KLA-Tencor Patent Grants

Electron emitter device with integrated multi-pole electrode structure

Granted: October 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9793089
A field emission device comprises one or more emitter elements, each having a high aspect ratio structure with a nanometer scaled cross section; and one or more segmented electrodes, each surrounding one of the one or more emitters. Each of the one or more segmented electrodes has multiple electrode plates. 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…

Semiconductor inspection and metrology system using laser pulse multiplier

Granted: October 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9793673
A pulse multiplier includes a polarizing beam splitter, a wave plate, and a set of mirrors. The polarizing beam splitter receives an input laser pulse. The wave plate receives light from the polarized beam splitter and generates a first set of pulses and a second set of pulses. The first set of pulses has a different polarization than the second set of pulses. The polarizing beam splitter, the wave plate, and the set of mirrors create a ring cavity. The polarizing beam splitter transmits…

Flipping apparatus, system and method for processing articles

Granted: October 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9783372
A flipping apparatus, a system for processing articles comprising a said flipping apparatus, and a method for processing articles are provided. An article is picked by a first flipping arm. The first flipping arm rotates from a pick position into a pass position, at which the article is passed to a second flipping arm, which is in a receive position. The second flipping arm rotates from the receive position to a place position and places the article. By the passing of the article from…

Apparatus, techniques, and target designs for measuring semiconductor parameters

Granted: October 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9784690
In one embodiment, apparatus and methods for determining a parameter of a target are disclosed. A target having an imaging structure and a scatterometry structure is provided. An image of the imaging structure is obtained with an imaging channel of a metrology tool. A scatterometry signal is also obtained from the scatterometry structure with a scatterometry channel of the metrology tool. At least one parameter, such as overlay error, of the target is determined based on both the image…

Apodization for pupil imaging scatterometry

Granted: October 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9784987
The disclosure is directed to various apodization schemes for pupil imaging scatterometry. In some embodiments, the system includes an apodizer disposed within a pupil plane of the illumination path. In some embodiments, the system further includes an illumination scanner configured to scan a surface of the sample with at least a portion of apodized illumination. In some embodiments, the system includes an apodized pupil configured to provide a quadrupole illumination function. In some…

Delta die and delta database inspection

Granted: October 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9778205
Disclosed are methods and apparatus for inspecting a photolithographic reticle. An inspection tool is used to obtain a plurality of patch area images of each patch area of each die of a set of identical dies on a reticle. An integrated intensity value for each patch area image is determined. A gain is applied to the integrated intensity value for each patch area image based on a pattern sparseness metric of such patch area image and its relative value to other patch area images' pattern…

Integrated multi-pass inspection

Granted: October 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9778207
Methods and systems for integrated multi-pass reticle inspection are provided. One method for inspecting a reticle includes acquiring at least first, second, and third images for the reticle. The first image is a substantially high resolution image of light transmitted by the reticle. The second image is a substantially high resolution image of light reflected from the reticle. The third image is an image of light transmitted by the reticle that is acquired with a substantially low…

Metrology tool with combined XRF and SAXS capabilities

Granted: October 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9778213
Methods and systems for performing simultaneous X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) and small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) measurements over a desired inspection area of a specimen are presented. SAXS measurements combined with XRF measurements enables a high throughput metrology tool with increased measurement capabilities. The high energy nature of x-ray radiation penetrates optically opaque thin films, buried structures, high aspect ratio structures, and devices including many thin film layers.…

Process-induced asymmetry detection, quantification, and control using patterned wafer geometry measurements

Granted: October 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9779202
Systems and methods to detect, quantify, and control process-induced asymmetric signatures using patterned wafer geometry measurements are disclosed. The system may include a geometry measurement tool configured to obtain a first set of wafer geometry measurements of the wafer prior to the wafer undergoing a fabrication process and to obtain a second set of wafer geometry measurements of the wafer after the fabrication process. The system may also include a processor in communication…

Apparatus and method for fine-tuning magnet arrays with localized energy delivery

Granted: October 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9779872
One embodiment relates to an apparatus for adjustment of local magnetic strength in a magnetic device. A stage holds the magnetic device, and a sensor measures a magnetic field at locations above the magnetic device so as to generate magnetic field data. A computer system detects a non-uniformity in the magnetic field from the magnetic field data and determines a location and a duration for application of a pulsed laser beam to correct the non-uniformity. A laser device applies the…

Methods and apparatus for optimization of inspection speed by generation of stage speed profile and selection of care areas for automated wafer inspection

