Patents Assigned to KLA-Tencor Technologies Corporation
  • Patent number: 9052494
    Abstract: An optical system may include an objective having at least four mirrors including an outermost mirror with aspect ratio <20:1 and focusing optics including a refractive optical element. The objective provides imaging at numerical aperture >0.7, central obscuration <35% in pupil. An objective may have two or more mirrors, one with a refractive module that seals off an outermost mirror's central opening. A broad band imaging system may include one objective and two or more imaging paths that provide imaging at numerical aperture >0.7 and field of view >0.8 mm. An optical imaging system may comprise an objective and two or more imaging paths. The imaging paths may provide two or more simultaneous broadband images of a sample in two or more modes. The modes may have different illumination and/or collection pupil apertures or different pixel sizes at the sample.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2015
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Shiow-Hwei Hwang, Gregory L. Kirk, Hwan J. Jeong, David Shafer, Russel Hudyma
  • Patent number: 9053833
    Abstract: An array of spatially separated beamlets is produced by a corresponding array of charged particle emitters. Each emitter is at an electrostatic potential difference with respect to an immediately adjacent emitter in the array. The beamlets are converged laterally to form an charged particle beam. The beam is modulated longitudinally with infrared radiation to form a modulated beam. The charged particles in the modulated beam are bunched longitudinally to form a bunched beam. The bunched beam may be modulated with an undulator to generate a coherent radiation output. This abstract is provided to comply with rules requiring an abstract that will allow a searcher or other reader to quickly ascertain the subject matter of the technical disclosure. It is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to interpret or limit the scope or meaning of the claims.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2015
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies, Corporation
    Inventor: Tomas Plettner
  • Patent number: 8768665
    Abstract: A method and system for modeling and analyzing wafer nanotopography data utilizes a nonlinear contact finite element model. Inputs to the model include lithography chuck parameters and site-based geometry data. Outputs from the model include in-plane distortions and out-of-plane distortions, from which defocus and overlay can be derived.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Sathish Veeraraghavan, Jaydeep Sinha
  • Publication number: 20130314710
    Abstract: Methods and systems for monitoring semiconductor fabrication processes are provided. A system may include a stage configured to support a specimen and coupled to a measurement device. The measurement device may include an illumination system and a detection system. The illumination system and the detection system may be configured such that the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of the specimen. For example, the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of a specimen including: but not limited to, critical dimension and overlay misregistration; defects and thin film characteristics; critical dimension and defects; critical dimension and thin film characteristics; critical dimension, thin film characteristics and defects; macro defects and micro defects; flatness, thin film characteristics and defects; overlay misregistration and flatness; an implant characteristic and defects; and adhesion and thickness.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 5, 2013
    Publication date: November 28, 2013
    Applicant: KLA-TENCOR TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Ady Levy, Kyle A. Brown, Rodney Smedt, Gary Bultman, Mehrdad Nikoonahad, Dan Wack, John Fielden, Ibrahim Abdul-Halim
  • Publication number: 20130310966
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for process control in the processing of a substrate is disclosed in the present invention. Embodiments of the present invention utilize a first analysis tool to determine changes in a substrate's geometry. The substrate geometry data is used to generate sampling plan that will be used to check areas of the substrate that are likely to have errors after processing. The sampling plan is fed forwards to a second analysis tool that samples the substrate after it has been processed. It is emphasized that this abstract is provided to comply with the rules requiring an abstract that will allow a searcher or other reader to quickly ascertain the subject matter of the technical disclosure. It is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to interpret or limit the scope or meaning of the claims.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 18, 2012
    Publication date: November 21, 2013
    Applicant: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Craig W. MacNaughton, Jaydeep K. Sinha
  • Publication number: 20130163852
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a semiconductor target for determining overlay error, if any, between two or more successive layers of a substrate or between two or more separately generated patterns on a single layer of a substrate is disclosed. The target comprises at least a plurality of first structures that are invariant for a plurality of first rotation angles with respect to a first center of symmetry (COS) of the first structures and a plurality of second structures that are invariant for a plurality of second rotation angles with respect to a second COS of the second structures. The first rotation angles differ from the second rotation angles, and first structures and second structures are formed on different layers of the substrate or separately generated patterns on a same layer of the substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 27, 2011
    Publication date: June 27, 2013
    Applicant: KLA-TENCOR TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventor: Mark Ghinovker
  • Patent number: 8390789
    Abstract: Substrate support apparatus and methods are disclosed. Motion of a substrate chuck relative to a stage mirror may be dynamically compensated by sensing a displacement of the substrate chuck relative to the stage mirror and coupling a signal proportional to the displacement in one or more feedback loops with Z stage actuators and/or XY stage actuators coupled to the stage mirror. Alternatively, a substrate support apparatus may include a Z stage plate a stage mirror, one or more actuators attached to the Z stage plate, and a substrate chuck mounted to the stage mirror with constraints on six degrees of freedom of movement of the substrate chuck. The actuators impart movement to the Z stage in a Z direction as the Z stage plate is scanned in a plane perpendicular to the Z direction. The actuators may include force flexures having a base portion attached to the Z stage plate and a cantilever portion extending in a lateral direction from the base portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Salam Harb, Kent Douglas, Marek Zwyno, James Haslim, Jon Hamilton
