Patents Examined by Khaled Brown
  • Patent number: 6593999
    Abstract: Original cover closer with mounting base and supporting member has bent side plates rotatably mounted to each other. A lifting member with document pressure plate has side plates mounted to the supporting member side plated enabling the lifting member side plates to rotate in a different direction. A pressure bearing pin is mounted between the mounting member side plates and a cam slider is in the supporting member with a cam part in contact with the pin. A spring between the slider and the lifting member urges the supporting member to open the original cover while urging the lifting member in a direction overlapping the supporting member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2003
    Assignee: Katoh Electrical Machinery Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hiroaki Hosaka
  • Patent number: 6583857
    Abstract: In the present invention, a light source portion including a laser resonator of a laser unit is housed in an environment control chamber where the main body of the exposure apparatus including a projection optical system is also housed, and temperature control of the main body of the exposure apparatus and the light source portion is performed so as to maintain the temperature of the entire optical system within the chamber uniform. Thus, the footprint of the apparatus can be reduced compared with when the whole laser unit is arranged separately from the main body of the exposure apparatus. Shift of the center wavelength and change in the spectral half-width and the degree of energy concentration can be avoided, and variation of image forming characteristics including the chromatic aberration of the projection optical system due to the wavelength shift can be suppressed to a minimum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Shigeru Hagiwara
  • Patent number: 6583850
    Abstract: An optical element (1) of an optical system has at least one chamber (5) that is sealed against atmospheric pressure and is enclosed by boundary surfaces and that has a fluid filling. At least one of the boundary surfaces of the chamber (5) is exposed at least partially to illumination light. It is configured so that a change in the fluid pressure inside the chamber (5) results in a change in non-rotational-symmetric imaging properties of the optical element (1) having n-fold symmetry. For this purpose, a fluid source has a fluid connection to the chamber via a fluid supply line (17). Furthermore, a control device is provided for the pressure in the fluid filling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: CARL-Zeiss-Stiftung
    Inventors: Wolfgang Hummel, Hubert Holderer, Rudolf Von B√ľnau, Christian Wagner, Jochen Becker, Stefan Xalter
  • Patent number: 6583849
    Abstract: In exposing a photocurable resin to light, the light is irradiated on the photocurable resin while a base material to which the photocurable resin is applied is immersed in a liquid. An apparatus for carrying out the exposure includes an exposure tank in which a liquid does not dissolve the photocurable resin is reserved and a light source irradiating light to the photocurable resin is immersed in the liquid reserved in the tank. The exposure tank has two opposite side walls which have exposure windows closed by transparent plates respectively. The apparatus may include a plurality of light sources disposed so as to correspond to the representative exposing window. A temperature of the liquid in which the base material is immersed is controlled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: Noda Screen Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masanori Noda, Hirotaka Ogawa
  • Patent number: 6577381
    Abstract: A projection exposure apparatus for transferring, by projection exposure, a pattern of a first object onto a second object while scanning the first and second objects in synchronism with each other. The apparatus includes an illumination optical system having (i) a secondary light source forming device for forming a secondary light source and (ii) a slit disposed with a space from the first object and from a plane conjugate thereto. The illumination optical system is operable to illuminate the first object with light supplied from a light source of a pulse light emission type and having a slit-like irradiation region defined through the slit on a light path of the illumination optical system. The slit-like irradiation region on the first object has a light intensity distribution of a trapezoidal shape with respect to the scan direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2003
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Kazuo Sano
  • Patent number: 6570645
    Abstract: A stage system includes a stage being movable in a predetermined direction, a first unit for applying a force to the stage in the predetermined direction, a moving mechanism for moving one of the first unit and a structure including the first unit, a first measuring system for measuring at least one of the position and movement amount of the stage, and a second measuring system for measuring at least one of the position and movement amount of one of the first unit and the structure, wherein the stage is controlled on the basis of a measured value of the first measuring system, and wherein the moving system is controlled on the basis of a measured value of the second measuring system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Nobushige Korenaga, Ryuichi Ebinuma
  • Patent number: 6563566
    Abstract: A system and method is described for lithographically printing patterns on a semiconductor using combinations of illumination and mask patterns which are optimized together to produce the desired pattern. The method of optimizing both illumination and mask pattern allows the development of mask patterns that are not constrained by the geometry of the desired pattern to be printed. Thus, the method provides high quality images even when the desired printed patterns have critical dimensions that approach the resolution limits of a lithographic system. The resulting mask patterns using the method do not obviously correspond to the desired patterns to be printed. Such masks may include phase-shifting technology that use destructive interference to define dark areas of the image and are not constrained to conform to the desired printed pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2003
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Alan E. Rosenbluth, Scott Josef Bukofsky, Alfred K. K. Wong
  • Patent number: 6556281
    Abstract: A flexible chuck for supporting a substrate during lithographic processing is described. This flexible chuck includes an electrode layer, a piezoelectric layer disposed on the electrode layer, and a substrate support layer disposed above the piezoelectric layer. By providing electrical signals to the piezoelectric layer through the electrode layer, the support layer can be flexed, thereby changing surface topography on a substrate disposed on the flexible chuck. The contact layer can include projections, each of the projections corresponding to a respective electrode within the electrode layer. Furthermore, the substrate support layer can be formed of a conductive material and thus serve as the ground layer. Alternatively, separate substrate support and ground layers can be provided. The flexible chuck in accordance with the instant invention can be a vacuum chuck. Also described is a method of monitoring topographic changes in a flexible chuck in accordance with the instant invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: ASML US, Inc.
