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ERC Consolidator Grant voor Oscar Versolato

31 January 2023
Physicist Oscar Versolato has received a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) of two million euro. The grant allows him to investigate the ideas put forward in the research proposal ‘Next-Generation Light Source: Driving plasmas to power tomorrow’s nanolithography (MOORELIGHT)’. Versolato is a group leader at ARCNL and associate professor of physics at VU Amsterdam.

In total three scientists from VU Amsterdam have been awarded a Consolidator Grant.

When asked about his plans, Versolato says that he wishes to contribute to the “design of the ultimate laser-driven plasma light source of the future – by unraveling the physics foundations of the generation of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light”. Such sources of EUV light with just 13.5 nanometer wavelength drive the semiconductor industry, enabling manufacturers to produce integrated circuits with ever-smaller feature sizes for better speed and efficiency. After all, the wavelength size determines the size and quality of the features on computer chips. EUV lithography is powered by light that is produced in the interaction between high-energy CO2-gas laser pulses and molten tin microdroplets. Versolato will investigate the complex physics of the light-generating plasma and learn how to best use new laser technology to drive the plasma – and to find out which ‘plasma recipe’ works best. 

The research to be done in the MOORELIGHT project ranges from fluid mechanics, to the physics of hot and dense plasma, and to the quantum mechanics underpinning the generation of EUV light in tin ions. Versolato further adds that he is excited to “combine fundamental physics investigations with well-defined application perspectives.” In the execution of this proposal, Versolato will strongly benefit from the novel measurement techniques and state-of-the-art laser systems and experimental setups that were developed at ARCNL over the past few years.

Consolidator Grant
The ERC uses the Consolidator Grant to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they may still be consolidating their own independent research team or program for a duration of five years. In total 321 researchers won ERC Consolidator Grants. For more information please look at the ERC press release.