|Publication number||USRE41232 E1|
|Application number||US 10/876,201|
|Publication date||Apr 20, 2010|
|Filing date||Jun 24, 2004|
|Priority date||Apr 24, 2000|
|Also published as||US6437463|
|Publication number||10876201, 876201, US RE41232 E1, US RE41232E1, US-E1-RE41232, USRE41232 E1, USRE41232E1|
|Inventors||Andrew J. Hazelton, W. Thomas Novak, Akimitsu Ebihara|
|Original Assignee||Nikon Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (42), Non-Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (7), Classifications (23), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This invention relates to alignment and isolation apparatus and methods for use particularly in microlithography, among other applications. More particularly, this invention is directed to an apparatus with at least a two dimensional motor for coarse stage positioning, in addition to efficient support of a stage for fine alignment in at least three degrees of freedom.
The need for precise positioning of an object is required in many fields of application, including applications in semiconductor manufacturing such as microlithography. As microprocessors become faster and more powerful, an ever increasing number of transistors are required to be positioned on a semiconductor chip. This necessitates closer placement of the transistors and circuits interconnecting them, which in turn requires an ever increasing accuracy in the methods for laying down the circuits on the chip. Thus, there is a need for more precise positioning and maintaining of position, of a substrate during microlithography.
Various systems have been designed to attempt to improve fine positioning and movement control of a work piece. British Patent Specification 1,424,413, assigned to Handotai Kenkyo Shinkokai describes several stage that are supported by flexures and actuated using electromagnetic force actuators. U.S. Pat. No. 3,935,486, invented by Nagashima describes a stage that is controlled using electromagnetic force actuators. In this case, the stage is supported on flexural bearings in 6 degrees of freedom (DOF) and the actuators are used to adjust the position of the stage. Both of these designs utilize flexural bearings to constrain the motion of the stages in 6 DOF. The electromagnetic actuators only provide force; they are not used to control all directions of motion of the stage. Nor is there any disclosure of providing a linear motor driven coarse stage.
Ideally, the bearings for a stage should have infinite stiffness in the directions for which position of the stage is to remain fixed, and zero stiffness along the directions in which the stage is to be moved, to maximum precision and efficiency. Flexural bearings fall far short for the ideal and generally have a stiffness ratio (stiffness in directions to be fixed to stiffness in directions to be moved) of only about 100:1 and possibly up to about 1000:1 but the price of the latter is likely prohibitive in practice. Moreover, a much greater stiffness ratio is desirable.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,952,858 invented by Galburt describes a wafer fine stage that is supported and positioned in 6 DOF by electromagnetic voice coil motors. The motion of the wafer fine stage is entirely constrained using voice coil motors, and this design does not utilize any flexural bearings. Voice coil motors, however, require relatively large amounts of power to generate a given amount of force. The high power requirements of voice coil motors can generate sufficient heat to change the index of refraction of the environment sufficiently to induce error in an interferometer system. Additionally, heat generation can cause expansion of the stage leading to further errors in alignment and control. Further, U.S. Pat. No. 4,952,858 discloses the use of permanent magnets to counterbalance the weight of the fine stage. This counterbalance force is a nonlinear function of stage position, and is thus quite difficult to control accurately.
U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,157,296 and 5,294,854, invented by Trumper describe a wafer fine stage bearing system. This system includes electromagnetic actuators, which act as bearings in 6 DOF. These patents describe control means for the bearings and apparatus for counterbalancing the weight of the stage using either opposed permanent magnets or a heavy oil in which the stage floats. U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,157,296 and 5,294,854 also do not utilize flexural bearings. The electromagnetic actuators in the Trumper patents are arranged in pairs, on opposite sides of the stage, in order to provide stable control. Thus, all forces applied by the electromagnetic pairs are transmitted through the stage, which can result in deformation of the stage.
The counterbalance forces in the Trumper patents may be provided by permanent magnets or by floating the stage in oil. As noted above with regard to the Galburt patent, utilization of permanent magnets results in a nonlinear force curve and corresponding control problems. With regard to floating the stage in oil, oil presents significant problems for a clean room environment typically used for semiconductor processing.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,528,118, invented by Lee, describes a guideless stage for aligning a wafer in a microlithography system, and a reaction frame which isolates both external vibrations as well as vibrations caused by reaction forces from an object stage.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,623,853, invented by Novak, et al., describes a wafer coarse and fine stage for a lithography machine. The coarse stage is a stacked arrangement of linear motor-driven air bearing slides. The fine stage is driven in 3 DOF using voice coil motors. The remaining DOF of the fine stage are constrained using flexural bearings. The use of flexural bearings for the 3 planar DOF limits the servo bandwidth of the stage because the flexural bearings have a limited stiffness in the plane. In addition, the finite stiffness of the flexural bearings out of the plane, distorts the out of plane motion of the stage.
