Patents by Inventor Rodney Smedt

Rodney Smedt 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: 20150052723
    Abstract: Methods and systems for fabricating platelets of a monochromator for X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) are disclosed. For example, a method of fabricating a platelet of a monochromator for X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy involves placing a crystal on a stage of an X-ray measuring apparatus, the crystal having a top surface. The method also involves measuring, by X-ray reflection, an orientation of a crystal plane of the crystal, the crystal plane beneath the top surface of the crystal and having a primary axis. The method also involves measuring a surface angle of the top surface of the crystal by measuring a light beam reflected from the top surface of the crystal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 23, 2013
    Publication date: February 26, 2015
    Inventors: Jeffrey T. Fanton, Rodney Smedt, Bruno W. Schueler, David A. Reed
  • Publication number: 20130314710
    Abstract: Methods and systems for monitoring semiconductor fabrication processes are provided. A system may include a stage configured to support a specimen and coupled to a measurement device. The measurement device may include an illumination system and a detection system. The illumination system and the detection system may be configured such that the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of the specimen. For example, the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of a specimen including: but not limited to, critical dimension and overlay misregistration; defects and thin film characteristics; critical dimension and defects; critical dimension and thin film characteristics; critical dimension, thin film characteristics and defects; macro defects and micro defects; flatness, thin film characteristics and defects; overlay misregistration and flatness; an implant characteristic and defects; and adhesion and thickness.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 5, 2013
    Publication date: November 28, 2013
    Applicant: KLA-TENCOR TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Ady Levy, Kyle A. Brown, Rodney Smedt, Gary Bultman, Mehrdad Nikoonahad, Dan Wack, John Fielden, Ibrahim Abdul-Halim
  • Patent number: 8502979
    Abstract: Methods and systems for monitoring semiconductor fabrication processes are provided. A system may include a stage configured to support a specimen and coupled to a measurement device. The measurement device may include an illumination system and a detection system. The illumination system and the detection system may be configured such that the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of the specimen. For example, the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of a specimen including: but not limited to, critical dimension and overlay misregistration; defects and thin film characteristics; critical dimension and defects; critical dimension and thin film characteristics; critical dimension, thin film characteristics and defects; macro defects and micro defects; flatness, thin film characteristics and defects; overlay misregistration and flatness; an implant characteristic and defects; and adhesion and thickness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2013
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corp.
    Inventors: Ady Levy, Kyle A. Brown, Rodney Smedt, Gary Bultman, Mehrdad Nikoonahad, Dan Wack, John Fielden, Ibrahim Abdul-Halim
  • Publication number: 20130077742
    Abstract: Systems and methods for characterizing films by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) are disclosed. For example, a system for characterizing a film may include an X-ray source for generating an X-ray beam having an energy below the k-edge of silicon. A sample holder may be included for positioning a sample in a pathway of the X-ray beam. A first detector may be included for collecting an XPS signal generated by bombarding the sample with the X-ray beam. A second detector may be included for collecting an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) signal generated by bombarding the sample with the X-ray beam. Monitoring/estimation of the primary X-ray flux at the analysis site may be provided by X-ray flux detectors near and at the analysis site. Both XRF and XPS signals may be normalized to the (estimated) primary X-ray flux to enable film thickness or dose measurement without the need to employ signal intensity ratios.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 27, 2011
    Publication date: March 28, 2013
    Inventors: Bruno W. Schueler, David A. Reed, Jeffrey T. Fanton, Rodney Smedt
  • Publication number: 20130039460
    Abstract: Methods and systems for monitoring semiconductor fabrication processes are provided. A system may include a stage configured to support a specimen and coupled to a measurement device. The measurement device may include an illumination system and a detection system. The illumination system and the detection system may be configured such that the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of the specimen. For example, the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of a specimen including: but not limited to, critical dimension and overlay misregistration; defects and thin film characteristics; critical dimension and defects; critical dimension and thin film characteristics; critical dimension, thin film characteristics and defects; macro defects and micro defects; flatness, thin film characteristics and defects; overlay misregistration and flatness; an implant characteristic and defects; and adhesion and thickness.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 9, 2012
    Publication date: February 14, 2013
    Applicant: KLA-TENCOR TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Ady Levy, Kyle A. Brown, Rodney Smedt, Gary Bultman, Mehrdad Nikoonahad, Dan Wack, John Fielden, Ibrahim Abdul-Halim
  • Patent number: 8179530
    Abstract: Methods and systems for monitoring semiconductor fabrication processes are provided. A system may include a stage configured to support a specimen and coupled to a measurement device. The measurement device may include an illumination system and a detection system. The illumination system and the detection system may be configured such that the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of the specimen. For example, the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of a specimen including: but not limited to, critical dimension and overlay misregistration; defects and thin film characteristics; critical dimension and defects; critical dimension and thin film characteristics; critical dimension, thin film characteristics and defects; macro defects and micro defects; flatness, thin film characteristics and defects; overlay misregistration and flatness; an implant characteristic and defects; and adhesion and thickness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2012
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corp.
