US Pat. No. 9,140,958

OPTICAL ELEMENT, LIGHT SOURCE DEVICE, AND OPTICAL ELEMENT PRODUCTION METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An optical element comprising:
a paraelectric crystal with a periodic structure in which polarities are periodically inverted along a polarity period direction;
a pair of pressers between which the paraelectric crystal is sandwiched; and
a fastener which fixes the pair of pressers to each other so as to apply a predetermined pressure to the paraelectric crystal
through the pair of pressers in a direction intersecting with the polarity period direction so that the optical element can
maintain the polarity-periodic-inversion structure of the paraelectric crystal.

US Pat. No. 9,567,560

INCUBATED STATE EVALUATING DEVICE, INCUBATED STATE EVALUATING METHOD, INCUBATOR, AND PROGRAM

NATIONAL UNIVERSITY CORPO...

1. A computation model generating device, comprising:
a processor specifically configured to function as:
an image reading unit that reads a plurality of images in which a plurality of cells incubated in an incubation container
are image-captured in time series;

a feature value calculating unit that obtains from the plurality of images, for each of the plurality of cells included therein,
feature values of a plurality of different kinds representing morphological features of the cell;

a frequency distribution calculating unit that obtains, from each of the plurality of images, frequency distributions by obtaining
a frequency distribution for each of the plurality of different kinds of the feature values, the frequency distribution calculating
unit normalizing a frequency division in each of the frequency distributions; and

an evaluation information generating unit that (i) obtains variations of the frequency distributions over a lapse of time
from combinations of the frequency distributions that are for the same kind of the feature values and that are from images
of the plurality of images having different photographing time points, (ii) selects at least one combination from a group
of the combinations of the frequency distributions, the combinations constituting the group differing in at least one of photographing
time points of the images and kinds of the feature values, and (iii) obtains a computation model of evaluation information
that evaluates an incubated state of the plurality of cells based on a variation of the frequency distributions in the at
least one selected combination.

US Pat. No. 9,383,653

ULTRAVIOLET LASER DEVICE, AND EXPOSURE DEVICE AND INSPECTION DEVICE PROVIDED WITH ULTRAVIOLET LASER DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An ultraviolet laser device, comprising:
a first laser light output unit that outputs a first infrared laser light with a first wavelength within a wavelength band
of 1520 to 1580 nm;

a second laser light output unit that outputs a second infrared laser light with a second wavelength within a wavelength band
of 1020 to 1100 nm;

a first wavelength conversion optical system that includes a plurality of wavelength conversion optical elements and generates
a first ultraviolet laser light which is a fifth harmonic with a wavelength of ? of the first wavelength of the first infrared
laser light by sequentially wavelength converting, by the plurality of wavelength conversion optical elements, the first infrared
laser light output from the first laser light output unit; and

a second wavelength conversion optical system to which the first ultraviolet laser light generated by the first wavelength
conversion optical system and the second infrared laser light with the second wavelength output from the second laser light
output unit enter,

wherein the second wavelength conversion optical system comprises a first wavelength conversion optical element that generates
a second ultraviolet laser light by sum frequency generation of the first ultraviolet laser light and the second infrared
laser light with the second wavelength, and a second wavelength conversion optical element that generates a deep ultraviolet
laser light with a wavelength equal to or less than 200 nm by sum frequency generation of the second ultraviolet laser light
and the second infrared laser light with the second wavelength.

US Pat. No. 9,235,133

LIGHTING OPTICAL DEVICE, REGULATION METHOD FOR LIGHTING OPTICAL DEVICE, EXPOSURE SYSTEM, AND EXPOSURE METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An illumination optical apparatus which illuminates a surface to be illuminated, with illumination light,
the illumination optical apparatus comprising:
an optical integrator which is arranged in an optical path of the illumination light, which forms a pupil intensity distribution
by distributing the illumination light on an illumination pupil plane, which has a plurality of optical surfaces arranged
along a plane which intersects the illumination light;

a condenser optical system which is arranged between the optical integrator and the surface to be illuminated, and which condenses
the illumination light from the illumination pupil plane on the surface to be illuminated, an optically conjugate plane of
the surface to be illuminated positioned in an optical path of the condenser optical system;

a first adjustment surface disposed in an optical path between the optical integrator and the optically conjugate plane; and
a second adjustment surface disposed in the optical path between the optically conjugate plane and the surface to be illuminated,
wherein a transmittance distribution of each of the first and second adjustment surfaces either monotonically increases or
monotonically decreases towards a periphery of the respective first and second adjustment surfaces in accordance with a quadratic
function of distance from a center of the respective first and second adjustment surfaces.

US Pat. No. 9,153,934

LASER APPARATUS, LIGHT THERAPY APPARATUS, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD, AND OBJECT INSPECTION APPARATUS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A laser apparatus that outputs wavelength tunable output light, comprising:
a fundamental wavelength light generating unit, which generates light of the fundamental wavelength in accordance with an
output wavelength instruction signal that specifies the wavelength of the output light;

an optical amplifier unit, which amplifies the light of the fundamental wavelength;
a wavelength converting part that comprises a plurality of nonlinear optical crystals, each nonlinear optical crystal performing
wavelength conversion, each non-linear optical crystal having a corresponding temperature regulator, each temperature regulator
regulating the temperature of the corresponding nonlinear optical crystal, wherein the wavelength converting part converts
the light amplified by the optical amplifier unit to light of the wavelength indicated by the output wavelength instruction
signal;

a storage unit, which stores correspondence information that indicates a correspondence relationship between the wavelength
of the output light and the temperature of each of the non-linear optical crystals to be set in accordance with the corresponding
wavelength; and

a control unit that controls each of the temperature regulators such that the temperature of the corresponding nonlinear optical
crystal reaches the temperature to be set as determined by the correspondence information in accordance with the output wavelength
instruction signal.

