Nikon Patents

Nikon Corporation manufactures and sells semiconductor and FPD lithography equipment, digital cameras, lenses and accessories, and microscopes and other measuring instruments.

Nikon Patents by Type

  • Nikon Patents Granted: Nikon patents that have been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
  • Nikon Patent Applications: Nikon patent applications that are pending before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
  • Patent number: 9632431
    Abstract: A lithographic apparatus includes a substrate table capable of holding a substrate, a projection system that projects a patterned beam of radiation onto the substrate held by the substrate table, and a sensor table that is not capable of holding a substrate but that includes a sensor capable of sensing a property of the patterned beam of radiation. In addition, a first positioning system is connected to the substrate table and displaces the substrate table into and out of a path of the patterned beam of radiation, and a second positioning system is capable of positioning the sensor table into the path of the patterned beam of radiation when the substrate table is displaced out of the path of the patterned beam of radiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yuichi Shibazaki
  • Patent number: 9632427
    Abstract: An immersion lithography apparatus includes an optical assembly that projects a beam onto a substrate through an immersion liquid, a containment member surrounding a path of the beam, a stage holding the substrate, an isolator having a first actuator which limits vibrations of the optical assembly, and a support system having a second actuator to support the containment member and move it by the second actuator. The containment member includes a first supply opening via which water as the immersion liquid is released, a recovery opening via which the immersion liquid is recovered from a gap between the containment member and the substrate and/or the stage, and a second supply opening via which the water is released to the gap between the containment member and the substrate and/or the stage, the second supply opening being provided radially inward of the recovery opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: W. Thomas Novak, Andrew J. Hazelton, Douglas C. Watson
  • Patent number: 9635239
    Abstract: A focus adjustment control apparatus is provided which includes: a focus detection unit that calculates an evaluation value with regard to contrast of an image via an optical system to detect a focus adjustment state of the optical system; an acquisition unit that acquires from a lens barrel at least one of a maximum value and a minimum value of an image plane movement coefficient that represents correspondence relationship between a movement amount of a focus adjustment lens included in the optical system and a movement amount of an image plane; and a control unit that uses at least one of the maximum value and the minimum value of the image plane movement coefficient to determine a drive speed for the focus adjustment lens when the focus detection unit detects the focus adjustment state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Tomita, Toshiaki Maeda
  • Publication number: 20170108716
    Abstract: Provided is a substrate stage apparatus that is provided with: a substrate holder that can be moved in a plane including an X-axis and a Y-axis; a head unit that can be moved synchronously with the substrate holder along the Y-axis; an encoder system for measuring substrate position, the system including a scale disposed on the substrate holder, and heads disposed on the head unit, and acquiring the X-axis direction and the Y-axis direction position information of the substrate holder on the basis of the output of the heads; an encoder system for measuring head-unit position, the system acquiring the Y-axis direction position information of the head unit; and a position control system that controls the position of the substrate holder within the XY plane on the basis of the output of the encoder system for measuring substrate position and the encoder system for measuring head-unit position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 30, 2015
    Publication date: April 20, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Akinori SHIRATO
  • Publication number: 20170108784
    Abstract: A liquid immersion lithography apparatus includes a projection system having a final optical element and a nozzle member having a first opening disposed on a first side of the final optical element and from which an immersion liquid is supplied a second opening disposed on a second side of the final optical element and from which the immersion liquid is recovered, and a liquid recovery portion disposed to surround a path of an exposure beam and from which the immersion liquid is recovered. A tank is fluidicly connected to the liquid recovery portion of the nozzle member. During exposure of a substrate to the exposure beam, an upper surface of the substrate faces the liquid recovery portion, and the immersion liquid is supplied from the first opening while performing liquid recovery from the second opening and the liquid recovery portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 29, 2016
    Publication date: April 20, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Alex Ka Tim POON, Leonard Wai Fung KHO
  • Publication number: 20170108782
    Abstract: The illumination optical system for illuminating an illumination target surface with light from a light source is provided with a polarization converting member which converts a polarization state of incident light to form a pupil intensity distribution in a predetermined polarization state on an illumination pupil of the illumination optical system; and a phase modulating member which is arranged in the optical path on the illumination target surface side with respect to the polarization converting member and which transmits light from the pupil intensity distribution so as to convert linearly polarized light thereof polarized in a first direction, into required elliptically polarized light and maintain a polarization state of linearly polarized light polarized in a second direction (X-direction or Y-direction) obliquely intersecting with the first direction, in order to reduce influence of retardation caused by a subsequent optical system between the polarization converting member and the illumination targe
