Patents Assigned to ASML Masktools, B.V.
  • Patent number: 8730452
    Abstract: An illumination source is optimized by changing the intensity and shape of the illumination source to form an image in the image plane that maximizes the minimum ILS at user selected fragmentation points while forcing the intensity at the fragmentation points to be within a small intensity range. An optimum mask may be determined by changing the magnitude and phase of the diffraction orders to form an image in the image plane that maximizes the minimum ILS at user selected fragmentation points while forcing the intensity at the fragmentation points to be within a small intensity range. Primitive rectangles having a size set to a minimum feature size of a mask maker are assigned to the located minimum and maximum transmission areas ad centered at a desired location. The edges of the primitive rectangle are varied to match optimal diffraction orders O(m,n). The optimal CPL mask OCPL(x,y) is then formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventor: Robert Socha
  • Patent number: 8644589
    Abstract: A method for decomposing a target circuit pattern containing features to be imaged into multiple patterns. The process includes the steps of separating the features to be printed into a first pattern and a second pattern; performing a first optical proximity correction process on the first pattern and the second pattern; determining an imaging performance of the first pattern and the second pattern; determining a first error between the first pattern and the imaging performance of the first pattern, and a second error between the second pattern and the imaging performance of said second pattern; utilizing the first error to adjust the first pattern to generate a modified first pattern; utilizing the second error to adjust the second pattern to generate a modified second pattern; and applying a second optical proximity correction process to the modified first pattern and the modified second pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Jungchul Park, Doug Van Den Broeke, Jang Fung Chen
  • Patent number: 8640058
    Abstract: A method of decomposing a target pattern having features to be imaged on a substrate so as to allow said features to be imaged in a multi-exposure process. The method includes the steps of: segmenting a plurality of the features into a plurality of polygons; determining the image log slope (ILS) value for each of the plurality of polygons; determining the polygon having the minimum ILS value, and defining a mask containing the polygon; convolving the defined mask with an eigen function of a transmission cross coefficient so as to generate an interference map, where the transmission cross coefficient defines the illumination system to be utilized to image the target pattern; and, assigning a phase to the polygon based on the value of the interference map at a location corresponding to the polygon, where the phase defines which exposure in said multi-exposure process the polygon is assigned.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2014
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventor: Robert John Socha
  • Patent number: 8632930
    Abstract: A method of generating complementary masks for use in a dark field double dipole imaging process. The method includes the steps of identifying a target pattern having a plurality of features, including horizontal and vertical features; generating a horizontal mask based on the target pattern, where the horizontal mask includes low contrast vertical features. The generation of the horizontal mask includes the steps of optimizing the bias of the low contrast vertical features contained in the horizontal mask; and applying assist features to the horizontal mask. The method further includes generating a vertical mask based on the target pattern, where the vertical mask contains low contrast horizontal features. The generation of the vertical mask includes the steps of optimizing the bias of low contrast horizontal features contained in the vertical mask; and applying assist features to the vertical mask.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Sangbong Park, Douglas Van Den Broeke, Jang Fung Chen
  • Patent number: 8615126
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a method for decomposing a target pattern containing features to be printed on a wafer, into multiple patterns, the features having a plurality of patterns within a minimum pitch for processes utilized to image the target pattern. The method includes superposing a predefined kernel over a pixel, and moving the kernel from one pixel to another, the pixels representing the sub-patterns of the target pattern. Polarity of the kernel may be reversed when the pixel has a stored intensity value that is negative.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 24, 2013
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventor: Jung Chul Park
  • Patent number: 8521481
    Abstract: A method of generating a model for simulating the imaging performance of an optical imaging system. The method includes the steps of defining the optical imaging system and a process to be utilized by the optical imaging system; and defining a model equation representing the imaging performance of the optical imaging system and the process, where the model equation includes a resist performance component, and the resist performance component includes a non-linear model of the resist performance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventor: Edita Tejnil
  • Patent number: 8495526
    Abstract: A method of decomposing a target pattern containing features to be printed on a wafer into multiple patterns. The method includes the steps of: (a) defining a region of influence which indicates the minimum necessary space between features to be imaged; (b) selecting a vertex associated with a feature of the target pattern; (c) determining if an edge of another feature is within the region of influence with respect to the vertex; and (d) splitting the another feature into two polygons if the edge of another feature is within the region of influence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventor: Robert J. Socha
