Coatings with barrier layers for extreme-short wavelengths
Over the last few decades, remarkable progress has been made in the field of multilayer coatings for the EUV spectral region, mainly due to the demands of EUV lithography for the semiconductor industry. The progress is associated with a deep understanding of the multilayer film growth, application of advanced smoothing technologies for multilayer interfaces, as well as the development of modern deposition and characterization techniques. The projection optics precisely coated by Mo/Si mirrors with 70 % reflectivity is the heart of the performance of industrial EUVL steppers recently developed by ASML for high-volume chip production. While the EUVL at 13.5 nm has just launched into the market, the first high-performance LaN/B multilayer mirrors with reflectivity up to 61 % were developed for the next emerging lithography generation with a reduced wavelength of 6.6 nm. Recent technological progress in EUVL optics and radiation sources triggered the development of compact microscopes in the water window spectral range (2.4 - 4.4 nm). The optimization of the multilayer design and deposition process of Cr/V, Cr/Sc and Cr/C mirrors resulted in reflectivity of 14.5% at 2.42 nm, 27.0 % at 3.16 nm, and 15,6% at a wavelength of 4.42 nm, respectively. These promising and still not limiting results indicate a large potential for future application of multilayer coated optics in various application fields such as microscopy in the water window, plasma diagnostics, spectroscopy, and astrophysics.