Step And Repeat Patents (Class 355/53)
  • Patent number: 10352694
    Abstract: A contactless dual-plane positioning method is disclosed. In this method, an X ray is provided. The X ray passes through a first test piece along a light incident axis. A scattering pattern generated by the X ray passing through the first test piece, and a scatting light intensity corresponding to the scattering pattern are obtained. According to the scattering light intensity, the first test piece is pivoted along a first axis or a second axis until the scattering intensity is greater than or equal to a predetermined intensity. At least three measurement distances between a second test piece and the first test piece are then obtained. According to the measurement distances, an included angle between the second test piece and the light incident axis is adjusted by pivoting the second test piece along a third axis or a fourth axis until the differences between any two measurement distances are less than a predetermined threshold value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE
    Inventors: Guo-Dung Chen, Bo-Ching He, Wei-En Fu
  • Patent number: 10354376
    Abstract: A method for determining overlay between layers of a multilayer structure may include obtaining a given image representing the multilayer structure, obtaining expected images for layers of the multilayer structure, providing a combined expected image of the multilayer structure as a combination of the expected images of said layers, performing registration of the given image against the combined expected image, and providing segmentation of the given image, thereby producing a segmented image, and maps of the layers of said multilayered structure. The method may further include determining overlay between any two selected layers of the multilayer structure by processing the maps of the two selected layers together with the expected images of said two selected layers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL LTD.
    Inventors: Yakov Weinberg, Ishai Schwarzband, Roman Kris, Itay Zauer, Ran Goldman, Olga Novak, Dhananjay Singh Rathore, Ofer Adan, Shimon Levi
  • Patent number: 10353299
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method of forming a first layer including a layout of first shot regions each having a first size and a second layer including a layout of second shot regions each having a second size corresponding to a size including at least two first shot regions to be overlaid on each other, by first processing of forming the first layer in a process including scanning exposure and second processing of forming the second layer, the method including determining, for each of the first shot regions, a scanning direction when performing scanning exposure for the first shot region in the first processing so that combinations each including the scanning directions and the at least two first shot regions included in the second shot region in the first processing are identical in at least some of the second shot regions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Kazushi Mizumoto
  • Patent number: 10353296
    Abstract: An immersion lithographic apparatus has adaptations to prevent or reduce bubble formation in one or more gaps in the substrate table by preventing bubbles escaping from the gap into the beam path and/or extracting bubbles that may form in the gap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: ASML NETHERLANDS B.V.
    Inventors: Bob Streefkerk, Sjoerd Nicolaas Lambertus Donders, Roelof Frederik De Graaf, Christiaan Alexander Hoogendam, Martinus Hendrikus Antonius Leenders, Jeroen Johannes Sophia Maria Mertens, Michel Riepen
  • Patent number: 10345723
    Abstract: A substrate handling system for handling a substrate, the substrate handling system including a holder for holding the substrate, a rotation device for rotating the holder around an axis perpendicular to a plane, and a mover for moving the holder along a path in the plane relative to the axis. Further, there is provided a lithographic apparatus including the substrate handling system. The substrate handling system may include a coupling device arranged to couple the holder to the mover or the rotation device in a first situation. The coupling device may be arranged to decouple the holder from the mover or rotation device in a second situation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Michael Johannes Vervoordeldonk, Joeri Lof
  • Patent number: 10338480
    Abstract: A simulation apparatus has: a first processing part configured to obtain a value of a parameter in a first set relating to the forming of the pattern; a second processing part configured to obtain a value of a parameter in a second set that is at least partially same as the parameter in the first set and relating to the forming of the pattern; and an integration processing part configured to evaluate, based on the value of the parameter in the first set and the value of the parameter in the second set, a state of the pattern formed on the substrate and a forming condition when the pattern is formed, and to determine based on the result of the evaluation whether or not to make at least one of the first processing part and the second processing part recalculate the value of the parameter in the corresponding set.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2019
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Tomoyuki Matsuyama, Shintaro Kudo, Hirotaka Kohno
  • Patent number: 10338476
    Abstract: A reflective optical element, in particular for a microlithographic projection exposure apparatus or a mask inspection apparatus. According to one aspect, the reflective optical element has an optically effective surface, a substrate (405, 505), a reflection layer system (410, 510) and at least one porous outgassing layer (450, 550), which at least intermittently releases particles adsorbed in the outgassing layer (450, 550) when the optically effective surface (400a, 500a) is irradiated by electromagnetic radiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2019
