US Pat. No. 9,068,952

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING AND MEASURING DYNAMICALLY FOCUSSED, STEERED, AND SHAPED OBLIQUE LASER ILLUMINATION FOR SPINNING WAFER INSPECTION SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A spinning wafer inspection system for inspecting a wafer surface including a high frequency fast auto focus mechanism,
wherein;
said high frequency fast auto focus mechanism dynamically adjusts tilt of a rotatable mirror to bring and maintain a laser
beam focal spot onto said wafer surface; and;

wherein there are no focusing optics in said laser beam's optical path between said rotatable mirror and said wafer surface;
wherein said high frequency fast auto focus mechanism comprises a control system configured to utilize feedback from position-sensitive
detectors to dynamically calculate actual beam position, actual position of said wafer surface, and intercept point between
the beam and said wafer surface at any sampling time.

US Pat. No. 9,052,190

BRIGHT-FIELD DIFFERENTIAL INTERFERENCE CONTRAST SYSTEM WITH SCANNING BEAMS OF ROUND AND ELLIPTICAL CROSS-SECTIONS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of providing high accuracy inspection or metrology in a bright-field differential interference contrast (BF-DIC)
system, the method comprising:
creating a first beam and a second beam from a first light beam, the first beam and the second beam having round cross-sections,
and the first beam and the second beam forming first partially overlapping scanning spots radially displaced on a substrate;

creating a third beam and a fourth beam from one of the first light beam and a second light beam, the third beam and the fourth
beam having elliptical cross-sections, and the third beam and the fourth beam forming second partially overlapping scanning
spots tangentially displaced on the substrate; and

scanning at least one portion of the substrate using the first partially overlapping scanning spots and the second partially
overlapping scanning spots as the substrate is rotated.

US Pat. No. 9,526,158

LASER-SUSTAINED PLASMA LIGHT SOURCE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A laser sustained plasma light source, comprising:
a cell,
a gas volume contained within the cell,
at least one laser directed into the gas volume, for sustaining a plasma within the gas volume, the plasma producing a light,
means for continuously providing the gas volume to the plasma in a laminar flow, and
a reflector for collecting the light and providing the light to a desired location.

US Pat. No. 9,389,180

METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR USE WITH EXTREME ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT HAVING CONTAMINATION PROTECTION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An apparatus for use in an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) mask inspection system or an EUV lithographic system, the apparatus
having contamination protection and comprising:
a duct having a first end opening, a second end opening and an intermediate opening disposed intermediate the first end opening
the second end opening;

an optical component disposed so as 1) to receive EUV light from the first end opening after the light has passed through
the second end opening or 2) to send light through the first end opening to the second end opening; and

a source of low pressure gas at a first pressure, the gas having a high transmission of EUV light, fluidly coupled to the
intermediate opening, the first end opening and the second end opening maintained at a lower pressure than the first pressure.

US Pat. No. 9,110,037

DIODE LASER BASED BROAD BAND LIGHT SOURCES FOR WAFER INSPECTION TOOLS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An optical apparatus for performing inspection or metrology of a semiconductor device, comprising:
a plurality of laser diode arrays that are configurable to provide an incident beam having different wavelength ranges, wherein
at least some of the laser diode arrays form two dimensional (2D) stacks that have different wavelength ranges from each other,
wherein a first set of one or more of the 2D stacks is formed from deep UV or UV based laser diodes, a second set of one or
more of the 2D stacks is formed from VIS based laser diodes, and a third set of one or more of the 2D stacks is formed from
deep NIR based laser diodes;

optics for directing the incident beam towards the sample;
a detector for generating an output signal or image based on an output beam emanating from the sample in response to the incident
beam;

optics for directing the output beam towards the detector; and
a controller for configuring the laser diode arrays to provide the incident beam at the different wavelength ranges and detecting
defects or characterizing a feature of the sample based on the output signal or image.

US Pat. No. 9,544,984

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR GENERATION OF EXTREME ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An apparatus for generating extreme ultra-violet (EUV) light comprising:
a vacuum chamber;
a rotatable, cylindrically-symmetric element having a surface at least partially coated with a plasma-forming target material
and disposed within the vacuum chamber;

one or more actuation devices configured to control at least one of an axial position or a tilt of the rotatable, cylindrically-symmetric
element;

a drive laser source configured to generate one or more laser pulses sufficient to generate EUV light via formation of a plasma
by excitation of the plasma-forming target material;

a set of focusing optics configured to focus the one or more laser pulses onto a portion of the surface of the rotatable,
cylindrically-symmetric element;

a set of collection optics configured to receive EUV light emanated from the plasma generated in response to the excitation
of the plasma-forming target material and further configured to direct the illumination to an intermediate focal point; and

a gas management system including a gas supply subsystem configured to supply plasma-forming target material to the surface
of the rotatable, cylindrically-symmetric element.

US Pat. No. 9,097,645

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR HIGH SPEED HEIGHT CONTROL OF A SUBSTRATE SURFACE WITHIN A WAFER INSPECTION SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for high speed height control of a surface of the substrate within a wafer inspection system comprising:
a dynamically actuatable substrate stage assembly including a substrate stage for securing a substrate;
an actuator configured to actuate the substrate along a direction substantially perpendicular to the surface of the substrate;
a height error detection system configured to measure height error of a surface of the substrate at a position of inspection
of the surface;

a displacement sensor operably coupled to the substrate stage assembly and configured to measure a displacement substantially
perpendicular to the surface of the substrate at the location of the substrate stage assembly;

a feedback control system communicatively coupled to the height error detection system and the actuator, wherein the feedback
control system is configured to:

receive one or more height error measurements from the height error detection system; and
responsive to the measured one or more height error measurements, adjust an actuation state of the actuator in order to maintain
the substrate surface substantially at an imaging plane of a detector of the inspection system or a focus of illumination
of the inspection system; and

a feed forward control system communicatively coupled to the height error detection system and the actuator, wherein the feed
forward control system is configured to:

receive one or more displacement measurements from the displacement sensor;
responsive to one or more displacement values from the one or more displacements measurements with the one or more height
error values from the one or more height error measurements, generate one or more displacement targets; and

actuate the actuator using at least one of the one or more displacement targets in order to maintain the substrate surface
substantially at an imaging plane of a detector of the inspection system or a focus of illumination of the inspection system.

US Pat. No. 9,217,717

TWO DIMENSIONAL OPTICAL DETECTOR WITH MULTIPLE SHIFT REGISTERS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An optical detector comprising:
a photosensitive area having a first dimension in a first direction and a second dimension in a second direction, the first
direction orthogonal to the second direction, the first dimension greater than the second dimension, the photosensitive area
including:

a first array of photodetectors arranged in a first portion of the photosensitive area along the first direction;
a second array of photodetectors arranged in a second portion of the photosensitive area along the first direction; and
a first linear array of shift register elements disposed along the first direction between the first and the second array
of photosensitive elements, wherein a charge accumulated on the first array of photodetectors is transferred to the first
linear array of shift register elements, and wherein a charge accumulated on the second array of photodetectors is transferred
to the a second linear array of photodetector elements.

US Pat. No. 9,182,219

OVERLAY MEASUREMENT BASED ON MOIRE EFFECT BETWEEN STRUCTURED ILLUMINATION AND OVERLAY TARGET

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An overlay measurement method, comprising:
providing a structured illumination, the structured illumination defining an illumination grid according to an illumination
pitch distance;

illuminating a first overlay target located on a first process layer utilizing the structured illumination, wherein the first
overlay target includes a plurality of line features spaced equally apart from each other according to a target pitch distance
different from the illumination pitch distance;

illuminating a second overlay target located on a second process layer utilizing the structured illumination, wherein the
second overlay target includes a plurality of line features spaced equally apart from each other according to the target pitch
distance;

obtaining an image of the first overlay target illuminated by the structured illumination and an image of the second overlay
target illuminated by the structured illumination;

measuring a first relative displacement between the first overlay target and the structured illumination;
measuring a second relative displacement between the second overlay target and the structured illumination; and
measuring an overlay between the first overlay target and the second overlay target based on their relative displacements
with respect to the structured illumination.

US Pat. No. 9,182,341

OPTICAL SURFACE SCANNING SYSTEMS AND METHODS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An optical scanning system, comprising:
a light source configured to provide light towards a sample, wherein the light source provides the light to the sample with
a moving optical beam spot;

a spectrometer configured to collect light reflected from the sample; and
a moving sample positioning stage that supports the sample during an optical measurement of the sample using the light source
and the spectrometer, wherein the moving sample positioning stage rotates the sample in at least one direction while reflected
light is being collected during the optical measurement of the sample;

wherein the moving optical beam spot is rotated synchronously with the sample while reflected light is being collected during
the optical measurement such that the moving optical beam spot rotates as the sample rotates and the moving optical beam spot
illuminates a specific location on the sample during the optical measurement; and

wherein the spectrometer collects reflected light data from the sample during the optical measurement.

US Pat. No. 9,091,650

APODIZATION FOR PUPIL IMAGING SCATTEROMETRY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for performing optical metrology, comprising:
a stage configured to support a sample;
at least one illumination source configured to provide illumination along an illumination path;
an apodizer disposed within a pupil plane of the illumination path, the apodizer configured to apodize illumination directed
along the illumination path;

an illumination scanner disposed along the illumination path, the illumination scanner configured to scan a surface of the
sample with at least a portion of the apodized illumination;

an illumination field stop disposed along the illumination path, the illumination field stop configured to block a portion
of illumination directed along the illumination path from scanning the surface of the sample;

at least one detector configured to detect a portion of illumination scattered, reflected, or radiated from the surface of
the sample along a collection path;
a collection field stop disposed along the collection path, the collection field stop configured to block a portion of illumination
directed along the collection path from being detected; anda computing system communicatively coupled to the at least one detector, the computing system configured to determine at least
one spatial attribute of the sample based upon the detected portion of illumination.

US Pat. No. 9,420,678

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR PRODUCING AN EXCLUSIONARY BUFFER GAS FLOW IN AN EUV LIGHT SOURCE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for producing an exclusionary buffer gas flow in an EUV light source, comprising:
a vacuum chamber;
a light path;
a plasma generation region;
at least one shield;
at least one through-bore arranged in the at least one shield;
at least one buffer gas injector arranged within the at least one through-bore to inject a buffer gas into the light path
such that the buffer gas is directed by the at least one buffer gas injector substantially towards the plasma generation region
to prevent a flow of a target material from entering the light path and from coming in contact with the at least one shield;
and,

a vacuum pump arranged to remove the buffer gas and the target material from the vacuum chamber.

US Pat. No. 9,273,952

GRAZING AND NORMAL INCIDENCE INTERFEROMETER HAVING COMMON REFERENCE SURFACE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for measuring specimen thickness variations in a specimen, the method comprising:
receiving variable coherence light energy;
forming diffracted light energy;
passing the diffracted light energy toward said specimen and toward a plurality of reflective surfaces, the plurality of reflective
surfaces comprising a semi-transparent reflective surface transparent through a first side and less than 90 percent reflective
on a second side; and

performing an interferometric normal incidence inspection through the semi-transparent reflective surface.

US Pat. No. 9,140,546

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR THREE DIMENSIONAL INSPECTION OF WAFER SAW MARKS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An apparatus for inspection comprising:
at least one camera defining a field of view, wherein the field of view is configured such that at least a portion of a surface
of the wafer is captured;

at least one light source;
at least one line projector configured to provide a light bundle centered about a central beam axis, wherein the at least
one line projector is arranged such that the central beam axis is oriented at an acute angle with respect to a plane of the
wafer, wherein the at least one light source is configured to provide light to the at least one line projector, wherein the
at least one line projector is configured to project a pattern of a plurality of lines onto at least one of a front side or
a back side of the wafer;

at least one line shifter positioned in the light bundle between the at least one line projector and the surface of the wafer;
a frame grabber; and
an image processor, wherein image capture of the at least one of the front side or the back side of the wafer is synchronized
by the frame grabber in coordination with the position of the pattern of lines on the at least one of the front side of the
wafer or the back side of the wafer, wherein the image processor is configured to perform a three-dimensional inspection of
one or more saw marks of the wafer.

US Pat. No. 9,244,368

PARTICLE CONTROL NEAR RETICLE AND OPTICS USING SHOWERHEAD

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A particle control arrangement for an EUV illumination inspection system comprising:
a thermal shroud;
a first diffuser plate, said first diffuser plate having an area and an upper surface and a lower surface;
a second diffuser plate, said second diffuser plate having an area a first surface and a second surface, wherein said first
surface faces said lower surface;

a reticle having an area;
a movable holder, said movable holder having a holder area and supporting said reticle;
a gas source, said gas source delivering a flow of gas in a channel defined by said lower surface and said first surface;
a post optics box attached to said shroud and extending away from said channel and said second surface;
a light tunnel having walls, said walls extending between said first diffuser plate and said second diffuser plate; and,
an EUV illumination port defined by said thermal shroud;
wherein said post optics box contains an inspection lens system; and
wherein said holder moves at least part of the area of said reticle over said inspection hole.

US Pat. No. 9,170,209

INSPECTION GUIDED OVERLAY METROLOGY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for inspection guided metrology, comprising:
performing a pattern search in order to identify one or more instances of a predetermined pattern on a semiconductor wafer;
generating a care area for each of the one or more instances of the predetermined pattern on the semiconductor wafer;
identifying one or more defects within each of the one or more generated care areas by performing an inspection scan of each
of the one or more generated care areas, wherein the inspection scan includes a low-threshold inspection scan or a high sensitivity
inspection scan;

identifying one or more metrology sites of at least some of the one or more instances of the predetermined pattern on the
semiconductor wafer having a measured metrology parameter deviating from a selected metrology specification utilizing a defect
inspection technique;

comparing location data of the one or more identified defects of a generated care area to location data of the one or more
identified metrology sites within the generated care area in order to identify one or more locations wherein the one or more
defects are proximate to the one or more identified metrology sites; and

generating a metrology sampling plan based on the identified one or more locations wherein the one or more defects are proximate
to the one or more identified metrology sites.

US Pat. No. 9,460,886

HIGH RESOLUTION HIGH QUANTUM EFFICIENCY ELECTRON BOMBARDED CCD OR CMOS IMAGING SENSOR

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An electron-bombarded detector for detecting low light signals, said electron-bombarded detector comprising:
a vacuum tube structure defining a cylindrical vacuum tube chamber having a first end and an opposing second end;
a photocathode disposed at said first end of the vacuum tube chamber and including a material that emits photoelectrons in
response to said low light signals;

a sensor disposed at the second end of the vacuum tube chamber and configured to receive at least some of said emitted photoelectrons,
and to generate an electric signal in response to said received photoelectrons;

a plurality of ring electrodes disposed in the vacuum tube chamber, each said ring electrode configured to generate, in response
to an applied voltage, an electric field that accelerates said emitted photoelectrons toward said second end of the vacuum
tight chamber;

a magnetic field generator disposed adjacent to the vacuum tube structure and configured to generate a symmetric magnetic
field in the vacuum tight chamber such that said symmetric magnetic field applies a focusing lens effect on said accelerated
photoelectrons; and

a controller configured to transmit said applied voltages to said plurality of ring electrodes such that the applied voltages
on the electrodes around the photocathode are adjusted to compensate the electron optics aberrations,

wherein said electron-bombarded detector is configured such that said photoelectrons received by said sensor have a landing
energy below 2 keV.

US Pat. No. 9,377,058

FLEXIBLE COUPLING

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A flexible coupling, comprising:
a coupling axis;
a first body member and a second body member operatively arranged about said coupling axis, each of said first and second
body members comprising:

a rotational shaft;
an external connecting member operatively arranged to connect said first and second body members with each other, said external
connecting member having internal walls; and,

an internal flexible member arranged to cooperate with said rotational shaft, said internal flexible member operatively arranged
to form at least one cavity between said internal flexible member and said internal walls of said external connecting member
in a plane perpendicular to said coupling axis; and,

at least one flexible section arranged within said internal flexible member of said first and second body members between
said external connecting member and said coupling axis, said at least one flexible section arranged substantially parallel
to said coupling axis;

wherein said internal flexible members of said first and second body members are rotatable with respect to each other so that
said at least one flexible section of said internal flexible member of said first body member is locatable inside said at
least one cavity of said second body member.

US Pat. No. 9,184,034

PHOTOMULTIPLIER TUBE WITH EXTENDED DYNAMIC RANGE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A photomultiplier tube, comprising:
a photocathode configured to emit electrons in response to incident illumination;
a plurality of dynodes configured to multiply electrons received from the photocathode;
an anode configured to receive electrons multiplied by the plurality of dynodes; and
a control grid configured to maintain an electric potential sufficient to block at least some thermal electrons emitted by
the photocathode, following illumination of the photocathode with the incident illumination, from being received by the plurality
of dynodes to enhance dynamic range of the photomultiplier tube.

US Pat. No. 9,591,770

MULTI-LAYER CERAMIC VACUUM TO ATMOSPHERE ELECTRIC FEED THROUGH

KLA-TENCOR CORPORATION, ...

1. An apparatus, comprising:
a feedthrough, wherein the feedthrough includes a ceramic structure having a first surface and a second surface at opposing
ends of the ceramic structure, wherein the feedthrough includes conductors embedded in the ceramic structure and extending
from the first surface to the second surface of the ceramic structure to form corresponding arrays of conductive contacts
at the first surface and the second surface, and wherein the conductors are flush with the first surface of the ceramic structure;
and

a cable, detachable from the feedthrough, electrically connected to the contacts at the first surface of the ceramic structure,
wherein the cable has a contact array pattern that matches the array of conductive contacts on the first surface of the ceramic
structure.

US Pat. No. 9,208,552

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR HYBRID RETICLE INSPECTION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A inspection apparatus comprising:
a processor;
memory connected to the processor;
computer executable program code configured to execute on the processor,
wherein the computer executable program code is configured to:
produce a reduced database containing portions of a semiconductor design database unsuitable for at least one of a cell-to-cell
inspection or a die-to-die inspection and excluding portions of the semiconductor design database suitable for at least one
of a cell-to-cell inspection or a die-to-die inspection, portions of the semiconductor design database unsuitable for at least
one of a cell-to-cell inspection or a die-to-die inspection comprising portions sufficiently similar to appear identical during
a real-time inspection process but having features that would result in a false defect identification during such real-time
inspection; and

store the reduced database for reference during a wafer inspection process.

US Pat. No. 9,255,893

APPARATUS FOR ILLUMINATING SUBSTRATES IN ORDER TO IMAGE MICRO CRACKS, PINHOLES AND INCLUSIONS IN MONOCRYSTALLINE AND POLYCRYSTALLINE SUBSTRATES AND METHOD THEREFORE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An apparatus for illuminating a substrate in order to image micro cracks, pinholes and inclusions in the substrate comprising:
a conveyer unit to move the substrate along a transport direction;
a first illumination system for illuminating a front surface of the substrate to create a first elongated spot of light on
the front surface of the substrate, wherein the front surface of the substrate is defined by a first transport axis and a
second transport axis, the first transport axis being parallel to the transport direction and the second transport axis being
orthogonal to the transport direction, wherein the first elongated spot of light is oriented transverse to the transport direction,
wherein the first illumination system is configured to illuminate the substrate at a first angle with respect to the first
transport axis;

a second illumination system for illuminating the front surface of the substrate to create a second elongated spot of light
on the front surface of the substrate, wherein the second elongated spot of light is oriented transverse to the transport
direction, the second illumination system is configured to illuminate the substrate at a second angle with respect to the
first transport axis, wherein an axis of the second illumination system is arranged at a third angle with respect to the second
transport axis; and

an image capture field being defined on the substrate by the first elongated spot of light and the second elongated spot of
light, the first elongated spot of light and the second elongated spot of light configured so as not to intersect at the front
surface of the substrate and the image capture field during the movement of the substrate along the transport direction.

