Distortion Introducing Or Rectifying Patents (Class 355/52)
  • Patent number: 10852642
    Abstract: A control apparatus controls at least one manipulator for modifying a parameter of a microlithographic projection exposure apparatus by generating a target for a travel variable, which defines a modification of the parameter to be undertaken via the manipulator. The control apparatus is configured to generate the target from a state characterization of the projection exposure apparatus by optimizing a merit function. A merit function includes at least one penalty term for taking account of a limit for a property of the projection exposure apparatus as an implicit constraint and the penalty term is formulated in such a way that the function value thereof tends to “infinity” as the property approaches the limit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2020
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2020
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Bjoern Butscher, Christian Wald
  • Patent number: 10845707
    Abstract: A method including: obtaining a measurement of a metrology target on a substrate processed using a patterning process, the measurement having been obtained using measurement radiation; and deriving a parameter of interest of the patterning process from the measurement, wherein the parameter of interest is corrected by a stack difference parameter, the stack difference parameter representing an un-designed difference in physical configuration between adjacent periodic structures of the target or between the metrology target and another adjacent target on the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2020
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Arie Jeffrey Den Boef, Kaustuve Bhattacharyya
  • Patent number: 10795268
    Abstract: An overlay error measurement structure includes a lower-layer pattern disposed over a substrate, and an upper-layer pattern disposed over the lower-layer pattern and at least partially overlapping with the lower-layer pattern. The lower-layer pattern includes a plurality of first sub-patterns extending in a first direction and being arranged in a second direction crossing the first direction. The upper-layer pattern includes a plurality of second sub-patterns extending in the first direction and being arranged in the second direction. At least one of a pattern pitch and a pattern width of at least one of at least a part of the first sub-patterns and at least a part of the second sub-patterns varies along the second direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Yen-Liang Chen
  • Patent number: 10795269
    Abstract: The disclosure relates to methods of determining a value of a parameter of interest of a patterning process, and of cleaning a signal containing information about the parameter of interest. In one arrangement, first and second detected representations of radiation are obtained. The radiation is provided by redirection of polarized incident radiation by a structure. The first and second detected representations are derived respectively from first and second polarization components of the redirected radiation. An asymmetry in the first detected representation comprises a contribution from the parameter of interest and a contribution from one or more other sources of asymmetry. An asymmetry in the second detected representation comprises a larger contribution from said one or more other sources of asymmetry relative to a contribution from the parameter of interest. A combination of the first and second detected representations is used to determine a value of the parameter of interest.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Zili Zhou, Gerbrand Van Der Zouw, Nitesh Pandey, Markus Gerardus Martinus Maria Van Kraaij, Martinus Hubertus Maria Van Weert, Anagnostis Tsiatmas, Sergey Tarabrin, Hilko Dirk Bos
  • Patent number: 10785394
    Abstract: An inspection system may include an optical component configured to deliver inspection light to a subject and a detector configured to obtain an image of the subject based on the inspection light delivered to the subject. The inspection system may also include a processor in communication with the optical component and the detector. The processor may be configured to: measure an aberration of the optical component based on the image of the subject obtained by the detector; and adjust the optical component to compensate for a change in the aberration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2020
    Assignee: KLA Corporation
    Inventors: Jeremy Nesbitt, Joshua Knight, Timothy Russin, Vadim Palshin, Suneet Luniya, Kevin Lai, Mike Murugan, Mark Bailey
  • Patent number: 10775700
    Abstract: A method is provided. The method includes steps as follows. EUV light is generated. A collector is used to gather the EUV light onto a first optical reflector. The first optical reflector is used to reflect the EUV light to a reticle, so as to impart the EUV light with a pattern. A second optical reflector is used to reflect the EUV light with the pattern onto a wafer. The first optical reflector is rotated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 21, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2020
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Chi-Hung Liao, Min-Cheng Wu
  • Patent number: 10656529
    Abstract: A control system, of a plurality of heads, acquires grating correction information related to at least two of scales in a first grating group and scales in a second grating group, based on position information of a movable body measured using at least four heads irradiating measurement beams on at least two of the scales and scales. The grating correction information is used to control movement of the movable body using at least three heads irradiating at least two of the scales and scales.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2020
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Akinori Shirato, Takashi Shibuya
  • Patent number: 10605654
