Patents Examined by Christina A Riddle
  • Patent number: 11448957
    Abstract: A pellicle transfer apparatus includes; a base including supporting a target plate, a pellicle and a flexible plate sequentially stacked on the base, and a roller unit laterally movable in a first direction across the base and including a lower roller extending in a second direction intersecting the first direction, and an upper roller above the lower roller and extending in the second direction, wherein the lower roller compresses the flexible plate while the roller unit laterally moves in the first direction across the base to bond the pellicle to the target plate, as the pellicle is separated from the flexible plate, and the flexible plate moves upward to wrap around the lower roller, and the upper roller contacts the flexible plate as it wraps around the lower roller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2020
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2022
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Mun Ja Kim, Changyoung Jeong
  • Patent number: 11448969
    Abstract: An illumination optical system of the present invention includes a first lens array FE including a plurality of lens cells dividing a light flux emitted from a light source into a plurality of light fluxes, a second lens array MLAi including lens cells on which spot lights exiting from the lens cells included in the first lens array FE are condensed, and a first optical member IL3 imaging the spot light, which has been condensed on the lens cell included in the second lens array MLAi, on one of optical modulation elements constituting an optical modulation unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2020
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2022
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Michio Kono
  • Patent number: 11435670
    Abstract: A method of enhancing a layout pattern includes determining a vector transmission cross coefficient (vector-TCC) operator of an optical system of a lithographic system based on an illumination source of the optical system and an exit pupil of the optical system of the lithographic system. The method also includes performing an optical proximity correction (OPC) operation of a layout pattern of a photo mask to generate an OPC corrected layout pattern. The OPC operation uses the vector-TCC operator to determine a projected pattern of the layout pattern of the photo mask on a wafer. The method includes producing the OPC corrected layout pattern on a mask blank to create a photo mask.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2021
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2022
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Kenneth Lik Kin Ho, Chien-Jen Lai, Kenji Yamazoe, Xin Zhou, Danping Peng
  • Patent number: 11428892
    Abstract: An optical apparatus may include a housing having an opened front face, an optical unit freely movable into and out of an internal space of the housing through the front face, and a positioning portion disposed on a back side of the optical unit in the internal space. A base plate of the optical unit may include first and second convex portions disposed on a base end face of the base plate. The second convex portion may be disposed at a position different from the first convex portion in a width direction of the base plate. The positioning portion may include a V block having a V groove shape at a part contacting the first convex portion, and a flat block having a flat surface shape at a part contacting the second convex portion. The optical unit may be positioned in the internal space through the contact.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2022
    Assignee: Gigaphoton Inc.
    Inventors: Hiroshi Someya, Yukio Watanabe
  • Patent number: 11422474
    Abstract: The present application provides a dynamic illumination method based on a scan exposure machine, providing a mask used for exposure and a GDS file corresponding to the mask; dividing pattern information on the mask into n areas with the same width along the direction of movement of the mask during the exposure; performing SMO computation on the pattern information in the n areas, so as to generate n SMO files corresponding to the n areas respectively; performing combinatorial optimization on the n SMO files to obtain a DSMO file; generating a driver of a light source reflector array according to the DSMO file, the illumination; and controlling a reflector array of an exposure machine by calling the driver of the light source reflector array. The DSMO method is performed in each exposure slit area, so as to improve the illumination optimization for a pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2022
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2022
    Assignee: Shanghai Huali Integrated Circuit Corporation
    Inventors: Yuyang Bian, Lulu Lai, Xiaobo Guo, Cong Zhang
  • Patent number: 11415897
    Abstract: Calibrating stochastic signals in compact modeling is provided by obtaining data of process variations in producing a resist mask; calibrating a continuous compact model of the resist mask based on the data; evaluating the continuous compact model against a stochastic compact model that is based on the data; choosing a functional description of an edge location distribution for the stochastic compact model; mapping image parameters from the evaluation to edge distribution parameters according to the functional description; determining an edge location range for the stochastic compact model based on scaled measurements from the image parameters; calibrating a threshold for the resist mask and updating parameters of the stochastic compact model to reduce a difference between the data and a modeled Line Edge Roughness (LER) value; and outputting the stochastic compact model.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2021
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2022
    Assignee: Synopsys, Inc.
