HVM EUV scanners has entered its final stage. Gigaphoton remains committed to continuing its R&D efforts, and is targeting around-the-clock operation at 150-W output and 250-W output for high-volume manufacturing by the end of 2014 and 2015, respectively.

Related news: IBM announces EUV benchmark

The prototype LPP light source attains the emission of EUV by radiating ultra-small tin (Sn) droplets of less than 20 μm in diameter with a solid-state pre-pulse laser and main-pulse CO2 laser. Additionally, to maximize the life of the collector mirror, a high-output superconducting magnet generates a powerful magnetic field that guides unwanted debris produced by thermal expansion of the tin droplets towards the tin catcher. Moreover, use of Sn target droplets of less than 20 µm in diameter allows prolongation of the droplet generator life as well as reduction of downtime and cost.

“Our success in 3-hour continuous operation of the prototype LPP EUV light source at 50 percent duty cycle and 42-W output is clear evidence that achievement of a high-performance LPP EUV light source capable of stable operation at higher output and lower running cost will soon be completed,” said Hitoshi Tomaru, president and CEO of Gigaphoton, “I am confident that Gigaphoton’s expertise and efforts to develop an LPP light source that accelerates development of HVM EUV scanners will enable earlier introduction of these scanners as next-generation lithography tools.”

Gigaphoton will present the latest status of its EUV light source development at the 2014 International Symposium on Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography, which will be held in Washington, DC on October 27 through 29. The company will also co-sponsor this 2014 EUVL symposium.

This utilizes the achievement of a program subsidized by NEDO(New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization).

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