KLA-Tencor Patent Grants

Inspection systems and techniques with enhanced detection

Granted: March 21, 2017
Patent Number: 9599573
Disclosed are methods and apparatus for inspecting semiconductor samples. On an inspection tool, a plurality of different wavelength ranges is selected for different layers of interest of one or more semiconductor samples based on whether such different layers of interest have an absorber type material present within or near such different layers of interest. On the inspection tool, at least one incident beam is directed at the different wavelength ranges towards the different layers of…

Photocathode including silicon substrate with boron layer

Granted: March 21, 2017
Patent Number: 9601299
A photocathode is formed on a monocrystalline silicon substrate having opposing illuminated (top) and output (bottom) surfaces. To prevent oxidation of the silicon, a thin (e.g., 1-5 nm) boron layer is disposed directly on the output surface using a process that minimizes oxidation and defects, and a low work-function material layer is then formed over the boron layer to enhance the emission of photoelectrons. The low work-function material includes an alkali metal (e.g., cesium) or an…

Selecting one or more parameters for inspection of a wafer

Granted: March 21, 2017
Patent Number: 9601393
Computer-implemented methods, computer-readable media, and systems for selecting one or more parameters for inspection of a wafer are provided.

Dispersion model for band gap tracking

Granted: March 14, 2017
Patent Number: 9595481
Methods and systems for determining band structure characteristics of high-k dielectric films deposited over a substrate based on spectral response data are presented. High throughput spectrometers are utilized to quickly measure semiconductor wafers early in the manufacturing process. Optical models of semiconductor structures capable of accurate characterization of defects in high-K dielectric layers and embedded nanostructures are presented. In one example, the optical dispersion…

Pick-and-place head and method for picking work-pieces

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9586325
A pick-and-place head for picking a plurality of work-pieces from at least one first location and for placing the plurality of work-pieces at least one second location is disclosed. The pick-and-place head exhibits a plurality of nozzles, wherein each nozzle is configured to engage one of the work-pieces by action of a vacuum. At least one nozzle has an individual vacuum supply and at least two further nozzles have a shared vacuum supply. A corresponding method is also disclosed, the…

Scanning inspection system with angular correction

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9587936
A wafer is moved under an inspection spot by a rotary inspection system. The system rotates the wafer about an axis of rotation and translates the wafer along a linear trajectory. When the inspection spot is not aligned with the trajectory of the axis of rotation, an angular error is introduced in the representation of the position of the inspection spot with respect to the wafer by the rotary encoder. The angular error is corrected based on an angular error correction value. The angular…

Method and device for using substrate geometry to determine optimum substrate analysis sampling

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9588441
A method and apparatus for process control in the processing of a substrate is disclosed in the present invention. Embodiments of the present invention utilize a first analysis tool to determine changes in a substrate's geometry. The substrate geometry data is used to generate sampling plan that will be used to check areas of the substrate that are likely to have errors after processing. The sampling plan is fed forwards to a second analysis tool that samples the substrate after it has…

Multi-layer ceramic vacuum to atmosphere electric feed through

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9591770
Embodiments of this invention use multi-layer ceramic substrate with one or more hermetically sealed and filled metal vias with smaller pitch and size in combination with flexible printed circuit cables and interposers to provide a custom electric feed through for vacuum to atmosphere chambers. This abstract is provided to comply with rules requiring an abstract that will allow a searcher or other reader to quickly ascertain the subject matter of the technical disclosure. It is submitted…

Phase characterization of targets

Granted: February 28, 2017
Patent Number: 9581430
Systems and methods are provided which derive target characteristics from interferometry images taken at multiple phase differences between target beams and reference beams yielding the interferometry images. The illumination of the target and the reference has a coherence length of less than 30 microns to enable scanning the phase through the coherence length of the illumination. The interferometry images are taken at the pupil plane and/or in the field plane to combine angular and…

Dynamic binning for diversification and defect discovery

Granted: February 28, 2017
Patent Number: 9582869
Methods and systems for generating a defect sample for a wafer are provided. One method includes separating defects detected on a wafer into bins having diversity in values of a first set of one or more first attributes of the defects. The method also includes selecting, independently from one or more of the bins, defects within the bins based on diversity in a second set of one or more second attributes of the defects. The selected defects are then used to create a defect sample for the…

High purity ozone generator for optics cleaning and recovery

Granted: February 21, 2017
Patent Number: 9573111
An apparatus for producing a high purity stream of ozone including a reaction chamber having an inlet and an outlet, a gaseous feed stream having a first purified component and an ultraviolet source. The gaseous feed stream enters the reaction chamber through the inlet, the first purified component includes oxygen, the ultraviolet source forms ozone from the oxygen, and the ozone exits the reaction chamber through the outlet.

