Patents by Inventor Shih-Ming Chang

Shih-Ming Chang 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: 20170004242
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing an integrated circuit (IC) includes: receiving a target layout of the IC, decomposing the target layout into a plurality of sub-layouts for a multiple patterning process, identifying re-locatable pattern edges in the sub-layouts, and relocating the edges to improve manufacturability of the IC. In an embodiment, relocating the edges includes: choosing an evaluation index based on a target manufacturing process, moving one or more of the edges, calculating a score of manufacturability based on the evaluation index, and repeating the moving and the calculating until the score meets a threshold.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2015
    Publication date: January 5, 2017
    Inventors: Shih-Ming Chang, Chien-Fu Lee, Chin-Yuan Tseng
  • Patent number: 9529268
    Abstract: Provided herein is a method of improving a transference of a mask pattern into a material layer on a semiconductor wafer. The method includes steps of receiving a semiconductor mask made from a desired design layout and of patterning the material layer present on a plurality of semiconductor wafers with the mask having the mask pattern and an illumination pattern. The method further includes steps of identifying defects and/or defect patterns in the transference of the mask pattern on the plurality of semiconductor wafers, determining an illumination modification, and applying the illumination modification to the illumination pattern to create a modified illumination pattern. Additional methods and associated systems are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2016
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shih-Ming Chang, Chien-Fu Lee, Hoi-Tou Ng
  • Patent number: 9501601
    Abstract: A method for feature pattern modification includes extracting both a main pattern and a cut pattern from a design pattern, the main pattern being laid out under a set of process guidelines that improve the process window during formation of the main pattern, and modifying at least one of: the main pattern and the cut pattern if either feature pattern is in violation of a layout rule.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shih-Ming Chang, Kuei-Liang Lu
  • Patent number: 9502261
    Abstract: A method includes forming a first material layer on a substrate and performing a first patterning process using a first layout to form a first plurality of trenches in the first material layer. The method further includes performing a second patterning process using a second layout to form a second plurality of trenches in the first material layer, wherein the second layout a cut pattern for the first layout. The method further includes forming spacer features on sidewalls of both the first and second pluralities of trenches, wherein the spacer features have a thickness and the cut pattern corresponds to a first trench of the second plurality whose width is less than twice the thickness of the spacer features. The method further includes removing the first material layer; forming a second material layer on the substrate and within openings defined by the spacer features; and removing the spacer features.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    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
  • Patent number: 9465906
    Abstract: Provided is an integrated circuit (IC) manufacturing method. The method includes receiving a design layout of an IC, the design layout having a main feature; performing a process correction to the main feature thereby generating a modified main feature; using a computer, generating a simulated contour of the modified main feature, the simulated contour having a plurality of points; generating a plurality of assistant data in computer readable format, wherein each assistant data includes at least one process performance factor associated with one of the points; and keeping the simulated contour and the assistant data for use by a further process stage, such as mask making, mask inspection, mask repairing, wafer direct writing, wafer inspection, and wafer repairing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2016
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventor: Shih-Ming Chang
  • Publication number: 20160293422
    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: June 6, 2016
    Publication date: October 6, 2016
    Inventors: Tsong-Hua Ou, Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Shih-Ming Chang, Wen-Chun Huang, Chih-Ming Lai, Ru-Gun Liu, Tsai-Sheng Gau
  • Publication number: 20160284591
    Abstract: The present disclosure describes methods for transferring a desired layout into a target layer on a semiconductor substrate. An embodiment of the methods includes forming a first desired layout feature as a first line over the target layer; forming a spacer around the first line; depositing a spacer-surrounding material layer; removing the spacer to form a fosse pattern trench surrounding the first line; and transferring the fosse pattern trench into the target layer to form a fosse feature trench in the target layer, wherein the fosse feature trench surrounds a first portion of the target layer that is underneath a protection layer. In some embodiments, the method further includes patterning a second desired layout feature of the desired layout into the target layer wherein the fosse feature trench and the protection layer serve to self-align the second desired layout feature with the first portion of the target layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 6, 2016
    Publication date: September 29, 2016
    Inventors: Shih-Ming Chang, Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Chih-Ming Lai, Ming-Feng Shieh, Ru-Gun Liu, Tsai-Sheng Gau
  • Publication number: 20160284681