US Pat. No. 9,256,046

VIBRATION ACTUATOR AND OPTICAL APPARATUS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A vibration actuator, comprising:
a vibrating element that is excited by an electromechanical conversion element;
a rotor portion that is relatively rotated by way of vibration of the vibrating element;
a pressing portion that generates a pressure force in a thrust direction between the vibrating element and the rotor portion;
a hollow rotor holder that restricts a position of the rotor portion in the thrust direction and a radial direction; and
a bearing member of which a rotation axis is coaxial with a rotation axis of the vibrating element, wherein
the rotor holder includes:
an outer circumference flange that is provided on an outer circumference thereof to receive the pressure force from the rotor
portion; and

an inner circumference flange that is provided on an inner circumference thereof to serve as a first track face of the bearing
member.

US Pat. No. 9,551,943

EXPOSURE APPARATUS AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus that performs a scanning exposure of a substrate with illumination light via a projection optical
system and liquid, the exposure apparatus comprising:
a mask stage arranged above the projection optical system to hold a mask onto which the illumination light is illuminated;
a first drive system having a first motor to drive the mask stage such that the mask is moved relative to the illumination
light in the scanning exposure,

a liquid immersion member provided adjacent to a lower end of the projection optical system to surround a plane-convex lens
of a plurality of optical elements of the projection optical system, and to form a liquid immersion region with the liquid
below the projection optical system, the plane-convex lens having a planar surface, from which the illumination light is emitted,
that is arranged to contact with the liquid,

first and second movable members each having an upper surface that is arranged to contact with the liquid immersion region,
and each arranged below the projection optical system to hold the substrate in a hole provided on the upper surface such that
at least part of the liquid immersion region is maintained by the upper surface when the at least part of the liquid immersion
region is located outside the substrate held in the hole;

a second drive system having a second motor, parts of which are provided on the first and second movable members respectively,
the second drive system being arranged to support the first and second movable members by levitation and to drive one of the
first and second movable members that is arranged opposite to the projection optical system such that the substrate is moved
relative to the illumination light in the scanning exposure;

a measurement system having a first measurer to obtain positional information of the mask stage, and a second measurer to
obtain positional information of the first and second movable members; and

a controller coupled to the measurement system and to the first and second drive systems to control the first drive system
based on the positional information obtained by the first measurer and to control the second drive system based on the positional
information obtained by the second measurer such that the mask and the substrate are moved relative to the illumination light
in the scanning exposure,

wherein the controller is arranged to control the second drive system such that, when one movable member of the first and
second movable members is arranged opposite to the projection optical system, the other movable member of the first and second
movable members comes close to the one movable member, and such that the close first and second movable members are moved
relative to the liquid immersion member so that the other movable member is arranged opposite to the projection optical system
in place of the one movable member while the liquid immersion region is substantially maintained below the projection optical
system.

US Pat. No. 9,395,516

IMAGING DEVICE

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. An imaging device, comprising:
a front optical system that transmits light from an object;
an optical element array that is constituted by a plurality of optical elements, which is two-dimensionally arrayed along
a plane perpendicular to an optical axis, and passes the light from the front optical system via the plurality of optical
elements;

a small lens array that is constituted by a plurality of small lenses, which is two-dimensionally arrayed along a plane perpendicular
to the optical axis and has positive refractive power, that transmits the light from the plurality of optical elements via
the plurality of small lenses respectively, and that forms a plurality of object images;

a picture element that has an imaging plane on focal planes of the plurality of small lenses, and captures the plurality of
object images respectively; and

an image processor that determines information on the object images according to optical characteristics of the optical elements,
based on image signals output from the picture element,

the front optical system transmitting the light from the focused object to collimate the light into a parallel luminous flux,
wherein the front optical system includes a focusing lens group executing focusing operation from an obiect at infinity onto
an obiect at a finite distance by moving along the optical axis, and transmits the light from the focused object to collimate
the light into a parallel luminous flux.

US Pat. No. 9,225,892

EXCHANGEABLE LENS AND CAMERA BODY

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exchangeable lens, comprising:
a mount unit at which a camera body is detachably engaged;
a plurality of drive target members, conditions of which change as a drive force is applied thereto;
an initialization unit that executes initialization processing for each of the plurality of drive target members;
a first transmission unit that transmits initialization statuses, each indicating a status of the initialization processing
executed for one of the drive target members, to the camera body via a first transmission path over predetermined first cycles;
and

a second transmission unit that transmits a position information of at least one drive target member among the plurality of
drive target members to the camera body via a second transmission path different from the first transmission path over predetermined
second cycles different from the predetermined first cycles, wherein

until the initialization unit completes initialization processing for all of the plurality of drive target members, the first
transmission unit continues transmitting a first information over predetermined cycles, the first information indicating that
all of the initialization processing for the plurality of drive target members has not been completed.

US Pat. No. 9,152,062

PATTERN FORMING DEVICE, PATTERN FORMING METHOD, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A pattern forming method of forming a predetermined pattern in each of a plurality of predetermined areas aligned in a
longitudinal direction of an elongated sheet material, the pattern forming method comprising:
locating a stage, which has a reference surface and is configured to flatly support the sheet material with the reference
surface, by moving the stage in the longitudinal direction so that a predetermined area selected from the predetermined areas
of the sheet material faces the reference surface of the stage;

applying a two-dimensional tension to the predetermined area of the sheet material by adsorbing the sheet material at several
portions with adsorbing-holding members that are provided on the stage and outside the reference surface while driving the
adsorbing-holding members on the stage along a two-dimensional plane parallel to the reference surface, the several portions
including two portions separated in the longitudinal direction and two portions separated in a width direction orthogonal
to the longitudinal direction;

allowing the reference surface to adsorb a rear surface portion corresponding to the predetermined area of the sheet material
with the two-dimensional tension applied; and

illuminating an energy beam corresponding to the pattern to the predetermined area of the sheet material adsorbed to the reference
surface.

