US Pat. No. 9,424,390

COMPUTER AIDED MODELING

Tekla Corporation, Espoo...

1. A computerized method comprising:
reading into a run-time database a model comprising at least one or more solid boundary representation objects modeling a
continuous cast product;

creating, by a computer application, a connectivity graph for one or more objects modeling a continuous cast product in a
model, a node in the connectivity graph representing one solid boundary representation object;

checking, by the computer application, whether or not a pour break added by a user via a user interface to a model splits
the connectivity graph at least into two separate graphs, a pour break representing a location in which a user intends to
break the continuous cast product;

if yes, creating, by the computer application, at least two pour units on the basis of the at least two separate graphs, wherein
a pour unit indicates amongst said one or more objects modeling a continuous cast product one or more objects and/or one or
more object parts that are intended to be manufactured by a pour, wherein an object part is obtained from an object that is
cut into at least two parts by the pour break; and

creating for each pour unit a pour graph, the pour graph comprising at least one first node indicating a break, at least one
second node indicating one of a one solid boundary representation object and a part of a solid boundary representation object
cut by the pour break, and at least one line between two nodes, each line illustrating a relation between nodes, wherein the
at least one first node and the at least one second node have different shapes, and in response to a second node indicating
a part, the second node comprises an indicator indicating that it represents only the part, wherein the indicator further
indicates which part of the object remains in the object part after cutting by the pour break.

US Pat. No. 9,852,236

COMPUTER-AIDED MODELING

Tekla Corporation, Espoo...

1. A computer implemented method comprising:
running in a computer a modelling application that uses object instances to model one or more real world articles;
receiving, as a user input or as part of a model when the model is loaded, definitions defining at least one repetition object,
a repetition object being one unit for creating one or more repetition instances to model a corresponding amount of occurrences
of a repetitive article that is a real world article that may occur more than once and in a repetitive manner in a real world
structure, definitions for a repetition object comprising at least one finite surface definition that defines a geometry definition
surface and its location in a model, and at least one steering curve, definitions for a steering curve defining at least information
on starting and ending of the steering curve and information based on which one or more repetition points may be created;

creating the at least one steering curve;
determining on the at least one steering curve one or more repetition points;
creating one or more geometry guide surfaces, a geometry guide surface being created on a repetition point with an angle in
a three dimensional space to the steering curve so that the geometry guide surface is not aligned with the steering curve;
and

creating one or more repetition instances of the at least one repetitive article by creating a repetition instance based on
an intersection of the at least one geometry definition surface and one of the one or more geometry guide surfaces created.

US Pat. No. 9,613,168

COMPUTER AIDED MODELING

TEKLA CORPORATION, Espoo...

1. A method comprising:
obtaining, by a computer-aided modeling application, from a shared memory to a local memory, a copy of a model comprising
a plurality of objects, each object representing a real-world article and having a unique object identifier, the shared memory
comprising the model in a form of shared data;

processing, by the computer-aided modeling application, the copy of the model in the local memory;
performing, by the computer-aided modeling application, a grouping operation in the copy of the model, during which an object
included in the model, which has object data that comprises an object identifier and one or more object definitions defining
at least one physical property of the object, is assigned to a group having a group identifier and at least one group definition
defining at least a label unique to the group within the model and shared by all objects assigned to the group, wherein, after
the grouping operation, the model comprises exactly the same one or more objects as before the grouping operation,

mapping information and one or more groups, wherein an object in the model is assigned to only one group, and wherein objects
assigned to the same group are each replaceable with any other object assigned to the same group, wherein the mapping information
comprises both a time of grouping, which indicates the time the grouping operation was performed to the object and a link
between the object and the group;

storing the mapping information at least to the copy of the model in the local memory;
reading in changes to the model from the shared memory comprising the model in a form of shared data;
in response to a read-in change being a change to an object that has been assigned to a group and exists also in the local
copy, checking whether the object has been changed also locally after a previous read-in, and in response to the object having
been changed locally after the previous read-in, updating the link of the object to be out-of-date;

performing, in response to a request for identifying information for a transportation related real-world article, manufacturing
related real-world article, or construction site related real-world article, the grouping process to objects having a link
indicated as out-of-date and to objects that have not yet undergone the grouping process, and then using the mapping information
to retrieve the at least one group definition defining at least the label unique to the group that includes the object;

creating shared identifying information for the related real-world article by adding at least the label to the created shared
identifying information; and

outputting the created shared identifying information for the transportation, manufacturing or construction site-related real-world
article.

US Pat. No. 10,331,803

COMPUTER AIDED MODELING

Tekla Corporation, Espoo...