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus for beam analysis in an optical system are disclosed, wherein a plurality of beam parameters of a beam propagating along an optical axis are ascertained. The method includes: splitting the beam into a plurality of partial beams which have a focus offset in the longitudinal direction in relation to the optical axis; recording a measurement image produced by these partial beams; carrying out a forward simulation of the beam in the optical system on the basis of estimated initial values for the beam parameters in order to obtain a simulated image; and calculating a set of values for the beam parameters on the basis of the comparison between the simulated image and the measurement image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2020
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Matthias Manger, Christoph Husemann, Matus Kalisky, Lars Stoppe
  • Patent number: 10564555
    Abstract: A method of reducing effects of reticle heating and/or cooling in a lithographic process, the method including calibrating a linear time invariant reticle heating model using a system identification method; predicting distortions of the reticle using the reticle heating model and inputs in the lithographic process; and calculating and applying a correction in the lithographic process on the basis of the predicted distortions of the reticle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2020
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Nick Kant, Mark Jan Hendrik Luttikhof
  • Patent number: 10551750
    Abstract: Disclosed is a process monitoring method, and an associated metrology apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2020
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Adam Jan Urbanczyk, Hans Van Der Laan, Grzegorz Grzela, Alberto Da Costa Assafrao, Chien-Hung Tseng, Jay Jianhui Chen
  • Patent number: 10451983
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus is provided. The exposure apparatus includes a stage for a wafer, a first light source generating a first light beam, an exposure optical system to receive the first light beam and to direct the first light beam as an exposure light beam onto an exposure area in a field of the wafer, and a heating unit including a second light source, which generates second light, and heating the exposure area by applying the second light to the exposure area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 22, 2019
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Chan Sam Chang
  • Patent number: 10447979
    Abstract: A projection device includes a detection unit configured to detect a specific object, a projection unit configured to project a projection image indicated by a video signal, a drive unit configured to change the direction of the projection unit so as to change a projection position of the projection image, and a controller configured to control the drive unit. The controller controls the drive unit such that the drive unit performs a first control in which the projection image is projected at a position following the motion of the specific object detected by the detection unit and a second control in which the projection position of the projection image is changed according to the video signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Kenji Fujiune
  • Patent number: 10444631
    Abstract: An illumination system of a microlithographic projection apparatus includes a spatial light modulator having a modulation surface including a plurality of micromirrors. Each micromirror includes a mirror surface having an orientation that can be changed individually for each micromirror. For at least one of the micromirrors, at least one parameter that is related to the mirror surface is measured. The orientation of the mirror surfaces is controlled depending on the at least one measured parameter. A light pattern is produced on the modulation surface, and an image of the light pattern is formed on an optical integrator that has a plurality of light entrance facets. Images of the light entrance facets are superimposed on a mask.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Markus Deguenther, Johannes Eisenmenger, Stefanie Hilt, Thomas Korb, Frank Schlesener, Manfred Maul
  • Patent number: 10416566
    Abstract: A method to improve a lithographic process of imaging a portion of a design layout onto a substrate using a lithographic apparatus, the method including: computing a multi-variable cost function, the multi-variable cost function being a function a plurality of design variables that represent characteristics of the lithographic process; and reconfiguring one or more of the characteristics of the lithographic process by adjusting one or more of the design variables until a certain termination condition is satisfied; wherein a bandwidth of a radiation source of the lithographic apparatus is allowed to change during the reconfiguration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2019
    Assignees: ASML NETHERLANDS B.V., CYMER, LLC
    Inventors: Willard Earl Conley, Wei-An Hsieh, Tsann-Bim Chiou, Cheng-Hsien Hsieh
  • Patent number: 10394985
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for modelling a random process using reduced length least-squares autoregressive parameter estimation is herein disclosed. The apparatus includes an autocorrelation processor, configured to generate or estimate autocorrelations of length m for a stochastic process, where m is an integer; and a least-squares (LS) estimation processor connected to the autocorrelation processor and configured to model the stochastic process by estimating pth order autoregressive (AR) parameters using LS regression, where p is an integer much less than m. The method includes generating, by an autocorrelation processor, autocorrelations of length m for a stochastic process, where m is an integer; and modelling the stochastic process, by a least-squares estimation processor, by estimating pth order autoregressive (AR) parameters by least-squares (LS) regression, where p is an integer much less than m.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Binnan Zhuang, Dongwoon Bai, Jungwon Lee
  • Patent number: 10345709
    Abstract: A method including: obtaining a measurement of a metrology target on a substrate processed using a patterning process, the measurement having been obtained using measurement radiation; and deriving a parameter of interest of the patterning process from the measurement, wherein the parameter of interest is corrected by a stack difference parameter, the stack difference parameter representing an un-designed difference in physical configuration between adjacent periodic structures of the target or between the metrology target and another adjacent target on the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Arie Jeffrey Den Boef, Kaustuve Bhattacharyya