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 23, 2016
    Publication date: April 20, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Koji SHIGEMATSU
  • Publication number: 20170108786
    Abstract: A liquid immersion exposure apparatus includes a projection system having a final element and a liquid immersion member that forms a liquid immersion space under the final element. The liquid immersion member includes a first member that surrounds the final element and that has a liquid supply port and a liquid suction port and a second member at least a portion of which is disposed below the first member, and that is movable with respect to the first member. The first member has a channel therein, one end of the channel is open to a first space between the final element and the first member, the other end of the channel is disposed below the one end and is open to a second space different from the first space, and the channel is provided such that liquid is allowed to flow into the channel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 29, 2016
    Publication date: April 20, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Shinji SATO
  • Publication number: 20170108785
    Abstract: A substrate stage apparatus includes: a fine movement stage movable along the XY plane; an XY two-dimensional stage apparatus (an X beam and an X carriage) which guides the fine movement stage in a direction parallel to the XY plane; a plurality of weight-canceling devices movable in the direction parallel to the XY plane synchronously with the fine movement stage and also working together to support the weight of the fine movement stage; a first Y step guide provided at the +Y side of the X beam in a direction parallel to the Y-axis, that guides a part of the plurality of weight-canceling devices moving in a direction parallel to the X-axis; and a second Y step guide provided at the other side of the X beam in the direction parallel to the Y-axis, that guides the other part of the plurality of weight-canceling devices moving parallel to the X-axis.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 25, 2015
    Publication date: April 20, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yasuo AOKI
  • Publication number: 20170108779
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus includes a projection system, a liquid supply system having a supply opening via which liquid is supplied to a space under the projection system, a liquid recovery system having a recovery opening via which the supplied liquid is collected, a supply flow meter fluidically connected to the supply opening, a stage system having a movable stage apparatus on which a substrate is held, and a measurement system which measures a wavefront aberration and has a light receiving part which receives a light from the projection system through a light-transmissive member provided at the movable stage apparatus and the liquid between the projection system and the light-transmissive member. A liquid immersion area, through which the substrate is exposed, is formed on a portion of an upper surface of the substrate while performing liquid supply via the supply opening and liquid collection via the recovery opening.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 29, 2016
    Publication date: April 20, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Kazuya ONO
  • Publication number: 20170111002
    Abstract: Current amplitudes in a motor can be controlled by summing a first signal indicative of an output current of the motor with a current command signal, integrating the current command signal with respect to time, and applying a first controller gain to a second signal indicative of the output current of the motor to obtain a gain-controlled signal indicative of the output current of the motor. The method further includes applying a second controller gain to the current command signal to obtain a gain-controlled current command signal, summing the gain-controlled signal indicative of the output current of the motor with the gain-controlled current command signal to obtain a voltage signal, and inputting the voltage signal to the motor such that current amplitudes in the motor are controlled.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 14, 2016
    Publication date: April 20, 2017
    Applicant: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Neyram Hemati, Patrick S. Chang, Jonathan K. Wells, Michel Pharand
  • Publication number: 20170110410
    Abstract: A mark forming method includes: a step of forming, on a device layer of a wafer, an intermediate layer to which a polymer layer containing a block copolymer is adherable, the device layer including a shot area and a scribe line area; a step of removing a portion, of the intermediate layer, formed in the scribe line area; a step of exposing an image of a mark on the scribe line area and forming, based on the image of the mark, a mark including recessed portion; and a step of applying the polymer layer containing the block copolymer on the device layer of the wafer. When a circuit pattern is formed by using the self-assembly of the block copolymer, it is possible to form the mark simultaneously with the formation of the circuit pattern.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 29, 2016
    Publication date: April 20, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Tomoharu FUJIWARA
  • Publication number: 20170111563
    Abstract: An electronic device includes: an imaging unit including a region having a pixel group that has a plurality of first pixels, and second pixels that are fewer than the first pixels in the pixel group; and a control unit that reads out the signals based upon exposure of the second pixels during exposure of the plurality of first pixels.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 26, 2014