    Inventors: Pradeep Kumar Govil, Jorge Ivaldi
  • Patent number: 6556280
    Abstract: A lithographic tool system for generating an interferometric pattern of light using a plurality of exposure beams includes a processor coupled to a positioning device. The processor receives a selected period for the interferometric pattern of light, and generates an angular control signal and a translational control signal in response to the selected period. The positioning device translates an exposure beam in response to the translational control signal, and rotates the exposure beam in response to the angular control signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: Optical Switch Corporation
    Inventors: Adam F. Kelsey, Mark A. Leclerc
  • Patent number: 6556279
    Abstract: A system and method of compensating for image smear that arises when imaging onto a moving workpiece with a single pulse of radiation. The system includes a mask frame capable of supporting a mask to be imaged. The mask frame is operatively connected to a drive unit and is capable of moving in the mask plane. The mask frame is driven in an oscillatory fashion in the mask plane so that when a pulse of radiation illuminates the mask, the mask image moves in the same direction as the moving workpiece, thereby reducing image smear. The present invention is particularly applicable to single-pulse-exposure systems that utilize pulsed radiation sources having relatively long pulse duration, such as flash-lamps or certain types of lasers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Assignee: Ultratech Stepper, Inc.
    Inventors: Dan Meisburger, David A. Markle
  • Patent number: 6552775
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus and a method which make it possible to enhance the fineness of pattern in spite of the trend to enlarge the size of the photosensitive substrate and device. In this apparatus, a mask and the photosensitive substrate are allowed to synchronously scan, and the optical projecting system thereof is provided with a scanning direction adjusting means which is designed to adjust the position of scanning direction of a projected image to be projected onto the substrate, wherein a non-linear component of error is determined in advance and the result thus determined is stored as a correction value for the apparatus, thereby enabling the pattern exposure to be performed while continuously controlling the image-adjusting mechanism on the basis of the correction value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2003
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Masamitsu Yanagihara, Tomohiro Katsume
  • Patent number: 6549265
    Abstract: The emission level of a laser source at the non-imaging time when image data “0” is input and the emission level at the imaging time when image data “1” is input are controlled so that each of them becomes a desired level. The light output intensity is stabilized at all times regardless of variations in ambient temperature. As a result, images uniform in density can be obtained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: Toshiba Tec Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Jun Sakakibara, Koji Tanimoto, Kenichi Komiya, Toshimitsu Ichiyanagi, Naoaki Ide, Koji Kawai
  • Patent number: 6542221
    Abstract: A method (40) of determining a best focus for an integrated circuit stepper (10). The method repeats various steps for a plurality of different focus levels. The repeated steps include forming a first element group (C1) on a wafer (30F1), where the first element group comprises one or more elements and each of the one or more elements in the first element group has a shape. The repeated steps further include defining a first reference point (CC1) for the first element group at a position relative to the shape of the one or more elements in the first element group. Similarly, the repeated steps include forming a second element group (C2) on the wafer, where the second group comprises one or more elements and each of the one or more elements in the second element group has a shape, and defining a second reference point (CC2) for the second element group at a position relative to the shape of the one or more elements in the second element group.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2003
    Assignee: Texas Instruments Incorporated
    Inventors: Zhicheng Tang, Roger M. Terry
  • Patent number: 6542219
    Abstract: A plate with substantially constant thickness is used to compensate for the residual distortion in the image projected by a high-quality projection lens for lithography. The two surfaces of the plate have an identical aspherical profile, whose shape has been calculated using the measured distortion map of the lithographic objective. The figuring process applied to the plate uses the principle of polishing in the presence of an elastic deformation, so as to achieve the desired aspherical shape on both sides.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2003
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Josephus J. M. Braat, Cornelis J. van der Laan
  • Patent number: 6538722