    Assignee: CARL ZEISS SMT GMBH
    Inventor: Peter Huber
  • Patent number: 10331048
    Abstract: A mirror, in particular for a microlithographic projection exposure apparatus, has an optically effective surface, a mirror substrate (205, 305), a reflection layer (220, 320), which is configured to provide the mirror with a reflectivity of at least 50% for electromagnetic radiation with a predetermined operating wavelength incident on the optically effective surface (200a, 300a) at angles of incidence in relation to the respective surface normals of at least 65°, and a substrate protection layer (210, 310) which is arranged between the mirror substrate (205, 305) and the reflection layer (220, 320). The substrate protection layer has a transmission of less than 0.1% for EUV radiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: CARL ZEISS SMT GMBH
    Inventors: Oliver Dier, Kerstin Hild, Hartmut Enkisch, Matus Kalisky
  • Patent number: 10331038
    Abstract: A real time software and array control software application platform which maintains the ability to manage the synchronization between substrate alignments and image projection systems during maskless lithography patterning in a manufacturing process is disclosed. The application coordinates and controls the image projection systems such that discrepancies in and misalignments of the substrate may be determined and accounted for in real time. The image projection systems may run in parallel and may be controlled by a central processor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: APPLIED MATERIALS, INC.
    Inventors: Uwe Hollerbach, Thomas L. Laidig, Mark Hunt, Don Starses
  • Patent number: 10325794
    Abstract: A purge device includes a supply flow rate adjuster, which adjusts a supply flow rate of a purge gas supplied to a storage container through a supply pipe, and an intake flow rate adjuster, which adjusts an intake flow rate of the purge gas taken in from an inside of the storage container through a discharge pipe to prevent the pressure of the inside of the storage container from becoming negative relative to an outside of the storage container. The supply flow rate adjuster adjusts the supply flow rate in at least two stages including a first flow rate and a second flow rate that is higher than the first flow rate. When the supply flow rate is the first flow rate, the intake flow rate adjuster sets the intake flow rate to zero.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: MURATA MACHINERY, LTD.
    Inventors: Masanao Murata, Takashi Yamaji
  • Patent number: 10324384
    Abstract: An immersion lithographic apparatus including: a liquid confinement structure configured to supply and confine immersion liquid to an immersion space between a final lens element of a projection system and a surface of the substrate and/or of a substrate table; and a passageway-former between the projection system and the liquid confinement structure, and a passageway between the passageway-former and an optically active part of the final lens element, the passageway being in liquid communication via an opening with the immersion space and extending radially outwardly, with respect to an optical axis of the projection system, at least to an edge of an exposed bottom surface of the final lens element and being constructed and configured such that in use it is filled with liquid from the immersion space by capillary action.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Gerben Pieterse, Theodorus Wilhelmus Polet, Johannes Jacobus Matheus Baselmans, Willem Jan Bouman, Theodorus Marinus Modderman, Cornelius Maria Rops, Bart Smeets, Koen Steffens, Ronald Van Der Ham
  • Patent number: 10317346
    Abstract: A method for inspecting a spatial light modulator includes: performing such control that in an inspection target area in an array of mirror elements, the mirror elements in a first state in which incident light is given a phase change amount of 0 and the mirror elements in a second state in which incident light is given a phase change amount of 180° (?) become arrayed in a checkered pattern; guiding light having passed the inspection target area to a projection optical system with a resolution limit coarser than a width of an image of one mirror element, to form a spatial image; and inspecting a characteristic of the spatial light modulator from the spatial image. This method allows us to readily perform the inspection of the characteristic of the spatial light modulator having the array of optical elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Tomoharu Fujiwara
  • Patent number: 10310384
    Abstract: While a wafer stage moves linearly in a Y-axis direction, surface position information of a wafer surface at a plurality of detection points set at a predetermined interval in an X-axis direction is detected by a multipoint AF system, and by a plurality of alignment systems arranged in a line along the X-axis direction, marks at different positions on the wafer are each detected, and a part of a chipped shot of the wafer is exposed by a periphery edge exposure system. This allows throughput to be improved when compared with the case when detection operation of the marks, detection operation of the surface position information (focus information), and periphery edge exposure operation are performed independently.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yuichi Shibazaki
  • Patent number: 10311198
    Abstract: A sample comprising an overlay target is presented. The overlay target comprises at least one pair of patterned structures, the patterned structures of the pair being accommodated in respectively bottom and top layers of the sample with a certain vertical distance h between them, wherein a pattern in at least one of the patterned structures has at least one pattern parameter optimized for a predetermined optical overlay measurement scheme with a predetermined wavelength range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: NOVA MEASURING INSTRUMENTS LTD.
