KLA-Tencor Patent Grants

Systems, methods and metrics for wafer high order shape characterization and wafer classification using wafer dimensional geometry tool

Granted: January 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9546862
Systems and methods for improving results of wafer higher order shape (HOS) characterization and wafer classification are disclosed. The systems and methods in accordance with the present disclosure are based on localized shapes. A wafer map is partitioned into a plurality of measurement sites to improve the completeness of wafer shape representation. Various site based HOS metric values may be calculated for wafer characterization and/or classification purposes, and may also be utilized…

Metrology target indentification, design and verification

Granted: January 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9546946
Metrology tools are provided, which comprise both active and passive vibration isolation devices, passive or active isolation systems such as constrained layer dampers, particle impact dampers or liquid impact dampers, and/or noise cancellation transducers, combined in different supporting structures of the metrology tool to dampen and reduce vibrations at a wide range of frequencies and intensities, and to which frequency range spectral analysis and optimization may be applied to…

Multi-spot scanning collection optics

Granted: January 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9546962
Disclosed are apparatus and methods for inspecting or measuring a specimen. A system comprises an illumination channel for generating and deflecting a plurality of incident beams to form a plurality of spots that scan across a segmented line comprised of a plurality of scan portions of the specimen. The system also includes one or more detection channels for sensing light emanating from a specimen in response to the incident beams directed towards such specimen and collecting a detected…

Film-growth model using level sets

Granted: January 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9547233
A technique for determining a set of surface profiles in a multilayer stack during a fabrication process may be determined using a model of this fabrication process, a geometry of the multilayer stack (such as a pre-defined geometry of the multilayer stack) and a surface profile in the multilayer stack (such as a measured surface profile of the top surface or a bottom surface of the multilayer stack). For example, the model of the fabrication process may be based on a generalized Eikonal…

Apparatus and methods for predicting wafer-level defect printability

Granted: January 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9547892
Disclosed are methods and apparatus for qualifying a photolithographic reticle. A reticle inspection tool is used to acquire images at different imaging configurations from each of the pattern areas of a calibration reticle. A reticle near field is recovered for each of the pattern areas of the calibration reticle based on the acquired images from each pattern area of the calibration reticle. Using the recovered reticle near field for the calibration reticle, a lithography model for…

Photomultiplier tube (PMT) having a reflective photocathode array

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9543130
An internal portion of a photomultiplier tube (PMT) having a reflective photocathode array, and a method for manufacturing the same, are provided. The internal portion of the PMT comprises the reflective photocathode array and at least one dynode structure corresponding to the array of reflective photocathodes. Each reflective photocathode receives light and from the light, generates photoelectrons which then travel towards the at least one dynode structure. Upon the photoelectrons…

System and method for generation of extreme ultraviolet light

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9544984
An EUV light source includes a rotatable, cylindrically-symmetric element having a surface coated with a plasma-forming target material, a drive laser source configured to generate one or more laser pulses sufficient to generate EUV light via formation of a plasma by excitation of the plasma-forming target material, a set of focusing optics configured to focus the one or more laser pulses onto the surface of the rotatable, cylindrically-symmetric element, a set of collection optics…

Method and apparatus to reduce thermal stress by regulation and control of lamp operating temperatures

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9534848
A fluid input manifold distributes injected fluid around the body of a bulb to cool the bulb below a threshold. The injected fluid also distributes heat more evenly along the surface of the bulb to reduce thermal stress. The fluid input manifold may comprise one or more airfoils to direct a substantially laminar fluid flow along the surface of the bulb or it may comprise a plurality of fluid injection nozzles oriented to produce a substantially laminar fluid flow. An output portion may…

Defect sampling for electron beam review based on defect attributes from optical inspection and optical review

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9535010
Various embodiments for generating a defect sample for electron beam review are provided. One method includes combining, on a defect-by-defect basis, one or more first attributes for defects determined by optical inspection of a wafer on which the defects were detected with one or more second attributes for the defects determined by optical review of the wafer thereby generating combined attributes for the defects. The method also includes separating the defects into bins based on the…

Combined x-ray and optical metrology

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9535018
Structural parameters of a specimen are determined by fitting models of the response of the specimen to measurements collected by different measurement techniques in a combined analysis. X-ray measurement data of a specimen is analyzed to determine at least one specimen parameter value that is treated as a constant in a combined analysis of both optical measurements and x-ray measurements of the specimen. For example, a particular structural property or a particular material property,…

