An asymmetric-cut multilayer diffracts EUV light. A multilayer cut at an angle has the same properties as a blazed grating, and has been demonstrated to have near-perfect performance. Instead of having to nano-fabricate a grating structure with imperfections no greater than several tens of nanometers, a thick multilayer is grown on a substrate and then cut at an inclined angle using coarse and inexpensive methods. Effective grating periods can be produced this way that are 10 to 100 times smaller than those produced today, and the diffraction efficiency of these asymmetric multilayers is higher than conventional gratings. Besides their ease of manufacture, the use of an asymmetric multilayer as a spectral purity filter does not require that the design of an EUV optical system be modified in any way, unlike the proposed use of blazed gratings for such systems.
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.