  • Patent number: 10334179
    Abstract: An assembly is disclosed, which comprises a light fixture comprising a light source thereon; an image capturing device mounted adjacent with the light source; and a housing covering the image capturing device, wherein the housing has a window within a field of view of the image capturing device; wherein at least a portion of the window serving as working optical surface of the image capturing device is located within a shadow of direct light from the light source of the light fixture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: CURRENT LIGHTING SOLUTIONS, LLC
    Inventors: Thomas Clynne, Koushik Babi Saha, Jonathan Robert Meyer
  • Patent number: 10303063
    Abstract: A projection exposure apparatus for microlithography includes a projection lens which includes a plurality of optical elements for imaging mask structures onto a substrate during an exposure process. The projection exposure apparatus also includes at least one manipulator configured to change, as part of a manipulator actuation, the optical effects of at least one of the optical elements within the projection lens by changing a state variable of the optical element along a predetermined travel. The projection exposure apparatus further includes an algorithm generator configured to generate a travel generating optimization algorithm, adapted to at least one predetermined imaging parameter, on the basis of the at least one predetermined imaging parameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Boris Bittner, Norbert Wabra, Martin von Hodenberg
  • Patent number: 10234772
    Abstract: A calibration curve for a wafer comprising a layer on a substrate is determined. The calibration curve represents a local parameter change as a function of a treatment parameter associated with a wafer exposure to a light. The local parameter of the wafer is measured. An overlay error is determined based on the local parameter of the wafer. A treatment map is computed based on the calibration curve to correct the overlay error for the wafer. The treatment map represents the treatment parameter as a function of a location on the wafer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Mangesh Bangar, Bruce E. Adams, Kelly E. Hollar, Abhilash J. Mayur, Huixiong Dai, Jaujiun Chen
  • Patent number: 10212364
    Abstract: The zoom control apparatus configured to control an angle of view. The apparatus includes a motion acquirer configured to acquire a motion amount of an image capturing optical system, a calculator configured to calculate a displacement amount of a main object image in a captured image by using the motion amount of the image capturing optical system, a determiner configured to determine whether or not the displacement amount of the main object image is larger than a first threshold, and a controller configured to perform, when the displacement amount of the main object image is larger than the first threshold, control for making the angle of view wider than that for when the displacement amount of the main object image is smaller than the first threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Masahiro Shibata, Tomohiro Sugaya
  • Patent number: 10205119
    Abstract: A laser packaging method and a manufacturing method of a display panel are provided. The laser packaging method includes placing a first substrate (2) on a platform (1), and arranging a glass frit in a packaging region of the first substrate (2); cell-assembling a second substrate (3) and the first substrate (2); and pre-heating the first substrate (2) and the second substrate (3) which are cell-assembled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2019
    Assignee: BOE TECHNOLOGY GROUP CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Seiji Fujino, Wei Cui, Xiaohu Wang, Rui Hong
  • Patent number: 10181413
    Abstract: A laser crystallization apparatus includes a laser generator that generates a laser beam including a plurality of line beams that are parallel to each other. An optical system includes a plurality of lenses and mirrors, wherein the optical system optically converts the generated laser beam to a converted laser beam. A chamber includes a stage and a substrate disposed on the stage, wherein a laser-crystallized thin film is formed on the substrate when the substrate is irradiated by the converted laser beam. A line focus adjuster that adjusts a line focus and a final focus of the plurality of line beams passing through the optical system, wherein the substrate is irradiated by the plurality of line beams at the final focus of the plurality of line beams.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2019
    Assignee: SAMSUNG DISPLAY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Chung Hwan Lee, Hong Ro Lee
  • Patent number: 10168620
    Abstract: The illumination optical system for illuminating an illumination target surface with light from a light source is provided with a polarization converting member which converts a polarization state of incident light to form a pupil intensity distribution in a predetermined polarization state on an illumination pupil of the illumination optical system; and a phase modulating member which is arranged in the optical path on the illumination target surface side with respect to the polarization converting member and which transmits light from the pupil intensity distribution so as to convert linearly polarized light thereof polarized in a first direction, into required elliptically polarized light and maintain a polarization state of linearly polarized light polarized in a second direction (X-direction or Y-direction) obliquely intersecting with the first direction, in order to reduce influence of retardation caused by a subsequent optical system between the polarization converting member and the illumination targe
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2019
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Koji Shigematsu
  • Patent number: 10107910