Pattern failure discovery by leveraging nominal characteristics of alternating failure modes

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9536299
Methods and systems for detecting defects on a wafer are provided. One method includes acquiring output for a wafer generated by an inspection system. Different dies are printed on the wafer with different process conditions. The different process conditions correspond to different failure modes for the wafer. The method also includes comparing the output generated for a first of the different dies printed with the different process conditions corresponding to a first of the different…

Front quartersphere scattered light analysis

Granted: December 27, 2016
Patent Number: 9528942
A surface inspection system, as well as related components and methods, are provided. The surface inspection system includes a beam source subsystem, a beam scanning subsystem, a workpiece movement subsystem, an optical collection and detection subsystem, and a processing subsystem. The optical collection and detection system features, in the front quartersphere, a light channel assembly for collecting light reflected from the surface of the workpiece, and a front collector and wing…

Method and apparatus for inspecting a substrate

Granted: December 27, 2016
Patent Number: 9529279
A method and apparatus for inspection and review of defects is disclosed wherein data gathering is improved. In one embodiment, multiple or segmented detectors are used in a particle beam system.

Stage apparatus for semiconductor inspection and lithography systems

Granted: December 27, 2016
Patent Number: 9529280
A semiconductor sample is received on a chuck of a stage that is movable with respect to a stage frame. The stage, chuck, and sample are moved under an inspection or exposure head for inspecting or exposing the sample, and multiple 2D encoder heads are coupled with the chuck. Multiple 2D encoder scales are coupled with a base through which the head is inserted, and a stage encoder is positioned on the stage frame. Movement of the stage, chuck, and sample is controlled based on a position…

Light source with nanostructured antireflection layer

Granted: December 27, 2016
Patent Number: 9530636
A laser-sustained plasma light source includes a plasma cell configured to contain a volume of gas. The plasma cell is configured to receive illumination from a pump laser in order to generate plasma within the volume of gas. The plasma emits broadband radiation. The plasma cell includes one or more transparent portions being at least partially transparent to at least a portion of illumination from the pump laser and at least a portion of the broadband radiation emitted by the plasma.…

Wafer and reticle inspection systems and methods for selecting illumination pupil configurations

Granted: December 20, 2016
Patent Number: 9523646
In an optical inspection tool, an illumination aperture is opened at each of a plurality of aperture positions of an illumination pupil area one at a time across the illumination pupil area. For each aperture opening position, an incident beam is directed towards the illumination pupil area so as to selectively pass a corresponding ray bundle of the illumination beam at a corresponding set of one or more incident angles towards the sample and an output beam, which is emitted from the…

Computation efficiency by iterative spatial harmonics order truncation

Granted: December 20, 2016
Patent Number: 9523800
A method for improving computation efficiency for diffraction signals in optical metrology is described. The method includes simulating a set of spatial harmonics orders for a grating structure. The set of spatial harmonics orders is truncated to provide a first truncated set of spatial harmonics orders based on a first pattern. The first truncated set of spatial harmonics orders is modified by an iterative process to provide a second truncated set of spatial harmonics orders based on a…

Laser repetition rate multiplier and flat-top beam profile generators using mirrors and/or prisms

Granted: December 20, 2016
Patent Number: 9525265
A repetition rate (pulse) multiplier includes one or more beam splitters and prisms forming one or more ring cavities with different optical path lengths that delay parts of the energy of each pulse. A series of input laser pulses circulate in the ring cavities and part of the energy of each pulse leaves the system after traversing the shorter cavity path, while another part of the energy leaves the system after traversing the longer cavity path, and/or a combination of both cavity…

LED calibration standard having fast stabilization and lasting stability

Granted: December 20, 2016
Patent Number: 9526150
The stabilization of a light-emitting diode (LED) calibration standard includes a light-emitting diode (LED), or an array of LEDs; a cylindrical hood surrounding the LED; an interior baffle for keeping the light output of the LED, and ambient light from behind the LED, from escaping to the other side; a photodetector for receiving the light output of the LED and generating a signal proportional to luminous output; and a hood surrounding the photodetector. A variable current source…

Laser-sustained plasma light source

Granted: December 20, 2016
Patent Number: 9526158
A laser sustained plasma light source having a cell with a gas volume contained within the cell. At least one laser is directed into the gas volume, for sustaining a plasma within the gas volume, which plasma produces a light. Means are provided for continuously providing the gas volume to the plasma in a laminar flow. A reflector collects the light and provides the light to a desired location.