Patents Examined by D. Rutledge
  • Patent number: 7586581
    Abstract: A developing device according to the present invention comprises a turntable, a motor for rotating the turntable and a spraying nozzle for spraying mixture of developer and nitrogen gas onto the turntable in mist form. The turntable is rotated at a rotational speed of 200 rpm by driving the motor, the developer for developing the photoresist that has been formed on the upper surface of a semiconductor wafer fixed to the turntable is mixed with nitrogen gas, and the developer in mist form is sprayed from the spraying nozzle toward the turntable. The photoresist is surely removed due to the chemical reaction with the developer and the pressure of the spray of the developer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2009
    Assignee: Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Masato Hoshika
  • Patent number: 7545478
    Abstract: A lithographic apparatus having an illumination system configured to provide a radiation beam; a support structure configured to support a patterning device, the patterning device being capable of imparting the radiation beam with a pattern in its cross-section, thus providing a patterned radiation beam; a substrate table configured to hold a substrate; a projection system arranged to project the patterned radiation beam onto a target portion of the substrate, and a projection system support configured to support the projection system on a reference frame. The lithographic apparatus further includes a thermal conditioning system configured to thermally condition the projection system support. The invention further relates to a thermal conditioning system constructed and arranged to thermally condition a projection system support. The invention further relates to a device manufacturing method and a method for manufacturing a device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2009
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Wilhelmus Josephus Box, Bernardus Antonius Johannes Luttikhuis, Thomas Henricus Jacobus Verhagen
  • Patent number: 7545481
    Abstract: The joint between the projection system element and its support comprises an inorganic layer or a direct bond and is thus liquid tight, which can prevent deformation by an immersion liquid. The joint can be made either warm or cold. Solders, glue, and glue protection can all be used in the formation of this joint. In an embodiment, the elements and its support are made of quartz.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2009
    Assignees: ASML Netherlands B.V., Carl Zeiss SMT AG
    Inventors: Bob Streefkerk, Johannes Jacobus Matheus Baselmans, Paul Graupner, Jan Haisma, Nicodemus Hattu, Christiaan Alexander Hoogendam, Erik Roelof Loopstra, Johannes Catharinus Hubertus Mulkens, Bernard Gellrich
  • Patent number: 7545483
    Abstract: An optical element unit is provided comprising an optical element group; a housing receiving said optical element group and having an inner housing part and an exit end; and a purge unit connected to said housing and providing a purge medium to said inner housing part. The optical element group comprises an ultimate optical element. The ultimate optical element is located at the exit end of housing and separates the inner housing part from an environment external to the housing. The ultimate optical element and the housing define a sealing gap. The purge unit provides purge medium to the sealing gap to prevent intrusion of contaminants into the inner housing part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2009
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT AG
    Inventors: Bernhard Gellrich, Jens Kugler, Thomas Schletterer, Guido Limbach, Julian Kaller, Hans-Juergen Scherle, Detlev Mueller, Dieter Schmerek
  • Patent number: 7542127
    Abstract: A lithographic apparatus is disclosed. The apparatus includes a substrate table constructed to hold a substrate. The substrate table is moveable to transfer the substrate between a substrate measuring position and a substrate processing position. The apparatus also includes a measuring system configured to measure at least one aspect or characteristic of the substrate when the substrate table holds the substrate in the measuring position. The measuring system is configured to direct at least one measuring beam and/or field towards a surface of the substrate. A projection system is configured to project a patterned radiation beam onto a target portion of the substrate when the substrate table holds the substrate in the substrate processing position, and a conditioning system is configured to supply a conditioning fluid to at least part of a path of the measuring beam and/or field of the measuring system to condition the part of the path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2009
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Timotheus Franciscus Sengers, Nicolaas Antonius Allegondus Johannes Van Asten, Wilhelmus Josephus Box, Tjarko Adriaan Rudolf Van Empel, Leon Martin Levasier, Erik Roelof Loopstra, Marcel Johannus Elisabeth Hubertus Muitjens, Luberthus Ouwehand, Leon Joseph Marie Van Den Schoor, Marcel Beckers, Rob Jansen, Elke Van Loenhout
  • Patent number: 7532309
