The XLA 300 is Cymer's fourth-generation MOPA-based Argon Fluoride light source built on the production-proven XLA platform. The system is designed to support very high numerical aperture dioptric and catadioptric lens immersion lithography scanners targeted for volume production of semiconductor devices at the 45nm node and beyond. The light source delivers up to 90 W of power with ultra-line narrowed bandwidth as low as 0.12 pm FWHM and 0.25 pm 95% energy integral. The high output power is achieved by advancements in pulse power technology, which allow a 50% increase in repetition rate to 6 kHz. The increased repetition rate, along with pulse stretching, minimizes damage to the scanner system optics at this high power level. New developments in the laser optical systems maintain industry-leading performance for bandwidth stability and high level of polarization despite the increased thermal load generated at the higher repetition rate. The system also features state-of-the-art on-board E95% bandwidth metrology and improved bandwidth stability to provide enhanced CD control. The E95% metrology will move bandwidth monitoring from a quality safeguard flag to a tool that can be used for system feedback and optimization. The proven high power optics technology extends the lifetime of key laser optics modules including the line-narrowing module, and the cost of consumables (CoC) is further reduced by longer chamber lifetimes.© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.