1. A computerized method for displaying a model, the method comprising:providing, by a modeling application, a first object and a second object, wherein the first and second objects are to be used to model a structure comprising the first and second objects;
dividing, by the modeling application, the first object into a first set of topological items and the second object into a second set of topological items, wherein each topological item represents a boundary of one of the first and second objects, and wherein the first set of topological items defines a first three-dimensional structure having a first set of boundaries defined by the first set of topological items and the second set of topological items defines a second three-dimensional structure having a second set of boundaries defined by the second set of topological items;
determining, by the modeling application, that at least one topological item of the first set of topological items is positioned inside of the second three-dimensional structure defined by the second set of topological items;
determining, by the modeling application, that at least one topological item of the first set of topological items overlaps a topological item of the second set of topological items;
determining, by the modeling application, that at least one topological item of the first set of topological items is positioned outside of the second three-dimensional structure;
indicating, by the modeling application, the at least one topological item positioned inside of the second three-dimensional structure and the at least one topological item overlapping a topological item of the second three-dimensional structure as clipped and the at least one topological item positioned outside of the second three-dimensional structure as not clipped;
generating, by the modeling application, a model of the structure comprising the first and second objects by using the topological items indicated as not clipped and ignoring the topological items indicated as clipped for visualization or for calculation of the volume or the area of the model, while the first and second objects remain separate objects but are visualized as a single structure having a volume and an area without merging the topological items, wherein the topological items indicated as clipped are topological items that intersect one of the first and second objects; and
displaying, by the modeling application, the model of the structure having a three-dimensional shape that uses the topological items indicated as not clipped and ignores the topological items indicated as clipped for visualization or for calculation of the volume or the area of the model.

US Pat. No. 10,580,673

SEMICONDUCTOR METROLOGY AND DEFECT CLASSIFICATION USING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A method of monitoring semiconductor fabrication, comprising, in a computer system comprising one or more processors and memory storing instructions for execution by the one or more processors:obtaining, from a first source, a first plurality of electron-microscope images for respective instances of a semiconductor structure, wherein the electron-microscope images of the first plurality show different values of one or more semiconductor-fabrication parameters;
training a model that specifies a relationship between the first plurality of electron-microscope images and the values of the one or more semiconductor-fabrication parameters;
collecting a second plurality of electron-microscope images for respective instances of the semiconductor structure on one or more semiconductor wafers, wherein the one or more semiconductor wafers are distinct from the first source; and
predicting values of the one or more semiconductor-fabrication parameters for the second plurality of electron-microscope images, using the model.

US Pat. No. 10,445,436

COMPUTER AIDED MODELING

Tekla Corporation, Espoo...

1. A computerized method comprising:reading, by a modelling application executed by a processor, into a run-time database a model comprising at least one or more basic objects modeling at least one continuous cast product, and at least one pour break, a pour break being an object that has a shape with a surface, two different sides and a location in the model, the surface not being a non-manifold surface and the location being a location in which a user input indicates an intent to break a continuous cast product according to the definitions of the shape of the pour break for the continuous cast product to be manufactured by two or more pours, the read in data forming an original situation;
maintaining, by the modeling application, in the run-time database amendments relating at least to object definitions made to the model, the amendments and non-amended original data forming an amended situation;
maintaining, by the modeling application, in the run-time database an event queue containing information on amended basic objects and amended pour breaks, each associated with information indicating an undergone amendment;
compacting the event queue by removing some events that do not affect the at least one continuous cast product from the event queue and keeping only those other events that affect the at least one continuous cast product in the event queue; and
adapting, by the modeling application, geometries of one or more pour breaks in the event queue by comparing the original situation and the amended situation of the one or more pour breaks, wherein a geometry of a pour break is determined by an intersection of the shape of the pour break in the location and the one or more basic objects.

US Pat. No. 10,417,819

COMPUTER AIDED MODELING

Tekla Corporation, Espoo...

1. A computerized modeling method, comprising:providing, by an object modeling and managing unit in a computing device, a modeling application with different physical object types, wherein each physical object type does not define a three-dimensional structure but includes a first set of parameters for defining a physical object that represents a three-dimensional structure, the first set of parameters including parameters for the physical object's type of object, dimensions of its three-dimensional structure, its location in a model, and its association to one or more virtual objects in a model, the different physical object types including a first set of physical object types for modeling concrete structures including beams, columns, and walls, and a second set of physical object types for modeling reinforcement bars to be included into one or more of the concrete structures;
providing, by the object modeling and managing unit, the modeling application with a virtual object type that is a generic modeling aid to assist with modeling more than one physical object, the virtual object type does not define a three-dimensional structure but includes a second set of parameters for defining a virtual object that represents a three-dimensional object, the second set of parameters including parameters for the virtual object's dimensions of its three-dimensional structure, its location in the model and its association to one or more physical objects in the model;
creating, by the object modeling and managing unit for storing in one or more data storages, a virtual object using the virtual object type by defining the parameters for its location in the model and the dimensions of its three-dimensional shape;
creating, by the object modeling and managing unit for storing in one or more data storages, more than one physical object to generate the model by using one of the first or second set of physical object types, and by linking to the parameters of the virtual object, each physical object being one of the first or second sets of physical object types and being a separate object from the virtual object, wherein one real-world article can be modeled only by one physical object;
generating, by the object modeling and managing unit for storing in the one or more data storages, the model comprising the more than one physical object created by linking to the virtual object without requiring its own set of definitions; and
outputting, by the object modeling and managing unit, the model stored in the one or more data storages to a user interface for displaying to a user, the model comprising the more than one physical object linked to the virtual object.

