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Nonlinearity-compensated large-area patterning system

DC CAFC
  • US 5,291,240 A
  • Filed: 10/27/1992
  • Issued: 03/01/1994
  • Est. Priority Date: 10/27/1992
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A large-area, high-throughput, high-resolution, scan-and-repeat patterning system for uniformly imaging a mask onto a substrate having nonlinear response characteristics, characterized by(a) a stage system (12/(15,16)) capable of synchronously moving a mask (14) and a substrate (10) at speeds in a certain ratio 1:

  • R;

    said movements being scanning in one dimension, and when not scanning in that dimension, shifting laterally in a direction perpendicular to the scan direction so as to position said mask and substrate for another scan partially overlapping with the preceding scan;

    said stage system thus being capable of exposing the full substrate by breaking up the substrate area into a certain number of parallel strips and exposing each strip by scanning the length of the strip across a fixed illumination region;

    (b) an illumination system (18) having the wavelength and intensity distribution characteristics suited for exposure of said substrate (10);

    having an effective source plane of a predetermined multisided shape (56/67/75);

    capable of illuminating a region of said shape on said mask (14);

    said predetermined multisided shape having at least one of its sides curved, and the curvatures of said curved sides being so determined that adjacent scanning exposures ((65,66)/(73,74)/(84,85)) are compensated in their overlap regions for the nonlinear response characteristics of said substrate (10) so as to provide uniform cumulative response;

    (c) a projection assembly (26) for imaging said illuminated region of said predetermined multisided shape on the mask onto the substrate;

    having a mask-to-substrate imaging ratio of I;

    R;

    having the desired imaging resolution; and

    having an image field of an area smaller than the substrate area; and

    (d) control means to operatively interrelate said stage system (12/(15,16)), said illumination system (18) and said projection system (26) to determine the width of said overlap regions of adjacent scans and to provide additive illumination in said overlap regions such that the effect of the exposure dose delivered in said overlap regions is seamless and the effect of the exposure dose delivered across the entire substrate is uniform.

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