Patents Examined by Richard A. Rosenberger
  • Patent number: 7139083
    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, a composition and a thickness. In this manner, a measurement device may perform multiple optical and/or non-optical metrology and/or inspection techniques.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2006
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corp.
    Inventors: John Fielden, Ady Levy, Kyle A. Brown, Gary Bultman, Mehrdad Nikoonahad, Dan Wack
  • Patent number: 7130036
    Abstract: Methods for inspecting a wafer are provided. One method includes directing light to a center portion and an edge portion of a wafer in a single scan. The method also includes detecting light scattered from the center portion using a first detection channel and detecting light scattered from the edge portion using a second detection channel. Another method for inspecting an edge portion of a wafer includes scanning the edge portion of the wafer with light. The method also includes separately detecting different portions of light scattered from the edge portion. In addition, the method includes separating light scattered from edge features in the edge portion from other light scattered from the edge portion. The method further includes detecting defects in the edge portion of the wafer using the other scattered light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corp.
    Inventors: Lionel Kuhlmann, Wayne McMillan
  • Patent number: 7130029
    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, an adhesion characteristic and a thickness. In this manner, a measurement device may perform multiple optical and/or non-optical metrology and/or inspection techniques.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corp.
    Inventors: Dan Wack, Ady Levy, Kyle A. Brown, Gary Bultman, Mehrdad Nikoonahad, John Fielden
  • Patent number: 7130039
    Abstract: A compact and versatile multi-spot inspection imaging system employs an objective for focusing an array of radiation beams to a surface and a second reflective or refractive objective having a large numerical aperture for collecting scattered radiation from the array of illuminated spots. The scattered radiation from each illuminated spot is focused to a corresponding optical fiber channel so that information about a scattering may be conveyed to a corresponding detector in a remote detector array for processing. For patterned surface inspection, a cross-shaped filter is rotated along with the surface to reduce the effects of diffraction by Manhattan geometry. A spatial filter in the shape of an annular aperture may also be employed to reduce scattering from patterns such as arrays on the surface. In another embodiment, different portions of the same objective may be used for focusing the illumination beams onto the surface and for collecting the scattered radiation from the illuminated spots simultaneously.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Mehdi Vaez-Iravani, Lawrence Robert Miller
  • Patent number: 7126700
    Abstract: The profile of an integrated circuit structure is determined by obtaining a measured metrology signal and a first simulated metrology signal, which has an associated profile model of the structure defined by a set of profile parameters. When the two signals match within a first termination criterion, at least one profile parameter is selected from the set of profile parameters. A value for the selected profile parameter is determined. A second simulated metrology signal having an associated profile model of the structure defined by a set of profile parameters with at least one profile parameter equal or close to the determined value for the selected profile parameter is obtained. When the measured and the second simulated metrology signals match within a second termination criterion, values for one or more remaining profile parameters are determined from the set of profile parameters associated with the second simulated metrology signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2006
    Assignee: Timbre Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Junwei Bao, Vi Vuong, Manuel Madriaga, Daniel Prager
  • Patent number: 7126677
    Abstract: A bearing with an oil film thickness measuring device in which sensor portions at distal ends of four common optical fibers are connected to sensor mounting portions formed at four positions in an axial direction of a bearing body. A lubricating oil containing a fluorescent agent is supplied to a sliding surface of the bearing body. A laser beam generated from a laser beam generator is branched into four beams, which are applied to an oil film on a sliding surface through each of sensor portions. Fluorescence generated by the fluorescent agent in the oil film, passing through a return-route optical fiber, is introduced into a photomultiplier tube, and is detected. Since the fluorescence intensity detected by the photomultiplier tube is proportional to the thickness of oil film, the absolute value of oil film thickness can be measured. In this case, the oil film thickness can be measured at four positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2006
    Assignee: Daido Metal Company Ltd.
    Inventors: Kei Nakayama, Takeshi Katagiri, Yutaka Okamoto, Takayuki Shibayama
  • Patent number: 7126699
    Abstract: Systems and methods for multi-dimensional metrology and inspection of a specimen such as a bumped wafer are provided. One method includes scanning the specimen with partial oblique illumination to form an image of the structure, either through the normal collection angle or through an oblique collection angle. The method also includes integrating an intensity of the image and determining a height of the structure from the integrated intensity. The integrated intensity may be approximately proportional or inversely proportional to the height of the structure. In addition, the method may include scanning the specimen with bright field illumination to form a bright field image of the specimen. The method may also include determining a lateral dimension of the structure from the bright field image. Furthermore, the method may include detecting defects on the specimen from the bright field image or the obliquely-illuminated image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2006
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corp.