In addition to the above described attempts at providing a superior fine stage design, various attempts have also been made to provide planar motors for use in driving positioners in the field. Disclosures in the field of planar motors include Hinds, U.S. Pat. No. 3 51,196; Hinds, U.S. Pat. No. 4,654,571; Trumper, U.S. Pat. No. 5,196,745; and Chitayat, U.S. Pat. No. 5,334,892. These patents describe planar motors that have significant limitations. For example, the planar motors of Hinds '196 has limited range of motion because each portion of the stationary magnet array can only generate force in a single direction. Thus, each coil array must always be located above the corresponding magnet array. This limits the range of movement for a given size actuator. In addition, the coils and magnets are iron-core and generate sizable attractive forces as well as force ripple. This does not allow for motion in six degrees of freedom because the levitation force cannot overcome the attractive force between the two pieces. Additionally, none of these attempts have combined, or suggested to combine a fine stage operating in conjunction with a planar motor coarse stage.
Hinds '571 suffers from a non-compact design. A large portion of the base of the moving portion of the stage is covered by the air bearing pads and other elements. Only a small portion of the stage is covered with coils. In addition, the coil design is not the most efficient for producing force, since at most only fifty per cent of the coil can generate force. In addition, the moving coil design has a large number of hoses and cables going to the stage, creating a large bias force. Finally, this design does not generate force for a six-degree-of-freedom movement.
Trumper discloses several stage designs with six degrees of freedom. The invention uses conventional coils. Each coil array must be located above a corresponding linear magnet array. This restricts the range of movement for a given sized stage.
Chitayat discloses several planar motor designs, which permit a wide range of motion, but only restricted to translation and rotation in a plane. Thus, the motor of Chitayat is incapable of moving with six degrees of freedom.
Kim and Trumper, in “High-Precision Magnetic Levitation Stage for Photolithography”, American Society for Precision Engineering, 1997 Proceedings, Volume 16, pp. 470-473, discloses the design of a permanent magnet linear motor, for use in a magnetically-levitated wafer stepper stage in which four linear motors provide both suspension and drive forces.
Holmes et al., in “A Long Range Scanning Stage”, American Society for Precision Engineering, 1997 Proceedings, Volume 16, pp. 474-477, discloses a long range scanning stage, having 25 mm×25 mm mobility in the X-Y plane and
Kim and Trumper, in “Precision Control of Planar Magnetic Levitator”, American Society for Precision Engineering, 1998 Proceedings, Volume 18, pp. 606-609, discloses a stage that provides fine motion control in six degrees of freedom. The key element is a linear motor capable of providing suspension and translation forces without contact.
Asakawa, U.S. Pat. No. 4,555,650, discloses a two-dimensional driving device for use in a positioning device for a semiconductor manufacturing apparatus. A magnetic field group is formed by disposing magnetic fields on a plane in a two-dimensional array. At least two coils are distinctly oriented so as to provide a driving force in each of two orthogonal directions. Asakawa, U.S. Pat. No. 4,535,278 also provides a two dimensional driving arrangement for “precision” positioning through use of a planar array of magnetic fields that interact with appropriately oriented coils. Since the devices disclosed in these patents are not capable of positioning in greater than two degrees of freedom, there is a need to provide a finer control in a portioning device.
Sawyer, U.S. Reissued Pat. No. Re. 27,289 discloses a magnetic system for moving a marking tool over a surface for plotting curves. Sawyer, Reissue Pat. No. Re. 27,436 discloses a two-axis magnetic system for driving chart plotters. The Sawyer Reissue patents are not only not directed to the semiconductor-positioning field, but they also are limited to positioning along only two degrees of freedom. Additionally, they use variable reluctance to drive the devices and consequently have cogging forces and relatively low precision.
Trost et al., U.S. Pat. No. 4,506,205 discloses an electromagnetic alignment apparatus for use in aligning wafers in a microlithography system. The apparatus includes three or more spaced magnets that are fixed and interact with three or more spaced coil assemblies that move to effect positioning. As a result, the structure can be moved selectively in three degrees of freedom.
Siddall, U.S. Pat. No. 4,694,477, discloses an apparatus for micro positioning an X-ray lithography mask, in which three piezoelectric transducers are provided for moving a stage plate in the X-Y plane, and three flexure assemblies support the stage plate and move the stage plate along the Z-axis. As noted above, the use of flexural bearings limits the servo bandwidth of the stage because the flexural bearings have a limited stiffness in the plane. In addition, the finite stiffness of the flexural bearings out of the plane, distorts the out of plane motion of the stage.
Reeds, U.S. Pat. No. 4,891,526 discloses a positioning stage for high speed step and repeat alignment of a semiconductor wafer to a mask with six degrees of freedom. Linear bearings are provided on a first plate for movement in the X-direction, and this sub stage is also mounted on an intermediate stage that is mounted on another set of linear bearings for movement in the Y direction. The entire X-Y stage is then mounted on a rotation stage platform.