US Pat. No. 9,141,002

Z-STAGE WITH DYNAMICALLY DRIVEN STAGE MIRROR AND CHUCK ASSEMBLY HAVING CONSTRAINT

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A substrate support apparatus, comprising:
a Z stage plate;
a stage mirror;
one or more actuators attached to the Z stage plate, wherein the one or more actuators are configured to impart movement to
the stage mirror in a Z direction as the Z stage plate is moved in one or more directions in a plane perpendicular to the
Z direction wherein the Z direction is a vertical direction that is normal to an X direction and a Y direction; and

a substrate chuck mounted to the stage mirror with constraints on five or more degrees of freedom of movement of the substrate
chuck,

wherein the one or more actuators include one or more piezo electric actuators coupled between the Z stage plate and the stage
mirror,

wherein the one or more piezo electric actuators are configured to move the stage mirror in response to detection of a displacement
of the substrate chuck relative to the stage mirror.

US Pat. No. 9,110,039

AUTO-FOCUS SYSTEM AND METHODS FOR DIE-TO-DIE INSPECTION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for detecting defects in a semiconductor sample having a plurality of identically designed areas, the method comprising:
using an inspection tool to construct an initial focus trajectory for a first swath of the sample;
using the inspection tool to scan the first swath by following the initial focus trajectory for the first swath while collecting
autofocus data;

generating a z offset measurement vector for each identically designed area in the first swath based on the autofocus data;
and

constructing a corrected z offset vector for inspection of the first swath with the inspection tool, wherein constructing
the corrected z offset vector is based on combining the z offset measurement vectors for two or more of the identically designed
areas in the first swath so that the corrected z offset vector specifies a same z offset for each set of same positions in
the two or more identically designed areas.

US Pat. No. 9,239,522

METHOD OF DETERMINING AN ASYMMETRIC PROPERTY OF A STRUCTURE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of determining and applying an asymmetric property of a structure, the method comprising:
measuring for a grating structure, a first signal and a second, different, signal obtained by optical scatterometry of the
grating structure, the measurement of the first signal and second signal being performed by an optical metrology tool of an
optical metrology system;

calculating with a processor of the optical metrology system:
a differential signal, the differential signal being a mathematical difference between the first signal and the second signal
calculated by subtracting one of the first signal and the second signal from the other of the first signal and the second
signal, and

a value of an asymmetric structural parameter of the grating structure based on a calculation using the first signal, the
second signal, and the calculated differential signal; and

altering one or more parameters or settings for fabrication based at least in part on the calculated asymmetric structural
parameter of the grating structure;

wherein the first signal and the second signal are measured according to one of the following:
the first signal and the second signal are measured at first and second azimuth angles, respectively, of the grating structure,
the first signal and the second signal are measured for first and second angles of incidence, respectively, of the grating
structure,

the first signal and the second signal are measured at first and second polarizer/analyzer angles, respectively, of the grating
structure, or

the first signal and the second signal are measured for first and second measurement targets, respectively, of the grating
structure.

US Pat. No. 9,110,020

ATMOSPHERIC MOLECULAR CONTAMINATION CONTROL WITH LOCAL PURGING

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for performing optical metrology on a locally purged wafer, comprising:
an illumination source;
a detector configured to receive illumination reflected from a measurement location of a local purging portion of a surface
of a wafer;

a local purging system comprising a local purging tool configured to purge the portion of the surface of the water, the local
purging tool comprising:

a purging chamber configured to contain purging gas within a cavity of the purging chamber, the purging chamber being positionable
relative to the surface of the wafer to the local purging portion of the wafer, the wafer being external to the cavity of
the purging chamber;

a permeable portion of a surface of the purging chamber configured to diffuse purging gas from the cavity of the purging chamber
to the local purging portion of the surface of the wafer; and

an aperture configured to transmit illumination received from the illumination source to the measurement location of the local
purging portion of the surface of the wafer and further configured to transmit illumination reflected from the measurement
location to the detector;
the local purging system further comprising a purge gas source fluidically connected to the local purging tool.

US Pat. No. 9,615,439

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR INHIBITING RADIATIVE EMISSION OF A LASER-SUSTAINED PLASMA SOURCE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for forming a laser-sustained plasma, comprising:
a gas containment element, wherein the gas containment element is configured to contain a volume of a gas mixture;
an illumination source configured to generate pump illumination; and
a collector element configured to focus the pump illumination from the pumping source into the volume of the gas mixture contained
within the gas containment element in order to generate a plasma within the volume of the gas mixture, wherein the plasma
emits broadband radiation, wherein the gas mixture inhibits the emission of one or more selected wavelengths of radiation
from the gas containment element.

US Pat. No. 9,245,714

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR COMPRESSED DATA TRANSMISSION IN A MASKLESS LITHOGRAPHY SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for compressed data transmission in an electron beam lithography system comprising:
receiving a gray-tone image suitable for printing at least a portion of a pattern onto a substrate by operation of an electron
beam lithography system;

aggregating sets of lines of each of a set of regions of the gray-tone image into trilines, each region of the gray-tone image
corresponding with one of a set of segments of a digital pattern generator of the electron beam lithography system;

sequentially encoding each of a set of trilines of each of the set of regions of the gray-tone image by operation of encoding
circuitry according to an encoding process based on acquired gray-tone values of each of the set of trilines, the encoding
circuitry having one or more encoders, the one or more encoders equipped with a codebook configured to store a plurality of
triline fragments and a write location; and

transmitting the encoded trilines of the set of regions of the gray-tone image to a set of decoders of the digital pattern
generator, each of the set of decoders corresponding with one of the set of segments of the digital pattern generator, wherein
the encoded trilines of a region are transmitted to a decoder of a segment corresponding with the region.

US Pat. No. 9,234,745

PERIODIC PATTERNS AND TECHNIQUES TO CONTROL MISALIGNMENT BETWEEN TWO LAYERS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for processing and measuring a device, said device having a first periodic structure, said method comprising:
measuring a critical dimension of the first periodic structure by illuminating the first periodic structure with incident
electromagnetic radiation and by detecting diffracted electromagnetic radiation from the illuminated portions of the first
periodic structure;

after the first periodic structure has been measured, forming a second periodic structure in a region of the device, where
the first and second periodic structures are present in said region; and

measuring a relative position between the first and second periodic structures by illuminating the first and second periodic
structures with incident electromagnetic radiation and by detecting diffracted electromagnetic radiation from the illuminated
portions of the first and second periodic structures in said region, wherein said measuring of the relative position between
the first and second periodic structures includes detecting positive and negative first order diffracted electromagnetic radiation
from the illuminated portions of the first and second periodic structures in said region, and deriving differential intensity
between the positive and negative first-order diffraction, differential phase between the positive and negative first-order
diffraction or differential polarization between the positive and negative first-order diffraction.

US Pat. No. 9,151,667

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR STABILIZING POWER OF TUNABLE LASER IN WAVELENGTH-TUNING PHASE SHIFT INTERFEROMETER

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for stabilizing optical power of illumination provided by a wavelength-tunable laser, comprising:
a laser diode, the laser diode configured to provide illumination along an illumination path;
a laser controller communicatively coupled to the laser diode, the laser controller configured to adjust a wavelength of illumination
emanating from the laser diode;

a beam sampler, the beam sampler configured to receive illumination from the illumination path, the beam sampler further configured
to direct a delivery portion of illumination received from the illumination path along a delivery path to a phase-shifting
interferometer, the beam sampler further configured to direct a reference portion of illumination received from the illumination
path along a reference path;

a detector, the detector configured to receive a portion of the reference portion of illumination from the reference path;
an amplitude controller communicatively coupled to the detector, the amplitude controller configured to receive information
associated with optical power of the reference portion of illumination from the detector, the amplitude controller further
configured to compare optical power of the reference portion of illumination and a selected optical power; and

an optical amplitude modulator communicatively coupled to the amplitude controller, the optical amplitude modulator disposed
along the illumination path, the optical amplitude modulator configured to adjust optical power of illumination received from
a first portion of the illumination path utilizing information received from the amplitude controller associated with a comparison
of the optical power of the reference portion of illumination and the selected optical power, the optical amplitude modulator
further configured to transmit illumination having adjusted optical power along a second portion of the illumination path.

US Pat. No. 9,257,260

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR ADAPTIVELY SCANNING A SAMPLE DURING ELECTRON BEAM INSPECTION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for adaptively scanning a sample during electron beam inspection comprising:
an inspection sub-system configured to scan an electron beam across the surface of the sample, the inspection sub-system including:
an electron beam source configured to generate an electron beam,
a sample stage configured to secure the sample;
a set of electron-optic elements configured to direct the electron beam onto the sample; and
a detector assembly including at least an electron collector, the detector configured to detect electrons from the surface
of the sample; and

a controller communicatively coupled to one or more portions of the inspection sub-system, the controller including one or
more processors configured to execute program instructions configured to cause the one or more processors to:

assess at least one of a pattern characteristic or a defect characteristic of one or more portions of an area for inspection;
and

responsive to at least one of the assessed pattern characteristic or the defect characteristic, adjust one or more scan parameters
of the inspection sub-system.

US Pat. No. 9,655,225

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR CONTROLLING CONVECTION WITHIN A PLASMA CELL

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A plasma cell for controlling convection comprising:
a transmission element having one or more openings,
the transmission element configured to receive illumination from an illumination source in order to generate a plasma within
a plasma generation region of a volume of gas, wherein the plasma emits broadband radiation, wherein the transmission element
of the plasma cell is at least partially transparent to at least a portion of the illumination generated by the illumination
source and at least a portion of the broadband radiation emitted by the plasma; and

one or more gas return channels formed within the transmission element for transferring gas from a region above the plasma
generation region to a region below the plasma generation region.

US Pat. No. 9,298,106

WAFER STAGE WITH RECIPROCATING WAFER STAGE ACTUATION CONTROL

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A wafer stage system with reciprocating wafer stage actuation control, comprising:
a wafer stage configured for receiving a wafer;
one or more motors configured to actuate the wafer stage in at least one of a first direction or a second direction along
at least one axis;

a first non-contact magnetic reciprocating mechanism configured to decelerate the wafer stage after the wafer stage is actuated
to a desired position in the first direction, the first reciprocating mechanism further configured to store energy captured
while decelerating the wafer stage in the first direction, the first reciprocating mechanism further configured to accelerate
the wafer stage in the second direction utilizing the energy stored in the first reciprocating mechanism; and

a second non-contact magnetic reciprocating mechanism configured to decelerate the wafer stage after the wafer stage is actuated
to a desired position in the second direction, the second reciprocating mechanism further configured to store energy captured
while decelerating the wafer stage in the second direction, the second reciprocating mechanism further configured to accelerate
the wafer stage in the first direction utilizing the energy stored in the second reciprocating mechanism, wherein at least
one of the first non-contact magnetic reciprocating mechanism or the second non-contact magnetic reciprocating mechanism are
disposed at opposite ends of a scanning path along the at least one axis and include one or more spring mechanisms.

US Pat. No. 9,255,894

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR DETECTING CRACKS IN A WAFER

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for detecting cracks in a wafer comprising:
a rotational wafer stage assembly configured to secure the wafer and selectively rotate the wafer, wherein the rotational
wafer stage assembly includes a spindle;

a light source positioned on a first side of a surface of the wafer and configured to direct at least a portion of a light
beam through the wafer, wherein the light beam is at least partially transmittable through the wafer;

a sensor positioned on a second side of the wafer opposite the first side and configured to monitor one or more characteristics
of light transmitted through the wafer as the rotational wafer stage assembly rotates the wafer, wherein the rotational wafer
stage assembly and the light source are configured to cause the light beam to trace a pattern across the wafer; and

a controller communicatively coupled to the sensor and a portion of the rotational wafer stage assembly including the spindle,
wherein the controller is configured to determine the presence of one or more cracks in the wafer based on the monitored one
or more characteristics of light transmitted through the wafer,

wherein the spindle adjusts the rotational condition of the wafer in response to the determination of the presence of one
or more cracks by the controller.

US Pat. No. 9,224,195

RETICLE DEFECT INSPECTION WITH SYSTEMATIC DEFECT FILTER

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of inspecting a photolithographic reticle, the method comprising: receiving a stream of defect data from a reticle
inspection system, wherein the defect data identifies a plurality of defects that were detected for a plurality of different
portions of the reticle; before reviewing the defect data to determine whether the reticle passes inspection and as the stream
of defect data continues to be received, automatically grouping some of the defects with other one or more received defects
so as to form groups of matching defects, wherein the groups are associated with plurality of different predetermined counts
thresholds that each pertain to a particular defect type of the associated group's matching defects, wherein a first one of
the different predetermined count thresholds is lower for a first group of matching defects surrounded by a first background
area having a first number of unique pixels than a second one of the different predetermined count thresholds for a second
group of matching defects surrounded by a second background area having a second number of unique pixels that is lower than
the first number of unique pixels; and before reviewing the defect data to determine whether the reticle passes inspection
and after all of the defect data for the reticle is received, determining whether each group has matching defects that number
above such group's associated predetermined count threshold and automatically filtering each group that is determined to have
matching defects that number above such group's associated predetermined threshold from the defect data so as to form filtered
defect data in the form of a plurality of filtered groups of matching defects; and providing the filtered defect data to a
review station for determining whether the reticle passes.

US Pat. No. 9,389,166

ENHANCED HIGH-SPEED LOGARITHMIC PHOTO-DETECTOR FOR SPOT SCANNING SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of inspecting or measuring a specimen, the method comprising:
directing an incident beam across a plurality of consecutive scan lines of a specimen so that an output beam profile from
each scan line is consecutively collected by a photomultiplier tube (PMT), wherein the scan lines include one or more first
scan lines and a next scan line that is scanned after the one or more first scan lines;

after or while the incident beam is directed to the one or more first scan lines of the specimen and prior to the incident
beam being directed to the next scan line, receiving data for the one or more output beam profiles for the one or more first
scan lines from the PMT into a line buffer for holding data for the entire one or more first scan lines;

prior to the incident beam being directed to the next scan line, determining an expected output beam profile for the next
scan line based on data for the one or more output beam profiles that are received into the line buffer for the one or more
first scan lines, wherein the expected output beam profile is determined to have a substantially same value or a same rate
of gain increase or decrease as the one or more output beam profiles for the one or more first scan lines; and

as the incident beam is directed towards the next scan line, setting a gain input to the PMT for the next scan line based
on the expected output beam profile so that the gain for such next scan line results in a measured signal at the PMT that
is within a predefined specification of the PMT or other hardware components that receive a measured signal from the PMT.

US Pat. No. 9,255,891

INSPECTION BEAM SHAPING FOR IMPROVED DETECTION SENSITIVITY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method comprising:
generating a beam of illumination light having a beam intensity distribution;
reshaping the beam intensity distribution of the beam of illumination light to generate a reshaped beam of illumination light,
the reshaped beam of illumination light having a beam intensity distribution with a variance of less than 25% from an average
intensity value across a width of an inspection track illuminated by a portion of the reshaped beam of illumination light;

illuminating a surface of a specimen with the reshaped beam of illumination light over an inspection area of the inspection
track, wherein a beam width of the illumination light over the inspection area varies in a direction parallel to a trajectory
of the inspection track as a single valued function of location across the inspection track;

receiving an amount of light collected from the inspection area;
generating an output signal based on the received amount of collected light;
determining a duration of time the output signal exceeds a threshold value; and
determining a location of a defect within the inspection track in a direction across the inspection track based on the duration
of time.

US Pat. No. 9,214,317

SYSTEM AND METHOD OF SEM OVERLAY METROLOGY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of performing overlay metrology upon a sample including a substrate with at least two layers formed thereon, the
method comprising:
scanning an electron beam across a surface of the sample in a scan direction that is substantially collinear or parallel to
a first set of linear pattern elements, the first set of linear pattern elements including at least two linear pattern elements
corresponding to the at least two layers of the sample;

detecting electrons from a scanned portion of the surface of the sample including the first set of linear pattern elements;
and

determining a spatial offset between the at least two linear pattern elements of the first set of linear pattern elements
based upon the detected electrons.

US Pat. No. 9,176,069

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR APODIZATION IN A SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE INSPECTION SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An inspection system with selectable apodization, comprising:
an illumination source configured to illuminate a surface of a sample disposed on a sample stage;
a detector configured to detect at least a portion of light emanating from the surface of the sample, the illumination source
and the detector being optically coupled via an optical pathway of an optical system including an illumination arm and a collection
arm;

a selectably configurable apodization device disposed along the optical pathway of the optical system, wherein the apodization
device includes two or more apodization elements operatively coupled to one or more actuation stages, the one or more actuation
stages configured to selectably actuate at least one of the two or more apodization elements along one or more directions;

a control system communicatively coupled to the one or more actuation stages, wherein the control system is configured to
selectably apply a selected apodization profile to illumination transmitted along the optical pathway of the optical system
by controlling an actuation state of at least one of the two or more apodization elements, the selected apodization profile
formed with the at least one of the two or more apodization elements.

US Pat. No. 9,151,940

SEMICONDUCTOR INSPECTION AND METROLOGY SYSTEM USING LASER PULSE MULTIPLIER

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A pulse multiplier comprising:
a beam splitter for receiving a laser pulse; and
one or more mirrors forming a ring cavity including the beam splitter;
wherein the beam splitter directs a first fraction of energy of the laser pulse as an output of the pulse multiplier, and
directs a second fraction of the energy of the laser pulse into the ring cavity, and

wherein the pulse multiplier is further configured to double a repetition rate of a substantially regular repeating stream
of laser pulses by configuring the ring cavity to have an optical path length that is equivalent to approximately half of,
or approximately an odd integer times half of, a time interval between successive laser pulses.

US Pat. No. 9,232,622

GAS REFRACTION COMPENSATION FOR LASER-SUSTAINED PLASMA BULBS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A laser-sustained plasma illuminator system, comprising:
at least one laser light source configured to provide light;
at least one reflector configured to focus the light from the at least one laser light source at a focal point of the reflector;
and

an enclosure substantially filled with a gas positioned at or near the focal point of the reflector, wherein the light from
the at least one laser light source at least partially sustains a plasma contained in the enclosure, and wherein the enclosure
has at least one wall with at least one property that is varied.

US Pat. No. 9,232,626

WAFER GROUNDING USING LOCALIZED PLASMA SOURCE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An apparatus, comprising:
a substrate support portion configured to support a substrate including at least one insulating layer and a substrate bulk;
a plasma generation chamber, the plasma generation chamber being comprised of chamber wall portions, at least one gas port,
and a plasma application aperture, wherein the plasma application aperture is covered by a portion of the substrate upon a
deposition of the substrate on the substrate support portion, wherein the plasma generation chamber is configured to contain
a gas;

at least two electrodes including a first electrode and a second electrode, each of the at least two electrodes protruding
into or extending into an interior portion of the plasma generation chamber; and

at least one power source including at least a first power source, the first power source being coupled to a particular electrode
of the at least two electrodes, the first power source being configured to apply a voltage to the particular electrode of
the at least two electrodes,

wherein application of the voltage to the particular electrode generates a plasma within the plasma generation chamber, whereby
generation of the plasma results in a conductive path through the insulating layer of the substrate between the plasma and
the substrate bulk.

US Pat. No. 9,201,312

METHOD FOR CORRECTING POSITION MEASUREMENTS FOR OPTICAL ERRORS AND METHOD FOR DETERMINING MASK WRITER ERRORS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for correcting optical errors occurring in coordinates of positions of targets measured via an imaging system,
the method comprising the following steps:
a) placing an array of targets in a field of view of the imaging system, wherein a plurality of targets of the array of targets
are within the field of view of the imaging system and wherein the relative positions of targets within the array of targets
are fixed;

b) measuring the coordinates of the plurality of targets of the array of targets repeatedly via the imaging system, wherein
the array of targets is shifted relative to the field of view of the imaging system between the repeated measurements;

c) determining an alignment function from the measurement results of step b, the alignment function being a function of coordinates
of the field of view of the imaging system and giving an additive correction for optical errors of the coordinates of positions
of targets measured by the imaging system;

d) correcting the coordinates of the positions of the targets measured by the imaging system by adding the respective value
of the alignment function at the field-of-view coordinates at which the coordinates of the position of the respective target
were measured; and,

e) obtaining a final result for the position of each target of the plurality of targets by averaging over the corrected coordinates
found in step d for the respective target at each relative position of the targets and field of view of the imaging system.