US Pat. No. 9,262,815

ALGORITHM FOR MINIMIZING LATENT SHARP IMAGE COST FUNCTION AND POINT SPREAD FUNCTION COST FUNCTION WITH A SPATIAL MASK IN A REGULARIZATION TERM

Nikon Corporation, (JP)

1. A method for estimating a latent sharp image for at least a portion of a blurry image, the method comprising the steps
of:
estimating the latent sharp image with a control system that includes a processor (i) utilizing a first spatial mask in a
fidelity term and a second spatial mask in a regularization term of a latent sharp image estimation cost function, the first
spatial mask being a first array of individual weights for individual pixels in the fidelity term and the second spatial mask
being a second array of individual weights for individual pixels in the regularization term, and

(ii) utilizing a variable splitting technique in both the fidelity term and the regularization term during minimization of
the latent sharp image function with the control system, the variable splitting technique including introducing a first auxiliary
variable and a first penalty term into the fidelity term of the latent sharp image estimation cost function and introducing
a second auxiliary variable and a second penalty term into the regularization term of the latent sharp image estimation cost
function to split the operations of convolution and element-wise multiplication by the control system.

US Pat. No. 9,367,135

ELECTRONIC DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An electronic device comprising:
a detection unit that detects movement of at least a housing;
an information generation unit that generates sound information based on a quantity value of a predetermined managed object
item and the movement of the housing which is detected by the detection unit; and

a sound output unit that outputs a sound based on the sound information.

US Pat. No. 9,188,878

DRIVING SYSTEM AND DRIVING METHOD, EXPOSURE APPARATUS AND EXPOSURE METHOD, AND DRIVING SYSTEM DESIGN METHOD

THE UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO, ...

1. A driving system which drives a plant by giving a control input, the system comprising:
a first measuring instrument which measures a first controlled variable related to a position of a first measurement point
provided at a first section of the plant;

a second measuring instrument which measures a second controlled variable related to a position of a second measurement point
provided at a second section of the plant;

a controlling section which obtains the control input from a first variable obtained by a control operation using a deviation
between a measurement result of the first measuring instrument and a desired value and a second variable obtained by a control
operation using a deviation between a measurement result of the second measuring instrument and the desired value, and gives
the control input to a control point provided at the plant, wherein

in a vibration component related to a resonance mode which appears when a section, from the control point to the first measurement
point, of the plant is a rigid body, a first vibration component related to a resonance mode of the first section and a second
vibration component related to a resonance mode of the second section are in a relation in opposite phase, and the first and
second vibration components cancel out each other.

US Pat. No. 9,299,620

SUBSTRATE BONDING APPARATUS AND SUBSTRATE BONDING METHOD

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A substrate bonding method of bonding a first substrate and a second substrate, the method comprising:
detecting a mark of the second substrate held by a second member, using a first detection system, the second member being
capable of opposing a first member that holds the first substrate;

detecting a mark of the first substrate held by the first member, using a second detection system that is movable with respect
to the first detection system; and

overlaying the first substrate and the second substrate based on results of the detecting the mark of the second substrate
and the detecting the mark of the first substrate,

wherein in at least one of the detecting the mark of the second substrate and the detecting the mark of the first substrate,
the first detection system is opposed to the second substrate when the second detection system is opposed to the first substrate,
and

wherein the detecting the mark of the second substrate and the detecting the mark of the first substrate are performed at
least partially concurrently.

US Pat. No. 9,298,108

POSITION MEASUREMENT METHOD, POSITION CONTROL METHOD, MEASUREMENT METHOD, LOADING METHOD, EXPOSURE METHOD AND EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus that exposes a substrate with an exposure beam via a projection optical system and a liquid, the
apparatus comprising:
a holding member that holds the projection optical system;
a detection device provided at the holding member, away from the projection optical system;
a local liquid immersion system that has a nozzle member provided in proximity to a lens, and forms a liquid immersion area
under the projection optical system with a liquid supplied via the nozzle member and also recovers the liquid of the liquid
immersion area via the nozzle member, the lens being placed on a most-image-plane side of a plurality of optical elements
of the projection optical system;

a base placed below the projection optical system and the detection device;
a stage that is placed on the base and holds the substrate in a depressed section of an upper surface of the stage, the upper
surface being capable of coming into contact with the liquid immersion area;

a drive system that has a motor and moves the stage, a part of the motor being provided at the stage;
a carrier system that has a pre-alignment device of the substrate and carries a substrate to which pre-alignment has been
performed by the pre-alignment device to above the stage placed at an exchange position of the substrate, the exchange position
being away from the projection optical system; and

a controller that controls at least one of the stage and the carrier system based on positional information of the depressed
section obtained by the detection device, in order to load the substrate on the stage so that the substrate carried to above
the stage by the carrier system is mounted in the depressed section, wherein

the substrate is mounted in the depressed section so that a gap is formed between a surface of the substrate and the upper
surface of the stage, and

the stage is moved, so that the substrate mounted in the depressed section moves relative to the liquid immersion area formed
between the projection optical system and a part of the substrate and also the liquid immersion area traverses the gap.

US Pat. No. 9,103,700

MEASURING APPARATUS AND METHOD, PROCESSING APPARATUS AND METHOD, PATTERN FORMING APPARATUS AND METHOD, EXPOSURE APPARATUS AND METHOD, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus that exposes an object with an energy beam via an optical system, the apparatus comprising:
a movable body that has a surface, which faces the optical system and on part of which a mounting area of the object is arranged,
and that is movable in a first direction and a second direction within a predetermined plane;

a measuring device that has a first detecting system and a second detecting system, the first detecting system having a plurality
of sensors that have detection points whose positions are each different in at least one of the first and the second directions
and being capable of measuring position information of the movable body in a third direction orthogonal to the plane at the
plurality of detection points set in a different area that is different from the mounting area, and the second detecting system
being different from the first detecting system and measuring position information of the object mounted on the movable body
in the third direction; and

an adjusting device that adjusts a positional relation between a pattern image formed via the optical system and the object,
based on the position information of the object in the third direction that has been measured by the second detecting system,
while measuring the position information of the movable body by the first detecting system, at a time of an exposure operation
of the object by the energy beam.