    Inventors: Gilad Barak, Tal Verdene, Michal Yachini, Dror Shafir, Changman Moon, Shay Wolfling
  • Patent number: 10303069
    Abstract: The present invention provides a pattern forming method of forming a plurality of pattern layers on a substrate by using a plurality of lithography apparatuses including a first lithography apparatus and a second lithography apparatus, the method comprising a first step of forming a first pattern layer by the first lithography apparatus which adopts a die-by-die alignment method, based on alignment information obtained by using the die-by-die alignment method for a plurality of marks formed on the substrate by a lithography apparatus which adopts a global alignment method, and a second step of forming a second pattern layer so as to overlap with the first pattern layer by the second lithography apparatus, based on alignment information obtained by using the global alignment method for a plurality of shot regions formed on the substrate by the first lithography apparatus in the first step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Eiji Sakamoto, Keiji Emoto, Yutaka Watanabe
  • Patent number: 10303064
    Abstract: Disclosed are an optical system for conditioning a beam of radiation, and an illumination system and metrology apparatus comprising such an optical system. The optical system comprises one or more optical mixing elements in an optical system. The optical system defines at least a first optical mixing stage, at least a second optical mixing stage, and at least one transformation stage, configured such that radiation entering the second optical mixing stage includes a transformed version of radiation exiting the first optical mixing stage. The first and second optical mixing stages can be provided using separate optical mixing elements, or by multiple passes through the same optical mixing element. The transformation stage can be a Fourier transformation stage. Both spatial distribution and angular distribution of illumination can be homogenized as desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Sebastianus Adrianus Goorden, Teunis Willem Tukker, Johannes Matheus Marie De Wit, Jonas Mertes, Gerbrand Van Der Zouw
  • Patent number: 10295713
    Abstract: A color filter substrate, a preparing method thereof and a display device are provided. The method includes: preparing a black matrix pattern and a color filter pattern on a substrate; preparing planarization layer and spacers including primary spacers and secondary spacers. The black matrix pattern includes primary areas and secondary areas, and the primary area has a width in the column direction of the black matrix pattern greater than the width of the secondary area in the column direction of the black matrix pattern. The primary spacers are located on primary areas of the black matrix pattern; and the secondary spacers are located on secondary areas of the black matrix pattern, the primary spacers have a height greater than that of the secondary spacers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignees: BOE Technology Group Co., Ltd., Beijing BOE Display Technology Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Changjun Zha, Min Li, Jingjing Jiang, Hongjiang Wu
  • Patent number: 10289009
    Abstract: A lithographic apparatus obtains a height map of a substrate and uses the height map when controlling imaging of the pattern to the substrate. The apparatus is arranged to disregard at least partially height anomalies when controlling the imaging. The height anomalies may be identified by processing the height map. For example, in some embodiments the height anomalies are identified using a shape recognition model. In some embodiments, a modified version of the height map is produced in which the height anomalies are at least partially removed, and the modified version of the height map is used in controlling the imaging. An anomaly map may be used together with the (unmodified) height map to control imaging.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Bram Van Hoof, Wim Tjibbo Tel
  • Patent number: 10290082
