Patents by Inventor Nobuhiko Umezu

Nobuhiko Umezu 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: 8729650
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device includes a layer including an on-chip lens above a sensor section, and the layer including the on-chip lens is composed of an inorganic film which transmits ultraviolet light. The layer including the on-chip lens may further include a planarizing film located below the on-chip lens. A method of fabricating a solid-state imaging device includes the steps of forming a planarizing film composed of a first inorganic film, forming a second inorganic film on the planarizing film, forming a lens-shaped resist layer on the second inorganic film, and etching back the resist layer to form an on-chip lens composed of the second inorganic film. The first inorganic film constituting the planarizing film and the second inorganic film constituting the on-chip lens preferably transmit ultraviolet light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Kouichi Harada, Yasuhiro Ueda, Nobuhiko Umezu, Kazushi Wada, Yoshinori Toumiya, Takeshi Matsuda
  • Patent number: 8518756
    Abstract: A method for crystallizing a thin film A gate insulating film formed on a substrate so as to cover a gate electrode. A light absorption layer is formed thereon through a buffer layer. Energy lines Lh are applied to the light absorption layer from a continuous-wave laser such as a semiconductor laser. This anneals only a surface side of the light absorption layer Lh and produces a crystalline silicon film obtained by crystallizing the amorphous silicon film using heat generated by thermal conversion of the energy lines Lh at the light absorption layer and heat of the annealing reaction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Nobuhiko Umezu, Koichi Tsukihara, Goh Matsunobu, Yoshio Inagaki, Koichi Tatsuki, Shin Hotta, Katsuya Shirai
  • Patent number: 8404498
    Abstract: A method of forming a semiconductor thin film includes: a step of forming an amorphous semiconductor thin film over a transparent substrate; a step of forming a crystalline semiconductor thin film by irradiating the amorphous semiconductor thin film with laser light to provide heat treatment and thereby crystallizing the amorphous semiconductor thin film; and an inspection step of inspecting the crystalline semiconductor thin film. The inspection step includes a step of obtaining a transmission image of the crystalline semiconductor thin film by irradiating the crystalline semiconductor thin film with light from a rear side of the transparent substrate and taking an image, and a screening step of performing screening of the crystalline semiconductor thin film based on the obtained transmission image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2013
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Hirohisa Amago, Nobuhiko Umezu
  • Publication number: 20120231559
    Abstract: A method of forming a semiconductor thin film includes the steps of: forming an amorphous semiconductor thin film on a substrate; forming a crystalline semiconductor thin film partially in each element region by applying laser light to the amorphous semiconductor thin film to selectively perform a heating process on the amorphous semiconductor thin film, thereby crystallizing the amorphous semiconductor thin film in a region irradiated with the laser light; and inspecting the crystallinity degree of the crystalline semiconductor thin film. The step of inspecting includes the steps of determining a contrast between the luminance of a crystallized region and the luminance of a non-crystallized region by applying light to the crystalline semiconductor thin film and the amorphous semiconductor thin film, and performing screening of the crystalline semiconductor thin film on the basis of the determined contrast.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 22, 2012
    Publication date: September 13, 2012
    Applicant: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Nobuhiko UMEZU, Koichi TSUKIHARA, Hirohisa AMAGO, Go MATSUNOBU, Katsuya SHIRAI
  • Patent number: 8253142
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device includes a layer including an on-chip lens above a sensor section, and the layer including the on-chip lens is composed of an inorganic film which transmits ultraviolet light. The layer including the on-chip lens may further include a planarizing film located below the on-chip lens. A method of fabricating a solid-state imaging device includes the steps of forming a planarizing film composed of a first inorganic film, forming a second inorganic film on the planarizing film, forming a lens-shaped resist layer on the second inorganic film, and etching back the resist layer to form an on-chip lens composed of the second inorganic film. The first inorganic film constituting the planarizing film and the second inorganic film constituting the on-chip lens preferably transmit ultraviolet light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2012
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Kouichi Harada, Yasuhiro Ueda, Nobuhiko Umezu, Kazushi Wada, Yoshinori Toumiya, Takeshi Matsuda
  • Publication number: 20120196395