US Pat. No. 9,360,652

LENS BARREL AND IMAGE CAPTURING APPARATUS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A lens barrel comprising:
a lens holding member including a bearing section that extends in a direction substantially parallel to an optical axis;
a guide axle that extends through the bearing section of the lens holding member;
an oil-retaining bearing that is between the bearing section of the lens holding member and the guide axle and that has a
substantially cylindrical shape, into which the guide axle is slidably inserted;

an intermediate member made of a material that has greater adhesion to an adhesive than does the material of the oil-retaining
bearing arranged between the bearing section and the oil-retaining bearing, the intermediate member having an outer diameter
that is less than an inner diameter of the bearing section such that an inclination of the oil-retaining bearing relative
to the bearing section in a direction substantially parallel to the optical axis is adjustable; and

an adhering member that fixes the intermediate member to the bearing section of the lens holding member in an adjusted position.
US Pat. No. 9,334,492

PROTEIN-IMMOBILIZING SOLID PHASE, POLYNUCLEOTIDE-IMMOBILIZING SOLID PHASE, AND NUCLEIC ACID RECOVERY METHOD

The University of Tokyo, ...

1. A protein-immobilizing solid phase comprising an mRNA-nucleic acid linker-protein complex, obtained by linking the mRNA
and the protein encoded by that mRNA through the nucleic acid linker, immobilized on the solid phase; wherein,
the nucleic acid linker comprises a linker selected from the group consisting of linker (a) and linker (b),
the linker (a) comprises a first 3?-terminal region, and a first and a second branched 5?-terminal regions, wherein
the first 3?-terminal region comprises (i) a single-stranded polynucleotide segment that hybridizes with the nucleic sequence
on the 3?-terminus of the mRNA, and (ii) an arm segment branched from the single-stranded polynucleotide segment, and having
a linking segment with the protein on a terminus of the linking segment,

the first branched 5?-terminal region comprises a bonding site with the first 3?-terminal of the mRNA, and
the second branched 5?-terminal region comprises a photocleavage site and a solid phase binding site on the 5?-terminal; and
the linker (b) comprises a second 3?-terminal region, and a third 5?-terminal region, wherein
the second 3?-terminal region comprises (i) a single-stranded polynucleotide segment that hybridizes with the nucleic sequence
on the 3?-terminus of the mRNA, and (ii) an arm segment that comprises a first photocleavage site on the 5?-terminus of the
arm segment, is branched from the single-stranded polynucleotide segment, and comprises a linking segment with the aforementioned
protein on a terminus of the linking segment, and

the third 5?-terminal region comprises, in order starting from the 5?-terminus, a bonding site with the 3?-terminal of the
mRNA, a second photocleavage site, and a solid phase binding site branched from between the first photocleavage site and the
second cleavage site.

US Pat. No. 9,323,024

INTERCHANGEABLE LENS, CAMERA BODY AND ELECTRONIC DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An interchangeable lens configured to be detachably attached to a camera body, the camera body configured with a plurality
of contacts, the interchangeable lens comprising:
an optical system including a driven member capable of being driven;
a driving device configured to drive the driven member;
a control unit configured to communicate with the camera body through a first communication unit and a second communication
unit, and configured to send instructions to the driving device;

a first power contact configured to be connected to a first power circuit on the camera body, the first power contact configured
to power the control unit, the first communication unit, and the second communication unit;

a second power contact configured to be connected to a second power circuit on the camera body, the second power contact configured
to power the driving device;

a first group of communication system contacts configured to pass signals between the camera body and the first communication
unit on the interchangeable lens; and

a second group of communication system contacts configured to pass signals between the camera body and the second communication
unit on the interchangeable lens,

wherein the first group of communication system contacts and second group of communication contacts are arranged between the
first power contact and the second power contact.

US Pat. No. 9,310,696

PROJECTION OPTICAL SYSTEM, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND EXPOSURE METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A projection optical system which projects a reduced image of a pattern disposed on a first plane with light from the pattern
onto a second plane through liquid, the projection optical system comprising:
a refractive optical element having a light emitting surface, through a part of which the light passes in use, the light emitting
surface being arranged so as to contact the liquid which is disposed in an optical path of the light from the light emitting
surface in use,

wherein the projection optical system projects the reduced image in a projection region on the second plane, a center of the
projection region being decentered from an optical axis of the projection optical system with respect to one of a first direction
and a second direction which are perpendicular to each other and are perpendicular to the optical axis;

wherein the refractive optical element has a protruding portion formed in an second plane side of the refractive optical element
so as to protrude toward the second plane with respect to a different portion of the refractive optical element from the protruding
portion; and

wherein the protruding portion is formed so that a center of the light emitting surface is decentered from the optical axis
with respect to the one of the first and second directions.

US Pat. No. 9,304,385

EXPOSURE METHOD AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD INCLUDING SELECTIVE DEFORMATION OF A MASK

Nikon Corporation, (JP)

1. An exposure method that transfers a pattern to a work piece, the exposure method comprising:
providing a mask that includes (i) a pattern forming region in which the pattern is formed that is to be transferred to the
work piece, (ii) a light shielding member that surrounds the pattern forming region, and (iii) an outer circumference region
that does not include the pattern that is to be transferred to the work piece, the outer circumference region including a
first holding region, a first light absorbing region and a second light absorbing region, wherein the first holding region,
the first light absorbing region and the second light absorbing region are positioned distal to the light shielding member
relative to the pattern forming region, the first light absorbing region and the second light absorbing region being positioned
on opposing sides of the light shielding member;

holding the first holding region of the outer circumference region with a holding part;
illuminating the pattern forming region of the mask with an exposure light from an illumination system, wherein the illuminating
the pattern forming region of the mask with the exposure light causes deformation of the pattern forming region; and

substantially simultaneously selectively irradiating each of the first light absorbing region and the second light absorbing
region of the outer circumference region to selectively heat and deform the outer circumference region of the mask.