Granted: October 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9780004
Disclosed are apparatus and methods for the generation of a stage speed profile and/or the selection of care areas for automated wafer inspection. The stage speed profile generated corresponds to a fastest speed the inspection machine is able to inspect provided a set of care areas. The set of care areas selected correspond to specific regions on the wafer which are to be imaged in detail by the inspection machine. The apparatus and methods herein may also calculate speed of inspection…

Apparatus and method for automatic pitch conversion of pick and place heads, pick and place head and pick and place device

Granted: October 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9776334
An apparatus for automatic pitch conversion for pick and place heads, comprising at least one auto pitch station for adjusting a pitch in a X-coordinate direction and/or adjusting a pitch in a Y-coordinate direction of pickers/grippers of a pick and place heads; a first actuator, operated by a motor gear assembly of the at least one auto pitch station, wherein the first actuator changes the pitch in the X-coordinate direction distance between rows of pickers/grippers of the respective…

System for electron beam detection

Granted: October 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9778186
An electron beam detection apparatus includes a first aperture element including a first set of apertures. The apparatus includes a second aperture element including a second set of apertures. The second set of apertures is arranged in a pattern corresponding with the pattern of the first plurality of apertures. The detection apparatus includes an electron-photon conversion element configured to receive electrons of the electron beam transmitted through the first and second aperture…

Object carrier, system and method for back light inspection

Granted: October 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9778192
An object carrier, a system and a method is disclosed for the back light inspection of transparent or semitransparent objects. The carrier has a carrier base layer with photo luminescent properties which carries the transparent or semitransparent object on top of the layer. The transparent or semitransparent object could be a wafer and the object carrier could be a wafer chuck. At least one light source being arranged above the object carrier such that excitation light emitted from the…

System and method for defect detection and photoluminescence measurement of a sample

Granted: September 26, 2017
Patent Number: 9772289
Defect detection and photoluminescence measurement of a sample directing a beam of oblique-illumination wavelength light onto a portion of the sample, directing a beam of normal-illumination wavelength light for causing one or more photoluminescing defects of the sample to emit photoluminescent light onto a portion of the sample, collecting defect scattered radiation or photoluminescence radiation from the sample, separating the radiation from the sample into a first portion of radiation…

Apparatus and methods for combined brightfield, darkfield, and photothermal inspection

Granted: September 26, 2017
Patent Number: 9772297
Disclosed are methods and apparatus for detecting defects or reviewing defects in a semiconductor sample. The system has a brightfield (BF) module for directing a BF illumination beam onto a sample and detecting an output beam reflected from the sample in response to the BF illumination beam. The system has a modulated optical reflectance (MOR) module for directing a pump and probe beam to the sample and detecting a MOR output beam from the probe spot in response to the pump beam and the…

Method and system for generating a light-sustained plasma in a flanged transmission element

Granted: September 26, 2017
Patent Number: 9775226
A system for forming a light-sustained plasma capable of emitting vacuum ultraviolet light includes an illumination source configured to generate illumination, a plasma cell including a transmission element having one or more openings, one or more flanges disposed at the openings of the transmission element and configured to enclose the internal volume of the transmission element in order to contain a volume of gas within the plasma cell. The system further includes a collector element…

Block-to-block reticle inspection

Granted: September 19, 2017
Patent Number: 9766185
Block-to-block reticle inspection includes acquiring a swath image of a portion of a reticle with a reticle inspection sub-system, identifying a first occurrence of a block in the swatch image and at least a second occurrence of the block in the swath image substantially similar to the first occurrence of the block and determining at least one of a location, one or more geometrical characteristics of the block and a spatial offset between the first occurrence of the block and the at…

Array mode repeater detection

Granted: September 19, 2017
Patent Number: 9766186
Systems and methods for detecting defects on a wafer are provided. One method includes generating test image(s) for at least a portion of an array region in die(s) on a wafer from frame image(s) generated by scanning the wafer with an inspection system. The method also includes generating a reference image for cell(s) in the array region from frame images generated by the scanning of the wafer. In addition, the method includes determining difference image(s) for at least one cell in the…

Repeater detection

Granted: September 19, 2017
Patent Number: 9766187
Systems and methods for detecting defects on a wafer are provided. One method includes generating test image(s) for at least a portion of an array region in die(s) on a wafer from frame image(s) generated by scanning the wafer with an inspection system. The method also includes generating a reference image for cell(s) in the array region from frame images generated by the scanning of the wafer. In addition, the method includes determining difference image(s) for at least one cell in the…