US Pat. No. 9,291,920

FOCUS RECIPE DETERMINATION FOR A LITHOGRAPHIC SCANNER

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of determining at least one focus value for a lithographic scanner, comprising:
illuminating at least one test sample;
detecting illumination reflected, scattered, or radiated from the at least one test sample for a plurality of programmed focus
error values, the detected illumination exhibiting at least a first variable and a second variable;

determining, for each programmed focus error value, a plurality of second variable values corresponding to a plurality of
first variable values based upon illumination detected at a plurality of specified focus offsets;

selecting a first variable value at least partially based upon a corresponding responsiveness of the second variable to the
plurality of specified focus offsets; and

determining at least one focus value based upon at least one determined raw focus value corresponding to the selected first
variable value.

US Pat. No. 9,279,663

METHOD AND APPARATUS TO FOLD OPTICS IN TOOLS FOR MEASURING SHAPE AND/OR THICKNESS OF A LARGE AND THIN SUBSTRATE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for directing an interferometric image in a semiconductor wafer measuring tool, comprising:
a first folding mirror configured to reflect an interferometric image from a semiconductor wafer in a first direction;
a second folding mirror configured to receive an interferometric image from the first folding mirror, and reflect the interferometric
image in a second direction; and

a third folding mirror configured to receive an interferometric image from the second folding mirror, and reflect the interferometric
image in a third direction,

wherein the third direction is parallel to a direction of travel of the interferometric image from the semiconductor wafer
such that the third fold mirror is configured to reflect an interferometric image to repass the space between the semiconductor
wafer and the first folding mirror, such that an increase in a distance between the semiconductor wafer and the first folding
mirror produces a corresponding increase in the actual distance traveled by the interferometric image that is twice the increase
in distance between the semiconductor wafer and the first folding mirror.

US Pat. No. 9,250,178

PASSIVATION OF NONLINEAR OPTICAL CRYSTALS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for passivating crystal defects of a nonlinear optical crystal, comprising:
an exposure chamber configured to contain a passivating gas including a selected concentration of at least one of hydrogen,
deuterium, a hydrogen-containing compound and a deuterium-containing compound, the exposure chamber further configured to
contain at least one NLO crystal for exposure to the passivating gas within the chamber;

a passivating gas source fluidically connected to the exposure chamber;
a flow controller fluidically coupled between the passivating gas source and the exposure chamber and configured to selectively
supply the passivating gas from the passivating gas source to the exposure chamber;

a substrate including a heating element, the substrate configured to hold the NLO crystal within the chamber; and
a computer controller communicatively coupled to the heating element of the substrate and the flow controller, the computer
controller including one or more processors configured to:

supply a flow of passivating gas at a selected flow rate to the exposure chamber with the flow controller; and
maintain a temperature of the NLO crystal between 300° and 350° C., with the heating element of the substrate, during exposure
of the at least one NLO crystal to the passivating gas, to repair at least one of dangling bonds or broken bonds within the
NLO crystal.

US Pat. No. 9,222,842

HIGH TEMPERATURE SENSOR WAFER FOR IN-SITU MEASUREMENTS IN ACTIVE PLASMA

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A component module in a process condition measuring device, comprising;
a support configured to support a component;
one or more legs configured to suspend the support in a spaced-apart relationship with respect to a substrate; and
an electrically conductive or low-resistivity semiconductor enclosure configured to enclose the component, the support and
the one or more legs, wherein the one or more legs are attached to a top portion of the enclosure at one end and configured
to suspend the support at another end, or attached to a side of the enclosure at one end and configured to suspend the support
at another end.

US Pat. No. 9,194,812

ILLUMINATION ENERGY MANAGEMENT IN SURFACE INSPECTION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for managing illumination energy applied to a surface of a wafer, comprising:
a sample stage configured to receive a wafer;
a motor mechanically coupled to the sample stage, the motor configured to actuate the sample stage to rotate the wafer at
a selected spin frequency; and

an illumination system configured to illuminate a first portion of the wafer with illumination having a first energy level,
the illumination system further configured to illuminate a second portion of the wafer with illumination having a second energy
level, wherein at least one of the first energy level or the second energy level is determined based on a selected radial
distance and the selected spin frequency, a region associated with the selected radial distance being larger than or equal
to the first portion of the wafer and the second portion of the wafer, wherein the second energy level is adjusted relative
to the first energy level and relative to the selected radial distance.

US Pat. No. 9,255,787

MEASUREMENT OF CRITICAL DIMENSION AND SCANNER ABERRATION UTILIZING METROLOGY TARGETS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for measuring a semiconductor wafer critical dimension, the method comprising:
obtaining an image of the semiconductor wafer;
identifying a plurality of metrology targets from the image of the semiconductor wafer, a respective metrology target of the
plurality of metrology targets including an unresolved grid, a first resolved feature and a second resolved feature, wherein
at least one of the first resolved feature and the second resolved feature is tilted at an angle with respect to the unresolved
grid;

defining a first region of interest (ROI) for the first resolved feature of the respective metrology target of the plurality
of metrology targets and a second ROI for the second resolve feature of the respective metrology target of the plurality of
metrology targets;

determining a series of center points between the first ROI and the second ROI as the first ROI and the second ROI are being
shifted;

calculating a summation of the center points between the first ROI and the second ROI defined for the plurality of metrology
targets; and

measuring the critical dimension based on a symmetry analysis of the summation of the center points between the first ROI
and the second ROI defined for the plurality of metrology targets.

US Pat. No. 9,177,370

SYSTEMS AND METHODS OF ADVANCED SITE-BASED NANOTOPOGRAPHY FOR WAFER SURFACE METROLOGY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for inspecting a wafer, comprising:
defining a wafer partitioning scheme;
obtaining a wafer surface image;
filtering the wafer surface image to remove a low frequency surface components;
performing wafer edge treatment on the wafer surface image to suppress a strong filter response from a sharp wafer edge roll-off
or data discontinuity created by edge exclusion operation;

normalizing filter response present on the wafer surface image;
partitioning the wafer surface image into a plurality of measurement sites according to the wafer partitioning scheme;
calculating a metric value for each of the plurality of measurement sites based on the filtered wafer surface image; and
reporting the metric value calculated for each of the plurality of measurement sites in a graphical representation.

US Pat. No. 9,151,712

RULE CHECKING FOR METROLOGY AND INSPECTION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A computer-implemented method, comprising:
analyzing a computer-readable design file using a computer, wherein the design file defines a pattern to be formed on a substrate,
the pattern including circuit features that correspond to operational device features in an integrated circuit, to select
a circuit feature in the pattern as a metrology target for performing a metrology that requires a dedicated metrology target
for performing the metrology, wherein the selected circuit feature is not a dedicated metrology target; and

performing the metrology on the substrate with a computer-controlled metrology tool using a printed feature on the substrate
that corresponds to the selected circuit feature as the metrology target, wherein the circuit feature is selected by performing
a search of the design file for one or more circuit feature candidates from said circuit features that meet one or more pre-determined
geometric and/or spatial criteria before the metrology tool performs the metrology, wherein the one or more circuit feature
candidates are characterized by a pitch that is too small to be resolved by the metrology tool to ensure that only a specific
diffraction order of light scattered from the printed feature is collected by the metrology tool during said performing the
metrology.

US Pat. No. 9,228,943

DYNAMICALLY ADJUSTABLE SEMICONDUCTOR METROLOGY SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A dynamically adjustable metrology system, comprising:
an illumination source configured to illuminate one or more metrology targets disposed on a surface of a sample disposed on
a sample stage;

a spectrograph configured to measure spectral properties of at least a portion of light reflected from the one or more metrology
targets;

a selectably adjustable optical system including an illumination arm and a collection arm, the illumination source and the
detector being optically coupled by the optical system, the optical system further including at least one of the group including:

a dynamically adjustable illumination pupil positioned in the illumination arm;
a first polarizing element positioned in the illumination arm;
a dynamically adjustable illumination field stop positioned in the illumination arm;
a dynamically adjustable collection pupil positioned in the collection arm;
a second polarizing element disposed in the collection arm; and
a dynamically adjustable collection field stop positioned in the collection arm;
a sensor configured to measure one or more optical characteristics of at least one of the dynamically adjustable illumination
pupil, the dynamically adjustable collection pupil, the dynamically adjustable illumination field stop the dynamically adjustable
collection field stop and one or more metrology targets of the sample; and

a control system communicatively coupled to the dynamically adjustable illumination pupil, the dynamically adjustable collection
pupil, the dynamically adjustable illumination field stop and the dynamically adjustable collection field stop, wherein the
control system is configured to:

receive one or more optical characteristics of at least one of the dynamically adjustable illumination pupil, the dynamically
adjustable collection pupil, the dynamically adjustable illumination field stop and the dynamically adjustable collection
field stop from the sensor;

monitor one or more optical characteristics at one or more metrology targets of the sample; and
responsive to the measured one or more optical characteristics, selectably dynamically adjust at least one of the illumination
pupil, the collection pupil, the illumination field stop, the collection field stop, and a spectral radiance of the illumination
source.

US Pat. No. 9,277,634

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR MULTIPLEXED MULTIPLE DISCHARGE PLASMA PRODUCED SOURCES

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An apparatus for producing extreme ultra-violet (EUV) light, comprising:
a plate including a first plurality of through-bores, each through-bore included in the first plurality of through-bores including
a respective longitudinal axis;

a plurality of discharge plasma devices, each discharge plasma device at least partially disposed in a respective through-bore
included in the first plurality of through-bores and including:

a respective plasma electrode at least partially forming a respective plasma-producing region;
a respective magnetic core embedded in the plate and aligned with at least a portion of the respective plasma electrode in
a radial direction and configured to create a respective magnetic field within the respective plasma-producing region; and,

a respective feed system arranged to supply an ionizable material to the respective plasma-producing region; and,
at least one power system configured to supply electrical power to the respective plasma electrodes to create respective first
electric fields in the respective plasma-producing regions, wherein:

for said each discharge plasma device, the combination of a respective first electric field and the respective magnetic field
is arranged to create a respective plasma from the ionizable material, the respective plasma creating respective EUV light.

US Pat. No. 9,128,064

SUPER RESOLUTION INSPECTION SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for inspecting a sample, comprising:
a stage configured to support a sample;
at least one illumination source configured to provide illumination along an illumination path;
a plurality of pupil apertures, each configured to receive illumination directed along a first portion of the illumination
path, and further configured to direct a portion of the illumination along a second portion of the illumination path;

one or more field apertures configured to receive a portion of illumination directed along the second portion of the illumination
path by a respective pupil aperture of the plurality of pupil apertures, and further configured to direct the portion of illumination
along a third portion of the illumination path to a surface of the sample from at least two different illumination angles;

one or more detectors configured to receive portions of illumination reflected, scattered, or radiated from the surface of
the sample, each portion of illumination reflected, scattered, or radiated from the surface of the sample being associated
with a respective pupil aperture of the plurality of pupil apertures; and

at least one computing system in communication with the one or more detectors, the computing system configured to independently
process each portion of illumination reflected, scattered, or radiated from the surface of the sample to independently conduct
defect detection for said at least two different illumination angles, and the computing system further configured to determine
a location of at least one defect of the sample utilizing information associated with the independently processed portions
of illumination.

US Pat. No. 9,435,826

VARIABLE SPACING FOUR-POINT PROBE PIN DEVICE AND METHOD

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A continuous variable spacing probe pin device, comprising:
a first probe pin;
a second probe pin; and,
an actuator; wherein:
the first and second probe pins are configured to measure a property of a conductive layer;
in a first configuration of the device, the first and second probe pins include respective first portions arranged to contact
the conductive layer to measure the property;

in a second configuration of the device, the first and second probe pins include respective second portions arranged to contact
the conductive layer to measure the property; and,

a first area of each respective first portion is of a different size than a second area of each respective second portion;
to transition between the first and second configurations, the actuator is arranged to roll respective first and second outer
surfaces of the first and second probe pins, respectively, along the conductive layer while maintaining contact of the first
and second probe pins with the conductive layer.

US Pat. No. 9,291,554

METHOD OF ELECTROMAGNETIC MODELING OF FINITE STRUCTURES AND FINITE ILLUMINATION FOR METROLOGY AND INSPECTION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A computer implemented method of evaluating a diffracting structure, the method comprising:
providing a scatterometry model of the diffracting structure using an optical metrology system;
computing, with the optical metrology system, spectral information for the scatterometry model of the diffracting structure,
including:

computing background electric or magnetic fields of an environment of the diffracting structure,
computing scattered electric or magnetic fields from the diffracting structure using a scattered field formulation based on
the computed background fields, and

computing spectral information for the scatterometry model of the diffracting structure based on the computed scattered fields;
measuring spectral information for the diffracting structure using the optical metrology system, including illuminating the
diffracting structure with a light source, and measuring spectral information for the diffracting structure with a detector;

comparing the computed spectral information for the scatterometry model with the measured spectral information for the diffracting;
and

in response to a good model fit based on the comparison between the computed spectral information and the measured spectral
information, determining a physical characteristic of the diffracting structure using the scatterometry model of the diffracting
structure.

US Pat. No. 9,281,164

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR INSPECTION OF SCATTERED HOT SPOT AREAS ON A MANUFACTURED SUBSTRATE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of automated inspection of scattered hot spot areas on a manufactured substrate using an electron beam apparatus,
the method comprising:
moving a stage holding the substrate at variable speed along a swath path so as to move a field of view of the electron beam
apparatus such that the moving field of view covers with dynamically varying speed a target area on the substrate, wherein
the swath path is fixed in that the swath path does not vary depending on locations of the hot spot areas; and

off-axis imaging of the hot spot areas within the moving field of view while the stage continues moving without deviation
from the swath path;

determining a number of hot spot areas within the moving field of view;
adjusting the variable speed of the stage movement based on the number of hot spot areas within the moving field of view with
a maximum speed corresponding to a zero hot spot density and multiple lower speeds corresponding to higher hot spot densities,
wherein the variable speed as a function of stage position forms a profile that has sloped ramps in speed connecting constant
speed levels;

adjusting the variable speed of the stage movement such that the variable speed of the stage movement transitions in a downward
sloped ramp from a first constant speed level to a second constant speed level, wherein the first constant speed level is
higher than the second constant speed level, the first constant speed level is associated with a first hot spot density that
is greater than zero, and the second constant speed level is associated with a second hot spot density that is greater than
the first hot spot density; and

adjusting the variable speed of the stage movement such that the variable speed of the stage movement transitions in an upward
sloped ramp from a third constant speed level to a fourth constant speed level, wherein the third constant speed level is
lower than the fourth constant speed level, the third constant speed level is associated with a third hot spot density, the
fourth constant speed level is associated with a fourth hot spot density that is greater than zero and less than the third
hot spot density.

US Pat. No. 9,255,887

2D PROGRAMMABLE APERTURE MECHANISM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A programmable optical aperture mechanism comprising:
a plurality of linear guiding elements disposed in a first direction;
a plurality of mechanical pixel elements disposed on each of the plurality of linear guiding elements, wherein each of the
plurality of mechanical pixel elements is configured to slide along a corresponding linear guiding element, and wherein any
number of the plurality of pixel elements is positioned to be exposed to a beam of light passing through an aperture area
of the programmable optical aperture mechanism;

an actuator subsystem configured to selectively translate one or more mechanical pixel elements along one or more corresponding
linear guiding elements; and

a controller configured to generate command signals communicated to the actuator subsystem to control a rearrangement of position
of the one or more mechanical pixel elements.

US Pat. No. 9,255,895

ANGLE-RESOLVED ANTISYMMETRIC SCATTEROMETRY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for determining an overlay offset comprising:
obtaining a first anti-symmetric differential signal associated with a first scatterometry cell;
obtaining a second anti-symmetric differential signal associated with a second scatterometry cell;
obtaining a third anti-symmetric differential signal associated with a third scatterometry cell;
computing an overlay offset, in a first direction, from the first anti-symmetric differential signal associated with the first
scatterometry cell and the second anti-symmetric differential signal associated with the second scatterometry cell; and

computing an overlay offset, in a second direction orthogonal to the first direction, from the second anti-symmetric differential
signal associated with the second scatterometry cell and the third anti-symmetric differential signal associated with the
third scatterometry cell.

US Pat. No. 9,243,886

OPTICAL METROLOGY OF PERIODIC TARGETS IN PRESENCE OF MULTIPLE DIFFRACTION ORDERS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of obtaining optical signal measurements from a periodic semiconductor target, the method comprising:
selecting one or more zero or non-zero diffraction orders for eliminating corresponding zero or non-zero diffraction order
terms from a plurality of measurements from a periodic target using an optical metrology tool, wherein the periodic target
has a pitch and the plurality of measurements contain a zero diffraction order term and one or more non-zero diffraction order
terms;

using the optical metrology tool, directing an incident beam to a plurality of positions on the target and obtaining the measurements
from the target in response to the incident beam being directed to each position; and

combining the measurements from the positions of the targets to eliminate each zero or non-zero diffraction order term associated
with each selected zero or non-zero diffraction order, resulting in a processed metrology signal,

wherein the positions are shifted from each other by a rational fraction of the pitch so as to cause the zero or non-zero
diffraction order term corresponding to each selected zero or non-zero diffraction order to be eliminated during the combining
of the measurements from the positions.

US Pat. No. 9,305,753

THICKNESS CHANGE MONITOR WAFER FOR IN SITU FILM THICKNESS MONITORING

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system, comprising:
an etch rate monitor apparatus having an optical element and one or more optical detectors mounted to a common substrate,
wherein the one or more detectors are sandwiched between the substrate and the optical element;

wherein the optical element is made of a material that allows transmission of radiation of a wavelength of interest, and
wherein the one or more detectors are configured to detect changes in optical interference signal resulting from changes in
optical thickness of the optical element;

wherein the etch rate monitor apparatus is configured to collect a reference waveform and a data waveform, cross-correlate
the data waveform with the reference waveform by determining error terms from a plurality of reference intensity readings
and data intensity readings a plurality of pixels corresponding to different sensors in an array of optical sensors, and determine
an optical thickness change from the cross-correlating of the data with the reference waveform.

US Pat. No. 9,297,769

METHOD FOR REDUCING ALIASING IN TDI BASED IMAGING

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A wafer inspection system for suppressing aliasing comprising:
imaging optics configured to at least magnify a scanned image of a wafer, the scanned image acquired along a scan direction;
a time integration delay sensor comprising one or more sensor elements arranged in a matrix extending along one or more sensor
directions, the matrix including a set of columns and a set or rows, the time integration delay sensor configured to:

acquire image data from the at least magnified scanned image with the sensor matrix at a selected sample clock rate;
generate integrated image data with the acquired image data; and
generate a pixilated image of the wafer from the integrated image data, wherein at least some pixels of the pixilated image
correspond to a region of the wafer;

an image processor configured to analyze the pixilated image to detect wafer defects; and
an anti-aliasing system configured to desynchronize a scan rate of the wafer from the selected sample clock rate to blur the
image data in the scan direction.

US Pat. No. 9,268,031

ADVANCED DEBRIS MITIGATION OF EUV LIGHT SOURCE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method, comprising directing an ionized plasma jet from an orifice across an EUV light path external to an EUV discharge
system thereby redirecting debris out of the EUV light path, wherein directing an ionized plasma jet is triggered to coincide
with specific debris to be mitigated when a photon or particle detector detects emission of radiation or charged particles
from the EUV discharge system.

