A new capping multilayer structure for EUV-reflective Mo/Si multilayers consists of two layers: A top layer that protects the multilayer structure from the environment and a bottom layer that acts as a diffusion barrier between the top layer and the structure beneath. One embodiment combines a first layer of Ru with a second layer of B.sub.4 C. Another embodiment combines a first layer of Ru with a second layer of Mo. These embodiments have the additional advantage that the reflectivity is also enhanced. Ru has the best oxidation resistance of all materials investigated so far. B.sub.4 C is an excellent barrier against silicide formation while the silicide layer formed at the Si boundary is well controlled.
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.