    Abstract: A lithography apparatus includes a fluid confinement plate which can completely submerge the imaging surface of a substrate. A gap, filled with immersion fluid, is provided between the imaging surface of the substrate and the last optical element of a projection optical system. The fluid confinement plate, which is positioned within the gap between the last optical element and the substrate, is sufficiently sized so that the imaging surface is completely submerged in the immersion fluid. The fluid confinement plate includes a first surface facing the gap and opposing the imaging surface of the substrate. The first surface includes a droplet control element to control the formation of droplets forming on the first surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2009
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Alex Ka Tim Poon, Leonard Wai Fung Kho, Gaurav Keswani, Derek Coon
  • Patent number: 7528929
    Abstract: An immersion lithographic projection apparatus is disclosed in which liquid is provided between a projection system of the apparatus and a substrate. The use of both liquidphobic and liquidphilic layers on various elements of the apparatus is provided to help prevent formation of bubbles in the liquid and to help reduce residue on the elements after being in contact with the liquid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2009
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Bob Streefkerk, Johannes Jacobus Matheus Baselmans, Richard Joseph Bruls, Marcel Mathijs Theodore Marie Dierichs, Sjoerd Nicolaas Lambertus Donders, Christiaan Alexander Hoogendam, Hans Jansen, Erik Roelof Loopstra, Jeroen Johannes Sophia Maria Mertens, Johannes Catharinus Hubertus Mulkens, Ronald Walther Jeanne Severijns, Sergei Shulepov, Herman Boom, Timotheus Franciscus Sengers
  • Patent number: 7525635
    Abstract: A rotatable contamination barrier for use with an extreme ultraviolet radiation system includes a blade structure configured to trap contaminant material coming from a radiation source, and an eccentric mass element displaced relative to a central axis of rotation to balance the blade structure when the blade structure is rotated about the central axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2009
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventor: Lambertus Adrianus Van Den Wildenberg
  • Patent number: 7525640
    Abstract: A lithographic apparatus is disclosed that includes an optical arrangement having an array of optical elements arranged in a plane perpendicular to the radiation beam. Each optical element comprises an electrical heating device to change an optical path length of the radiation beam. By selectively actuating the electrical heating devices, a position dependent change in optical path length can be achieved in order to correct for irradiation-induced optical path length errors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2009
    Assignees: ASML Netherlands B.V., Carl Zeiss SMT AG
    Inventors: Bastiaan Stephanus Hendricus Jansen, Erik Roelof Loopstra, Marius Ravensbergen, Markus Josef Hauf
  • Patent number: 7518708
    Abstract: In a liquid-immersion exposure method and a liquid-immersion exposure apparatus, on the basis of a liquid repellency distribution at a surface which an immersion liquid contacts as a result of a movement of a stage, a path where a movement time of the stage becomes the shortest is calculated, so that the stage is moved along this path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2009
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Keiji Emoto
  • Patent number: 7511797
    Abstract: A lithography system in which a performance criterion of the lithography system is predicted, based on one or more operating conditions of the lithography system, and compared to measurements of that performance criterion. The lithography system may determine from a difference between the measured and predicted performance criterion which, if any, sub-system of the lithography system is not performing as expected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2009
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Franciscus Van De Mast, Johan Christiaan Gerard Hoefnagels, Johannes Onvlee, Reinder Teun Plug
  • Patent number: 7456928
    Abstract: Systems and methods for controlling ambient pressure during processing of microfeature workpieces, including during immersion lithography, are disclosed. A system in accordance with one embodiment includes a support configured to carry a microfeature workpiece with a surface of the microfeature workpiece at a support location, and a liquid supply device positioned proximate to the support to dispense liquid at the surface location. The system can further include a generally gas-tight enclosure disposed around at least a portion of the surface location. The enclosure can be coupleable to a vacuum source and can be configured to withstand an internal pressure less than atmospheric pressure. This arrangement can be used in the context of an immersion photolithography system, or other systems for which a liquid is disposed on the surface of the microfeature workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2008
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Kunal R. Parekh
  • Patent number: 7388647
    Abstract: Provided are a method and system for projecting an illumination beam to an image plane. The method includes producing a sample of the illumination beam and projecting the sample to a secondary image plane. Next, an illumination uniformity profile associated with the projected sample is measured while the received illumination beam is being projected to the image plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2008
    Assignee: ASML Holding N.V.
