Scientific Internship: Shaping laser-induced tin targets for EUV generation
In our lab, we investigate the interaction of laser pulses with liquid tin microspheres to advance the knowledge of the physical processes that rule the extreme ultraviolet light (EUV) generation currently used in state-of-the-art nanolithography machines. These machines use a two-step process to generate EUV light that is later on used to inscribe the smallest microchips with the highest spatial resolution. In the first step, a laser-pulse illuminates one side of a tin droplet creating a plasma at its surface, whose rapid expansion transfers momentum to the droplet inducing a controlled propulsion and deformation into a pizza-like shape. A few microseconds after the initial kick, a second, more intense, laser pulse illuminates the expanding material and generates a tin plasma that preferentially generates EUV light at a wavelength of 13.5 nm.
In this (BSc) project, we propose to investigate the above-mentioned first step by establishing a link between the experimental observations of the initial plasma kick and the subsequent propulsion and expansion dynamics. In order to quantify the fluid dynamic properties, movies of the dynamic process will be used to track the center-of-mass position and the radius as a function of time to extract the propulsion and expansion velocities. The intensity of the plasma (bright spot on the image) will be systematically studied and will serve as a link between the initial laser features and the subsequent fluid dynamics. During the first stage of the (BSc) project there will be lab tours where we will explain the experimental systems and methods. The core of the project will focus on data analysis of pre-existing experimental data with the possibility of acquiring new data later on. Overall, this project will help us to understand collectively different stages of the laser-tin interaction process, involving mechanisms that are explained using laser physics, plasma physics and fluid dynamics.
Recommended articles for further reading on this subject:
- Liu, R.A. Meijer, J. Hernandez-Rueda, D. Kurilovich, Z. Mazzotta, S. Witte and O.O. Versolato, Laser-induced vaporization of a stretching sheet of liquid tin, J. Appl. Phys 129, 5: 053302: 1-7 (2021)
- Liu, D. Kurilovich, H. Gelderblom and O.O. Versolato, Mass loss from a stretching semitransparent sheet of liquid tin, Phys. Rev. Applied 13, 2: 024035: 1-10 (2020)
- O.O. Versolato, Physics of laser-driven tin plasma sources of EUV radiation for nanolithography, Plasma Sources Sci. Technol. 28, 8: 083001:1-17 (2019)
About the group
At the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL) we carry out exciting fundamental physics research at the highest possible level with relevance to key technologies in nanolithography. We contribute to the production of ever smarter and smaller electronics, while at the same time pushing the boundaries of our fundamental insight into the workings of nature.
You will be embedded in the EUV Plasma Processes group at ARCNL but will also be closely associated with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and ASML, the world leading manufacturer of high tech lithography machines for chip making.
You have or will soon have a Bachelor’s degree in physics or a related field and will participate in a Master study during the entire internship duration. The internship must be a mandatory part of your curriculum. You have a nationality of an EU member state and/or you are a student at a Netherlands University. Please note: As of January 2021 the UK is no longer an EU member state.
In case of a BSc project you will need to have 132 EC worth of study credit before the start of your research with us in line with the demands from the Amsterdam Universities.
Terms of employment
At the start of the traineeship your trainee plan will be set out, in consultation with your ARCNL supervisor.
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