KLA-Tencor Patent Grants

Laser with integrated multi line or scanning beam capability

Granted: June 13, 2017
Patent Number: 9678350
A method and system for providing illumination is disclosed. The method may include providing a laser having a predetermined wavelength; performing at least one of: beam splitting or beam scanning prior to a frequency conversion; converting a frequency of each output beam of the at least one of: beam splitting or beam scanning; and providing the frequency converted output beam for illumination.

Target element types for process parameter metrology

Granted: June 13, 2017
Patent Number: 9678421
Metrology targets, target design methods and metrology methods are provided. Metrology targets comprise target elements belonging to two or more target element types. Each target element type comprises unresolved features which offset specified production parameters to a specified extent and thus provide sensitivity monitoring and optimization tools for process parameters such as focus and dose.

Photoresist simulation

Granted: June 13, 2017
Patent Number: 9679116
A processor based method for measuring dimensional properties of a photoresist profile by determining a number acid generators and quenchers within a photoresist volume, determining a number of photons absorbed by the photoresist volume, determining a number of the acid generators converted to acid, determining a number of acid and quencher reactions within the photoresist volume, calculating a development of the photoresist volume, producing with the processor a three-dimensional…

Apparatus and methods for inspecting extreme ultra violet reticles

Granted: June 13, 2017
Patent Number: 9679372
Disclosed are methods and apparatus for inspecting an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) reticle is disclosed. An inspection tool for detecting electromagnetic waveforms is used to obtain a phase defect map for the EUV reticle before a pattern is formed on the EUV reticle, and the phase defect map identifies a position of each phase defect on the EUV reticle. After the pattern is formed on the EUV reticle, a charged particle tool is used to obtain an image of each reticle portion that is…

Pick and place device with automatic pick-up-height adjustment and a method and a computer program product to automatically adjust the pick-up-height of a pick and place device

Granted: June 6, 2017
Patent Number: 9669550
A pick and place device, a method and a computer program product for automatic pick-up-height adjustment. A first pneumatic system has a first and second controllable valves. The second controllable valve is connected with its input port to a vacuum source. An output port of the first controllable valve and an output port of the second controllable valve are connected to a common tube in fluid communication with at least one vacuum nozzle of the pick and place device. A second pneumatic…

Apparatus and method for cross-flow purge for optical components in a chamber

Granted: May 30, 2017
Patent Number: 9662688
An apparatus for cross-flow purging for optical components in a chamber, including: a housing with first and second axial ends, a side wall extending in an axial direction and connecting the first and second axial ends, and the chamber formed by the first and second axial ends and the side wall; an optical component disposed within the chamber and fixed with respect to the housing via at least one connecting point on the optical component; an inlet port aligned with the side wall,…

Multi-oscillator, continuous Cody-Lorentz model of optical dispersion

Granted: May 30, 2017
Patent Number: 9664734
Methods and systems for monitoring band structure characteristics and predicting electrical characteristics of a sample early in a semiconductor manufacturing process flow are presented herein. High throughput spectrometers generate spectral response data from semiconductor wafers. In one example, the measured optical dispersion is characterized by a Gaussian oscillator, continuous Cody-Lorentz model. The measurement results are used to monitor band structure characteristics, including…

Monolithic optical beam splitter with focusing lens

Granted: May 30, 2017
Patent Number: 9664909
A beam splitter includes first and second prisms. The first prism includes first, second, and third optical surfaces. The second prism includes three surfaces, one of which faces the second surface of the first prism and both transmit and reflect light. The first surface of the first prism is curved and forms a lens for focusing light either transmitted or reflected by the common interface between the two prisms. The first prism is from a single piece of material. Fabrication includes…

Virtual ground for target substrate using floodgun and feedback control

Granted: May 30, 2017
Patent Number: 9666411
One embodiment relates to an apparatus for virtual grounding of a target substrate in a charged-particle beam apparatus. A primary gun generates charged particles for a process beam that is focused on a frontside surface of the target substrate, and the target substrate is held by a stage. An electrostatic voltmeter measures a voltage potential of the target substrate, and a charge-control gun impinges a beam of charged particles to the target substrate. A feedback control loop is used…

Image intensifier tube design for aberration correction and ion damage reduction

Granted: May 30, 2017
Patent Number: 9666419
The disclosure is directed to image intensifier tube designs for field curvature aberration correction and ion damage reduction. In some embodiments, electrodes defining an acceleration path from a photocathode to a scintillating screen are configured to provide higher acceleration for off-axis electrons along at least a portion of the acceleration path. Off-axis electrons and on-axis electrons are accordingly focused on the scintillating screen with substantial uniformity to prevent or…

