Patents by Inventor Dirk Heinrich Ehm

Dirk Heinrich Ehm 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: 10712677
    Abstract: A projection exposure apparatus (400) for semiconductor lithography contains at least one partial volume (4) that is closed off from the surroundings. The partial volume (4) contains a gas, from which a plasma can be produced. Conditioning elements (20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25) for conditioning the plasma, in particular for neutralizing the plasma, are present in the partial volume. An associated method for operating a projection exposure apparatus is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: CARL ZEISS SMT GMBH
    Inventors: Irene Ament, Dirk Heinrich Ehm, Stefan Wolfgang Schmidt, Moritz Becker, Stefan Wiesner, Diana Urich
  • Publication number: 20200218160
    Abstract: In a method for characterizing at least one optical component of a projection exposure apparatus (1), an intensity distribution of the illumination radiation (2) is detected in a field plane of the projection exposure apparatus (1) with a measuring device (31) and predicted values of an optical parameter are spatially determined therefrom over at least one predefined surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 20, 2020
    Publication date: July 9, 2020
    Inventors: Wilbert KRUITHOF, Dirk Heinrich EHM, Dmitry KLOCHKOV, Thomas KORB
  • Patent number: 10690812
    Abstract: An optical element (50), comprising: a substrate (52), an EUV radiation reflecting multilayer system (51) applied to the substrate, and a protective layer system (60) applied to the multilayer system and having at least a first and a second layer (57, 58). The first layer (57) is arranged closer to the multilayer system (51) than is the second layer (58) and serves as a diffusion barrier for hydrogen. This first layer (57) has a lower solubility for hydrogen than does the second layer (58), which serves for absorbing hydrogen. Also disclosed are an optical system for EUV lithography with at least one such optical element, and a method for treating an optical element in order to remove hydrogen incorporated in at least one layer (57, 58, 59) of the protective layer system and/or in at least one layer (53, 54) of the multilayer system (51).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2020
    Assignees: CARL ZEISS SMT GMBH, ASML NETHERLANDS B.V.
    Inventors: Hermanus Hendricus Petrus Theodorus Bekman, Dirk Heinrich Ehm, Jeroen Huijbregtse, Arnoldus Jan Storm, Tina Graber, Irene Ament, Dries Smeets, Edwin Te Sligte, Alexey Kuznetsov
  • Patent number: 10649340
    Abstract: In order to prevent delamination of a reflective coating from the substrate under the influence of reactive hydrogen, a reflective optical element (50) for EUV lithography is provided, which has a substrate (51) and a reflective coating (54) for reflecting radiation in the wavelength range of 5 nm to 20 nm. A functional layer (60) is arranged between the reflective coating (54) and the substrate (51). With the functional layer, the concentration of hydrogen in atom % at the side of the substrate facing the reflective coating is reduced by at least a factor of 2.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2020
    Assignee: CARL ZEISS SMT GMBH
    Inventors: Dirk Heinrich Ehm, Vitaliy Shklover, Irene Ament, Stefan-Wolfgang Schmidt, Moritz Becker, Stefan Wiesner, Diana Urich, Robert Meier, Ralf Winter, Christof Jalics, Holger Kierey, Eric Eva
  • Publication number: 20200142327
    Abstract: A method for at least partially removing a contamination layer (24) from an optical surface (14a) of an optical element (14) that reflects EUV radiation includes: performing an atomic layer etching process for at least partially removing the contamination layer (24) from the optical surface (14a), which, in turn, includes: exposing the contamination layer (24) to a surface-modifying reactant (44) in a surface modification step, and exposing the contamination layer (24) to a material-detaching reactant (45) in a material detachment step. The optical element (14) is typically taken, before the atomic layer etching process is performed, from an optical arrangement, in particular from an EUV lithography system, in which the optical surface (14a) of the optical element (14) is exposed to EUV radiation (6), during which the contamination layer (24) is formed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 6, 2020
    Publication date: May 7, 2020
    Inventors: Fred ROOZEBOOM, Dirk Heinrich EHM, Andrea ILLIBERI, Moritz BECKER, Edwin TE SLIGTE, Yves Lodewijk Maria CREIJGHTON
  • Publication number: 20190243258