    Inventors: Ady Levy, Kyle A. Brown, Rodney Smedt, Gary Bultman, Mehrdad Nikoonahad, Dan Wack, John Fielden, Ibrahim Abdul-Halim
  • Publication number: 20100271621
    Abstract: Methods and systems for monitoring semiconductor fabrication processes are provided. A system may include a stage configured to support a specimen and coupled to a measurement device. The measurement device may include an illumination system and a detection system. The illumination system and the detection system may be configured such that the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of the specimen. For example, the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of a specimen including: but not limited to, critical dimension and overlay misregistration; defects and thin film characteristics; critical dimension and defects; critical dimension and thin film characteristics; critical dimension, thin film characteristics and defects; macro defects and micro defects; flatness, thin film characteristics and defects; overlay misregistration and flatness; an implant characteristic and defects; and adhesion and thickness.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 5, 2010
    Publication date: October 28, 2010
    Applicant: KLA-TENCOR TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Ady Levy, Kyle A. Brown, Rodney Smedt, Gary Bultman, Mehrdad Nikoonahad, Dan Wack, John Fielden, Ibrahim Abdul-Halim
  • Patent number: 7751046
    Abstract: Methods and systems for monitoring semiconductor fabrication processes are provided. A system may include a stage configured to support a specimen and coupled to a measurement device. The measurement device may include an illumination system and a detection system. The illumination system and the detection system may be configured such that the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of the specimen. For example, the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of a specimen including, but not limited to, critical dimension and overlay misregistration. In this manner, a measurement device may perform multiple optical and/or non-optical metrology and/or inspection techniques.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2010
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corp.
    Inventors: Ady Levy, Kyle A. Brown, Rodney Smedt, Gary Bultman, Mehrdad Nikoonahad, Dan Wack, John Fielden, Ibrahim Abdulhalim
  • Patent number: 7433037
    Abstract: A periodic structure is illuminated by polychromatic electromagnetic radiation. Radiation from the structure is collected and divided into two rays having different polarization states. The two rays are detected from which one or more parameters of the periodic structure may be derived. In another embodiment, when the periodic structure is illuminated by a polychromatic electromagnetic radiation, the collected radiation from the structure is passed through a polarization element having a polarization plane. The element and the polychromatic beam are controlled so that the polarization plane of the element are at two or more different orientations with respect to the plane of incidence of the polychromatic beam. Radiation that has passed through the element is detected when the plane of polarization is at the two or more positions so that one or more parameters of the periodic structure may be derived from the detected signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2008
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Guoheng Zhao, Kenneth P. Gross, Rodney Smedt, Mehrdad Nikoonahad
  • Publication number: 20070188745
    Abstract: A system for simultaneously inspecting the frontsides and backsides of semiconductor wafers for defects is disclosed. The system rotates the semiconductor wafer while the frontside and backside surfaces are generally simultaneously optically scanned for defects. Rotation is induced by providing contact between the beveled edges of the semiconductor wafer and roller bearings rotationally driven by a motor. The wafer is supported in a tilted or semi-upright orientation such that support is provided by gravity. This tilted supporting orientation permits both the frontside and the backside of the wafer to be viewed simultaneously by a frontside inspection device and a backside inspection device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 11, 2007
    Publication date: August 16, 2007
    Applicant: KLA-Tencor Corporation
    Inventor: Rodney Smedt
  • Patent number: 7193715
    Abstract: A method for measuring overlay in semiconductor wafers includes obtaining diffraction based and imaging based measurements of the same target. The two separate measurements are then combined in a way that is consistent to both measurements to obtain an overlay measurement that has high precision and large range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2007
