Patents by Inventor Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu

Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu 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).

  • Publication number: 20200363713
    Abstract: A method to determine a mask pattern for a patterning device. The method includes obtaining a target pattern to be printed on a substrate, an initial continuous tone image corresponding to the target pattern, a binarization function (e.g., a sigmoid, an arctan, a step function, etc.) configured to transform the initial continuous tone image, and a process model configured to predict a pattern on the substrate from an output of the binarization function; and generating a binarized image having a mask pattern corresponding to the initial continuous tone image by iteratively updating the initial continuous tone image based on a cost function such that the cost function is reduced. The cost function (e.g., EPE) determines a difference between a predicted pattern determined by the process model and the target pattern.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 15, 2019
    Publication date: November 19, 2020
    Applicant: ASML NETHERLANDS B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen HSU, Jingjing LIU, Rafael C. HOWELL, Xingyue PENG
  • Patent number: 10796063
    Abstract: A method including obtaining at least a clip of a design layout, and determining a representation of the clip on a patterning device, under a condition that a reduction ratio from the representation to the clip is anisotropic. A method including obtaining a relationship between a first geometric characteristic in a design layout or an image thereof, and a second geometric characteristic in a representation of the design layout on a patterning device, wherein the relationship is a function involving reduction ratios in two different directions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Jingjing Liu
  • Publication number: 20200257204
    Abstract: A method to improve a lithographic process for imaging a portion of a patterning device pattern onto a substrate using a lithographic projection having an illumination system and projection optics, the method including: (1) obtaining a simulation model that models projection of radiation by the projection optics, wherein the simulation model models an effect of an obscuration in the projection optics, and configuring, based on the model, the portion of the patterning device pattern, and/or (2) obtaining a simulation model that models projection of radiation by the projection optics, wherein the simulation model models an anamorphic demagnification of radiation by the projection optics, and configuring, based on the model, the portion of the patterning device pattern taking into account an anamorphic manufacturing rule or anamorphic manufacturing rule ratio.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 5, 2018
    Publication date: August 13, 2020
    Applicant: ASML NETHERLANDS B.V.
    Inventor: Duan-Fu Stephen HSU
  • Publication number: 20200249578
    Abstract: A method for optimization to increase lithographic apparatus throughput for a patterning process is described. The method includes providing a baseline dose for an EUV illumination and an initial pupil configuration, associated with a lithographic apparatus. The baseline dose and the initial pupil configuration are configured for use with a dose anchor mask pattern and a corresponding dose anchor target pattern for setting an illumination dose for corresponding device patterns of interest. The method includes biasing the dose anchor mask pattern relative to the dose anchor target pattern; determining an acceptable lower dose for the biased dose anchor mask pattern and the initial pupil configuration; unbiasing the dose anchor mask pattern relative to the dose anchor target pattern; and determining a changed pupil configuration and a mask bias for the device patterns of interest based on the acceptable lower dose and the unbiased dose anchor mask pattern.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 31, 2020
    Publication date: August 6, 2020
    Applicant: ASML NETHERLANDS B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Jingjing Liu
  • Patent number: 10670973
    Abstract: A method includes obtaining a sub-layout having an area that is a performance limiting spot, adjusting colors of patterns in the area, and determining whether the area is still a performance limiting spot. Another method includes decomposing patterns in a design layout into multiple sub-layouts; determining for at least one area in one of the sub-layouts, the likelihood of that a figure of merit is beyond its allowed range; and if the likelihood is above a threshold, that one sub-layout has a performance limiting spot. Another method includes: obtaining a design layout having a first group of patterns and a second group of patterns, wherein colors of the first group of patterns are not allowed to change and colors of the second group of patterns are allowed to change; and co-optimizing at least the first group of patterns, the second group of patterns and an illumination of a lithographic apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2020
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Yi Zou, Jing Su, Robert John Socha, Christopher Alan Spence, Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu
  • Publication number: 20200041891
    Abstract: A patterning device, includes: an absorber layer on a patterning device substrate; and a reflective or transmissive layer on the patterning device substrate, wherein the absorber layer and the reflective or transmissive layer together define a pattern layout having a main feature and an attenuated sub-resolution assist feature paired with the main feature, wherein: the main feature is configured to generate, upon transferring the device pattern to a layer of patterning material on a substrate, the main feature in the layer of patterning material, and upon the transferring the pattern to the layer of patterning material, the attenuated sub-resolution assist feature is configured to avoid generating a feature in the layer of patterning material and to produce a different radiation intensity than the main feature.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 20, 2018