US Pat. No. 9,182,680

APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR DETERMINING OVERLAY OF STRUCTURES HAVING ROTATIONAL OR MIRROR SYMMETRY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A semiconductor target for determining a relative shift between two or more successive layers of a substrate, the target
comprising:
a plurality of first structures formed in a first layer with a first center of symmetry (COS); and
a plurality of second structures formed in a second layer with a second COS, wherein the first and second structures have
a particular rotational symmetry, without having a second rotational symmetry, with respect to the first and second COS, respectively,

wherein the first COS and the second COS correspond to an overlay error between the first and second structures, and wherein
the first and second structures have a 180° rotational symmetry, without having a second different rotational symmetry, with
respect to the first and second COS, respectively.

US Pat. No. 9,263,238

OPEN PLASMA LAMP FOR FORMING A LIGHT-SUSTAINED PLASMA

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An open plasma lamp for forming a light-sustained plasma comprising:
a cavity section including a gas input and a gas output, the gas input and the gas output arranged to flow gas through the
cavity section;

a gas supply assembly fluidically coupled to the gas input of the cavity section and configured to supply gas to an internal
volume of the cavity section; and

a nozzle assembly fluidically coupled to the gas output of the cavity section, wherein the nozzle assembly and cavity section
are arranged such that a volume of the gas receives pumping illumination from a pump source to sustain a plasma within the
gas, wherein the sustained plasma emits broadband radiation,

wherein the nozzle assembly is configured to establish a convective gas flow from within the cavity section to a region external
to the cavity section such that a portion of the sustained plasma is removed from the cavity section by the gas flow.

US Pat. No. 9,208,553

IMAGE SYNCHRONIZATION OF SCANNING WAFER INSPECTION SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of inspecting or measuring a specimen using an inspection system comprising a beam generator module and a plurality
of detection channels, the method comprising:
using a common trigger clock to generate one or more deflectors clocks that are input to the beam generator module that receives
and deflects an incident beam so as to cause one or more spots to be scanned in a plurality of lines across the specimen;

using the common trigger clock to generate an acquisition clock for each detection channel and input a sampling frequency
signal into such detection channel based on the generated acquisition clock for such detection channel; and

at each detection channel, detecting light from the specimen in response to the one or more spots scanned across the specimen
and generating a detected image that has a sampling rate that is based on the sampling frequency signal.

US Pat. No. 9,116,109

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DETECTING BURIED DEFECTS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

2. An apparatus configured to detect a buried defect in a target microscopic metal feature, the apparatus comprising:
a charged-particle beam column configured to generate an incident beam of charged particles, wherein the landing energy is
at a level such that the charged particles, on average, reach a depth of interest, and the depth of interest is less than
a maximum depth of the buried defect;

a detector configured to filter out secondary electrons and detect backscattered electrons; and
a data processing system configured to compare a backscattered electron (BSE) image of the target microscopic metal feature
with a BSE image of a reference microscopic metal feature to detect and classify the buried defect,

wherein the data processing system is further configured, if said target feature is a plug, to classify the buried defect
as a pinched bottom if the charged particles reach, on average, a depth near a bottom of the plug, and if pixels in an annular
region of said target feature have lower grey levels when compared against pixels in the annular region of said reference
feature.

US Pat. No. 9,295,147

EUV LIGHT SOURCE USING CRYOGENIC DROPLET TARGETS IN MASK INSPECTION

KLA-TENCOR CORPORATION, ...

1. An apparatus for generating extreme ultra-violet (EUV) light for use in a lithography mask inspection tool, comprising:
a drive laser arranged to produce a laser pulse;
a vacuum chamber;
a set of focusing optics arranged to focus the laser pulse produced by the drive laser onto a target spot within the vacuum
chamber with a beam target diameter of less than 100 ?m;

a target material generator arranged to deliver a series of droplets of a target material to the target spot within the vacuum
chamber by modulating a flow velocity of a first supply of the target material through a nozzle tip and thereby inducing a
formation process of the series of droplets of the target material which series of droplets from the nozzle tip are expelled
through a triple point chamber; and,

a set of collector optics arranged to focus a quantity of EUV light generated when a droplet of the series of droplets of
the target material is exposed to the laser pulse at the target spot onto an intermediate focus spot.

US Pat. No. 9,104,120

STRUCTURED ILLUMINATION FOR CONTRAST ENHANCEMENT IN OVERLAY METROLOGY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An apparatus suitable for contrast enhancement in a metrology tool, comprising:
an illumination source;
a spatial light modulator (SLM);
a beam splitter configured to direct a portion of light emanating from the illumination source along an illumination path
to a surface of the spatial light modulator (SLM);

an aperture stop disposed substantially at a pupil plane of the illumination path, the aperture stop having an aperture configured
to transmit at least a portion of light directed from the surface of the SLM to a surface of one or more specimens; and

a metrology tool configured to measure one or more characteristics of one or more metrology target structures of the one or
more specimens, the metrology tool comprising:

an entrance pupil configured to receive illumination directed from the surface of the SLM and transmitted through the aperture
of the aperture stop;

a beam splitter configured to receive illumination received through the entrance pupil of the metrology tool, the beam splitter
further configured to direct at least a portion of the illumination passed through the entrance pupil to the one or more samples;

an objective lens configured to focus the at least a portion of the illumination onto one or more target structures of the
one or more samples; and

a detector configured to collect a portion of illumination scattered from the one or more target structures of the one or
more samples,

wherein the SLM is configured to control a contrast level of the metrology tool by controlling an illumination pupil function
of the illumination transmitted through the aperture, the illumination pupil function controlled by controlling a profile
of illumination impinging on the surface of the SLM from the illumination source; and

a computing system communicatively coupled to the detector of the metrology tool and configured to determine one or more overlay
characteristics utilizing collected illumination data from the detector.

US Pat. No. 9,156,068

METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR CLEANING OBJECTS IN A CHAMBER OF AN OPTICAL INSTRUMENT BY GENERATING REACTIVE IONS USING PHOTON RADIATION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An optical instrument, comprising:
a chamber;
an object exposed to an interior of the chamber;
a source of low-pressure gas, the gas comprising at least one of low-pressure molecular hydrogen gas, low-pressure molecular
oxygen and a low-pressure noble gas, the source of low pressure gas being fluidly coupled to the chamber;

a low voltage source electrically coupled between the object and a remaining portion of the instrument that is exposed to
the interior of the chamber so as to maintain the object at a low voltage relative to the remaining portion; and

an EUV/VUV light source adapted to direct EUV/VUV light through the low pressure gas in the chamber onto the object, whereby
when the EUV/VUV light source is activated ions of the low-pressure gas are formed and directed to the object.

US Pat. No. 9,127,927

TECHNIQUES FOR OPTIMIZED SCATTEROMETRY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of evaluating a diffracting structure using an optical metrology system, the method comprising:
measuring spectral information for a diffracting structure using an optical metrology tool of the optical metrology system;
computing, with a processor of the optical metrology system, the following:
a finite-difference derivative of a field matrix with respect to first parameters of a model of the diffracting structure,
the field matrix comprising material boundary information and the first parameters comprising a parameter describing the material
boundaries of the diffracting structure,

an analytic derivative of a Jones matrix with respect to the first parameters using the finite-difference derivative of the
field matrix with respect to the first parameters, and

a finite-difference derivative of the Jones matrix with respect to second parameters of the model comprising a non-material
boundary parameter; and

determining values of parameters of the diffracting structure based on the measured spectral information for the diffracting
structure and on the analytic derivative of the Jones matrix with respect to the first parameters and the finite-difference
derivative of the Jones matrix with respect to the second parameters.

US Pat. No. 9,826,614

COMPAC X-RAY SOURCE FOR SEMICONDUCTOR METROLOGY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An x-ray based metrology system, comprising:
a compact x-ray illumination source configured to illuminate an inspection area of a semiconductor wafer with an incident
x-ray beam, wherein the compact x-ray illumination source includes,

a compact electron beam accelerator configured to accelerate a stream of electrons, wherein an electron beam path length of
the compact electron beam accelerator is less than 10 meters, and

a compact undulator configured to subject the stream of electrons to an alternating magnetic field and stimulate the emission
of x-ray radiation having a wavelength less than one Angstrom, wherein an electron beam path length through the compact undulator
is less than 10 meters; and

a detector configured to receive radiation from the semiconductor wafer in response to the incident x-ray beam and generate
signals indicative of a first property of the semiconductor wafer;

a specimen positioning system configured to selectively position the semiconductor wafer at a plurality of different orientations
out of plane with respect to the compact x-ray illumination source; and

a computing system configured to determine a location and an area of incidence of the incident x-ray beam on the semiconductor
wafer based on a distribution of the radiation received on the detector and generate one or more command signals that cause
the incident x-ray beam to be redirected to a different location on the semiconductor wafer based on the determined location
and area of incidence.

US Pat. No. 9,443,693

NOTCHED MAGNETIC LENS FOR IMPROVED SAMPLE ACCESS IN AN SEM

KLA-TENCOR CORPORATION, ...

1. A system, comprising:
a charged particle optical column configured to generate a primary beam of charged particles and focus the primary beam onto
a target, the charged particle optical column including a magnetic immersion lens, the magnetic immersion lens having an outer
pole piece and an inner pole piece with a gap therebetween, the outer pole piece having an opening that permits energetic
particles from the target to pass through the outer pole piece to an external detector, wherein the inner or outer pole piece
has one or more notches proximate the gap.

US Pat. No. 9,377,610

EXTERNAL BEAM DELIVERY SYSTEM FOR LASER DARK-FIELD ILLUMINATION IN A CATADIOPTRIC OPTICAL SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A specimen inspection apparatus, comprising:
a light energy source;
at least one lens; and
a composite Mangin element comprising a first surface axially positioned away from the specimen and a second surface axially
positioned toward the specimen and an extension comprising a third surface axially positioned closer to the specimen than
the second surface;

wherein the light energy source is configured to transmit light energy substantially parallel to a surface of the specimen,
and the apparatus is further configured to divert light energy around the extension of the composite Mangin element, thereby
striking the surface of the specimen, and further wherein certain light energy reflected from the specimen passes through
the third surface, second surface, first surface, and at least one lens.

US Pat. No. 10,021,773

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

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A device comprising:a stator body;
a cylindrically-symmetric element rotatable about an axis and having a surface coated with plasma-forming target material for irradiation by a drive laser to produce plasma in a laser produced plasma (LPP) chamber, the element extending from a first end to a second end;
a gas bearing assembly coupling the first end of the cylindrically-symmetric element to the stator body, the gas bearing assembly establishing a bearing gas flow and having a system reducing leakage of bearing gas into the LPP chamber by introducing a barrier gas into a first space in fluid communication with the bearing gas flow; and
a second bearing assembly coupling the second end of the cylindrically-symmetric element to the stator body, the second bearing having a system reducing leakage of contaminant material from the second bearing into the LPP chamber by introducing a barrier gas into a second space in fluid communication with the second bearing.

US Pat. No. 9,918,375

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

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

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 having an exposed surface;

a system outputting a train of laser beam pulses, each pulse having a leading edge characterized by a rise in laser beam intensity
over time; and

a pulse trimming unit receiving pulses downstream of the laser system and trimming at least a portion of the leading edge
of each pulse to output a trimmed pulse for interaction with the target material to produce plasma.

US Pat. No. 9,091,935

MULTISTAGE EXTREME ULTRA-VIOLET MASK QUALIFICATION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A computer-implemented method for determining a qualification condition of an extreme ultra-violet (EUV) photo-mask, comprising:
measuring a first image of a substrate and a second image of a blank that includes multiple layers deposited on the substrate;
identifying first potential defects on the substrate, in the multiple layers or both based on the first image and the second
image;

measuring a third image of the EUV photo-mask that includes a mask pattern defined in an absorption layer, which is deposited
on top of the multiple layers, wherein measurement of the third image uses information associated with the first potential
defects;

identifying second potential defects in the EUV photo-mask based on the third image and the first potential defects; and
determining the qualification condition of the EUV photo-mask based on the first potential defects and the second potential
defects.

US Pat. No. 9,562,846

PARTICLE SUSPENSIONS USED AS LOW-CONTRAST STANDARDS FOR INSPECTION OF LIQUIDS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A standard particle suspension configured for use with at least one of human visual inspection and an optical analysis
instrument, comprising:
a solution;
one or more pluralities of standard particles suspended in the solution, wherein each plurality of standard particles has
a defined size and shape distribution, and wherein the standard particles have a defined refractive index and a buoyancy that
is similar to biological particles; and

one or more additives in the solution, wherein the additives adjust the refractive index difference of the standard particles
with the solution to be similar to the refractive index difference of the biological particles and their native solution.

US Pat. No. 9,121,684

METHOD FOR REDUCING WAFER SHAPE AND THICKNESS MEASUREMENT ERRORS RESULTED FROM CAVITY SHAPE CHANGES

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

5. A method for measuring the thickness variation and shape of polished opaque plates, the method comprising:
placing a plate in a cavity formed between two reference flats in two opposing interferometer channels, wherein the cavity
is defined by areas outside of the plate when the plate is placed;

synchronizing interferograms in the two interferometer channels by supplying light from a single wavelength tunable laser
light source, an output beam of which is split by a beam splitter to propagate to both interferometer channels; and

calibrating cavity characteristics;
wherein calibrating cavity characteristics comprises:
measuring a first cavity phase map of the entire cavity without the plate in the cavity and producing a second cavity phase
map by removing a tilt of the first cavity phase map;

after the plate is placed in the cavity, measuring the cavity characteristics of the reference flats forming the cavity providing
using an oversized field of view of the plate to measure a plate cavity phase map in the areas outside of the plate;

obtaining a difference map, wherein the difference map is obtained from the difference between the plate cavity phase map
and the second cavity characteristics phase map in the areas outside of the plate;

surface fitting to determine at least a second order function to the difference map;
utilizing coefficients of the at least a second order function to provide cavity tilt estimation; and
determining the thickness variations of the plate based on the cavity characteristic measurements and the cavity tilt estimation.

US Pat. No. 9,530,636

LIGHT SOURCE WITH NANOSTRUCTURED ANTIREFLECTION LAYER

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A laser-sustained plasma light source comprising:
a plasma cell configured to contain a volume of gas, the plasma cell configured to receive illumination from a pump laser
in order to generate a plasma within the volume of gas, wherein the plasma emits broadband radiation, the plasma cell including:

one or more transparent portions being at least partially transparent to at least a portion of illumination from the pump
laser and at least a portion of the broadband radiation emitted by the plasma; and

one or more nanostructured layers disposed on one or more curved surfaces of the one or more transparent portions of the plasma
cell,

wherein the one or more nanostructure layers form a region of refractive index control across an interface between the one
or more transparent portions of the plasma cell and an atmosphere.

US Pat. No. 9,123,649

FIT-TO-PITCH OVERLAY MEASUREMENT TARGETS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A measurement target for a semiconductor device, the measurement target comprising:
a plurality of lines spaced equally apart from each other according to a pre-determined pitch distance;
a first box mark defined by four edges, at least one of the four edges of the first box mark having a length that is a multiple
of the pre-determined pitch distance of the plurality of lines, and at least one of the four edges of the first box mark having
a thickness that is a multiple of the pre-determined pitch distance of the plurality of lines; and

a second box mark defined by four edges, at least one of the four edges of the second box mark having a length that is a multiple
of the pre-determined pitch distance of the plurality of lines, and at least one of the four edges of the second box mark
having a thickness that is a multiple of the pre-determined pitch distance of the plurality of lines, wherein the second box
mark is defined within the first box mark.

US Pat. No. 9,405,290

MODEL FOR OPTICAL DISPERSION OF HIGH-K DIELECTRICS INCLUDING DEFECTS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method comprising:
receiving a spectral response of an unfinished, multi-layer semiconductor wafer across a spectral range;
determining a plurality of parameter values of an optical dispersion model of one or more layers of the multi-layer semiconductor
wafer based at least in part on the spectral response, wherein the optical dispersion model includes a Cody-Lorentz model
augmented by one or more oscillator functions sensitive to one or more defects of the unfinished, multi-layer semiconductor
wafer; and

storing the plurality of parameter values of the optical dispersion model in a memory.

US Pat. No. 9,329,033

METHOD FOR ESTIMATING AND CORRECTING MISREGISTRATION TARGET INACCURACY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A nontransitory computer readable medium containing program instructions for generating one or more proportionality factors
suitable for calibrating a metrology tool, and wherein execution of the program instructions by one or more processors of
a computer system causes the one or more processors to carry out the steps of:
obtaining a plurality of metrology measurement signals for each measurement location of a plurality of measurement locations
distributed across a substrate, wherein each of the plurality of measurement signals obtained for each measurement location
is generated by a metrology tool measuring the measurement location with one of a plurality of different measurement conditions;

determining a measured metrology value and one or more quality merits for each measurement signal;
utilizing the measured metrology values and the quality merits to determine proportionality factors that each correspond to
one of the plurality of different measurement conditions; and

calibrating the metrology tool to use the proportionality factor that corresponds to the measurement condition used to measure
subsequent targets when generating subsequent metrology measurement values.

US Pat. No. 9,053,900

APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR HIGH-RESOLUTION ELECTRON BEAM IMAGING

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An apparatus for high-resolution electron beam imaging, the apparatus comprising:
a source configured to emit electrons;
a gun lens configured to focus the electrons from the source into an electron beam along an optical axis of the apparatus;
a beam limiting aperture configured to limit a source emission angle of electrons in the electron beam;
an energy filter configured to limit an energy spread of the electrons in the electron beam to form an energy-filtered electron
beam having a reduced energy spread, wherein the energy filter comprises

a Wien filter comprising
first and second pairs of magnetic saddle yokes, wherein each magnetic saddle yoke of said first and second pairs of magnetic
saddle yokes spans an angle greater than 90 degrees such that there is an azimuthal overlap between adjacent magnetic saddle
yokes, and

a multipole electrostatic deflector positioned between first and second magnetic saddle yokes of each said pair of magnetic
saddle yokes within the Wien filter; and

a filter aperture, wherein the electrons with energies outside of the reduced energy spread are deflected by the Wien filter
so as to be blocked by the filter aperture while the electrons with energies within the reduced energy spread pass through
the filter aperture;

an objective lens configured to focus the energy-filtered electron beam onto a spot on a surface of a target substrate; and
a detector configured to detect scattered electrons from the surface of the target substrate.

US Pat. No. 9,526,150

LED CALIBRATION STANDARD HAVING FAST STABILIZATION AND LASTING STABILITY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

8. An apparatus for stabilizing at least one luminous output standard, comprising:
at least one light emitting diode (LED);
a first hood including an opening, the opening configured to house a portion of the at least one LED;
a baffle coupled to the interior of the hood and including an opening configured to house the at least one LED, the baffle
configured to:

divide the interior of the hood into a first region and a second region,
block the output of the at least one LED from passing from the first region to the second region, and
block ambient light from passing from the second region to the first region;
at least one photodetector mounted to the interior surface of the hood within the first region and configured to generate
a signal based on a received portion of the output of the at least one LED; and
a variable current source electronically coupled to the at least one LED and electronically coupled to the at least one photodetector,
configured to:
receive the signal generated by the at least one photodetector and control the operating current of the at least one LED based
on the received signal.

US Pat. No. 9,347,824

LIGHT COLLECTION OPTICS FOR MEASURING FLUX AND SPECTRUM FROM LIGHT-EMITTING DEVICES

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An apparatus, comprising:
an integrating sphere for directly receiving a first portion of light emitted by a light source through an opening defined
on the integrating sphere;

a light collector for collecting a second portion of light emitted by the light source and directing the second portion of
light into the integrating sphere through the opening defined on the integrating sphere, the light collector being retractable
with respect to the integrating sphere; and

a spectrometer for measuring at least one property of the first portion and the second portion of light received by the integrating
sphere.