    Abstract: An in-flight detection system includes a camera mounted to a platform aircraft configured to define a field of regard containing a target aircraft. A lidar system is mounted to the platform aircraft and is configured to continuously scan the field of regard defined by the camera. The lidar system determines position data between the platform aircraft and the target aircraft. A controller is operatively connected to the camera and the lidar system and is configured to activate the lidar system after the camera defines the field of regard.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2018
    Assignee: GOODRICH CORPORATION
    Inventors: James B. Johnson, Michael C. Marden, Ian P. Humphrey
  • Patent number: 10095120
    Abstract: A vibration-compensated optical system for a lithography apparatus includes an optical element, a carrying element, an actuator for actuating the optical element relative to the carrying element, a first elastic element which directly couples the optical element to the carrying element, a reaction mass, and a second elastic element. The actuator couples the optical element to the reaction mass. The second elastic element directly couples the reaction mass to the carrying element. For a mass (m1) of the optical element, a stiffness (k1) of the first elastic element, a mass (m2) of the reaction mass and a stiffness (k2) of the second elastic element the following holds true: m 1 m 2 = k 1 k 2 .
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2018
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Yim-Bun Patrick Kwan, Tim Groothuijsen
  • Patent number: 10088756
    Abstract: A lithographic apparatus comprising a support structure configured to be moved by a first scan distance during a single scanning operation when supporting a patterning device having a first extent in the scanning direction and to be moved by a second scan distance during a single scanning operation when supporting a patterning device having a second extent in the scanning N direction, and a substrate table configured to be moved by a third scan distance during a single scanning operation when the support structure supports a patterning device having the first extent in the scanning direction and to be moved by a fourth scan distance during a single scanning operation when the support structure supports a patterning device having the second extent in the scanning direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2018
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Sander Kerssemakers, Wilhelmus Petrus De Boeij, Gerben Frank De Lange, Christiaan Alexander Hoogendam, Petrus Franciscus Van Gils, Jelmer Mattheüs Kamminga, Jan Jaap Kuit, Carolus Johannes Catharina Schoormans
  • Patent number: 10073359
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus exposes a substrate with illumination light via a projection optical system, and includes a stage disposed below the projection optical system and holds the substrate; an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head is provided at the stage and the other of the grating section and the head is provided at a frame member to be disposed above the stage, on a lower end side of the projection optical system, and irradiates the grating section with a measurement beam via the head and measures positional information of the stage with a plurality of the heads that face the grating section; and a controller coupled to the encoder system, that controls a drive system based on positional information measured with the encoder system while compensating for measurement error of the encoder system related to measurement direction of the positional information by the heads.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2018
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yuichi Shibazaki
  • Patent number: 10067428
    Abstract: A device manufacturing method develops a substrate that has been exposed with illumination light via a projection optical system. The exposing includes holding the substrate with a stage below the projection optical system; in an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head is provided at the stage and the other of the grating section and the head is provided at a frame member to be disposed above the stage, on a lower end side of the projection optical system, and which irradiates the grating section with a measurement beam via the head, measuring positional information of the stage with a plurality of the heads that face the grating section; moving the stage based on the positional information measured with the encoder system while compensating for a measurement error of the encoder system related to a measurement direction of the positional information by the heads.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2018
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yuichi Shibazaki
  • Patent number: 10061206
    Abstract: A projection lens images a pattern of a mask arranged in the region of an object plane of the projection lens into an image plane of the projection lens via electromagnetic radiation with a work wavelength ?<260 nm. The projection lens has a multiplicity of optical elements with optical surfaces. The projection lens also has a wavefront manipulation system for controllable influencing of the wavefront of the projection radiation travelling from the object plane to the image plane. The wavefront manipulation system has a manipulator having a manipulator element and an actuating device or reversibly changing an optical effect of the manipulator element on radiation of the projection beam path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2018
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Boris Bittner, Norbert Wabra, Sonja Schneider, Ricarda Schoemer
  • Patent number: 10048604
    Abstract: Disclosed is a lithography system. The lithography system includes a radiation source for providing radiation energy; a reticle stage configured to hold a reticle; an imaging lens module configured to direct the radiation energy onto a substrate to form an image of the reticle; and a leveling sensor configured to receive a leveling signal from an exposure field of the reticle secured on the reticle stage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2018
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventor: Li-Jui Chen
  • Patent number: 10025200
