Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH 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).
Abstract: A microlithographic projection exposure apparatus comprises a projection objective which images an object onto an image plane and has a lens with a curved surface. In the projection objective there is a liquid or solid medium which directly adjoins the curved surface over a region which is usable for imaging the object. The projection exposure apparatus also has an adjustable manipulator for reducing an image field curvature which is caused by heating of the medium during the projection operation.
Abstract: In general, in one aspect, the invention features an objective arranged to image radiation from an object plane to an image plane, including a plurality of elements arranged to direct the radiation from the object plane to the image plane, wherein the objective has an image side numerical aperture of more than 0.55 and a maximum image side field dimension of more than 1 mm, and the objective is a catoptric objective.
Abstract: An apparatus (10) for microlithographic projection exposure, which includes: an optical system (18) for imaging mask structures (16) onto a surface (21) of a substrate (20) by projecting the mask structures (16) with imaging radiation (13) onto an exposure area of the substrate surface, and various structure defining a measurement beam path (36) for guiding measurement radiation (34). The measurement beam path (36) extends within the optical system (18) such that the measurement radiation (34) impinges on a measurement area on the substrate surface that is offset from the exposure area.
Abstract: An optical system of a microlithographic projection exposure apparatus includes at least one mirror arrangement having a plurality of mirror elements which are displaceable independently of each other for altering an angular distribution of the light reflected by the mirror arrangement. The optical system also includes a polarization-influencing optical arrangement including a first lambda/2 plate and at least one additional lambda/2 plate.
Abstract: An optical projection unit comprising a first optical element module and at least one second optical element module is provided. The first optical element module comprises a first housing unit and at least a first optical element, the first optical element being received within the first housing unit and having an optically used first region defining a first optical axis. The at least one second optical element module is located adjacent to the first optical element module and comprises at least one second optical element, the second optical element defining a second optical axis of the optical projection unit. The first housing unit has a central first housing axis and an outer wall extending in a circumferential direction about the first housing axis. The first optical axis is at least one of laterally offset and inclined with respect to the first housing axis. Furthermore, the first housing axis is substantially collinear with the second optical axis.
Abstract: A collector transfers an emission of an EUV radiation source to a main intensity spot. The collector has at least one collector subunit including at least one grazing incidence mirror. The grazing incidence mirror transfers EUV radiation from the radiation source to an intensity spot. At least one ellipsoid mirror of the collector has an ellipsoidal mirror surface. The ellipsoidal mirror surface is impinged by an angle of incidence above a critical grazing incidence angle. No more than one collector subunit is arranged in the beam path of an EUV radiation source between a position of the EUV radiation source and the intensity spot. At least some of the EUV rays are only reflected in a grazing manner.
Abstract: An illumination system of a microlithographic projection exposure apparatus includes a spatial light modulator which varies an intensity distribution in a pupil surface. The modulator includes an array of mirrors that reflect impinging projection light into directions that depend on control signals applied to the mirrors. A prism, which directs the projection light towards the spatial light modulator, has a double pass surface on which the projection light impinges twice, namely a first time when leaving the prism and before it is reflected by the mirrors, and a second time when entering the prism and after it has been reflected by the mirrors. A pupil perturbation suppressing mechanism is provided that reduces reflections of projection light when it impinges the first time on the double pass surface, and/or prevents that light portions being a result of such reflections contribute to the intensity distribution in the pupil surface.