    Abstract: The present disclosure describes methods for transferring a desired layout into a target layer. The method includes a step of forming a spacer, having a second width, around a first and a second desired layout feature pattern of the desired layout over a semiconductor substrate. The first desired layout feature pattern is formed using a first sub-layout and the second desired layout feature pattern is formed using a second sub-layout. The first and second desired layout feature patterns are separated by a first width. The method further includes forming a third desired layout feature pattern according to a third sub-layout. The third desired layout feature pattern is shaped in part by the spacer. The method further includes removing the spacer from around the first and second desired layout feature pattern and etching the target layer using the first, second, and third layout feature patterns as masking features.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 6, 2016
    Publication date: September 29, 2016
    Inventors: Shih-Ming Chang, Ming-Feng Shieh, Ru-Gun Liu, Tsai-Sheng Gau
  • Publication number: 20160283644
    Abstract: In a method, a layout of a device having a pattern of features is provided. The method continues to include identifying a first portion of at least one feature of the plurality of features. An image criteria for the first portion may be assigned. A lithography optimization parameter is determined based on the assigned image criteria for the first portion. Finally, the first portion of the at least one feature is imaged onto a semiconductor substrate using the determined lithography optimization parameter.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 6, 2016
    Publication date: September 29, 2016
    Inventors: Shih-Ming CHANG, Ming-Yo CHUNG, Tzu-Chun LO, Ying-Hao SU
  • Publication number: 20160276164
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a method for forming patterns in a semiconductor device. The method includes forming a main pattern on a substrate; forming a spacer on sidewalls of the main pattern; forming a cut pattern having an opening by a first lithography process; and performing a cut process to selectively remove portions of the spacer within the opening of the cut pattern while the main pattern remains unetched, thereby defining a circuit pattern by the main pattern and the spacer. The circuit pattern includes a sharp jog.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 16, 2015
    Publication date: September 22, 2016
    Inventor: Shih Ming Chang
  • Publication number: 20160203991
    Abstract: A method for forming patterns in a semiconductor device includes providing a substrate and a patterning-target layer formed over the substrate; forming a first feature in a first hard mask layer formed over the patterning-target layer; and forming a second feature in a second hard mask layer formed over the patterning-target layer. The first hard mask layer has a different etching selectivity from the second hard mask layer. The method further includes selectively removing a portion of the first feature within a first trench to form a reshaped first feature. In an embodiment, the first trench exposes a portion of the second feature, and the selectively removing of the first portion of the first feature does not etch the portion of the second feature.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 21, 2016
    Publication date: July 14, 2016
    Inventor: Shih-Ming Chang
  • Patent number: 9361420
    Abstract: In a method, a layout of a device having a pattern of features is provided. The method continues to include identifying a first portion of at least one feature of the plurality of features. An image criteria for the first portion may be assigned. A lithography optimization parameter is determined based on the assigned image criteria for the first portion. Finally, the first portion of the at least one feature is imaged onto a semiconductor substrate using the determined lithography optimization parameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2016
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shih-Ming Chang, Ming-Yo Chung, Tzu-Chun Lo, Ying-Hao Su
  • Patent number: 9362132
    Abstract: The present disclosure describes methods for transferring a desired layout into a target layer. The method includes a step of forming a spacer, having a second width, around a first and a second desired layout feature pattern of the desired layout over a semiconductor substrate. The first desired layout feature pattern is formed using a first sub-layout and the second desired layout feature pattern is formed using a second sub-layout. The first and second desired layout feature patterns are separated by a first width. The method further includes forming a third desired layout feature pattern according to a third sub-layout. The third desired layout feature pattern is shaped in part by the spacer. The method further includes removing the spacer from around the first and second desired layout feature pattern and etching the target layer using the first, second, and third layout feature patterns as masking features.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2016
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shih-Ming Chang, Ming-Feng Shieh, Ru-Gun Liu, Tsai-Sheng Gau
  • Patent number: 9362119
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a method of patterning a target material layer over a semiconductor substrate. The method includes steps of: forming a plurality of first features over the target material layer using a first sub-layout, with each first feature having sidewalls; forming a plurality of spacer features, with each spacer feature conforming to the sidewalls of one of the first features and having a spacer width; and forming a plurality of second features over the target material layer using a second sub-layout. The method further includes steps of removing the plurality of spacer features from around each first feature and patterning the target material layer using the plurality of first features and the plurality of second features. Other methods and associated patterned semiconductor wafers are also provided herein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2016
    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
  • Patent number: 9362169
