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).
  • Publication number: 20170139630
    Abstract: An information storage device is a device that communicates over a network with another device that is used by another user different from an own user who uses an own device, and includes a storage unit including a first storage area available to the own user and a second storage area available to the other user, an information output unit that outputs information of the own user stored in the first storage area to the other device over the network, an information writing unit that stores information of the other user output by the other device over the network, in the second storage area, and a use control unit that controls whether the second storage area is available to the own user on the basis of an instruction of the other user.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2016
    Publication date: May 18, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Takeaki SUGIMURA, Kazuyuki KAZAMI, Atsushi TANAKA, Soichiro TSUBOI, Genshi YOSHIOKA, Daisuke YUKI
  • Publication number: 20170139328
    Abstract: In a measurement device, positional information of a mark of an object is measured. A holding member that holds the object, with a movable member that is supported by levitation on a base member, moves so that the mark is detected with a detection system having an optical member that irradiates the mark with a detection light, the base member being disposed below the detection system so that a surface of the base member is substantially parallel to a predetermined plane. The holding member is supported by the movable member and has a mounting area for the object on an upper surface side of the holding member in a direction orthogonal to the predetermined plane and being provided with a measurement surface on a lower surface side of the holding member, the measurement surface having a grating.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 27, 2017
    Publication date: May 18, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yuichi SHIBAZAKI
  • Publication number: 20170139331
    Abstract: A liquid immersion member including first and second members forming the immersion space; first member having a first lower surface disposed at a portion of the optical member surrounding, second member having a second upper surface opposite to the first lower surface via a gap and a second lower surface opposing the substrate and second member disposed at a portion of exposure light optical path surrounding; driving apparatus to move the second member with respect to the first; controlling the driving apparatus so the second member's operation in the substrate first operation movement is between exposure termination and start of a first and second shot regions differently from a second member's operation in the substrate second movement period which is between exposure termination and start of a third and fourth shot regions; first and second shot regions are in the same row contrary to third and fourth shot regions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 26, 2017
    Publication date: May 18, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Shinji SATO
  • Patent number: 9654709
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device includes a second image sensor having an organic photoelectric conversion film transmitting a specific light, and a first image sensor which is stacked in layers on a same semiconductor substrate as that of the second image sensor and which receives the specific light having transmitted the second image sensor, in which a pixel for focus detection is provided in the second image sensor or the first image sensor. Therefore, an AF method can be realized independently of a pixel for imaging.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Hironobu Murata
  • Patent number: 9651868
    Abstract: A substrate processing apparatus includes: a rotary cylindrical member (DR) that includes a cylindrical supporting surface curved with a constant radius from a predetermined center line (AX2) and that feeds a substrate (P) in a length direction of the substrate; a processing mechanism that performs a predetermined process on the substrate at a specific position (PA, EL2) of a part of the substrate; a scale member (SD) that rotates about the center line along with the rotary cylindrical member so as to measure a displacement in a circumferential direction of the supporting surface of the rotary cylindrical member or a displacement in a direction of the center line of the rotary cylindrical member and that includes a scale portion (GP) carved in a ring shape; and a reading mechanism (EN1, EN2) that faces the scale portion, that is disposed in substantially a same direction as the specific position when viewed from the center line, and that reads the scale portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Masaki Kato, Tohru Kiuchi
  • Patent number: 9651871
    Abstract: A spatial light modulator has a plurality of mirror elements each of which is controllable into a first state in which the mirror element reflects incident light with a change in a phase thereof by a first phase and a second state in which the mirror element reflects the incident light with a change in the phase thereof by a second phase 180° different from the first phase; and a boundary portion arranged between the mirror elements, which changes the phase of the incident light by a third phase substantially (90°+k·180°) (where k is an integer) different from the first phase. In projecting a pattern with the use of the spatial light modulator, an error caused in the pattern can be reduced even if the light quantity of light passing a gap region between the optical elements in the spatial light modulator is large.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Soichi Owa, Yoji Watanabe, Tomoharu Fujiwara
  • Patent number: 9651873