    Abstract: A projection exposure apparatus (400) for semiconductor lithography contains at least one partial volume (4) that is closed off from the surroundings. The partial volume (4) contains a gas, from which a plasma can be produced. Conditioning elements (20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25) for conditioning the plasma, in particular for neutralizing the plasma, are present in the partial volume. An associated method for operating a projection exposure apparatus is also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 21, 2018
    Publication date: August 8, 2019
    Inventors: Irene AMENT, Dirk Heinrich EHM, Stefan Wolfgang SCHMIDT, Moritz BECKER, Stefan WIESNER, Diana Urich
  • Publication number: 20190171108
    Abstract: In order to prevent delamination of a reflective coating from the substrate under the influence of reactive hydrogen, a reflective optical element (50) for EUV lithography is provided, which has a substrate (51) and a reflective coating (54) for reflecting radiation in the wavelength range of 5 nm to 20 nm. A functional layer (60) is arranged between the reflective coating (54) and the substrate (51). With the functional layer, the concentration of hydrogen in atom % at the side of the substrate facing the reflective coating is reduced by at least a factor of 2.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 25, 2019
    Publication date: June 6, 2019
    Inventors: Dirk Heinrich EHM, Vitaliy SHKLOVER, Irene AMENT, Stefan-Wolfgang SCHMIDT, Moritz BECKER, Stefan WIESNER, Diana URICH, Robert MEIER, Ralf WINTER, Christof JALICS, Holger KIEREY, Eric EVA
  • Patent number: 10073361
    Abstract: An EUV lithography system (1) includes: at least one optical element (13, 14) having an optical surface (13a, 14a) arranged in a vacuum environment (17) of the EUV lithography system (1), and a feed device (27) for feeding hydrogen into the vacuum environment (17), in which at least one silicon-containing surface (29a) is arranged. The feed device (27) additionally feeds an oxygen-containing gas into the vacuum environment (17) and has a metering device (28) that sets an oxygen partial pressure (pO2) at the at least one silicon-containing surface (29a) and/or at the optical surface (13a, 14a).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2018
    Assignees: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH, ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Dirk Heinrich Ehm, Stefan-Wolfgang Schmidt, Edgar Osorio, Edwin Te Sligte, Mark Zellenrath, Hella Logtenberg
  • Publication number: 20180246413
    Abstract: An optical assembly includes an optical element (13), configured in particular for the reflection of EUV radiation (4), and a protective element (30) for protecting a surface (31) of the optical element (13, 14) from contaminating substances (P). The protective element (30) has a membrane (33a-c) and a frame (34) on which the membrane (33a-c) is mounted. The membrane is formed by a plurality of membrane segments (33a, 33b, 33c) which respectively protect a partial region (T) of the surface (31) of the optical element (13) from the contaminating substances (P). The optical assembly can form part of an overall optical arrangement, for example an EUV lithography system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 28, 2018
    Publication date: August 30, 2018
    Inventors: Dirk Heinrich EHM, Stefan-Wolfgang SCHMIDT
  • Patent number: 10061205
    Abstract: A reflective optical element, in particular for a microlithographic projection exposure apparatus has a substrate (101), a reflection layer system (110) and a defect structure (120) of channel-shaped defects (121) which extend inward from the optical effective surface (100a), or from an interface oriented toward the substrate as far as the reflection layer system, and permit egress of hydrogen from the reflection layer system. The channel-shaped defects (121) increase a diffusion coefficient that is characteristic for the egress of the hydrogen from the reflection layer system (110) by at least 20%, in comparison to a similar layer construction without these channel-shaped defects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2018
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Dirk Heinrich Ehm, Moritz Becker, Irene Ament, Gisela Von Blanckenhagen, Joern Weber
  • Patent number: 9996005
    Abstract: In order to reduce the negative influence of reactive hydrogen on the lifetime of a reflective optical element, particularly inside an EUV lithography device, there is proposed for the extreme ultraviolet and soft X-ray wavelength region a reflective optical element (50) having a reflective surface (60) with a multilayer system (51) and in the case of which the reflective surface (60) has a protective layer system (59) with an uppermost layer (56) composed of silicon carbide or ruthenium, the protective layer system (59) having a thickness of between 5 nm and 25 nm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Dirk Heinrich Ehm, Peter Huber, Stephan Muellender, Gisela Von Blanckenhagen