What is needed that is not provided in the prior art is an improved stage positioner in which higher fine stage mechanical bandwidth is obtained by improving the stiffness characteristics of the bearings/drivers supporting the fine stage. A related advantage to be obtained thereby is the elimination of cross coupling between X or Y axis acceleration forces and Z axis motion. In several embodiments, an advantage is obtained in the ability to control the fine stage through feed-forward actuation of the bearings supporting the fine stage. Another need is to reduce the complexity and improve the performance of a coarse stage on which the fine stage is mounted. A planar motor can provide motion and force in at least two directions, thereby eliminating the need for a set of stacked X-Y stages. This reduces the mechanical complexity and mass of the coarse stage, and increases the stiffness by removing joints between the stacked stages, all of which results in improved dynamic performance of the apparatus.
In accordance with the present invention, a positioning stage assembly is provided which has a coarse stage including a planar motor driveable in at least two degrees of freedom. A fine stage is positioned on the coarse stage and is driveable in at least three degrees of freedom with respect to the coarse stage, preferably, in six degrees of freedom.
At least one pair of electromagnetic actuators may couple the fine stage to the coarse stage for control in at least one of the degrees of freedom with respect to the coarse stage. In at least one embodiment, both actuators of the pair are mounted adjacent a single side of the fine stage. Both actuators of the pair may be mounted on the coarse stage in close opposition to one another; and a pair of corresponding targets may be mounted on the fine stage adjacent one another and within a predefined gap defined by the mounted electromagnetic actuators. Preferably, the pair of corresponding targets are peripherally mounted on the fine stage.
Three pairs of electromagnetic actuators may be provided to couple the fine stage to the coarse stage for control in three degrees of freedom with respect to the coarse stage. Two of the three pairs may be aligned substantially parallel to a first direction, and a third of the three pairs of electromagnetic actuators may be aligned in a second direction substantially perpendicular to the first direction. Preferably, the first and second directions are within a plane that the fine stage substantially lies in.
The electromagnetic actuators may comprise variable reluctance actuators. Three additional electromagnetic actuators may be mounted between the fine stage and the coarse stage for control of the fine stage in three additional degrees of freedom. The additional electromagnetic actuators may comprise voice coil motors (VCMs). Still further, supplemental vertical supports, preferably air bellows, may be mounted between the fine stage and the coarse stage. Other forms of non-contact vertical support members may also levitate the fine stage above the coarse stage. One advantageous arrangement includes three non-contact vertical support members for controlling the position of said fine stage in three vertical degrees of freedom. Various electromagnetic actuators other than VCMs may be employed.
Additionally, a positioning stage is provided which includes first and second fine stages positioned on first and second coarse stages and driveable in at least three degrees of freedom with respect to the respective coarse stage and independently of each other.
A planar motor for use in the present invention is preferably driveable in at least three degrees of freedom and may be driveable in six degrees of freedom. The planar motor includes a planar magnet array having magnets disposed in a plane, the magnets having independent magnetic fields. A planar coil array is positioned adjacent to the planar magnet array, such that one of the magnet array and the coil array is fixed and the other is movable with respect thereto.
In the positioning stage assembly, the magnet array may be fixed, with the coil array movable with respect to the magnet array. In this example, the coil array is fixed or mounted to the fine stage, so that movement of the coil array causes coarse positioning of the fine stage.
Alternatively, the coil array may be fixed, with the magnet array being movable with respect to the coil array. In this example, the magnet array is fixed or mounted to the fine stage, so that movement of the magnet array causes coarse positioning of the fine stage.
A lithography system is disclosed which includes a frame; an illumination system mounted on the frame; a coarse stage mounted on the frame and including a planar motor driveable in at least two degrees of freedom; and a fine stage mounted to the coarse stage and driveable in at least three degrees of freedom with respect to the coarse stage. Preferably, the fine stage is driveable in six degrees of freedom with respect to the coarse stage.
At least one pair of electromagnetic actuators may couple the fine stage to the coarse stage for control in at least one of the degrees of freedom with respect to the coarse stage. Both actuators of the pair of electromagnetic actuators may be mounted adjacent a single side of the fine stage. Both actuators of the pair may be mounted on the coarse stage in close opposition to one another, and a pair of corresponding targets may be mounted on the fine stage adjacent one another and within a predefined gap defined by the mounted electromagnetic actuators.
The lithography system further comprises a mask pattern positioned between the illumination system and fine stage, and a lens system positioned between the mask pattern and the fine stage.
Three pairs of electromagnetic actuators may be provided to couple the fine stage to the coarse stage for control in three degrees of freedom with respect to the coarse stage. Preferably, two of the three pairs of electromagnetic actuators are aligned substantially parallel to a first direction, and a third of the three pairs is aligned in a second direction substantially perpendicular to the first direction. Preferably, the first and second directions are within a plane that the fine stage substantially lies in. Preferably, the electromagnetic actuators may comprise variable reluctance actuators.
Three additional electromagnetic actuators may be mounted between the fine stage and the coarse stage for control of the fine stage in three additional degrees of freedom. The additional electromagnetic actuators may comprise VCMs. Further, supplemental vertical supports may be mounted between the fine stage and the coarse stage.
