Patents by Inventor Alton H. Phillips

Alton H. Phillips has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 10121760
    Abstract: A wafer bonding system and method using a combination of heat and a pneumatic force to bond two wafers held together in alignment. The wafers are heated via a non-contact, gaseous interface, thermal path between heating elements and the wafers. The pneumatic force is created by a pressure differential between a first pressure surrounding the two wafers and a second pressure, which is less than the first pressure, maintained between the two wafers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2018
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Alton H. Phillips
  • Patent number: 10114193
    Abstract: A fly's eye mirror including first and second complementary M×N arrays, each including a plurality of faceted reflective surfaces arranged along both the first and the second axes. When assembled, the two complementary arrays are integrated together and mounted onto a common base plate. With the increased lineal length of each array along both axes, the faceted reflective surfaces of each array are in rotational or tilt alignment with a base plate along both axes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2018
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Alton H. Phillips
  • Patent number: 9947637
    Abstract: A system and method for clamping wafers together in alignment using pressure. The system and method involves holding a first wafer and a second wafer together in alignment using a wafer clamp within an ambient environment maintained at a first pressure and creating a second pressure at least partially around and between the first wafer and the second wafer held together by the wafer clamp, wherein the first pressure is greater than the second pressure. The first wafer and the second wafer are clamped together in alignment using a pneumatic force created by a pressure differential between the first pressure and the second pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Alton H. Phillips, Fardad A. Hashemi
  • Patent number: 9323157
    Abstract: A mirror assembly (332) for directing a beam (28) from an illumination source (26) to a reticle (36) includes a mirror (352) and a back plate (350). The mirror (352) includes a mirror body (352A) that defines a reflective first surface (352B) that directs the beam (28), a mirror mounting region (370), a mirror perimeter region (372) that encircles the mirror mounting region (370), and mirror slot (374) that separates the mirror perimeter region (372) from the mirror mounting region (370). The back plate (350) retains and engages the mirror mounting region (370) of the mirror (352) with the mirror perimeter region (372) spaced apart from the back plate (350). Further, the mirror body (352A) can include a second surface (352C) that is substantially opposite the first surface (352B), and the mirror mounting region (370) extends between the second surface (352C) to near the first surface (352B). Further, the mirror slot (374) extends from the second surface (352C) to near the first surface (352B).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2016
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Alton H. Phillips, Douglas C. Watson, Lorri L. Watson
  • Patent number: 9304385
    Abstract: An exposure method that uses a substrate (M) held by a holding member (28) to perform exposure processing, comprising a holding process, which holds a prescribed region (AR3) of the substrate as the holding region by means of the holding member, and a deformation process, which selectively deforms one side of the holding region of the substrate held by the holding process with respect to the other side. According to the present invention, a prescribed region of the substrate is held as a holding region by means of a holding member, and one side of the holding region of said held substrate is selectively deformed with respect to the other side, so it is possible to selectively eliminate the nonlinear deformation components attributable to holding of the substrate with respect to one side from among the two sides of the substrate using the holding region as a reference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2016
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Alton H. Phillips, Douglas C. Watson, Hiromitsu Yoshimoto, Yusaku Uehara
  • Patent number: 9041900
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for cooling mirrors in an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography system using a liquid metal interface are described. According to one aspect of the present invention, an apparatus which may be used in an EUV lithography system includes a heat exchanger, a mirror assembly, and a first liquid metal interface. The heat exchanger including at least a first surface. The mirror assembly includes a first mirror block having a first mirrored surface, as well as at least a first well. Finally, the first liquid metal interface includes liquid metal which is contained in the first well. The first surface is in contact with the liquid metal such that heat may be transferred from the first mirror block to the heat exchanger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Alton H. Phillips
  • Patent number: 9041904
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for cooling mirrors in an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography system using a liquid metal interface are described. According to one aspect of the present invention, an apparatus includes a heat exchanger, a mirror assembly, and a first liquid metal interface. The heat exchanger includes at least one well defined therein. The mirror assembly includes a mirror block having a mirrored surface. The mirror assembly also has at least one surface. Finally, the first liquid metal interface includes liquid metal which is contained in the first well. The at least one surface is in contact with the liquid metal to transfer heat from the mirror block to the heat exchanger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Alton H. Phillips
  • Publication number: 20150122414
    Abstract: A wafer bonding system and method using a combination of heat and a pneumatic force to bond two wafers held together in alignment. The wafers are heated via a non-contact, gaseous interface, thermal path between heating elements and the wafers. The pneumatic force is created by a pressure differential between a first pressure surrounding the two wafers and a second pressure, which is less than the first pressure, maintained between the two wafers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 21, 2014
    Publication date: May 7, 2015
    Inventor: Alton H. PHILLIPS
  • Publication number: 20150122412