    Publication date: April 20, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Koichi GOHARA, Satoshi TSUCHIYA
  • Patent number: 9625368
    Abstract: An optical assembly for a system for inspecting or measuring of an object is provided that is configured to move as a unit with a system, as the system is pointed at a target, and eliminates the need for a large scanning (pointing) mirror that is moveable relative to other parts of the system. The optical assembly comprises catadioptric optics configured to fold the optical path of the pointing beam and measurement beam that are being directed through the outlet of the system, to compress the size of the optical assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Eric Peter Goodwin, David Michael Williamson, Daniel Gene Smith, Michel Pharand, Alexander Cooper, Alec Robertson, Brian L. Stamper
  • Patent number: 9625689
    Abstract: An optical system SL installed in a single-lens reflex camera includes, in order from an object side, a first lens group G1, a second lens group G2 having negative refractive power, and a third lens group G3 having positive refractive power. The second lens group G2 is disposed movably in a direction including a component perpendicular to an optical axis, and a given conditional expression is satisfied, thereby providing an optical system having excellent optical performance with excellent vibration reduction performance, an optical apparatus equipped with the optical system, and a method for manufacturing the optical system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroki Harada, Issei Tanaka
  • Patent number: 9625825
    Abstract: An illumination optical apparatus illuminates a pattern on a mask with illumination light. The illumination optical apparatus includes an optical integrator, a polarization member arranged in an optical path of the illumination light on an incidence side of the optical integrator, which changes a polarization state of the illumination light, and a distribution changing member arranged in the optical path between the polarization member and the optical integrator, which can change a light amount distribution of the illumination light on a pupil plane of the illumination optical apparatus. The polarization member changes the polarization state of the illumination light so that a polarization direction of the illumination light, which is distributed away from an optical axis of the illumination optical apparatus on the pupil plane, is substantially coincident with a circumferential direction about the optical axis on the pupil plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Takehito Kudo, Shigeru Hirukawa
  • Patent number: 9625789
    Abstract: Provided is an imaging device (1) having: a front optical system (10) that transmits light from an object; a spectral filter array (20) that transmits light from the front optical system (10) via a plurality of spectral filters; a small lens array (30) that transmits the light from the plurality of spectral filters via a plurality of small lenses respectively, and forms a plurality of object images; a picture element (50) that captures the plurality of object images respectively; and an image processor (60) that determines two-dimensional spectral information on the object images based on image signals output from the picture element (50). The front optical system (10) is configured to transmit the light from the focused object to collimate the light into a parallel luminous flux.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Atsushi Katsunuma, Kenichi Kodama
  • Patent number: 9625686
    Abstract: A compact zooming optical system, an optical apparatus and a method for manufacturing the zooming optical system having a vibration reduction function, a high zooming ratio, a wide-angle view and superb optical performance are provided, the system including, in order from an object side: a first lens group G1 having positive refractive power; a second lens group G2 having negative refractive power; a third lens group G3 having positive refractive power; and a fourth lens group G4 having negative refractive power; upon zooming from a wide-angle end state to a telephoto end state, a distance between the first lens group G1 and the second lens group G2, a distance between the second lens group G2 and the third lens group G3 and a distance between the third lens group G3 and the fourth lens group G4 being respectively varied; the third lens group G3 having, in order from the object side, a first segment group G31 having positive refractive power and a second segment group G32; the second segment group G32 being m
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Masashi Yamashita
  • Patent number: 9625733
    Abstract: A zoom optical system has, in order from an object: a first lens group G1 having positive refractive power; a second lens group G2 having negative refractive power; a third lens group G3 having positive refractive power; and a fourth lens group G4 having negative refractive power, wherein the mutual distance between the lens groups G1 to G4 change upon zooming, and one of the third lens group G3 and the fourth lens group G4 includes at least one diffractive optical element PF.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Miho Matsumoto
  • Patent number: 9625826
    Abstract: An illumination optical apparatus illuminates a pattern on a mask with illumination light. The illumination optical apparatus includes an optical integrator arranged in an optical path of the illumination light, a deflecting member arranged in the optical path on an incidence side of the optical integrator, which deflects the illumination light, a lens element arranged in the optical path between the deflecting member and the optical integrator, which distributes the illumination light in a region, on a pupil plane of the illumination optical apparatus, away from an optical axis of the illumination optical apparatus, and a polarization member arranged in the optical path between the lens element and the optical integrator, which changes a polarization state of the illumination light so that a polarization direction of the illumination light in the region is substantially coincident with a circumferential direction about the optical axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Takehito Kudo, Shigeru Hirukawa
