Patents by Inventor Stephen Hsu

Stephen Hsu 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: 8629064
    Abstract: The present invention relates to lithographic apparatuses and processes, and more particularly to multiple patterning lithography for printing target patterns beyond the limits of resolution of the lithographic apparatus. Self-aligned assist pattern (SAP) is derived from original design layout in an automated manner using geometric Boolean operations based on some predefined design rules, and are included in the mask layout for efficient self-alignment of various sub-layouts of the target pattern during a multiple patterning lithography process. SAP can be of any shape and size, and can have continuous features (e.g., a ring), or discontinuous (e.g., bars not connected to each other) features. An end-to-end multiple patterning lithography using spacer and SAP may use positive tone lithography, and/or negative tone lithography for line and/or space printing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Xiaoyang Li, Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu
  • Publication number: 20130182940
    Abstract: A method for decomposing a target circuit pattern containing features to be imaged into multiple patterns. The process includes the steps of separating the features to be printed into a first pattern and a second pattern; performing a first optical proximity correction process on the first pattern and the second pattern; determining an imaging performance of the first pattern and the second pattern; determining a first error between the first pattern and the imaging performance of the first pattern, and a second error between the second pattern and the imaging performance of said second pattern; utilizing the first error to adjust the first pattern to generate a modified first pattern; utilizing the second error to adjust the second pattern to generate a modified second pattern; and applying a second optical proximity correction process to the modified first pattern and the modified second pattern.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 5, 2013
    Publication date: July 18, 2013
    Applicant: ASML NETHERLANDS B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Jung Chul Park, Douglas Van Den Broeke, Jang Fung Chen
  • Patent number: 8486589
    Abstract: A method of splitting a lithographic pattern into two sub-patterns, includes generating test structures corresponding to structures of interest in the lithographic pattern, varying the test structures through a selected range of dimensions, simulating an image of the test structures, determining an image quality metric for the simulated image, analyzing the determined image quality metric to determine pitch ranges for which split improves the image quality metric and ranges for which split does not improve the image quality metric, and generating the two sub-patterns in accordance with the determined pitch ranges.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2013
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, JooByoung Kim
  • Patent number: 8391605
    Abstract: A method for decomposing a target circuit pattern containing features to be imaged into multiple patterns. The process includes the steps of separating the features to be printed into a first pattern and a second pattern; performing a first optical proximity correction process on the first pattern and the second pattern; determining an imaging performance of the first pattern and the second pattern; determining a first error between the first pattern and the imaging performance of the first pattern, and a second error between the second pattern and the imaging performance of said second pattern; utilizing the first error to adjust the first pattern to generate a modified first pattern; utilizing the second error to adjust the second pattern to generate a modified second pattern; and applying a second optical proximity correction process to the modified first pattern and the modified second pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Jung Chul Park, Douglas Van Den Broeke, Jang Fung Chen
  • Publication number: 20130055171
    Abstract: A method of generating complementary masks based on a target pattern having features to be imaged on a substrate for use in a multiple-exposure lithographic imaging process is disclosed. The method includes defining an initial H-mask and an initial V-mask corresponding to the target pattern; identifying horizontal critical features in the H-mask and vertical critical features in the V-mask; assigning a first phase shift and a first percentage transmission to the horizontal critical features, which are to be formed in the H-mask; and assigning a second phase shift and a second percentage transmission to the vertical critical features, which are to be formed in the V-mask. The method further includes the step of assigning chrome to all non-critical features in the H-mask and the V-mask.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 21, 2012
    Publication date: February 28, 2013
    Applicant: ASML MaskTools B.V.
