Keiji Nomaru 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 laser processing apparatus includes a liquid supply mechanism at an upper portion of a holding unit. The liquid supply mechanism includes: a liquid chamber provided with a transparent plate located with a gap formed between the transparent plate and an upper surface of a workpiece held by the holding table; a liquid supply nozzle adapted to supply a liquid to the gap from one side of the liquid chamber; and a liquid discharge nozzle adapted to recover the liquid from the other side of the liquid chamber, to produce a flow of the liquid. A laser beam applying unit includes a condenser adapted to focus a laser beam emitted by a laser oscillator, to apply the laser beam to the workpiece held by the holding table through the transparent plate and the liquid supplied to the gap.
Abstract: A laser processing apparatus for processing a wafer along projected dicing lines with a laser beam has a laser oscillator, a polygon mirror having a plurality of reflecting surfaces and rotatable about a central axis thereof, and an f? lens for focusing the beam reflected by the reflecting surfaces of the polygon mirror and applying the focused beam to the wafer. The reflecting surfaces of the polygon mirror include a zero-gradient reflecting surface lying at a zero gradient parallel to the central axis, a positive-gradient reflecting surface that is inclined at a positive gradient from the zero gradient, and a negative-gradient reflecting surface that is inclined at a negative gradient from the zero gradient. The polygon mirror swings the laser beam in a direction perpendicular to a processing feed direction within the width of each of the projected dicing lines and in the processing feed direction.
Abstract: There is provided a SAW filter manufacturing method for manufacturing a SAW filter from a piezoelectric substrate having planned dividing lines set on a top surface of the piezoelectric substrate, and having a device including comb-shaped electrodes in regions demarcated by the planned dividing lines. The method includes a structure forming step of forming a structure having projections and depressions on an undersurface side of the piezoelectric substrate by irradiating the piezoelectric substrate with a laser beam of a wavelength absorbable by the piezoelectric substrate from the undersurface side of the piezoelectric substrate, and a dividing step of dividing the piezoelectric substrate along the planned dividing lines after the structure forming step.
Abstract: A cutting machine includes a monitoring unit that monitors a cutting edge of a cutting blade. The monitoring unit includes an imaging unit that images the cutting edge of the cutting blade, a pulse light source that emits a pulse light to illuminate an imaging zone imaged by the imaging unit, and a camera that captures an image outputted from the imaging unit. The imaging unit includes a first imaging unit that images one side surface of the cutting edge of the cutting blade, a second imaging unit that images an opposite side surface of the cutting edge, and a third imaging unit that images an outer peripheral edge portion of the cutting edge.
Abstract: A wafer is processed by irradiating a region to be divided with a pulse laser beam with a wavelength having absorbability to generate a thermal stress wave and propagate the wave to the inside of the region to be divided. A crushed layer is formed by executing irradiation, with a pulse laser beam with a wavelength having transmissibility with respect to the wafer, matching with a time when the thermal stress wave is generated and reaching a depth position at which a point of origin of dividing is to be generated at a sonic speed according to the material of the wafer. Absorption of the pulse laser beam with the wavelength having the transmissibility in a region in which the band gap is narrowed due to a tensile stress of the thermal stress wave forms a crushed layer that serves as the point of origin of dividing.
Abstract: A wafer producing method for producing a wafer from a semiconductor ingot includes a thermal stress wave generating step of applying a pulsed laser beam having a wavelength that is absorbable by the semiconductor ingot to the semiconductor ingot held on the chuck table to generate a thermal stress wave and a fracture layer forming step of applying a pulsed laser beam having a wavelength that is transmittable through the semiconductor ingot to the semiconductor ingot in synchronism with a time during which the thermal stress wave reaches a position corresponding to a thickness of a wafer to be produced from the semiconductor ingot, causing the pulsed laser beam whose wavelength is transmittable through the semiconductor ingot to be absorbed in a region where a band gap is reduced by a tensile stress of the thermal stress wave.