  • Patent number: 9625834
    Abstract: A substrate is exposed with an illumination light via a projection optical system. A stage that holds the substrate is moved over a base disposed below the projection optical system. An encoder system measures positional information of the stage with a plurality of heads that face a grating section. Movement of the stage is controlled based on the positional information measured with the encoder system, while compensating for a measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to a head of the plurality of heads. During movement of the stage, one head of the plurality of heads is switched to another head different from the plurality of heads. Correction information for controlling movement of the stage using the another head after the switching is acquired based on the positional information measured with the plurality of heads used before the switching.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yuichi Shibazaki
  • Patent number: 9626151
    Abstract: To take security into account and increase user friendliness, an information processing device includes: an input unit to which information is input; an extracting unit extracting predetermined words from the information input to the input unit; a classifying unit classifying the words extracted by the extracting unit into first words and second words; and a converting unit converting the first words by a first conversion method and converting the second words by a second conversion method, the second conversion method being different from the first conversion method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hideo Hoshuyama, Hiroyuki Akiya, Kazuya Umeyama, Keiichi Nitta, Hiroki Uwai, Masakazu Sekiguchi
  • Publication number: 20170102625
    Abstract: A device manufacturing method develops a substrate that has been exposed with illumination light via a projection optical system. The exposing includes holding the substrate with a stage below the projection optical system; in an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head is provided at the stage and the other of the grating section and the head is provided at a frame member disposed above the stage, on a lower end side of the projection optical system, and which irradiates the grating section with a measurement beam via the head, measuring positional information of the stage with a plurality of the heads that face the grating section; moving the stage based on the positional information measured with the encoder system while compensating for a measurement error of the encoder system related to a measurement direction of the positional information by the heads.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2016
    Publication date: April 13, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yuichi SHIBAZAKI
  • Publication number: 20170104918
    Abstract: A focus detection device includes: an image capture unit that has a plurality of light receiving units provided for each of a plurality of micro lenses, and that captures image by light from a subject that has passed through an optical system; and a focus detection unit that detects a focusing state of the optical system according to a relative positional deviation of the images of the subject with respect to the micro lenses, with the image of the subject being created by each of the micro lenses and being captured by the image capture unit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 28, 2015
    Publication date: April 13, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Toru IWANE
  • Publication number: 20170101617
    Abstract: An imaging section of a microscope apparatus captures a plurality of microscope images each having the focal position which differs in the field being same with a light flux having passed through a microscopic optical system. A region separating section separates a cellular region from a non-cellular region by using the plurality of the microscope images. A focusing position calculating section finds a focusing position in a target pixel included in the cellular region based on a brightness change in the position being same in the plurality of the microscope images. A three dimensional information generating section generates three dimensional information of a cultured cell based on a position of the cellular region and the focusing position in the target pixel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 23, 2016
    Publication date: April 13, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yasujiro KIYOTA
  • Patent number: 9620558
    Abstract: A solid-state image sensor includes: a pixel array that includes first pixels, each having first and second photoelectric conversion units, and second pixels, each having third and fourth photoelectric conversion units; first to fourth transfer gates via which a signal charge respectively generated in the first to fourth photoelectric conversion units is respectively transferred to first to fourth charge voltage conversion units. At least one of a gate width, a gate length and an installation position of at least one transfer gate among the first to fourth transfer gates is altered to achieve uniformity in voltage conversion efficiency at the first to fourth charge voltage conversion units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Satoshi Suzuki
  • Patent number: 9618619