    Abstract: A projection exposure apparatus for semiconductor lithography includes a deformable optical element for the correction of wavefront aberrations. Actuating units for the deformation of the optical element are in mechanical contact with the optical element by way of contact regions. The contact regions are arranged in a regular or irregular arrangement outside an optically active region of the optical element. There are contact regions lying closest to the optically active region and remote contact regions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2018
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Pascal Marsollek, Johannes Lippert, Jasper Wesselingh, Sascha Bleidistel
  • Patent number: 10018918
    Abstract: A projection objective having a number of adjustable optical elements is optimized with respect to a number of aberrations by specifying a set of parameters describing imaging properties of the objective, each parameter in the set having an absolute value at each of a plurality of field points in an image plane of the projection objective. At least one of the optical elements is adjusted such that for each of the parameters in the set, the field maximum of its absolute value is minimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2018
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventor: Wolfgang Emer
  • Patent number: 9939734
    Abstract: The present disclosure concerns a photolithography apparatus (100) and method for controlling relative image size (S1/S0) of a projected substrate pattern (W). A projection system (10) is arranged for projecting an image of a mask pattern (M) as the substrate pattern (W) onto a substrate (6), wherein the projection system (10) comprises an adjustment lens (13) moveable in a range (Xmin,Xmax) encompassing a central position (X0) for controlling a relative image size (S1/S0). The projection system (10) is arranged to project the mask pattern (M) onto the adjustment lens (13) such that, when the adjustment lens (13) is positioned at the central position (X0), an apparent mask pattern (M?) from a point of view of the adjustment lens (13) appears to be at a distance (2*F) from the adjustment lens (13) that is twice a focal length (F) of the adjustment lens (13).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2018
    Assignee: KULICKE & SOFFA LITEQ B.V.
    Inventor: Donald Charles Dilworth
  • Patent number: 9933710
    Abstract: A projection exposure method for exposing a radiation-sensitive substrate with at least one image of a pattern of a mask in a projection exposure apparatus includes using an anamorphic projection lens
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2018
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Stephan Andre, Daniel Golde, Toralf Gruner, Johannes Ruoff
  • Patent number: 9933704
    Abstract: A microlithography illumination optical system is used to guide illumination light from a primary light source to an object field. A mirror array of the illumination optical system has a plurality of individual mirrors, which can be tilted independently of one another by actuators and are connected to associated tilting actuators. A controller is used to activate the actuators. A raster module of the illumination optical system has a plurality of raster elements to produce a spatially distributed arrangement of secondary light sources.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2018
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Michael Patra, Markus Deguenther, Michael Layh
  • Patent number: 9933706
    Abstract: An illumination system of a microlithographic projection exposure apparatus includes a spatial light modulator which varies an intensity distribution in a pupil surface. The modulator includes an array of mirrors that reflect impinging projection light into directions that depend on control signals applied to the mirrors. A prism, which directs the projection light towards the spatial light modulator, has a double pass surface on which the projection light impinges twice, namely a first time when leaving the prism and before it is reflected by the mirrors, and a second time when entering the prism and after it has been reflected by the mirrors. A pupil perturbation suppressing mechanism is provided that reduces reflections of projection light when it impinges the first time on the double pass surface, and/or prevents that light portions being a result of such reflections contribute to the intensity distribution in the pupil surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2018
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Markus Deguenther, Damian Fiolka, Gerhard-Wilhelm Ziegler
  • Patent number: 9927719
    Abstract: One embodiment relates to a method for overlay sampling. The method provides a number of fields over a semiconductor wafer surface. An inner subgroup of the number of fields includes fields in a central region of the wafer surface. An outer subgroup of the number of fields includes neighboring fields near a circumferential edge of the wafer surface. The method measures a first number of overlay conditions at a corresponding first number of overlay structures within a field of the inner subgroup. The method also measures a second number of overlay conditions at a corresponding second number of overlay structures within a field of the outer subgroup. The second number is greater than the first number. Based on the measured first number of overlay conditions and the measured second number of overlay conditions, the method determines an alignment condition for two or more layers on the semiconductor wafer surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yung-Yao Lee, Ying-Ying Wang
  • Patent number: 9919479
    Abstract: In a method for printing a three-dimensional (3D) parts with an additive manufacturing system, a developed layer of an electrically charged powder material is produced on a transfer medium using an electrophotographic (EP) engine. The transfer medium and the developed layer are fed in a feed direction. A position of the developed layer on the transfer medium is detected using a first sensor having a first output that indicates the position. A position of a moveable build platform is adjusted relative to the transfer medium to reduce one or more overlay errors between the developed layer and an intermediate build surface of a three-dimensional structure retained on the moveable build platform based on the first output. The developed layer is transferred to the intermediate build surface using a pressing element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: Stratasys, Inc.