Abstract: A laser beam applying unit of a laser processing apparatus includes a laser oscillator, a condenser adapted to focus the laser beam emitted from the laser oscillator and apply the laser beam to a workpiece, and a liquid jetting apparatus disposed at a lower end portion of the condenser and adapted to jet a liquid to an upper surface of the workpiece. The liquid jetting apparatus includes: a transparent plate disposed at the lower end portion of the condenser and permitting transmission therethrough of the laser beam; a casing provided with a space defined by a ceiling wall composed of the transparent plate, side walls, and a bottom wall; an opening formed in the bottom plate, extending in a processing feeding direction, and permitting passage therethrough of the laser beam focused by the condenser; and a liquid supply section adapted to supply the liquid to the casing.
Abstract: A thickness measuring apparatus has a thickness measuring unit including a white light source, a diffracting mechanism that diffracts white light emitted from the white light source into diffracted light at time differences corresponding to the wavelengths of light components of the white light, a two-dimensional image sensor having a photodetection area that include a plurality of pixels for detecting return light reflected from upper and lower surfaces of a plate-shaped workpiece, a storage unit that stores, as a spectral interference waveform, intensities of the return light corresponding to the wavelengths of the light components successively received at the time differences by the pixels, and a waveform table recording therein a plurality of kinds of sample spectral interference waveforms corresponding to plate-shaped workpiece thicknesses.
Abstract: A mechanism for detecting the inside of a workpiece includes a wavelength delaying unit for outputting each pulse of a pulsed laser beam emitted from a laser oscillator with time differences imparted to respective wavelengths, and a ring generating unit for generating a ring-shaped pulsed laser beam from the pulsed laser beam with the time differences imparted to the respective wavelengths and diffracting the ring-shaped pulsed laser beam into ring-shaped laser beams ranging from small to large at the respective wavelengths. When the ring-shaped laser beams with the time differences imparted to the respective wavelengths are applied to the workpiece, they produce an interference wave of ultrasonic waves in the workpiece, and vibrations are produced at a position where the interference wave of the ultrasonic waves is converged. A laser beam is applied to an upper surface of the workpiece at a position aligned with the center of the vibrations.
Abstract: A laser applying mechanism which has a laser oscillator adapted to oscillate a pulsed laser and to emit a linearly polarized pulsed laser beam. The laser applying mechanism includes: a polarization plane composing unit adapted to selectively synthesize a pulsed laser beam having a second polarization plane rotated by 90 degrees with respect to a pulsed laser beam having a first polarization plane which is emitted from the laser oscillator; an amplifier adapted to amplify a power of the pulsed laser beam composed by the polarization plane composing unit; and a pulsed laser beam extracting unit adapted to extract a pulsed laser beam having a polarization plane to be utilized, from among the pulsed laser beam having the first polarization plane and the pulsed laser beam having the second polarization plane which are contained in the pulsed laser beam amplified by the amplifier.
Abstract: An imaging unit for an ultrafast imaging apparatus includes an objective lens opposing a workpiece supported on a chuck table, a beam splitter disposed in a first optical path extending from the objective lens, an image processing unit disposed in a second optical path extending from the beam splitter, and an illumination unit disposed in a third optical path extending from the beam splitter. The illumination unit includes a broadband pulsed light source, and a spectrometer configured to divide a single pulse of light, which has been emitted from the broadband pulsed light source, into a plurality of wavelengths and to produce a time lag between each two adjacent ones of the plurality of wavelengths.
Abstract: A thickness measuring apparatus includes a white light source for emitting white light, a dispersing mechanism for producing time differences corresponding to the wavelengths of light components of the white light to thereby generate spectral light, the spectral light being applied to the workpiece and then reflected on the upper surface and the lower surface of the workpiece to obtain return light, a two-dimensional image sensor having a photodetecting area for detecting the return light, the photodetecting area including a plurality of pixels, a storing section for storing the intensity of the return light detected by the plural pixels according to wavelength with time difference, the intensity of the return light detected by each pixel being stored as a spectral interference waveform, and a thickness computing section for computing the thickness of the workpiece from the spectral interference waveform stored in the storing section.
Abstract: A liquid supply mechanism disposed over a holding unit of laser processing apparatus includes a liquid chamber having a circular-disc-shaped transparent plate positioned to form a gap between the circular-disc-shaped transparent plate and an upper surface of the workpiece held by the holding table, a liquid supply nozzle that supplies a liquid from one side of the liquid chamber to the gap, a liquid discharge nozzle that discharges the liquid from the other side of the liquid chamber, and a rotation mechanism that rotates the circular-disc-shaped transparent plate and generates a flow velocity in the liquid supplied to the gap. The laser beam irradiation unit includes a laser oscillator that emits a laser beam and a condenser that condenses the laser beam emitted from the laser oscillator and irradiates the workpiece with the laser beam transmitted through the transparent plate and the liquid supplied to the gap.