A method of precisely positioning a stage is disclosed to include: coarse positioning the stage in at least two degrees of freedom, wherein the coarse positioning is driven by a planar motor; and fine positioning the stage in at least three degrees of freedom with respect to the coarse positioning. Preferably, the coarse positioning comprises positioning in at least three degrees of freedom. The coarse positioning may comprise positioning in six degrees of freedom.
The fine positioning preferably includes positioning in six degrees of freedom with respect to the coarse positioning. Opposing forces may be inputted for moving the stage in opposite directions at the same location on the stage, such that a pulling force for moving the stage in a first direction is inputted at the same side of the stage as a pushing force for moving the stage in a second direction opposite to the first direction. Preferably the forces are inputted as magnetic driving forces with no physical contact of the stage by a driver.
Three input locations may be arranged on the fine stage, such that a pulling force for moving the fine stage in a first direction at each location is inputted at the same side of the fine stage as a pushing force for moving the fine stage in a second direction opposite to the first direction. Preferably, the fine stage is floated with respect to the coarse stage base such that positioning movements of the fine stage are performed with no physical contact occurring between the fine stage and the coarse stage base. The floating is preferably accomplished by electromagnetically biasing the fine stage with respect to the coarse stage base.
The fine positioning preferably comprises actuating controlling movements in at least three degrees of freedom with variable reluctance actuators. Fine controlling of the stage in three additional degrees of freedom may be performed with VCMs.
Further, a method of precisely positioning two stages includes coarse positioning two stages independently of one another, each in at least two degrees of freedom, wherein the coarse positioning is driven by a planar motor; and fine positioning the two stages independently of one another, each in at least three degrees of freedom with respect to the coarse positioning. Preferably, the coarse positioning includes positioning in at least three degrees of freedom, and may include positioning in six degrees of freedom. Preferably, the fine positioning comprises positioning in six degrees of freedom with respect to said coarse positioning.
These and other features are more fully described in the detailed examples that follow.
The present invention may be better understood, and its numerous objects, features, and advantages made apparent to those skilled in the art by referencing the accompanying drawings. For ease of understanding and simplicity, common numbering of elements within the illustrations is employed where an element is the same in different drawings, in which:
The following is a detailed description of illustrative embodiments of the present invention. As these embodiments of the present invention are described with reference to the aforementioned drawings, various modifications or adaptations of the methods and or specific structures described may become apparent to those skilled in the art. All such modifications, adaptations, or variations that rely upon the teachings of the present invention, and through which these teachings have advanced the art, are considered to be within the scope of the present invention. Hence, these descriptions and drawings are not to be considered in a limiting sense as it is understood that the present invention is in no way limited to the embodiments illustrated.
A brief description of a photolithography instrument will be given here as background for a preferred use of the positioning stage system according to the present invention.
Wafer 1008 is supported by and scanned using the wafer positioning stage system 1. The fine stage 11 is limited in travel to about 400 microns total stroke in each of the X and Y directions. The fine stage 11 is in turn supported by a lower or coarse stage 111 (
The fine stage 11 interfaces the lower stage 111 through the movable portion 114,114′ of the planar motor (FIG. 2), for small and precise movements in the X, Y and Theta Z (rotation in the X-Y plane) directions. The fine stage 11 includes a wafer chuck 2 (
The position of the fine stage in three planar degrees of freedom, X, Y, and Theta Z, is actuated using three pairs of electromagnets 6 that are mounted to the lower stage 111 (i.e., the movable portion 114,114′ of the planar motor). The electromagnets 6 are preferably formed as E-shaped laminated cores made of silicon steel or preferably Ni—Fe steel, that each have an electrical wire winding around the center section. Electromagnetic targets 8, preferably each in the form of an I-shaped piece of magnetic material, and preferably made up of the same material or materials used to make the corresponding E-shaped laminated cores, are placed oppositely each of the electromagnets 6, respectively. Each electromagnet 6 and target 8 is separated by an air gap g (which is very small and therefore difficult to see in the figures). The electromagnets 6 are variable reluctance actuators and the reluctance varies with the distance defined by the gap g, which, of course also varies the flux and force applied to the target 8. The attractive force between the electromagnet and the target is defined by:
When the coil of an electromagnet is energized, the electromagnet 6 generates a flux which produces an attractive force on the target 8 in accordance with the formula given above, thereby functioning as a linear actuator. Because the electromagnets 6 can only attract the targets 8, they must be assembled in pairs that can pull in opposition. The targets 8 are fixed to the fine stage 11 that is movable relative to the lower stage 111. Opposing pairs of electromagnets 6 are fixed on the relatively non-moveable (with respect to controlling movements of the fine stage 11) lower stage portion (moveable portion of the planar motor) 114, 114′ on opposite sides of the targets 8. Thus, by making a current through one coil of the pair to be larger than the current through the other coil in the pair, a differential force can be produced to draw the targets in one direction or its opposing direction.