  • Patent number: 9880476
    Abstract: A method for producing a capping layer (18) composed of silicon oxide SiOx on a coating (16) of a mirror (13), the coating reflecting EUV radiation (6) e.g. for use in an EUV lithography apparatus or in an EUV mask metrology system. The method includes irradiating a capping layer (18) composed of silicon nitride SiNx or composed of silicon oxynitride SiNxOy for converting the silicon nitride SiNx or the silicon oxynitride SiNxOy of the capping layer (18) into silicon oxide SiOx. An associated mirror (13) includes a capping layer comprised of silicon oxide SiOX, and can be provided in an associated EUV lithography apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2018
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Dirk Heinrich Ehm, Gisela von Blanckenhagen
  • Publication number: 20170212433
    Abstract: An EUV lithography system (1) includes: at least one optical element (13, 14) having an optical surface (13a, 14a) arranged in a vacuum environment (17) of the EUV lithography system (1), and a feed device (27) for feeding hydrogen into the vacuum environment (17), in which at least one silicon-containing surface (29a) is arranged. The feed device (27) additionally feeds an oxygen-containing gas into the vacuum environment (17) and has a metering device (28) that sets an oxygen partial pressure (pO2) at the at least one silicon-containing surface (29a) and/or at the optical surface (13a, 14a).
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 10, 2017
    Publication date: July 27, 2017
    Inventors: Dirk Heinrich EHM, Stefan-Wolfgang SCHMIDT, Edgar OSORIO, Edwin TE SLIGTE, Mark ZELLENRATH, Hella LOGTENBERG
  • Publication number: 20170160639
    Abstract: A reflective optical element, in particular for a microlithographic projection exposure apparatus has a substrate (101), a reflection layer system (110) and a defect structure (120) of channel-shaped defects (121) which extend inward from the optical effective surface (100a), or from an interface oriented toward the substrate as far as the reflection layer system, and permit egress of hydrogen from the reflection layer system. The channel-shaped defects (121) increase a diffusion coefficient that is characteristic for the egress of the hydrogen from the reflection layer system (110) by at least 20%, in comparison to a similar layer construction without these channel-shaped defects.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 15, 2017
    Publication date: June 8, 2017
    Inventors: Dirk Heinrich EHM, Moritz BECKER, Irene AMENT, Gisela VON BLANCKENHAGEN, Joern WEBER
  • Patent number: 9632436
    Abstract: An optical assembly including: a beam generating system generating radiation (6) at an operating wavelength, an optical element (13, 14) arranged in a residual gas atmosphere (16) and subjected to the radiation, which induces a degradation of a surface of the optical element, and a feed device feeding at least one gaseous constituent into the residual gas atmosphere, to suppress the degradation of the surface. Either a beam diameter (d) of the radiation at the surface of the optical element, lies above a threshold value (dc), thereby suppressing the degradation by the gaseous constituent, or, if the beam diameter (d) at the surface (14a) of the optical element (14) lies below the threshold value (dc) so that the effectiveness of the suppression of the degradation is reduced, at least one further device (25, 27) enhancing suppression of the degradation of the surface (14a) is assigned to the optical element (14).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Stefan-Wolfgang Schmidt, Dirk Heinrich Ehm, Markus Walter
  • Publication number: 20160299268
    Abstract: A minor reflecting radiation with an operating wavelength of 5-30 nm, includes a substrate and a reflective coating. The reflective coating includes a first group of layers (19) and a second group (5) of layers, such that the second group of layers is arranged between the substrate and the first group of layers. The first group and the second group of layers comprise a plurality of first and second layers (9, 11). The first layers have a refractive index for radiation having the operating wavelength which is greater than a refractive index of the second layers for radiation having the operating wavelength. A correction layer (13) has a layer thickness variation for correcting the surface form of the minor and is arranged between the second group and the first group of layers. The correction layer contains carbon, sulfur, phosphorus, fluorine or organic compounds thereof, and inorganic metal compounds.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 21, 2016
