Effect of rubidium incorporation on the optical properties and intermixing in Mo/Si multilayer mirrors for EUV lithography applications
High reflectivity and long-term stability in multilayer mirrors (MLMs) are crucial for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) photolithography. The conventional base stack to reflect 13.5 nm light is a Mo/Si multilayer, which offers a maximum theoretical reflectivity of 75%. In practice, however, the efficiency of the mirror is strongly affected by intermixing between Mo and Si. Diffusion barriers have therefore been adopted, which nevertheless do not provide a perfect solution. In this work, we propose to suppress intermixing in Mo/Si MLMs by substituting the pure Si with a Si compound that can ensure higher thermodynamic stability, while simultaneously providing comparably high EUV theoretical reflectivity, with the net effect of increasing both reflectivity and lifetime. Our theoretical calculations show that rubidium silicide is the most promising material for this purpose. We estimate the optical and thermodynamic properties for each phase of rubidium silicide, and we show that Mo/Rb12Si17 provides the highest theoretical reflectivity, while Mo/RbSi is the most thermodynamically stable. The suppression of intermixing in Mo/RbSi MLMs should lead to a maximum reflectivity at least 2% higher than the best Mo/Si MLMs, integrated with diffusion barriers. The proposed Mo/RbSi MLM solution has the potential to increase the total EUV lithography throughput by ~50%.