    Abstract: A method for crystallizing a thin film A gate insulating film formed on a substrate so as to cover a gate electrode. A light absorption layer is formed thereon through a buffer layer. Energy lines Lh are applied to the light absorption layer from a continuous-wave laser such as a semiconductor laser. This anneals only a surface side of the light absorption layer Lh and produces a crystalline silicon film obtained by crystallizing the amorphous silicon film using heat generated by thermal conversion of the energy lines Lh at the light absorption layer and heat of the annealing reaction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 6, 2012
    Publication date: August 2, 2012
    Applicant: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Nobuhiko UMEZU, Koichi TSUKIHARA, Goh MATSUNOBU, Yoshio INAGAKI, Koichi TATSUKI, Shin HOTTA, Katsuya SHIRAI
  • Patent number: 8193008
    Abstract: A method of forming a semiconductor thin film includes the steps of: forming an amorphous semiconductor thin film on a substrate; forming a crystalline semiconductor thin film partially in each element region by applying laser light to the amorphous semiconductor thin film to selectively perform a heating process on the amorphous semiconductor thin film, thereby crystallizing the amorphous semiconductor thin film in a region irradiated with the laser light; and inspecting the crystallinity degree of the crystalline semiconductor thin film. The step of inspecting includes the steps of determining a contrast between the luminance of a crystallized region and the luminance of a non-crystallized region by applying light to the crystalline semiconductor thin film and the amorphous semiconductor thin film, and performing screening of the crystalline semiconductor thin film on the basis of the determined contrast.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2012
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Nobuhiko Umezu, Koichi Tsukihara, Hirohisa Amago, Go Matsunobu, Katsuya Shirai
  • Patent number: 8168518
    Abstract: A gate insulating film (13) is formed on a substrate (1) so as to cover a gate electrode (11), and an amorphous silicon film (semiconductor thin film) (15) is further formed. A light absorption layer (19) is formed thereon through a buffer layer (17). Energy lines Lh are applied to the light absorption layer (19) from a continuous-wave laser such as a semiconductor laser. This oxidizes only a surface side of the light absorption layer Lh and produces a beautiful crystalline silicon film (15a) obtained by crystallizing the amorphous silicon film (15) using heat generated by thermal conversion of the energy lines Lh at the light absorption layer (19) and heat of the oxidation reaction. This provides a method for crystallizing a thin film with good controllability at low costs achieved with simpler process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Nobuhiko Umezu, Koichi Tsukihara, Goh Matsunobu, Yoshio Inagaki, Koichi Tatsuki, Shin Hotta, Katsuya Shirai
  • Patent number: 7820531
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing a semiconductor device includes the steps of: modifying a semiconductor film by applying a laser beam; and forming a semiconductor device on the modified semiconductor film. In the step of modifying the semiconductor film, the laser beam and the substrate are moved relative to each other in a first direction and a second direction which is opposite to the first direction, a change in an optical characteristic between an area irradiated with the laser beam and an area which is not irradiated with the laser beam in the substrate or an optical characteristic of the irradiated area is measured in each of the first and second directions, and irradiation power of the laser beam is modulated so that the difference between a measurement result in the first direction and a measurement result in the second direction lies in a predetermined range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2010
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Goh Matsunobu, Koichi Tatsuki, Yoshio Inagaki, Nobuhiko Umezu, Koichi Tsukihara
  • Publication number: 20100197050
    Abstract: A method of forming a semiconductor thin film includes the steps of: forming an amorphous semiconductor thin film on a substrate; partially forming a crystalline semiconductor thin film for each element region by irradiating laser light to the amorphous semiconductor thin film to selectively perform a heating treatment on the amorphous semiconductor thin film, and crystallizing an amorphous semiconductor thin film corresponding to an irradiation region; and inspecting crystallinity of the crystalline semiconductor thin film. The inspection step includes the steps of obtaining an optical step based on an optical phase difference between a crystallized region and an uncrystallized region by irradiating light to the crystalline semiconductor thin film and the amorphous semiconductor thin film, and evaluating one or both of sorting of the crystalline semiconductor thin film and control of crystallinity of the crystalline semiconductor thin film, based on the obtained optical step.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 28, 2010
    Publication date: August 5, 2010
    Applicant: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Nobuhiko Umezu, Yoshio Inagaki