    Abstract: A liquid immersion member used in an immersion exposure apparatus, and capable of forming a liquid immersion space on a surface of an object opposite to an emitting surface of an optical member which emits exposure light. The liquid immersion member includes a first member that includes a first part disposed at surrounding of an optical path of the exposure light, and in which a first opening part, through which the exposure light is able to pass, and a first liquid supply part, is disposed at at least a portion of surrounding of the first opening part and capable of opposing the surface of the object, are provided at the first part, and a second member includes a first liquid recovery part which can be opposing the surface of the object and is movable with respect to the first member outside the first part with respect to the optical path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Shinji Sato
  • Publication number: 20170132784
    Abstract: An object is to measure the shape of an object to be measured under a more appropriate condition. A shape measuring device includes a projection unit configured to project a pattern onto a measurement target by light, an image capturing unit configured to capture a picture image of the measurement target onto which the pattern is projected by the projection unit, a movement unit capable of moving a projected position of the pattern on the measurement target by relatively moving the projection unit and the measurement target, and a region-of-interest setting unit configured to set a region of interest for acquiring information used to measure the measurement target to be in at least part of a region captured by the image capturing unit, so as to include an image of the pattern.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 13, 2014
    Publication date: May 11, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Tomoaki YAMADA
  • Publication number: 20170134509
    Abstract: An information processing apparatus includes: a storage unit that stores data that belongs to a user; a movement prediction unit that predicts a movement destination of the user; and a transmission unit that transmits the data that belongs to the user to an apparatus provided at the movement destination.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 23, 2017
    Publication date: May 11, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Takeaki SUGIMURA, Kazuyuki KAZAMI, Atsushi TANAKA, Soichiro TSUBOI, Genshi YOSHIOKA, Daisuke YUKI
  • Patent number: 9644720
    Abstract: Focus arrangements for laser radar and other applications provide compensation of orientation-dependent gravitational forces. A linear stage can be preloaded and provided with balanced linear encoders so that gravitational force induced pitch, yaw, and roll can be reduced, detected, or compensated. Alternatively, movable focus elements can be secured to actuator driven spring assemblies that are controlled to compensate orientation-dependent gravitational forces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Alec Robertson, Douglas C. Watson, Alexander Cooper
  • Patent number: 9645366
    Abstract: Provided is a zoom lens having, 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 positive refractive power, wherein the first lens group (G1), the second lens group (G2) and the third lens group (G3) move along the optical axis for zooming, and the conditional expressions (1) and (2) are satisfied. 8.000<?2T/?2W<12.000??(1) 2.000<?3T/?3W<5.000??(2) where ?2T denotes the lateral magnification of the second lens group (G2) in the telephoto end state, ?2W denotes the lateral magnification of the second lens group (G2) in the wide-angle end state, ?3T denotes the lateral magnification of the third lens group (G3) in the telephoto end state, and ?3W denotes the lateral magnification of the third lens group (G3) in the wide-angle end state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Takahiro Ishikawa
  • Patent number: 9645476
    Abstract: A camera accessory can be detachably engaged with a camera body that includes a camera body mount, and is equipped with an accessory mount assuming a bayonet structure with a first tab, a second tab and a third tab set over intervals in a circumferential direction running along a circumference of a circle and projecting from the circumference along a radial direction. The accessory mount can be inserted through the camera body mount without any of the first through third tabs being hindered by any of three camera body-side tabs at the camera body mount, as long as the accessory mount is inserted into the camera body mount at a correct interlock phase. The accessory mount includes a restricting member disposed near the third tab.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Masanori Hasuda, Noriyasu Kotani, Hideaki Hoshikawa
  • Patent number: 9645390
    Abstract: The spatial light modulator is provided with: a substrate; a fixed electrode disposed on a surface of the substrate; a connecting section, which has one end of the connecting section connected to the surface of the substrate; a movable section, which is connected to another end of the connecting section; a supporting post section, which extends in the thickness direction of the substrate with one end of the supporting post section connected to the movable section; a reflecting member, which is connected to another end of the supporting post section; a movable electrode, which is disposed on a surface of the reflecting member, the surface of the reflecting member facing the fixed electrode; and a conductive layer, which is disposed on the supporting post section with a film thickness larger than that of the movable electrode, and which electrically connects between the movable section and the movable electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Junji Suzuki, Yoshihiko Suzuki
  • Patent number: 9645413