US Pat. No. 10,893,599

LASER PRODUCED PLASMA LIGHT SOURCE HAVING A TARGET MATERIAL COATED ON A CYLINDRICALLY-SYMMETRIC ELEMENT

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A device comprising:a cylindrically-symmetric element rotatable about an axis and having a surface coated with a band of plasma-forming target material for irradiation by a drive laser to produce plasma;
a subsystem for replenishing plasma-forming target material on the cylindrically-symmetric element; and
a wiper positioned to scrape plasma-forming target material on the cylindrically-symmetric element to establish a uniform thickness of plasma-forming target material; and
a measurement system outputting a signal indicative of a radial distance between the wiper edge and the axis, wherein the measurement system comprises a light emitter and a light sensor.

US Pat. No. 10,248,686

SHARED DATA WITH RELATIONSHIP INFORMATION

Tekla Corporation, Espoo...

1. A method comprising:maintaining a shared data in a shared model, the shared data comprising a plurality of shared plans where each shared plan comprises one or more data items in a sequential order, the plurality of shared plans comprising a master plan and at least one parallel plan and a plurality of alternative plans, wherein at least one of the plurality of alternative plans are capable of being selected to be deleted upon storing of the shared model; and wherein each data item contains relationship information comprising an identifier, previous data item information, next data item information, and higher level relationship information;
associating a first data item stored in a shared plan selected from the group consisting of the master plan, the at least one parallel plan, and the plurality of alternative plans, with the relationship information indicating:
whether or not the first data item has a previous data item in the shared plan,
whether or not the first data item is associated with a next data item in the shared plan, and
whether or not the first data item has a relationship to a second data item in a higher level plan, information representing an existing relationship indicating that the first data item is a starting data item for the shared plan, and information representing a missing relationship indicating that the first data item is one of the one or more data items for the shared plan, wherein the plurality of data items further includes a third data item that is in a relationship with both the second data item in the higher level plan and another data item in the plurality of data items;
detecting that the first data item is unwanted;
obtaining the relationship information of the first data item and relationship information of data items subsequent to the first data item;
determining that none of the data items subsequent to the first data item are to be saved;
creating a new shared plan comprising a start packet, the start packet having no previous data item information but having next data information that indicates the next data item is the first data item; and
moving the first data item and the data items subsequent to the first data item to the new shared plan, the data items subsequent to the first data item being positioned subsequent to the first data item in the new shared plan.

US Pat. No. 10,794,839

VISUALIZATION OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR STRUCTURES

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing one or more programs for execution by one or more processors of a computer system, the one or more programs including instructions for:based on inspection by a semiconductor metrology tool of an area of a semiconductor wafer that includes a plurality of instances of a three-dimensional (3D) semiconductor structure arranged periodically, generating a model of a respective instance of the 3D semiconductor structure;
rendering an image of the model that shows a 3D shape of the model, the image comprising:
at least one of a top surface or a bottom surface of the respective instance of the 3D semiconductor structure, and
a user-selectable translucent cross-section of the respective instance of the 3D semiconductor structure between the top and bottom surfaces; and
providing the image to a device for display.

US Pat. No. 10,360,320

COMPUTER-AIDED MODELING OF A BENT SHEET OBJECT

Tekla Corporation, Espoo...

1. A computer implemented method comprising:running in a computer a modeling application that uses three-dimensional folded bent sheet objects to model bent sheet structures, a single bent sheet object modeling a single sheet structure in a folded state in which a single flat sheet structure has been bended one or more times;
detecting a user input triggering a bend creation;
detecting a user input selecting two flat sheet objects modeled into their intended location and position in a three-dimensional model;
determining, by the modeling application, from the two flat sheet object edges between which a bend will be created;
checking, by the modeling application, whether the bent sheet object is topologically unfoldable and whether the two flat sheet objects have the same thickness, wherein the running of the modeling application is stopped upon a determination that the bent sheet object is topologically unfoldable or that the two flat sheet objects have different thicknesses;
calculating, by the modeling application, a minimum bend length between the edges;
calculating, by the modeling application, parameters for a bend by optimizing a maximum bend width using a multi-objective optimization with a tradeoff between a length and a width of the bend;
using, by the modeling application, the parameters to define a curved section and zero or more sheet extension sections between edges and the curved section;
creating, by the modeling application, to the model a folded bent sheet object by combining the two flat sheet objects, the curved section and the zero or more sheet extensions, the folded bent sheet object modeling a real-world sheet structure in the folded state; and
displaying the model including the folded bent sheet object on one or more interfaces.