  • Patent number: 8495529
    Abstract: A method of generating a mask having optical proximity correction features.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventors: Douglas van Den Broeke, Jang Fung Chen
  • Patent number: 8395757
    Abstract: Disclosed concepts include a method of optimizing polarization of an illumination of a pattern to be formed in a surface of a substrate. Polarized illumination is optimized by determining an illumination intensity for at least one point on an illuminator for at least two polarization states, determining image log slope for the at least one point on the illuminator for the at least two polarization states, determining a maximum image log slope (ILS) where the ILS is near zero for the at least one point on the illuminator, and selecting an optimal polarization state corresponding to the at least two polarization states that minimizes an ILS for the at least one point on the illuminator. This may be repeated for a plurality of points on the illuminator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventors: Robert Socha, Donis Flagello, Steve Hansen
  • Patent number: 8391605
    Abstract: A method for decomposing a target circuit pattern containing features to be imaged into multiple patterns. The process includes the steps of separating the features to be printed into a first pattern and a second pattern; performing a first optical proximity correction process on the first pattern and the second pattern; determining an imaging performance of the first pattern and the second pattern; determining a first error between the first pattern and the imaging performance of the first pattern, and a second error between the second pattern and the imaging performance of said second pattern; utilizing the first error to adjust the first pattern to generate a modified first pattern; utilizing the second error to adjust the second pattern to generate a modified second pattern; and applying a second optical proximity correction process to the modified first pattern and the modified second pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Jung Chul Park, Douglas Van Den Broeke, Jang Fung Chen
  • Publication number: 20130055171
    Abstract: A method of generating complementary masks based on a target pattern having features to be imaged on a substrate for use in a multiple-exposure lithographic imaging process is disclosed. The method includes defining an initial H-mask and an initial V-mask corresponding to the target pattern; identifying horizontal critical features in the H-mask and vertical critical features in the V-mask; assigning a first phase shift and a first percentage transmission to the horizontal critical features, which are to be formed in the H-mask; and assigning a second phase shift and a second percentage transmission to the vertical critical features, which are to be formed in the V-mask. The method further includes the step of assigning chrome to all non-critical features in the H-mask and the V-mask.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 21, 2012
    Publication date: February 28, 2013
    Applicant: ASML MaskTools B.V.
    Inventors: Jang Fung Chen, Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Douglas Van Den Broeke
  • Publication number: 20120122023
    Abstract: A method for decomposing a target circuit pattern containing features to be imaged into multiple patterns. The process includes the steps of separating the features to be printed into a first pattern and a second pattern; performing a first optical proximity correction process on the first pattern and the second pattern; determining an imaging performance of the first pattern and the second pattern; determining a first error between the first pattern and the imaging performance of the first pattern, and a second error between the second pattern and the imaging performance of said second pattern; utilizing the first error to adjust the first pattern to generate a modified first pattern; utilizing the second error to adjust the second pattern to generate a modified second pattern; and applying a second optical proximity correction process to the modified first pattern and the modified second pattern.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 25, 2012
    Publication date: May 17, 2012
    Applicant: ASML MaskTools B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Jung Chul Park, Douglas Van Den Broeke, Jang Fung Chen
  • Publication number: 20120077114
    Abstract: A method of decomposing a target pattern having features to be imaged on a substrate so as to allow said features to be imaged in a multi-exposure process. The method includes the steps of: segmenting a plurality of the features into a plurality of polygons; determining the image log slope (ILS) value for each of the plurality of polygons; determining the polygon having the minimum ILS value, and defining a mask containing the polygon; convolving the defined mask with an eigen function of a transmission cross coefficient so as to generate an interference map, where the transmission cross coefficient defines the illumination system to be utilized to image the target pattern; and, assigning a phase to the polygon based on the value of the interference map at a location corresponding to the polygon, where the phase defines which exposure in said multi-exposure process the polygon is assigned.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 23, 2011
    Publication date: March 29, 2012
    Applicant: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventor: Robert John Socha
  • Patent number: 8132130
