Patents Examined by Richard A. Rosenberger
  • Patent number: 7079237
    Abstract: An apparatus for inspecting a wafer includes a handling unit for supporting, rotating and moving the wafer in horizontal and vertical directions, a first image acquisition unit for acquiring a first image corresponding to an upper surface of the wafer supported by the handling unit, a second image acquisition unit for acquiring a second image, a third image and a fourth image corresponding to a peripheral portion of the upper surface, a side surface and a lower surface of the wafer supported by the handling unit, respectively, a first driving unit for rotating the second image acquisition unit about a peripheral portion of the wafer supported by the handling unit in order to acquiring the second, third and fourth images, and an image processing unit for inspecting defects of the wafer supported by the handling unit from the first to fourth images.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2006
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jai-Young Woo, Kyung-Ho Kim, Yun-Chang Choi, Hye-Jung Choi, Sung-Uk Park
  • Patent number: 7075662
    Abstract: A three-dimensional inspection system and method is used to obtain information about three-dimensional articles with specular surfaces having a shape and positive or negative height by projecting a pattern of light onto the articles at an oblique angle. The system includes a patterned light projector with optical axis disposed at an oblique angle with respect to the plane of the article being inspected, an extended light source, and an image detector disposed above the article to detect the image of the pattern on the article. The light pattern includes lines with a substantially equal thickness and spacing. The spacing of the lines is greater than a spacing or pitch of the specular elements. An image processor, coupled to the image detector, receives the image, locates the lines, and measures the lateral shift of the lines. Height information is determined from the lateral shift and projection angle using triangulation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2006
    Assignee: Siemens Energy and Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory R. Hallerman, Jonathan E. Ludlow, Howard K. Stern
  • Patent number: 7072034
    Abstract: Systems and methods for contact image sensor based inspection of specimens are provided. A system configured to inspect a specimen may include a contact image sensor. The contact image sensor may include a light source configured to direct light toward a surface of the specimen and a linear sensor array configured to detect light returned from the surface. The system may further include a processor configured to determine a presence of defects on the surface using the detected light. A method for inspecting the specimen may include directing light from a light source toward a surface of the specimen and detecting light returned from the surface using a linear sensor array. The light source and the linear sensor array may be arranged in a contact image sensor. The method may further include determining a presence of defects on the surface from the detected light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2006
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Corporation
    Inventors: Eliezer Rosengaus, Lydia Young
  • Patent number: 7072049
    Abstract: A wafer structure profile is modeled by determining one or more termination criteria. A determination is made as to whether a wafer structure includes at least one layer having three or more materials alone a line within the at least one layer. An optical metrology model for the wafer structure is created, where three or more materials are incorporated in the model for the at least one layer having three or more materials. A set of diffraction signals is simulated using the optical metrology model. The set of simulated diffraction signals and a set of diffraction signals measured off of the wafer structure are used to determine if the one or more termination criteria are met. The optical metrology model is modified until the one or more termination criteria are met.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2006
    Assignee: Timbre Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Xinhui Niu, Nickhil Jakatdar
  • Patent number: 7061628
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention provide a non-contact method for measuring the surface profile of an object that can include generating a point-type optical signal and projecting it on a rotatable precision optical grating, generating a rotating pattern of light and dark lines onto the object, recording a series of images of the rotating pattern moving across the object with an image receiving device and calculating the surface profile of the object. Other embodiments can include a method to calibrate the system and a non-contact apparatus that generally includes a point-type light source, a rotatably mounted optical grating being configured to project a moving grating image on the object, a processor in communication with the image capturing device and configured to receive image input from the image capturing device and generate a surface profile representation of the object therefrom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2006
    Assignee: Southwest Research Institute
    Inventors: Ernest A. Franke, Michael J. Magee, Michael P. Rigney, Joseph N. Mitchell, Robert J. Beeson
  • Patent number: 7054008
    Abstract: Provided is a novel system for conducting elemental measurements using cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS). The present invention provides sensitivity thousands of times improved over conventional devices and does so with the advantages of low power, low plasma flow rate, and the ability being sustained with various gases.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2006
    Assignee: Mississippi State University
    Inventors: Chuji Wang, Christopher Winstead, Yixiang Duan
  • Patent number: 7050170
    Abstract: An enclosure for a cavity enhanced optical spectroscopy instrument provides a highly temperature stable environment by positioning the instrument optical cavity away from the enclosure walls and providing a wall mounted heat pump, fan and heat exchanger. The fan causes the gas contained within the enclosure to circulate over the heat exchanger and in a laminar, non-turbulent flow path along interior wall surfaces of the enclosure thereby maintaining the optical cavity in a temperature and vibration stable zone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2006
    Assignee: Picarro, Inc.
