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ISTEQ B.V. has significant experience in EUVL (Extreme ultraviolet lithography) technology. RnD-ISAN, the logo1founder of ISTEQ, has been working in EUV technology since day one. They have been working with the largest supplier in the world of photolithography systems for the semiconductor industry - ASML company for many years. Most of ISTEQ‘s team worked for ASML at different times since the EUV programme started there.

Picture2 The work has been conducted on EUV sources for both discharge-produced plasma (DPP)and laser-produced plasma (LPP) with different types of target and other aspects of the EUV source critical parameters. The work done for ASML is both experimental and theoretical.

EUVL technology is progressing towards being ready for implementation in the semiconductor industry in the near future. ASML is the main driver for EUVL scanner technology. However, in order to complete the whole picture for the manufacturing and production process other important sectors need to be addressed.  

One of these sectors of the production process is mask inspection. There are three types of mask inspection techniques; Areal, Mask Blank and Mask Patterning. In order to fulfil the requirements of mask inspection, an EUV source (13.5nm) with high brightness, high stability (spatial and temporal) and cost effective is needed. Currently, there are several types of light sources under consideration as suitable for mask inspection:

  • Discharge produced plasma (DPP) using Xe target
  • Laser produced plasma (LPP) using Xe and Sn targets
  • High harmonic generation (HHG)

However, these sources have their own problems and while each does fulfil some of the main industry requirements with reference to stability, brightness, fuel loading and debris generation, they do not deliver on all requirements combined.


ISTEQ intends to develop an EUV source to fulfil the needs of mask inspection. ISTEQ has studied all the issues associatedhm8I 4j3rQ4 with the EUV sources and has come up with an innovative approach where all the required specifications for mask inspection can be achieved.  This approach is based on the laser produced plasma technique using  a Li target.  It is not a new idea but ISTEQ has developed a state- of- the- art target management system, allowing the introduction of a Li target as an innovative solution for compact high-brightness LPP source technology needed for industry.

In summary this approach covers all the specifications required by the industry;

  • High brightness in the order of 1kW/mm2·sr
  • High spatial and temporal stability
  • High uptime as the source is continuous and recycled
  • Minimum or zero contamination
  • Small and compact

The main objective of ISTEQ is to help the industry have an EUV source usable for mask inspections tools.
This can be done solely by ISTEQ or in collaboration with the main players in the industry.