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Rodney Smedt, Abdurrahman Sezginer, Hsu-Ting Huang
  • Publication number: 20060290931
    Abstract: A periodic structure is illuminated by polychromatic electromagnetic radiation. Radiation from the structure is collected and divided into two rays having different polarization states. The two rays are detected from which one or more parameters of the periodic structure may be derived. In another embodiment, when the periodic structure is illuminated by a polychromatic electromagnetic radiation, the collected radiation from the structure is passed through a polarization element having a polarization plane. The element and the polychromatic beam are controlled so that the polarization plane of the element are at two or more different orientations with respect to the plane of incidence of the polychromatic beam. Radiation that has passed through the element is detected when the plane of polarization is at the two or more positions so that one or more parameters of the periodic structure may be derived from the detected signals.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 20, 2006
    Publication date: December 28, 2006
    Inventors: Guoheng Zhao, Kenneth Gross, Rodney Smedt, Mehrdad Nikoonahad
  • Publication number: 20060232770
    Abstract: A system for inspecting specimens such as semiconductor wafers is provided. The system provides scanning of dual-sided specimens using a damping arrangement which filters unwanted acoustic and seismic vibration, including an optics arrangement which scans a first portion of the specimen and a translation or rotation arrangement for translating or rotating the specimen to a position where the optics arrangement can scan the remaining portion(s) of the specimen. The system further includes means for stitching the scans together, thereby providing both damping of the specimen and the need for smaller and less expensive optical elements.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 1, 2006
    Publication date: October 19, 2006
    Inventors: Paul Sullivan, George Kren, Rodney Smedt, Hans Hansen, David Shortt, Daniel Kavaldjiev, Christopher Bevis
  • Publication number: 20060187445
    Abstract: A system for simultaneously inspecting the frontsides and backsides of semiconductor wafers for defects is disclosed. The system rotates the semiconductor wafer while the frontside and backside surfaces are generally simultaneously optically scanned for defects. Rotation is induced by providing contact between the beveled edges of the semiconductor wafer and roller bearings rotationally driven by a motor. The wafer is supported in a tilted or semi-upright orientation such that support is provided by gravity. This tilted supporting orientation permits both the frontside and the backside of the wafer to be viewed simultaneously by a frontside inspection device and a backside inspection device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 19, 2006
    Publication date: August 24, 2006
    Applicant: KLA-Tencor Corporation
    Inventor: Rodney Smedt
  • Publication number: 20050099627
    Abstract: A periodic structure is illuminated by polychromatic electromagnetic radiation. Radiation from the structure is collected and divided into two rays having different polarization states. The two rays are detected from which one or more parameters of the periodic structure may be derived. In another embodiment, when the periodic structure is illuminated by a poly chromatic electromagnetic radiation, the collected radiation from the structure is passed through a polarization element having a polarization plane. The element and the polychromatic beam are controlled so that the polarization plane of the element are at two or more different orientations with respect to the plane of incidence of the polychromatic beam. Radiation that has passed through the element is detected when the plane of polarization is at the two or more positions so that one or more parameters of the periodic structure may be derived from the detected signals.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 17, 2004
    Publication date: May 12, 2005
    Inventors: Guoheng Zhao, Kenneth Gross, Rodney Smedt, Mehrdad Nikoonahad
  • Publication number: 20050073676
    Abstract: A system for simultaneously inspecting the frontsides and backsides of semiconductor wafers for defects is disclosed. The system rotates the semiconductor wafer while the frontside and backside surfaces are generally simultaneously optically scanned for defects. Rotation is induced by providing contact between the beveled edges of the semiconductor wafer and roller bearings rotationally driven by a motor. The wafer is supported in a tilted or semi-upright orientation such that support is provided by gravity. This tilted supporting orientation permits both the frontside and the backside of the wafer to be viewed simultaneously by a frontside inspection device and a backside inspection device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 5, 2003
