A new laser-plasma X-ray source for microscopy and lithography

Abstract: A new high-brightness source for soft X-rays and EUV-radiation has been developed. This laser-plasma source utilizes a microscopic liquid droplet or jet as target. The result is a reduction of debris emission by several orders of magnitude compared to conventional laser plasmas. The minute amounts of residual ionic/atomic debris can be obstructed by filters or a localized gas shield. Target liquids which only form gaseous compounds after evaporation yield debris-free operation. The negligible debris emission in combination with narrow-bandwidth line radiation, high-brightness, high spatial stability, excellent geometric access and the possibility to perform uninterrupted target generation for high repetition-rate lasers, makes this source suitable for table-top X-ray microscopy and lithography. The initial development of the condenser arrangement for a table-top water-window X-ray microscope is described.

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