    Inventors: Frank Chilese, Bernard Fidric
  • Patent number: 7050167
    Abstract: The present invention relates to the field of the use of automated measurement systems in analysis and in in-vitro diagnosis. In particular, the apparatus described enables automatic quality control and validation of characteristic process engineering parameters, in particular characteristic optical parameters, during the measurement of scattered light signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2006
    Assignee: Dade Behring Marburg GmbH
    Inventor: Paul Meller
  • Patent number: 7046364
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for matching the gloss level of a printed region of a media substrate surface to the gloss level of a non-printed region of the media substrate surface are provided. Optical reflection intensities are measured in both printed and non-printed regions of the media substrate surface and read by a gloss sensing device which communicates the intensities to a printer controller. The printer controller compares the reflection intensities for the two regions to determine if they are substantially equivalent. If they are not substantially equivalent, the printer controller instructs alterations in printing parameters, e.g., temperature and/or pressure of fuser rollers, in an effort to establish equivalence.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2006
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
    Inventors: Eric Schneider, Santiago Rodriguez
  • Patent number: 7042563
    Abstract: A method and system of testing integrated circuits (IC) via optical coupling. The optical system includes an optical fiber, fixture and focusing element. In addition, channels are provided in the fixture mounted on the integrated circuit to accommodate the optical system. The fixture acts as a heat sink. As such, one or more photosensitive elements/targets on the integrated circuit are probed using light that is brought to a focus on each target site. The light causes latching of data into the integrated circuit (which is operating under influence of a test program) and formation of a test pattern output from the integrated circuit that is used to confirm proper functioning of the IC.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2006
    Assignee: Credence Systems Corporation
    Inventors: Kenneth R. Wilsher, Steven Kasapi
  • Patent number: 7038771
    Abstract: A system for simultaneously inspecting the frontsides and backsides of semiconductor wafers for defects is disclosed. The system rotates the semiconductor wafer while the frontside and backside surfaces are generally simultaneously optically scanned for defects. Rotation is induced by providing contact between the beveled edges of the semiconductor wafer and roller bearings rotationally driven by a motor. The wafer is supported in a tilted or semi-upright orientation such that support is provided by gravity. This tilted supporting orientation permits both the frontside and the backside of the wafer to be viewed simultaneously by a frontside inspection device and a backside inspection device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2006
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Corporation
    Inventor: Rodney G Smedt
  • Patent number: 7038766
    Abstract: A system and method using reporter elements provides retrospective identification of articles. An article is marked with reporter elements such that the mark has a characteristic spectral response when exposed to energy stimulation. To verify the authenticity of the article, a reader scans the mark containing the reporter elements and obtains a spectral signature. The reader then compares the detected signature to the characteristic signature to determine the authenticity or identity of the marked article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2006
    Assignee: Microtrace, LLC
    Inventors: William J. Kerns, Brian Brogger, Justin L. Esterberg
  • Patent number: 7038850
    Abstract: A method for modeling optical scattering includes an initial step of defining a zero-th order structure (an idealized representation) for a subject including a perturbation domain and a background material. A Green's function and a zero-th order wave function are obtained for the zero-th order structure using rigorous coupled wave analysis (RCWA). A Lippmann-Schwinger equation is constructed including the Green's function, zero-th order wave function and a perturbation function. The Lippmann-Schwinger equation is then evaluated over a selected set of mesh points within the perturbation domain. The resulting linear equations are solved to compute one or more reflection coefficients for the subject.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2006
    Assignee: Therm-Wave, Inc.
