Abstract

High-quality coatings of fluoride materials are in extraordinary demand for use in deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography. Gadolinium fluoride (GdF3) thin films were prepared by a thermal boat evaporation process at different substrate temperatures. GdF3 thin film was set at quarter-wave thickness (27nm) with regard to their common use in DUV/vacuum ultraviolet optical stacks; these thin films may significantly differ in nanostructural properties at corresponding depositing temperatures, which would crucially influence the performance of the multilayers. The measurement and analysis of optical, structural, and mechanical properties of GdF3 thin films have been performed in a comprehensive characterization cycle. It was found that depositing GdF3 thin films at relative higher temperature would form a rather dense, smooth, homogeneous structure within this film thickness scale.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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