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Milpitas, CA, United States

KLA-Tencor Corporation is an American manufacturing company based in Milpitas, California. It supplies process control and yield management products for the semiconductor, data storage, LED, and other related nanoelectronics industries. The company's products, software and services are designed to help integrated circuit manufacturers manage yield throughout the entire fabrication process — from research and development to final volume production. Wikipedia.

Metrology methods and targets are provided, for estimating inter-cell process variation by deriving, from overlay measurements of at least three target cells having different designed misalignments, a dependency of a measured inaccuracy on the designed misalignments (each designed misalignment is between at least two overlapping periodic structures in the respective target cell). Inaccuracies which are related to the designed misalignments are reduced, process variation sources are detected and targets and measurement algorithms are optimized according to the derived dependency.

This inspection system has an optical head, a support system, and a controller in electrical communication with the support system. The support system is configured to provide movement to the optical head with three degrees of freedom. The controller is programmed to control movement of the optical head using the support system such that the optical head maintains a constant angle of incidence relative to a wafer surface while imaging a circumferential edge of the wafer. An edge profiler may be scanned across the wafer to determine an edge profile. A trajectory of the optical head can be determined using the edge profile.

The invention relates to an image acquisition system and an image acquisition method, as well as to an inspection system having at least one such image acquisition system. A projector projects a pattern on a surface of a sample, a camera records light intensity information from within at least two detection fields defined by the camera on the surface of the sample. A relative motion between the sample on the one hand and the camera and projector on the other hand is generated. From the acquired at least one image a height profile of the surface of the sample may be inferred. The pattern may comprise a number of sub-patterns related to each other by a phase shift. Alternatively, the pattern may be a fringe pattern.

Disclosed is a scatterometry mark for determining an overlay error, critical dimension, or profile of the mark. The mark includes a first plurality of periodic structures on a first layer, a second plurality of periodic structures on a second layer, and a third plurality of periodic structures on a third layer that is underneath the first and second layer. The third periodic structures are perpendicular to the first and second structures, and the third periodic structures have one or more characteristics so as to result in a plurality of lower structures beneath the third periodic structures being screened from significantly affecting at least part of a spectrum of a plurality of scattered signals detected from the first and second periodic structures for determining an overlay error, critical dimension, or profile of the first and second periodic structures or at least one of such detected scattered signals.

A pulsed UV laser assembly includes a partial reflector or beam splitter that divides each fundamental pulse into two sub-pulses and directs one sub-pulse to one end of a Bragg grating and the other pulse to the other end of the Bragg grating (or another Bragg grating) such that both sub-pulses are stretched and receive opposing (positive and negative) frequency chirps. The two stretched sub-pulses are combined to generate sum frequency light having a narrower bandwidth than could be obtained by second-harmonic generation directly from the fundamental. UV wavelengths may be generated directly from the sum frequency light or from a harmonic conversion scheme incorporating the sum frequency light. The UV laser may further incorporate other bandwidth reducing schemes. The pulsed UV laser may be used in an inspection or metrology system.

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