Patents Examined by Steven Whitesell Gordon
  • Patent number: 11029610
    Abstract: A method for determining one or more optimized values of an operational parameter of a sensor system configured for measuring a property of a substrate. The method includes: determining a quality parameter for a plurality of substrates; determining measurement parameters for the plurality of substrates obtained using the sensor system for a plurality of values of the operational parameter; comparing a substrate to substrate variation of the quality parameter and a substrate to substrate variation of a mapping of the measurement parameters; and determining the one or more optimized values of the operational parameter based on the comparing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Patricius Aloysius Jacobus Tinnemans, Edo Maria Hulsebos, Henricus Johannes Lambertus Megens, Ahmet Koray Erdamar, Loek Johannes Petrus Verhees, Willem Seine Christian Roelofs, Wendy Johanna Martina Van De Ven, Hadi Yagubizade, Hakki Erg√ľn Cekli, Ralph Brinkhof, Tran Thanh Thuy Vu, Maikel Robert Goosen, Maaike Van T Westeinde, Weitian Kou, Manouk Rijpstra, Matthijs Cox, Franciscus Godefridus Casper Bijnen
  • Patent number: 11029608
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for exposing at least one stored image (21) on a light-sensitive recording medium (14), with an exposure device (11), which picks up at least one recording medium (14) on a support (12), with at least one exposure head (16, 17), which is moved above the support (12) along a guiding axis (18) in the X direction and the guiding axis (18) and/or the support (12) are moved in the Y direction, with a control system, by which a traversing movement of the at least one exposure head (16, 17) is operated for exposing the at least one image (21) of the recording medium (14) and/or the recording medium (14), wherein the position of the recording medium (14) and/or the position of the at least one image (21) on the recording medium (14) are detected with at least one linear image acquisition device (25), which extends at least partially in the X direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Inventor: Robin Pagan
  • Patent number: 11029606
    Abstract: An optical element is configured to guide imaging light in projection lithography. The optical element has a main body and at least one optical surface carried by the main body. At least one compensation weight element, which is attached to the main body, serves for a weight compensation of a figure deformation of the optical surface caused by gravity. This results in an optical element with a small figure deformation at the use location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Jens Prochnau, Dirk Schaffer, Roman Orlik
  • Patent number: 11022901
    Abstract: A positioning device configured to position an object, the positioning device including: an object table configured to hold the object; an electromagnetic motor configured to displace the object table, the electromagnetic motor including: a coil assembly mounted to the object table, a superconductor assembly configured to co-operate with the coil assembly to generate a driving force on the object table, and a cryogenic enclosure configured to enclose the superconductor assembly and maintain the superconductor assembly in a superconductive state; a support for supporting the electromagnetic motor; and an electromagnetic support configured to suspend the cryogenic enclosure relative to the support, thereby maintaining a gap between the cryogenic enclosure and the support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Hessel Bart Koolmees, Johannes Petrus Martinus Bernardus Vermeulen
  • Patent number: 11022900
    Abstract: Disclosed is an inspection apparatus for use in lithography. It comprises a support for a substrate carrying a plurality of metrology targets; an optical system for illuminating the targets under predetermined illumination conditions and for detecting predetermined portions of radiation diffracted by the targets under the illumination conditions; a processor arranged to calculate from said detected portions of diffracted radiation a measurement of asymmetry for a specific target; and a controller for causing the optical system and processor to measure asymmetry in at least two of said targets which have different known components of positional offset between structures and smaller sub-structures within a layer on the substrate and calculate from the results of said asymmetry measurements a measurement of a performance parameter of the lithographic process for structures of said smaller size. Also disclosed are substrates provided with a plurality of novel metrology targets formed by a lithographic process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Simon Gijsbert Josephus Mathijssen, Stefan Hunsche, Markus Gerardus Martinus Maria Van Kraaij
  • Patent number: 10996574
    Abstract: A substrate processing apparatus is provided. The apparatus includes an imaging unit that images a mark on a substrate, and a processor that aligns the substrate based on an image of the mark obtained by the imaging unit. If the alignment has failed, the processor identifies a factor of the failure based on information including the image and executes at least one of a plurality of recovery processes based on the identified factor. The processor includes an output unit that outputs a condition for the at least one of recovery processes in accordance with an inference model, and a learning unit that learns the inference model based on an execution result of the at least one of the recovery processes under the condition output from the output unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Takahiro Takiguchi, Shinichiro Koga
  • Patent number: 10990023