    Abstract: A system and method for clamping wafers together in alignment using pressure. The system and method involves holding a first wafer and a second wafer together in alignment using a wafer clamp within an ambient environment maintained at a first pressure and creating a second pressure at least partially around and between the first wafer and the second wafer held together by the wafer clamp, wherein the first pressure is greater than the second pressure. The first wafer and the second wafer are clamped together in alignment using a pneumatic force created by a pressure differential between the first pressure and the second pressure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 21, 2014
    Publication date: May 7, 2015
    Inventors: Alton H. PHILLIPS, Fardad A. HASHEMI
  • Patent number: 8847721
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention provide improved thermal conductivity within, among other things, electromagnetic coils, coil assemblies, electric motors, and lithography devices. In one embodiment, a thermally conductive coil includes at least two adjacent coil layers. The coil layers include windings of wires formed from a conductor and an insulator that electrically insulates the windings within each coil layer. In some cases the insulator of the wires is at least partially absent along an outer surface of one or both coil layers to increase the thermal conductivity between the coil layers. In some embodiments, an insulation layer is provided between the coil layers to electrically insulate the coil layers. In some cases the insulation layer has a thermal conductivity greater than the thermal conductivity of the wire insulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Alexander Cooper, Alton H. Phillips, Scott Coakley
  • Patent number: 8794011
    Abstract: According to one aspect of the present invention, an apparatus includes a surface and a first array. The surface emits radiation, and the first array is arranged over the surface and arranged to provide cooling to the surface, the first array including a plurality of TECs. At least a first sensing arrangement is substantially integrated with the first array, wherein the first sensing arrangement is arranged to make a non-contact measurement associated with the surface. The apparatus also includes a controller arranged to obtain the non-contact measurement and to use the non-contact measurement to control the cooling provided by the first array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Alton H. Phillips, Akio Ohta, Douglas C. Watson
  • Patent number: 8767174
    Abstract: An exemplary apparatus includes a controllably movable body, a holding device, and a coolant circulation device. The body comprises a wall including a planar contact surface that receives the reverse surface of the article. The wall co-extends with at least a heat-receiving area of the utility surface whenever the article is being held by the body. The wall also includes a second surface separated from but proximal to the contact surface, and is thermally conductive from the contact surface to the second surface. The holding device holds the article to the contact surface with the reverse surface contacting the contact surface. The coolant circulation device delivers flow of a coolant fluid to the second surface to urge conduction of heat from the contact surface to the second surface. The holding device and coolant-circulation device operate in concert to actively control shape of the article being held by the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Michael R. Sogard, Alton H. Phillips, Douglas C. Watson
  • Publication number: 20140176931
    Abstract: An optical system including an optical element, a positioning mechanism configured to position the optical element into an operational position, and a temperature control mechanism configured to intermittently control the temperature of the optical element between operations. By alternatively positioning the optical element between an operational position and a position in thermal contact with the temperature control mechanism, the two mechanisms for positioning and controlling the temperature of the optical element are de-coupled from one another. As a result, the mechanism for each may be optimized In non-exclusive embodiments, the temperature control mechanism may be used to control the temperature of an individual optical element or a plurality of optical elements, such as for example, a fly's eye mirror used in an illumination unit of an EUV lithography tool.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 12, 2012
    Publication date: June 26, 2014
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Alton H. Phillips, Douglas C. Watson, Travis D. Bow, Hiroyuki Kondo, Atsushi Yamada, Hideo Takino, Hideki Komatsuda
  • Patent number: 8739383
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for aligning a mirror block with a base plate to form a mirror assembly are disclosed. According to one aspect of the present invention, a method for forming a mirror assembly includes positioning a mirror block in contact with a base plate that has at least one alignment feature, and indexing a portion of an alignment tool with respect to the base plate. The method also includes applying at least a first force by moving the mirror block with respect to alignment feature. A determination is made as to when a first surface of the mirror block is substantially coplanar with a first surface of the alignment feature. The mirror block is coupled to the base plate when the first surface of the mirror block is substantially coplanar with the first surface of the alignment feature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2014
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Alton H. Phillips
  • Publication number: 20140078485
    Abstract: A mirror assembly (332) for directing a beam (28) from an illumination source (26) to a reticle (36) includes a mirror (352) and a back plate (350). The mirror (352) includes a mirror body (352A) that defines a reflective first surface (352B) that directs the beam (28), a mirror mounting region (370), a mirror perimeter region (372) that encircles the mirror mounting region (370), and mirror slot (374) that separates the mirror perimeter region (372) from the mirror mounting region (370). The back plate (350) retains and engages the mirror mounting region (370) of the mirror (352) with the mirror perimeter region (372) spaced apart from the back plate (350). Further, the mirror body (352A) can include a second surface (352C) that is substantially opposite the first surface (352B), and the mirror mounting region (370) extends between the second surface (352C) to near the first surface (352B). Further, the mirror slot (374) extends from the second surface (352C) to near the first surface (352B).
