Abstract: Scientific and technological progress depend substantially on the ability to image on the nanoscale. In order to investigate complex, functional, nanoscopic structures like, e.g., semiconductor devices, multilayer optics, or stacks of 2D materials, the imaging techniques not only have to provide images but should also provide quantitative information. We report the material-specific characterization of nanoscopic buried structures with extreme ultraviolet coherence tomography. The method is demonstrated at a laser-driven broadband extreme ultraviolet radiation source, based on high-harmonic generation. We show that, besides nanoscopic axial resolution, the spectral reflectivity of all layers in a sample can be obtained using algorithmic phase reconstruction. This provides localized, spectroscopic, material-specific information of the sample. The method can be applied in, e.g., semiconductor production, lithographic mask inspection, or quality control of multilayer fabrication. Moreover, it paves the way for the investigation of ultrafast nanoscopic effects at functional buried interfaces. Published by The Optical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Abstract: We present nanoscale coherence tomography (XCT) in the extreme ultraviolet range driven by a high-harmonic generation (HHG) light source. Using a novel phase retrieval algorithm, XCT enables non-destructive, quantitative, cross-sectional imaging, of, e.g., semiconductor devices.
Abstract: We present a laboratory beamline dedicated to nanoscale subsurface imaging using extreme ultraviolet coherence tomography (XCT). In this setup, broad-bandwidth extreme ultraviolet (XUV) radiation is generated by a laser-driven high-harmonic source. The beamline is able to handle a spectral range of 30-130 eV and a beam divergence of 10 mrad (full width at half maximum). The XUV radiation is focused on the sample under investigation, and the broadband reflectivity is measured using an XUV spectrometer. For the given spectral window, the XCT beamline is particularly suited to investigate silicon-based nanostructured samples. Cross-sectional imaging of layered nanometer-scale samples can be routinely performed using the laboratory-scale XCT beamline. A depth resolution of 16 nm has been achieved using the spectral range of 36-98 eV which represents a 33% increase in resolution due to the broader spectral range compared to previous work.
Abstract: We present a modular extreme ultraviolet (XUV) spectrometer system optimized for a broad spectral range of 12-41 nm (30-99 eV) with a high spectral resolution of lambda/Delta lambda greater than or similar to 784 +/- 89. The spectrometer system has several operation modes for (1) XUV beam inspection, (2) angular spectral analysis, and (3) imaging spectroscopy. These options allow for a versatile use in high harmonic spectroscopy and XUV beam analysis. The high performance of the spectrometer is demonstrated using a novel cross-sectional imaging method called XUV coherence tomography.
Abstract: We report on quantitative material-sensitive cross-sectional imaging with nanoscale axial resolution. First experimental results show that in addition to the structural information element-specific identification of buried layers is possible.
Abstract: We present XUV Coherence Tomography (XCT) driven by a high-harmonic generation (HHG) light source. Using a novel one-dimensional phase retrieval algorithm, XCT enables non-destructive, artifact-free, nanoscale, cross-sectional imaging, of, e.g., semiconductor devices.
Abstract: We present an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) microscope using a Schwarzschild objective which is optimized for single-shot sub-micrometer imaging of laser-plasma targets. The microscope has been designed and constructed for imaging the scattering from an EUV-heated solid-density hydrogen jet. Imaging of a cryogenic hydrogen target was demonstrated using single pulses of the free-electron laser in Hamburg (FLASH) free-electron laser at a wavelength of 13.5 nm. In a single exposure, we observe a hydrogen jet with ice fragments with a spatial resolution in the sub-micrometer range. In situ EUV imaging is expected to enable novel experimental capabilities for warm dense matter studies of micrometer-sized samples in laser-plasma experiments.
Abstract: Extreme ultraviolet microscopy is technologically demanding and thus largely confined to synchrotron radiation facilities. However, specific benefits like high resolution and exceptional material contrast provide strong motivation for the development of table-top alternatives. We report on the first demonstration of coherence tomography, i.e., noninvasive cross-sectional imaging, with high harmonics. A depth resolution of 24 nm and very good material contrast are achieved. Excessively demanding optics for extreme ultraviolet radiation are avoided and artifacts due to the elementary geometry are suppressed with a novel three-step one-dimensional phase-retrieval algorithm. The images are recorded in reflection geometry, facilitating the analysis of, e.g., operating semiconductor samples.
Abstract: A quasi-supercontinuum source in the extreme ultraviolet (XUV) is demonstrated using a table-top femtosecond laser and a tunable optical parametric amplifier (OPA) as a driver for high-harmonic generation (HHG). The harmonic radiation, which is usually a comb of odd multiples of the fundamental frequency, is generated by near-infrared (NIR) laser pulses from the OPA. A quasi-continuous XUV spectrum in the range of 30 to 100 eV is realized by averaging over multiple harmonic comb spectra with slightly different fundamental frequencies and thus different spectral spacing between the individual harmonics. The driving laser wavelength is swept automatically during an averaging time period. With a total photon flux of 4×10^9 photons/s in the range of 30 eV to 100 eV and 1×10^7photons/s in the range of 100 eV to 200 eV, the resulting quasi-supercontinuum XUV source is suited for applications such as XUV coherence tomography (XCT) or near-edge absorption fine structure spectroscopy (NEXAFS).