US Pat. No. 9,188,544

PROTECTIVE FLUORINE-DOPED SILICON OXIDE FILM FOR OPTICAL COMPONENTS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An optical component comprising:
a substrate; and
a fluorine-doped silicon oxide film formed on the substrate, the fluorine-doped silicon oxide film having a thickness of approximately
1-4 nm and having a fluorine concentration of 0.1% to 5%,

wherein the thickness and the fluorine concentration of the fluorine-doped silicon oxide film are configured to minimize absorption
of energy from radiation having a wavelength below 245 nm.

US Pat. No. 9,494,531

MULTI-SPOT ILLUMINATION FOR IMPROVED DETECTION SENSITIVITY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An inspection system comprising:
a pulsed laser illumination source configured to generate a beam of illumination light;
an optical subsystem that receives the beam of illumination light and splits the beam of illumination light into two or more
secondary beams of illumination light, wherein the optical subsystem introduces a temporal delay among the two or more secondary
beams of illumination light as the two or more secondary beams illuminate a surface of a specimen under inspection; and

a detector operable to receive a first amount of light collected from the surface of the specimen illuminated by a first of
the two or more secondary beams of illumination light, receive a second amount of light collected from the surface of the
specimen illuminated by a second of the two or more secondary beams of illumination light, and generate an output value based
on an integration of the first and second amounts of light for a period of time that exceeds a sum of a pulse duration of
the beam of illumination light and the temporal delay.

US Pat. No. 9,099,292

LASER-SUSTAINED PLASMA LIGHT SOURCE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A laser sustained plasma light source, comprising:
a cell formed as a continuous tube with a circular cross section,
a gas volume contained within the cell,
at least one laser directed into the gas volume, for sustaining a plasma within the gas volume, the plasma producing a light,
where the gas volume is heated as it leaves the plasma, cools as it circulates around the continuous tube of the cell, and
reenters the plasma cooler than when it left the plasma and in a stable laminar flow, and

a reflector for collecting the light and providing the light to a desired location.

US Pat. No. 9,110,033

FRONT QUARTERSPHERE SCATTERED LIGHT ANALYSIS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An optical collection system for use in a surface inspection system for inspecting a surface of a workpiece, the surface
inspection system having an incident beam projected through a back quartersphere and toward a desired location on the surface
of the workpiece to impinge thereon to create reflected light, extending along a light channel axis in a front quartersphere,
and scattered light, the incident beam and the light channel axis forming an incident plane, the optical collection system
comprising:
a wing collector positioned to collect a first portion of the scattered light, the wing collector being disposed in the front
quartersphere, outside the incident plane, and at a maximum of a signal to noise ratio when the incident beam is P-polarized;
and

at least one of the following collection elements: a light channel collector positioned in the incident plane to simultaneously
receive the reflected light or a front collector disposed in the front quartersphere and positioned to simultaneously collect
a second portion of the scattered light.

US Pat. No. 9,103,800

SYSTEM WITH MULTIPLE SCATTERED LIGHT COLLECTORS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for inspecting a surface of a workpiece for asymmetric defects, the method comprising:
scanning an incident beam on the surface of the workpiece to impinge thereon to create reflected light, extending along a
light channel axis in a front quartersphere, and scattered light, the incident beam and the light channel axis defining an
incident plane,

collecting the scattered light at a plurality of collectors disposed above the surface at defined locations such that scatter
from asymmetric defects is collectable by at least one collector,

defining a channel by identifying a selected set of the collectors that have collected the scatter,
obtaining signals associated with each collector in the channel,
individually filtering the signals associated with each collector in the channel to obtain filtered output associated with
each collector in the channel,

individually thresholding the filtered signals to obtain thresholded filtered signals associated with each collector in the
channel,

combining individually thresholded filtered signals into a combined signal, and processing the combined signals to obtain
information about asymmetric defects.

US Pat. No. 9,449,788

ENHANCED DEFECT DETECTION IN ELECTRON BEAM INSPECTION AND REVIEW

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An electron beam apparatus for inspection and/or review, the apparatus comprising:
an electron source that generates a primary electron beam;
a stage which carries a sample;
an electron-optics system that shapes and focuses said primary electron beam onto said sample;
a detection system that detects signal-carrying electrons including secondary electrons and back-scattered electrons from
said sample;

an image processing system that processes data from said detection system;
a host computer system that controls and coordinates operations of the electron-optics system, the detection system, and the
image processing system; and

a graphical user interface which displays a parameter space and provides for user selection and activation of operating parameters
of the apparatus,

wherein the parameter space displayed by the graphical user interface is a two-dimensional parameter space that has a first
dimension comprising a charge control voltage and a second dimension comprising a landing energy,

wherein the two-dimensional parameter space includes both continuously-variable regions displayed as lines in the two-dimensional
parameter space and discretely-variable regions displayed as points in the two-dimensional parameter space, and

wherein said user selection and activation of said operating parameters comprises selecting an operating point from allowed
points in the two-dimensional parameter space by pointing and clicking on the operating point using the graphical user interface.

US Pat. No. 9,318,870

DEEP ULTRA-VIOLET LIGHT SOURCES FOR WAFER AND RETICLE INSPECTION SYSTEMS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A laser apparatus for generating output radiation having a wavelength below about 208 nm, comprising:
one or more seed radiation sources for generating a first radiation beam having a first fundamental wavelength on a first
optical path and a second radiation beam having a second fundamental wavelength on a second optical path, wherein the first
radiation beam has a wavelength between 800-850 nm or 905-940 nm and the second radiation beam has a wavelength between about
980-1120 nm;

a first amplifier for amplifying the first radiation beam;
a second amplifier for amplifying the second radiation beam; and
a wavelength conversion module for frequency multiplying and mixing the amplified first and second radiation beams to produce
an output beam at a fifth harmonic that is less than about 208 nm, wherein the wavelength conversion module comprises:

a 2nd harmonic generator (2HG) for receiving the second radiation beam and generating a 2nd harmonic beam by doubling a frequency
of the second radiation beam;

a 3rd harmonic generator (3HG) for receiving and mixing the 2nd harmonic radiation beam with the second radiation beam to generate a 3rd harmonic beam;

a 4th harmonic generator (4HG) for receiving and mixing the first radiation beam with the 3rd harmonic beam to generate a 4th harmonic beam; and

a fifth harmonic generator (5HG) for generating the output beam at a 5th harmonic that is less than about 208 nm by receiving
and mixing the 4th harmonic radiation beam and the first radiation beam.

US Pat. No. 9,311,431

SECONDARY TARGET DESIGN FOR OPTICAL MEASUREMENTS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

16. A method of designing at least one secondary target, comprising:
receiving a primary set of parameters of a primary target of at least one sample;
selecting at least one parameter of the primary target;
receiving a secondary set of parameters of a secondary target of the at least one sample;
controlling at least one parameter of the secondary target for at least one of: increasing sensitivity for the at least one
selected parameter of the primary target; or reducing correlation of the at least one selected parameter of the primary target
with at least one additional parameter of the primary target;

preparing a scatterometry model utilizing the primary set of parameters and the secondary set of parameters;
determining a level of sensitivity or a level of correlation for the at least one selected parameter of the primary target
utilizing the scatterometry model; and

modifying the at least one controlled parameter of the secondary target until a selected level of sensitivity or a selected
level of correlation is achieved.

US Pat. No. 9,165,742

INSPECTION SITE PREPARATION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An apparatus, comprising:
a first device configured to charge a sample in a first mode, wherein the first device includes an electron source configured
to provide a flood beam of charged particles to a first area of the sample; and

a second device configured to generate a primary beam of electrons and characterize an interaction between the primary beam
and a second area of the sample within the first area in a second mode, wherein the apparatus is configured to switch from
the first mode to the second mode in less than 1 second.

US Pat. No. 9,053,390

AUTOMATED INSPECTION SCENARIO GENERATION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

15. An apparatus comprising:
a plurality of storage elements configured to store an amount of labeled defect data including a plurality of defect events,
a classification associated with each of the plurality of defect events, and a plurality of attributes associated with each
of the plurality of defect events; and

an inspection scenario optimization tool configured to:
receive the amount of labeled defect data; and
determine a plurality of inspection scenarios based on the labeled defect data without input from a user, each inspection
scenario including an acquisition mode, defect detection algorithm parameter values, and classification algorithm parameter
values associated with the inspection scenario, wherein the determining of the plurality of inspection scenarios involves
determining a solution in a multi-dimensional space with each dimension defined by each of the plurality of attributes.

US Pat. No. 9,354,177

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR DEFECT DETECTION AND PHOTOLUMINESCENCE MEASUREMENT OF A SAMPLE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for defect detection and photoluminescence measurement of a sample comprising:
an oblique-incidence radiation source configured to direct a beam of light of an oblique-illumination wavelength onto a portion
of the sample along a direction oblique to the surface of the sample;

a normal-incidence radiation source configured to direct a beam of light of a normal-illumination wavelength different from
the oblique-illumination wavelength onto a portion of the sample along a direction substantially normal to the surface of
the sample, wherein the beam of light of the normal-illumination wavelength is suitable for causing one or more photoluminescing
defects of the sample to emit photoluminescent light;

a sample stage assembly configured to secure the sample and selectively actuate the sample in order to perform a scanning
process with at least the oblique-incidence radiation source and the normal-incidence radiation source;

a set of collection optics configured to collect radiation from the sample, the radiation from the sample including at least
one of radiation elastically scattered by one or more defects of the sample or photoluminescence radiation emitted by the
one or more photoluminescing defects of the sample;

a filter sub-system configured to receive at least a portion of the radiation collected by the set of collection optics, wherein
the filter sub-system is configured to separate the radiation from the sample into a first portion of radiation including
one or more wavelengths in the visible or near-infrared spectrum associated with the light emitted by the one or more photoluminescing
defects of the sample, a second portion of radiation including the normal-illumination wavelength, and at least a third portion
of radiation including the oblique-illumination wavelength;

a detection sub-system including a first sensor for measuring one or more characteristics of the first portion of radiation
transmitted by the filter sub-system, a second sensor for measuring one or more characteristics of the second portion of radiation
transmitted by the filter sub-system and at least a third sensor for measuring one or more characteristics of the third portion
of radiation transmitted by the filter sub-system; and

a controller communicatively coupled to the first sensor, the second sensor and the third sensor, the controller configured
to:

detect one or more scattering defects based on at least one of the one or more characteristics measured by the one or more
characteristics measured by the second sensor and the third sensor; and

detect one or more photoluminescence defects based on at least one of the one or more characteristics measured by the first
sensor, the one or more characteristics measured by the second sensor and the one or more characteristics measured by the
third sensor.

US Pat. No. 9,310,296

OPTIMIZING AN OPTICAL PARAMETRIC MODEL FOR STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS USING OPTICAL CRITICAL DIMENSION (OCD) METROLOGY

KLA-TENCOR CORPORATION, ...

1. A method of optimizing optical parametric models for structural analysis using optical critical dimension (OCD) metrology
with an optical metrology system, the optical metrology system including a processor coupled with a memory and an optical
metrology tool, the method performed by the optical metrology system comprising:
measuring values of far field diffraction signals for a structure, the measurement being performed by the optical metrology
tool of the optical metrology system;

determining a first optical model fit for a parameter of the structure, the first optical model fit based on a domain of quantities
for a first model of the structure;

determining a first near optical field response for a first quantity of the domain of quantities and a second near optical
field response for a second, different quantity of the domain of quantities, wherein the domain of quantities is a domain
of wavelengths, the first quantity being a first wavelength and the second quantity being a second wavelength, and wherein
determining the first and second near optical field responses comprises:

identifying a region of low correlation of the first optical model fit with measured values for the structure, and
selecting the first and second wavelengths from the region of low correlation of the first optical model fit;
comparing the first and second near optical field responses to locate a common region of high near optical field intensity
for the parameter of the structure;

modifying the first model of the structure based at least in part on the common region of high near optical field intensity
to provide a second, different model of the structure; and determining a second, different optical model fit for the parameter
of the structure based on the second model of the structure.

US Pat. No. 9,255,877

METROLOGY SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION FOR PARAMETER TRACKING

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method comprising:
receiving a measurement model characterizing a response of a metrology system to a measurement of a metrology target onto
a computing system, wherein the measurement model includes one or more parameters of interest characterizing the metrology
target and one or more system parameters characterizing the metrology system, the computing system configured to:

determine a set of known values associated with any of the one or more parameters of interest that span a desired process
window associated with the metrology target;

determine a set of perturbed synthetic measurement signals based on a set of simulations of the measurement model characterizing
a set of measurements of the metrology target for each of the set of known values of any of the one or more parameters of
interest and at least one perturbation signal;

determine estimated values associated with each of the one or more parameters of interest based on the set of perturbed synthetic
measurement signals;

determine a metric indicative of a parameter tracking performance of the metrology system based on the estimated values associated
with each of the one or more parameters of interest and the known values associated with each of the one or more parameters
of interest; and

store the metric in a memory.

US Pat. No. 9,140,604

WAFER LEVEL SPECTROMETER

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A sensor apparatus for measuring characteristics of optical radiation, comprising:
a) a substrate;
b) a low profile spectrally selective detection system located within the substrate at one or more spatially separated locations,
wherein the spectrally selective detection system includes a generally laminar array of optical wavelength selectors optically
coupled to a corresponding array of optical detectors;

c) a cover, wherein the spectrally sensitive detection system is sandwiched between the substrate and the cover, wherein the
substrate and the cover are composed of silicon and wherein the optical wavelength selectors are a series of one or more micro
resonators.

US Pat. No. 9,116,445

RESONANT CAVITY CONDITIONING FOR IMPROVED NONLINEAR CRYSTAL PERFORMANCE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A laser based illumination system comprising:
a resonant cavity including a nonlinear crystal, the resonant cavity configured to be cooled by a flow of humidified purge
gas through the resonant cavity; and

a humidity injection system configured to generate the flow of humidified purge gas by injecting an amount of water vapor
into a flow of purge gas directed toward the resonant cavity, wherein an amount of water in the flow of humidified purge gas
is between 50 parts per million and 5,000 parts per million.

US Pat. No. 9,410,890

METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR SPECTRAL LUMINESCENCE MEASUREMENT

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A computer-implemented method of processing a spectral luminescence map for a target substrate which has an epitaxial layer
stack that includes a multiple quantum well, the method comprising:
performing a measurement to obtain a measured spectral luminescence for a location on the target substrate;
constraining a line shape for an underlying local luminescence spectrum;
generating a computed spectral luminescence for the location using a seed epi layer thickness value; and
determining a local thickness parameter and parameters of the underlying local luminescence spectrum so as to minimize a difference
between the computed spectral luminescence and the measured spectral luminescence for the location.

US Pat. No. 9,164,388

TEMPERATURE CONTROL IN EUV RETICLE INSPECTION TOOL

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An apparatus comprising:
an optics assembly configured to direct light from an EUV source onto a workpiece, wherein the optics assembly is maintained
at a specific temperature; and

a plate with an opening to allow the EUV light to pass through disposed between the optics assembly and the workpiece, wherein
the plate is cooled to a temperature less than the specific temperature and wherein the plate is engineered to balance out
heat radiated from the workpiece with heat absorbed by the plate when the EUV light impinges on the workpiece, wherein a portion
of an area of the plate that has a view to the optics assembly and is less than a full area of the plate is engineered to
have an emissivity that is different from other portions of the area of the plate.

US Pat. No. 9,074,873

MEASUREMENT OF THICKNESS VARIATION AND SHAPE OF WAFERS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for measuring a thickness variation and a shape of a wafer, the method comprising:
obtaining a first phase map for a first side of the wafer and a second phase map for a second side of the wafer flat when
the wafer is placed with a plate in an optical cavity formed along an optical path between a first reference flat and a second
reference flat, wherein at least a portion of the plate is recorded with the wafer in the optical cavity;

registering the first phase map and the second phase map based on a boundary of the wafer and a boundary of the plate; and
computing a thickness variation and a shape of the wafer.

US Pat. No. 9,518,916

COMPRESSIVE SENSING FOR METROLOGY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of determining a structure or process parameter value of a target of interest on a semiconductor wafer, the method
comprising:
defining a plurality of collection patterns for a spatial light beam controller positioned at a pupil image plane of a metrology
tool;

for each collection pattern, collecting a signal from a sensor of the metrology tool, wherein each collected signal represents
a combination of a plurality of signals that the spatial light beam controller samples, using each collection pattern, from
a pupil image of the target of interest, wherein the collection patterns are selected so that the pupil image is reconstructable
based on the collection patterns and their corresponding collection signals;

analyzing the collected signal for each of the collection patterns to determine a structure or process parameter value for
the target of interest;

obtaining a representative set of pupil images from a plurality of test structures that were fabricated or simulated with
known process variations;

extracting basis images for a plurality of possible collection patterns that are most related to the known process variations
from a large set, of basis images that are generated for the representative set of pupil images; and

using the extracted basis images to define the collection patterns for the spatial light beam controller.

US Pat. No. 9,348,214

SPECTRAL PURITY FILTER AND LIGHT MONITOR FOR AN EUV RETICLE INSPECTION SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

11. A spectral purity filter, characterized by a first axis, a second axis and a third axis that are mutually perpendicular
to one another, the filter comprising:
a two dimensional array of channels disposed in a plane defined by the first axis and the second axis, each channel defined
in the direction of the first axis by an upper side and a lower side, and defined in the direction of the second axis by,
a right side, a left side, each channel extending along the third axis and

a same one of said upper side, right side, left side and lower side, for each channel, having a mirror surface attached thereto,
and each mirror surface disposed at an angle relative to said one of said upper side, lower side, right side and left side,
each of the mirror surfaces at least partially facing in a direction parallel to the third axis of the spectral purity filter
toward the proximal end of the SPF; and

a thin film filter disposed to cover each channel.

US Pat. No. 9,311,700

MODEL-BASED REGISTRATION AND CRITICAL DIMENSION METROLOGY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A model-based measurement method, comprising:
searching a mask design database to identify a measurement site for a photomask, wherein the measurement site contains a pattern
identified to be suitable for pattern registration measurement;

obtaining at least one optical image of the measurement site specified for the photomask utilizing an imaging device;
retrieving a design of photomask from the mask design database;
selecting a portion of the design corresponding to the specified measurement site;
generating at least one simulated image of the selected portion of the design based on a computing device implemented model
of the imaging device;

adjusting at least one parameter of the computing device implemented model to minimize dissimilarity between said at least
one simulated image and said at least one optical image, wherein said at least one parameter includes at least one pattern
registration parameter indicative of a shift of the pattern on the photomask; and

reporting said at least one pattern registration parameter of the computing device implemented model when the dissimilarity
between said at least one simulated image and said at least one optical image is minimized.

US Pat. No. 9,165,846

PROCESS CONDITION SENSING WAFER AND DATA ANALYSIS SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A process condition sensing wafer and data analysis system, comprising:
an instrumented substrate having sensors that output sensor signal data;
a data processing system that processes the sensor signal;
an electronics module that moves independently of the data processing system, the electronics module receiving the sensor
signal data from the instrumented substrate, the electronics module subsequently passing the sensor signal data to the data
processing system, wherein the electronics module is of a size same as that of the instrumented substrate; and

a physically continuous flexible connection between the electronics module and the instrumented substrate, the connection
allowing relative lateral displacement of the electronics module with respect to the instrumented substrate between at least
a first position and a second position, wherein in the first position the electronics module is above or below the substrate,
and in the second position the electronics module and the substrate are laterally displaced from each other such that none
of any portion of the electronics module overlaps with the substrate.