    Publication date: February 6, 2020
    Applicant: ASML NETHERLANDS B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen HSU, Jingjing LIU
  • Patent number: 10509310
    Abstract: A patterning device carries a pattern of features to be transferred onto a substrate using a lithographic apparatus. The patterning device is free of light absorber material, at least in an area. The pattern of features in the area may include a dense array of lines, trenches, dots or holes. Individual lines, holes, etc. are defined in at least one direction by pairs of edges between regions of different phase in the patterning device. A distance between the pair of edges in the at least one direction is at least 15% smaller than a size of the individual feature to be formed on the substrate once adjusted by a magnification factor, if any, of the lithographic apparatus. The patterning device may be adapted for use in EUV lithography. The patterning device may be adapted for use in a negative tone resist and development process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Frank Arnoldus Johannes Maria Driessen, Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu
  • Patent number: 10459346
    Abstract: A method to improve a lithographic process for imaging a portion of a design layout onto a substrate using a lithographic projection apparatus having an illumination system and projection optics, the method including: obtaining an illumination source shape and a mask defocus value; optimizing a dose of the lithographic process; and optimizing the portion of the design layout for each of a plurality of slit positions of the illumination source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Rafael C. Howell, Xiaofeng Liu
  • Publication number: 20190294053
    Abstract: Several methods of reducing one or more pattern displacement errors, contrast loss, best focus shift, tilt of a Bossung curve of a portion of a design layout used in a patterning process for imaging that portion onto a substrate using a lithographic apparatus. The methods include determining or adjusting one or more characteristics of one or more assist features using the one or more rules based on one or more parameters selected from a group consisting of: one or more characteristics of one or more design features in the portion, one or more characteristics of the patterning process, one or more characteristics of the lithographic apparatus, and/or a combination selected from the foregoing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 13, 2019
    Publication date: September 26, 2019
    Applicant: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen HSU, Kurt E. WAMPLER
  • Publication number: 20190285991
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are several methods of reducing one or more pattern displacement errors, contrast loss, best focus shift , tilt of a Bossung curve of a portion of a design layout used in a lithographic process for imaging that portion onto a substrate using a lithographic apparatus. The methods include adjusting an illumination source of the lithographic apparatus, placing assist features onto or adjusting positions and/or shapes existing assist features in the portion. Adjusting the illumination source and/or the assist features may be by an optimization algorithm.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 31, 2019
    Publication date: September 19, 2019
    Applicant: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen HSU, Feng-Liang LIU
  • Patent number: 10394131
    Abstract: A method to improve a lithographic process of imaging a portion of a design layout onto a substrate using a lithographic projection apparatus, the method including: computing a multi-variable cost function, the multi-variable cost function being a function of a stochastic variation of a characteristic of an aerial image or a resist image, or a function of a variable that is a function of the stochastic variation or that affects the stochastic variation, the stochastic variation being a function of a plurality of design variables that represent characteristics of the lithographic process; and reconfiguring one or more of the characteristics of the lithographic process by adjusting one or more of the design variables until a certain termination condition is satisfied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventor: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu
  • Patent number: 10386727
    Abstract: A method to improve a lithographic process for imaging a portion of a design layout onto a substrate using a lithographic projection apparatus, the method including: computing a multi-variable cost function of a plurality of design variables that are characteristics of the lithographic process, and reconfiguring the characteristics of the lithographic process by adjusting the design variables until a predefined termination condition is satisfied. The multi-variable cost function may be a function of one or more pattern shift errors. Reconfiguration of the characteristics may be under one or more constraints on the one or more pattern shift errors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Jianjun Jia, Xiaofeng Liu, Cuiping Zhang
  • Patent number: 10331039
    Abstract: Methods of reducing a pattern displacement error, contrast loss, best focus shift, and/or tilt of a Bossung curve, of a portion of a design layout used in a patterning process for imaging that portion onto a substrate using a lithographic apparatus. The methods include determining or adjusting one or more characteristics of one or more assist features using one or more rules based on one or more parameters selected from: one or more characteristics of one or more design features in the portion, one or more characteristics of the patterning process, one or more characteristics of the lithographic apparatus, and/or a combination selected from the foregoing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Kurt E. Wampler