Abstract: An illuminating apparatus adapted to be mounted on an image capturing apparatus for capturing an image of a workpiece held on a chuck table includes a light source, an objective lens having a minute hole defined centrally therein and disposed in facing relation to the workpiece held on the chuck table, and an optical fiber having an end inserted in the minute hole in the objective lens and another end optically coupled to the light source.
Abstract: An image capturing apparatus for capturing an image of a workpiece held on a chuck table includes a camera, an objective lens having a minute hole defined centrally therein and disposed in facing relation to the workpiece held on the chuck table, an optical fiber having an end inserted in the minute hole in the objective lens, a light source optically coupled to another end of the optical fiber, and a beam splitter disposed in the optical fiber for branching off returning light reflected by the workpiece held on the chuck table. The image capturing apparatus further includes a calculating section for calculating a value representing a height or a thickness of the workpiece on the basis of the returning light branched off by the beam splitter, and a focusing mechanism for focusing the objective lens on the workpiece on the basis of the value calculated by the calculating section.
Abstract: A processing apparatus includes: a chuck table that is configured to be capable of rotation in a state of supporting the workpiece; a processing unit including a spindle to which a processing tool for grinding or polishing is mounted and a drive source that rotates the spindle; a measuring unit that measures distribution of thickness of the workpiece; a laser beam applying unit that has an adjustor for adjusting power of a laser beam applied to the workpiece; and a control unit including a power setting section that sets the power of the laser beam applied to an arbitrary region of the workpiece based on the distribution of the thickness of the workpiece measured by the measuring unit, and an adjustor control section that controls the adjustor of the laser beam applying unit such as to realize the power of the laser beam set by the power setting section.
Abstract: A laser processing machine includes a condenser and a water pillar forming unit. The condenser condenses a laser beam emitted from a laser oscillator and irradiates it to a workpiece held on a chuck table. The water pillar forming unit is disposed on a lower end of the condenser and is configured to form a thread-shaped water pillar on a front side of the workpiece. The laser oscillator includes a first laser oscillator, which emits a first laser beam having a short pulse width, and a second laser oscillator, which emits a second laser beam having a long pulse width. After the laser beams emitted from the first and second laser oscillators have transmitted through the thread-shaped water pillar formed by the water pillar forming unit and have been irradiated to the workpiece, a plasma occurred in the water pillar forming unit applies processing to the workpiece.
Abstract: A processing method of a workpiece used when the workpiece is processed is provided. The processing method of a workpiece includes a disposing step of disposing the workpiece in a gas containing a substance that generates an active species that reacts with the workpiece, a measurement step of measuring the distribution of the thickness of the workpiece disposed in the gas, and a laser beam irradiation step of irradiating the workpiece in the gas with a laser beam of which the power is adjusted based on the distribution of the thickness measured in the measurement step. In the laser beam irradiation step, the removal amount by which a region irradiated with the laser beam in the workpiece is removed by the active species is controlled by irradiating the workpiece with the laser beam of which the power is adjusted.
Abstract: A thickness measuring apparatus that measures a thickness of a workpiece held by a chuck table. The thickness measuring apparatus includes plural image sensors that detect intensity of light spectrally split on each wavelength basis by plural diffraction gratings and generate a spectral interference waveform and a thickness output unit that outputs thickness information from the spectral interference waveform generated by the plural image sensors.
Abstract: A laser beam applying unit of a laser processing apparatus includes a laser oscillator adapted to emit a laser beam, a condenser adapted to focus the laser beam emitted from the laser oscillator and to thereby apply the laser beam to the workpiece held by a holding unit, and a liquid layer former disposed at a lower end portion of the condenser and adapted to form a layer of a liquid on an upper surface of the workpiece. The liquid layer former includes a casing having a bottom wall that forms a gap between itself and the upper surface of the workpiece, a liquid supply section adapted to supply the liquid to the casing, and a transparent section that is formed at the bottom wall adjacently to the jet port and that permits transmission of the laser beam therethrough.