Recent advances in immersion lithography have created the need for a small field microstepper to carry out the early learning necessary for next generation device application. Combined with fluid immersion, multiple-beam lithography can provide an opportunity to explore lithographic imaging at oblique propagation angles and extreme NA imaging. Using the phase preserving properties of Smith Talbot interferometry, the Amphibian XIS immersion lithography microstepper has been created for research and development applications directed toward sub-90nm patterning. The system has been designed for use at ArF and KrF excimer laser wavelengths, based on a fused silica or sapphire prism lens with numerical aperture values up to 1.60. Combined with a chromeless phase grating mask, two and four beam imaging is made possible for feature resolution to 35nm. The approach is combined with X-Y staging to provide immersion imaging on a microstepper platform for substrates ranging up to 300mm. The Amphibian system consists of single or dual wavelength sources (193nm and 248nm), a 2mm exposure field size, stage accuracy better than 1 um, polarization control over a full range from linear polarization to unpolarized illumination, full control of exposure dose and demodulation (to synthesize defocus), and the ability to image both line patterns as well as contact features. A fluid control system allows use of water or alternative fluids, with the ability to change fluids rapidly between wafers. The Amphibian system is fully enclosed in a HEPA and amine controlled environment for use in fab or research environments.© (2005) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.