US Pat. No. 10,887,974

HIGH EFFICIENCY LASER-SUSTAINED PLASMA LIGHT SOURCE

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A system comprising:a pump source configured to generate a pumping beam;
a gas containment structure for containing a gas; and
a multi-pass optical assembly, wherein the multi-pass optical assembly includes one or more optical elements configured to perform a plurality of passes of the pumping beam through a portion of the gas to sustain a broadband-light-emitting plasma, wherein the one or more optical elements are arranged to collect an unabsorbed portion of the pumping beam transmitted through the plasma and direct the collected unabsorbed portion of the pumping beam back into the portion of the gas, wherein the one or more optical elements include a plurality of converging mirrors, wherein the plurality of converging mirrors are arranged such that the numerical aperture of the pumping beam during a subsequent pass through the plasma is lower than the numerical aperture of the pumping beam during a first pass through the plasma to offset the absorption of the pumping during the successive passes of the pumping beam through the plasma and produce an intensity distribution of the subsequent pass substantially the same as an intensity distribution of the first pass.

US Pat. No. 10,811,158

MULTI-MIRROR LASER SUSTAINED PLASMA LIGHT SOURCE

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A system comprising:a gas containment structure for containing a gas;
a pump source configured to generate pump illumination;
a first reflector element configured to direct a portion of the pump illumination into the gas to sustain a plasma, wherein the first reflector is configured to collect at least a portion of broadband light emitted from the plasma; and
one or more additional reflector elements positioned opposite of the first reflector, wherein a reflective surface of the first reflector element faces a reflective surface of the one or more additional reflector elements, wherein the one or more additional reflector elements are configured to reflect unabsorbed pump illumination and broadband light uncollected by the first reflector element back to the plasma.

US Pat. No. 10,770,362

DISPERSION MODEL FOR BAND GAP TRACKING

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A method comprising:illuminating a multi-layer structure disposed over a substrate with an amount of illumination light;
detecting an amount of collected light from the multi-layer structure in response to the amount of illumination light;
generating a spectral measurement of the multi-layer structure across a spectral range based at least in part on the amount of collected light;
determining a plurality of parameter values of an optical dispersion model of one or more layers of the multi-layer structure based at least in part on the spectral measurement, wherein the optical dispersion model includes a constrained Cody-Lorentz model having a rate of attenuation of an Urbach function defined such that a first derivative of a dielectric function with respect to energy is continuous at an Urbach transition energy of the constrained Cody-Lorentz model; and
storing the plurality of parameter values of the optical dispersion model in a memory.

US Pat. No. 10,732,424

INSPECTION-BEAM SHAPING ON A SAMPLE SURFACE AT AN OBLIQUE ANGLE OF INCIDENCE

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A beam shaper for an optical inspection tool, comprising:a focal lens to focus an optical beam onto a target at an oblique angle of incidence; and
a phase modulator to substantially flatten a top of the optical beam in the plane of the target when the optical beam is focused onto the target at the oblique angle of incidence, the phase modulator comprising a diffractive optical element (DOE) that instantiates a convolution of a symmetrical phase term with an asymmetrical phase term to produce a substantially symmetric beam profile in the plane of the target when the optical beam is focused onto the target at the oblique angle of incidence.

US Pat. No. 10,663,392

VARIABLE APERTURE MASK

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A collection system of a semiconductor metrology tool, comprising:a chuck to support a target from which an optical beam is reflected;
an aperture mask to provide an adjustable aperture for the reflected optical beam, the aperture mask comprising a plurality of opaque plates having adjustable positions;
a collection lens, situated between the chuck and the aperture mask along the optical axis, to collimate the reflected optical beam, wherein the reflected optical beam is substantially collimated at the aperture mask;
a spectrometer to receive the reflected optical beam; and
a focusing lens, situated between the aperture mask and the spectrometer along the optical axis, to focus the reflected optical beam onto the spectrometer;
wherein the aperture mask is situated between the chuck and the spectrometer along the optical axis.