US Pat. No. 9,146,156

LIGHT SOURCE TRACKING IN OPTICAL METROLOGY SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An apparatus for tracking and adjusting illumination source position drift in a broadband spectrometer based optical metrology
system, comprising:
a broadband spectrometer including:
a multi-axis actuation control system;
an illumination source disposed on a multi-axis actuation stage of the multi-axis actuation control system;
a detector, wherein the detector is configured to collect at least a portion of light reflected from a surface of a sample
disposed on a sample stage, the sample stage configured to receive at least a diagnostic sample, the diagnostic sample having
a set of properties configured to produce a known optical response within the broadband spectrometer as a function of illumination
source position drift;

an optical system including an illumination arm and a detection arm, the illumination source and the detector being optically
direct-coupled by the optical system, wherein the illumination arm is configured to focus light emanating from the illumination
source onto the surface of the diagnostic sample, wherein the detection arm is configured to transmit a portion of light reflected
from the surface of the removable diagnostic sample to the detector, the illumination arm including a polarizing element and
one or more optical focusing elements, the detection arm including an analyzing element and one or more optical collection
elements; and

a computer system communicatively coupled to the multi-axis actuation control system and the detector, wherein the computer
system is configured to:

acquire a set of broadband spectroscopic diagnostic parameters including at least one of one or more thin film parameters
or one or more grating parameters from the diagnostic sample disposed on the sample stage, wherein the set of broadband spectroscopic
diagnostic parameters are indicative of position drift of the illumination source as measured relative to one or more components
of the optical system;

determine a magnitude of illumination source position drift by comparing the acquired set of broadband spectroscopic diagnostic
parameters to an initial set of broadband spectroscopic parameters obtained from the diagnostic sample at a previously measured
alignment condition;

determine a direction of illumination source position drift; and
provide a set of illumination source position adjustment parameters configured to correct the determined magnitude and direction
of the illumination source position drift to the multi-axis actuation control system.

US Pat. No. 9,116,044

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR DETERMINING SIZE AND LOCATION OF MINIMUM BEAM SPOT

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for determining at least one characteristic of an illumination beam emanating from an illumination source, comprising:
a substrate configured to receive illumination from an illumination source, the substrate including a plurality of apertures
being spatially distributed along a selected scanning path to allow the illumination source to illuminate a selected number
of apertures over a selected time interval, the plurality of apertures further being spatially offset from one another in
a direction substantially perpendicular to the scanning path allowing a first portion of illumination having a first intensity
level to pass through a first aperture and at least one additional portion of illumination having at least one additional
intensity level to pass through at least one additional aperture;

an actuator configured to actuate the substrate to move the plurality of apertures through an illumination beam emanating
from the illumination source;

a detector configured to receive at least a portion of illumination passing through at least one aperture of the plurality
of apertures; and

a computing system communicatively coupled to the detector, the computing system configured to:
receive a first intensity level of a first portion of illumination received by the detector from a first aperture;
receive at least one additional intensity level of at least one additional portion of illumination received by the detector
from at least one additional aperture; and

determine at least one characteristic of the illumination beam emanating from the illumination source by comparing the first
intensity level of the first portion of illumination and the at least one additional intensity level of the at least one additional
portion of illumination.

US Pat. No. 9,086,389

SAMPLE INSPECTION SYSTEM DETECTOR

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An inspection system comprising:
an illumination source configured to generate a beam of illumination light directed to a surface of a specimen;
one or more optical elements configured to collect an amount of light from each pixel of an inspection area of the surface
of the specimen illuminated by the illumination source;

a first array of photodetectors including a first plurality of avalanche photodiodes operable in a Geiger mode, the first
array of photodetectors having a first imaging resolution, wherein the first array of photodetectors is operable to receive
a first portion of each amount of light collected from each pixel of the inspection area and generate a first plurality of
output values based on the received first portion of each amount of collected light; and

a second array of photodetectors having a second imaging resolution, the second array of photodetectors operable to receive
a second portion of each amount of light collected from each pixel of the inspection area and generate a second plurality
of output values based on the received second portion of each amount of collected light.

US Pat. No. 9,723,703

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR TRANSVERSE PUMPING OF LASER-SUSTAINED PLASMA

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A laser-sustained plasma light source comprising:
a pump source configured to generate pumping illumination;
one or more illumination optical elements;
a gas containment structure configured to contain a volume of gas,
wherein the one or more illumination optical elements are configured to sustain a plurality of plasma features along a selected
direction within the volume of gas by directing pump illumination along one or more pump paths to a plurality of focal spots
arranged along the selected direction within the volume of gas, wherein the plurality of plasma features are sustained simultaneously
within the gas containment structure, wherein gas separates two or more of the plasma features;

one or more collection optical elements configured to collect broadband radiation emitted by the plurality of plasma features
along a collection path,

wherein the one or more illumination optical elements are configured to define the pump path such that pump illumination impinges
the plurality of plasma features along a direction transverse to a primary direction of propagation of the emitted broadband
light of the collection path such that the pump illumination is substantially decoupled from the emitted broadband radiation.

US Pat. No. 9,483,819

CONTOUR-BASED ARRAY INSPECTION OF PATTERNED DEFECTS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of inspecting an array of cells on a substrate, the method comprising:
obtaining a first cell image that was previously determined to be defect free;
generating an array image by tiling and stitching copies of the first cell image;
generating a reference image by defining a second cell image within the array image and tiling and stitching copies of the
second cell image;

generating a reference contour image which includes contours extracted from the reference image; and
using the reference contour image to detect defects in the array of cells on the substrate.

US Pat. No. 9,466,100

FOCUS MONITORING METHOD USING ASYMMETRY EMBEDDED IMAGING TARGET

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An apparatus for monitoring focus during lithography comprising:
a processor;
memory connected to the processor; and
computer executable program code configured to execute on the processor, wherein: the computer executable program code is
configured to:

receive a first image profile corresponding to a first mask element and a second image profile corresponding to a second mask
element comprising a first sub-resolution assist feature, the first image profile and second image profile being asymmetrical;

receive a third image profile corresponding to a third mask element and a fourth image profile corresponding to a fourth mask
element comprising a second sub-resolution assist feature;

measure a first profile asymmetry resulting from the first sub-resolution assist feature based on the first image profile
and the second image profile; and

measure a second profile asymmetry based on the third image profile and the fourth image profile; and
determine a first focus response based on the first profile asymmetry and a second focus response based on the second profile
asymmetry.

US Pat. No. 9,461,435

ALLEVIATION OF LASER-INDUCED DAMAGE IN OPTICAL MATERIALS BY SUPPRESSION OF TRANSIENT COLOR CENTERS FORMATION AND CONTROL OF PHONON POPULATION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for increasing a lifetime of an optical material exposed to a laser light source, the laser light source generating
multiple laser beams having at least one wavelength, the method comprising:
providing a bleaching light source that generates a bleaching light beam having a wavelength ?b, wherein ?b>>?1;

focusing the multiple laser beams at a point in the optical material;
intersecting the point with the bleaching light beam; and
using the intersected point for operation of a laser system including the optical material, and
adjusting a temperature of the optical material to provide annealing,
wherein the laser light source is pulsed, and wherein the temperature is kept low while laser pulses are present in the optical
material, and the temperature is kept high when no laser pulses are present in the optical material.

US Pat. No. 9,430,824

MACHINE LEARNING METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR INSPECTING RETICLES

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of inspecting a photolithographic reticle, the method comprising:
using an inspection system at one or more operating modes, obtaining images of a plurality of training regions of a reticle,
wherein the training regions are identified as defect-free;

deriving three or more basis training images from the images of the training regions;
forming a classifier based on the three or more basis training images by:
mapping the three or more basis training images to a plurality of voxels of a three or more dimensional space; and
assigning an observation indicator to each voxel so as to specify whether such voxel is defined as a non-defective voxel that
is observed in the training set;

using the inspection system at the one or more operating modes, obtaining images of a plurality of test regions of a reticle;
and

deriving three or more basis test images from the test regions;and
applying the classifier to the three or more basis test images to find defects in the test regions.

US Pat. No. 9,417,191

USING REFLECTED AND TRANSMISSION MAPS TO DETECT RETICLE DEGRADATION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of inspecting a photolithographic reticle, the method comprising:
defining a plurality of local areas of a reticle;
using an optical reticle inspection tool during an inspection to detect signals in the form of electromagnetic waveforms reflected
from a plurality of sub-areas of each local area of the reticle and obtain, for each local area, an average of multiple reflected
intensity values corresponding to the detected signals reflected from the plurality of sub-areas of each local area of the
reticle;

using the optical reticle inspection tool during the inspection to detect signals in the form of electromagnetic waveforms
transmitted through the plurality of sub-areas of each vital of the reticle and obtain, for each local area, an average of
multiple transmitted intensity values corresponding to the signals transmitted through the plurality of sub-areas of each
local area of the reticle; and

generating and storing or displaying a combined intensity map by combining, for each local area, the average of multiple reflected
intensity values and the average of multiple transmitted intensity values such that a reticle pattern of the reticle is cancelled
out of the combined intensity map if the reticle has not degraded and such that the reticle pattern of the reticle is not
cancelled out of the combined intensity map if the reticle has degraded.

US Pat. No. 9,170,503

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR INSPECTING A SUBSTRATE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of inspecting and/or characterizing a substrate, wherein said substrate is selected from the group consisting
of semiconductor wafers, singulated die, packaged substrates, reticles and photomasks, the method comprising:
exposing said substrate to at least a first source of charged particles;
detecting charged particles emitted from said substrate with at least two detectors,
wherein said substrate is moved continuously relative to said source of charged particles during said exposure step.

US Pat. No. 9,163,928

REDUCING REGISTRATION ERROR OF FRONT AND BACK WAFER SURFACES UTILIZING A SEE-THROUGH CALIBRATION WAFER

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for calibrating an interferometer system, the interferometer system including a cavity formed between reference
flats in a first interferometer channel and a second interferometer channel, said first interferometer channel and said second
interferometer channel located on diametrically opposite sides of the cavity, the method comprising:
placing a calibration wafer in the cavity, the calibration wafer defining a plurality of holes therein;
acquiring a first intensity frame from the first interferometer channel;
acquiring a second intensity frame from the second interferometer channel;
determining locations of the plurality of holes based on the first intensity frame;
determining locations of the plurality of holes based on the second intensity frame;
calculating a first distance between a pair of holes of the plurality of holes based on the first intensity frame;
calculating a second distance between the same pair of holes based on the second intensity frame;
comparing the first calculated distance relative to the second calculated distance; and
adjusting at least one of: a first optical magnification of the first interferometer channel and a second optical magnification
of the second interferometer channel based on said comparison of the first calculated distance relative to the second calculated
distance to reduce a difference between the first calculated distance and the second calculated distance.

US Pat. No. 9,157,868

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR REVIEWING A CURVED SAMPLE EDGE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for reviewing a curved edge of a sample, comprising:
a stage configured to support a sample;
at least one illumination source configured to illuminate an edge of the sample with illumination emanating from the at least
one illumination source along an illumination path including one or more illumination optics;

a line scan detector configured to receive illumination reflected from the edge of the sample along a collection path including
one or more collection optics;

at least one actuator mechanically coupled to the line scan detector and the one or more collection optics, the at least one
actuator configured to simultaneously actuate the line scan detector and the one or more collection optics around the edge
of the sample along a radial direction, wherein the line scan detector is configured to acquire multiple line scans along
an actuation path of the at least one actuator, and wherein the illumination source is configured to compensate for non-uniform
actuation by the at least one actuator; and

a computing system communicatively coupled to the line scan detector, the computing system configured to generate at least
one review image of at least a portion of the edge of the sample utilizing scan data associated with illumination received
by the line scan detector from a plurality of locations along the edge of the sample, wherein the at least one review image
is generated at least by merging two or more of the multiple radial line scans.

US Pat. No. 9,116,132

SURFACE SCANNING INSPECTION SYSTEM WITH INDEPENDENTLY ADJUSTABLE SCAN PITCH

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A wafer inspection system comprising:
an illumination source operable to supply an amount of radiation to a surface of a wafer over an illumination area; and
a wafer positioning system for moving the wafer in a scanning motion characterized by a scan pitch, the wafer positioning
system including,

a motion controller operable to adjust the scan pitch independently from the illumination area to achieve a desired defect
sensitivity over the wafer, wherein the scan pitch is adjusted based at least in part on a distance between the geometric
center of the wafer and a location of the illumination area on the surface of the wafer.

US Pat. No. 9,103,662

PERIODIC PATTERNS AND TECHNIQUE TO CONTROL MISALIGNMENT BETWEEN TWO LAYERS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for measuring a relative position between a first and a second layer of a device, a first periodic structure having
been formed with the first layer of the device and a second periodic structure having been formed with the second layer of
the device, said second periodic structure overlying said first periodic structure, said method comprising:
measuring a line width of at least one of the first and second periodic structures, said measuring including detecting a diffraction
of electromagnetic radiation from the first and second periodic structures, wherein measurement of at least one of the first
and second periodic structures is performed without measuring the other one of the first and second periodic structures; and

measuring a relative position between the first and second layers, wherein said measuring of the relative position includes
determining a misalignment between the first and second periodic structures;

wherein said second periodic structure includes a first and a second portion, wherein the first portion is in a region overlying
the first periodic structure and the second portion is in a region not overlying the first periodic structure, and said line
width of the second periodic structure is measured by measuring said second portion of said second periodic structure.

US Pat. No. 9,097,683

LASER WITH HIGH QUALITY, STABLE OUTPUT BEAM, AND LONG LIFE HIGH CONVERSION EFFICIENCY NON-LINEAR CRYSTAL

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An optical system for detecting contaminants and defects on a test surface, the optical system comprising:
a laser system for producing a laser beam;
optics directing the laser beam along a path onto the test surface, and producing an illuminated spot thereon;
a detector detecting light; and
an ellipsoidal mirrored surface, the mirrored surface and detector having an axis of symmetry about a line perpendicular to
the test surface, the mirrored surface defining an input aperture positioned proximate to the test surface to receive scattered
light therethrough from the surface and an exit aperture, the mirrored surface being substantially rotationally symmetric
about the axis of symmetry, so that the mirrored surface reflects and focuses rotationally symmetrically about the axis of
symmetry light that passes through the input aperture to the detector, the exit aperture being located opposite to the input
aperture,

wherein the laser system comprises:
a light source;
an annealed, frequency-conversion crystal having a length approximately equal to a smaller of twice a Rayleigh range in a
non-walk-off direction and a length of twice a beam waist radius in a walk-off direction divided by a walk-off angle in radians;

a housing to maintain an annealed condition of the crystal during standard operation at a low temperature;
first beam shaping optics configured to receive a beam from the light source and focus the beam to an elliptical cross section
at a beam waist in or proximate to the crystal; and

a harmonic separation block to receive an output from the crystal and generate therefrom the laser beam and at least one undesired
frequency beam.

US Pat. No. 9,410,901

IMAGE SENSOR, AN INSPECTION SYSTEM AND A METHOD OF INSPECTING AN ARTICLE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A backside-illuminated avalanche sensor comprising:
an epitaxial silicon layer; a thin highly doped p-type layer, an n-type doped layer and a boron layer disposed on a light-sensitive
surface of the epitaxial silicon layer; and

circuits formed on an opposing surface of the epitaxial silicon layer,
wherein the epitaxial silicon layer comprises one of intrinsic silicon and p-type doped silicon with less than 2×1013 dopant atoms per cubic centimeter (cm?3),

wherein the circuits comprise an n-type doped buried channel,
wherein at least some of the circuits are fabricated in a grounded p+ well with a dopant concentration greater than 1016 dopant atoms cm?3,

wherein the thin highly doped p-type layer comprises p-type doped silicon with a dopant concentration greater than 5×1018 dopant atoms cm?3, and a thickness of less than 50 nm, and

wherein the n-type doped layer comprises n-type doped silicon with a dopant concentration between 5×1015 dopant atoms cm?3 and 1017 dopant atoms cm?3, and a thickness of between 1 ?m and 5 ?m.

US Pat. No. 9,347,879

APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR DETECTING OVERLAY ERRORS USING SCATTEROMETRY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

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

US Pat. No. 9,335,206

WAVE FRONT ABERRATION METROLOGY OF OPTICS OF EUV MASK INSPECTION SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A test structure for measuring wave-front aberration of an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) inspection system, comprising:
a substrate formed from a material having substantially no reflectivity for EUV light; and
a multilayer (ML) stack portion formed over only one or more portions of a top surface of the substrate and comprising a plurality
of alternating pairs of layers having different refractive indexes so as to reflect EUV light, wherein the ML stack portion
is arranged over only the one or more portions of the top surface of the substrate so that at least a portion of the top surface
of the substrate is exposed without being covered by the ML stack portion.

US Pat. No. 9,304,160

DEFECT INSPECTION APPARATUS, SYSTEM, AND METHOD

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An apparatus for use in defect inspection, comprising:
a substrate, wherein the substrate is 150 mm or more in size;
a dielectric layer provided on top of the substrate;
a plurality of current collection structures provided on top of the dielectric layer, wherein the plurality of current collection
structures covers a field in a size of a lithography exposure field or smaller, wherein the field is smaller than the size
of the substrate, wherein each collection structure in the plurality includes a conductive pad that is smaller than the field
and is in a size of about 1 mm×1 mm to about 5 mm×5 mm, wherein the conductive pad is configured to act as a current collector
for interrogating an electron beam, wherein each collection structure is electrically connected to a corresponding exposed
probe contact on a surface of the substrate, wherein the current collection structures are configured such that when a patterned
layer of photoresist is formed on to of the current collection structures, the current collection structures collect current
from an electron beam incident on the patterned layer of photoresist, the collected current indicative of the presence or
absence of a defect in the patterned layer of photoresist.

US Pat. No. 9,299,738

INTERPOSER BASED IMAGING SENSOR FOR HIGH-SPEED IMAGE ACQUISITION AND INSPECTION SYSTEMS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An interposer-based image sensing device, comprising:
at least one interposer disposed on a surface of a substrate;
at least one light sensing array sensor disposed on the at least one interposer, the at least one light sensing array sensor
being back-thinned, the at least one light sensing array sensor configured for back illumination, the at least one light sensing
array sensor including a plurality of columns of pixels, the at least one interposer positioned between the substrate and
the at least one light sensing array sensor;

at least two analog-to-digital conversion circuitry elements configured to convert one or more outputs of the at least one
light sensing array sensor to one or more digital signals, the at least two analog-to-digital conversion circuits being fabricated
on the interposer; and

at least one multiplexer being operatively connected to the interposer and being configured to combine the one or more digital
signals from the at least two analog-to-digital conversion circuits, the interposer configured to electrically couple the
at least one light sensing array sensor and the at least two analog-to-digital conversion circuits.

US Pat. No. 9,163,987

DEFECT INSPECTION AND PHOTOLUMINESCENCE MEASUREMENT SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for defect detection and photoluminescence measurement of a sample, comprising:
a radiation source configured to target radiation to the sample;
an optics assembly positioned above the sample to receive a sample radiation, the sample radiation being radiation which is
at least one of reflected by, scattered by, or radiated from the sample, the optics assembly configured to collect the sample
radiation;

a filter module configured to receive the sample radiation collected by the optics assembly, the filter module separating
the sample radiation collected by the optics assembly into a first radiation portion and a second radiation portion;

a defect detection module configured to receive the first radiation portion from the filter module, the defect detection module
configured to detect at least one defect of the sample utilizing the first radiation portion; and

a photoluminescence measurement module configured to receive the second radiation portion from the filter module, the photoluminescence
measurement module including a spectrometer configured to detect a local photoluminescence spectrum of the sample utilizing
the second radiation portion, the photoluminescence measurement module configured to provide a photoluminescence mapping based
upon the detected local photoluminescence spectrum, the defect detection module and the photoluminescence measurement module
configured to receive the respective first radiation portion and the second radiation portion substantially simultaneously.