  • Patent number: 10310386
    Abstract: Methods of reducing a pattern displacement error, contrast loss, best focus shift, and/or tilt of a Bossung curve of a portion of a design layout used in a lithographic process for imaging that portion onto a substrate using a lithographic apparatus. The methods include adjusting an illumination source of the lithographic apparatus, placing one or more assist features onto, or adjusting a position and/or shape of one or more existing assist features in, the portion. Adjusting the illumination source and/or the one or more assist features may be by an optimization algorithm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Feng-Liang Liu
  • Publication number: 20190130060
    Abstract: A method including obtaining at least a clip of a design layout, and determining a representation of the clip on a patterning device, under a condition that a reduction ratio from the representation to the clip is anisotropic. A method including obtaining a relationship between a first geometric characteristic in a design layout or an image thereof, and a second geometric characteristic in a representation of the design layout on a patterning device, wherein the relationship is a function involving reduction ratios in two different directions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 4, 2017
    Publication date: May 2, 2019
    Applicant: ASML NETHERLANDS R.V
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen HSU, Jingjing LIU
  • Publication number: 20180341186
    Abstract: A method to improve a lithographic process for imaging a portion of a design layout onto a substrate using a lithographic projection apparatus having an illumination system and projection optics, the method including: obtaining an illumination source shape and a mask defocus value; optimizing a dose of the lithographic process; and optimizing the portion of the design layout for each of a plurality of slit positions of the illumination source.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 16, 2018
    Publication date: November 29, 2018
    Applicant: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen HSU, Rafael C. HOWELL, Xiaofeng LIU
  • Patent number: 10025201
    Abstract: A method to improve a lithographic process for imaging a portion of a design layout onto a substrate using a lithographic projection apparatus having an illumination system and projection optics, the method including: obtaining an illumination source shape and a mask defocus value; optimizing a dose of the lithographic process; and optimizing the portion of the design layout for each of a plurality of slit positions of the illumination source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2018
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Rafael C. Howell, Xiaofeng Liu
  • Publication number: 20180120691
    Abstract: A patterning device carries a pattern of features to be transferred onto a substrate using a lithographic apparatus. The patterning device is free of light absorber material, at least in an area. The pattern of features in the area may include a dense array of lines, trenches, dots or holes. Individual lines, holes, etc. are defined in at least one direction by pairs of edges between regions of different phase in the patterning device. A distance between the pair of edges in the at least one direction is at least 15% smaller than a size of the individual feature to be formed on the substrate once adjusted by a magnification factor, if any, of the lithographic apparatus. The patterning device may be adapted for use in EUV lithography. The patterning device may be adapted for use in a negative tone resist and development process.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 8, 2016
    Publication date: May 3, 2018
    Applicant: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Frank Arnoldus Johannes Maria DRIESSEN, Duan-Fu Stephen HSU
  • Publication number: 20180120709
    Abstract: A method including: determining a first simulated partial image formed, by a lithographic projection apparatus, from a first radiation portion propagating along a first group of one or more directions; determining a second simulated partial image formed, by the lithographic projection apparatus, from a second radiation portion propagating along a second group of one or more directions; and determining an image by incoherently adding the first partial image and the second partial image, wherein the first group of one or more directions and the second group of one or more directions are different.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 13, 2016
    Publication date: May 3, 2018
    Applicant: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen HSU, Rafael C. HOWELL, Jianjun JIA
  • Publication number: 20180011407
    Abstract: A method to improve a lithographic process of imaging a portion of a design layout onto a substrate using a lithographic projection apparatus, the method including: computing a multi-variable cost function, the multi-variable cost function being a function of a stochastic variation of a characteristic of an aerial image or a resist image, or a function of a variable that is a function of the stochastic variation or that affects the stochastic variation, the stochastic variation being a function of a plurality of design variables that represent characteristics of the lithographic process; and reconfiguring one or more of the characteristics of the lithographic process by adjusting one or more of the design variables until a certain termination condition is satisfied.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 9, 2016
    Publication date: January 11, 2018
    Applicant: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventor: Duan-Fu Stephen HSU