Patents by Inventor Ken-Hsien Hsieh

Ken-Hsien Hsieh 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: 20210286274
    Abstract: A method of performing a lithography process includes providing a test pattern. The test pattern includes a first set of lines arranged at a first pitch, a second set of lines arranged at the first pitch, and further includes at least one reference line between the first set of lines and the second set of lines. The test pattern is exposed with a radiation source providing an asymmetric, monopole illumination profile to form a test pattern structure on a substrate. The test pattern structure is then measured and a measured distance correlated to an offset of a lithography parameter. A lithography process is adjusted based on the offset of the lithography parameter.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 29, 2021
    Publication date: September 16, 2021
    Inventors: Chih-Jie LEE, Shih-Chun HUANG, Shih-Ming CHANG, Ken-Hsien HSIEH, Yung-Sung YEN, Ru-Gun LIU
  • Patent number: 11079685
    Abstract: In a method of manufacturing a photo mask used in a semiconductor manufacturing process, a mask pattern layout in which a plurality of patterns are arranged is acquired. The plurality of patterns are converted into a graph having nodes and links. It is determined whether the nodes are colorable by N colors without causing adjacent nodes connected by a link to be colored by a same color, where N is an integer equal to or more than 3. When it is determined that the nodes are colorable by N colors, the nodes are colored with the N colors. The plurality of patterns are classified into N groups based on the N colored nodes. The N groups are assigned to N photo masks. N data sets for the N photo masks are output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2021
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Ru-Gun Liu, Wei-Shuo Su
  • Publication number: 20210175081
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a method of patterning a target material layer over a semiconductor substrate. The method includes steps of forming a spacer feature over the target material layer using a first sub-layout and performing a photolithographic patterning process using a second sub-layout to form a first feature. A portion of the first feature extends over the spacer feature. The method further includes steps of removing the portion of the first feature extending over the spacer feature and removing the spacer feature. Other methods and associated patterned semiconductor wafers are also provided herein.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 22, 2021
    Publication date: June 10, 2021
    Inventors: Tsong-Hua Ou, Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Shih-Ming Chang, Wen-Chun Huang, Chih-Ming Lai, Ru-Gun Liu, Tsai-Sheng Gau
  • Publication number: 20210132504
    Abstract: In one example, an apparatus includes an extreme ultraviolet illumination source and an illuminator. The extreme ultraviolet illumination source is arranged to generate a beam of extreme ultraviolet illumination to pattern a resist layer on a substrate. The illuminator is arranged to direct the beam of extreme ultraviolet illumination onto a surface of a photomask. In one example, the illuminator includes a field facet mirror and a pupil facet mirror. The field facet mirror includes a first plurality of facets arranged to split the beam of extreme ultraviolet illumination into a plurality of light channels. The pupil facet mirror includes a second plurality of facets arranged to direct the plurality of light channels onto the surface of the photomask. The distribution of the second plurality of facets is denser at a periphery of the pupil facet mirror than at a center of the pupil facet mirror.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 28, 2020
    Publication date: May 6, 2021
    Applicant: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Ken-Hsien HSIEH, Shih-Ming CHANG, Wen LO, Wei-Shuo SU, Hua-Tai LIN
  • Patent number: 10962892
    Abstract: A method of performing a lithography process includes providing a test pattern. The test pattern includes a first set of lines arranged at a first pitch, a second set of lines arranged at the first pitch, and further includes at least one reference line between the first set of lines and the second set of lines. The test pattern is exposed with a radiation source providing an asymmetric, monopole illumination profile to form a test pattern structure on a substrate. The test pattern structure is then measured and a measured distance correlated to an offset of a lithography parameter. A lithography process is adjusted based on the offset of the lithography parameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2021
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Chih-Jie Lee, Shih-Chun Huang, Shih-Ming Chang, Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Yung-Sung Yen, Ru-Gun Liu
  • Patent number: 10957551
    Abstract: Methods are disclosed herein for patterning integrated circuit devices, such as fin-like field effect transistor devices. An exemplary method includes forming a material layer that includes an array of fin features, and performing a fin cut process to remove a subset of the fin features. The fin cut process includes exposing the subset of fin features using a cut pattern and removing the exposed subset of the fin features. The cut pattern partially exposes at least one fin feature of the subset of fin features. In implementations where the fin cut process is a fin cut first process, the material layer is a mandrel layer and the fin features are mandrels. In implementations where the fin cut process is a fin cut last process, the material layer is a substrate (or material layer thereof), and the fin features are fins defined in the substrate (or material layer thereof).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 23, 2021
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Chin-Yuan Tseng, Wei-Liang Lin, Hsin-Chih Chen, Shi Ning Ju, Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Yung-Sung Yen, Ru-Gun Liu
  • Patent number: 10930505
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a method of patterning a target material layer over a semiconductor substrate. The method includes steps of forming a spacer feature over the target material layer using a first sub-layout and performing a photolithographic patterning process using a second sub-layout to form a first feature. A portion of the first feature extends over the spacer feature. The method further includes steps of removing the portion of the first feature extending over the spacer feature and removing the spacer feature. Other methods and associated patterned semiconductor wafers are also provided herein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2021