The electromagnets' targets 8 are attached to the fine stage 11 in such a way that the pulling forces of the opposing pair of electromagnets 6 do not distort the fine stage 11. This is preferably accomplished by mounting the targets 8 for an opposing pair of electromagnets 6 very close to one another, preferably peripherally of the fine stage 11. A thin web of material 9, which is preferably made of the same material that the fine stage is made of, preferably ceramic, such as silicon carbide or alumina, for example, may extend from the periphery of the fine stage, to provide a mounting site for each of the respective targets 8. A further illustration of the web is shown in a commonly owned, co pending application entitled “Wafer Stage With Magnetic Bearings”, which was filed on even date herewith and which bears Attorney Docket No. 371922002600. The application entitled “Wafer Stage With Magnetic Bearings” and bearing Attorney Docket No. 371922002600 is incorporated herein in its entirety by reference thereto. The opposing electromagnets 6 are mounted on the lower stage 111 by a predetermined distance so that when the web 9 and targets 8 are positioned there between, a predetermined gap g is formed between each set of electromagnet 6 and target 8. With this arrangement, only the resultant force, derived from the sum of the forces produced by the pair of electromagnets 6 and targets 8, is applied to the fine stage 11 via transfer of the force through the web 9. In this way, opposing forces are not applied to opposite sides of the stage and stage distortion problems resulting from that type of arrangement are avoided.
Typically, the lines of force of the actuators are arranged to act through the center of gravity (CG) of the stage. The two Y actuators are typically equidistant from the CG.
Actuation of the single pair of electromagnets 6 can achieve fine movements in either X direction. Actuation of the two pairs of electromagnets aligned along the Y axis can control fine movements of the fine stage 11 in either Y direction, or in rotation (clockwise or counterclockwise) in the X-Y plane (i.e., theta Z control). Y axis movements are accomplished by resultant forces from both pairs which are substantially equal and in the same direction. Theta Z movements are generally accomplished by producing opposite directional forces from the two pairs of electromagnets, although unequal forces in the same direction will also cause some theta Z adjustment.
Three short range sensors 10 measure the distance between the fine stage 11 and the lower stage portion 114,114′ in the three planar degrees of freedom. The fine stage 11 is also levitated in the three vertical degrees of freedom, Z, Theta X and Theta Y. Because control in the three vertical degrees of freedom requires less dynamic performance (e.g., acceleration requirements are relatively low) and is easier to accomplish, lower force requirements exist than in the previously described X, Y and Theta Z degrees of freedom. Thus, the use of three VCM (voice coil motor) magnets 12 attached to the lower stage portion 114,114′ and three VCM coils 14 attached to the fine stage 11 are satisfactory for the vertical levitation. The relative position in the three vertical degrees of freedom is measured using three linear sensors 16. To prevent overheating of the VCM coils 14 the dead weight of the fine stage 11 is supported by air bellows 20. Preferably, three air bellows are employed and respectively located next to the VCMs. The bellows 20 have very low stiffness in all degrees of freedom so they do not significantly interfere with the control of the fine stage 11.
While the embodiments of the fine stage 11 described above and shown in
To provide force to the fine stage 11 in the X direction relative to magnet array 303, two phase, three phase, or multiphase commutated electric current is supplied to X coil 307 in a conventional manner by a commutation circuit and current source 327. To provide force to fine stage 11 in the Y direction, two phase, three phase, or multiphase commutated electric current is supplied to either one or both of the Y coils 304 and 305 in a conventional manner by respective commutation circuits and current sources 324 and/or 325. To provide rotational torque to the frame of fine stage 11 relative to magnet array 303 in a horizontal plane parallel to the X and Y axes, commutated electric current is supplied to either of Y coils 304 or 305 individually by respective commutation circuits and current source 324 or 325. Alternatively, electric current is supplied to both Y coils 304 and 305 simultaneously but with opposite polarities by respective commutation circuits and current sources 324 and 325, providing Y force to one of Y coils 304, 305 in one direction and the other Y coil 304, 305 in an opposite direction, thereby generating a torque about an axis normal to the XY plane. This torque typically causes rotation of the frame of fine stage 11 in the XY plane.
Alternatively, in some embodiments the torque causes translation of the frame of fine stage 11, if it has a center of mass offset from its geometric center.
Commutation circuits and current sources 324, 325, and 327 are controlled by a conventional motor control module 330, providing logic signals for directing the operation of planar motor 300. Connecting leads between motor coils 304, 305, 307, and their corresponding commutation circuits and current sources 324, 325, 327 each comprise a plurality of electric wires, distributing current selectively through the individual coil phases.