  • Publication number: 20130039460
    Abstract: Methods and systems for monitoring semiconductor fabrication processes are provided. A system may include a stage configured to support a specimen and coupled to a measurement device. The measurement device may include an illumination system and a detection system. The illumination system and the detection system may be configured such that the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of the specimen. For example, the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of a specimen including: but not limited to, critical dimension and overlay misregistration; defects and thin film characteristics; critical dimension and defects; critical dimension and thin film characteristics; critical dimension, thin film characteristics and defects; macro defects and micro defects; flatness, thin film characteristics and defects; overlay misregistration and flatness; an implant characteristic and defects; and adhesion and thickness.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 9, 2012
    Publication date: February 14, 2013
    Applicant: KLA-TENCOR TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Ady Levy, Kyle A. Brown, Rodney Smedt, Gary Bultman, Mehrdad Nikoonahad, Dan Wack, John Fielden, Ibrahim Abdul-Halim
  • Publication number: 20130035877
    Abstract: Methods and systems for determining a characteristic of a wafer are provided. One method includes generating output responsive to light from the wafer using an inspection system. The output includes first output corresponding to defects on the wafer and second output that does not correspond to the defects. The method also includes determining the characteristic of the wafer using the second output. One system includes an inspection subsystem configured to illuminate the wafer and to generate output responsive to light from the wafer. The output includes first output corresponding to defects on the wafer and second output that does not correspond to the defects. The system also includes a processor configured to determine the characteristic of the wafer using the second output.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 12, 2012
    Publication date: February 7, 2013
    Applicant: KLA-TENCOR TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Michael D. Kirk, Christopher F. Bevis, David Adler, Kris Bhaskar
  • Patent number: 8330281
    Abstract: An overlay mark for determining the relative shift between two or more successive layers of a substrate is disclosed. The overlay mark includes at least one test pattern for determining the relative shift between a first and a second layer of the substrate in a first direction. The test pattern includes a first set of working zones and a second set of working zones. The first set of working zones are disposed on a first layer of the substrate and have at least two working zones diagonally opposed and spatially offset relative to one another. The second set of working zones are disposed on a second layer of the substrate and have at least two working zones diagonally opposed and spatially offset relative to one another. The first set of working zones are generally angled relative to the second set of working zones thus forming an “X” shaped test pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Mark Ghinovker, Michael Adel, Walter Dean Mieher, Ady Levy, Dan Wack
  • Patent number: 8298335
    Abstract: An enclosure that maintains the environment of one or more optical crystals and allows efficient frequency conversion for light at wavelengths at or below 400 nm with minimal stress being placed on the crystals in the presence of varying temperatures. Efficient conversion may include multiple crystals of the same or different materials. Multiple frequency conversion steps may also be employed within a single enclosure. Materials that have been processed specifically to provide increased lifetimes, stability, and damage thresholds over designs previously available are employed. The enclosure allows pre-exposure processing of the crystal(s) such as baking at high temperatures and allowing real time measurement of crystal properties.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 6, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: J. Joseph Armstrong
  • Publication number: 20120153281
    Abstract: A semiconductor target for determining a relative shift between two or more successive layers of a substrate is provided. The target comprises a plurality of first structures formed in a first layer, and the first structures have a first center of symmetry (COS). The target further comprises a plurality of second structures formed in a second layer, and the second structures have second COS. The difference between the first COS and the second COS corresponds to an overlay error between the first and second layer and wherein the first and second structures have a 180° rotational symmetry, without having a 90° rotational symmetry, with respect to the first and second COS, respectively.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 28, 2012
    Publication date: June 21, 2012
    Applicant: KLA-TENCOR TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventor: Mark GHINOVKER
  • Patent number: 8138498
    Abstract: Disclosed are overlay targets having flexible symmetry characteristics and metrology techniques for measuring the overlay error between two or more successive layers of such targets. Techniques for imaging targets with flexible symmetry characteristics and analyzing the acquired images to determine overlay or alignment error are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2012
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: Mark Ghinovker
  • Publication number: 20110313558
    Abstract: Methods and systems for monitoring a parameter of a measurement device during polishing, damage to a specimen during polishing, a characteristic of a polishing pad, or a characteristic of a polishing tool are provided. One method includes scanning a specimen with a measurement device during polishing of a specimen to generate output signals at measurement spots on the specimen. The method also includes determining if the output signals are outside of a range of output signals. Output signals outside of the range may indicate that a parameter of the measurement device is out of control limits. In a different embodiment, output signals outside of the range may indicate damage to the specimen. Another method includes scanning a polishing pad with a measurement device to generate output signals at measurement spots on the polishing pad. The method also includes determining a characteristic of the polishing pad from the output signals.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 27, 2011