    Abstract: A method for forming exposure masks for imaging a target pattern having features to be imaged on a substrate in a multi-exposure process. The method includes the steps of generating a set of decomposition rules defining whether a given feature of the target pattern is assigned to a first exposure mask or a second exposure mask; applying the decomposition rules to each of the features in the target pattern so as to assign each of the features in the target pattern to one of the first exposure mask or second exposure mask; and generating the first exposure mask and the second exposure mask containing the respective features assigned to each mask.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventors: Jang Fung Chen, Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Douglas Van Den Broeke, Thomas Laidig
  • Patent number: 8120753
    Abstract: A method of generating a model for simulating the imaging performance of an optical imaging system having a pupil. The method includes the steps of defining the optical imaging system and a process to be utilized by the optical imaging system; and defining a model equation representing the imaging performance of the optical imaging system and the process, where the model equation including a calibrated pupil kernel. The calibrated pupil kernel representing a linear model of the pupil performance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2012
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventors: Gabriel Berger, Tamer Coskun, Sangbong Park, Jang Fung Chen
  • Patent number: 8122391
    Abstract: A method of generating complementary masks based on a target pattern having features to be imaged on a substrate for use in a multiple-exposure lithographic imaging process. The method includes the steps of: defining an initial H-mask corresponding to the target pattern; defining an initial V-mask corresponding to the target pattern; identifying horizontal critical features in the H-mask having a width which is less than a predetermined critical width; identifying vertical critical features in the V-mask having a width which is less than a predetermined critical width; assigning a first phase shift and a first percentage transmission to the horizontal critical features, which are to be formed in the H-mask; and assigning a second phase shift and a second percentage transmission to the vertical critical features, which are to be formed in the V-mask. The method further includes the step of assigning chrome to all non-critical features in the H-mask and the V-mask.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2012
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventors: Jang Fung Chen, Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Douglas Van Den Broeke
  • Patent number: 8111901
    Abstract: A method for separating an original circuit pattern to be printed on a wafer, into multiple circuit patterns is disclosed. Simulation to obtain an image log-slope (ILS), normalized image log-slope (NILS), or any other characteristic of an image quality on edges of polygons in the circuit pattern obtained from circuit pattern data is performed. Properly printed edges and not-properly printed edges are identified according to a criterion of an ILS level. The original circuit pattern is separated into multiple circuit patterns such that each of the multiple patterns does not have any not-properly printed edges.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2012
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventor: Peter Nikolsky
  • Patent number: 8111921
    Abstract: A method for decomposing a target circuit pattern containing features to be imaged into multiple patterns. The process includes the steps of separating the features to be printed into a first pattern and a second pattern; performing a first optical proximity correction process on the first pattern and the second pattern; determining an imaging performance of the first pattern and the second pattern; determining a first error between the first pattern and the imaging performance of the first pattern, and a second error between the second pattern and the imaging performance of said second pattern; utilizing the first error to adjust the first pattern to generate a modified first pattern; utilizing the second error to adjust the second pattern to generate a modified second pattern; and applying a second optical proximity correction process to the modified first pattern and the modified second pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2012
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Jung Chul Park, Douglas Van Den Broeke, Jang Fung Chen
  • Publication number: 20110317908
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a method for decomposing a target pattern containing features to be printed on a wafer, into multiple patterns, the features having a plurality of patterns within a minimum pitch for processes utilized to image the target pattern. The method includes superposing a predefined kernel over a pixel, and moving the kernel from one pixel to another, the pixels representing the sub-patterns of the target pattern. Polarity of the kernel may be reversed when the pixel has a stored intensity value that is negative.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 27, 2011
    Publication date: December 29, 2011
    Applicant: ASML MaskTools B.V.
    Inventor: Jung Chul Park
  • Patent number: 8060842
    Abstract: A method of decomposing a target pattern having features to be imaged on a substrate so as to allow said features to be imaged in a multi-exposure process. The method includes the steps of: (a) segmenting a plurality of the features into a plurality of polygons; (b) determining the image log slope (ILS) value for each of the plurality of polygons; (c) determining the polygon having the minimum ILS value, and defining a mask containing the polygon; (d) convolving the mask defined in step (c) with an eigen function of a transmission cross coefficient so as to generate an interference map, where the transmission cross coefficient defines the illumination system to be utilized to image the target pattern; and (e) assigning a phase to the polygon based on the value of the interference map at a location corresponding to the polygon, where the phase defines which exposure in said multiexposure process the polygon is assigned.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2011
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventor: Robert John Socha