    Inventors: Zachary Adam Levinson, Yudhishthir Prasad Kandel, Ulrich Welling
  • Patent number: 11415892
    Abstract: A method for producing a reflecting optical element for a projection exposure apparatus (1). The element has a substrate (30) with a substrate surface (31), a protection layer (38) and a layer partial system (39) suitable for the EUV wavelength range. The method includes: (a) measuring the substrate surface (31), (b) irradiating the substrate (30) with electrons (36), and (c) tempering the substrate (30). Furthermore, an associated reflective optical element for the EUV wavelength range, a projection lens with a mirror (18, 19, 20) as reflective optical element, and a projection exposure apparatus (1) including such a projection lens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2021
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2022
    Assignee: CARL ZEISS SMT GMBH
    Inventors: Matthias Kaes, Steffen Bezold, Matthias Manger, Christoph Petri, Pavel Alexeev, Walter Pauls
  • Patent number: 11415895
    Abstract: An arrangement of a microlithographic optical imaging device includes first and second supporting structures. The first supporting structure supports at least one optical element of the imaging device via an active relative situation control device of a control device. The first supporting structure supports the second supporting structure via supporting spring devices of a vibration decoupling device. The supporting spring devices act kinematically parallel to one another. Each supporting spring device defines a supporting force direction and a supporting length along the supporting force direction. The second supporting structure supports a measuring device of the control device. The measuring device is connected to the relative situation control device. The measuring device outputs to the relative situation control device measurement information representative for the position and/or the orientation of the at least one optical element in relation to a reference in at least one degree of freedom in space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2021
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2022
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Marwène Nefzi, Ralf Zweering, Toralf Gruner
  • Patent number: 11392048
    Abstract: A liquid crystal exposure apparatus that irradiates a substrate held by a substrate holder which moves along an XY plane with an illumination light via an optical system while the substrate holder moves in the X-axis direction, has; a scale measured based on movement of the substrate holder in the X-axis direction, heads that measure the scale while relatively moving in the X-axis direction with respect to the scale, a plurality of scales arranged at mutually different positions in the X-axis direction measured based on movement of the substrate holder in the Y-axis direction, and a plurality of heads provided for each scale that measures the scales while relatively moving in the Y-axis direction with respect to the scales based on movement of the substrate in the Y-axis direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2020
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2022
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Akinori Shirato
  • Patent number: 11392040
    Abstract: A photolithography system utilizes tin droplets to generate extreme ultraviolet radiation for photolithography. The photolithography system irradiates the droplets with a laser. The droplets become a plasma and emit extreme ultraviolet radiation. The photolithography system senses contamination of a collector mirror by the tin droplets and adjusts the flow of a buffer fluid to reduce the contamination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2021
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2022
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Tai-Yu Chen, Sagar Deepak Khivsara, Kuo-An Liu, Chieh Hsieh, Shang-Chieh Chien, Gwan-Sin Chang, Kai Tak Lam, Li-Jui Chen, Heng-Hsin Liu, Chung-Wei Wu, Zhiqiang Wu
  • Patent number: 11392043
    Abstract: A method of determining an estimated intensity of radiation scattered by a target illuminated by a radiation source, has the following steps: obtaining and training (402) a library REFLIB of wavelength-dependent reflectivity as a function of the wavelength, target structural parameters and angle of incidence R(?,?,x,y); determining (408) a wide-band library (W-BLIB) of integrals of wavelength-dependent reflectivity R of the target in a Jones framework over a range of radiation source wavelengths ?; training (TRN) (410) the wide-band library; and determining (412), using the trained wide-band library, an estimated intensity (INT) of radiation scattered by the target illuminated by the radiation source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2022
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Seyed Iman Mossavat, Remco Dirks, Hendrik Jan Hidde Smilde
  • Patent number: 11392044
    Abstract: A method, system and program for determining a position of a feature referenced to a substrate. The method includes measuring a position of the feature, receiving an intended placement of the feature and determining an estimate of a placement error based on knowledge of a relative position of a first reference feature referenced to a first layer on a substrate with respect to a second reference feature referenced to a second layer on a substrate. The updated position may be used to position the layer of the substrate having the feature, or another layer of the substrate, or another layer of another substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2020
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2022
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Ralph Timotheus Huijgen, Marc Jurian Kea, Marcel Theodorus Maria Van Kessel, Masashi Ishibashi, Chi-Hsiang Fan, Hakki Ergün Cekli, Youping Zhang, Maurits Van Der Schaar, Liping Ren
  • Patent number: 11385554
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method of determining a characteristic of interest, in particular focus, relating to a structure on a substrate formed by a lithographic process, and an associated patterning device and lithographic system. The method comprises forming a modified substrate feature on the substrate using a corresponding modified reticle feature on a patterning device, the modified substrate feature being formed for a primary function other than metrology, more specifically for providing a support for a vertically integrated structure. The modified reticle feature is such that said modified substrate feature is formed with a geometry dependent on the characteristic of interest during formation. The modified substrate feature can be measured to determine said characteristic of interest.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2022
