Abstract

Many modern compact soft-x-ray and extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) imaging systems operate with small fields of view and therefore benefit from the use of small high-brightness sources. Such systems include water-window microscopes and EUV lithography tools. We show that the photon losses in such systems can be minimized while uniformity of object-plane illumination is maintained by controlled scanning of the source. The improved collection efficiency is demonstrated both theoretically and experimentally for a scanned laser-plasma source compared with static sources. A prospective aerial image microscope and a liquid-xenon-jet laser-plasma source are offered as examples of modern imaging tools that may benefit from such scanning of the source.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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