Photonics Dictionary

extreme ultraviolet

Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) refers to a specific range of electromagnetic radiation in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum. EUV radiation has wavelengths between 10 and 124 nanometers, which corresponds to frequencies in the range of approximately 2.5 petahertz to 30 exahertz. This range is shorter in wavelength and higher in frequency compared to the far-ultraviolet and vacuum ultraviolet regions.

Key points about EUV include:

Source: EUV radiation is produced by extremely hot and energized matter, often in the form of a plasma. One common method for generating EUV light is through the use of a laser to create a plasma from a material like tin or xenon. Another approach involves synchrotron radiation from relativistic electrons.

Applications: EUV radiation has significant applications in lithography, a process used in semiconductor manufacturing to create extremely small and intricate patterns on silicon wafers. EUV lithography has become crucial for the production of advanced semiconductor devices with smaller feature sizes.

Semiconductor manufacturing: In semiconductor manufacturing, EUV lithography allows for the production of smaller and more densely packed transistors on computer chips. This technology has enabled the continuation of Moore's Law, which predicts the doubling of the number of transistors on a chip approximately every two years.

Challenges: Working with EUV radiation presents technical challenges due to its shorter wavelength, including the need for specialized optics, mirrors, and lenses that can efficiently reflect and focus EUV light. The atmosphere absorbs EUV radiation, making it necessary to conduct experiments and manufacturing processes in vacuum or controlled environments.

Research and imaging: EUV radiation is also used in scientific research, particularly in the study of materials and biological samples. Its short wavelength allows for high-resolution imaging and the investigation of nanoscale structures.

EUV technology has become increasingly important in the semiconductor industry, playing a key role in the production of advanced microprocessors and memory devices. It enables the manufacturing of smaller and more powerful chips, contributing to the ongoing progress in electronics and computing technology.

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