    Inventor: David A. Hult
  • Patent number: 7385671
    Abstract: A machine and method for high speed production of circuit patterns on silicon wafers or similar substrates may be used for applications including printing Integrated Circuit (IC) packaging patterns onto wafers prior to separating IC chips. Projection camera(s) simultaneously project image(s) onto substrate(s) carried on an X, Y, ? stage. The projection camera(s) may include independent alignment systems, light sources, and control of focus, image placement, image size, and dose. In one embodiment, each camera includes a 6-axis reticle chuck that moves a reticle to correct image-to-substrate overlay errors. In-stage metrology sensors and machine software establish and maintain the correct relationship among the machine's coordinate systems. Thus, two or more projection cameras can print simultaneously even when substrates are slightly misplaced on the X, Y, ? stage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2008
    Assignee: Azores Corporation
    Inventors: Steven D. Gardner, Elvino M. da Silveira, Griffith L. Resor, III
  • Patent number: 7379154
    Abstract: A thick pellicle is allowed to have a non-flat shape and its shape is characterized to calculate corrections to be applied in exposures to compensate for the optical effects of the pellicle. The pellicle may be mounted so as to adopt a one-dimensional shape under the influence of gravity to make the compensation easier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2008
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands, B.V.
    Inventors: Richard Joseph Bruls, Orlando Serapio Cicilia, Hendrikus Alphonsus Ludovicus Van Dijck, Gerardus Carolus Johannus Hofmans, Tammo Uitterdijk
  • Patent number: 7375795
    Abstract: Substrate processing apparatus includes a lithographic apparatus which comprises an illumination system for supplying a projection beam of radiation, an array of individually controllable elements serving to impart the projection beam with a pattern in its cross-section, and a projection system for projecting the patterned beam onto a target portion of a substrate. The processing apparatus also includes a substrate supply arranged to output at least one unbroken length of substrate, and a substrate conveying system arranged to convey each outputted unbroken length of substrate from the substrate supply and past the projection system such that the projection system is able to project the patterned beam onto a series of target portions along each unbroken length of substrate. In certain embodiments, long lengths of substrate are supplied from a roll, but alternatively a series of separate sheets can be supplied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2008
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Joeri Lof, Jeroen Fluit, Bernardus Antonius Johannes Luttikhuis, Peter Spit
  • Patent number: 7375796
    Abstract: An immersion lithography apparatus is disclosed having a liquid supply system configured to at least partially fill a space between a final element of a projection system and a substrate table, with a first liquid, and a measurement system configured to measure a location of each of a plurality of points on the substrate, the measurement system being arranged such that measurements take place through a second liquid, the second liquid not being supplied by the liquid supply system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2008
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Johannes Jacobus Matheus Baselmans, Sjoerd Nicolaas Lambertus Donders, Christiaan Alexander Hoogedam, Hans Jansen, Jeroen Johannes Sophia Maria Mertens, Johannes Catharinus Hubertus Mulkens, Bob Streefkerk
  • Patent number: 7375792
    Abstract: An apparatus for measuring feature widths on masks 1 for the semiconductor industry is disclosed. The apparatus encompasses a carrier plate 16 that is retained in vibrationally decoupled fashion in a base frame 14; a scanning stage 18, arranged on the carrier plate 16, that carries a mask 1 to be measured, the mask 1 defining a surface 4; and an objective 2 arranged opposite the mask 1. A liquid 25 is provided between the objective 2 and the surface 4 of the mask 1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2008
    Assignees: Leica Microsystems Semiconductor GmbH, MueTec Automatisierta Mikroskopie und Messtechnik GmbH
    Inventors: Wolfgang Vollrath, Frank Hillmann, Gerd Scheuring, Hans-J├╝rgen Brueck
  • Patent number: 7375797
    Abstract: Techniques for transferring utilities to and from a reticle or wafer stage in a lithography system while minimizing physical disturbances that affect the stage are described. These techniques involve transferring utilities to and from the stage without making physical contact with the stage. Alternatively, utilities are transferred by making physical contact with the stage while the stage is in a stationary position. In addition to transferring utilities to and from the stage, devices such as processing devices, buffers (storage mediums), electrical components, and mechanical components can be placed within the stage to use and/or control the transferred utilities.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2008
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Alton Hugh Phillips
  • Patent number: 7372542
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus for exposing a substrate to light via a reticle. The apparatus includes a substrate stage configured to hold the substrate and to move, a projection optical system configured to project a pattern of the reticle onto the substrate, a flat plate having a surface whose height is substantially the same as that of the substrate held by the substrate stage and to move, a supply unit having a supply nozzle and configured to supply liquid through the supply nozzle to a gap formed between a final surface of the projection optical system and at least one of the substrate held by the substrate stage and the flat plate, a recovery unit having a recovery nozzle and configured to recover liquid filling the gap through the recovery nozzle, and a sensor arranged on the flat plate and configured to measure illuminance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2008
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hitoshi Nakano