US Pat. No. 9,268,231

LIQUID IMMERSION MEMBER, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, EXPOSING METHOD, METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING DEVICE, PROGRAM, AND RECORDING MEDIUM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A liquid immersion member that forms a liquid immersion space on an object which is movable below an optical member so
that an optical path of exposure light emitted from an emitting surface of the optical member is filled with liquid, the liquid
immersion member comprising:
a first member that is disposed at at least a portion of a surrounding of the optical member, and that comprises a first lower
surface and a first recovery part which is disposed at outside of the first lower surface with respect to the optical path;
and

a second member that is disposed at at least a portion of a surrounding of the optical path below the first member, that comprises
a second upper surface which faces the first lower surface via a gap and a second lower surface to which the object is able
to face, and that is movable with respect to the first member,

wherein:
the object is able to face at least a portion of the first recovery part;
at least a portion of the liquid from at least one of a first space, to which the second upper surface faces, and a second
space, to which the second lower surface faces, is able to be recovered from the first recovery part; and

the second member is moved so that a relative speed between the second member and the object is decreased.
US Pat. No. 9,268,235

CONTROLLER FOR OPTICAL DEVICE, EXPOSURE METHOD AND APPARATUS, AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING DEVICE

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. An exposure method for exposing an object with a plurality of pulse lights, the exposure method comprising:
guiding light from a first optical device illuminated by the pulse lights to a second optical device and exposing the object
with light from the second optical device;

controlling a conversion state of the second optical device that includes a plurality of second optical elements; and
controlling a conversion state of the first optical device that includes a plurality of first optical elements to control
intensity distribution of the pulse lights on a predetermined plane between the first optical device and the second optical
device,

wherein the controlling of the conversion state of the first optical device includes changing a state of the first optical
elements whenever a predetermined number of pulse lights are emitted.

US Pat. No. 9,243,955

SPECTROSCOPE AND MICROSPECTROSCOPIC SYSTEM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A spectroscope comprising:
a collimating optical system that causes light to be substantially collimated light;
a spectroscopic optical system including at least one spectral element in which a wavelength band for spectral separation
varies depending on an incident angle of the light, wherein the spectroscopic optical system comprises a first optical element
that transmits a part of the incident light and reflects the rest thereof, and a second optical element that reflects at least
part of the light reflected by the first optical element, and at least one of the first optical element and the second optical
element is the spectral element in which the wavelength band for spectral separation varies depending on the incident angle
of the light;

at least one optical receiver that detects the light spectrally separated by the spectroscopic optical system;
a mechanism that varies the incident angle of the light on the spectral element; and
a controller unit that determines the incident angle of the light on the spectral element in accordance with the wavelength
band for spectrally separating the light and controls the mechanism so as to attain the incident angle, wherein the controller
unit further controls the mechanism to vary a direction of an incident surface of the first optical element and controls,
in accordance with variation of the direction of the incident surface of the first optical element, the mechanism to vary
a direction of an incident surface of the second optical element.

US Pat. No. 9,229,333

EXPOSURE APPARATUS, MOVABLE BODY DRIVE SYSTEM, PATTERN FORMATION APPARATUS, EXPOSURE METHOD, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A movable body drive system which drives a movable body substantially along a predetermined plane, the system comprising:
an encoder system which has a head irradiating a detection beam on a scale having a two-dimensional grating whose periodic
directions are a first direction and a second direction orthogonal to each other within a plane parallel to the predetermined
plane and receiving light from the scale, and measures positional information of the movable body at least in directions of
two degrees of freedom within the predetermined plane including the first and the second directions based on measurement values
of the head; and

a drive device which drives the movable body along the predetermined plane based on measurement information of the encoder
system,

wherein the drive device drives the movable body so that a measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least
one of the head and the scale is compensated for.

US Pat. No. 9,147,106

DIGITAL CAMERA SYSTEM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A digital camera system comprising:
a first storing unit that stores a first feature point;
a detecting unit that detects a second feature point from an object image prior to shooting the object image;
a display that displays a first marker indicating the second feature point overlaying with the object image;
a determination unit that determines whether the second feature point is coincident with the first feature point;
a receiving unit that receives an order regarding a priority of a plurality of second feature points from a user;
a selecting unit that selects a feature point from the plurality of second feature points in accordance with the priority
instructed by the receiving unit when the plurality of second feature points are detected;

a display controlling unit that controls to display a second marker, which is different from the first marker overlaying with
the second feature point, which is coincident with the first feature point, and a third marker indicating the selected feature
point, when the determination unit determines that the second feature point is coincident with the first feature point;

a shooting condition setting unit that sets a shooting condition in accordance with the selected feature point; and
a shooting unit that shoots the object image on the shooting condition set by the shooting condition setting unit.

US Pat. No. 9,049,378

ACCESSORY, CAMERA, ACCESSORY SHOE, AND CONNECTOR

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An accessory for communicating with a camera, the accessory comprising:
a terminal section having a plurality of terminals,
wherein the plurality of terminals include
a startup state providing terminal that supplies, to the camera, a detection level in order for the camera to detect that
the accessory is being started up,

a data signal terminal that outputs a data signal to the camera, and
a first reference potential terminal of which a potential is set to a reference potential of the detection level and the data
signal,

the startup state providing terminal is disposed adjacent to the data signal terminal, and
the first reference potential terminal is adjacent to the data signal terminal, and is disposed with the data signal terminal
interposed between the startup state providing terminal and the first reference potential terminal.

US Pat. No. 9,414,046

IMAGE SENSOR, IMAGING DEVICE AND IMAGE PROCESSING DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An image sensor, comprising:
photoelectric converting elements that are arranged two-dimensionally and photoelectrically convert incident light to electric
signals, respectively; and

aperture masks provided on the photoelectric converting elements, wherein
photoelectric converting element groups each including n photoelectric converting elements out of the photoelectric converting
elements are arranged cyclically, where n is an integer equal to or larger than 4,

apertures in the aperture masks are positioned lopsidedly to be axisymmetric to each other with respect to each of two orthogonal
axes defined on two-dimensional arrangement of each photoelectric converting element group,

the image sensor further comprises:
a selecting circuit that selects from each photoelectric converting element group, mutually pertinent at least two photoelectric
converting elements of the photoelectric converting elements; and

an adder that, for each photoelectric converting element group, adds the electric signals from the at least two photoelectric
converting elements selected by the selecting circuit, and

the selecting circuit selects at least two of the photoelectric converting elements provided with the aperture masks such
that the apertures are axisymmetric with respect to one of the two axes.

