Patents by Inventor Michael Kuchel

Michael Kuchel 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: 7948638
    Abstract: Interferometric scanning method(s) and apparatus for measuring test optics having aspherical surfaces including those with large departures from spherical. A reference wavefront is generated from a known origin along a scanning axis. A test optic is aligned on the scanning axis and selectively moved along it relative to the known origin so that the reference wavefront intersects the test optic at the apex of the aspherical surface and at one or more radial positions where the reference wavefront and the aspheric surface intersect at points of common tangency (“zones”) to generate interferograms containing phase information about the differences in optical path length between the center of the test optic and the one or more radial positions. The interferograms are imaged onto a detector to provide an electronic signal carrying the phase information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2011
    Assignee: Zygo Corporation
    Inventor: Michael Küchel
  • Patent number: 7889356
    Abstract: Methods include simultaneously diffracting a beam in a first direction and a second direction orthogonal to the first direction to form a once-diffracted beam, where the beam comprises a wavefront shaped by a test object, simultaneously diffracting the once-diffracted beam in orthogonal directions to form a twice-diffracted beam, overlapping at least two orders of the twice-diffracted beam in each direction to form an interference pattern at a detector, the interference pattern being formed by multiple copies of the wavefront laterally sheared in the first direction and multiple copies of the wavefront laterally sheared in the second direction; and determining information about the wavefront based on the interference pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Assignee: Zygo Corporation
    Inventor: Michael Küchel
  • Publication number: 20100141959
    Abstract: Methods include simultaneously diffracting a beam in a first direction and a second direction orthogonal to the first direction to form a once-diffracted beam, where the beam comprises a wavefront shaped by a test object, simultaneously diffracting the once-diffracted beam in orthogonal directions to form a twice-diffracted beam, overlapping at least two orders of the twice-diffracted beam in each direction to form an interference pattern at a detector, the interference pattern being formed by multiple copies of the wavefront laterally sheared in the first direction and multiple copies of the wavefront laterally sheared in the second direction; and determining information about the wavefront based on the interference pattern.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 8, 2009
    Publication date: June 10, 2010
    Inventor: Michael Küchel
  • Publication number: 20100110446
    Abstract: Interferometric scanning method(s) and apparatus for measuring test optics having aspherical surfaces including those with large departures from spherical. A reference wavefront is generated from a known origin along a scanning axis. A test optic is aligned on the scanning axis and selectively moved along it relative to the known origin so that the reference wavefront intersects the test optic at the apex of the aspherical surface and at one or more radial positions where the reference wavefront and the aspheric surface intersect at points of common tangency (“zones”) to generate interferograms containing phase information about the differences in optical path length between the center of the test optic and the one or more radial positions. The interferograms are imaged onto a detector to provide an electronic signal carrying the phase information.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 16, 2009
    Publication date: May 6, 2010
    Inventor: Michael Küchel
  • Patent number: 7612893
    Abstract: Interferometric scanning method(s) and apparatus for measuring test optics having aspherical surfaces including those with large departures from spherical. A reference wavefront is generated from a known origin along a scanning axis. A test optic is aligned on the scanning axis and selectively moved along it relative to the known origin so that the reference wavefront intersects the test optic at the apex of the aspherical surface and at one or more radial positions where the reference wavefront and the aspheric surface intersect at points of common tangency (“zones”) to generate interferograms containing phase information about the differences in optical path length between the center of the test optic and the one or more radial positions. The interferograms are imaged onto a detector to provide an electronic signal carrying the phase information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Assignee: Zygo Corporation
    Inventor: Michael Küchel
  • Publication number: 20080068613
    Abstract: Interferometric scanning method(s) and apparatus for measuring test optics having aspherical surfaces including those with large departures from spherical. A reference wavefront is generated from a known origin along a scanning axis. A test optic is aligned on the scanning axis and selectively moved along it relative to the known origin so that the reference wavefront intersects the test optic at the apex of the aspherical surface and at one or more radial positions where the reference wavefront and the aspheric surface intersect at points of common tangency (“zones”) to generate interferograms containing phase information about the differences in optical path length between the center of the test optic and the one or more radial positions. The interferograms are imaged onto a detector to provide an electronic signal carrying the phase information.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 14, 2007
    Publication date: March 20, 2008
    Inventor: Michael Kuchel
  • Patent number: 7289224
