Patents by Inventor Soichi Owa

Soichi Owa 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: 20190146354
    Abstract: A spatial light modulator has a plurality of mirror elements each of which is controllable into a first state in which the mirror element reflects incident light with a change in a phase thereof by a first phase and a second state in which the mirror element reflects the incident light with a change in the phase thereof by a second phase 180° different from the first phase; and a boundary portion arranged between the mirror elements, which changes the phase of the incident light by a third phase substantially (90°+k·180°) (where k is an integer) different from the first phase. In projecting a pattern with the use of the spatial light modulator, an error caused in the pattern can be reduced even if the light quantity of light passing a gap region between the optical elements in the spatial light modulator is large.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 11, 2019
    Publication date: May 16, 2019
    Applicant: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Soichi Owa, Yoji Watanabe, Tomoharu Fujiwara
  • Patent number: 10261421
    Abstract: An exposure method for exposing a mask pattern, which includes plural types of patterns, with a high throughput and optimal illumination conditions for each type of pattern. The method includes guiding light from a first spatial light modulator illuminated with pulse lights of illumination light to a second spatial light modulator and exposing a wafer with light from the second spatial light modulator, accompanied by: controlling a conversion state of the second spatial light modulator including a plurality of second mirror elements; and controlling a conversion state of the first spatial light modulator including a plurality of first mirror elements to control intensity distribution of the illumination light on a predetermined plane between the first spatial light modulator and the second spatial light modulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Soichi Owa
  • Patent number: 10222705
    Abstract: A spatial light modulator has a plurality of mirror elements each of which is controllable into a first state in which the mirror element reflects incident light with a change in a phase thereof by a first phase and a second state in which the mirror element reflects the incident light with a change in the phase thereof by a second phase 180° different from the first phase; and a boundary portion arranged between the mirror elements, which changes the phase of the incident light by a third phase substantially (90°+k·180°) (where k is an integer) different from the first phase. In projecting a pattern with the use of the spatial light modulator, an error caused in the pattern can be reduced even if the light quantity of light passing a gap region between the optical elements in the spatial light modulator is large.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Soichi Owa, Yoji Watanabe, Tomoharu Fujiwara
  • Publication number: 20190049857
    Abstract: A method of driving a spatial light modulator includes: setting, in an array of mirror elements, mirror elements in a first state for turning incident light into reflected light with the same phase as that of the incident light or with a phase different by a first phase from that of the incident light and mirror elements in a second state for turning incident light into reflected light with a phase different approximately 180° from the first phase to an arrangement with a first phase distribution; and setting, in the array of mirror elements, the first mirror elements and the second mirror elements to an arrangement with a second phase distribution which is an inversion of the first phase distribution.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 11, 2018
    Publication date: February 14, 2019
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Yoji WATANABE, Soichi OWA, Tomoharu FUJIWARA
  • Publication number: 20180348653
    Abstract: A liquid immersion exposure apparatus exposes a substrate by irradiating an exposure beam on the substrate through liquid. The apparatus has a substrate stage which is provided with a substrate holding portion on which the substrate is held and is provided with a stage member having an upper surface. The upper surface of the stage member is provided adjacent to the upper surface of the held substrate with a gap between the held substrate and the stage member. A temperature adjustment system, a part of which is provided under the upper surface of the stage member, performs temperature adjustment for the stage member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 2, 2018
    Publication date: December 6, 2018
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Naoyuki KOBAYASHI, Soichi OWA, Shigeru HIRUKAWA, Yasuhiro OMURA
  • Publication number: 20180284324
    Abstract: An optical member to be arranged in an optical path of a light, includes an optical medium made of an insulator or a semiconductor; a first element provided at a first position in the optical medium and made of a first electric conductor having a width approximately same as or smaller than a wavelength of the light, the first position being a position in the optical path; and a second element provided at a second position, in the optical medium, different from the first position, and made of a second electric conductor having a width approximately same as or smaller than the wavelength of the light, the second position being a position in the optical path.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 6, 2018
    Publication date: October 4, 2018
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Soichi OWA, Shunji WATANABE, Junji SUZUKI, Kazuhiro KIDO, Hidemitsu TOBA
  • Publication number: 20180275534
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus for transferring a pattern from a reticle to a workpiece, a pellicle being positioned near the reticle, includes a heat transfer frame, an illuminator, and a temperature controller. The heat transfer frame is configured to be positioned near the pellicle, the heat transfer frame defining a beam aperture. The illuminator directs a beam through the beam aperture and the pellicle at the reticle. The temperature controller controls the temperature of the heat transfer frame to control the temperature of the pellicle. The illuminator can direct the beam from a beam source, such as an EUV beam source. Additionally, the temperature controller can cryogenically cool the heat transfer frame.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 16, 2018