US Pat. No. 10,890,436

OVERLAY TARGETS WITH ORTHOGONAL UNDERLAYER DUMMYFILL

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. An overlay target, comprising:a first-layer overlay target structure including a plurality of overlay pattern elements segmented along a first direction, wherein the overlay target structure is formed on a first sample layer; and
a dummy target structure including a plurality of inactive pattern elements segmented along a second direction orthogonal to the first direction, wherein the dummy target structure is formed on a second sample layer different than the first sample layer, wherein the plurality of inactive pattern elements are formed from dummyfill, wherein the dummyfill provides process compatibility for regions of a sample not containing device structures based on at least one design rule, wherein at least a portion of the dummy target structure overlaps the first-layer overlay target structure, wherein the dummy target structure includes a second-layer overlay target structure formed from an aperture in the plurality of inactive pattern elements, wherein the aperture is formed adjacent to the plurality of overlay pattern elements without overlapping the plurality of overlay pattern elements, wherein overlay between the first sample layer and the second sample layer is determinable based on a location of the first-layer overlay target structure and at least one internal edge of the second-layer overlay target structure.

US Pat. No. 10,880,979

DROPLET GENERATION FOR A LASER PRODUCED PLASMA LIGHT SOURCE

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A device comprising:a nozzle for dispensing a liquid target material;
a first intermediary chamber including a first exit aperture to output target material;
a second intermediary chamber positioned to receive the target material from the exit aperture of the first intermediary chamber, the second intermediary chamber including a second exit aperture to output the liquid target material for downstream irradiation in a laser produced plasma (LPP) chamber,
a third intermediary chamber positioned to receive target material, the third intermediary chamber formed with an exit aperture to output target material for downstream irradiation in the LPP chamber,
wherein the second intermediary chamber receives target material from the first intermediary chamber exit aperture, the third intermediary chamber receives target material from the second intermediary chamber exit aperture and wherein the first intermediary chamber exit aperture has a diameter, d1, the second intermediary chamber exit aperture has a diameter, d2, and the third intermediary chamber exit aperture has a diameter, d3, with d1>d2>d3 to establish an aerodynamic lens,
wherein the first intermediary chamber contains gaseous xenon at a partial pressure of pXe1, wherein the second intermediary chamber contains gaseous xenon at partial pressure pXe2, wherein pXe1>pXe2.

US Pat. No. 10,871,395

FILTER ASSEMBLY FOR PROVIDING ADJUSTABLE SPECTRAL CAPABILITIES IN A BROADBAND INSPECTION SYSTEM

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A filter apparatus for providing a filtered spectrum in a broadband inspection system comprising:a first filter unit, the first filter unit including a first plurality of filters;
an additional filter unit, the additional filter unit including an additional plurality of filters, wherein at least one of the first plurality of filters or the additional plurality of filters includes a first filter and a second filter having one or more filtering characteristics different from the first filter, wherein at least some of the optical filters of the first filter unit and at least some of the optical filters of the additional filter unit are optical filters configured to filter out a selected spectral portion of broadband illumination from an illumination source;
a first motor coupled to the first filter unit, wherein the first motor is configured to selectively actuate a selected filter of the first filter unit into a beam of the broadband illumination from the illumination source; and
an additional motor coupled to the additional filter unit, wherein the additional motor is configured to selectively actuate a selected filter of the additional filter unit into the beam of broadband illumination, wherein the selected filter of the first filter unit and the selected filter of the additional filter unit are configured to filter broadband illumination from an illumination source to provide a selected filtered spectrum band for broadband inspection; and
a controller communicatively coupled to the first motor and the additional motor, wherein the controller includes one or more processors configured to execute a set of program instructions and memory, wherein a first combined spectral configuration and at least one an additional combined spectral configuration are stored in memory, wherein the program instructions are configured to cause the one or more processors to implement at least one of a first combined spectral configuration or the at least an additional combined spectral configuration in response to a user request via a user interface, wherein the first combined spectral configuration or the at least an additional combined spectral configuration includes adjusting a positional state of at least one of the first filter unit or the additional filter unit via at least one of the first motor or additional motor to achieve at least one of the first combined spectral configuration or the at least one of an additional combined spectral configuration, wherein the first combined spectral configuration provides a first spectral range and the additional combined spectral configuration provides an additional spectral range different from the first spectral range, wherein the first spectral range and the additional spectral range are between 10 and 600 nm.

US Pat. No. 10,867,877

TARGETED RECALL OF SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES BASED ON MANUFACTURING DATA

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A system for providing a targeted recall comprising:a metrology sub-system for performing in-line measurements on a plurality of dies after one or more semiconductor fabrication steps to generate in-line measurement profiles for the plurality of dies, wherein the metrology sub-system performs one or more measurements of the plurality of dies after one or more packaging steps to generate package characterization profiles for the plurality of dies;
a failure analysis sub-system for determining at least a portion of a manufacturing fingerprint of a failed die;
a controller communicatively including one or more processors configured to execute program instructions causing the one or more processors to:
generate manufacturing fingerprints for the plurality of dies, the manufacturing fingerprints including the in-line measurement profiles received from a metrology sub-system, and package characterization profiles of the plurality of dies received from the metrology sub-system, wherein the manufacturing fingerprints are stored in memory for at least some die transferred through a supply chain, wherein each manufacturing fingerprint is referenced to a unique electronic chip identifier (ECID) for each die of the plurality of dies;
applying one or more machine learning techniques to compare the manufacturing fingerprint of the failed die to a database of manufacturing fingerprints associated with nearest neighbor die of the failed die to identify one or more at-risk dies of the plurality of dies, wherein the at-risk dies comprise one or more dies of the nearest neighbor dies displaying manufacturing fingerprints indicating a likelihood of failure; and
direct a targeted recall for the one or more at-risk dies.