    Inventors: Jang Fung Chen, Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Douglas Van Den Broeke
  • Publication number: 20120208113
    Abstract: A method of splitting a lithographic pattern into two sub-patterns, includes generating test structures corresponding to structures of interest in the lithographic pattern, varying the test structures through a selected range of dimensions, simulating an image of the test structures, determining an image quality metric for the simulated image, analyzing the determined image quality metric to determine pitch ranges for which split improves the image quality metric and ranges for which split does not improve the image quality metric, and generating the two sub-patterns in accordance with the determined pitch ranges.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 24, 2012
    Publication date: August 16, 2012
    Applicant: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, JooByoung Kim
  • Patent number: 8182969
    Abstract: A method of splitting a lithographic pattern into two sub-patterns, includes generating test structures corresponding to structures of interest in the lithographic pattern, varying the test structures through a selected range of dimensions, simulating an image of the test structures, determining an image quality metric for the simulated image, analyzing the determined image quality metric to determine pitch ranges for which split improves the image quality metric and ranges for which split does not improve the image quality metric, and generating the two sub-patterns in accordance with the determined pitch ranges.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2012
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, JooByoung Kim
  • Publication number: 20120122023
    Abstract: A method for decomposing a target circuit pattern containing features to be imaged into multiple patterns. The process includes the steps of separating the features to be printed into a first pattern and a second pattern; performing a first optical proximity correction process on the first pattern and the second pattern; determining an imaging performance of the first pattern and the second pattern; determining a first error between the first pattern and the imaging performance of the first pattern, and a second error between the second pattern and the imaging performance of said second pattern; utilizing the first error to adjust the first pattern to generate a modified first pattern; utilizing the second error to adjust the second pattern to generate a modified second pattern; and applying a second optical proximity correction process to the modified first pattern and the modified second pattern.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 25, 2012
    Publication date: May 17, 2012
    Applicant: ASML MaskTools B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Jung Chul Park, Douglas Van Den Broeke, Jang Fung Chen
  • Patent number: 8132130
    Abstract: A method for forming exposure masks for imaging a target pattern having features to be imaged on a substrate in a multi-exposure process. The method includes the steps of generating a set of decomposition rules defining whether a given feature of the target pattern is assigned to a first exposure mask or a second exposure mask; applying the decomposition rules to each of the features in the target pattern so as to assign each of the features in the target pattern to one of the first exposure mask or second exposure mask; and generating the first exposure mask and the second exposure mask containing the respective features assigned to each mask.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventors: Jang Fung Chen, Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Douglas Van Den Broeke, Thomas Laidig
  • Patent number: 8122391
    Abstract: A method of generating complementary masks based on a target pattern having features to be imaged on a substrate for use in a multiple-exposure lithographic imaging process. The method includes the steps of: defining an initial H-mask corresponding to the target pattern; defining an initial V-mask corresponding to the target pattern; identifying horizontal critical features in the H-mask having a width which is less than a predetermined critical width; identifying vertical critical features in the V-mask having a width which is less than a predetermined critical width; assigning a first phase shift and a first percentage transmission to the horizontal critical features, which are to be formed in the H-mask; and assigning a second phase shift and a second percentage transmission to the vertical critical features, which are to be formed in the V-mask. The method further includes the step of assigning chrome to all non-critical features in the H-mask and the V-mask.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2012
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventors: Jang Fung Chen, Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Douglas Van Den Broeke
  • Patent number: 8111921
    Abstract: A method for decomposing a target circuit pattern containing features to be imaged into multiple patterns. The process includes the steps of separating the features to be printed into a first pattern and a second pattern; performing a first optical proximity correction process on the first pattern and the second pattern; determining an imaging performance of the first pattern and the second pattern; determining a first error between the first pattern and the imaging performance of the first pattern, and a second error between the second pattern and the imaging performance of said second pattern; utilizing the first error to adjust the first pattern to generate a modified first pattern; utilizing the second error to adjust the second pattern to generate a modified second pattern; and applying a second optical proximity correction process to the modified first pattern and the modified second pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2012
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Jung Chul Park, Douglas Van Den Broeke, Jang Fung Chen
  • Publication number: 20110318927
    Abstract: The present invention relates to lithographic apparatuses and processes, and more particularly to multiple patterning lithography for printing target patterns beyond the limits of resolution of the lithographic apparatus. Self-aligned assist pattern (SAP) is derived from original design layout in an automated manner using geometric Boolean operations based on some predefined design rules, and are included in the mask layout for efficient self-alignment of various sub-layouts of the target pattern during a multiple patterning lithography process. SAP can be of any shape and size, and can have continuous features (e.g., a ring), or discontinuous (e.g., bars not connected to each other) features. An end-to-end multiple patterning lithography using spacer and SAP may use positive tone lithography, and/or negative tone lithography for line and/or space printing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 23, 2011
    Publication date: December 29, 2011
    Applicant: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Xiaoyang Li, Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu
  • Publication number: 20110236808
    Abstract: A method of generating complementary masks for use in a dark field double dipole imaging process. The method includes the steps of identifying a target pattern having a plurality of features, including horizontal and vertical features; generating a horizontal mask based on the target pattern, where the horizontal mask includes low contrast vertical features. The generation of the horizontal mask includes the steps of optimizing the bias of the low contrast vertical features contained in the horizontal mask; and applying assist features to the horizontal mask. The method further includes generating a vertical mask based on the target pattern, where the vertical mask contains low contrast horizontal features. The generation of the vertical mask includes the steps of optimizing the bias of low contrast horizontal features contained in the vertical mask; and applying assist features to the vertical mask.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 7, 2011
    Publication date: September 29, 2011
    Applicant: ASML Mask Tools B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Sangbong Park, Douglas Van Den Broeke, Jang Fung Chen
  • Patent number: 7985515
    Abstract: A method of generating complementary masks for use in a multiple-exposure lithographic imaging process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2011
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Kurt E. Wampler, Markus Franciscus Antonius Eurlings, Jang Fung Chen, Noel Corcoran
  • Patent number: 7981576
    Abstract: A method of generating complementary masks for use in a dark field double dipole imaging process. The method includes the steps of identifying a target pattern having a plurality of features, including horizontal and vertical features; generating a horizontal mask based on the target pattern, where the horizontal mask includes low contrast vertical features. The generation of the horizontal mask includes the steps of optimizing the bias of the low contrast vertical features contained in the horizontal mask; and applying assist features to the horizontal mask. The method further includes generating a vertical mask based on the target pattern, where the vertical mask contains low contrast horizontal features. The generation of the vertical mask includes the steps of optimizing the bias of low contrast horizontal features contained in the vertical mask; and applying assist features to the vertical mask.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2011
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Sangbong Park, Douglas Van Den Broeke, Jang Fung Chen
  • Patent number: 7892703
    Abstract: A method of generating a mask for printing a pattern including a plurality of features. The method includes the steps of obtaining data representing the plurality of features; and forming at least one of the plurality of features by etching a substrate to form a mesa and depositing a chrome layer over the entire upper surface of the mesa, where said mesa has a predetermined height.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2011
    Assignee: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventors: Jang Fung Chen, Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Douglas Van Den Broeke, Jung Chul Park, Thomas Laidig
  • Publication number: 20110014552
    Abstract: A method of generating complementary masks for use in a dark field double dipole imaging process. The method includes the steps of identifying a target pattern having a plurality of features, including horizontal and vertical features; generating a horizontal mask based on the target pattern, where the horizontal mask includes low contrast vertical features. The generation of the horizontal mask includes the steps of optimizing the bias of the low contrast vertical features contained in the horizontal mask; and applying assist features to the horizontal mask. The method further includes generating a vertical mask based on the target pattern, where the vertical mask contains low contrast horizontal features. The generation of the vertical mask includes the steps of optimizing the bias of low contrast horizontal features contained in the vertical mask; and applying assist features to the vertical mask.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 24, 2010
    Publication date: January 20, 2011
    Applicant: ASML Mask Tools B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Sangbong Park, Douglas Van Den Broeke, Jang Fung Chen
  • Patent number: 7824826
    Abstract: A method of generating complementary dark field masks for use in a dark field double dipole imaging process. The method includes the steps of identifying a target pattern having a plurality of features, including horizontal and vertical features; generating a horizontal mask based on the target pattern, where the horizontal mask includes low contrast vertical features. The generation of the horizontal mask includes the steps of optimizing the bias of the low contrast vertical features contained in the horizontal mask; and applying assist features to the horizontal mask. The method further includes generating a vertical mask based on the target pattern, where the vertical mask contains low contrast horizontal features. The generation of the vertical mask includes the steps of optimizing the bias of low contrast horizontal features contained in the vertical mask; and applying assist features to the vertical mask.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2010
    Assignee: ASML MaskTools B.V.
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Sangbong Park, Douglas Van Den Broeke, Jang Fung Chen
  • Publication number: 20100221669
    Abstract: A method of generating complementary masks based on a target pattern having features to be imaged on a substrate for use in a multiple-exposure lithographic imaging process. The method includes the steps of: defining an initial H-mask corresponding to the target pattern; defining an initial V-mask corresponding to the target pattern; identifying horizontal critical features in the H-mask having a width which is less than a predetermined critical width; identifying vertical critical features in the V-mask having a width which is less than a predetermined critical width; assigning a first phase shift and a first percentage transmission to the horizontal critical features, which are to be formed in the H-mask; and assigning a second phase shift and a second percentage transmission to the vertical critical features, which are to be formed in the V-mask. The method further includes the step of assigning chrome to all non-critical features in the H-mask and the V-mask.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 21, 2010
    Publication date: September 2, 2010
    Applicant: ASML Masktools B.V.
    Inventors: Jang Fung Chen, Duan-Fu Stephen Hsu, Douglas Van der Broeke
  • Publication number: 20100167183
    Abstract: A method of generating complementary masks for use in a multiple-exposure lithographic imaging process.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 3, 2009
    Publication date: July 1, 2010
    Inventors: Duan-Fu Stephen HSU, Kurt E. Wampler, Markus Franciscus Antonius Eurlings, Jang Fung Chen, Noel Corcoran