    Abstract: An image processing apparatus includes a memory configured to store a plurality of image restoration filters depending on an F-number, and at least one processor coupled to the memory, and serving as an acquirer configured to acquire a plurality of first image restoration filters according to an imaging condition from among the plurality of image restoration filters, and an image restorer configured to perform a restoration process for an image through a predetermined calculation process based on the plurality of first image restoration filters. The image is obtained via an imaging optical system that includes an optical element having a transmittance distribution where a transmittance continuously changes in at least a partial area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2019
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Fumihito Wachi
  • Patent number: 10281828
    Abstract: An exposure method includes, in a case of exposing unmeasurable shots which are arranged linearly and whose focus value cannot be measured and a measurable shot which is adjacent to the unmeasurable shots and whose focus value can be measured, exposing alternately the measurable shot and the unmeasurable shots such that the unmeasurable shots are exposed using the focus value of the adjacent measurable shot exposed immediately before the unmeasurable shots.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignee: KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOKAI RIKA DENKI SEISAKUSHO
    Inventor: Kento Arimatsu
  • Patent number: 10281829
    Abstract: A vibration-assisted positioning stage comprising a stage, a roller bearing, an compliant joint interconnecting the roller bearing to the stage such that the compliant joint is sufficiently compliant in a direction of movement to permit reliable alignment of the stage and further permit dithering, and a dithering force actuator applying a dithering force directly to the roller bearing to permit the dithering of the stage. The dithering forces can be applied out of phase to minimize vibration of the stage. Furthermore, the controller of the stage can be employed to suppress any remnant vibrations of the stage due to dithering. A supervisory control system can intelligently adapt the parameters of the dithering signal to optimize the performance of the stage as friction changes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignee: THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
    Inventors: Chinedum E. Okwudire, Xin Dong
  • Patent number: 10281821
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus includes a polarizing member polarizing illumination light, and a filter having at least one opening. The polarizing member includes a first polarizing unit and a second polarizing unit arranged so as to surround the first polarizing unit. The second polarizing unit is configured so as to polarize the illumination light entering the second polarizing unit in the circumferential direction along the outer circumference of the first polarizing unit. At least a portion of the first polarizing unit is configured to polarize the illumination light in the direction orthogonal to the polarization direction in a part of the second polarizing unit located on the side opposite to the central part of the first polarizing unit. The openings are arranged in the filter so that the illumination light at the post stage of the filter and the polarizing member includes the illumination light polarized by the first and second polarizing units.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignee: Renesas Electronics Corporation
    Inventor: Seiji Matsuura
  • Patent number: 10281830
    Abstract: A lithographic apparatus (100) includes a patterning device support structure (104) configured to support a patterning device (110), a gas inlet (116) configured to provide a gas flow (114) across a surface of the patterning device, and a temperature conditioning device (134) configured to condition the temperature of the gas flow based on a set point. The apparatus also includes a sensor (132) configured to measure a parameter indicative of an amount of heat added to at least one of the patterning device and a volume (126) between the patterning device and a lens (124) of a projection system (106) during operational use of the lithographic system. Further, the apparatus includes a controller (130) operatively coupled to the sensor and configured to adjust the set point based on the parameter measured by the sensor to control a temperature of the patterning device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignees: ASML Netherlands B.V., ASML Holding N.V.
