Microbunching illuminates new technological horizon

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2023-09-17 10:00:03

A scheme that causes electrons to form microbunches’ could yield high power and coherent extreme-ultraviolet light, and perhaps the means to produce circuits faster.

Chuanxiang Tang is a Professor in Department of Engineering Physics at Tsinghua University. He is also deputy president of Chinese Particle Accelerator Society, and on the panel on Advanced and Novel Accelerators (ANA) for theInternational Committee for Future Accelerators.

A new source of high-power extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) light, steady-state microbunching (SSMB), is peeking over the horizon, following a proof-of-principle experiment published in Nature1. Corresponding author, Chuanxiang Tang, says the potential power of SSMB EUV could be used to etch more-intricate patterns onto semiconductor circuits, which are used to store and transfer data in devices.

“A high-power EUV source is of crucial importance for high-volume manufacturing using EUV lithography,” explains Tang, a professor in theDepartment of Engineering Physics at Tsinghua University. EUV lithography reduces the steps needed to manufacture circuits by bypassing multi-patterning, a multiple-exposure method currently used to get finer circuit pattern resolution. But power is the key to realizing viable EUV lithography, says Tang, since the optical system is reflective and the power loss of each of the 11 reflections exceeds 30%.

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