    Abstract: A method of overlay error measurement includes disposing a reference pattern module over a substrate. The substrate includes first and second overlay measurement patterns in first and second locations. The reference pattern module includes first and second reference patterns. The method includes creating a first overlap of the first reference pattern with the first overlay measurement pattern and a second overlap of the second reference pattern with the second overlay measurement pattern. The method further includes determining a first overlay error between the first reference pattern of the reference pattern module and the first overlay measurement pattern of the substrate and determining a second overlay error between the second reference pattern and the second overlay measurement pattern. The method also includes determining a total overlay error between the first and second overlay measurement patterns of the substrate based on the first and second overlay errors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2021
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Hung-Chih Hsieh, Yen-Liang Chen
  • Patent number: 10983438
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus that scans and exposes each of a plurality of areas on a glass substrate, by irradiating the substrate with an illumination light via a projection optical system and relatively driving the substrate with respect to the illumination light, is equipped with: a substrate holder that levitates and supports a first area of the substrate; a substrate carrier that holds the glass substrate levitated and supported by the substrate holder; an X coarse movement stage that drives the substrate holder; an X voice coil motor that drives the substrate carrier; and a controller that controls the X coarse movement stage and the X voice coil motor so that the substrate holder and the substrate carrier are driven, respectively, in scanning exposure. Accordingly, an exposure apparatus with improved position controllability of an object can be provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2021
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yasuo Aoki
  • Patent number: 10983442
    Abstract: A projection objective, used for projecting an object space to an image space. The objective includes, from the object space along an optical axis in sequence: a first lens set (G1) having positive focal power, a second lens set (G2) having negative focal power, a third lens set (G3) having positive focal power, a fourth lens set (G4) having negative focal power, and a fifth lens set (G5) having positive focal power. Aspheric lenses are provided in the first lens set (G1), the second lens set (G2), the third lens set (G3), the fourth lens set (G4), and the fifth lens set (G5).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2021
    Assignee: Shanghai Micro Electronics Equipment (Group) Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Fuping An, Zhaoxiang Chu, Yinzhang Guo
  • Patent number: 10983444
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure provide improved photolithography systems and methods using a solid state emitter device. The solid state emitter device includes an array of solid state emitters arranged in a plurality of horizontal rows and vertical columns. The variable intensity of each group of solid state emitters, for example an entire row or column of solid state emitters, is controllable for improved field brightness uniformity and stitching. Controlling the variable intensity includes, for example, varying the signal, such as voltage, that is applied to each of the rows of solid state emitters to attenuate the brightness from the middle of the array to the edges of the array to accommodate for overlapping exposures during photolithography processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2021
    Assignee: APPLIED MATERIALS, INC.
    Inventors: Christopher Dennis Bencher, Joseph R. Johnson
  • Patent number: 10976674
    Abstract: An extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography system includes an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation source to emit EUV radiation, a collector for collecting the EUV radiation and focusing the EUV radiation, a reticle stage for supporting a reticle including a pellicle for exposure to the EUV radiation, and at least one sensor configured to detect particles generated due to breakage of the pellicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2021
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Chih-Tsung Shih, Bo-Tsun Liu, Tsung Chuan Lee
  • Patent number: 10969696
    Abstract: Provided is an image exposure device capable of recording a favorable image and capable of decreasing the size of the device. An image exposure device (10) includes an image display device (12) having pixels (13), a photosensitive recording medium support portion (21) that supports a photosensitive recording medium (14) for recording an image of the image display device (12) in a state in which an exposure surface (14A) of the photosensitive recording medium (14) faces the image display device (12), and a transmitted light control portion (16) that is provided between the image display device (12) and the photosensitive recording medium support portion (21) and is formed by laminating three or more layers of transmission members (100) that have a plurality of openings (102) formed therein and transmit only light incident on the openings (102).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Assignee: FUJIFILM Corporation
    Inventors: Yoshihisa Usami, Shinichiro Sonoda, Hirotoshi Yoshizawa
  • Patent number: 10969697
    Abstract: An overlay metrology tool and diffraction-based overlay measurements are described herein. The tool includes a light source for generating an incident light that illuminates stacked overlay targets formed within material layers of a wafer and a light sensing system for measuring characteristics of a diffracted light beam reflected from the surface of the wafer. During a single illumination of the wafer and without rotating a polarization of the incident light beam, the light sensing system generates three components of the diffracted light beam having one or more polarizations and intensities, according to an overlay recipe associated with the stacked overlay targets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hung-Chih Hsieh, Chun-Liang Lung
  • Patent number: 10969699
