Large-area, scan-and-repeat, projection patterning system with unitary stage and magnification control capability

  • US 5,710,619 A
  • Filed: 10/31/1995
  • Issued: 01/20/1998
  • Est. Priority Date: 10/31/1995
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
Patent Images

1. A large-area, high-throughput, high-resolution, scan-and-repeat, projection imaging system for replicating a pattern on a mask onto a corresponding pattern area segment of a substrate having a set of one or more segments, said system including a projection lens of a known characteristic magnification of substantially unity, characterized by:

  • (a) a primary stage subsystem (18), having mask holding means (21) and substrate holding means (17), capable of scanning in one dimension, and also being capable of moving laterally in a direction perpendicular to the scan direction so as to position itself for another scan;

    said primary stage subsystem (18) thus being capable of exposing each full substrate segment by configuring each substrate segment into a certain number of parallel strips, and exposing each of said strips by scanning the length of the strip across a fixed illumination region;

    (b) an illumination subsystem (28) having spectral and intensity characteristics suited for exposure of said substrate (16), having an effective source plane of a predetermined shape, and capable of uniformly illuminating on said mask (20) a region of said predetermined shape;

    (c) a projection subsystem (22-26) capable of imaging said illuminated region on the mask onto a selected substrate segment, and having an image field area smaller than the substrate segment area;

    (d) optical magnification adjustment means (74,76-77,91-93) for variation of the image magnification of said projection subsystem across a small range of values close to unit magnification;

    (e) differential motion means (17/21/48,49,60,61/62-65) mounted to primary stage subsystem (18) for providing limited relative motion between said mask (20) and said substrate segment (16); and

    (f) control means to operatively interrelate said stage subsystem (18), said illumination subsystem (28), said projection subsystem (22-26), said optical magnification adjustment means (74,76-77,91-93), and said differential motion means (17/21/48,49,60,61/62-65) to provide additive illumination and image placement in certain overlap regions of areas exposed by adjacent strip scans of each substrate segment such that the effect of the exposure dose delivered in said overlap regions is seamless and the effect of the exposure dose delivered across each entire substrate segment is uniform.

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