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Tsong-Hua Ou, Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Shih-Ming Chang, Wen-Chun Huang, Chih-Ming Lai, Ru-Gun Liu, Tsai-Sheng Gau
  • Publication number: 20210013048
    Abstract: In a method of forming a groove pattern extending in a first axis in an underlying layer over a semiconductor substrate, a first opening is formed in the underlying layer, and the first opening is extended in the first axis by directional etching to form the groove pattern.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2020
    Publication date: January 14, 2021
    Inventors: Ru-Gun LIU, Chih-Ming LAI, Wei-Liang LIN, Yung-Sung YEN, Ken-Hsien HSIEH, Chin-Hsiang LIN
  • Patent number: 10817635
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method of fabricating an integrated circuit (IC) using a multiple (N>2) patterning technique. The method provides a layout of the IC having a set of IC features. The method further includes deriving a graph from the layout, the graph having vertices connected by edges, the vertices representing the IC features, and the edges representing spacing between the IC features. The method further includes selecting vertices, wherein the selected vertices are not directly connected by an edge, and share at least one neighboring vertex that is connected by N edges. The method further includes using a computerized IC tool to merge the selected vertices, thereby reducing a number of edges connecting the neighboring vertex to be below N. The method further includes removing a portion of the vertices that are connected by less than N edges.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2020
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Chih-Ming Lai, Ru-Gun Liu, Wen-Chun Huang, Wen-Li Cheng, Pai-Wei Wang
  • Patent number: 10790155
    Abstract: In a method of forming a groove pattern extending in a first axis in an underlying layer over a semiconductor substrate, a first opening is formed in the underlying layer, and the first opening is extended in the first axis by directional etching to form the groove pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2020
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Ru-Gun Liu, Chih-Ming Lai, Wei-Liang Lin, Yung-Sung Yen, Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Chin-Hsiang Lin
  • Publication number: 20200301289
    Abstract: A method includes receiving a layout that includes a shape to be formed on a photomask and determining a plurality of target lithographic contours for the shape, wherein the plurality of target lithographic contours includes a first target lithographic contour for a first set of process conditions and a second target lithographic contour for a second set of process conditions, performing a lithographic simulation of the layout to produce a first simulated contour at the first set of process conditions and a second simulated contour at the second set of process conditions, determining a first edge placement error between the first simulated contour and the first target lithographic contour and a second edge placement error between the second simulated contour and the second target lithographic contour, and determining a modification to the layout based on the first edge placement error and the second edge placement error.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 8, 2020
    Publication date: September 24, 2020
    Inventors: Dong-Yo Jheng, Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Shih-Ming Chang, Chih-Jie Lee, Shuo-Yen Chou, Ru-Gun Liu
  • Publication number: 20200286738
    Abstract: A method includes forming a first layer on a substrate; forming a first plurality of trenches in the first layer by a patterning process; and forming a second plurality of trenches in the first layer by another patterning process, resulting in combined trench patterns in the first layer. A first trench of the second plurality connects two trenches of the first plurality. The method further includes forming dielectric spacer features on sidewalls of the combined trench patterns. A space between two opposing sidewalls of the first trench is completely filled by the dielectric spacer features and another space between two opposing sidewalls of one of the two trenches is partially filled by the dielectric spacer features.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 22, 2020
    Publication date: September 10, 2020
    Inventors: RU-GUN LIU, CHENG-HSIUNG TSAI, CHUNG-JU LEE, CHIH-MING LAI, CHIA-YING LEE, JYU-HORNG SHIEH, KEN-HSIEN HSIEH, MING-FENG SHIEH, SHAU-LIN SHUE, SHIH-MING CHANG, TIEN-I BAO, TSAI-SHENG GAU
  • Patent number: 10770304
    Abstract: A method of fabricating an integrated circuit (IC) uses a first lithography technique having a first resolution and a second lithography technique having a second resolution lower than the first resolution. The method includes deriving a graph from an IC layout, the graph having vertices and edges that connect some of the vertices, the vertices representing IC patterns in the IC layout, the edges representing spacing between the IC patterns that are smaller than the second resolution. The method further includes classifying the edges into at least two types, a first type of edges representing spacing that is smaller than the first resolution, a second type of edges representing spacing that is equal to or greater than the first resolution but smaller than the second resolution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2020
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Wen-Li Cheng, Dong-Yo Jheng, Chih-Ming Lai, Ru-Gun Liu
  • Patent number: 10763113
    Abstract: A technique for patterning a workpiece such as an integrated circuit workpiece is provided. In an exemplary embodiment, the method includes receiving a dataset specifying a plurality features to be formed on the workpiece. A first patterning of a hard mask of the workpiece is performed based on a first set of features of the plurality of features, and a first spacer material is deposited on a sidewall of the patterned hard mask. A second patterning is performed based on a second set of features, and a second spacer material is deposited on a sidewall of the first spacer material. A third patterning is performed based on a third set of features. A portion of the workpiece is selectively processed using a pattern defined by a remainder of at least one of the patterned hard mask layer, the first spacer material, or the second spacer material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2020