    Inventors: James Baecker, J. Samuel Batchelder
  • Patent number: 9885964
    Abstract: A lithographic apparatus includes a substrate table constructed to hold a substrate; a compartment configured to receive the substrate table; a thermal conditioning unit arranged to receive a substrate to be exposed and thermally condition the substrate; and a transfer system for transferring a thermally conditioned substrate to the substrate table, wherein the substrate table and the thermal conditioning unit are arranged inside the compartment of the lithographic apparatus, at least during a transfer of the thermally conditioned substrate from the thermal conditioning unit to the substrate table.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: ASML NETHERLANDS B.V.
    Inventors: Jan Steven Christiaan Westerlaken, Rob Jansen, Erik Vervoort
  • Patent number: 9829800
    Abstract: Aberrations of a projection lens for microlithography can be subdivided into two classes: a first class of aberrations, which are distinguished by virtue of the fact that their future size increases by a non-negligible value after a constant time duration, independently of their current size, and a second class of aberrations, which, after reaching a threshold, only increase by a negligible value after each further time duration. An adjustment method is proposed, which adjusts these two classes of aberrations in parallel in time with one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Boris Bittner, Norbert Wabra, Martin von Hodenberg, Sonja Schneider, Ricarda Schoemer, Ruediger Mack
  • Patent number: 9823579
    Abstract: A method for improving imaging properties of an optical system and an optical system of this type having improved imaging properties are described. The optical system can have a plurality of optical elements. In some embodiments, an optical element is positioned and/or deformed by mechanical force action and by thermal action. In certain embodiments, one optical element is positioned and/or deformed by mechanical force action and another optical element is deformed by thermal action.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventor: Olaf Conradi
  • Patent number: 9804488
    Abstract: A system for the fabrication of patterned miniature structures, such integrated circuits, includes a continuous, flexible substrate that is transported by rollers to a series of processing stations. To ensure proper alignment amongst the various stations, the substrate is provided with at least one fiducial that is raised above its top surface a height that maximizes optical contrast when viewed interferometrically. At least one processing station includes an optical device that is capable of both interferometrically identifying the fiducial for alignment purposes and subsequently illuminating the substrate with a modifiable light pattern as part of a photolithographic process. Fiducials can also be used to identify gross geometric variances in the substrate caused by external factors, such as heat and moisture. In turn, a web adjustment element can be used to apply selective heat or tension to the substrate in order to correct such geometric variances.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: CARPE DIEM TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventor: John S. Berg
  • Patent number: 9773298
    Abstract: A system and a method for processing multi-linear image data by measuring a relative oscillatory motion from a first-imaged array of the multi-linear optical array to a second-imaged array of the multi-linear optical array as a first function in time domain via image correlation; transforming the first function from the time domain to a second function in frequency domain; converting real and the imaginary parts of the second function to polar coordinates to generate a magnitude and a phase; correcting the polar coordinates from the second function in the frequency domain to generate a third function; converting the third function to rectangular coordinates to generate a fourth function in the frequency domain; and transforming the fourth function from the frequency domain to a fifth function in the time domain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2017
    Assignee: RAYTHEON COMPANY
    Inventors: Jody D. Verret, Corey Collard, Erich Hefner
  • Patent number: 9766538
    Abstract: A pellicle frame and a pellicle made with it is proposed in which at least one pair of the side bars of the frame are made to have a deflection (bow) which has an amount or a distance of displacement measured at the middle point of the side bar accounting for 0.01 through 1% of the length of the respective side bar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2017
    Assignee: SHIN-ETSU CHEMICAL CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Kazutoshi Sekihara
  • Patent number: 9760019
    Abstract: A method for controlling a microlithographic projection exposure apparatus includes: determining a wavefront error of the projection exposure apparatus; generating a travel vector, suitable for correcting the wavefront error, with travels for each zone of the optical manipulator; establishing a constraint parameter with respect to the travel for at least one zone of the optical manipulator; and checking the travels of the generated travel vector with respect to implementability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Boris Bittner, Holger Walter