US Pat. No. 9,372,410

MEASURING METHOD, STAGE APPARATUS, AND EXPOSURE APPARATUS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus that exposes a substrate with illumination light via a projection optical system, the apparatus comprising:
a frame structure that supports the projection optical system;
a plurality of grating members each of which has a reflecting-type grating portion, and that are suspended and supported by
the frame structure such that the grating portion is arranged in substantially parallel with a predetermined face perpendicular
to an optical axis of the projection optical system;

a stage having a holder to hold the substrate and being movable below the grating members, the holder being provided within
a concave portion that is formed in an upper surface of the stage; and

an encoder system provided at the stage and having a plurality of heads each of which is configured to radiate beam to the
grating portions from below the grating portions, so as to obtain position information of the stage,

wherein each of the heads is provided at the stage and located at a more outward position than the upper surface of the stage.

US Pat. No. 9,329,496

EXPOSURE APPARATUS, EXPOSURE METHOD, METHOD OF MANUFACTURING DEVICE, PROGRAM, AND STORAGE MEDIUM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus for exposing an upper surface of a substrate with exposure light through liquid, comprising:
an optical member that has an emitting surface from which exposure light is emitted; and
a substrate holding apparatus that comprises: a first holding portion that holds a lower surface of the substrate in such
a manner that the lower surface of the substrate can be released, and a first member that has an edge portion defining an
upper surface and a part of an outer edge of the upper surface,

wherein the edge portion of the first member extends in a predetermined direction in such a manner that an edge portion of
the substrate held by the first holding portion runs along, and

a plurality of protruding portions are formed at the edge portion of the first member along in the predetermined direction.

US Pat. No. 9,268,237

EXPOSURE METHOD, SUBSTRATE STAGE, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure method that exposes a substrate through a projection optical system and an immersion region formed with a liquid
below the projection optical system, the exposure method comprising:
supporting an underside surface of the substrate with a supporting portion disposed on a stage which is movable relative to
the projection optical system;

surrounding the supporting portion with a first peripheral wall such that the first peripheral wall faces the underside surface
of the substrate supported by the supporting portion;

surrounding the supporting portion with a second peripheral wall disposed inside the first peripheral wall such that the supporting
portion is included within a first space surrounded by the second peripheral wall; and

recovering a liquid within a second space via a first flow channel of which a recovery port faces the second space, the second
space being located outside the first peripheral wall.

US Pat. No. 9,261,690

MICROSCOPE SYSTEM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A phase-contrast microscope system that observes a specimen comprising:
an illumination optical system that illuminates the specimen with an illumination light from a light source;
an imaging optical system that forms an image of the specimen from a light from the specimen;
a first spatial modulation element that is disposed in a position of a pupil of the imaging optical system and changes an
amplitude transmittance distribution of the light from the specimen;

an image sensor that detects the image of the specimen by the imaging optical system and outputs a picture signal;
a calculation section that calculates the amplitude transmittance distribution of the light from the specimen for observing
the specimen on the basis of the output data detected by the image sensor and the amplitude transmittance distribution of
the light from the specimen formed by the first spatial modulation element,

wherein the first spatial light modulation element forms the amplitude distribution of the light from the specimen in different
shapes sequentially, and

wherein the calculation section calculates an optimum amplitude transmittance distribution of the light from the specimen
to be used for observation of the specimen based on comparison of the output data for each of the different shapes.

US Pat. No. 9,298,077

REACTION ASSEMBLY FOR A STAGE ASSEMBLY

Nikon Corporation, (JP)

1. A stage assembly that moves a device along a first axis, the stage assembly comprising:
a stage that retains the device, the stage including a stage center of gravity;
a stage mover that moves the stage along the first axis, the stage mover including a moving component that is coupled to the
stage and a reaction component; and

a reaction assembly having a reaction assembly center of gravity that is spaced apart from the stage center of gravity along
a second axis that is perpendicular to the first axis, the reaction assembly including (i) a base countermass that is guided
to allow for movement along the first axis, the base countermass being coupled to the reaction component so that reaction
forces from the stage mover are transferred to the base countermass to move the base countermass along the first axis, and
(ii) a first transverse countermass that is guided to allow for movement relative to the base countermass along a first transverse
axis that has components along both the first and second axes, the first transverse countermass being coupled to the base
countermass so that movement of the base countermass along the first axis causes the first transverse countermass to move
along the first transverse axis and reduce the reaction moments on the reaction assembly about a third axis that is perpendicular
to the first axis and the second axis.

US Pat. No. 9,285,683

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR PROVIDING FLUID FOR IMMERSION LITHOGRAPHY

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

9. An immersion lithography apparatus comprising:
an optical element from which exposure light is supplied to a wafer to expose the wafer through an immersion liquid; and
a nozzle member arranged to encircle a space under the optical element, the immersion liquid being supplied to the space at
a first rate through a first portion of the nozzle member and to the space at a second rate, that is different from the first
rate, through a second portion of the nozzle member during an exposure operation in which the wafer and the nozzle member
are relatively moved in a scanning axis direction while the immersion liquid is being supplied at the first rate through the
first portion of the nozzle member and at the second rate through the second portion of the nozzle member,

wherein the immersion liquid supplied at the second rate is supplied in a second direction that is different from a first
direction in which the immersion liquid is supplied at the first rate, and the first direction is substantially perpendicular
to the scanning axis direction.

US Pat. No. 9,274,437

EXPOSURE APPARATUS AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus that exposes a substrate with illumination light via liquid, the apparatus comprising:
a catadioptric projection system having (a) a plane-convex lens arranged such that a plane surface is in contact with the
liquid and (b) a plurality of lenses at least a part of which is used for adjustment of magnification and distortion;

a detection system arranged apart from the projection system and configured to detect a mark on the substrate;
a liquid immersion member having an opening through which the illumination light passes and arranged to surround the plane-convex
lens and such that a liquid immersion region is formed with the liquid beneath the projection system;

a first movable member having an upper surface and arranged below the projection system and below the detection system, the
upper surface having a hole in which the substrate can be placed, the first movable member being arranged such that at least
part of the liquid immersion region is maintained by the upper surface when the at least part of the liquid immersion region
is located outside the substrate, which is placed in the hole;

a second movable member having an upper surface and arranged below the projection system and below the detection system, the
second movable member being arranged to be movable relative to the first movable member;

a drive system having a motor, parts of which are provided at the first and second movable members respectively, the drive
system being configured to move the first and second movable members by use of the motor; and