    Inventors: Yia Chung Chang, Hanyou Chu, Jon Opsal
  • Patent number: 7034932
    Abstract: The present invention provides an object-sensing device capable of estimating the presence of an object attached on a sensing surface, the kind of the object and the state of the object. An image is formed by a lens with light via the sensing surface, and the light is received by a light-receiving element portion in which a plurality of micro-light-receiving elements are arranged. In the object detection mode, totally reflected light from the sensing surface is received by the light-receiving element portion. The components are arranged at an angle that allows total reflection when there is no object, and does not allow the total reflection condition to be satisfied when there is an object. In the light scattering object detection mode, scattered light from the sensing surface is received by the light-receiving element portion. A signal pattern is obtained by joining detection signal levels of the micro-light-receiving elements in accordance with the arrangement of the micro-light-receiving elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2006
    Assignee: Niles Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Fumitoshi Kobayashi, Keiji Tsunetomo, Hideki Imanishi, Harunobu Yoshida, Masahide Wakisaka, Tatsumi Tokuda
  • Patent number: 7034930
    Abstract: A measuring system and method are provided for defect identification and location. The system an optical measurement device adapted to view a workpiece along an optical path, and an optical indicia device located in the optical path between the workpiece and the measurement device, which is adapted to provide location information to the system or a user. The location information can be used to correlate defect locations identified in a wafer before and after a process step, as well as between two different wafers. The optical indicia device may further allow the use of field comparison techniques in identifying and locating defects in a blank or unpatterned workpiece. The indicia device may comprise, for example, a transparent member having a grid or other optical indicia patterned thereon, allowing inspection of the workpiece with reference to the optical indicia pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2006
    Assignee: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Ramkumar Subramanian, Khoi A. Phan, Bharath Rangarajan
  • Patent number: 7030999
    Abstract: The profile of a single feature formed on a wafer can be determined by obtaining an optical signature of the single feature using a beam of light focused on the single feature. The obtained optical signature can then be compared to a set of simulated optical signatures, where each simulated optical signature corresponds to a hypothetical profile of the single feature and is modeled based on the hypothetical profile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2006
    Assignee: Timbre Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Joerg Bischoff, Xinhui Niu, Junwei Bao
  • Patent number: 7027146
    Abstract: Methods for forming calibration standards for an inspection system and calibration standards are provided. One method includes scanning a first and a second specimen with an optical system. Master standard particles having a lateral dimension traceable to a national or international authority or first principles measurements are deposited on the first specimen. Product standard particles are deposited on the second specimen. In addition, the method includes determining a lateral dimension of the product standard particles by comparing data generated by scanning the two specimens. One calibration standard includes particles having a lateral dimension of less than about 100 nm deposited on a specimen. A distribution of the lateral dimension has a full width at half maximum of less than about 3%. The uncertainty of the lateral dimension is less than about 2%. Therefore, the standard meets the requirements for the 130 nm technology generation of semiconductor devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2006
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corp.
    Inventors: Ian Smith, Christian Wolters, Yu Guan, Don Brayton
  • Patent number: 7027155
    Abstract: A method and system for locally processing a predetermined microstructure formed on a substrate without causing undesirable changes in electrical or physical characteristics of the substrate or other structures formed on the substrate are provided. The method includes providing information based on a model of laser pulse interactions with the predetermined microstructure, the substrate and the other structures. At least one characteristic of at least one pulse is determined based on the information. A pulsed laser beam is generated including the at least one pulse. The method further includes irradiating the at least one pulse having the at least one determined characteristic into a spot on the predetermined microstructure. The at least one determined characteristic and other characteristics of the at least one pulse are sufficient to locally process the predetermined microstructure without causing the undesirable changes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2006
    Assignee: GSI Lumonics Corporation
    Inventors: James J. Cordingley, Joseph J. Griffiths, Donald V. Smart
  • Patent number: 7027167
    Abstract: A method of estimating dimensions of an opening (36) in a body (26) comprises filling the opening (36) with a fluid that absorbs an electromagnetic radiation (40). The radiation (40) is transmitted through the body (26) and through the fluid in the opening (36). The intensity of the electromagnetic radiation, after transmission through the fluid, is determined at an area that corresponds to a radiation path through the fluid in the opening. The intensity is used to determine the absorbance of the fluid in the radiation path and consequently the length of the radiation path. In an alternative method, when the depths of the opening are already known, the intensity is used to determine concentration of a chemical in the opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2006
    Assignee: Micro Chemical Systems Limited
    Inventors: Stephen J. Haswell, Paul D. I. Fletcher, Xunli Zhang
  • Patent number: RE39145
    Abstract: An interferometric method and apparatus for in-situ monitoring of a thin film thickness and of etch and deposition rates using a pulsed flash lamp providing a high instantaneous power pulse and having a wide spectral width. The optical path between the flash lamp and a spectrograph used for detecting light reflected from a wafer is substantially transmissive to the ultraviolet range of the spectrum making available to the software algorithms operable to calculate film thickness and etch and deposition rates desirable wavelengths.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Assignee: LAM Research Corporation
    Inventors: Andrew Perry, Randall Mundt