    Inventors: Tim Wihl, Stephen Hiebert, Frank Kole, Richard Schmidley
  • Patent number: 7119912
    Abstract: A ranging sensor includes: a light emitting element; a projection lens for projecting light emitted from the light emitting element to an object; a condenser lens for condensing light reflected from the object; and a light receiving element, provided at the light condensing position of the condenser lens, for transmitting an output signal which varies according to the position of the object by receiving the reflected light at the light receiving surface thereof, wherein the condenser lens is held by a holding member so that the condenser lens is movable in a predetermined direction. Consequently, it becomes possible to easily adjust the output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2006
    Assignee: Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Takashi Takaoka
  • Patent number: 7116422
    Abstract: In a wavelength modulation spectroscopy method and system the light of a tunable light source is modulated with a frequency f0, while the wavelength is swept over an interaction feature of a sample to be measured. The light of the light source is passed to a sample for interacting and thereafter detected and demodulated at a higher harmonic Nf0. To suppress effects of fluctuations of the optical transmission of the system on the measurement, originating from varying dust loads, high temperature, gas turbulence etc. in the measurement path (3), a burst signal in form of an envelope modulated pilot tone is added to the modulation of the light (1) of the light source (2) synchronously with the wavelength sweeps at a wavelength outside the interaction feature of the sample. The injected burst signal is at the detection frequency Nf0, where N?2, and is detected together with the measured spectrum from the sample and act as absorption normal, which the spectrum can be calibrated against.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2006
    Assignee: Siemens Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Rikard Larking, Stefan Lundqvist, Per-Arne Thorsén
  • Patent number: 7113286
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for analyzing an impurity in a liquid. The apparatus comprises a cell coupled to a light source and a detector. The cell includes a first mirror at a first end of the cell to receive and pass the light into the cell along a longitudinal axis of the cell, and a second mirror at a second end of the cell to at least partially reflect the light. A liquid supply device projects a stream of the liquid between the first mirror and the second mirror and across the longitudinal axis of the cell. The detector is coupled to the second end of the cell and determines a decay rate of the light within the cell based on the light passing through the liquid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2006
    Assignee: Tiger Optics, LLC
    Inventor: Wen-Bin Yan
  • Patent number: 7106459
    Abstract: A method for modeling diffraction includes constructing a theoretical model of the subject. A numerical method is then used to predict the output field that is created when an incident field is diffracted by the subject. The numerical method begins by computing the output field at the upper boundary of the substrate and then iterates upward through each of the subject's layers. Structurally simple layers are evaluated directly. More complex layers are discretized into slices. A finite difference scheme is performed for these layers using a recursive expansion of the field-current ratio that starts (or has a base case) at the lowermost slice. The combined evaluation, through all layers, creates a scattering matrix that is evaluated to determine the output field for the subject.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2006
    Assignee: Therma-Wave, Inc.
    Inventor: Hanyou Chu
  • Patent number: 7106425
    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, a presence of defects on the specimen and a thin film characteristic of the specimen. In this manner, a measurement device may perform multiple optical and/or non-optical metrology and/or inspection techniques.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2006
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corp.
