Chemistry under extreme ultraviolet light

Published on September 23, 2016
Category Nanophotochemistry

In a new international project named ELENA a total of 15 young researchers will investigate the chemistry and physics involved in emerging techniques for the creation of nanostructures. One of the researchers will be working in the research group of Fred Brouwer at ARCNL, the Dutch Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography. Brouwer is professor of Spectroscopy and Photonic Materials at the University of Amsterdam’s Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS).

ELENA, an acronym for low energy ELEctron driven chemistry for the advances of emerging NAno-fabrication methods  was recently awarded an Innovative Training Networks grant funded by the EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions. It establishes the collaboration between 14 European research organizations and companies, including ARCNL and UvA/HIMS.

Chemistry and extreme-UV
The Amsterdam part of ELENA concerns the development and application of laser spectroscopy to  establish what happens in materials immediately after absorption of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light (which has a wavelength of only 13.5 nanometer). The obtained knowledge will enable the researchers to improve photoresist materials for the EUV application, which is key to the next generation of nanolithography technology.

Interestingly, the chemistry induced by radiation with the EUV light is largely unknown. “This results in exciting research both from a fundamental and a practical point of view” says Fred Brouwer. Brouwer heads the ARCNL group for Nanophotochemistry in combination with his research in the Molecular Photonics group at HIMS.

ELENA participants are eight academic institutions, two research institutes and four companies (three of which are small or medium enterprises). Fifteen young researchers will be working in the network. Three companies and five academic partners are associated with the network, mostly providing secondments for the young researchers.

Read more about the ITN grants

picture fred brouwer
Electron beams and light with an extremely short wavelength can both be used to build up nanostructures. The chemistry leading to the formation of these nanostructures is largely unknown, and the ELENA network is focused on figuring this out.