Abstract: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive technique for cross-sectional imaging. It is particularly advantageous for applications where conventional microscopy is not able to image deeper layers of samples in a reasonable time, e.g. in fast moving, deeper lying structures. However, at infrared and optical wavelengths, which are commonly used, the axial resolution of OCT is limited to about 1 μm, even if the bandwidth of the light covers a wide spectral range. Here, we present extreme ultraviolet coherence tomography (XCT) and thus introduce a new technique for non-invasive cross-sectional imaging of nanometer structures. XCT exploits the nanometerscale coherence lengths corresponding to the spectral transmission windows of, e.g., silicon samples. The axial resolution of coherence tomography is thus improved from micrometers to a few nanometers. Tomographic imaging with an axial resolution better than 18 nm is demonstrated for layer-type nanostructures buried in a silicon substrate. Using wavelengths in the water transmission window, nanometer-scale layers of platinum are retrieved with a resolution better than 8 nm. XCT as a nondestructive method for sub-surface tomographic imaging holds promise for several applications in semiconductor metrology and imaging in the water window.
Abstract: We present a Michelson interferometer for 13.5 nm soft x-ray radiation. It is characterized in a proof-of-principle experiment using synchrotron radiation, where the temporal coherence is measured to be 13 fs. The curvature of the thin-film beam splitter membrane is derived from the observed fringe pattern. The applicability of this Michelson interferometer at intense free-electron lasers is investigated, particularly with respect to radiation damage. This study highlights the potential role of such Michelson interferometers in solid density plasma investigations using, for instance, extreme soft x-ray free-electron lasers. A setup using the Michelson interferometer for pseudo-Nomarski-interferometry is proposed.
Abstract: Intense, femtosecond laser interactions with blazed grating targets are studied through experiment and particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations. The high harmonic spectrum produced by the laser is angularly dispersed by the grating leading to near-monochromatic spectra emitted at different angles, each dominated by a single harmonic and its integer-multiples. The spectrum emitted in the direction of the third-harmonic diffraction order is measured to contain distinct peaks at the 9th and 12th harmonics which agree well with two-dimensional PIC simulations using the same grating geometry. This confirms that surface smoothing effects do not dominate the far-field distributions for surface features with sizes on the order of the grating grooves whilst also showing this to be a viable method of producing near-monochromatic, short-pulsed extreme-ultraviolet radiation.
Abstract: We report on the absolute sensitivity calibration of an extreme ultraviolet (XUV) spectrometer system that is frequently employed to study emission from short-pulse laser experiments. The XUV spectrometer, consisting of a toroidal mirror and a transmission grating, was characterized at a synchrotron source in respect of the ratio of the detected to the incident photon flux at photon energies ranging from 15.5 eV to 99 eV. The absolute calibration allows the determination of the XUV photon number emitted by laser-based XUV sources, e.g., high-harmonic generation from plasma surfaces or in gaseous media. We have demonstrated high-harmonic generation in gases and plasma surfaces providing 2.3 μW and μJ per harmonic using the respective generation mechanisms.
Abstract: The velocity map recorded in above-threshold ionization of xenon at 800 nm exhibits a distinct carpetlike pattern of maxima and minima for emission in the direction approximately perpendicular to the laser polarization. The pattern is well reproduced by a numerical solution of the time-dependent Schrödinger equation. In terms of the simple-man model and the strong-field approximation, it is explained by the constructive and destructive interference of the contribution of the long and the short orbit. Strictly perpendicular emission is caused by ionization at the two peaks of the laser field per cycle, which results in a 2ℏω separation of the above-threshold ionization rings.
Abstract: We present a novel approach to extend optical coherence tomography (OCT) to the extreme ultraviolet (XUV) and soft X-ray (SXR) spectral range. With a simple setup based on Fourier-domain OCT and adapted for the application of XUV and SXR broadband radiation, cross-sectional images of semiconductors and organic samples becomes feasible with current synchrotron or laser-plasma sources. For this purpose, broadband XUV radiation is focused onto the sample surface, and the reflected spectrum is recorded by an XUV spectrometer. The proposed method has the particular advantage that the axial spatial resolution only depends on the spectral bandwidth. As a consequence, the theoretical resolution limit of XUV coherence tomography (XCT) is in the order of nanometers, e.g., 3 nm for wavelengths in the water window (280 - 530 eV). We proved the concept of XCT by calculating the reflectivity of one-dimensional silicon and boron carbide samples containing buried layers and found the expected properties with respect to resolution and penetration depth confirmed.
Abstract: We report on a four-mirror reflective wave-plate system based on a phase-shifting mirror (PSM) for a continuous variation of elliptical polarization without changing the beam position and direction. The system presented and characterized here can replace a conventional retardation plate providing all advantages of a PSM, such as high damage-threshold, large scalability, and low dispersion. This makes reflective wave-plates an ideal tool for ultra-high power laser applications.