Patents Examined by Christopher G. Young
  • Patent number: 10324372
    Abstract: A method of fabricating a multi-tone amplitude photomask includes providing a mask substrate. The method includes providing a stepped pattern in at least one layer of material on a surface of the mask substrate. The stepped pattern includes at least two steps and at least three levels. Each level of the stepped pattern provides a different intensity of light when a light source shines light on the stepped pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: Marsupial Holdings, Inc.
    Inventors: William P. Parker, Julie Parker
  • Patent number: 10295899
    Abstract: A photomask includes a pattern region and a plurality of defects in the pattern region. The photomask further includes a first fiducial mark outside of the pattern region, wherein the first fiducial mark includes identifying information for the photomask, the first fiducial mark has a first size and a first shape. The photomask further includes a second fiducial mark outside of the pattern region. The second fiducial mark has a second size different from the first size, or a second shape different from the first shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Hsin-Chang Lee, Chia-Jen Chen, Chih-Cheng Lin, Ping-Hsun Lin
  • Patent number: 10295900
    Abstract: Disclosed is a mask blank substrate for use in lithography, wherein the main surface on which the transfer pattern of the substrate is formed has a root mean square roughness (Rms) of not more than 0.15 nm obtained by measuring an area of 1 ?m×1 ?m with an atomic force microscope, and has a power spectrum density of not more than 10 nm4 at a spatial frequency of not less than 1 ?m?1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: HOYA CORPORATION
    Inventors: Toshihiko Orihara, Kazuhiro Hamamoto, Hirofumi Kozakai, Youichi Usui, Tsutomu Shoki, Junichi Horikawa
  • Patent number: 10281826
    Abstract: Embodiments are directed to a method and system for determining effective dose of a lithography tool. The method includes performing a series of open frame exposures with the lithography tool on a substrate to produce a set of controlled exposure dose blocks in resist, and then baking and developing the exposed substrate. The method further includes scanning the resultant open frame images with oblique light and capturing the light scattered from the substrate surface. The method further includes creating a haze map from the background signal of the scattered light data, converting the haze map to a graphical image file, and analyzing the graphical image file to determine effective dose of the lithography tool, wherein a brightness of the graphical image file is related to effective dose of the lithography tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignee: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Daniel A. Corliss, Luciana Meli Thompson, Christopher F. Robinson
  • Patent number: 10281814
    Abstract: A support frame for a pellicle, in which a pellicle film is adhered to the front surface of an aluminum-alloy frame body, and a transparent substrate is adhered to the rear surface of the frame body. A recessed groove is formed in the rear surface of the frame body, the recessed groove extending along the periphery of the frame body, and a vent hole is formed from the outer peripheral surface of the frame body to the inner surface of the recessed groove. With this configuration, deformation of the support frame can be suppressed when the support frame is removed from the transparent substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignee: NIPPON LIGHT METAL COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Hayato Kiyomi, Naoto Komura
  • Patent number: 10274817
    Abstract: A mask includes a transparent substrate, a first pattern, a second pattern, and a sub-resolution auxiliary feature. The first pattern and the second pattern are over the transparent substrate. The first pattern has an area of 0.16 ?m2 to 60000 ?m2. The second pattern has an area of 0.16 ?m2 to 60000 ?m2. The sub-resolution auxiliary feature is over the transparent substrate and connects the first pattern and the second pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Ching-Hung Lai, Chih-Chung Huang, Chih-Chiang Tu, Chung-Hung Lin, Chi-Ming Tsai, Ming-Ho Tsai
  • Patent number: 10274820
    Abstract: A pellicle for lithography processes, including extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography may mitigate thermal accumulation in a membrane of the pellicle. The pellicle includes a membrane and at least one thermal buffer layer on at least one surface of the membrane. An emissivity of the thermal buffer layer may be greater than an emissivity of the membrane. A carbon content of the thermal buffer layer may be greater than a carbon content of the membrane. Multiple thermal buffer layers may be on separate surfaces of the membrane, and the thermal buffer layers may have different properties. A capping layer may be on at least one thermal buffer layer, and the capping layer may include a hydrogen resistant material. A thermal buffer layer may extend over some or all of a surface of the membrane. A thermal buffer layer may be between at least two membranes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hwanchul Jeon, Munja Kim, Sungwon Kwon, Byunggook Kim, Roman Chalykh, Yongseok Jung, Jaehyuck Choi
  • Patent number: 10274841