To move the fine stage 11 in the X direction relative to magnet array 403, two phase, three phase, or multiphase commutated electric current is supplied to X coils 407 and 408 in a conventional manner by respective commutation circuits and current sources 427 and 428. To move fine stage 11 in the Y direction, two phase, three phase, or multiphase commutated electric current is passed through either one or both of Y coils 404 and 405 in a conventional manner by respective commutation circuits and current sources 424 and 425. To rotate the frame of the fine stage 11 in the horizontal XY plane, appropriately commutated electric current of the required polarity is supplied to any one or more of coils 404, 405, 407, and 408 by the corresponding commutation circuit and current source 424, 425, 427, and 428. Alternatively rotation is achieved by energizing pairs of coils 404, 405 or 407, 408 in opposition, or by appropriately energizing both sets of coil pairs 404,405, and 407,408 in opposition by their corresponding commutation circuits and current sources 425, 425, 427, 428. As described above in connection with
In some embodiments, the moving coil motors of
Alternative embodiments to the planar motors described in
Magnetic pitch is the distance from the center of a “N magnet” to the center of the next adjacent “S magnet” parallel to a row or column of a magnet array. In an array of rectangularly shaped magnets, for example, an X direction magnetic pitch Px of the array is the distance between adjacent “N magnet” and “S magnet” centers parallel to the X direction. For a square array of magnets, the magnetic pitch P of the magnet array is the distance between adjacent “N magnet” and “S magnet” centers parallel to either X or Y axis. The square magnet array of
The principles in accordance with the invention are also applied to make a planar motor having a moving magnet configuration.
A conventional commutation circuit (not shown) supplies electric current to coil units 605 in accordance with the desired direction of travel of the movable portion 114′ and thus the fine stage 11. Appropriately commutated electric current creates Lorentz forces, which propel the fine stage 11 to a desired location, altitude, and attitude.
Following are alternative arrangements of that shown in
Alternatively, individual horizontally or vertically oriented lifting magnets are paired with iron plates to provide an attractive magnetic force to suspend the fine stage 11 against gravity. In some embodiments hoist and lifting magnets augment air bearings as a means for suspending the fine stage 11 against gravity. In still further embodiments, hoist and lifting magnets augment Z force commutation as a means for suspending fine stage 11 against gravity, permitting motion of fine stage 11 over six degrees of freedom.
The magnetic pitch of the array is the distance along a particular axis between centers of adjacent full sized S and N magnets. Of importance, half magnets and quarter magnets along the perimeter of moving magnet array 700 optimize the efficiency of the magnet array for providing magnetic flux. For example, full sized S magnet 702 can be considered as four quarter magnet segments. Each quarter magnet segment of S magnet 702 is coupled with an adjacent N quarter magnet segment, namely quarter magnet 711, the closest quarter magnet segment of full sized magnet 706, and the closest quarter magnet segments of half magnets 703 and 705. Similarly across the entire magnet array, every quarter magnet segment of every full sized S magnet is coupled with a nearest neighbor N quarter magnet segment. Without the perimeter of quarter and half magnets, the perimeter would consist of sides of S magnet segments having no coupled nearest neighbor N magnet segments, and therefore not efficiently providing magnetic flux. In some embodiments, the polarities of the respective magnets of magnet array 700 are reversed, such that the perimeter of the array is lined with S polarity half magnets and quarter magnets. Further moving magnet array arrangements are discussed in application Ser. No. 09/135,624, which has been incorporated by reference in its entirety above. Various coil configurations and coil array arrangements for a stationary base are also disclosed in application Ser. No. 09/135,624, all of which are expressly incorporated by reference herein. Still further arrangements for planar motors are disclosed in application Ser. No. 09/192,813, filed on Nov. 16, 1998 and entitled “Electric Motors and Positioning Devices Having Moving Magnet Arrays and Six Degrees of Freedom”. Application Ser. No. 09/192,813 is also hereby incorporated by reference thereto in its entirety.
In operation, each coil produces substantially constant force along a respective X or Y linear direction, as shown by arrows in FIG. 9. To generate force in the Y direction, the Y coils 1001 directly underlying the magnet array of the movable portion 114′ attached to the fine stage 11 are energized. Similarly, to generate force in the X direction, the X coils 1002 directly underlying the magnet array of the movable portion 114′ are energized. To provide rotation parallel to the XY plane, some coil units in either X or Y coils or both X and Y coils are selectively energized in both directions to generate a torque about an axis oriented in the Z direction. To minimize power consumption and heat generation in some embodiments, only the coils underlying the magnet array are selectively energized. Typically these coils are selected by position feedback sensing of the fine stage 11/movable portion 114′ coupled through programmable control logic. Illustratively a feedback signal provides an input 1006 to a motor control module 1005, where it is combined with other control signals. Motor control module 1005 in turn controls the operation of commutation circuits and current sources 1003 and 1004, which supply current selectively to Y coils 1001 and X coils 1002 respectively. In some embodiments, separate amplifiers are used for each control coil group. In some embodiments, separate switching logic circuits are used for each control coil group. Although single connecting leads are shown between commutation circuits and current sources 1003, 1004 and their corresponding Y and X coils 1001, 1002, in some embodiments they represent a plurality of electric wires, enabling commutation circuits and current sources 1003, 1004 to energize each individual coil unit of Y and X coils 1001, 1002 selectively.