    Publication date: December 22, 2011
    Applicant: KLA-TENCOR TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Kurt Lehman, Charles Chen, Ronald L. Allen, Robert Shinagawa, Anantha Sethuraman, Christopher F. Bevis, Thanassis Trikas, Haiguang Chen, Ching Ling Meng
  • Publication number: 20110286656
    Abstract: Various methods and systems for utilizing design data in combination with inspection data are provided. One computer-implemented method for binning defects detected on a wafer includes comparing portions of design data proximate positions of the defects in design data space. The method also includes determining if the design data in the portions is at least similar based on results of the comparing step. In addition, the method includes binning the defects in groups such that the portions of the design data proximate the positions of the defects in each of the groups are at least to similar. The method further includes storing results of the binning step in a storage medium.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 25, 2011
    Publication date: November 24, 2011
    Applicant: KLA-TENCOR TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Ashok Kulkarni, Brian Duffy, Kais Maayah, Gordon Rouse
  • Patent number: 8033190
    Abstract: A measuring device incorporating a substrate with sensors that measure the processing conditions that a wafer may undergo during manufacturing. The substrate can be inserted into a processing chamber by a robot head and the measuring device can transmit the conditions in real time or store the conditions for subsequent analysis. Sensitive electronic components of the device can be distanced or isolated from the most deleterious processing conditions in order increase the accuracy, operating range, and reliability of the device. Isolation may be provided by vacuum or suitable material and phase change material may be located adjacent to electronics to maintain a low temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2011
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Wayne G. Renken, Mei H. Sun
  • Patent number: 8008207
    Abstract: A method for controlling chemical dry etching to improve smoothness of an etched surface is disclosed. Ions are implanted into a surface to form a volatilizable compound at a temperature low enough to avoid, reduce, or eliminate formation of three-dimensional structures of the volatilizable compound that might create the roughness at an etched surface of the volatilizable compound. The ions are applied in a sufficient energy to penetrate to a predetermined depth of material that is to be removed from the surface in an etching cycle, and in a sufficient dosage to achieve full formation of the volatilizable compound. The surface of the volatilizable compound is exposed to a gas composition for a time duration sufficient to completely etch the volatilizable compound.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2011
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Ming Lun Yu, Mehran Nasser-Ghodsi
  • Publication number: 20110181891
    Abstract: Systems configured to generate output corresponding to defects on a specimen and systems configured to generate phase information about defects on a specimen are provided. One system includes an optical subsystem that is configured to create interference between a test beam and a reference beam. The test beam and the reference beam are reflected from the specimen. The system also includes a detector that is configured to generate output representative of the interference between the test and reference beams. The interference increases contrast between the output corresponding to the defects and output corresponding to non-defective portions of the specimen.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 5, 2011
    Publication date: July 28, 2011
    Applicant: KLA-TENCOR TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Shiow-Hwei Hwang, Tao-Yi Fu, Xiumei Liu
  • Publication number: 20110181868
    Abstract: Provided are novel inspection methods and systems for inspecting unpatterned objects, such as extreme ultraviolet (EUV) mask blanks, for surface defects, including extremely small defects. Defects may include various phase objects, such as bumps and pits that are only about 1 nanometer in height, and small particles. Inspection is performed at wavelengths less than about 250 nanometers, such as a reconfigured deep UV inspection system. A partial coherence sigma is set to between about 0.15 and 0.5. Phase defects can be found by using one or more defocused inspection passes, for example at one positive depth of focus (DOF) and one negative DOF. In certain embodiments, DOF is between about ?1 to ?3 and/or +1 to +3. The results of multiple inspection passes can be combined to differentiate defect types. Inspection methods may involve applying matched filters, thresholds, and/or correction factors in order to improve a signal to noise ratio.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 10, 2010
    Publication date: July 28, 2011
    Applicant: KLA - TENCOR TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventor: Stanley E. Stokowski
  • Publication number: 20110142382
    Abstract: A method of forming a gate valve for use in a high vacuum environment of an electron gun by machining a core of non-magnetic nickel-chromium-molybdenum-iron-tungsten-silicon-carbon alloy that is weldable with nickel alloys and has a tensile strength of about 750 megapascals, machining a cladding of nickel-iron, welding the core to the cladding to form the gate valve, and machining the gate valve so as to remove any dimensional differences at an interface between the core and the cladding. In this manner, because the final mechanical tolerance is controlled by machining instead of part assembling, extremely high alignment accuracy is obtained. The final part provides field shielding as provided by the nickel alloy shell, low stray field provided by the non-magnetic alloy, good vacuum performance, and tight mechanical tolerance control.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 25, 2011
    Publication date: June 16, 2011
    Applicant: KLA-TENCOR TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Mohammed Tahmassebpur, Salam Harb, Liqun Han, Marian Mankos