    Abstract: A line of sight detection device calibration method, which calibrates a line of sight detection device that measures movement of an eyeball of a subject wearing eyeglasses and detects a transmission point at which a line of sight of the subject passes through a lens of the eyeglasses based on a result of measurement, includes: a measurement step of measuring the movement of the eyeball of the subject in a condition in which a first baseline is arranged at a predetermined position relative to the lens of the eyeglasses and the first baseline reflected in a corner cube substantially corresponds to a second baseline of the corner cube; and a calibration step of calibrating the line of sight detection device based on a result of measurement by the measurement step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Naoshi Aikawa
  • Patent number: 9645373
    Abstract: Fluorescence is generated from an irradiated point on an inspection surface of a sample and the fluorescence is collected by an objective lens. Here, because of the magnification chromatic aberration of the objective lens, the fluorescence going out from the objective lens travels along a path shifted from the irradiation light and changed substantially into a non-scan light by a galvano-scanner. The fluorescence passes through a dichroic mirror into a plane-parallel plate after light of unnecessary wavelength is removed by a filter. The plane-parallel plate is driven in synchronization with the galvano-scanner by a computer and corrects the shift and inclination of the optical axis generated by the magnification chromatic aberration of the objective lens. Then, the fluorescence forms an image of the irradiation point of the inspection surface of the sample on a pin hole of a pin hole plate by using a collective lens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Yuki Yoshida, Naoshi Aikawa
  • Patent number: 9648227
    Abstract: A focus estimating device has an area setting unit which sets an area in which focusing of an image is determined and divides the area into a plurality of blocks, a block selecting unit which selects a block to be used for focus determination, a block focus determination unit which performs focus determination for each block from an edge in each color component of the block selected by the block selecting unit, and a focus determination unit which determines focusing of the area based on the focus determination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Atsushi Kawai
  • Patent number: 9645505
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus is capable of accurately performing an exposure process and a measurement process based on a liquid immersion method. The exposure apparatus, which forms a liquid immersion area of a liquid on an image surface side of a projection optical system, and exposes a substrate via the projection optical system and the liquid of the immersion area, includes a measuring device which measures at least one of a property and composition of the liquid for forming the liquid immersion area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Kenichi Shiraishi
  • Publication number: 20170123326
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus and method exposes a substrate via a projection optical system and a liquid supplied to an immersion area below the projection optical system. First and second movable members move below the projection optical system. The first movable member holds a substrate in a hole of an upper surface of the first movable member. The upper surface outside the hole can maintain at least a part of the immersion area outside the substrate held in the hole. A drive system drives the first and second movable members to move the first and second movable members below the projection optical system relative to the liquid immersion region to replace one member positioned below the projection optical system with the other member such that the liquid immersion area is maintained below the projection optical system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 17, 2017
    Publication date: May 4, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Akimitsu EBIHARA
  • Patent number: 9641786
    Abstract: A camera having communication ability can switch a mode between a communication mode and a shooting mode. The camera combines features of a communication device and a digital camera. The camera comprises a communication device, an imaging device, and a switching device. The switching device switched the communication mode to the shooting mode responsive to completion of communication.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Itaru Homma, Chiyuki Kuwata, Akira Ohmura
  • Patent number: 9638906
    Abstract: Projection optical system for forming an image on a substrate and including an illumination relay lens and a projection lens each of which is a catadioptric system. The projection lens may include two portions in optical communication with one another, the first of which is dioptric and the second of which is catadioptric. In a specific case, the projection optical system satisfies 4 < ? ? I ? ? ? T ? < 30 , where ?I and ?T are magnifications of the first portion and the overall projection lens. Optionally, the projection lens may be structured to additionally satisfy 6 < ? ? II ? ? ? T ? < 20 , where ?II is a magnification of the second portion. A digital scanner including such projection optical system and operating with UV light having a spectral bandwidth on the order of 1 picometer. Method for forming an image with such projection optical system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: David M. Williamson
  • Patent number: 9638799
    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: May 2, 2017
    Assignees: Nikon Corporation, Nikon Metrology NV
    Inventors: Eric Peter Goodwin, Daniel G. Smith, Alexander Cooper, Mina A. Rezk, Anthony R. Slotwinski, Thomas M. Hedges
  • Patent number: 9639754