US Pat. No. 10,837,803

INSPECTION SYSTEM WITH GROUNDED CAPACITIVE SAMPLE PROXIMITY SENSOR

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A capacitive proximity measurement system comprising:a sensor electrode configured to be positioned proximate to a conductive measurement area on a test surface of a sample;
a plate connector configured to provide an electrical connection between a system ground and a conductive plate parallel to the test surface, wherein a measurement circuit is formed between the sensor electrode and the conductive plate, wherein the test surface is electrically floating with respect to the sensor electrode and the conductive plate; and
a controller communicatively coupled to the sensor electrode and the plate connector, the controller including one or more processors configured to execute program instructions causing the one or more processors to:
adjust a voltage of the sensor electrode with respect to the conductive plate;
determine a capacitance associated with the measurement circuit; and
determine a distance between the electrode and the measurement area based on the capacitance associated with the measurement circuit.

US Pat. No. 10,837,919

SINGLE CELL SCATTEROMETRY OVERLAY TARGETS

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A scatterometry overlay (SCOL) target comprising a single cell with a lattice of elements including at least at two layers wherein:the lattice is periodic along at least two orthogonal measurement directions and a single diagonal direction,
the elements in one of the layers are offset with respect to the elements in another one of the layers along the at least two orthogonal measurement directions across the lattice of elements, and
each element in one of the layers at least partially overlaps a corresponding element in another one of the layers in the single diagonal direction across the lattice of elements,
wherein an overlay estimation for the SCOL target is derivable from measurements of differential signals in the at least two orthogonal measurement directions and the single diagonal direction.

US Pat. No. 10,840,055

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR PHOTOCATHODE ILLUMINATION INSPECTION

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A high-brightness electron beam source comprising:a broadband illumination source configured to generate broadband illumination;
a tunable spectral filter configured to filter the broadband illumination to provide filtered illumination having an excitation spectrum; and
a photocathode configured to emit one or more electron beams in response to the filtered illumination, wherein emission from the photocathode is adjustable based on the excitation spectrum of the filtered illumination from the tunable spectral filter,
wherein the tunable spectral filter is configured to generate the excitation spectrum including a first wavelength band configured to pump electrons in the photocathode to at least one intraband energy state, and a second wavelength band different from the first wavelength band, the second wavelength band configured to pump the electrons from the at least one intraband energy state to a vacuum state.

US Pat. No. 10,840,056

MULTI-COLUMN SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY SYSTEM

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A substrate array comprising:a composite substrate formed from a plurality of substrate layers, wherein the composite substrate includes a plurality of holes;
a plurality of electrical components embedded within the plurality of substrate layers;
one or more ground contact pads coupled to at least one of a top surface or a bottom surface of the composite substrate;
one or more signal contact pads coupled to at least one of the top surface or the bottom surface of the composite substrate, wherein a portion of at least one of the top surface or the bottom surface of the composite substrate is shielded with a metal contact layer to mitigate at least one of charging or cross-talk between components of the substrate array, wherein at least one of the one or more ground contact pads or the one or more signal contact pads are positioned in an unshielded portion of at least one of the top surface or the bottom surface of the composite substrate; and
a plurality of column electron-optical elements, wherein the plurality of column electron-optical elements are positioned over the plurality of holes in the composite substrate, wherein each of the plurality of column electron-optical elements includes a plurality of 3D electron optical elements bonded to at least one signal contact pad of the one or more signal contact pads or at least one ground contact pad of the one or more ground contact pads, wherein one or more of the plurality of 3D electron optical elements includes a barrel portion inserted in a hole of the plurality of holes in the composite substrate, wherein one or more of the plurality of 3D electron optical elements includes one or more grooves formed in a raised region on an outer area of a disc portion of the one or more of the plurality of 3D electron optical elements, wherein a raised region of a particular 3D electron optical element surrounds a hole of the particular 3D electron optical element, wherein the one or more grooves provide one or more work areas for one or more 3D electron optical element fabrication processes.