    Inventors: Laurentius Johannes Adrianus Van Bokhoven, Christopher Charles Ward, Marc Léon Van Der Gaag, Johan Gertrudis Cornelis Kunnen
  • Patent number: 10274828
    Abstract: A microlithography illumination system includes a first light source configured to generate pulses of light, a second light source configured to generate further pulses of light offset temporally relative to the pulses of light generated by the first light source, an array of optical elements digitally switchable between first and second switching positions, and a control device to drive the optical elements so that during use the switching position of the optical elements is unchanged while any of the first and second light sources generates a light pulse. In the first switching position of the optical elements, the array couples light pulses generated by the first light source into a common beam path of the illumination system. In the second switching position of the optical elements, the array couples light pulses generated by the second light source into a common beam path of the illumination system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventors: Markus Deguenther, Vladimir Davydenko, Thomas Korb, Johannes Eisenmenger
  • Patent number: 10274849
    Abstract: A lithographic apparatus applies a device pattern at multiple fields across a substrate. A height map is decomposed into a plurality of components. A first height map component represents topographical variations associated with the device pattern. One or more further height map components represent other topographical variations. Using each height map component, control set-points are calculated according to a control algorithm specific to each component. The control set-points calculated for the different height map components are then combined and used to control imaging of the device pattern to the substrate. The specific control algorithms can be different from one another, and may have differing degrees of nonlinearity. The combining of the different set-points can be linear. Focus control in the presence of device-specific topography and other local variations can be improved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Rene Marinus Gerardus Johan Queens, Erik Johan Koop, Reiner Maria Jungblut
  • Patent number: 10274844
    Abstract: A lithography apparatus is provided. The lithography apparatus includes a reticle stage. The reticle stage includes a main base, an electrostatic chuck and a safety protecting device. The electrostatic chuck is disposed on the main base and configured to generate an electrostatic force for holding a reticle. The safety protecting device is connected to the main base and is configured to generate a pushing force toward the reticle when the electrostatic force generated by the electrostatic chuck is interrupted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Jen-Yang Chung, Chieh Hsieh, Shang-Chieh Chien, Li-Jui Chen, Po-Chung Cheng
  • Patent number: 10274843
    Abstract: An exposure apparatus includes: a stage on which a substrate is placed; a plurality of light irradiation units configured to emit light independently of each other, so as to form a strip-like irradiation area; a rotation mechanism configured to rotate the substrate relative to the irradiation area; a stage moving mechanism configured to move the stage relative to the irradiation area in a back and forth direction; and a control unit configured to make the exposure apparatus perform a first step that rotates the substrate relative to the irradiation area having a first illuminance distribution such that the whole surface of the substrate is exposed, and a second step that moves the substrate in the back and forth direction relative to the irradiation area having a second illuminance distribution while rotation of the substrate is being stopped, such that the whole surface of the substrate is exposed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Seiji Nagahara, Masaru Tomono, Nobutaka Fukunaga, Gousuke Shiraishi, Yukie Minekawa
  • Patent number: 10274833
    Abstract: An exposing method adapted to a maskless photolithography process. The exposing method includes reading an exposure file; obtaining a plurality of coordinate information corresponding to a plurality of patterns contained in the exposure file, according to the exposure file; generating graphical data, according to the plurality of coordinate information; generating scanning data corresponding to each of a plurality of polygon mirrors or each of at least one polygon mirror group, according to the graphical data and a configuration of the polygon mirrors, wherein every two rotation directions of every two adjacent polygon mirrors of the plurality of polygon mirrors are different, or every two rotation directions of every two adjacent polygon mirrors of the at least one polygon mirror group are different.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH INSTITUTE
    Inventors: Ka-Yi Yeh, Chun-Lung Lin, Shau-Yin Tseng
  • Patent number: 10268121
    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: September 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Akinori Shirato, Takashi Shibuya
  • Patent number: 10261422
    Abstract: An immersion lithography apparatus has a controller configured to control a substrate table to move along an exposure route including in order: an entry motion in which the substrate moves from an off-substrate position at which the immersion space does not overlap the substrate to an on-substrate position at which the immersion space at least partially overlaps the substrate, a transfer motion in which the substrate table changes speed and/or direction and moves for at least a transfer time after the substrate moves to the on-substrate position, and an expose motion in which the substrate is scanned and the patterned beam is projected onto the substrate, wherein throughout the transfer motion at least a part of the immersion space overlaps the substrate and wherein the patterned beam is not projected onto the substrate during the entry motion and the transfer motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Norbertus Josephus Martinus Van Den Nieuwelaar, Victor Manuel Blanco Carballo, Casper Roderik De Groot, Rolf Hendrikus Jacobus Custers, David Merritt Phillips, Frederik Antonius Van Der Zanden, Pieter Lein Joseph Gunter, Erik Henricus Egidius Catharina Eummelen, Yuri Johannes Gabriël Van De Vijver, Bert Dirk Scholten, Marijn Wouters, Ronald Frank Kox, Jorge Alberto Vieyra Salas