The vector for vertical motion is fed to the CG to VCM transformation s106. This transforms the CG signal to a value of force to be generated by the VCMs, which is then fed to the VCM gain s110, and output to the stage hardware s114. The vector for planar motion is fed to the CG to El-core transformation, s108. This transforms the CG signal to a force to be generated by the El-core (i.e., electromagnet and target arrangements 6,8). Because the El-core force depends upon the gap squared, it is compensated by the short range sensor vector g′ through the compensation block s112, to produce a linear output to the stage hardware s114. The stage system s114 responds to the input and is measured in the sensor frame S. A similar block is not shown in detail below for the coarse stage loop s116. The coarse frame position C, is computed using the fine stage position S and the gap g. This is servoed to follow the fine stage.
The movable coil embodiments are easier from a control aspect, since the fine stages are distinct units and can be controlled that way, against a stationary magnet array 112. Movable magnet configurations are more complicated to control, since the single coil array in the base 112′ must be selectively energized to keep the two moving magnet units separated.
Although identical fine stages are preferred, they are not required, and this invention is not to be limited to such. Additionally, there is no reason why more than two fine stages could not be mounted on a single base of a coarse stage.
While embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, changes and modifications to these illustrative embodiments can be made without departing from the present invention in its broader aspects. Thus it should be evident that there are other embodiments of this invention which, while not expressly described above, are within the scope of the present invention. For example coil arrays may be aligned in directions non-collinear with orthogonal X and Y axes. Likewise magnets in a magnet array are not necessarily arranged in orthogonal rows and columns. It is to be understood that a photolithographic instrument may differ from the one shown herein without departing from the scope of the invention.
There are a number of different types of lithographic devices. For example, the lithography system 1000 can be used as scanning type photolithography system that exposes the pattern from the reticle onto the wafer with the reticle and wafer moving synchronously. In a scanning type lithographic device, the reticle is moved perpendicular to an optical axis of the lens assembly 1004 by the reticle stage 1010 and the wafer is moved perpendicular to an optical axis of the lens assembly 1004 by the wafer stage assembly 1. Scanning of the reticle and the wafer occurs while the reticle and the wafer are moving synchronously.
Alternately, the lithography system 1000 can be a step-and-repeat type photolithography system the exposes the reticle while the reticle and the wafer are stationary. In the step and repeat process, the wafer is in a constant position relative to the reticle and the lens assembly 1004 during the exposure of an individual field. Subsequently, between consecutive exposure steps, the wafer is consecutively moved by the wafer stage perpendicular to the optical axis of the lens assembly 1004 so that the next field of the wafer is brought into position relative to the lens assembly 1004 and the reticle for exposure. Following this process, the images on the reticle are sequentially exposed onto the fields of the wafer so that the next field of the wafer is brought into position relative to the lens assembly 1004 and the reticle.
However, the use of the lithography system 1000 provided herein is not limited to a photolithography system for semiconductor manufacturing. The lithography system 1000, for example, can be used as an LCD photolithography system that exposes a liquid crystal display device pattern onto a rectangular glass plate or a photolithography system for manufacturing a thin film magnetic head. Further, the present invention can also be applied to a proximity photolithography system that exposes a mask pattern by closely locating a mask and a substrate without the use of a lens assembly. Additionally, the present invention provided herein can be used in other devices, including other semiconductor processing equipment, elevators, electric razors, machine tools, metal cutting machines, inspection machines and disk drives.
The illumination source 1002 can be g-line (436 nm), i-line (365 nm), KrF excimer laser (248 nm), ArF excimer laser (193 nm) and F2 laser (157 nm).
Alternately, the illumination source 1002 can also use charged particle beams such as an x-ray and electron beam. For instance, in the case where an electron beam is used, thermionic emission type lanthanum hexaboride (LaBα) or tantalum (Ta) can be used as an electron gun. Furthermore, in the case where an electron beam is used, the structure could be such that either a mask is used or a pattern can be directly formed on a substrate without the use of a mask.
In terms of the magnification of the lens assembly 1004 included in the photolithography system, the lens assembly 1004 need not be limited to a reduction system. It could also be a 1× or magnification system.
With respect to a lens assembly 1004, when for ultra-violet rays such as the excimer laser is used, glass materials such as quartz and fluorite that transmit far ultra-violet rays is preferable to be used. When the F2 type laser or x-ray is used, the lens assembly 1004 should preferably be either catadioptric or refractive (a reticle should also preferably be a reflective type), and when an electron beam is used, electron optics should preferably consist of electron lenses and deflectors. The optical path for the electron beams should be in a vacuum.