US Pat. No. 10,831,108

METHOD OF ANALYZING AND UTILIZING LANDSCAPES TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE INACCURACY IN OVERLAY OPTICAL METROLOGY

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A method comprising:deriving an at least partially continuous dependency of at least one metrology metric on at least one recipe parameter, by simulation or in preparatory measurements;
analyzing the derived dependency;
determining a metrology recipe according to the analysis; and,
conducting at least one metrology measurement according to the determined recipe, wherein the at least one metrology measurement comprises an overlay metrology measurement of a grating-over-grating scatterometry target or a side-by-side scatterometry target and the at least one recipe parameter is related to an optical path difference between the gratings and comprises at least one of: a thickness of intermediate layers between the gratings, a measurement wavelength, an angle of incidence, an angle of reflectance, polarization properties of incident and reflected light, target geometric parameters or electromagnetic characteristics of the gratings and of the intermediate layers between the gratings.

US Pat. No. 10,823,943

PLASMA SOURCE WITH LAMP HOUSE CORRECTION

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A system, comprising:a pump source configured to generate pump illumination;
a correction plate configured to receive the pump illumination and modify one or more characteristics of the pump illumination in order to correct one or more aberrations of the pump illumination introduced by one or more optical elements of the system; and
a reflector element configured to receive the pump illumination and direct the pump illumination to a volume of gas contained within a plasma lamp, wherein the plasma lamp is configured to sustain a plasma within the volume of gas to generate broadband illumination.

US Pat. No. 10,817,999

IMAGE-BASED OVERLAY METROLOGY AND MONITORING USING THROUGH-FOCUS IMAGING

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A metrology system comprising:a controller communicatively coupled to a detector configured to generate images of a sample based on the light captured by an objective lens, wherein an object plane of the detector with respect to the sample is adjustable, the controller including one or more processors configured to execute program instructions causing the one or more processors to:
direct the detector to generate a plurality of reference images of an overlay target on the sample at a plurality of object planes at different depths of the sample, wherein the plurality of reference images include at least a first reference image at a first object plane corresponding to a first layer of the sample at a first depth including overlay target features on the first layer and a second reference image at a second object plane corresponding to a second layer of the sample at a second depth including overlay target features on the second layer;
determine a reference overlay between the first layer and the second layer at the overlay target based on at least the first reference image and the second reference image;
select a measurement object plane for single-image overlay determination based on at least the first reference image and the second reference image, wherein overlay between the first layer and the second layer determined at the measurement plane corresponds to the reference overlay within a selected tolerance;
direct the detector to generate at least one measurement image of at least one additional overlay target on the sample at the measurement plane; and
determine at least one measured overlay between the first layer and the second layer at the at least one additional overlay target based on the at least one measurement image.

US Pat. No. 10,809,055

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR MEASURING TOPOGRAPHY AND GRADIENT OF THE SURFACES, SHAPE, AND THICKNESS OF PATTERNED AND UNPATTERNED WAFERS

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. An interferometer system, comprising:a stage assembly configured to receive and secure a sample;
one or more optical metrology sub-systems comprising:
an illumination source configured to generate an illumination beam;
a polarizing beamsplitter configured to pass at least a portion of the illumination beam having a selected polarization direction;
a half-wave plate;
a shearing prism configured to shear the illumination beam into two beamlets along a shearing direction, wherein the half-wave plate is configured to adjust a polarization of the illumination beam on the shearing prism;
a reference flat disposed proximate to the sample; and
a detector assembly configured to receive illumination reflected from a surface of the sample that propagates back through the shearing prism and the half-wave plate and is further passed by the polarizing beamsplitter; and
a controller including one or more processors and a memory, the one or more processors configured to execute a set of program instructions stored in memory, the set of program instructions configured to cause the one or more processors to:
generate one or more control signals to cause the illumination source to sweep the illumination beam across a plurality of wavelengths;
determine a surface height measurement of the sample based on the illumination received by the detector assembly, wherein the surface height measurement is based on interference of a portion of the illumination beam reflected from the sample and a portion of the illumination beam reflected from a surface of the reference flat associated with the plurality of wavelengths; and
determine a surface slope measurement of the sample along the shearing direction based on the illumination received by the detector assembly, wherein the surface slope measurement is based on interference between the two beamlets reflected from the surface of the sample associated with the plurality of wavelengths.

US Pat. No. 10,785,394

IMAGING PERFORMANCE OPTIMIZATION METHODS FOR SEMICONDUCTOR WAFER INSPECTION

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. An inspection system, comprising:an optical component configured to deliver inspection light to a subject;
one or more lens decenter manipulators configured to adjust the optical component when an aberration of the optical component is larger than a selected aberration level, wherein an adjustment of the one or more lens decenter manipulators shifts a focal plane of the inspection light directed through the optical component to overlap with a focal plane of an autofocus light;
a detector configured to obtain an image of the subject at least partially based on the inspection light delivered to the subject; and
a processor in communication with the optical component and the detector, the processor configured to:
generate a model to determine a threshold time when an aberration of the optical component will exceed a selected aberration level, wherein the threshold time is an amount of time elapsed after a measurement of one or more control parameters of the one or more lens decenter manipulators occurs;
adjust the optical component via adjustment of the one or more lens decenter manipulators to reduce the aberration of the optical component to be within the selected aberration level prior to inspection of the subject at the threshold time; and
during inspection of the subject at the threshold time:
measure the one or more control parameters to determine whether the aberration of the optical component is within the selected aberration level, wherein the one or more control parameters are based on at least one of time, power, temperature, or pressure; and
upon determining the aberration of the optical component is larger than the selected aberration level, adjust the optical component via an adjustment of the one or more lens decenter manipulators to compensate for the aberration of the optical component being larger than the selected aberration level.