    Abstract: A subject tracking apparatus includes a light detector, a focus detector, and a tracking controller. The focus detector is configured to detect focus information at a plurality of focus detection regions in a view of an image. The focus information includes at least focus information detected at a subject region of a subject in the view. The tracking controller is configured to determine at least one first region having substantially same light information as light information detected at the subject region from among a plurality of light measurement regions, to determine at least one second region having substantially same focus information as the focus information detected at the subject region from among the plurality of focus detection regions, and to determine reference information for tracking the subject in the view based on the at least one first region and the at least one second region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hiroshi Takeuchi, Keiko Muramatsu
  • Patent number: 9639003
    Abstract: An imaging assembly for directing a pattern of energy at a workpiece includes (i) a reticle that defines a reticle array that includes a plurality of spaced apart, transmitting regions; (ii) an illumination source that generates an illumination beam; and (iii) a director assembly that selectively directs the illumination beam at the reticle array, the director assembly includes a plurality of director elements that are individually controlled to selectively control the beam pattern that is directed at the reticle array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Steven Douglas Slonaker
  • Publication number: 20170115455
    Abstract: An optical delay between a first fiber and a second fiber is temperature compensated by combining fibers with different thermal path length changes. In some examples, fibers with different buffer coatings exhibit different path length changes per unit length and temperature. Combining such fibers in a fiber array provides a path length difference that is substantially independent of temperature.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 2, 2015
    Publication date: April 27, 2017
    Applicant: Nikon Metrology NV
    Inventors: Anthony R. Slotwinski, Mina A. Rezk, Pavel Slyusarev
  • Publication number: 20170115574
    Abstract: A reflective imaging optical system which forms, on a second plane, an image of a pattern arranged on a first plane and illuminated with light from an illumination optical system includes a plurality of reflecting mirrors including first and second reflecting mirrors by which the light reflected by the first plane is reflected first, second, respectively. An area on the first plane illuminated with the light from the illumination optical system is an illumination objective area, the illumination objective area is positioned on a predetermined side of an optical axis of the reflecting mirrors, and reflection areas of the first and second reflecting mirrors are positioned on the predetermined side of the optical axis of the reflecting mirrors; and the first and second reflecting mirrors are arranged so that an optical path of the light from the illumination optical system is positioned between the first and second reflecting mirrors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 9, 2017
    Publication date: April 27, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yoshio KAWABE
  • Publication number: 20170118422
    Abstract: When the amplification ratio is low and strong incident light causes a large charge, the signal retrieved from regions where the incident light is weak is also weak, but when the amplification ratio is high in regions where the incident light is weak, the signal retrieved from regions where the incident light is strong becomes saturated. Therefore, the dynamic range of the imaging unit is narrow. Provided is an imaging unit comprising an imaging section that includes a first group having one or more pixels and a second group having one or more pixels different from those of the first group; and a control section that, while a single charge accumulation is performed in the first group, causes pixel signals to be output by performing charge accumulation in the second group a number of times differing from a number of times charge accumulation is performed in the first group.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 9, 2017
    Publication date: April 27, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Shiro TSUNAI
  • Publication number: 20170118396
    Abstract: A focus detection device includes: a sensor outputting a pair of focus detection signal sequences, each of which being made of a plurality of focus detection signals; a difference calculation unit obtaining a plurality of differences by sequentially calculating differences between focus detection signals corresponding to each other in the pair of focus detection signal sequences; a division unit dividing the pair of focus detection signal sequences into at least two pairs of partial signal sequences based on the plurality of differences; a focus detection parameter calculation unit calculating a first focus detection parameter according to a phase difference amount of a first pair of partial signal sequences and a second focus detection parameter in accordance with a phase difference amount of a second pair of partial signal sequences; and a focus adjustment parameter determination unit determining either the first or second focus detection parameters, as a focus adjustment parameter.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 26, 2014
    Publication date: April 27, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Naoyuki OHNISHI
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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
  • 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
  • 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: 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: 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: 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
  • 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: 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: 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: 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
  • 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