    Abstract: A projection exposure apparatus for semiconductor lithography has a connecting element for connecting a component of the apparatus to a supporting cooling structure of the apparatus. The connecting element has a receiving region for receiving the component, and the connecting element has a foot region for connecting the connecting element to the supporting cooling structure. At least one joint is arranged between the receiving and foot regions, and at least one heat conducting element is arranged between the receiving and foot regions. The heat conducting element is soft in the actuation direction of the joint and has a stiffness perpendicularly to the actuation direction of the joint that is at least twice as large as in the actuation direction of the joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2021
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Ulrich Weber, Willi Anderl
  • Patent number: 10965935
    Abstract: Example embodiments relate to calibration systems usable for distortion characterization in cameras. An example embodiment includes a calibration system. The calibration system includes a first calibration target that includes a first mirror, a plurality of fiducials positioned on or adjacent to the first mirror, and an indexing fiducial positioned on or adjacent to the first mirror. The calibration system also includes a second calibration target that includes one or more second mirrors and has an aperture defined therein. The first mirror and the one or more second mirrors are separated by a distance. The first mirror faces the one or more second mirrors. The indexing fiducial is visible through the aperture in the second calibration target. Reflections of the plurality of fiducials are visible through the aperture defined in the second calibration target. The reflections of the plurality of fiducials are iterated reflections.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2021
    Assignee: Waymo LLC
    Inventor: Benjamin Frevert
  • Patent number: 10959317
    Abstract: An EUV light generating apparatus includes: a chamber device including an inner wall surrounding a space, and a plasma generating region in the space in which plasma is generated from a droplet irradiated with a laser beam; a heat shield including a through-hole and a channel portion, and disposed between the inner wall and the plasma generating region; a gas supply device that supplies gas; a gas introducing cylinder that is provided in the space on a side opposite to the plasma generating region, extends toward the through-hole, and introduces the gas supplied from the gas supply device through the through-hole toward the plasma generating region over the heat shield; and an optical unit optically coupled to the space through an internal space of the gas introducing cylinder and the through-hole. An entire front end surface of the gas introducing cylinder faces the heat shield.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2021
    Assignee: Gigaphoton Inc.
    Inventor: Akihiro Takayama
  • Patent number: 10942459
    Abstract: A lithography system and a cleaning method thereof are provided. The lithography system includes a light source generator. The light source generator includes a collector, a droplet generator and a droplet catcher. The droplet generator and the droplet catcher are facing each other, and disposed at a region surrounding the collector. The cleaning method includes: shifting the droplet generator out of the light source generator via a port of the light source generator; inserting a shove assembly into the light source generator via the port; using a borescope attached to the shovel assembly to identify a location of a deposit formed by droplets generated by the droplet generator; using the shovel assembly to remove and collect the deposit; and withdrawing the shovel assembly along with the borescope from the light source generator via the port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2021
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Sheng-Ta Lin, Li-Jui Chen, Shang-Chieh Chien
  • Patent number: 10935504
    Abstract: An inspection apparatus configured to provide assistance in the inspection of an object such as but not limited to a petrochemical vessel or pipeline. The inspection apparatus of the present invention includes a support pole wherein the support pole has an inspection assembly mounted to the second end thereof. The inspection assembly includes a base mount having an upper mounting plate and a lower mounting plate secured to the upper surface and lower surface respectively. A plurality of light mounts are secured to the upper mounting plate and the lower mounting plate each having a light secured thereto. The inspection assembly is moveably mounted to the support pole utilizing a first arm assembly and a second arm assembly. An additional pole member having a reel assembly with a steel cable is further included to provide control and manipulation of the inspection assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2021
    Inventor: Daniel Audet
  • Patent number: 10935885
    Abstract: Devices, systems, and methods position a template for imprinting a formable material over one or more gas-flow channels on a stage, wherein the template includes a patterning surface, a mesa, and at least one mesa sidewall; and direct a gas flow through the one or more gas-flow channels toward a portion of the at least one mesa sidewall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2021
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Mehul N. Patel, Edward Brian Fletcher
  • Patent number: 10928741
    Abstract: A method for a lithography exposure process is provided. The method includes irradiating a target droplet with a laser beam to create an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light. The method further includes reflecting the EUV light with a collector. The method also includes discharging a cleaning gas over the collector through a gas distributor positioned next to the collector. A portion of the cleaning gas is converted to free radicals before the cleaning gas leaves the gas distributor, and the free radicals are discharged over the collector along with the cleaning gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2021
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shang-Ying Wu, Shang-Chieh Chien, Bo-Tsun Liu, Li-Jui Chen, Po-Chung Cheng