US Pat. No. 10,782,120

DUAL-INTERFEROMETRY WAFER THICKNESS GAUGE

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A system comprising:a controller communicatively coupled to a first interferometer and a second interferometer, the controller including one or more processors configured to execute program instructions causing the one or more processors to:
receive a first interference signal from the first interferometer, wherein the first interferometer generates a first interferogram between a first surface of a test sample and a first surface of a reference sample having a known thickness with a first illumination beam as at least one of the test sample or the reference sample is scanned along a measurement direction, the first illumination beam including a first portion of an illumination beam from a beamsplitter;
receive a second interference signal from the second interferometer, wherein the second interferometer generates a second interferogram between a second surface of the test sample and a second surface of the reference sample with a second illumination beam, the second illumination beam including a second portion of the illumination beam from the beamsplitter; and
determine a thickness of the test sample along the measurement direction based on the thickness of the reference sample and a distance travelled by a translation stage between peaks of envelopes of the first and second interference signals.

US Pat. No. 10,776,313

CONVERTING SOURCE OBJECTS TO TARGET OBJECTS

Tekla Corporation, Espoo...

1. A method comprising:converting source objects in a first database defined according to a source data model to target objects in a second database defined according to a target data model, the source objects converted to the target objects using a set of conversion rules, said source data model and said target data model being different data models each organizing data in two-dimensional arrays;
generating a first generated target data collection and a subsequently generated target data collection, each of which includes target objects generated from the source objects;
assigning a temporary identifier to each target object in the first generated target data collection and to each target object in the subsequently generated target data collection, wherein the temporary identifiers are generated based on one or more of the source objects used to generate corresponding ones of the target objects in the first generated target data collection and corresponding ones of the target objects in the subsequently generated target data collection, each temporary identifier assigned to each target object in the first generated target data collection being different from one another, and each temporary identifier assigned to each target object in the subsequently generated target data collection being different from one another;
determining that a first temporary identifier for a first target object in the first generated target data collection matches with a second temporary identifier for a subsequent target object in the subsequently generated target data collection, wherein having matching temporary identifiers indicates that the subsequent target object is a subsequent iteration of the first target object;
in response to the determination that the first temporary identifier matches the second temporary identifier, comparing attributes of the first target object with attributes of the subsequent target object, wherein the subsequent target object is converted from the source objects according to the set of conversion rules after the first target object is converted from the source objects according to the set of conversion rules;
determining that the first target object has a different attribute than the subsequent target object; and
merging the first generated target data collection with the subsequently generated target data collection by updating the attributes of the first target object to include the attributes of the subsequent target object.

US Pat. No. 10,734,438

SPREAD-SPECTRUM CLOCK-SIGNAL ADJUSTMENT FOR IMAGE SENSORS

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. A method, comprising:providing an image sensor comprising a pixel array divided into a plurality of pixel groups, wherein each pixel group is clocked by a respective plurality of horizontal-register clocks;
adjusting clock signals for the image sensor, comprising phase-shifting each plurality of horizontal-register clocks by a respective phase delay of a plurality of phase delays, wherein the phase delays are evenly spaced and are spaced symmetrically about zero; and
with the clock signals adjusted in accordance with the adjusting, imaging a target using the image sensor.

US Pat. No. 10,705,026

SCANNING DIFFERENTIAL INTERFERENCE CONTRAST IN AN IMAGING SYSTEM DESIGN

KLA Corporation, Milpita...

1. An apparatus comprising:at least one illumination source;
a stage configured to secure a wafer;
a TDI-CCD sensor;
a dark field/bright field sensor;
a field stop in a light path from the illumination source;
a polarizer in the light path, wherein the polarizer is configured to pass P polarized light and reflect S polarized light;
a Wollaston prism in the light path, wherein the Wollaston prism forms the P polarized light and the S polarized light;
a correction lens optic in the light path;
a mirror in the light path that receives the P polarized light and the S polarized light from the Wollaston prism; and
an objective lens assembly in the light path, wherein the correction lens optic, the mirror, and the objective lens assembly are configured to focus the P polarized light and the S polarized light onto the stage, wherein the P polarized light and the S polarized light are separated in a shear direction of the Wollaston prism, and wherein the P polarized light and the S polarized combine at the Wollaston prism.