    Abstract: The present disclosure describes methods for transferring a desired layout into a target layer on a semiconductor substrate. An embodiment of the methods includes forming a first desired layout feature as a first line over the target layer; forming a spacer around the first line; depositing a spacer-surrounding material layer; removing the spacer to form a fosse pattern trench surrounding the first line; and transferring the fosse pattern trench into the target layer to form a fosse feature trench in the target layer, wherein the fosse feature trench surrounds a first portion of the target layer that is underneath a protection layer. In some embodiments, the method further includes patterning a second desired layout feature of the desired layout into the target layer wherein the fosse feature trench and the protection layer serve to self-align the second desired layout feature with the first portion of the target layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2016
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shih-Ming Chang, Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Chih-Ming Lai, Ming-Feng Shieh, Ru-Gun Liu, Tsai-Sheng Gau
  • Publication number: 20160155639
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a method for forming patterns in a semiconductor device. In accordance with some embodiments, the method includes providing a substrate, a patterning-target layer over the substrate, and a hard mask layer over the patterning-target layer; forming a first pattern in the hard mask layer; removing a trim portion from the first pattern in the hard mask layer to form a trimmed first pattern; forming a first resist layer over the hard mask layer; forming a main pattern in the first resist layer; and etching the patterning-target layer using the main pattern and the trimmed first pattern as etching mask elements to form a final pattern in the patterning-target layer. In some embodiments, the final pattern includes the main pattern subtracting a first overlapping portion between the main pattern and the trimmed first pattern.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 25, 2016
    Publication date: June 2, 2016
    Inventors: Shih-Ming Chang, Ming-Feng Shieh, Chih-Ming Lai, Ru-Gun Liu, Tsai-Sheng Gau
  • Patent number: 9356021
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure include self-alignment of two or more layers and methods of forming the same. An embodiment is a method for forming a semiconductor device including forming at least two gates over a substrate, forming at least two alignment structures over the at least two gates, forming spacers on the at least two alignment structures, and forming a first opening between a pair of the at least two alignment structures, the first opening extending a first distance from a top surface of the substrate. The method further includes filling the first opening with a first conductive material, forming a second opening between the spacers of at least one of the at least two alignment structures, the second opening extending a second distance from the top surface of the substrate, and filling the second opening with a second conductive material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2016
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shih-Ming Chang, Ru-Gun Liu, Ken-Hsien Hsieh, Ming-Feng Shieh, Chih-Ming Lai, Tsai-Sheng Gau
  • Patent number: 9293341
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a method for forming patterns in a semiconductor device. In accordance with some embodiments, the method includes providing a substrate and a patterning-target layer formed over the substrate; forming a first feature in a first hard mask layer formed over the patterning-target layer; forming a second feature in a second hard mask layer formed over the patterning-target layer, the first hard mask layer having a different etching selectivity from the second hard mask layer; selectively removing a portion of the first feature in the first hard mask layer within a first trench to formed a reshaped first feature; selectively removing a portion of the second feature in the second hard mask layer within a second trench to form a reshaped second feature; and transferring the reshaped first feature and the reshaped second feature to the patterning-target layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2016
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventor: Shih-Ming Chang
  • Patent number: 9245763
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a method for forming patterns in a semiconductor device. In accordance with some embodiments, the method includes providing a substrate, a patterning-target layer over the substrate, and a hard mask layer over the patterning-target layer; forming a first pattern in the hard mask layer; removing a trim portion from the first pattern in the hard mask layer to form a trimmed first pattern; forming a first resist layer over the hard mask layer; forming a main pattern in the first resist layer; and etching the patterning-target layer using the main pattern and the trimmed first pattern as etching mask elements to form a final pattern in the patterning-target layer. In some embodiments, the final pattern includes the main pattern subtracting a first overlapping portion between the main pattern and the trimmed first pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2016
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shih-Ming Chang, Ming-Feng Shieh, Chih-Ming Lai, Ru-Gun Liu, Tsai-Sheng Gau
  • Publication number: 20160005614
    Abstract: A method includes forming a first material layer on a substrate and performing a first patterning process using a first layout to form a first plurality of trenches in the first material layer. The method further includes performing a second patterning process using a second layout to form a second plurality of trenches in the first material layer, wherein the second layout a cut pattern for the first layout. The method further includes forming spacer features on sidewalls of both the first and second pluralities of trenches, wherein the spacer features have a thickness and the cut pattern corresponds to a first trench of the second plurality whose width is less than twice the thickness of the spacer features. The method further includes removing the first material layer; forming a second material layer on the substrate and within openings defined by the spacer features; and removing the spacer features.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 10, 2015
    Publication date: January 7, 2016
    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