    Publication date: October 13, 2016
    Inventors: Juergen MUELLER, Thomas SCHICKETANZ, Dirk Heinrich EHM
  • Publication number: 20160187543
    Abstract: An optical element (50), comprising: a substrate (52), an EUV radiation reflecting multilayer system (51) applied to the substrate, and a protective layer system (60) applied to the multilayer system and having at least a first and a second layer (57, 58). The first layer (57) is arranged closer to the multilayer system (51) than is the second layer (58) and serves as a diffusion barrier for hydrogen. This first layer (57) has a lower solubility for hydrogen than does the second layer (58), which serves for absorbing hydrogen. Also disclosed are an optical system for EUV lithography with at least one such optical element, and a method for treating an optical element in order to remove hydrogen incorporated in at least one layer (57, 58, 59) of the protective layer system and/or in at least one layer (53, 54) of the multilayer system (51).
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 15, 2015
    Publication date: June 30, 2016
    Inventors: Hermanus Hendricus Petrus Theodorus BEKMAN, Dirk Heinrich EHM, Jeroen HUIJBREGTSE, Arnoldus Jan STORM, Tina GRABER, Irene AMENT, Dries SMEETS, Edwin TE SLIGTE, Alexey KUZNETSOV
  • Patent number: 9354529
    Abstract: An arrangement for use in a projection exposure tool (100) for microlithography comprises a reflective optical element (10; 110) and a radiation detector (30; 32; 130). The reflective optical element (10; 110) comprises a carrier element (12) guaranteeing the mechanical strength of the optical element (10; 110) and a reflective coating (18) disposed on the carrier element (12) for reflecting a use radiation (20a). The carrier element (12) is made of a material which upon interaction with the use radiation (20a) emits a secondary radiation (24) the wavelength of which differs from the wavelength of the use radiation (20a), and the radiation detector (30; 32; 130) is configured to detect the secondary radiation (24).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2016
    Assignees: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH, ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Dirk Heinrich Ehm, Maarten van Kampen, Stefan-Wolfgang Schmidt, Vadim Yevgenyevich Banine, Erik Loopstra
  • Patent number: 9341756
    Abstract: A method for correcting a surface form of a mirror (1) for reflecting radiation in the wavelength range of 5-30 nm, which includes: applying a correction layer (13) having a layer thickness variation (21) for correcting the mirror's surface form, and applying a first group (19) of layers to the correction layer. The first group (19) of layers includes first (9) and second (11) layers arranged alternately one above another, wherein the first layers have a refractive index at the operating wavelength which is greater than the refractive index of the second layers for that radiation. The correction layer (13) is applied by: introducing the mirror into an atmosphere including a reaction gas (15), applying a correction radiation (17) having a location-dependent radiation energy density, such that a correction layer having a location-dependent layer thickness variation (21) grows on the mirror's irradiated surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Juergen Mueller, Thomas Schicketanz, Dirk Heinrich Ehm
  • Patent number: 9298109
    Abstract: An EUV lithography apparatus (1) includes: a light source (15) for generating radiation (17) for the illumination of particles (P) present in the gas phase and present in the EUV lithography apparatus (1) along a light area (18), and a detector, for detecting radiation (17a) from the light source (15) that is scattered at the illuminated particles (P) in a test region (19) captured by the detector. Also, a method for detecting particles (P) in an EUV lithography apparatus (1) includes: producing a light area (18) for illuminating the particles (P) present in the gas phase, detecting radiation (17a) scattered at the illuminated particles (P) in a test region (19), and determining a number (N) of particles in the test region (19) on the basis of the detected radiation (17a).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2016
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Vera Butscher, Dirk Heinrich Ehm