US Pat. No. 9,453,801

PHOTOEMISSION MONITORING OF EUV MIRROR AND MASK SURFACE CONTAMINATION IN ACTINIC EUV SYSTEMS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A photoelectron emission mapping system for photolithography masks, comprising:
a mask defect inspection stage;
a photoelectron source used for mask inspection;
a photoelectron detector located outside a beam path between the photoelectron source and the mask defect inspection stage,
the photoelectron detector comprising a scintillator, wherein the photoelectron detector is configured to detect photoelectrons
emitted from a surface of a mask coupled to the mask defect inspection stage when light from the photoelectron source impinges
on the mask during inspection of the mask, and wherein the photoelectron detector is configured to assess both electron intensity
and electron spectra of the photoelectrons emitted from the surface of the mask, the photoelectron detector comprising a processor
configured to assess radiation dose, contamination level, and contamination species on the mask using the assessed electron
intensity and electron spectra of the photoelectrons; and

a biasing electrode located between the mask and the scintillator;
wherein the surface of the mask is biased at a first voltage during use and the biasing electrode is biased at a second voltage
during use, wherein the second voltage is a positive potential, and wherein the first voltage has a negative potential relative
to the second voltage.

US Pat. No. 9,360,302

FILM THICKNESS MONITOR

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A sensor apparatus, comprising:
a substrate;
a material layer over the substrate, wherein the material layer has a top surface and a bottom surface;
one or more units located between the material layer and the substrate at one or more spatially separated locations, wherein
each unit includes at least one light source and at least one corresponding photodetector, wherein the at least one light
source is configured to emit or channel light towards the material layer, wherein the at least one light source and at least
one corresponding photodetector are configured so that the at least one photodetector detects optical output from the at least
one light from the light source interacting with at least the top and bottom surfaces of the material layer for measuring
a thickness, a change of thickness or a rate of change of the thickness of the material layer, wherein for each unit both
the at least one light source and the at least one photodetector are formed from the substrate, and wherein the sensor apparatus
has a thickness similar to that of a standard semiconductor wafer.

US Pat. No. 9,116,103

MULTIPLE ANGLES OF INCIDENCE SEMICONDUCTOR METROLOGY SYSTEMS AND METHODS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An ellipsometer apparatus for performing metrology of a semiconductor sample, comprising:
an illumination optics module for providing an illumination beam at a plurality of wavelengths that are selectable within
a range from a vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) wavelength to an infrared (IR) wavelength and directing the illumination beam towards
the sample at a plurality of angles of incidence (AOI's) and/or azimuth angles (AZ's);

a collection optics module for collecting an output beam emanating from the sample at a plurality of discrete ranges of AOI
and/or AZ and directing such output beam to a detector module, wherein the discrete ranges are collected one at a time and
the output beam being in response to the illumination beam on the sample,

wherein the illumination optics module includes polarization generating optical elements for generating a plurality of polarization
states for the illumination beam, the collection optics module includes polarization analyzing optical elements for analyzing
the polarization state of the output beam,

wherein the illumination optics module and collection optics module include reflective optical elements between the polarization
generation optical elements and the polarization analyzing optical elements;

the detection module for receiving and detecting the output beam from the sample at the discrete ranges of AOI and/or AZ and
the polarization states and generating a plurality of signals based on the output beam at the discrete ranges of AOI and/or
AZ and the polarization states; and

one or more controllers that are each configured to control one or more of the following:selecting a wavelength range, selecting one or more of the discrete ranges of AOI and/or AZ for collection of the output beam,
selecting the polarization states, and analyzing the signals at the discrete ranges of AOI and/or AZ and the polarization
states to determine a characteristic of the sample.

US Pat. No. 9,052,709

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR PROVIDING PROCESS TOOL CORRECTABLES

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for providing process tool correctables to one or more process tools, comprising:
performing a first measurement process on a wafer of a lot of wafers with a measurement system, wherein the first measurement
process includes measuring one or more characteristics of a plurality of targets distributed across one or more fields of
the wafer of the lot of wafers;

determining, with one or more processors communicatively coupled to the measurement system, a set of process tool correctables
for a residual larger than a selected threshold level utilizing a loss function, wherein the loss function is configured to
fit a model for one or more process tools, as a function of field position, to one or more of the measured characteristics
of the plurality of targets measured with the measurement system, wherein the set of process tool correctables includes one
or more parameters of the model that act to minimize the difference between a norm of the residual and the selected threshold
when the norm of the residual is equal to or greater than the selected threshold, wherein the loss function nullifies the
residual when the norm of the residual is below the selected threshold;

transmitting one or more control signals from the one or more processors to the one or more process tools, the one or more
control signals being a function of the determined set of process tool correctables; and

controlling the one or more process tools based on the one or more control signals in order to control one or more processes
associated with the one or more process tools.

US Pat. No. 9,496,425

BACK-ILLUMINATED SENSOR WITH BORON LAYER

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An image sensor for sensing at least one of deep ultraviolet (DUV) radiation, vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) radiation, extreme
ultraviolet (EUV) radiation, and charged particles, the image sensor comprising:
a semiconductor membrane comprising an epitaxial layer including opposing first and second surfaces, the semiconductor membrane
including circuit elements formed on the first surface and a pure boron layer formed on the second surface.

US Pat. No. 9,443,696

ELECTRON BEAM IMAGING WITH DUAL WIEN-FILTER MONOCHROMATOR

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An electron beam imaging apparatus comprising:
an emitter-source tip that emits electrons;
a gun electron lens that focuses the electrons to form an electron beam that is parallel in that the electron beam has electron
trajectories that are parallel;

a first Wien filter that focuses the electron beam in a first plane while leaving the electron beam to be parallel in a second
plane;

a slit opening of a slit aperture, wherein the slit opening has a width in the first plane and a length in the second plane,
and wherein the width is narrower than the length; and

a second Wien filter that focuses the electron beam to become parallel in the first plane while leaving the electron beam
to be parallel in the second plane.

US Pat. No. 9,347,891

WAFER AND RETICLE INSPECTION SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR SELECTING ILLUMINATION PUPIL CONFIGURATIONS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of facilitating an inspection of a sample using an optical inspection tool, the method comprising:
opening an illumination aperture one at a time at individual ones of a plurality of aperture positions of an illumination
pupil area, wherein the aperture positions are spread across the illumination pupil area;

while an illumination aperture is opened at each aperture position, directing an incident beam of the inspection tool towards
the illumination pupil area and such illumination aperture manipulates the incident beam so as to selectively pass a corresponding
ray bundle of the illumination beam at a corresponding set of one or more incident angles towards the sample and detecting
an output beam emitted from the sample in response to the corresponding ray bundle of the incident beam impinging on the sample
at the corresponding set of one or more incident angles;

determining a defect detection characteristic for each aperture position based on the output beam detected for each aperture
position;

estimating a defect detection characteristic for placement of an aperture at each of a plurality of combinations of two or
more aperture positions based on a basis set of the defect detection characteristic that is determined for each aperture position;
and

determining an optimum aperture configuration based on which aperture position or combination of aperture positions has the
most optimum defect detection characteristic that is determined or estimated.

US Pat. No. 9,318,395

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR PREPARATION OF SAMPLES FOR SUB-SURFACE DEFECT REVIEW

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of preparation of a sample of a substrate for sub-surface review using a scanning electron microscope apparatus,
the method comprising:
obtaining a first results file from an inspection apparatus, wherein the first results file includes locations of defects
detected in a device being manufactured by the inspection apparatus;

re-detecting a defect at a location indicated in the first results file;
marking on the substrate the location of the defect with multiple discrete and separate marking points, each said marking
point having predetermined positioning relative to the location of the defect that is given by a number of pixels and a predetermined
direction;

receiving a design file with a design for the device;
determining the location of the defect relative to the design for the device;
ascertaining a cut location and a cut angle in an at least a partly-automated manner using the design for the device; and
revising the first results file to generate a second results file which includes the cut location and the cut angle.

US Pat. No. 9,194,811

APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR IMPROVING DEFECT DETECTION SENSITIVITY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for detecting defects in a semiconductor sample, the system comprising:
an illumination optics module for simultaneously scanning two or more structured illumination (SI) patterns across the sample
in a scan direction, wherein the two or more SI patterns have a phase shift with respect to each other and wherein the two
or more SI patterns are arranged in sequence along the scan direction;

a collection optics module for collecting output light from the sample in response to the SI patterns that are scanned across
the sample;

two or more detectors for individually detecting the output light collected for individual ones of the SI patterns; and
a controller operable to perform the following operations:
generating two or more SI images for the two or more SI patterns based on the individually detected output light; and
detecting defects on the sample by performing a comparison type inspection process based on the two or more SI images.

US Pat. No. 9,176,072

DARK FIELD INSPECTION SYSTEM WITH RING ILLUMINATION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A dark field inspection system comprising:
three or more beam shaping paths for generating a composite, focused illumination line on a wafer, each beam shaping path
for illuminating the wafer at an oblique angle, the beam shaping paths forming a ring illumination, wherein each of the beam
shaping paths includes an independent light source positioned to result in independent, random noise at a surface of the wafer
and wherein each independent light source provides incoherent light with respect to each other independent light source, wherein
each of the plurality of beam shaping paths includes a cylindrical lens, each cylindrical lens being tilted and rotated with
respect to a light beam from its corresponding light source, and wherein each cylindrical lens has a cylindrical axis positioned
parallel to an illumination line, an optical axis, and a b-axis perpendicular to both the cylindrical axis and the optical
axis, wherein the b-axis is positioned perpendicular to the light beam from its corresponding light source;

an objective lens for capturing scattered light from the wafer; and
an imaging sensor for receiving an output of the objective lens.

US Pat. No. 9,171,694

ASYMMETRIC ELECTROSTATIC QUADRUPOLE DEFLECTOR FOR IMPROVED FIELD UNIFORMITY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An asymmetric quadrupole electrostatic deflector, comprising:
a first pair of plates including a first plate and a second plate, the first plate and the second plate each spanning a first
radial angle; and

a second pair of plates including a third plate and a fourth plate, the third plate and the fourth plate each adjacent to
the first plate and the second plate and each spanning a second radial angle greater than the first radial angle.

US Pat. No. 9,077,862

TDI SENSOR MODULES WITH LOCALIZED DRIVING AND SIGNAL PROCESSING CIRCUITRY FOR HIGH SPEED INSPECTION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An inspection system for inspecting a surface, the inspection system comprising:
a modular array including a plurality of time delay integration (TDI) sensor modules, each TDI sensor module including:
a TDI sensor; and
a plurality of localized circuits for driving and processing the TDI sensor;
an optical system configured to receive light from the surface and direct portions of the light onto the plurality of TDI
sensor modules; and

an image processor for receiving data from the modular array,
wherein the plurality of TDI sensor modules are aligned in a TDI scan direction.

US Pat. No. 9,587,936

SCANNING INSPECTION SYSTEM WITH ANGULAR CORRECTION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method comprising:
rotating a wafer attached to a rotary stage about an axis of rotation of the rotary stage;
translating the axis of rotation of the rotary stage along a trajectory by a translation stage, wherein the rotary stage and
the translation stage are configured to scan a surface of a specimen under a first fixed inspection location in a spiral motion
pattern, wherein the first fixed inspection location is offset from the trajectory of the axis of rotation by a first misalignment
distance;

generating a signal indicative of an angular position of the rotary stage;
generating a signal indicative of a position of the axis of rotation along the trajectory; and
determining a first angular correction value based at least in part on the first misalignment distance, a first radial distance
between the axis of rotation of the rotary stage and the first fixed inspection location at a first instance of the angular
position, and a second radial distance between the axis of rotation of the rotary stage and the first fixed inspection location
at a second instance of the angular position.

US Pat. No. 9,516,733

LASER-SUSTAINED PLASMA LIGHT SOURCE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for producing a laser sustained plasma light, the method comprising the steps of:
directing at least one laser into a gas volume,
igniting a plasma in the gas volume, the plasma producing a light,
removing heated portions of the gas volume from the plasma,
cooling the heated portions of the gas volume,
returning the cooled portions of the gas volume to the plasma in a laminar flow, and
collecting the light with a reflector and providing the light to a desired location.

US Pat. No. 9,429,856

DETECTABLE OVERLAY TARGETS WITH STRONG DEFINITION OF CENTER LOCATIONS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A semiconductor device, the semiconductor device including an overlay measurement target, the overlay measurement target
comprising:
a first ring target located on a first measured layer of the semiconductor device, the first ring target including a plurality
of detectable features arranged in a circular manner having a first circumference; and

a second ring target located on a second measured layer of the semiconductor device, the second ring target including a plurality
of detectable features arranged in a circular manner having a second circumference different from the first circumference,

wherein a center of the first ring target is detectable by:
constructing a first mathematically constructed circle overlaid on a portion of an image of the semiconductor device including
the first ring target, wherein a circumference of the first mathematically constructed circle is aligned along the plurality
of detectable features associated with the first ring target, and

determining the center of the first ring target as a center of the first mathematically constructed circle,
wherein a center of the second ring target is detectable by:
constructing a second mathematically constructed circle overlaid on a portion of an image of the semiconductor device including
the second ring target, wherein a circumference of the second mathematically constructed circle is aligned along the plurality
of detectable features associated with the second ring target, and

determining the center of the second ring target as a center of the second mathematically constructed circle, and
wherein a displacement between the center of the first ring target and the center of the second ring target indicates an overlay
error between the first measured layer and the second measured layer.

US Pat. No. 9,433,070

PLASMA CELL WITH FLOATING FLANGE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for forming a light-sustained plasma comprising:
an illumination source configured to generate illumination;
a plasma cell including:
a transmission element having one or more openings and configured to contain a volume of gas;
one or more terminal flanges disposed at or near the one or more openings of the transmission element;
one or more floating flanges disposed between at least one of the one or more terminal flanges and the transmission element,
wherein the one or more floating flanges are movable to compensate for thermal expansion of the transmission element; and

a collector element arranged to focus the illumination from the illumination source into the volume of gas in order to generate
a plasma within the volume of gas contained within the plasma cell,

wherein the plasma emits broadband radiation,
wherein the transmission element of the plasma cell is at least partially transparent to at least a portion of the illumination
generated by the illumination source and at least a portion of the broadband radiation emitted by the plasma.

US Pat. No. 9,418,819

ASYMMETRICAL DETECTOR DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

KLA-TENCOR CORPORATION, ...

1. A charged particle detection device, comprising:
a detector having an active portion and an inactive portion formed on a surface of a substrate, the surface being divided
into the active portion and the inactive portion, whereby the active portion and the inactive portion make up an entirety
of the surface of the substrate, wherein only the active portion is configured to produce a signal in response to secondary
charged particles emitted from a sample landing on the active portion, wherein the substrate is symmetric with respect to
an axis through a central aperture and wherein the active portion is asymmetric with respect to the axis to, accommodate an
estimated axially asymmetrical distribution of the secondary particles at the detector with respect to a beam axis of a charged
particle beam optical system.

US Pat. No. 9,389,349

SYSTEM AND METHOD TO DETERMINE DEPTH FOR OPTICAL WAFER INSPECTION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A computer-based method for inspecting a wafer, comprising:
storing, in a memory element for at least one computer, computer readable instructions;
detecting, using a detector, a first light beam rotating in a first spiral about a first central axis; and,
executing, using a processor for the at least one computer, the computer readable instructions to:
generate, using the detected first light beam, an image including at least one shape;
determine an orientation of the at least one shape or a size of the at least one shape; and,
calculate a depth of a defect within the wafer according to the orientation or the size, wherein:
the at least one shape includes a plurality of shapes; and,
determining the orientation of the at least one shape includes determining respective positions of the plurality of shapes
with respect to rotation about a point in the image.

US Pat. No. 9,390,492

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR REFERENCE-BASED OVERLAY MEASUREMENT

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for performing reference-based overlay metrology using a virtual measurement image, comprising:
acquiring a plurality of reference measurement images from a plurality of reference overlay target sites of a wafer via a
reference image sampling process, wherein the reference image sampling process includes acquiring one or more images at each
of the plurality of reference overlay target sites of the wafer;

generating an aggregated overlay target reference image by combining the plurality of reference measurement images acquired
from the plurality of reference overlay target sites of the wafer of the reference image sampling process;

acquiring one or more measurement images from an overlay target site of the wafer via a measurement image sampling process;
and

measuring a virtual overlay of the one or more measurement images by comparing the one or more measurement images acquired
from the overlay target site of the wafer to the generated aggregated overlay target reference image.

US Pat. No. 9,347,872

META-MODEL BASED MEASUREMENT REFINEMENT

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method comprising:
receiving measurement values of one or more specimen parameters associated with a model based measurement of one or more metrology
targets by a target measurement system;

receiving reference measurement values of the same one or more specimen parameters associated with a measurement of the same
one or more metrology targets by a reference measurement source that differs from the model based measurement of the one or
more metrology targets by the target measurement system; and

determining one or more parameters of a meta-model that transforms the measurement values of the one or more specimen parameters
to corrected measurement values of the one or more specimen parameters, wherein the determining of the one or more parameters
of the meta-model involves minimizing a difference between the reference measurement values and the corrected measurement
values of the one or more specimen parameters.

US Pat. No. 9,341,769

SPECTRAL CONTROL SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for controlling at least one spectral attribute of illumination, comprising:
an optical switch configured to receive illumination emanating from at least one illumination source, and further configured
to actively switch the path of the illumination between a first selected path and an additional selected path of a plurality
of spectral control paths; and

a plurality of spectral controllers, at least one spectral controller of the plurality of spectral controllers being disposed
along each of the plurality of spectral control paths, the at least one spectral controller being configured to block a portion
of the illumination including an excluded selection of illumination spectra, and further configured to direct a portion of
the illumination including a transmitted selection of illumination spectra along an illumination path.

US Pat. No. 9,293,882

LOW NOISE, HIGH STABILITY, DEEP ULTRA-VIOLET, CONTINUOUS WAVE LASER

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A laser for generating deep ultra-violet (DUV) continuous wave (CW) light, the laser comprising:
a second-harmonic generator for converting light having a fundamental wavelength to light having a second harmonic wavelength;
and

a fourth-harmonic generator for converting the light having the second harmonic wavelength to light having a fourth harmonic
wavelength, the fourth-harmonic generator including:

a plurality of mirrors configured to circulate light in the fourth harmonic generator;
a first non-linear optical (NLO) crystal having first optical axes that are oriented relative to the light circulated in the
fourth harmonic generator such that said first NLO crystal converts a portion of the light having the second harmonic wavelength
to light having the fourth harmonic wavelength and having a first astigmatism, the first NLO crystal in operative relation
to the plurality of mirrors such that the light circulating in the fourth harmonic generator is directed into the first NLO
crystal only in a single light propagation direction; and

a second NLO crystal in operative relation to the first NLO crystal such that all of the light having the second harmonic
wavelength passes through the first NLO crystal and at least a portion of the light having the second harmonic wavelength
passes through the second NLO crystal only in said single light propagation direction,

wherein the second optical axes of the second NLO crystal are rotated approximately 90 degrees relative to said first optical
axes of the first NLO crystal and said second NLO crystal is configured such that a second astigmatism created by the light
having the second harmonic wavelength within the second NLO crystal reduces said first astigmatism, and such that none of
the light having the second harmonic wavelength that passes through the second NLO crystal is converted by said second NLO
crystal to light having the fourth harmonic wavelength.

US Pat. No. 9,209,589

REDUCING THE SPECTRAL BANDWIDTH OF LASERS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A fiber-based fundamental light source for generating fundamental light at a nominal fundamental frequency a laser system,
the fiber-based fundamental light source comprising:
one or more seed lasers including means for generating seed light having an initial peak power and an initial spectral bandwidth,
and for transmitting the seed light along an optical path;

one or more amplifiers disposed in the optical path and including means for amplifying the seed light generated by said one
or more seed lasers such that amplified light output from the one or more amplifiers has a fundamental peak power that is
substantially higher than the initial peak power; and

one or more nonlinear chirp elements disposed in the optical path and including means for modifying one of the seed light
and the amplified light to include one or more nonlinear chirps that compensate for Self Phase Modulation (SPM) characteristics
of the one or more amplifiers,

wherein each of said one or more nonlinear chirp elements comprises one of a Bragg grating, a fiber Bragg grating and an electro-optic
modulator, and

wherein said one or more nonlinear chirp elements comprise means for generating said nonlinear pre-chirp with a nonlinearity
on the order of x2 or higher.

