An apparatus and method for in-situ cleaning of resist outgassing windows. The apparatus includes a chamber located in a structure, with the chamber having an outgassing window to be cleaned positioned in alignment with a slot in the chamber, whereby radiation energy passes through the window, the chamber, and the slot onto a resist-coated wafer mounted in the structure. The chamber is connected to a gas supply and the structure is connected to a vacuum pump. Within the chamber are two cylindrical sector electrodes and a filament is electrically connected to one sector electrode and a power supply. In a first cleaning method the sector electrodes are maintained at the same voltage, the filament is unheated, the chamber is filled with argon (Ar) gas under pressure, and the window is maintained at a zero voltage, whereby Ar ions are accelerated onto the window surface, sputtering away carbon deposits that build up as a result of resist outgassing. A second cleaning method is similar except oxygen gas (O.sub.2) is admitted to the chamber instead of Ar. These two methods can be carried out during lithographic operation. A third method, carried out during a maintenance period, involves admitting CO.sub.2 into the chamber, heating the filament to a point of thermionic emission, the sector electrodes are at different voltages, excited CO.sub.2 gas molecules are created which impact the carbon contamination on the window, and gasify it, producing CO gaseous products that are pumped away.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 between the United States Department of Energy and the Sandia Corporation for the operation of the Sandia National Laboratories.