System and method for semiconductor wafer inspection and metrology

Granted: May 23, 2017
Patent Number: 9658150
A system determines a value, such as a thickness, surface roughness, material concentration, and/or critical dimension, of a layer on a wafer based on normalized signals and reflected total intensities. A light source directs a beam at a surface of the wafer. A sensor receives the reflected beam and provides at least a pair of polarization channels. The signals from the polarization channels are received by a controller, which normalizes a difference between a pair of the signals to…

TDI imaging system with variable voltage readout clock signals

Granted: May 23, 2017
Patent Number: 9658170
A Time Delay and Integration (TDI) imaging system utilizing variable voltage readout clock signals having progressively increasing amplitudes defined as a function of pixel row location, where pixel rows positioned to receive/collect/transfer image-related charges at the start of the TDI imaging process are controlled using lower amplitude readout clock signals than pixel rows positioned to receive/collect/transfer image-related charges near the end of the TDI process. The clock signal…

Computer-implemented methods, computer-readable media, and systems for classifying defects detected in a memory device area on a wafer

Granted: May 23, 2017
Patent Number: 9659670
Computer-implemented methods, computer-readable media, and systems for classifying defects detected in a memory device area on a wafer are provided.

Low noise, high stability, deep ultra-violet, continuous wave laser

Granted: May 23, 2017
Patent Number: 9660409
A laser for generating deep ultra-violet (DUV) continuous wave (CW) light includes a second-harmonic generator and a fourth-harmonic generator. The fourth-harmonic generator includes a plurality of mirrors as well as a first non-linear optical (NLO) crystal and a pair of tilted plates. The first NLO crystal generates the light having the fourth harmonic wavelength and a first astigmatism, and is placed in operative relation to the plurality of mirrors. The pair of tilted plates is placed…

Dual wavelength dual interferometer with combiner-splitter

Granted: May 16, 2017
Patent Number: 9651359
The system includes a dual interferometer sub-system including a first and second channel. The system includes an illumination source. The illumination source includes a first laser source disposed along a first input path and a second laser source disposed along a second input path. The illumination sources includes a combiner-splitter element optically coupled to an output of the first laser source and an output of the second laser source and is configured to combine light of a first…

Methods and systems for creating or performing a dynamic sampling scheme for a process during which measurements are performed on wafers

Granted: May 16, 2017
Patent Number: 9651943
Various methods and systems for creating or performing a dynamic sampling scheme for a process during which measurements are performed on wafers are provided. One method for creating a dynamic sampling scheme for a process during which measurements are performed on wafers includes performing the measurements on all of the wafers in at least one tot at all measurement spots on the wafers. The method also includes determining an optimal sampling scheme, an enhanced sampling scheme, a…

Machine learning method and apparatus for inspecting reticles

Granted: May 16, 2017
Patent Number: 9652843
Apparatus and methods for inspecting a specimen are disclosed. An inspection tool is used at one or more operating modes to obtain images of a plurality of training regions of a specimen, and the training regions are identified as defect-free. Three or more basis training images are derived from the images of the training regions. A classifier is formed based on the three or more basis training images. The inspection system is used at the one or more operating modes to obtain images of a…

Method and system for reducing charging artifacts in scanning electron microscopy images

Granted: May 16, 2017
Patent Number: 9653257
A scanning electron microscopy system for mitigating charging artifacts includes a scanning electron microscopy sub-system for acquiring multiple images from a sample. The images include one or more sets of complementary images. The one or more sets of complementary images include a first image acquired along a first scan direction and a second image acquired along a second scan direction opposite to the first scan direction. The system includes a controller communicatively coupled to…

System and method for non-contact wafer chucking

Granted: May 16, 2017
Patent Number: 9653338
A non-contact wafer chucking apparatus includes a wafer chuck and a gripper assembly coupled to a portion of the wafer chuck. The wafer chuck includes pressurized gas elements configured to generate pressurized gas regions across a surface of the wafer chuck suitable for elevating the wafer above the surface of the wafer chuck. The wafer chuck further includes vacuum elements configured to generate reduced pressure regions across the surface of the wafer chuck having a pressure lower…

Method and system for controlling convection within a plasma cell

Granted: May 16, 2017
Patent Number: 9655225
A plasma cell for controlling convection includes a transmission element configured to receive illumination from an illumination source in order to generate a plasma within a plasma generation region of the volume of gas. The transmission element of the plasma cell is at least partially transparent to at least a portion of the illumination generated by the illumination source and at least a portion of broadband radiation emitted by the plasma. The plasma cell also includes one or more…