Laser-produced transient tin plasmas are the sources of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light at 13.5 nm wavelength for next-generation nanolithography, enabling the continued miniaturization of the features on chips. Generating the required EUV light at sufficient power, reliability, and stability presents a formidable multi-faceted task, combining industrial innovations with attractive scientific questions. This topical review presents a contemporary overview of the status of the field, discussing the key processes that govern the dynamics in each step in the process of generating EUV light. Relevant physical processes span over a challenging six orders of magnitude in time scale, ranging from the (sub-)ps and ns time scales of laser-driven atomic plasma processes to the several μs required for the fluid dynamic tin target deformation that is set in motion by them.
- highly charged ions
- laser-produced plasma
- plasma expansion
- plasma source of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light