Also, with an exposure device that employs vacuum ultra-violet radiation (VUV) of wavelength 200 nm or lower, use of the catadioptric type optical system can be considered. Examples of the catadioptric type of optical system include the disclosure Japan Patent Application Disclosure No. 8-171054 published in the Official Gazette for Laid-Open Patent Applications and its counterpart U.S. Pat. No. 5,668,672, as well as Japan Patent Application Disclosure No. 10-20195 and its counterpart U.S. Pat. No. 5,835,275. In these cases, the reflecting optical device can be a catadioptric optical system incorporating a beam splitter and concave mirror. Japan Patent Application Disclosure No. 8-334695 published in the Official Gazette for Laid-Open Patent Applications and its counterpart U.S. Pat. No. 5,689,377 as well as Japan Patent Application Disclosure No. 10-3039 and its counterpart U.S. patent application Ser. No. 873,605 (Application Date: Jun. 12, 1997) also use a reflecting-refracting type of optical system incorporating a concave mirror, etc., but without a beam splitter, and can also be employed with this invention. As far as is permitted, the disclosures in the above-mentioned U.S. patents, as well as the Japan patent applications published in the Official Gazette for Laid-Open Patent Applications are incorporated herein by reference.
Further, in photolithography systems, when linear motors (see U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,623,853 or 5,528,118) are used in a wafer stage or a mask stage, the linear motors can be either an air levitation type employing air bearings or a magnetic levitation type using Lorentz force or reactance force. Additionally, the stage could move along a guide, or it could be a guideless type stage which uses no guide. As far as is permitted, the disclosures in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,623,853 and 5,528,118 are incorporated herein by reference.
Alternatively, one of the stages could be driven by a planar motor, which drives the stage by an electromagnetic force generated by a magnet unit having two-dimensionally arranged magnets and an armature coil unit having two-dimensionally arranged coils in facing positions. With this type of driving system, either one of the magnet unit or the armature coil unit is connected to the stage and the other unit is mounted on the moving plane side of the stage.
Movement of the stages as described above generates reaction forces that can affect performance of the photolithography system. Reaction forces generated by the wafer (substrate) stage motion can be mechanically released to the floor (ground) by use of a frame member as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,528,118 and published Japanese Patent Application Disclosure No. 8-166475. Additionally, reaction forces generated by the reticle (mask) stage motion can be mechanically released to the floor (ground) by use of a frame member as described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,874,820 and published Japanese Patent Application Disclosure No. 8-330224. As far as is permitted, the disclosures in U.S. Pat. No. 5,528,118 and 5,874,820 and Japanese Patent Application Disclosure No. 8-330224 are incorporated herein by reference.
As described above, a photolithography system according to the above described embodiments can be built by assembling various subsystems, including each element listed in the appended claims, in such a manner that prescribed mechanical accuracy, electrical accuracy and optical accuracy are maintained. In order to maintain the various accuracies, prior to and following assembly, every optical system is adjusted to achieve its optical accuracy. Similarly, every mechanical system and every electrical system are adjusted to achieve their respective mechanical and electrical accuracies. The process of assembling each subsystem into a photolithography system includes mechanical interfaces, electrical circuit wiring connections and air pressure plumbing connections between each subsystem. Needless to say, there is also a process where each subsystem is assembled prior to assembling a photolithography system from the various subsystems. Once a photolithography system is assembled using the various subsystems, a total adjustment is performed to make sure that accuracy is maintained in the complete photolithography system. Additionally, it is desirable to manufacture an exposure system in a clean room where the temperature and cleanliness are controlled.
Further, semiconductor devices can be fabricated using the above described systems, by the process shown generally in FIG. 13. In step 1301 the device's function and performance characteristics are designed. Next, in step 1302, a mask (reticle) having a pattern is designed according to the previous designing step, and in a parallel step 1303 a wafer is made from a silicon material. The mask pattern designed in step 1302 is exposed onto the wafer from step 1303 in step 1304 by a photolithography system described hereinabove in accordance with the present invention. In step 1305 the semiconductor device is assembled (including the dicing process, bonding process and packaging process), then finally the device is inspected in step 1306.
At each stage of wafer processing, when the above-mentioned preprocessing steps have been completed, the following post-processing steps are implemented. During post-processing, first, in step 1315 (photoresist formation step), photoresist is applied to a wafer. Next, in step 1316 (exposure step), the above-mentioned exposure device is used to transfer the circuit pattern of a mask (reticle) to a wafer. Then, in step 1317 (developing step), the exposed wafer is developed, and in step 1318 (etching step), parts other than residual photoresist (exposed material surface) are removed by etching. In step 1319 (photoresist removal step), unnecessary photoresist remaining after etching is removed.
Multiple circuit patterns are formed by repetition of these preprocessing and post-processing steps.
While the particular stage assembly 1 as shown and disclosed herein is fully capable of obtaining the objects and providing the advantages herein before stated, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown other than as described in the appended claims.
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|U.S. Classification||310/12.06, 355/53, 318/593, 250/492.1|
|International Classification||B23Q1/34, G03F7/20, H02K41/03, B23Q1/48, H01L21/027, B23Q5/28, G12B5/00, G03B27/42, H02K41/00, H01L21/68, G05B11/16, G03F9/00|
|Cooperative Classification||G03F7/70758, H02K2201/18, H02K41/03, G03F7/70716|
|European Classification||G03F7/70N8, G03F7/70N4, H02K41/03|
|Nov 23, 2010||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Jan 22, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 12