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 13, 2012
    Publication date: March 20, 2014
    Inventors: Alton H Phillips, Douglas C. Watson
  • Publication number: 20140071419
    Abstract: A fly's eye mirror including first and second complementary M×N arrays, each including a plurality of faceted reflective surfaces arranged along both the first and the second axes. When assembled, the two complementary arrays are integrated together and mounted onto a common base plate. With the increased lineal length of each array along both axes, the faceted reflective surfaces of each array are in rotational or tilt alignment with a base plate along both axes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2011
    Publication date: March 13, 2014
    Applicant: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Alton H. Phillips
  • Publication number: 20130250271
    Abstract: A stage assembly (10) that moves a device (22) includes a device holder (20) that selectively retains the device (22). The device holder (20) includes a pivot (330) that engages the device (22), and a pressure source (326) that creates (i) a pressure controlled, distal zone (336A) that is at a distal pressure, and (ii) a pressure controlled, proximal zone (338A) that is at a proximal pressure. The distal zone (336A) generates a distal moment (344A) and the proximal zone (336B) generates a proximal moment (346A) that can be used to control the shape of the device (22).
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 26, 2013
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Alton H. Phillips, Fardad Hashemi, Takeshi Matsuda
  • Patent number: 8425060
    Abstract: Mirrors and other optical elements are disclosed that include a body defining an optical surface (typically a reflective surface) and an opposing second surface. The body has a coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). The optical element includes a correcting portion (e.g., a layer) attached to the second surface and having a CTE that, during heating of the optical element, imparts a bending moment to the body that at least partially offsets a change in curvature of the optical surface caused by heating. The body can be internally cooled. The body and correcting portion desirably are made of respective thermally conductive materials that can vary only slightly in CTE. The body desirably has a lower CTE than the correcting portion, and the correcting portion can be tuned according a variable property of the body and/or reflective surface. The body and correcting portion desirably function cooperatively in a thermally bimetallic-like manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Douglas C. Watson, Alton H. Phillips
  • Patent number: 8284379
    Abstract: Devices and methods are disclosed for holding an object, particularly a planar object. An exemplary device has a chuck and pressure-changing device. The chuck has an object-mounting surface and a deformable membrane coupled to the object-mounting surface such that conformational changes in the membrane produce corresponding changes in the object-mounting surface. The chuck has a first cavity separated by the membrane from the chuck cavity. The pressure-changing device is coupled to the first cavity to change pressure in the first cavity, relative to outside it, sufficiently to produce a conformational change of the membrane and a corresponding change in the object-mounting surface sufficient to reduce the force with which the object is being held to the object-mounting surface. The pressure change can be a pressure increase or decrease.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2012
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Alton H. Phillips
  • Publication number: 20120120379
    Abstract: An apparatus for controlling the distortion of a reticle (28) includes a temperature adjuster (258) and a control system (226). The temperature adjuster (258) includes a plurality of adjuster elements (258E) that individually adjust the temperature of a plurality of regions (28R) of the reticle (28). The control system (226) includes a state observer (250) and a controller (260). The state observer (250) estimates an estimated physical condition (250C) of the reticle (28). The controller (260) controls the adjuster elements (258E) of the temperature adjuster (258) based at least in part on the estimated physical condition (250C).
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 19, 2011
    Publication date: May 17, 2012
    Inventors: Alton H. Phillips, Douglas C. Watson, Hiromitsu Yoshimoto, Hiroki Okuno