US Pat. No. 9,185,788

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR CONTROLLING CONVECTION WITHIN A PLASMA CELL

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A plasma cell for controlling convection comprising:
a transmission element having one or more openings,
one or more flanges disposed at the one or more openings of the transmission element and configured to enclose the internal
volume of the transmission element in order to contain a volume of gas within the transmission element,

the transmission element configured to receive illumination from an illumination source in order to generate a plasma within
a plasma generation region of the volume of gas, wherein the plasma emits broadband radiation, wherein the transmission element
of the plasma cell is at least partially transparent to at least a portion of the illumination generated by the illumination
source and at least a portion of the broadband radiation emitted by the plasma;

a top flow control element disposed above the plasma generation region and within the transmission element, the top flow control
element including one or more internal channels configured to direct at least a portion of a plume of the plasma upward;

a bottom flow control element disposed below the plasma generation region and within the transmission element, the bottom
flow control element including one or more internal channels configured to direct gas upward toward the plasma generation
region; and

the top flow control element and the bottom flow control element are arranged within the transmission element to form one
or more gas return channels for transferring gas from a region above the plasma generation region to a region below the plasma
generation region.

US Pat. No. 9,152,008

HIGH DAMAGE THRESHOLD FREQUENCY CONVERSION SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An apparatus for laser frequency conversion having a high damage threshold, comprising:
a fundamental laser light source configured to generate fundamental wavelength laser light;
a first nonlinear optical crystal configured to receive fundamental laser light from the fundamental laser light source, the
first nonlinear optical crystal configured to generate first alternate wavelength light by frequency converting at least a
portion of the received fundamental laser light to first alternate wavelength light;

a second nonlinear optical crystal configured to receive first alternate wavelength light from the first nonlinear optical
crystal, the second nonlinear optical crystal configured to generate second alternate wavelength light by frequency converting
at least a portion of the received first alternate wavelength light to second alternate wavelength light;

a dual wavelength Brewster angle waveplate configured to receive first alternate wavelength light and second alternate wavelength
light emanating from the second nonlinear optical crystal, the dual wavelength Brewster angle waveplate further configured
to rotate a polarization of the first alternate wavelength light relative to the second alternate wavelength light such that
the first alternate wavelength light and the second alternate wavelength light have substantially the same polarization;

a set of Brewster angle wavefront processing optics configured receive first alternate wavelength light and second alternate
wavelength light from the dual wavelength Brewster angle waveplate, the set of Brewster angle wavefront processing optics
further configured to condition the first alternate wavelength light and second alternate wavelength light emanating from
the dual wavelength Brewster angle waveplate; and

a harmonic separator configured to receive the first alternate wavelength light and the second alternate wavelength light
from the set of Brewster angle wavefront processing optics, the harmonic separator configured to at least partially separate
the first alternate wavelength light from the second alternate wavelength light.

US Pat. No. 9,151,881

PHASE GRATING FOR MASK INSPECTION SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A phase grating on a mirror, comprising:
a substrate;
a plurality of continuous base bilayers positioned on the substrate; and
a plurality of gratings positioned on the plurality of continuous base bilayers, wherein a depth of the plurality of gratings
is approximately (laser wavelength)/4/cos(angle of incidence).

US Pat. No. 9,116,442

FEEDFORWARD/FEEDBACK LITHO PROCESS CONTROL OF STRESS AND OVERLAY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for process control in patterning a substrate, comprising:
a) performing metrology on the substrate either before or after performing a patterning process on the substrate;
b) generating one or more correctables to the patterning process based on the metrology performed in a) by performing an analysis
of deformation of the substrate across the substrate at a spatial resolution of about 1 mm to about 5 mm; and either

c) adjusting the patterning process performed on the substrate with the correctables, if the metrology is performed before
the patterning process; or

d) adjusting the patterning process performed on a subsequent substrate with the correctables, if the metrology is performed
after the patterning process; or

e) both c) and d).

US Pat. No. 9,092,847

DETECTION OF THIN LINES FOR SELECTIVE SENSITIVITY DURING RETICLE INSPECTION USING PROCESSED IMAGES

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for inspecting a photolithographic mask to identify lithographically significant defects, the method comprising:
providing a mask comprising a plurality of printable features and a plurality of non-printable features, the mask configured
to achieve lithographic transfer of the printable features onto a substrate using a lithography system;

by one or more inspection systems, producing a transmitted image and a reflected image of the mask;
constructing a band limited spot image based on the transmitted and reflected images to reduce noise introduced by the one
or more inspection systems;

restoring the spot image to a restored mask image so that results in the restored mask image are deblurred and a truer image
of the mask is obtained;

based on the restored mask image, generating a non-printable feature map for the non-printable features and printable feature
map for the printable features; and

analyzing one or more test images of the mask to detect defects on such mask, wherein a sensitivity level of defect detection
is reduced in areas of the one or more test images defined by the non-printable feature map, as compared with areas of the
one or more test images that are not defined by the non-printable features map.

US Pat. No. 9,476,838

HYBRID IMAGING AND SCATTEROMETRY TARGETS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A metrology target comprising at least one imaging target structure configured to be measurable by imaging and at least
one scatterometry target structure configured to be measurable by scatterometry, the at least one imaging target structure
comprising a portion bordering a first of the at least one scatterometry target structure, the portion comprising at least
one periodic structure.

US Pat. No. 9,413,134

MULTI-STAGE RAMP-UP ANNEALING FOR FREQUENCY-CONVERSION CRYSTALS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of annealing a frequency-conversion crystal, the method comprising:
increasing a temperature to about 150° C. over about 2 hours;
holding the temperature near 150° C. for about 10 hours;
increasing the temperature to about 200° C. over about 1 hour;
holding the temperature between 150-200° C. for about 100 hours or longer; and
decreasing the temperature down to close to room temperature over about 3 hours.

US Pat. No. 9,341,761

SWITCHABLE LASER AND FIBER BASED LAMPHOUSE FOR OPTIMAL POWER OUTPUT IN DIFFERENT WAVELENGTH BANDS AND PIXEL SIZES

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for controlling a fiber based illumination system, the method comprising:
determining a first fiber size suitable for a first illumination requirement;
determining a second fiber size suitable for a second illumination requirement;
selecting at least one first fiber input among a plurality of available fiber inputs based on the determined first fiber size;
delivering light from a light source to a lamphouse of the illumination system utilizing the selected at least one first fiber
input;

selecting at least one second fiber input among the plurality of available fiber inputs based on the determined second fiber
size; and

switching from the at least one first fiber input to the at least one second fiber input to deliver light from the light source
to the lamphouse of the illumination system.

US Pat. No. 9,335,279

PRE AND POST CLEANING OF MASK, WAFER, OPTICAL SURFACES FOR PREVENTION OF CONTAMINATION PRIOR TO AND AFTER INSPECTION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An inspection specimen cleaning system, comprising:
a light source, the light source configured to provide a mixture of photons generated by at least one of: an extreme ultraviolet
(EUV) light source, a vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) light source, a deep ultraviolet (DUV) light source, an ultraviolet (UV) light
source, a visible light source or an infrared (IR) light source towards a surface of the inspection specimen; and

a gas source, the gas source configured to provide a mixture of gases that includes at least two of: H2, N2, He, Ar, Xe, H2O, 02, 03 or CO2 towards the surface of the inspection specimen;

wherein the as source is controlled through a processor that executes a set of instructions stored on a processor-readable
storage medium, and wherein when the set of instructions is executed, a composition of the mixture of gases is selected to
form reactive free radicals in combination with the mixture of photons to dissociate contaminate compounds on the surface
of the inspection specimen.

US Pat. No. 9,318,869

193NM LASER AND INSPECTION SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A laser for generating an output wavelength of approximately 193.4 nm, the laser comprising:
a fundamental laser;
a first frequency doubling module, coupled to the fundamental laser, for generating a second harmonic;
a second frequency doubling module, coupled to the first frequency doubling module, for generating a fourth harmonic;
an optical parametric generator, coupled to one of the first frequency doubling module and the fundamental laser, for generating
a down-converted signal; and

a frequency mixing module, coupled to the optical parametric generator and the second frequency doubling module, for generating
a laser output of a frequency equal to a sum of the fourth harmonic and twice a frequency of the down-converted signal,

wherein the frequency mixing module comprises two non-linear crystals, a first non-linear crystal configured to generate a
frequency equal to a sum of the fourth harmonic and a frequency of the down-converted signal by type-I conversion, and a second
non-linear crystal configured to generate the frequency equal to the sum of the fourth harmonic and the twice the frequency
of the down-converted signal by type-II conversion, and

wherein the fundamental laser generates a fundamental frequency of approximately 1064.3 nm, approximately 1053 nm, approximately
1047 nm, or approximately 1030 nm.

US Pat. No. 9,214,344

PILLAR-SUPPORTED ARRAY OF MICRO ELECTRON LENSES

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A pillar-supported array of micro electron lenses, the pillar-supported array comprising:
a base layer on a substrate, the base layer including an array of base electrode pads;
an insulating border surrounding each base electrode pads so as to electrically isolate the base electrode pads from each
other;

an array of lens holes aligned with the array of base electrode pads;
a first stacked electrode layer having a first array of openings aligned with the array of lens holes; and
a first layer of insulating pillars which support the first stacked electrode layer above the base layer.

US Pat. No. 9,182,358

MULTI-SPOT DEFECT INSPECTION SYSTEM

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for inspecting a sample, comprising:
a stage assembly configured to support a sample, the stage assembly including at least one of a rotating actuator or a lateral
actuator;

at least one illumination source configured to provide illumination along an illumination path to a surface of the sample;
a spot array generator disposed along the illumination path, the spot array generator configured to direct portions of illumination
according to a selected pattern to illuminate a plurality of spots within one or more pitch zones of a plurality of pitch
zones of the surface of the sample;

at least one detector array configured to receive illumination reflected, scattered, or radiated from the plurality of spots
on the surface of the sample; and

a computing system in communication with the at least one detector array, the computing system configured to:
determine information associated with at least one defect of the sample based upon the illumination received by the at least
one detector array; and

controllably adjust at least one of scan pitch, spot size, spot separation, or spin rate based on the one or more pitch zones
containing the plurality of spots to compensate pitch error due to tangential spot separation.

US Pat. No. 9,093,458

DEVICE CORRELATED METROLOGY (DCM) FOR OVL WITH EMBEDDED SEM STRUCTURE OVERLAY TARGETS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A target for use in measuring a relative position between two substantially coplanar layers of a device, wherein a second
layer of the two substantially coplanar layers is located on top of a first layer of the two substantially coplanar layers,
the target comprising:
a first periodic structure formed in the first layer, wherein the first periodic structure includes one or more windows for
viewing a structure in a layer under the first layer;

a first device-like structure formed in the first layer within the first periodic structure;
a second periodic structure formed in the second layer, wherein the second periodic structure includes one or more windows
for viewing portions of the first periodic structure in the first layer; and

a second device-like structure formed in the second layer within the second periodic structure, wherein the first and second
periodic structures and the first and second device-like structures are configured such that differences in relative position
of the first and the second layers between the first and second periodic structures and differences between the first and
second device-like structures can be measured.

US Pat. No. 9,075,027

APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR DETECTING DEFECTS IN VERTICAL MEMORY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for inspecting a vertical memory stack, comprising:
on an inspection tool, using incident light having a first wavelength range to detect defects on a surface of the vertical
memory stack;

on the inspection tool, using incident light having a second wavelength range to detect defects on both the surface and throughout
a depth of the vertical memory stack; and

comparing the defects detected using the first and second wavelength range to detect defects only throughout the depth of
the vertical memory stack, excluding defects on the surface.

US Pat. No. 9,518,935

MONITORING CHANGES IN PHOTOMASK DEFECTIVITY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of inspecting a photolithographic reticle, the method comprising:
performing a first single-die inspection of a reticle that has been identified as being within specifications so as to generate
a plurality of baseline events corresponding to a plurality of unusual baseline features of the reticle, wherein each baseline
event indicates a location and a size value for a corresponding unusual baseline feature;

after using the reticle in one or more photolithography processes, performing via a reticle inspection tool a second single-die
inspection of the reticle so as to generate a plurality of current events corresponding to a plurality of current unusual
features of the reticle, wherein each current event indicates a location and a size value for a corresponding current unusual
feature; and

generating an inspection report of a plurality of candidate reticle defects and their images, wherein the candidate defects
include a first subset of the current events and their corresponding plurality of candidate defect images and exclude a second
subset of the current events and their corresponding plurality of excluded images, wherein each of the first subset of events
included in the inspection report has a location and size value that fails to match any baseline event's location and size
value by a predefined amount, and each of the second subset of events excluded from the inspection report has a location and
size value that matches any baseline event's location and size value by the predefined amount.

US Pat. No. 9,412,673

MULTI-MODEL METROLOGY

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of characterizing a plurality of structures of interest on a semiconductor wafer, the method comprising:
generating a plurality of models that are different from each other in that they have different combinations of floating and
fixed critical parameters for outputting simulated spectra, wherein the plurality of models are generated as final models
to determine different one or more critical parameters for unknown structures based on spectra collected from such unknown
structures;

after generating the models and without generating another model, determining which one of the models best correlates with
each critical parameter based on reference data that includes a plurality of known values for each of a plurality of critical
parameters and corresponding known spectra,

for spectra measured from an unknown structure using a metrology tool, selecting and using different ones of the models to
determine different ones of the critical parameters of the unknown structure based on determining which one of the models
best correlates with each critical parameter based on the reference data; and

reporting the different ones of the determined critical parameters on a display of the metrology tool.

US Pat. No. 9,134,186

PROCESS CONDITION MEASURING DEVICE (PCMD) AND METHOD FOR MEASURING PROCESS CONDITIONS IN A WORKPIECE PROCESSING TOOL CONFIGURED TO PROCESS PRODUCTION WORKPIECES

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A process condition measuring device (PCMD), comprising:
a) a substrate component, an additional substrate component sandwiched together with the substrate component
b) one or more heat flux sensors embedded between the substrate component and the additional substrate component, wherein
the one or more heat flux sensors are configured to obtain heat flux values perpendicular to the PCMD; and

c) a computer-readable media storing computer-executable instruction configured to determine process conditions in addition
to a thermal condition in a workpiece processing tool by using the heat flux values as a proxy.

US Pat. No. 9,448,184

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR DETERMINING ONE OR MORE OPTICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF STRUCTURE OF A SEMICONDUCTOR WAFER

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A system for determining one or more optical characteristics of a structure, comprising:
an optical measurement system including at least one light source for illuminating a portion of a sample with radiation, wherein
the optical measurement system includes at least one detector configured to measure one or more optical signals from one or
more structures of the sample;

a computer control system, the computer control system including one or more processors communicatively coupled to the optical
measurement system, the one or more processors configured to execute program instructions stored in memory and configured
to cause the one or more processors to:

receive one or more measured optical signals of the one or more structures from the optical measurement system;
determine a background optical field associated with a symmetric reference structure having a selected set of nominal characteristics
based on the one or more structures;

determine a correction optical field suitable for at least partially correcting the background field, wherein a difference
between the measured one or more optical signals and a signal associated with a sum of the correction optical field and the
background optical field is below a selected tolerance level; and

extract one or more characteristics associated with the one or more structures utilizing at least the correction optical field.

US Pat. No. 9,442,063

MEASUREMENT OF COMPOSITION FOR THIN FILMS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method comprising:
generating, with one or more processors, a three-dimensional design of experiment (DOE) for a plurality of wafers, a first
dimension of the DOE being a relative amount of a first component of a thin film, a second dimension of the DOE being a relative
amount of a second component of the thin film, a third dimension of the DOE being a thickness of the thin film;

acquiring, with an ellipsometer, a spectrum for each of the wafers across a selected spectral range;
generating, with the one or more processors, a series of optical dispersion data by extracting a real component (n) of a complex
index of refraction and an imaginary component (k) of the complex index of refraction across the selected spectral range for
each of the acquired spectrum utilizing a regression process applied to a selected dispersion model;

identifying, with the one or more processors, one or more systematic trends within the series of optical dispersion data acquired
from the plurality of wafers as a function of at least one of the first dimension, the second dimension or the third dimension,
wherein the one or more systematic trends in the series of optical dispersion data are characterized by at least one of a
rotation parameter; and

generating, with the one or more processors, a multi-component Bruggeman effective medium approximation (BEMA) model utilizing
the identified one or more systematic trends characterized by at least one of the rotation parameter within the series of
optical dispersion data acquired from the plurality of wafers as a function of at least one of the first dimension, the second
dimension or the third dimension and the generated series of optical dispersion data acquired from the plurality of wafers.

US Pat. No. 9,424,636

METHOD FOR MEASURING POSITIONS OF STRUCTURES ON A MASK AND THEREBY DETERMINING MASK MANUFACTURING ERRORS

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method for measuring positions of structures on a mask and thereby determining mask manufacturing errors comprising:
determining from a plurality of measurement sites an influence of an optical proximity effect on a position measurement of
structures on the mask, with a metrology tool;

selecting an area on the mask from mask design data which contains a data representation of the structures to be measured
by the metrology tool;

carrying out an image rendering of the data representation of the structures, wherein at least one rendered image of the mask
design data is obtained;

moving a measuring table of the metrology tool in a plane parallel to a surface of the mask and thereby placing an area of
the mask in a field of view of an imaging system of the metrology tool, wherein the area of the mask is located at a position
on the mask which corresponds to a position of the area on the mask selected from mask design data;

capturing at least one optical image of a pattern within the area of the mask with the imaging system of the metrology tool;
and,

determining a residual from an at least one rendered image of the structures according to the mask design data and an at least
one optical image of the structures on the area on the mask.

US Pat. No. 9,395,340

INTERLEAVED ACOUSTO-OPTICAL DEVICE SCANNING FOR SUPPRESSION OF OPTICAL CROSSTALK

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A method of scanning a sample, the method comprising:
simultaneously forming a plurality of co-linear scans aligned along a co-linear scan line, each scan formed by a sweep of
a spot by an acousto-optical device (AOD) along the co-linear scan line, the plurality of co-linear scans being separated
by a predetermined spacing; and

forming a first plurality of swaths by repeating said simultaneously forming the plurality of co-linear scans in a direction
perpendicular to the co-linear scan line, the first plurality of swaths having an inter-swath spacing of the predetermined
spacing.

US Pat. No. 9,151,718

ILLUMINATION SYSTEM WITH TIME MULTIPLEXED SOURCES FOR RETICLE INSPECTION

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. An illumination system for reticle inspection, comprising:
a plurality of illumination sources, wherein at least one of the illumination sources is an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) illumination
source;

a multiplexing mirror system configured to at least receive pulses of EUV illumination from the plurality illumination sources,
and further configured to direct the pulses of EUV illumination along an illumination path;

a plurality of field mirror facets, at least some of the field mirror facets configured to receive a portion of EUV illumination
from the illumination path; and

a plurality of pupil mirror facets, at least some of the pupil mirror facets configured to receive a portion of EUV illumination
reflected from the plurality of field mirror facets, and further configured to direct the portion of EUV illumination received
from the plurality of field mirror facets along a delivery path to a reticle.

US Pat. No. 9,454,072

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR PROVIDING A TARGET DESIGN DISPLAYING HIGH SENSITIVITY TO SCANNER FOCUS CHANGE

KLA-Tencor Corporation, ...

1. A lithography mask for producing printed patterns for causing a shift in best focus position of a lithography printing
tool comprising:
a plurality of cell structures formed from a substantially opaque material, wherein each cell structure includes a set of
features having an unresolvable segmentation pitch along a first direction, wherein the unresolvable segmentation pitch along
the first direction is smaller than a minimal design rule pitch, wherein the plurality of cell structures have a pitch along
a second direction perpendicular to the first direction, wherein the unresolvable segmentation pitch is suitable for generating
a printed pattern for shifting the best focus position of the lithography tool by a selected amount to achieve a selected
level of focus sensitivity.