A high reflectance-low stress Mo--Si multilayer reflective coating particularly useful for the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelength region. While the multilayer reflective coating has particular application for EUV lithography, it has numerous other applications where high reflectance and low stress multilayer coatings are utilized. Multilayer coatings having high near-normal incidence reflectance (R.gtoreq.65%) and low residual stress (.ltoreq.100 MPa) have been produced using thermal and non-thermal approaches. The thermal approach involves heating the multilayer coating to a given temperature for a given time after deposition in order to induce structural changes in the multilayer coating that will have an overall "relaxation" effect without reducing the reflectance significantly.
The U.S. Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National laboratory.