While developing a laboratory-scale micro-exposure tool for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) projection lithography which uses a laser-produced plasma emitting EUV pulsed radiation, we faced the problem of suppressing the various debris (ions, neutrals, particulate, clusters, droplets) emitted by the plasma target. The suppression of debris is a crucial task in the frame of EUV projection lithography, mainly because debris seriously limit both lifetime and performance of the expensive optics and filters put close to the plasma source. In this paper we present the experimental measurements of main debris characteristics (velocity, size, charge, momentum, spectral energy, spatial distribution). Then, we present the operating results of a patented debris mitigation systems (DMS) specifically designed to suppress debris with the measured characteristics. We achieved reduction factors ∼800 for atoms and nm-size clusters, and ∼1600 for particles larger than 500 nm. These results are at the forefront in this field. The excellent performance of our DMS was a breakthrough to achieve a 90-nm patterning on commercial resists by our micro-exposure tool EUV projection lithography. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.