    Publication date: September 27, 2018
    Inventors: Paul Derek Coon, Soichi Owa
  • Patent number: 10054858
    Abstract: A method of driving a spatial light modulator includes: setting, in an array of mirror elements, mirror elements in a first state for turning incident light into reflected light with the same phase as that of the incident light or with a phase different by a first phase from that of the incident light and mirror elements in a second state for turning incident light into reflected light with a phase different approximately 180° from the first phase to an arrangement with a first phase distribution; and setting, in the array of mirror elements, the first mirror elements and the second mirror elements to an arrangement with a second phase distribution which is an inversion of the first phase distribution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2018
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Yoji Watanabe, Soichi Owa, Tomoharu Fujiwara
  • Patent number: 10048602
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus exposes a substrate by irradiating exposure light on the substrate through liquid. The exposure apparatus has a substrate holder for holding the substrate, a substrate stage capable of moving the substrate held by the substrate holder, and a temperature adjusting system for adjusting the temperature of the substrate holder. The temperature of the substrate is controlled so that there is no difference in temperature between the substrate and the liquid, thereby preventing a reduction in exposure accuracy resulting from variation in temperature of the liquid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2018
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Naoyuki Kobayashi, Soichi Owa, Shigeru Hirukawa, Yasuhiro Omura
  • Publication number: 20180203363
    Abstract: An exposure method for exposing a mask pattern, which includes plural types of patterns, with a high throughput and optimal illumination conditions for each type of pattern. The method includes guiding light from a first spatial light modulator illuminated with pulse lights of illumination light to a second spatial light modulator and exposing a wafer with light from the second spatial light modulator, accompanied by: controlling a conversion state of the second spatial light modulator including a plurality of second mirror elements; and controlling a conversion state of the first spatial light modulator including a plurality of first mirror elements to control intensity distribution of the illumination light on a predetermined plane between the first spatial light modulator and the second spatial light modulator.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2018
    Publication date: July 19, 2018
    Inventor: Soichi OWA
  • Patent number: 10012768
    Abstract: An optical material which has a relative permeability different from 1 to light having a wavelength in, for example, the infrared region or shorter than the infrared region and which is stable in structure, and a liquid and a solid (optical element) using the optical material. The optical material is a powder used as a component of a liquid or solid to which an illuminating light is irradiated, and includes a large number of resonating elements which constitute the powder and each of which is formed of a conductor having a width approximately same as or smaller than a wavelength of the illumination light, and a protective film which is formed of a disc-shaped insulator, wherein an entire surface of each of the split-rind resonators is covered by the protective film.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2018
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Soichi Owa, Shunji Watanabe, Junji Suzuki, Kazuhiro Kido, Hidemitsu Toba
  • Patent number: 9946162
    Abstract: An exposure method for exposing a mask pattern, which includes plural types of patterns, with a high throughput and optimal illumination conditions for each type of pattern. The method includes guiding light from a first spatial light modulator illuminated with pulse lights of illumination light to a second spatial light modulator and exposing a wafer with light from the second spatial light modulator, accompanied by: controlling a conversion state of the second spatial light modulator including a plurality of second mirror elements; and controlling a conversion state of the first spatial light modulator including a plurality of first mirror elements to control intensity distribution of the illumination light on a predetermined plane between the first spatial light modulator and the second spatial light modulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Soichi Owa
  • Patent number: 9846371
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus exposes a substrate by projecting a pattern image onto the substrate through a liquid. The exposure apparatus includes a projection optical system by which the pattern image is projected onto the substrate, and a movable member which is movable relative to the projection optical system. A liquid-repellent member, at least a part of a surface of which is liquid-repellent, is provided detachably on the movable member, the liquid-repellent member being different from the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Soichi Owa, Nobutaka Magome, Shigeru Hirukawa, Yoshihiko Kudo, Jiro Inoue, Hirotaka Kohno, Masahiro Nei, Motokatsu Imai, Hiroyuki Nagasaka, Kenichi Shiraishi, Yasufumi Nishii, Hiroaki Takaiwa
  • Publication number: 20170329234
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus exposes a substrate by projecting a pattern image onto the substrate through a liquid. The exposure apparatus includes a projection optical system by which the pattern image is projected onto the substrate, and a movable member which is movable relative to the projection optical system. A liquid-repellent member, at least a part of a surface of which is liquid-repellent, is provided detachably on the movable member, the liquid-repellent member being different from the substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 31, 2017