a controller coupled to the drive system and configured to control a drive for the first and second movable members, wherein
the controller is configured to control the drive system such that, while one of the first and second movable members is arranged
opposite to the projection system, another one of the first and second movable members approaches the one of the first and
second movable members, and such that the first and second movable members in an approached state move relative to the liquid
immersion member in a predetermined direction, which is orthogonal to an optical axis of the projection system, so that the
another one of the first and second movable members is arranged opposite to the projection system in place of the one of the
first and second movable members while the liquid immersion region is substantially maintained beneath the projection system,

when the liquid immersion region is maintained beneath the projection system by the one of the first and second movable members,
which is arranged opposite to the projection system, the another one of the first and second movable members is away from
beneath the projection system,

the exposure apparatus is configured such that the liquid immersion region is formed with the liquid which is supplied via
the liquid immersion member, and such that the liquid of the liquid immersion region is collected via the liquid immersion
member, and

the exposure apparatus is configured such that the substrate is exposed with the illumination light via the projection system
and via the liquid of the liquid immersion region, and such that the mark is detected by the detection system not via the
liquid.

US Pat. No. 9,154,053

PIEZOELECTRIC ACTUATOR AND LENS BARREL

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A piezoelectric actuator comprising:
a plurality of first piezoelectric elements that are arranged in a direction;
a first member that is arranged between the plurality of first piezoelectric elements and that is driven in a first direction
by the plurality of first piezoelectric elements, the first direction intersecting the direction in which the plurality of
first piezoelectric elements are arranged;

a second piezoelectric element that is disposed on the first member; and
a second member that is disposed in contact with the second piezoelectric element and that is driven in a second direction
by the second piezoelectric element, the second direction intersecting the first direction.

US Pat. No. 9,081,298

APPARATUS FOR MAINTAINING IMMERSION FLUID IN THE GAP UNDER THE PROJECTION LENS DURING WAFER EXCHANGE USING A CO-PLANAR MEMBER IN AN IMMERSION LITHOGRAPHY MACHINE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A lithographic projection apparatus, comprising:
a substrate table which holds a substrate;
a projection system which projects a patterned beam of radiation onto the substrate through a liquid which is confined in
a space between the projection system and the substrate, wherein the substrate, the substrate table, or both forms a part
of a boundary of the space;

a member having a flat upper surface and forming a part of a boundary of the space in place of the substrate, the substrate
table, or both;

an actuator which moves the member independently from the substrate table in a horizontal direction; and
a controller configured to control movement of the substrate table and the member so that the substrate table and the member
are positioned adjacent to each other by a relative movement between the substrate table and the member in the horizontal
direction, and the substrate table and the member are configured to, while being controlled by the controller to be adjacent
to each other and moved relative to and below the projection system, maintain the liquid in the space in contact with the
projection system while the controller controls the movement so that a border between the substrate table and the member moves
in an area directly below the projection system during transitioning between a first state in which the substrate, the substrate
table, or both forms the part of the boundary and a second state in which the member forms the part of the boundary in place
of the substrate, the substrate table or both.

US Pat. No. 9,223,225

LIQUID IMMERSION MEMBER, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, EXPOSURE METHOD, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A liquid immersion member that forms a liquid immersion space between said member and a movable object such that an optical
path of exposure light is filled with liquid, the liquid immersion member comprising:
a first member that is disposed at least partially around the optical path;
a second member that is disposed at least partially around the optical path, and has (1) an upper surface, which is opposed
to at least a part of a lower surface of the first member, and (2) a lower surface, which can be opposed to the object; and

a collection port that is disposed outside the first member with respect to the optical path, can be at least partially opposed
to the object, and collects at least some of the liquid from (i) a first space, which the upper surface of the second member
faces, and (ii) a second space which the lower surface of the second member faces,

wherein a liquid-flow-passage exists between the upper surface of the second member and the lower surface of the first member
at a radially outer edge of the second member, such that at least some of the liquid flows from the first space through the
liquid-flow-passage to the collection port.

US Pat. No. 10,076,048

EXTERNAL ACCESSORY TO BE ATTACHED TO ELECTRONIC APPARATUS AND SYSTEM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An external accessory that can be attached to and detached from an electronic apparatus which has a first power line and a second power line,the external accessory comprising:
a first power receiver that is configured to receive power through the first power line of the electronic apparatus;
a second power receiver that is configured to receive power through the second power line of the electronic apparatus;
a function execution circuit that executes a predetermined function; and
a control unit that controls the function execution circuit so as to reduce power consumption when the second power receiver is receiving power through the second power line, compared to power consumption when the first power receiver is receiving power through the first power line.

US Pat. No. 9,319,577

EXCHANGEABLE LENS AND CAMERA BODY

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exchangeable lens, comprising:
a mount unit at which a camera body is detachably engaged;
a plurality of drive target members, conditions of which change as a drive force is applied thereto;
an initialization unit that executes initialization processing for each of the plurality of drive target members;
a first transmission unit that transmits initialization statuses, each indicating a status of the initialization processing
executed for one of the drive target members, to the camera body via a first transmission path over predetermined first cycles;
and

a second transmission unit that transmits a position information of at least one drive target member among the plurality of
drive target members to the camera body via a second transmission path different from the first transmission path over predetermined
second cycles different from the predetermined first cycles, wherein

until the initialization unit completes initialization processing for all of the plurality of drive target members, the first
transmission unit continues transmitting a first information over predetermined cycles, the first information indicating that
all of the initialization processing for the plurality of drive target members has not been completed.

US Pat. No. 9,223,230

POSITION MEASUREMENT METHOD, POSITION CONTROL METHOD, MEASUREMENT METHOD, LOADING METHOD, EXPOSURE METHOD AND EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A loading method of loading an object via a carrier system in an exposure apparatus that exposes the object with an exposure
beam via a projection optical system and a liquid, the method comprising:
by detecting a part of a stage that mounts the object in a depressed section placed at a part of an upper surface of the stage,
obtaining position information of the depressed section;

carrying the object, by the carrier system, to above the stage placed at an exchange position of the object, the exchange
position being distanced from the projection optical system; and

loading the object on the stage based on the position information of the depressed section so that the carried object is mounted
in the depressed section,

wherein a positional relation between the carried object and the stage is set by controlling at least one of the carrier system
and the stage based on the position information of the depressed section.