Single wavelength ellipsometry with improved spot size capability

Granted: February 21, 2017
Patent Number: 9574992
Methods and systems for performing single wavelength ellipsometry (SWE) measurements with reduced measurement spot size are presented herein. In one aspect, a pupil stop is located at or near a pupil plane in the collection optical path to reduce sensitivity to target edge diffraction effects. In another aspect, a field stop is located at or near an image plane conjugate to the wafer plane in the collection optical path to reduce sensitivity to undesired optical-structural interactions.…

Method and system for universal target based inspection and metrology

Granted: February 21, 2017
Patent Number: 9576861
Universal target based inspection drive metrology includes designing a plurality of universal metrology targets measurable with an inspection tool and measurable with a metrology tool, identifying a plurality of inspectable features within at least one die of a wafer using design data, disposing the plurality of universal targets within the at least one die of the wafer, each universal target being disposed at least proximate to one of the identified inspectable features, inspecting a…

Simultaneous multi-spot inspection and imaging

Granted: February 14, 2017
Patent Number: 9568435
A compact and versatile multi-spot inspection imaging system employs an objective for focusing an array of radiation beams to a surface and a second reflective or refractive objective having a large numerical aperture for collecting scattered radiation from the array of illuminated spots. The scattered radiation from each illuminated spot is focused to a corresponding optical fiber channel so that information about a scattering may be conveyed to a corresponding detector in a remote…

Automated image-based process monitoring and control

Granted: February 14, 2017
Patent Number: 9569834
Methods and devices are disclosed for automated detection of a status of wafer fabrication process based on images. The methods advantageously use segment masks to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio of the images. Metrics are then calculated for the segment mask variations in order to determine one or more combinations of segment masks and metrics that are predictive of a process non-compliance. A model can be generated as a result of the process. In another embodiment, a method uses a…

Particle suspensions used as low-contrast standards for inspection of liquids

Granted: February 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9562846
In certain embodiments, a method for validating the human visual inspection process or an optical analysis instrument for use with biological particles may include inspecting a standard particle solution using the optical analysis instrument. The standard particle solution may include a known concentration of standard particles suspended in solution with the standard particles having a defined size and shape distribution. The standard particles may have a refractive index that is…

Based sampling and binning for yield critical defects

Granted: February 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9563943
Methods and systems for design based sampling and binning for yield critical defects are provided. One method includes aligning each image patch in each inspection image frame generated for a wafer by an optical subsystem of an inspection system to design information for the wafer. The method also includes deriving multiple layer design attributes at locations of defects detected in the image patches. In addition, the method includes building a decision tree with the multiple layer…

Predicting and controlling critical dimension issues and pattern defectivity in wafers using interferometry

Granted: January 31, 2017
Patent Number: 9558545
Systems and methods for predicting and controlling pattern quality data (e.g., critical dimension and/or pattern defectivity) in patterned wafers using patterned wafer geometry (PWG) measurements are disclosed. Correlations between PWG measurements and pattern quality data measurements may be established, and the established correlations may be utilized to provide pattern quality data predictions for a given wafer based on geometry measurements obtained for the give wafer. The…

System and method for imaging a sample with a laser sustained plasma illumination output

Granted: January 31, 2017
Patent Number: 9558858
The inspection of a sample with VUV light from a laser sustained plasma includes generating pumping illumination including a first selected wavelength, or range of wavelength, containing a volume of gas suitable for plasma generation, generating broadband radiation including a second selected wavelength, or range of wavelengths, by forming a plasma within the volume of gas by focusing the pumping illumination into the volume of gas, illuminating a surface of a sample with the broadband…

Material handling with dedicated automated material handling system

Granted: January 31, 2017
Patent Number: 9558978
An apparatus includes a dedicated material handling module having a dedicated automated material handling system (AMHS) defines a transport route between a first tool and a second tool selected from a plurality of tools in a fabrication facility. The dedicated AMHS is configured to transport wafer carriers between the first tool and the second tool or vice versa independent of a fabrication facility AMHS that is configured to transport wafer carriers among the plurality of tools.