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Miguel Garcia Granda, Steven Erik Steen, Eric Jos Anton Brouwer, Bart Peter Bert Segers, Pierre-Yves Jerome Yvan Guittet, Frank Staals, Paulus Jacobus Maria Van Adrichem
  • Patent number: 11378892
    Abstract: Overlay-shift measurement systems are provided. An overlay-shift measurement system includes an optical device, a first light detection device and a processor. The optical device is configured to provide an input light to a metrology target of a semiconductor structure. The first light detection device is configured to receive a transmitted light from the metrology target when the input light penetrates the metrology target. The processor is configured to determine whether overlay-shift between a plurality of first photonic crystals and a plurality of second photonic crystals in the metrology target is present according to characteristics of the transmitted light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2021
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2022
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Yu-Ching Lee, Yu-Piao Fang
  • Patent number: 11372341
    Abstract: A method for temperature control of a component that is transferable between a first system and a second system includes: ascertaining a temperature drift of a temperature of the component that is to be expected after transfer of the component from the first system into the second system; and modifying a temperature prevailing in the first system and/or a temperature prevailing in the second system such that the temperature drift that is actually occurring after transfer of the component from the first system into the second system is reduced with respect to the expected temperature drift.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2021
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2022
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Joeri Lof, Harmen Krediet, Timo Laufer
  • Patent number: 11366383
    Abstract: The present invention refers to a method and an apparatus for determining positions of a plurality of pixels to be introduced into a substrate of a photolithographic mask by use of a laser system, wherein the pixels serve to at least partly correct one or more errors of the photolithographic mask. The method comprises the steps: (a) obtaining error data associated with the one or more errors; (b) obtaining first parameters of an illumination system, the first parameters determining an illumination of the photolithographic mask of the illumination system when processing a wafer by illuminating with the illumination system using the photolithographic mask; and (c) determining the positions of the plurality of pixels based on the error data and the first parameters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2022
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMS Ltd.
    Inventors: Vladimir Dmitriev, Kujan Gorhad, Joachim Welte, Tanya Serzhanyuk
  • Patent number: 11360392
    Abstract: An illuminator includes a first facet mirror receiving and reflecting an exposure radiation, an adjustable shielding element disposed on the first facet mirror, the adjustable shielding element adjusting intensity uniformity of the exposure radiation reflected by the first facet mirror, and a second facet mirror receiving and reflecting the exposure radiation reflected by the first facet mirror.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2022
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Che-Chang Hsu, Chieh-Jen Cheng, Li-Jui Chen, Shang-Chieh Chien, Chao-Chen Chang, Ssu-Yu Chen
  • Patent number: 11360398
    Abstract: A metrology system includes a controller communicatively coupled to one or more metrology tools. In another embodiment, the controller includes one or more processors configured to execute program instructions causing the one or more processors to receive one or more overlay metrology measurements of one or more metrology targets of the metrology sample from the one or more metrology tools; determine tilt from the one or more measurement overlay measurements; and determine one or more correctables for at least one of one or more lithography tools or the one or more metrology tools to adjust for the tilt, where the one or more correctables are configured to reduce an amount of tilt in the sample or overlay inaccuracy of the one or more overlay metrology measurements. The program instructions further cause the one or more processors to predict tilt with a simulator based on at least the determined tilt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2022
    Assignee: KLA Corporation
    Inventors: Roie Volkovich, Paul MacDonald, Ady Levy, Jincheng Pei, Jinyan Song, Amnon Manassen
  • Patent number: 11353801
    Abstract: A maintenance management method for a lithography system according to a viewpoint of the present disclosure includes organizing and saving operating information for each of lithography cells that are each an apparatus group formed of a set of apparatuses and form the lithography system, organizing and saving maintenance information on consumables for each of the lithography cells, calculating a standard maintenance timing for each of the consumables for each of the lithography cells based on the operating information and the maintenance information on the consumable for each of the lithography cells, creating a maintenance schedule plan for each of the lithography cells or for each of manufacturing lines based on the standard maintenance timing, information on a downtime, and information on a loss cost due to the downtime for each of the lithography cells or for each of the manufacturing lines, and outputting the result of the creation of the maintenance schedule plan.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2022
    Assignee: Gigaphoton Inc.
    Inventors: Kunihiko Abe, Yuji Minegishi, Osamu Wakabayashi
  • Patent number: 11353792
    Abstract: A substrate processing apparatus includes: a processing chamber configured to process a substrate; a light source chamber including a light source configured to irradiate vacuum ultraviolet light onto a surface of the substrate; a gas supply configured to supply an inert gas into the light source chamber; and a controller that controls the gas supply to maintain the light source chamber in an inert gas atmosphere.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2022
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventor: Norihisa Koga