    Publication date: November 16, 2017
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Soichi OWA, Nobutaka MAGOME, Shigeru HIRUKAWA, Yoshihiko KUDO, Jiro INOUE, Hiroyuki NAGASAKA, Hirotaka KOHNO, Masahiro NEI, Motokatsu IMAI, Kenichi SHIRAISHI, Yasufumi NISHII, Hiroaki TAKAIWA
  • Publication number: 20170219931
    Abstract: A spatial light modulator has a plurality of mirror elements each of which is controllable into a first state in which the mirror element reflects incident light with a change in a phase thereof by a first phase and a second state in which the mirror element reflects the incident light with a change in the phase thereof by a second phase 180° different from the first phase; and a boundary portion arranged between the mirror elements, which changes the phase of the incident light by a third phase substantially (90°+k·180°) (where k is an integer) different from the first phase. In projecting a pattern with the use of the spatial light modulator, an error caused in the pattern can be reduced even if the light quantity of light passing a gap region between the optical elements in the spatial light modulator is large.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 12, 2017
    Publication date: August 3, 2017
    Applicant: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Soichi Owa, Yoji Watanabe, Tomoharu Fujiwara
  • Patent number: 9651871
    Abstract: A spatial light modulator has a plurality of mirror elements each of which is controllable into a first state in which the mirror element reflects incident light with a change in a phase thereof by a first phase and a second state in which the mirror element reflects the incident light with a change in the phase thereof by a second phase 180° different from the first phase; and a boundary portion arranged between the mirror elements, which changes the phase of the incident light by a third phase substantially (90°+k·180°) (where k is an integer) different from the first phase. In projecting a pattern with the use of the spatial light modulator, an error caused in the pattern can be reduced even if the light quantity of light passing a gap region between the optical elements in the spatial light modulator is large.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2017
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Soichi Owa, Yoji Watanabe, Tomoharu Fujiwara
  • Publication number: 20170090300
    Abstract: An exposure method for exposing a mask pattern, which includes plural types of patterns, with a high throughput and optimal illumination conditions for each type of pattern. The method includes guiding light from a first spatial light modulator illuminated with pulse lights of illumination light to a second spatial light modulator and exposing a wafer with light from the second spatial light modulator, accompanied by: controlling a conversion state of the second spatial light modulator including a plurality of second mirror elements; and controlling a conversion state of the first spatial light modulator including a plurality of first mirror elements to control intensity distribution of the illumination light on a predetermined plane between the first spatial light modulator and the second spatial light modulator.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 9, 2016
    Publication date: March 30, 2017
    Inventor: Soichi OWA
  • Patent number: 9551942
    Abstract: An exposure method for exposing a mask pattern, which includes plural types of patterns, with a high throughput and optimal illumination conditions for each type of pattern. The method includes guiding light from a first spatial light modulator illuminated with pulse lights of illumination light to a second spatial light modulator and exposing a wafer with light from the second spatial light modulator, accompanied by: controlling a conversion state of the second spatial light modulator including a plurality of second mirror elements; and controlling a conversion state of the first spatial light modulator including a plurality of first mirror elements to control intensity distribution of the illumination light on a predetermined plane between the first spatial light modulator and the second spatial light modulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2017
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Soichi Owa
  • Publication number: 20160252828
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus exposes a substrate by irradiating exposure light on the substrate through liquid. The exposure apparatus has a substrate holder for holding the substrate, a substrate stage capable of moving the substrate held by the substrate holder, and a temperature adjusting system for adjusting the temperature of the substrate holder. The temperature of the substrate is controlled so that there is no difference in temperature between the substrate and the liquid, thereby preventing a reduction in exposure accuracy resulting from variation in temperature of the liquid.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 8, 2016
    Publication date: September 1, 2016
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Naoyuki KOBAYASHI, Soichi OWA, Shigeru HIRUKAWA, Yasuhiro OMURA
  • Publication number: 20160223914
    Abstract: A spatial light modulator has a plurality of mirror elements each of which is controllable into a first state in which the mirror element reflects incident light with a change in a phase thereof by a first phase and a second state in which the mirror element reflects the incident light with a change in the phase thereof by a second phase 180° different from the first phase; and a boundary portion arranged between the mirror elements, which changes the phase of the incident light by a third phase substantially (90°+k·180°) (where k is an integer) different from the first phase. In projecting a pattern with the use of the spatial light modulator, an error caused in the pattern can be reduced even if the light quantity of light passing a gap region between the optical elements in the spatial light modulator is large.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2016
    Publication date: August 4, 2016
    Applicant: Nikon Corporation
    Inventors: Soichi Owa, Yoji Watanabe, Tomoharu Fujiwara