  • Patent number: 10254664
    Abstract: The disclosure provides a device for aligning a component via a guide member. A head region of the guide member is secured at a fixing point of the component, and a foot region of the guide member is secured at a fixing point of an actuating element of an actuating facility. The actuating facility is configured to hold the guide member moveably in a movement axis for the purpose of transmitting a force to the component. An adjusting facility is provided to adjust the fixing point of the actuating element so that an angle between the movement axis and the course of the guide member between the fixing points is variable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2019
    Assignee: Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH
    Inventor: Michael Erath
  • Patent number: 10254112
    Abstract: The various embodiments presented herein relate to utilizing light in conjunction with an optical Fourier transform to examine and quantify roughness of a surface. The surface includes a plurality of flaked particles. The surface is illuminated with a light beam, wherein light reflected from the surface passes through an f-theta lens and is collected at a light sensitive array (LSA). The LSA comprises light sensitive pixels. For an arrangement where the flakes are conformal with the surface, a low degree of light scattering occurs at the surface. For a surface comprising tipped and/or tilted flakes, a correlating degree of scattering of the incident light beam occurs. The surface roughness is quantified based upon the distribution of angular reflections of the scattered light represented in an image formed through use of the LSA.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2019
    Assignee: National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC
    Inventors: Shanalyn A. Kemme, Adam Jones, George Burns
  • Patent number: 10254654
    Abstract: An optical element assembly includes a base, and an element unit. The element unit includes (i) an optical element having an element central axis and an element perimeter; and (ii) an element connector assembly that couples the optical element to the base, the element connector assembly including a flexure assembly having an element flexure and a base flexure. A distal end of the element flexure is coupled to the optical element near the element perimeter, a distal end of the base flexure is coupled to the base, and a proximal end of the element flexure is coupled to a proximal end of the base flexure near the element central axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2019
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Shane R. Palmer, Michael Binnard
  • Patent number: 10236225
    Abstract: The present disclosure generally relates to a method for performing semiconductor device fabrication, and more particularly, to improvements in lithographic overlay techniques. The method for improved overlay includes depositing a material on a substrate, heating a substrate in a chamber using thermal energy, measuring a local stress pattern of each substrate, wherein measuring the local stress pattern measures an amount of change in a depth of the deposited material on the substrate, plotting a plurality of points on a k map to determine a local stress pattern of the substrate, adjusting the thermal energy applied to the points on the k map, determining a sensitivity value for each of the points on the k map, and applying a correction factor to the applied thermal energy to adjust the local stress pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: APPLIED MATERIALS, INC.
    Inventors: Yoichi Suzuki, Michael Wenyoung Tsiang, Kwangduk Douglas Lee, Takashi Morii, Yuta Goto
  • Patent number: 10235745
    Abstract: Embodiments relate to the field of image processing technologies, and in particular, to an image processing method and apparatus. In embodiments, when an image is being photographed, an exposure time that is required is first determined, and if the required exposure time is longer than a preset exposure time, the preset exposure time is used to photograph N second images, that is, and a final image is obtained by processing the N second images.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Congchao Zhu, Wei Luo
  • Patent number: 10235597
    Abstract: According to various implementations, a computing device receives an image of a candidate mark and uses the image to create a profile of a feature of the mark. The computing device filters out, from the profile, all spatial frequency components except for a first band of spatial frequency components, resulting in a first filtered profile for the feature. The computing device repeats this filtering process for a second band of spatial frequency components, resulting in a second filtered profile for the feature, and may repeat this filtering process for further spatial frequency bands. The computing device compares the first filtered profile of the candidate mark with an equivalent first filtered profile of a genuine mark, and may repeat this process for further filtered profiles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: Sys-Tech Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: Matthias Voigt, Michael L. Soborski, Rafik Ayoub
  • Patent number: 10222709