    Abstract: A reticle for a semiconductor lithography process includes a glass plate having regions with a reduced optical transmission factor. The regions may include arrays of elements comprising defects such as cracks or voids which are formed by laser pulses. The regions may be adjacent to openings in an opaque material at the bottom of the reticle to shield the openings from a portion of the light which illuminates the reticle from the top. As a result, the light which exits the reticle and is used to pattern a substrate has an asymmetric intensity. This allows the substrate to be patterned with an inspection mark which indicates whether a defocus condition exists, and whether there is a positive or negative defocus condition. Related methods use a reticle to form a pattern on a substrate and for adjusting a focus condition using a reticle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: SanDisck Technologies LLC
    Inventor: Akihiro Tobioka
  • Patent number: 10274836
    Abstract: Embodiments are directed to a method and system for determining effective dose of a lithography tool. The method includes performing a series of open frame exposures with the lithography tool on a substrate to produce a set of controlled exposure dose blocks in resist, and then baking and developing the exposed substrate. The method further includes scanning the resultant open frame images with oblique light and capturing the light scattered from the substrate surface. The method further includes creating a haze map from the background signal of the scattered light data, converting the haze map to a graphical image file, and analyzing the graphical image file to determine effective dose of the lithography tool, wherein a brightness of the graphical image file is related to effective dose of the lithography tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Daniel A. Corliss, Luciana Meli Thompson, Christopher F. Robinson
  • Patent number: 10274821
    Abstract: A mask includes a plurality of line patterns provided on a substrate, the plurality of line patterns each including a line comprising a plurality of first layers and a plurality of second layers alternately stacked on the substrate. The lines of the plurality of line patterns extend in a first direction and the lines of the plurality of line patterns are spaced in a second direction crossing the first direction. A line of one of the plurality of line patterns has a first portion and a second portion on a side of the first portion in the first direction, the first portion wider than the second portion in the second direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: Toshiba Memory Corporation
    Inventors: Keiko Morishita, Shingo Kanamitsu
  • Patent number: 10274830
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a dynamic lithographic exposure method, and an associated apparatus, which exposes a photosensitive material over a plurality of depths of focus respectively spanning a different region of the photosensitive material. By exposing the photosensitive material over a plurality of depths of focus, the exposure of the photosensitive material is improved resulting in a larger lithographic process window. In some embodiments, the dynamic lithographic exposure method is performed by forming a photosensitive material over a substrate. The photosensitive material is exposed to electromagnetic radiation at a plurality of depths of focus that respectively span a different region within the photosensitive material. Exposing the photosensitive material to the electromagnetic radiation modifies a solubility of an exposed region within the photosensitive material. The photosensitive material is then developed to remove the soluble region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jun-Yih Yu, De-Fang Huang, De-Chen Tseng, Jia-Feng Chang, Li-Fang Hsu
  • Patent number: 10261411
    Abstract: A pellicle is contaminated with dust or the like for various reasons during the production thereof. Especially, there is a problem that the risk that the dust or the like is attached is high during trimming or various other processes performed on a pellicle film. The present invention provides a method for producing a pellicle for EUV that decreases the attachment of dust or the like. A method for producing a pellicle includes forming a pellicle film on a substrate; trimming the substrate; and removing at least a part of the substrate after trimming the substrate. Before the part of the substrate is removed, at least particles attached to a surface of the pellicle film are removed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Assignee: MITSUI CHEMICALS, INC.
    Inventors: Atsushi Okubo, Tsuneaki Biyajima, Yosuke Ono, Kazuo Kohmura, Yasuhisa Fujii, Nobuko Matsumoto
  • Patent number: 10254640
    Abstract: A process for producing a reflective element for a mask blank, of which a reflective layer is hardly damaged at the time of etching treatment of an absorber layer. A process for producing a reflective element for a mask blank, which comprises (1) a step of forming a reflective layer on a first surface of a substrate, (2) a step of forming a first protective layer on the reflective layer, (3) a step of cleaning the substrate to form an exposed part of the reflective layer, which is not covered with the first protective layer, and (4) a step of forming a second protective layer on the first surface of the substrate to cover the exposed part of the reflective layer with the second protective layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2019
    Assignee: AGC Inc.