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Yung-Sung Yen, Chun-Kuang Chen, Ko-Bin Kao, Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Ru-Gun Liu
  • Patent number: 10748767
    Abstract: Various patterning methods involved with manufacturing semiconductor device structures are disclosed herein. A method for forming a semiconductor device structure (for example, a conductive line) includes forming a first hard mask layer and a second hard mask layer over a dielectric layer. The first hard mask layer has a first opening, and the second hard mask layer has a first trench connected to the first opening. A filling layer is formed in the first opening, where the filling layer has a second opening and a third opening. The first hard mask layer and the dielectric layer are removed through the second opening and the third opening to form a second trench and a third trench in the dielectric layer. The first hard mask layer, the second hard mask layer, and the filling layer can be removed. A conductive layer is formed in the second trench and the third trench.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2020
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yung-Sung Yen, Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Ru-Gun Liu
  • Patent number: 10678142
    Abstract: Various examples of a technique for performing optical proximity correction and for forming a photomask are provided herein. In some examples, a layout is received that includes a shape to be formed on a photomask. A plurality of target lithographic contours are determined for the shape that includes a first target contour for a first set of process conditions and a second target contour that is different from the first target contour for a second set of process conditions. A lithographic simulation of the layout is performed to produce a first simulated contour at the first set of process conditions and a second simulated contour at the second set of process conditions. A modification to the layout is determined based on edge placement errors between the first simulated contour and the first target contour and between the second simulated contour and the second target contour.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Dong-Yo Jheng, Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Shih-Ming Chang, Chih-Jie Lee, Shuo-Yen Chou, Ru-Gun Liu
  • Patent number: 10665467
    Abstract: A method includes forming a first layer on a substrate; forming a first plurality of trenches in the first layer by a first patterning process; and forming a second plurality of trenches in the first layer by second patterning process, wherein a first trench of the second plurality merges with two trenches of the first plurality to form a continuous trench. The method further includes forming spacer features on sidewalls of the first and second pluralities of trenches. The spacer features have a thickness. A width of the first trench is equal to or less than twice the thickness of the spacer features thereby the spacer features merge inside the first trench.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2020
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Ru-Gun Liu, Cheng-Hsiung Tsai, Chung-Ju Lee, Chih-Ming Lai, Chia-Ying Lee, Jyu-Horng Shieh, Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Ming-Feng Shieh, Shau-Lin Shue, Shih-Ming Chang, Tien-I Bao, Tsai-Sheng Gau
  • Publication number: 20200103766
    Abstract: A method of performing a lithography process includes providing a test pattern. The test pattern includes a first set of lines arranged at a first pitch, a second set of lines arranged at the first pitch, and further includes at least one reference line between the first set of lines and the second set of lines. The test pattern is exposed with a radiation source providing an asymmetric, monopole illumination profile to form a test pattern structure on a substrate. The test pattern structure is then measured and a measured distance correlated to an offset of a lithography parameter. A lithography process is adjusted based on the offset of the lithography parameter.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2018
    Publication date: April 2, 2020
    Inventors: Chih-Jie LEE, Shih-Chun HUANG, Shih-Ming CHANG, Ken-Hsien HSIEH, Yung-Sung YEN, Ru-Gun LIU
  • Publication number: 20200083058
    Abstract: A method of fabricating an integrated circuit (IC) uses a first lithography technique having a first resolution and a second lithography technique having a second resolution lower than the first resolution. The method includes deriving a graph from an IC layout, the graph having vertices and edges that connect some of the vertices, the vertices representing IC patterns in the IC layout, the edges representing spacing between the IC patterns that are smaller than the second resolution. The method further includes classifying the edges into at least two types, a first type of edges representing spacing that is smaller than the first resolution, a second type of edges representing spacing that is equal to or greater than the first resolution but smaller than the second resolution.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 13, 2019
    Publication date: March 12, 2020
    Inventors: Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Wen-Li Cheng, Dong-Yo Jheng, Chih-Ming Lai, Ru-Gun Liu
  • Publication number: 20200013630
    Abstract: Methods are disclosed herein for patterning integrated circuit devices, such as fin-like field effect transistor devices. An exemplary method includes forming a material layer that includes an array of fin features, and performing a fin cut process to remove a subset of the fin features. The fin cut process includes exposing the subset of fin features using a cut pattern and removing the exposed subset of the fin features. The cut pattern partially exposes at least one fin feature of the subset of fin features. In implementations where the fin cut process is a fin cut first process, the material layer is a mandrel layer and the fin features are mandrels. In implementations where the fin cut process is a fin cut last process, the material layer is a substrate (or material layer thereof), and the fin features are fins defined in the substrate (or material layer thereof).
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 16, 2019
    Publication date: January 9, 2020
    Inventors: Chin-Yuan Tseng, Wei-Liang Lin, Hsin-Chih Chen, Shi Ning Ju, Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Yung-Sung Yen, Ru-Gun Liu