A material for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) multilayers that will reflect at about 11.3 nm, have a high reflectance, low stress, and high thermal and radiation stability. The material consists of alternating layers of Mo.sub.2 C and Be deposited by DC magnetron sputtering on a substrate, such as silicon. In one example a Mo.sub.2 C/Be multilayer gave 65.2% reflectance at 11.25 nm measured at 5 degrees off normal incidence angle, and consisted of 70 bilayers with a deposition period of 5.78 nm, and was deposited at 0.83 mTorr argon (Ar) sputtering pressure, with the first and last layers being Be. The stress of the multilayer is tensile and only +88 MPa, compared to +330 MPa of a Mo/Be multilayers of the same thickness. The Mo.sub.2 C/Be multilayer was capped with carbon which produced an increase in reflectivity of about 7% over a similar multilayer with no carbon capping material, thus raising the reflectivity from 58.3% to over 65%. The multilayers were formed using either Mo.sub.2 C or Be as the first and last layers, and initial testing has shown the formation of beryllium carbide at the interfaces between the layers which both stabilizes and has a smoothing effect, and appear to be smoother than the interfaces in Mo/Be multilayers.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.