    Abstract: Laser radar systems include a pentaprism configured to scan a measurement beam with respect to a target surface. A focusing optical assembly includes a corner cube that is used to adjust measurement beam focus. Target distance is estimated based on heterodyne frequencies between a return beam and a local oscillator beam. The local oscillator beam is configured to propagate to and from the focusing optical assembly before mixing with the return beam. In some examples, heterodyne frequencies are calibrated with respect to target distance using a Fabry-Perot interferometer having mirrors fixed to a lithium aluminosilicate glass-ceramic tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2017
    Assignees: Nikon Corporation, Nikon Metrology NV
    Inventors: Mina A. Rezk, Anthony R. Slotwinski, Daniel G. Smith, Eric Peter Goodwin, Alexander Cooper, Thomas M. Hedges
  • Patent number: 9618854
    Abstract: A liquid immersion device that has an mixing mechanism that mixes and dissolves a predetermined substance for adjusting specific resistance of the liquid, which is supplied onto a liquid repellent film on the surface of an object (member) of a projection optical system placed on the light emitting side of projection optical system, and an liquid immersion area is formed by supplying the liquid in which the predetermined liquid is dissolved onto the liquid repellent film.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Kenichi Shiraishi, Ryuichi Hoshika, Tomoharu Fujiwara
  • Patent number: 9618852
    Abstract: An immersion lithography apparatus includes an optical member, a gap defined between the optical member and a surface disposed opposite the optical member being filled with an immersion liquid, and a fluid control device including gas outlets through which a gas is supplied to prevent the immersion liquid from entering a surround area external to an exposure area. A flow velocity of the gas supplied from the gas outlets is controlled so that a pressure of the gas supplied by a first one of the gas outlets is different from a pressure of the gas simultaneously supplied from a second one of the gas outlets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Derek Coon, Andrew J. Hazelton
  • Publication number: 20170097578
    Abstract: Exposure apparatus exposes a substrate by irradiating the substrate with exposure light via a projection optical system and a liquid. The exposure apparatus is provided with a liquid immersion mechanism for supplying the liquid and recovering the liquid. The liquid immersion mechanism has an inclined surface, which is opposite to a surface of the substrate and is inclined with respect to the surface of the substrate, and a liquid recovering port of the liquid immersion mechanism is formed in the inclined surface. A flat portion is provided between the substrate and the projection optical system. A liquid immersion area can be maintained to be small.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 2, 2016
    Publication date: April 6, 2017
    Applicants: NIKON CORPORATION, NIKON ENGINEERING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Hiroyuki NAGASAKA, Takeshi OKUYAMA
  • Publication number: 20170099428
    Abstract: A lens barrel attached to an imaging device, including a focus lens unit that is movable in an optical axis direction; an actuator that moves the focus lens unit along the optical axis direction; a drive control section that controls drive of the actuator; and a setting section that is capable of setting a movement range of the focus lens unit to be one of a first range and a second range that differ from each other with respect to at least one of one end and another end, each range defining the range in which the focus lens unit is allowed to move. Even when the movement range of the focus lens unit is set by the setting section to be one of the first range and the second range, the drive control section removes the setting of the movement range when instructions are received from the imaging device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2015
    Publication date: April 6, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Teppei OKUYAMA, Hidefumi OTA, Toshiaki MAEDA, Satoshi HARA, Akihiko KAWAI
  • Publication number: 20170097577
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus exposes a substrate with illumination light via a projection optical system, and includes a stage disposed below the projection optical system and holds the substrate; an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head is provided at the stage and the other of the grating section and the head is provided at a frame member disposed above the stage, on a lower end side of the projection optical system, and which irradiates the grating section with a measurement beam via the head and measures positional information of the stage with a plurality of the heads that face the grating section; and a controller coupled to the encoder system, that controls a drive system based on positional information measured with the encoder system while compensating for measurement error of the encoder system related to measurement direction of the positional information by the heads.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2016
    Publication date: April 6, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yuichi SHIBAZAKI
  • Patent number: 9613791
    Abstract: There is provided a calcium fluoride optical member formed from monocrystalline calcium fluoride and having a tubular shape. A {110} crystal plane or a {111} crystal plane of the monocrystalline calcium fluoride is orthogonal to a center axis of the tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Naoyasu Uehara, Motofusa Kageyama
  • Patent number: 9612156
    Abstract: A spectroscope used for a microspectroscopic system includes: a collimating optical system that causes signal light to be substantially collimated light; spectroscopic optical systems and each of which includes at least one of each of spectral elements and in which a wavelength band for spectral separation varies depending on an incident angle of the signal light; at least one of each of optical receivers that detect the signal light spectrally separated by the spectroscopic optical systems; a mechanism that varies the incident angles of the signal light on the spectral elements; and a controller unit that determines the incident angles of the signal light on the spectral elements in accordance with the wavelength band for spectrally separating the signal light and controls the mechanism so as to attain the incident angles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Ryoichi Sataka, Hisao Osawa