  • Publication number: 20100159619
    Abstract: A gate insulating film (13) is formed on a substrate (1) so as to cover a gate electrode (11), and an amorphous silicon film (semiconductor thin film) (15) is further formed. A light absorption layer (19) is formed thereon through a buffer layer (17). Energy lines Lh are applied to the light absorption layer (19) from a continuous-wave laser such as a semiconductor laser. This oxidizes only a surface side of the light absorption layer Lh and produces a beautiful crystalline silicon film (15a) obtained by crystallizing the amorphous silicon film (15) using heat generated by thermal conversion of the energy lines Lh at the light absorption layer (19) and heat of the oxidation reaction. This provides a method for crystallizing a thin film with good controllability at low costs achieved with simpler process.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 30, 2008
    Publication date: June 24, 2010
    Applicant: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Nobuhiko Umezu, Koichi Tsukihara, Goh Matsunobu, Yoshio Inagaki, Koichi Tatsuki, Shin Hotta, Katsuya Shirai
  • Publication number: 20090298208
    Abstract: A method of forming a semiconductor thin film includes: a step of forming an amorphous semiconductor thin film over a transparent substrate; a step of forming a crystalline semiconductor thin film by irradiating the amorphous semiconductor thin film with laser light to provide heat treatment and thereby crystallizing the amorphous semiconductor thin film; and an inspection step of inspecting the crystalline semiconductor thin film. The inspection step includes a step of obtaining a transmission image of the crystalline semiconductor thin film by irradiating the crystalline semiconductor thin film with light from a rear side of the transparent substrate and taking an image, and a screening step of performing screening of the crystalline semiconductor thin film based on the obtained transmission image.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 7, 2009
    Publication date: December 3, 2009
    Applicant: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hirohisa Amago, Nobuhiko Umezu
  • Publication number: 20090291511
    Abstract: A method of forming a semiconductor thin film includes the steps of: forming an amorphous semiconductor thin film on a substrate; forming a crystalline semiconductor thin film partially in each element region by applying laser light to the amorphous semiconductor thin film to selectively perform a heating process on the amorphous semiconductor thin film, thereby crystallizing the amorphous semiconductor thin film in a region irradiated with the laser light; and inspecting the crystallinity degree of the crystalline semiconductor thin film. The step of inspecting includes the steps of determining a contrast between the luminance of a crystallized region and the luminance of a non-crystallized region by applying light to the crystalline semiconductor thin film and the amorphous semiconductor thin film, and performing screening of the crystalline semiconductor thin film on the basis of the determined contrast.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 20, 2009
    Publication date: November 26, 2009
    Applicant: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Nobuhiko Umezu, Koichi Tsukihara, Hirohisa Amago, Go Matsunobu, Katsuya Shirai
  • Publication number: 20090095962
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing a semiconductor device includes the steps of: modifying a semiconductor film by applying a laser beam; and forming a semiconductor device on the modified semiconductor film. In the step of modifying the semiconductor film, the laser beam and the substrate are moved relative to each other in a first direction and a second direction which is opposite to the first direction, a change in an optical characteristic between an area irradiated with the laser beam and an area which is not irradiated with the laser beam in the substrate or an optical characteristic of the irradiated area is measured in each of the first and second directions, and irradiation power of the laser beam is modulated so that the difference between a measurement result in the first direction and a measurement result in the second direction lies in a predetermined range.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 8, 2008
    Publication date: April 16, 2009
    Applicant: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Goh Matsunobu, Koichi Tatsuki, Yoshio Inagaki, Nobuhiko Umezu, Koichi Tsukihara
  • Publication number: 20080315340
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device includes a layer including an on-chip lens above a sensor section, and the layer including the on-chip lens is composed of an inorganic film which transmits ultraviolet light. The layer including the on-chip lens may further include a planarizing film located below the on-chip lens. A method of fabricating a solid-state imaging device includes the steps of forming a planarizing film composed of a first inorganic film, forming a second inorganic film on the planarizing film, forming a lens-shaped resist layer on the second inorganic film, and etching back the resist layer to form an on-chip lens composed of the second inorganic film. The first inorganic film constituting the planarizing film and the second inorganic film constituting the on-chip lens preferably transmit ultraviolet light.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 14, 2008