    Abstract: A pattern is applied to a substrate by a lithographic apparatus as part of a lithographic manufacturing system. Structures are produced with feature sizes less than 10 nm. A target includes one or more gratings with a direction of periodicity. A detector captures one or more diffraction spectra, to implement small angle X-ray scattering metrology. One or more properties, such as linewidth (CD), are calculated from the captured spectra for example by reconstruction. The irradiation direction defines a non-zero polar angle relative to a direction normal to the substrate and defines a non-zero azimuthal angle relative to the direction of periodicity, when projected onto a plane of the substrate. By selecting a suitable azimuthal angle, the diffraction efficiency of the target can be enhanced by a large factor. This allows measurement time to be reduced significantly compared with known techniques.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventor: Richard Quintanilha
  • Patent number: 10222599
    Abstract: A structured illuminating apparatus includes a branching unit branching an exit light flux from a light source into at least two branched light fluxes, an illuminating optical system making the two branched light fluxes to be respectively collected at mutually different positions on a pupil plane of an objective lens and making the two branched light fluxes to be interfered with each other to illuminate a specimen with an interference fringe of the two branched light fluxes, and an adjusting unit adjusting a height from an optical axis of the illuminating optical system to two collecting points formed on the pupil plane of the objective lens by the two branched light fluxes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Yumiko Ouchi, Kazuhiro Takasago, Hiroaki Nakayama
  • 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
  • Patent number: 10222293
    Abstract: There is provided an optical characteristic measuring method for measuring an optical characteristic of an optical system which forms, on a second plane, an image of an object arranged on a first plane, the optical characteristic measuring method including: arranging, on the first plane, a first area through which a measuring light passes or by which the measuring light is reflected; arranging a second area, through which the measuring light passes or by which the measuring light is reflected, on the second plane at a position corresponding to the first area; and detecting, via one of the first area and the second area, a light amount of the measuring light via the optical system and the other of the first area and the second area; wherein at least one of the first area and the second area has a shape such that a light amount, of the measuring light which passes or which is reflected via the optical system, is changed depending on the optical characteristic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2019
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hiroshi Ooki, Ayako Nakamura
  • Patent number: 10209623
    Abstract: A liquid immersion exposure apparatus includes a projection system, a movable stage, an alignment system and a measurement member. The projection system has a last optical element, and projects a beam onto a substrate through an immersion liquid. The movable stage has a holder by which the substrate is held. The alignment system detects an alignment mark on the substrate not through the immersion liquid. The measurement member is provided on the movable stage, and has a reference mark to be detected by the alignment system not through the immersion liquid. The measurement member has a material to form the reference mark, the material being covered with a light-transmissive material. The movable stage is movable to a position so that the measurement member is under the projection system and a gap between the projection system and the measurement member is filled with the immersion liquid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Masahiko Yasuda, Takahiro Masada, Yuho Kanaya, Tadashi Nagayama
  • Patent number: 10209631
    Abstract: The present invention provides an exposure apparatus which transfers a pattern of a mask onto a substrate by exposing the substrate while scanning the mask and the substrate, the apparatus including a stage configured to hold the substrate and move, a control unit configured to control movement of the stage, a first measurement unit configured to measure a position, in a height direction, of a shot region of the substrate held by the stage before the shot region reaches an exposure area where the shot region is exposed, and a second measurement unit configured to measure the position of the shot region in the height direction prior to the first measurement unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Takanori Sato
  • Patent number: 10203611
    Abstract: A substrate table to support a substrate on a substrate supporting area, the substrate table having a heat transfer fluid channel at least under the substrate supporting area, and a plurality of heaters and/or coolers to thermally control the heat transfer fluid in the channel at a location under the substrate supporting area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2019
    Assignee: ASML NETHERLANDS B.V.
    Inventors: Thibault Simon Mathieu Laurent, Gerardus Adrianus Antonius Maria Kusters, Bastiaan Andreas Wilhelmus Hubertus Knarren, Raymond Wilhelmus Louis Lafarre, Koen Steffens, Takeshi Kaneko, Robbert Jan Voogd, Gregory Martin Mason Corcoran, Ruud Hendrikus Martinus Johannes Bloks, Johan Gertrudis Cornelis Kunnen, Ramin Badie
  • Patent number: 10201927
    Abstract: The present invention provides an imprint apparatus which performs an imprint process of molding an imprint material on a substrate using a mold and forming a pattern on the substrate, the apparatus including a substrate chuck configured to hold the substrate, a protective plate configured to surround the substrate chuck, and a suction mechanism configured to suction at least a part of a gap between the substrate chuck and the protective plate, wherein while the suction mechanism suctions at least the part of the gap, the substrate chuck holds a plate which is different from the substrate on which the pattern is to be formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2019