    Inventors: Gary Bultman, Ady Levy, Kyle A. Brown, Mehrdad Nikoonahad, Dan Wack, John Fielden
  • Patent number: 7102744
    Abstract: A light beam is directed towards a surface along a direction normal to the surface. The surface is caused to move so that the beam scans the surface along a spiral path. An ellipsoidal mirror is placed with its axis along the surface normal to collect light scattered by the surface and any anomalies at the surface at collection angles away from the surface normal. In some applications, a lens arrangement with its axis along the surface normal is also used to collect the light scattered by the surface and any anomalies. The light scattered by the mirror and lenses may be directed to the same or different detectors. Preferably light scattered by the surface within a first range of collection angles from the axis is detected by a first detector and light scattered by the surface within a second range of collection angles from the axis is detected by a second detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2006
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Corporation
    Inventors: Norbert Marxer, Kenneth P. Gross, Hubert Altendorfer, George Kren
  • Patent number: 7099002
    Abstract: A defect detector having: a first optical system including a first light source to irradiate a surface of a subject with coaxial incident-light while scanning, and a first imaging device to receive light regularly reflected from the subject and change the light to a first electrical signal to form a first electrical image; a second optical system including a second light source to irradiate the surface of the subject with inclined light while scanning, and a second imaging device to receive light scattered at the subject and change the light to a second electrical signal to form a second electrical image, in which the inclined light of the second light source does not meet the coaxial incident-light of the first light source; and a computer to compare the first electrical signal with a predetermined first threshold to detect a concavo-convex defect on the surface of the subject, and to compare the second electrical signal with a predetermined second threshold to detect a blocky color defect on the surface of
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2006
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Tomoaki Ishiura, Kunihiko Miyazaki, Katsumi Ichifuji
  • Patent number: 7095497
    Abstract: A beam splitting apparatus generates, from incident light having a specific polarization, first and second split light that has the specific polarization.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2006
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yasuhiro Kishikawa, Seiji Takeuchi
  • Patent number: 7092109
    Abstract: A first error coordinate between the image coordinate of a first indicator, which is arranged on the real space and detected on a first image captured by a first image sensing unit, and the estimated image coordinate of the first indicator, which is estimated to be located on the first image in accordance with the position/orientation relationship between the first image sensing unit (with the position and orientation according to a previously calculated position/orientation parameter) and the first indicator, is calculated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2006
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kiyohide Satoh, Shinji Uchiyama, Mahoro Anabuki
  • Patent number: 7084968
    Abstract: The distribution states of defects are analyzed on the basis of the coordinates of defects detected by an inspection apparatus to classify them into a distribution feature category, or any one of repetitive defect, congestion defect, linear distribution defect, ring/lump distribution defect and random defect. In the manufacturing process for semiconductor substrates, defect distribution states are analyzed on the basis of defect data detected by an inspection apparatus, thereby specifying the cause of defect in apparatus or process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Assignees: Hitachi, Ltd., Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Hisae Shibuya, Yuji Takagi
  • Patent number: 7084988
    Abstract: A system and method for monitoring the creation of semiconductor features with multi-slope profiles by employing scatterometry is provided. The system includes a wafer partitioned into one or more portions and one or more light sources, each light source directing light to one or more devices etched on a wafer, the devices having multi-sloped profiles. Reflected light is collected and converted into data by a measuring system. The data is indicative of the etching at the one or more portions of the wafer. The measuring system provides the data to a process analyzer that determines whether adjustments to etching components are necessary by comparing the data to stored etch parameter values. The system also includes etching components. At least one etch component corresponds to a portion of the wafer and performs the etching thereof. The process analyzer selectively controls the etch components to promote consistent etching of multi-slope profiles/features to compensate for wafer to wafer variations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Assignee: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Bharath Rangarajan, Bhanwar Singh, Ramkumar Subramanian
  • Patent number: 7084967
    Abstract: A high sensitivity and high throughput surface inspection system directs a focused beam of light at a grazing angle towards the surface to be inspected. Relative motion is caused between the beam and the surface so that the beam scans a scan path covering substantially the entire surface and light scattered along the path is collected for detecting anamolies. The scan path comprises a plurality of arrays of straight scan path segments. The focused beam of light illuminates an area of the surface between 5–15 microns in width and this system is capable of inspecting in excess of about 40 wafers per hour for 150 millimeter diameter wafers (6-inch wafers), in excess of about 20 wafers per hour for 200 millimeter diameter wafers (8-inch wafers) and in excess of about 10 wafers per hour for 300 millimeter diameter wafers (12-inch wafers).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Assignee: KLA —Tencor Corporation
    Inventors: Mehrdad Nikoonahad, Stanley E. Stokowski
  • Patent number: 7079230
    Abstract: A portable authentication device and method of authenticating products or packaging by analyzing key ingredients on products or on product packaging is disclosed. Light-sensitive compounds can be used to identify the product or product packaging. The product or product package may include visible or invisible ink containing a particular light-sensitive compound. The ink may be printed in one or more locations on the product or product packaging to produce an authentication mark, such as a bar code. The device includes an assembly for providing a source of light to irradiate the ink containing the light-sensitive compound on the sample product or product package, an optical detector to detect certain spectral properties emitted or absorbed by the irradiated ink and a controller to determine the authenticity of the sample product or product package by comparing the emitted or absorbed properties to a standard.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2006
    Assignee: Sun Chemical B.V.
    Inventors: Henry F. McInerney, Richard H. Selinfreund, Rakesh Vig, Richard P. Gill, Fred J. Behringer, J. Christopher Philips, Jeffrey M. Drew