    Abstract: An optical system includes a photolithography system, a low coherence interferometer, and a detector. The photolithography system is configured to illuminate a portion of an object with a light pattern and has a reference surface. The low coherence interferometer has a reference optical path and a measurement optical path. Light that passes along the reference optical path reflects at least once from the reference surface and light that passes along the measurement optical path reflects at least once from the object. The detector is configured to detect a low coherence interference signal including light that has passed along the reference optical path and light that has passed along the measurement optical path. The low coherence interference signal is indicative of a spatial relationship between the reference surface and the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2007
    Assignee: Zygo Corporation
    Inventors: Xavier Colonna De Lega, Peter J. De Groot, Michael Kuchel
  • Patent number: 7218403
    Abstract: Interferometric scanning method(s) and apparatus for measuring optics either having aspherical surfaces or that produce aspherical wavefronts. A test optic is aligned and moved with respect to a scanning axis relative to the origin of a known spherical wavefront that is generated with a reference surface to intersect the test optic at the apex of the aspherical surface and at radial zones where the spherical wavefront and the aspheric surface possess common tangents. The test surface is imaged onto a space resolving detector to form interferograms containing phase information about the differences in optical path length between the reference surface and the test surface while the axial distance which the test optic moves relative to the spherical reference surface is interferometrically measured. The deviation in the shape of the aspheric surface from its design in a direction normal to the aspheric surface is determined and reported.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2007
    Assignee: Zygo Corporation
    Inventor: Michael Küchel
  • Patent number: 6972849
    Abstract: Interferometric scanning method(s) and apparatus for measuring rotationally and non-rotationally symmetric test optics having spherical, mildly aspherical and multiple, mildly aspherical surfaces. At least a partial spherical wavefront is generated from a known origin along a scanning axis through the use of a spherical reference surface positioned along the scanning axis upstream of the known origin. A test optic is aligned with respect to the scanning axis and selectively moved along said scanning axis relative to the known origin so that the spherical wavefront intersects the test optic at the apex of the aspherical surface and at one or more radial positions where the spherical wavefront and the aspheric surface intersect at points of common tangency to generate interferograms containing phase information about the differences in optical path length between the center of the test optic and the one or more radial positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2005
    Inventor: Michael Küchel
  • Patent number: 6943896
    Abstract: Interferometric apparatus and methodology for precisely measuring the shape of rotationally and non-rotationally symmetric optical surfaces comprising an illumination source with two wavelengths, a transmission flat with a reference surface, a basic optical system for producing a wavefront of predetermined shape, a compensation component having an aspheric wavefront shaping surface and an aspheric reference surface. The aspheric shaping surface modifies the predetermined wavefront so that it impinges on the aspheric reference surface with a shape substantially that same as that of aspheric reference surface. For a given aspheric reference surface, the radius or curvature and spacing of the aspheric shaping surface are optimized so that its aspheric departure is no larger than that of the aspheric reference surface. Precise alignment in six degrees of freedom is provided via feedback control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2005
    Assignee: Zygo Corporation
    Inventor: Michael Kuchel
  • Publication number: 20050157311
    Abstract: Interferometric scanning method(s) and apparatus for measuring rotationally and non-rotationally symmetric test optics either having aspherical surfaces or that produce aspherical wavefronts. A spherical or partial spherical wavefront is generated from a known location along a scanning axis though the use of a decollimator carrying a spherical reference surface. The test optic is aligned with respect to the scanning axis and selectively moved along it relative to the known origin so that the spherical wavefront intersects the test optic at the apex of the aspherical surface and at radial zones where the spherical wavefront and the aspheric surface possess common tangents.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 24, 2005
    Publication date: July 21, 2005
    Inventor: Michael Kuchel
  • Publication number: 20050083537
    Abstract: Interferometric apparatus and methodology for precisely measuring the shape of rotationally and non-rotationally symmetric optical surfaces comprising an illumination source with two wavelengths, a transmission flat with a reference surface, a basic optical system for producing a wavefront of predetermined shape, a compensation component having an aspheric wavefront shaping surface and an aspheric reference surface. The aspheric shaping surface modifies the predetermined wavefront so that it impinges on the aspheric reference surface with a shape substantially that same as that of aspheric reference surface. For a given aspheric reference surface, the radius or curvature and spacing of the aspheric shaping surface are optimized so that its aspheric departure is no larger than that of the aspheric reference surface. Precise alignment in six degrees of freedom is provided via feedback control.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2004
    Publication date: April 21, 2005
    Inventor: Michael Kuchel
  • Patent number: 6879402
    Abstract: Interferometric scanning method(s) and apparatus for measuring rotationally and non-rotationally symmetric test optics either having aspherical surfaces or that produce aspherical wavefronts. A spherical or partial spherical wavefront is generated from a known origin along an optical axis. The test optic is aligned with respect the optical axis and selectively moved along it relative to the known origin so that the spherical wavefront intersects the test optic at the apex of the aspherical surface and at radial positions where the spherical wavefront and the aspheric surface intersect at points of common tangency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2005