    Publication date: April 7, 2005
    Inventor: Rodney Smedt
  • Patent number: 6870617
    Abstract: The invention is a method and apparatus for determining characteristics of a sample. The system and method provide for detecting a monitor beam reflected off a mirror, where the monitor beam corresponds to the intensity of light incident upon the sample. The system and method also provide for detecting a measurement beam, where the measurement beam has been reflected off the sample being characterized. Both the monitor beam and the measurement beam are transmitted through the same transmission path, and detected by the same detector. Thus, potential sources of variations between the monitor beam and the measurement beam which are not due to the characteristics of the sample are minimized. Reflectivity information for the sample can be determined by comparing data corresponding to the measurement beam relative to data corresponding the monitor beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Assignee: Therma-Wave, Inc.
    Inventors: Adam Norton, Abdurrahman Sezginer, Fred E. Stanke, Rodney Smedt
  • Publication number: 20040235205
    Abstract: Methods and systems for monitoring semiconductor fabrication processes are provided. A system may include a stage configured to support a specimen and coupled to a measurement device. The measurement device may include an illumination system and a detection system. The illumination system and the detection system may be configured such that the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of the specimen. For example, the system may be configured to determine multiple properties of a specimen including, but not limited to, critical dimension and overlay misregistration. In this manner, a measurement device may perform multiple optical and/or non-optical metrology and/or inspection techniques.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 27, 2003
    Publication date: November 25, 2004
    Applicant: KLA-Tencor, Inc.
    Inventors: Ady Levy, Kyle A. Brown, Rodney Smedt, Gary Bultman, Mehrdad Nikoonahad, Dan Wack, John Fielden, Ibramhim Abdulhalim
  • Publication number: 20040174524
    Abstract: The invention is a method and apparatus for determining characteristics of a sample. The system and method provide for detecting a monitor beam reflected off a mirror, where the monitor beam corresponds to the intensity of light incident upon the sample. The system and method also provide for detecting a measurement beam, where the measurement beam has been reflected off the sample being characterized. Both the monitor beam and the measurement beam are transmitted through the same transmission path, and detected by the same detector. Thus, potential sources of variations between the monitor beam and the measurement beam which are not due to the characteristics of the sample are minimized. Reflectivity information for the sample can be determined by comparing data corresponding to the measurement beam relative to data corresponding the monitor beam.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 9, 2004
    Publication date: September 9, 2004
    Inventors: Adam Norton, Abdurrahman Sezginer, Fred E. Stanke, Rodney Smedt
  • Publication number: 20040141177
    Abstract: A periodic structure is illuminated by polychromatic electromagnetic radiation. Radiation from the structure is collected and divided into two rays having different polarization states. The two rays are detected from which one or more parameters of the periodic structure may be derived. In another embodiment, when the periodic structure is illuminated by a poly chromatic electromagnetic radiation, the collected radiation from the structure is passed through a polarization element having a polarization plane. The element and the polychromatic beam are controlled so that the polarization plane of the element are at two or more different orientations with respect to the plane of incidence of the polychromatic beam. Radiation that has passed through the element is detected when the plane of polarization is at the two or more positions so that one or more parameters of the periodic structure may be derived from the detected signals.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 29, 2003
    Publication date: July 22, 2004
    Inventors: Guoheng Zhao, Kenneth P. Gross, Rodney Smedt, Mehrdad Nikoonahad