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Makoto Mizuno, Shinichi Shudo, Tsuyoshi Arai
  • Patent number: 10197921
    Abstract: An exposure device is disclosed, including: a light source (1), an illumination module (2), a mask stage (5), a projection objective module, an imaging position adjustment module (4) and a wafer stage (6), disposed sequentially along a direction of light propagation, the imaging position adjustment module (4) including a plurality of adjustment elements (410) arranged individually, the projection objective module including a plurality of projection objectives (3) each having an FoV in positional correspondence with a respective one of the plurality of adjustment elements (410). The imaging position adjustment module (4) ensures satisfactory imaging quality and FoV stitching quality of the projection objectives (3) by performing translation, magnification, focal plane and other adjustments on an image formed by the projection objective module. The projection objective module is simpler as it does not contain any component or mechanism for imaging position adjustment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2019
    Assignee: SHANGHAI MICRO ELECTRONICS EQUIPMENT (GROUP) CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Jinglu Sun, Jian Zhou
  • Patent number: 10197911
    Abstract: An imprint apparatus which transfers a pattern of a mold onto a substrate is provided. The imprint apparatus includes a plurality of gas supply units each supplying a gas for substituting for air in the space between an original and the substrate. A control unit of the imprint apparatus controls the gas flow rate from each gas supply unit in accordance with the area of a portion where the original and the substrate overlap in a plan view after relatively moving the original and the substrate such that a target shot region on the substrate is positioned immediately under the pattern surface of the original.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2019
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Masahiro Kimura
  • Patent number: 10191377
    Abstract: An immersion lithographic apparatus is provided having a substrate table including a drain configured to receive immersion fluid which leaks into a gap between an edge of a substrate on the substrate table and an edge of a recess in which the substrate is located. A thermal conditioning system is provided to thermally condition at least the portion of the recess supporting the substrate by directing one or more jets of fluid onto a reverse side of the section supporting the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands, B.V.
    Inventors: Hrishikesh Patel, Johannes Henricus Wilhelmus Jacobs, Gerardus Adrianus Antonius Maria Kusters, Thibault Simon Mathieu Laurent, Marcio Alexandre Cano Miranda, Ruud Hendricus Martinus Johannes Bloks, Peng Feng, Johan Gertrudis Cornelis Kunnen
  • Patent number: 10191396
    Abstract: A temperature conditioning system for a lithographic apparatus. Temperature variations in an object cause object deformation which prevents the object being accurately positioned. Temperature condition systems use conduit systems, provided with fluid, in or on the object to control the temperature of the object to reduce object deformation. In this way, parts of the object can be more accurately positioned. However, acceleration of the object and the temperature conditioning system induces variation in pressure within the fluid inside the conduit system on or in the object, which may also cause object deformation. To provide an improved conduit system, the lithographic apparatus further includes a control system which is used to control the movement of the object based on measurements indicating pressure variation in the conduit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Paul Corné Henri De Wit, Stijn Willem Boere, Youssef Karel Maria De Vos, Peter Paul Hempenius, Nicolaas Rudolf Kemper, Robertus Mathijs Gerardus Rijs, Frits Van Der Meulen
  • Patent number: 10191383
    Abstract: A movement area of a stage includes first-fifth areas. In the first area, three of four heads except for a first head respectively face three of four sections of a scale member except for a first section. In the second area, three of four heads except for a second head respectively face three of four sections except for a second section of the scale member. In the third area, three of four heads except for a third head respectively face three of four sections except for a third section of the scale member. In the fourth area, three of four heads except for a fourth head respectively face three of four sections of the scale member. In the fifth area, the four heads respectively face the four sections. The stage is moved from one of the first-fourth areas to another of those areas via the fifth area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2019
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yuichi Shibazaki
  • Patent number: RE47237
    Abstract: A lithographic apparatus including a fluid handling structure configured to contain immersion fluid in a space adjacent to an upper surface of the substrate table and/or a substrate located in a recess of the substrate table, a cover having a planar main body that, in use, extends around a substrate from the upper surface to a peripheral section of an upper major face of the substrate in order to cover a gap between an edge of the recess and an edge of the substrate, and an immersion fluid film disruptor, configured to disrupt the formation of a film of immersion fluid between an edge of the cover and immersion fluid contained by the fluid handling structure during movement of the substrate table relative to the fluid handling structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2019
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Niek Jacobus Johannes Roset, Nicolaas Ten Kate, Sergei Shulepov, Raymond Wilhelmus Louis Lafarre