    Publication date: December 25, 2008
    Applicant: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Kouichi Harada, Yasuhiro Ueda, Nobuhiko Umezu, Kazushi Wada, Yoshinori Toumiya, Takeshi Matsuda
  • Publication number: 20050252894
    Abstract: A laser annealing device (10) includes a laser oscillator (12), radiating a pulsed laser light beam of a preset period, and an illuminating optical system (15) for illuminating a pulsed laser light beam to an amorphous silicon film (1). The illuminating optical system (15) manages control for moving a laser spot so that a plural number of light pulses will be illuminated on the same location on the amorphous silicon film (1). The laser oscillator (12) radiates a laser light beam of a pulse generation period shorter than the reference period. The reference period is a time interval as from the radiation timing of illumination of a pulsed laser light beam on the surface of the film (1) until the timing of reversion of the substrate temperature raised due to the illumination of the laser light beam to the original substrate temperature.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 8, 2005
    Publication date: November 17, 2005
    Inventors: Yutaka Imai, Nobuhiko Umezu, Akihiko Asano, Shin Hotta, Koichi Tatsuki, Atsushi Fukumoto, Shigeo Kubota
  • Patent number: 6933185
    Abstract: The state of a polysilicon film formed by excimer laser annealing an amorphous silicon film is to be evaluated. When the amorphous silicon film is annealed to form a polysilicon film, linearity or periodicity presents itself in the spatial structure of the film surface of the polysilicon film formed depending on the energy applied to the amorphous silicon during annealing. This linearity or periodicity is processed as an image and represented numerically from the image by exploiting the linearity or periodicity. The state of the polysilicon film is checked based on the numerical results.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2005
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Wada, Yoshimi Hirata, Ayumu Taguchi, Koichi Tatsuki, Nobuhiko Umezu, Shigeo Kubota, Tetsuo Abe, Akifumi Ooshima, Tadashi Hattori, Makoto Takatoku, Yukiyasu Sugano
  • Patent number: 6798498
    Abstract: A polysilicon film evaluation apparatus is provided which enables objective automatic evaluation of the status of a polysilicon film, as formed to a high accuracy in a contact-free fashion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2004
    Assignees: Sony Corporation, Sony Precision Technology Inc.
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Wada, Koichi Tatsuki, Nobuhiko Umezu, Eiji Isomura, Tetsuo Abe, Tadashi Hattori, Akifumi Ooshima, Makoto Uragaki, Yoshiyuki Noguchi, Hiroyuki Tamaki, Masataka Ebe, Tomohiro Ishiguro, Yasuyuki Kato
  • Publication number: 20040097103
    Abstract: A laser annealing device (10) includes a laser oscillator (12), radiating a pulsed laser light beam of a preset period, and an illuminating optical system (15) for illuminating a pulsed laser light beam to an amorphous silicon film (1). The illuminating optical system (15) manages control for moving a laser spot so that a plural number of light pulses will be illuminated on the same location on the amorphous silicon film (1). The laser oscillator (12) radiates a laser light beam of a pulse generation period shorter than the reference period. The reference period is a time interval as from the radiation timing of illumination of a pulsed laser light beam on the surface of the film (1) until the timing of reversion of the substrate temperature raised due to the illumination of the laser light beam to the original substrate temperature.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 15, 2003
    Publication date: May 20, 2004
    Inventors: Yutaka Imai, Nobuhiko Umezu, Akihiko Asano, Shin Hotta, Koichi Tatsuki, Atsushi Fukumoto, Shigeo Kubota
  • Patent number: RE40136
    Abstract: A multilayer optical disk having an information storage layer which can as well as be reproduced by a general purpose reproducing apparatus, for example, a compact disk player, and from which information can be read from other information storage layers by using an exclusive reproducing apparatus. The method of manufacturing a multilayer disk comprises the steps of forming a first substrate having a first information storage area enabling reproduction of information therein with a first light beam having a wavelength of 770 nm to 830 nm; forming a second substrate having a second information storage area enabling reproduction of information therein with a second light beam having a wavelength of 615-655 nm but which is relatively transparent with respect to said first light beam; and bonding said first substrate to said second substrate together without said first and second said information areas facing each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2008
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Masahiko Kaneko, Nobuhiko Umezu, Katsuhisa Aratani, Ariyoshi Nakaoki