  • Patent number: 9709896
    Abstract: Illumination system for a lithographic projection exposure step-and-scan apparatus comprising a light source, a pupil shaping unit, a field defining unit, a first lens array, a first slit array, a second lens array, a third lens array, a second slit array, a fourth lens array, a condenser lens, and a scanning drive unit sequentially arranged along the light beam propagation direction. The illumination system reduces requirements on lens processing, slit scanning speed, and slit scanning precision, therefore may be implemented more easily.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2017
    Assignee: Shanghai Institute of Optics And Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Inventors: Aijun Zeng, Liqun Chen, Ruifang Fang, Huijie Huang
  • Patent number: 9709791
    Abstract: Method and system for imaging tissue, including (i) causing a macroscopic image of a tissue surface to be displayed on a visual display; (ii) receiving a selection of at least one portion of the macroscopic image; (iii) causing a plurality of confocal images captured by a confocal imager at different depths in a portion of the tissue to be displayed; (iv) receiving a selection of at least one target depth image; and (v) for each selected target depth image, instructing the confocal imager to capture a plurality of additional images at different locations and at a common depth with the target depth image. A system for imaging tissue having a macroscopic display module; a first selection module; a confocal display module; a second selection module; and an instruction module for instructing a confocal imager to capture a plurality of images at different locations over a selected region of the tissue.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2017
    Assignee: LUCID, INC.
    Inventor: Paul Hemmer
  • Patent number: 9688027
    Abstract: A method and system for printing a three-dimensional part, which includes rotating a transfer belt with a developed layer, scanning the developed layer on the rotating transfer belt, pressing the developed layer into contact with an intermediate build surface of the three-dimensional part retained on a moveable build platform, scanning the pressed layer on the three-dimensional part, comparing the scanned layers to detect an overlay error, and adjusting a position of the moveable build platform relative to the transfer belt to reduce the overlay error for a subsequent developed layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2017
    Assignee: Stratasys, Inc.
    Inventors: J. Samuel Batchelder, Zeiter Farah
  • Patent number: 9690189
    Abstract: Provided are a mask blank substrate which has effectively and extremely high principal surface flatness while a reduction in the manufacturing throughput of the mask blank substrate is suppressed, a mask blank, and a transfer mask. Also provided are manufacturing methods therefor. A virtual reference surface that becomes an optically effective flat reference surface defined by a Zernike polynomial which is composed of only terms in which the order of a variable related to a radius is the second or lower order, and includes one or more terms in which the order of the variable related to the radius is the second order is set, and a mask blank substrate satisfying the condition that data (PV value) relating to the difference between the maximum value and the minimum value of the difference data between the reference surface and the measured shape of the mask blank substrate is one-eighth or less of an exposure wavelength (A) is selected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2017
    Assignee: HOYA CORPORATION
    Inventor: Masaru Tanabe
  • Patent number: 9632039
    Abstract: Metrology targets are formed on a substrate (W) by a lithographic process. A target (T) comprising one or more grating structures is illuminated with spatially coherent radiation under different conditions. Radiation (650) diffracted by from said target area interferes with reference radiation (652) interferes with to form an interference pattern at an image detector (623). One or more images of said interference pattern are captured. From the captured image(s) and from knowledge of the reference radiation a complex field of the collected scattered radiation at the detector. A synthetic radiometric image (814) of radiation diffracted by each grating is calculated from the complex field. From the synthetic radiometric images (814, 814?) of opposite portions of a diffractions spectrum of the grating, a measure of asymmetry in the grating is obtained. Using suitable targets, overlay and other performance parameters of the lithographic process can be calculated from the measured asymmetry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Arie Jeffrey Den Boef, Simon Gijsbert Josephus Mathijssen, Nitesh Pandey, Stefan Michiel Witte, Kjeld Eikema