Apparatus for projection patterning of large substrates using limited-travel precision x-y stage

CAFC
  • US 6,201,597 B1
  • Filed: 02/05/1999
  • Issued: 03/13/2001
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/28/1997
  • 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 patterns present on a mask onto a substrate, which substrate includes a set of substrate modules each corresponding to the mask, including a currently selected substrate module and subsequently selected substrate modules,characterized by:

  • (a) a scanning stage subsystem (12,16/12) capable of scanning the mask and the substrate 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 stage subsystem thus being capable of exposing each full substrate module by configuring each substrate module 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) a substrate holding platform (9), mounted on said stage subsystem (12), for affixing in predetermined relationship to said stage subsystem (12) a substrate (10/6) having a currently selected substrate module and subsequently selected substrate modules;

    (c) mask holding means (13), mounted on said stage subsystem (12,16/12), for affixing a mask (20) in predetermined relationship to said stage subsystem (12,16/12);

    (d) an illumination subsystem (18) having spectral and intensity characteristics suited for exposure of said substrate (10/6), having an effective source plane of a predetermined shape, and for uniformly illuminating on said mask (14) a region of said predetermined polygonal shape;

    (e) a projection subsystem (26/25-27) capable of imaging said illuminated region on the mask onto said currently selected substrate module, and having an image field area smaller than the substrate module area;

    (f) a substrate docking fixture (1) capable of temporarily gripping and immobilizing said substrate (10/6) while permitting relative movements between said substrate holding platform (9) and the substrate (10/6) so as to shift the location of the mask image from a currently selected module on said substrate to a subsequently selected substrate module; and

    (g) control means (30) to operatively interrelate said scanning stage subsystem (12,16/12), said illumination subsystem (18), said substrate holding platform (9) and said substrate docking fixture (1) to provide additive illumination in certain overlap regions of areas exposed by adjacent strip scans of each substrate module 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 module is uniform.

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