    Assignee: Zygo Corporation
    Inventor: Michael Küchel
  • Publication number: 20050057757
    Abstract: An optical system includes a photolithography system, a low coherence interferometer, and a detector. The photolithography system is configured to illuminate a portion of an object with a light pattern and has a reference surface. The low coherence interferometer has a reference optical path and a measurement optical path. Light that passes along the reference optical path reflects at least once from the reference surface and light that passes along the measurement optical path reflects at least once from the object. The detector is configured to detect a low coherence interference signal including light that has passed along the reference optical path and light that has passed along the measurement optical path. The low coherence interference signal is indicative of a spatial relationship between the reference surface and the object.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 15, 2004
    Publication date: March 17, 2005
    Inventors: Xavier Colonna De Lega, Peter De Groot, Michael Kuchel
  • Patent number: 6816267
    Abstract: An optical sphere of nominal radius is positioned and supported within an assembly so that is can be activated with a predetermined motion with respect to an incoming converging spherical wavefront from an interferometer to calibrate the interferometer by determining the differences between the converging spherical wavefront and the reflected wavefront from portions of the area of the optical sphere as sampled thereover. The nominal optical sphere supported and sampled in this way mimics a “perfect” comparison sphere from which the systematic error of the interferometer wavefront may be determined. The optical sphere is preferably hollow and composed of Zerodur®. Internal magnets in conjunction with external induction coils provide motion control while the optical sphere is mounted on an air bearing for freedom of rotation and safety in transportation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2004
    Assignee: Zygo Corporation
    Inventors: Christopher James Evans, Michael Küchel, Carl A. Zanoni
  • Patent number: 6781700
    Abstract: Interferometric scanning method(s) and apparatus for measuring rotationally and non-rotationally symmetric test optics either having aspherical surfaces or that produce aspherical wavefronts by comparing known and unknown spherical and aspherical shapes. Preferably, a spherical or partial spherical wavefront or reflecting surface is defined with respect to a known origin along a scanning axis. The test optic is aligned with respect the scanning axis and selectively moved along it relative to the known origin so that the spherical shape intersects the test optic at the apex of the aspherical shape and at radial positions where the spherical shape and the aspheric shape intersect at points of common tangency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2004
    Inventor: Michael Küchel
  • Patent number: 6734979
    Abstract: A method with a traceable calibration for reducing the uncertainty in the precision measurement of aspheric surfaces and wavefronts. A transmission sphere is mounted in an interferometer and its emergent wavefront is calibrated by comparing it to an optical sphere that is moved and sampled in a predetermined manner to make it act like a substantially “perfect” sphere mounted on a slideway. Afterwards, the calibrated wavefront from the transmission sphere is used to measure a spherical artifact mounted on the slideway to calibrate its surface. A transmission asphere is then mounted in the interferometer, and its emergent wavefront is calibrated by comparing it to the calibrated spherical artifact mounted on the slideway. The calibrated aspheric wavefront from the interferometer is then used to measure an aspherical artifact mounted on the slideway to determine is surface shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Assignee: Zygo Corporation
    Inventors: Christopher James Evans, Michael Küchel
  • Patent number: 6717679
    Abstract: Interferometric method and apparatus for measuring aspheric surfaces and wavefronts by directing a spherical wavefront of known design at a wavelength &lgr;1 at a reference sphere with known measured surface properties to generate a first electronic signal containing information about the optical path differences between the reference and measurement wavefronts generated an interferometer and directing an aspherical wavefront of known design at a wavelength &lgr;2 at an aspherical surface or wavefront to be tested to generate a second electronic signal containing information about the optical path differences between the reference and measurement wavefronts generated by the interferometer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2004
    Assignee: Zygo Corporation
    Inventor: Michael Küchel
  • Patent number: 6717680
    Abstract: The invention extends and improves the basic technique of phase-shifting interferometry by minimizing the measurement errors introduced by additional unwanted reflections from surfaces and surface defects far from the surface of interest. The inventive phase shifting interferometer includes at least two independent phase shifters. The two phase shifters operate cooperatively to produce a particular desired cavity interference modulation frequency while the modulation frequency of interference produced from other sources is significantly altered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 6, 2004
    Inventors: Michael Kuchel, Leslie L. Deck
  • Patent number: 6714308
    Abstract: Interferometric apparatus and methods by which aspheric surfaces and wavefronts may be precisely measured. The apparatus is provided with two modes of operation. In one mode, the apparatus is configured generally as a Fizeau interferometer in which an aspheric reference surface is used to permit the rapid, robust measurement of the difference between the aspheric reference surface and an aspheric test optic or wavefront. In another mode of operation, the aspheric test surface itself is completely characterized through in-situ use of an interferometric scanning technique using a spherical reference surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2004
    Assignee: Zygo Corporation
    Inventors: Christopher James Evans, Michael Küchel