  • Patent number: 9612538
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus that exposes a substrate includes: an optical system that includes an emission surface from which an exposure light is emitted; a first surface that is disposed in at least a part of a surrounding of an optical path of the exposure light emitted from the emission surface; a second surface that is disposed in at least a part of a surrounding of the first surface and at a position lower than the first surface; a space portion into which a liquid can flow via a first aperture between the first surface and the second surface and which is opened to the atmosphere via a second aperture different from the first aperture; and a first recovery portion that recovers at least a part of the liquid flowing into the space portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Shinji Sato
  • Patent number: 9612539
    Abstract: Positional information of a stage within a movement plane is measured, using three encoders which include at least one each of an X encoder and a Y encoder. Based on position measurement values of the stage, the encoder used in position measurement is switched from an encoder (Enc1, Enc2 and Enc3) to an encoder (Enc4, Enc2 and Enc3). On the switching, a coordinate linkage method or a phase linkage method is applied to set an initial value of an encoder (Enc4) which is to be newly used. Accordingly, position measurement values of the stage before and after the switching are stored even though the encoder used in position measurement of the stage is sequentially switched, and the stage can be driven accurately two-dimensionally.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yuichi Shibazaki
  • Publication number: 20170090297
    Abstract: An illumination optical system includes a fly's-eye lens having a back focal plane arranged on a pupil plane of the illumination optical system or in a vicinity of the pupil plane; a first spatial light modulator which is arranged on an incident side of the fly's-eye lens and which includes a plurality of first mirror elements; a first optical system arranged in an optical path between the first spatial light modulator and the fly's-eye lens; a second spatial light modulator arranged in an optical path between the first optical system and the fly's-eye lens and which includes a plurality of second mirror elements; and a polarizing element arranged in the optical path between the first spatial light modulator and the fly's-eye lens.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 14, 2016
    Publication date: March 30, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Norio MIYAKE, Kinya KATO
  • Patent number: 9609248
    Abstract: An image sensor includes a first photoelectric conversion unit that converts light incident through a first opening to an electric charge, a second photoelectric conversion unit that converts light incident through a second opening which is smaller than the first opening to an electric charge, and a signal output wiring that outputs a first signal generated by the electric charge converted by the first photoelectric conversion unit and a second signal generated by the electric charge converted by the second photoelectric conversion unit. The second photoelectric conversion unit is disposed between the second opening and the signal output wiring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Hironobu Murata
  • Patent number: 9608400
    Abstract: A laser device, includes: a laser light generating unit generates laser lights with first and second wavelengths; an amplifying unit amplifies the lights with first and second wavelengths the first and the second amplified lights; a wavelength converting unit that generates a light output, either of first converted light wavelength conversion of the first amplified light and the second amplified light, or of the first converted light and the second converted light wavelength conversion of the second amplified light; and a control unit that controls operation of the laser light generating unit, wherein: the control unit controls an output condition of the light output by adjusting a temporal overlap, of the first converted light and the second amplified light, or the first and second converted lights, through control of relative timings of the laser light with the first and second wavelengths.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Akira Tokuhisa
  • Patent number: 9606443
    Abstract: A projection objective includes at least four curved mirrors, which include a first curved mirror that is a most optically forward mirror and a second curved mirror that is a second most optically forward mirror, as defined along a light path. In addition, an intermediate lens element is disposed physically between the first and second mirrors, the intermediate lens element being a single pass type lens. The objective forms an image with a numerical aperture of at least substantially 1.0 in immersion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Yasuhiro Omura
  • Patent number: 9606447
    Abstract: A reflective mirror is provided with a base and a multilayer film including first layers and second layers laminated alternately on the base and capable of reflecting at least a portion of the incident light. The multilayer film is provided with a first portion having a first thickness, and with a second portion which has a second thickness different from the first thickness and which is provided at a position rotationally symmetric to that of the first portion about the optical axis of the reflective mirror relative.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Yoshio Kawabe, Hiroshi Chiba