    Inventor: Toshiyuki Uno
  • Patent number: 10241391
    Abstract: Various embodiments provide a method for processing a carrier, the method including changing the three-dimensional structure of a mask layer arranged over the carrier so that at least two mask layer regions are formed having different mask layer thicknesses; and applying an ion implantation process to the at least two mask layer regions to form at least two implanted regions in the carrier having different implantation depth profiles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: Infineon Technologies AG
    Inventors: Jens Schneider, Henning Feick, Marcel Heller, Dieter Kaiser
  • Patent number: 10241393
    Abstract: There is provided a pellicle wherein each edge area where the inner wall of the pellicle frame meets the upper end face or the lower end face, respectively, of the pellicle frame consists not only of the conventional single chamfer face but also of additional attempt(s) to make the edge area virtually rounded, such as additional chamfering(s) or rounding, whereby the edge area is devoid of cracking and scars.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Yuichi Hamada
  • Patent number: 10241390
    Abstract: To provide a reflective mask blank having pseudo defects significantly excluded. The reflective mask blank comprises a substrate, a reflective layer for reflecting EUV light, formed on the substrate, and an absorber layer for absorbing EUV light, formed on the reflective layer, wherein Ssk<1.0 is satisfied, where Ssk is skewness in a region of 1 ?m×1 ?m on the absorber layer side surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: AGC Inc.
    Inventor: Hiroshi Hanekawa
  • Patent number: 10234764
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an electron beam (eBeam) resist composition, particularly an (eBeam) resist composition for use in the fabrication of integrated circuits. Such resist compositions include an anti-scattering compound which minimizes scattering and secondary electron generation, thus affording extremely high resolution lithography. Such high resolution lithography may be used directly upon silicon-based substrates to produce integrated circuits, or may alternatively be used to produce a lithographic mask (e.g. photomask) to facilitate high-resolution lithography.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: The University of Manchester
    Inventors: Scott Lewis, Richard Winpenny, Stephen Yeates
  • Patent number: 10228615
    Abstract: A membrane transmissive to EUV radiation, which may be used as a pellicle or spectral filter in a lithographic apparatus. The membrane includes one or more high doped regions wherein the membrane is doped with a dopant concentration greater than 1017 cm?3, and one or more regions with low (or no) doping. The membrane may have a main substrate having low doping and one or more additional layers, wherein the high doped regions are comprised within some or all of the additional layers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Andrey Alexandrovich Nikipelov, Vadim Yevgenyevich Banine, Jozef Petrus Henricus Benschop, Arjen Boogaard, Florian Didier Albin Dhalluin, Alexey Sergeevich Kuznetsov, Mária Péter, Luigi Scaccabarozzi, Willem Joan Van Der Zande, Pieter-Jan Van Zwol, Andrei Mikhailovich Yakunin
  • Patent number: 10222691
    Abstract: A photomask includes a reticle substrate, a main pattern disposed on the reticle substrate and defining a photoresist pattern realized on a semiconductor substrate, and anti-reflection patterns adjacent to the main pattern. A distance between a pair of the anti-reflection patterns adjacent to each other is a first length, and a width of at least one of the pair of anti-reflection patterns is a second length. A sum of the first length and the second length is equal to or smaller than a minimum pitch defined by resolution of an exposure process. A distance between the main pattern and the anti-reflection pattern nearest to the main pattern is equal to or smaller than the first length.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Yang-Nam Kim
  • Patent number: 10222692
    Abstract: A photomask according to the embodiment includes a glass substrate which has a first face and a second face located on a side opposite from the first face. The second face includes a transmission area and a light shielding area corresponding to an exposure pattern of a resist film exposed via the glass substrate. The transmission area is oblique to the first face.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: TOSHIBA MEMORY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Masaki Mae, Suigen Kanda