    Abstract: A laser beam emitted from an exposure laser beam source has a uniform illuminance distribution after passing through a fly-eye lens selected according to the aperture stop. The exposure light is projected onto a reticle on which a predetermined pattern is formed, and the reticle pattern is projected onto a wafer by means of a projection optical system having a pupil filter inserted therein. A cleaning light beam branching off from the exposure light beam is projected through a beam splitter and a total reflection mirror onto the fly-eye lens located at a retraction position. A plane-parallel plate at the retraction position is irradiated with a cleaning light beam. The fly-eye lens and the plane-parallel plate are self-cleansed by the cleaning light beam, so that the transmissivity is kept higher than a predetermined value during standby.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2003
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Yukako Matsumoto, Susumu Mori, Taro Ogata
  • Patent number: 6538720
    Abstract: An apparatus, system, and method for configuring a dual isolation system lithography tool is described. An isolated base frame is supported by a non-isolated tool structure. A wafer stage component is supported by the isolated base frame. The wafer stage component provides a mount for a semiconductor wafer. A reticle stage component is supported by the isolated base frame. The reticle stage component provides a mount for a reticle. An isolated bridge provides a mount for a projection optics. The isolated bridge is supported by the isolated base frame. Alternatively, an isolated bridge is supported by a non-isolated base frame. A wafer stage component is supported by the non-isolated base frame. A reticle stage component is supported by the non-isolated base frame. An isolated optical relay is supported by the non-isolated base frame. The isolated optical relay includes one or more individually servo controlled framing blades.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2003
    Assignee: Silicon Valley Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel N. Galburt, Peter C. Kochersperger
  • Patent number: 6538716
    Abstract: In a lithographic projection system using exposure radiation of 157 nm, compositions of gas, e.g. levels of oxygen and water vapor, are measured in regions traversed by the projection beam. The attenuation caused by said gases is predicted and the dose of radiation accumulated during an exposure, the uniformity and angular distribution of radiation energy delivered by said projection beam to a substrate during an exposure is controlled accordingly. The control may comprise a controlled supply of O2 to a volume traversed by the projection beam so as to effect a controlled attenuation of the projection beam. The O2 distribution may be non-uniform, e.g. to selectively filter spatially separated diffraction orders or to eliminate non-uniformity's in the projection beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2003
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Johannes Catharinus Hubertus Mulkens, Paul van der Veen, Willem van Schaik
  • Patent number: 6535274
    Abstract: A projection exposure device, in particular for micro-lithography, serves to produce an image of an object in an image plane positioned in an object plane. This happens with the aid of a light source emitting projection light and illumination optics positioned in the ray path between the light source and the object plane. In addition projection optics positioned in the ray path between the object plane and the image plane serve to guide the projection light. A filter (7) is positioned in a filter plane which lies in the vicinity of a pupil plane between the light source and the object plane. This has a moveable filter element (22′) which has at least in certain areas (24) for the projection light a transmission factor which is greater than zero and less than 100%.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2003
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss-Stiftung
    Inventor: Martin Antoni
  • Patent number: 6529262
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method, system, and lense system for performing lithography on a substrate. The system includes a unique lense system for nonplanar substrates. The lense system includes a first lense section for receiving a pattern and producing a concave image of the pattern. The concave image can the be received by a second lense section for producing a nonplanar image of the pattern. The system also includes two light sources and a digital imaging device for projecting and exposing the pattern through the lense section and onto the substrate. Light from the first light source is used for exposing the pattern while light from second light source is used for receiving an alignment image. An image sensor, using the light from the second light source, detects an alignment image from the substrate. The alignment image is used to accommodate the projection of the pattern onto the substrate so that the pattern is properly aligned to the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2003
    Assignee: Ball Semiconductor, Inc.
    Inventors: Wenhui Mei, Takashi Kanatake
  • Patent number: 6529263
    Abstract: A surface position detection apparatus includes a position detection section having a plurality of electrodes opposing an object surface to be measured, and a measurement device for selecting at least one electrode of the plurality of electrodes in accordance with the shape of the object surface, supplying an AC current to the selected electrode, and measuring the current flowing to the electrode, thereby measuring the distance between the electrode and the object surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2003
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hisaaki Oguri, Toyoshige Sasaki, Masanobu Hasegawa