  • Patent number: 9605948
    Abstract: Methodology of measuring a position of a wafer with an encoder directing measurement beam(s) of light towards a wafer area that is being contemporaneously patterned in an exposure apparatus. The Abbe error of such measurement is minimized or even negated by combining the data from first and second measurement signals, one of which is defined as complementary, Abbe-error correcting measurement signal for which the induced Abbe error is either opposite to or at least different from the Abbe error corresponding to another, main measurement signal. The combination of the main and Abbe-error correcting signals is performed with a heterodyne interferometer employing a two-dimensional diffraction grating diffracting each of the measurement beams twice.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Eric Peter Goodwin, Zhiqiang Liu
  • Patent number: 9609235
    Abstract: A digital camera includes: a RAW data conversion unit that converts pixel values of respective colors of RAW data into values corresponding to predetermined spectral characteristics; and an output image conversion unit that converts the values corresponding to the spectral characteristics converted in the RAW data conversion unit, into predetermined output image data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Hisashi Sano
  • Patent number: 9606437
    Abstract: A fluorine-containing compound represented by a following general formula (1) is provided. [In the general formula (1), X represents a halogen atom or an alkoxy group, R1 represents a branched chain or cyclic alkyl group having 3 to 10 carbon atoms, and Rf1 and Rf2 represent fluorinated alkoxy groups. n represents an integer of 0 or greater.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignees: KANAGAWA UNIVERSITY, NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Kazuo Yamaguchi
  • Publication number: 20170082546
    Abstract: A super-resolution observation device includes an illumination optical system that focus a first illuminating light at optical frequency ?1 and a second illuminating light at optical frequency ?2 on a region of an observation object plane; a modulation unit that modulates a property of the first illuminating light heading toward the region at a modulation frequency fm; and an extraction unit that extracts a component at the optical frequency ?1 or ?2 from a light generated in the region according to the first illuminating light and the second illuminating light, the component of which the property changes at a frequency higher than the modulation frequency fm.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 26, 2016
    Publication date: March 23, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Fumihiro DAKE, Hiroki YAZAWA
  • Publication number: 20170079741
    Abstract: A scanning projection apparatus includes: an irradiation unit that irradiates a biological tissue with detection light; a light detection unit that detects light that is radiated from the tissue irradiated with the detection light; an image generation unit that generates data on an image about the tissue by using a detection result of the light detection unit; and a projection unit including a projection optical system that scans the tissue with visible light on the basis of the data, the projection unit being configured to project the image on the tissue through the scanning with the visible light.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 2, 2016
    Publication date: March 23, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Susumu MAKINOUCHI
  • Publication number: 20170082545
    Abstract: A super-resolution observation device includes an illumination optical system collecting a first illuminating light having a first optical frequency co, on a first region of an observation object, collecting a second illuminating light having a second optical frequency ?2? on a second region partially overlapping the first region, and collecting a third illuminating light having a third optical frequency ?2 on a third region containing a non-overlap region which is a region of the first region and does not overlap the second region; and an extraction unit extracting a signal light generated in accordance with a change in an energy level of a substance in the non-overlap region from a light generated in all of the first region, the second region, and the third region.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 26, 2016
    Publication date: March 23, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Fumihiro DAKE, Tomoko UJIKE, Hiroki YAZAWA
  • Publication number: 20170082925
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus includes an optical member that can be provided on a stage. The optical member has a first surface contacting a liquid when moved to face a projection system, and a second surface contacting a gas and transmitting light having come from the projection system via the liquid and the first surface. The optical member is configured such that at least a large-angle ray of the light, which has an angle with an optical axis of the projection system sufficiently large to undergo total reflection at an end surface of the projection system when the liquid is absent, travels from the projection system to the second surface without passing through gas. The second surface transmits the large-angle ray, which is received by the light-receiving surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 5, 2016
    Publication date: March 23, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hisashi NISHINAGA, Ikuo HIKIMA, Mitsunori TOYODA, Masahiro NAKAGAWA, Tsuneyuki HAGIWARA, Yasushi MIZUNO, Naonori KITA, Osamu TANITSU, Nozomu EMURA
  • Patent number: D782556
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Yuki Kobayashi
  • Patent number: D783043
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Hiroki Hosaka
  • Patent number: D783072
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Masaaki Yanagisawa, Tatsuya Kobayashi