US Pat. No. 9,124,111

POWER SYSTEM HAVING A BATTERY UNIT THAT CALCULATES CUMULATIVE WORK VOLUME VALUE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A battery unit that is capable of supplying power to an outside device, comprising:
a battery;
a calculation unit that calculates: a consumed battery capacity cumulative value by accumulating a consumed battery capacity
of the battery and a work volume cumulative value by accumulating a work volume of the outside device sent from the outside
device;

a storage unit that stores: a charged battery capacity of the battery, the consumed battery capacity cumulative value calculated
by the calculation unit and the work volume cumulative value calculated by the calculation unit; and

a transmission control unit that controls to transmit: the charged battery capacity, the consumed battery capacity cumulative
value and the work volume cumulative value to the outside device.

US Pat. No. 9,323,160

LIQUID IMMERSION MEMBER, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, EXPOSURE METHOD, DEVICE FABRICATING METHOD, PROGRAM, AND RECORDING MEDIUM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A liquid immersion member in which a liquid immersion space is formed on an object movable below an optical member so that
a light path of exposure light emitted from an emission surface of the optical member is filled with liquid, the liquid immersion
member comprising:
a first member which is disposed in at least a portion of a periphery of the optical member;
a second member which is movable relative to the first member and which includes a recovery port that recovers at least a
portion of the liquid in the liquid immersion space; and

a suppression portion that suppresses infiltration of the liquid into a gap between the first member and the second member.

US Pat. No. 9,258,500

BACKSIDE ILLUMINATION IMAGE SENSOR, MANUFACTURING METHOD THEREOF AND IMAGE-CAPTURING DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An image sensor comprising:
a first layer that includes a first opening and a second opening which is smaller than the first opening;
a second layer that includes a first photoelectric conversion unit which converts light incident through the first opening
to an electric charge, and a second photoelectric conversion unit which converts light incident through the second opening
to an electric charge; and

a third layer that includes a signal output wiring that outputs a first signal generated by the electric charge converted
by the first photoelectric conversion unit and a second signal generated by the electric charge converted by the second photoelectric
conversion unit, wherein

the second layer is disposed between the first layer and the third layer.

US Pat. No. 9,243,896

TWO AXIS ENCODER HEAD ASSEMBLY

Nikon Corporation, (JP)

1. A measurement system for measuring relative movement between a first member and a second member, the measurement system
comprising:
a grating that is coupled to one of the first member and the second member; and
an encoder head that is coupled to the other of the first member and the second member;
wherein the encoder head directs a first measurement beam at the grating at a first angle, the first measurement beam being
at a first wavelength, and directs a second measurement beam at the grating at a second angle that is different than the first
angle, the second measurement beam being at a second wavelength that is different than the first wavelength; and

wherein at least a portion of the first measurement beam that is diffracted at least twice by the grating and at least a portion
of the second measurement beam that is diffracted at least twice by the grating are interfered with one another to create
a measurement signal along a signal axis.

US Pat. No. 9,086,618

PROJECTOR HAVING HOLOGRAPHIC RECORDING MEDIUM AND LIGHT MODULATION ELEMENT

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A projector, comprising:
a laser light source that emits laser light;
a condensing optical system that collimates the laser light;
a holographic recording medium that, when the laser light is incident thereupon for reproduction, emits a reproduced holographic
optical image on the basis of a holographic image;

a light modulation element that modulates the reproduced holographic image and emits an optical image for projection;
a projection optical system that projects the optical image for projection; and
a focus depth adjustment unit that adjusts a focus depth of the laser light projected by the projection optical system by
adjusting a beam diameter of the laser light.

US Pat. No. 9,329,493

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR MAINTAINING IMMERSION FLUID IN THE GAP UNDER THE PROJECTION LENS DURING WAFER EXCHANGE IN AN IMMERSION LITHOGRAPHY MACHINE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An immersion exposure apparatus for exposing a substrate with a light beam via an optical element and immersion liquid,
the apparatus comprising:
a first stage for mounting the substrate and that is movable relative to the optical element; and
a second stage that is independently movable relative to the first stage and that is positionable away from below the optical
element,

wherein while the first stage is positioned below the optical element, the second stage is movable relative to the first stage
so that the second stage is positioned adjacent to the first stage, and when the second stage is positioned adjacent to the
first stage, the adjacent first and second stages are movable to locate the second stage opposed to the optical element in
place of the first stage such that the immersion liquid is maintained below the optical element during the movement.

US Pat. No. 9,224,779

IMAGING APPARATUS WITH SENSOR CHIP AND SEPARATE SIGNAL PROCESSING CHIPS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An imaging apparatus comprising:
a sensor chip having a pixel array in which a plurality of pixels are arranged to output signals according to incident light
to signal lines, and input terminals to which electrical signals to be supplied to the pixel array are input;

a substrate which is disposed on a light-receiving surface side of the sensor chip, and on which first wiring patterns electrically
connected to the signal lines and second wiring patterns electrically connected to the input terminals are formed;

signal processing chips which have signal processing circuits which process the signals input through the first wiring patterns,
and output terminals to which the signals processed by the signal processing circuits are output; and

connection boards which have first wiring electrically connected to the output terminals of the signal processing chips and
second wiring electrically connected to the second wiring patterns formed on the substrate,

wherein the pixel array includes the pixels arranged along a column direction and a row direction, and external connection
portions are provided on both sides of the sensor chip in the column direction, the signal processing chips include two signal
processing chips connected to the external connection portions between the sensor chip and the external connection portions,
even-numbered columns of the pixel array are connected to one signal processing chip of the two signal processing chips, and
odd-numbered columns of the pixel array are connected to the other signal processing chip of the two signal processing chips.

US Pat. No. 9,146,096

FORM MEASURING APPARATUS, STRUCTURE MANUFACTURING SYSTEM, SCANNING APPARATUS, METHOD FOR MEASURING FORM, METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING STRUCTURE, AND NON-TRANSITORY COMPUTER READABLE MEDIUM STORING PROGRAM FOR MEASURING FORM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An apparatus for determining a three-dimensional form of an object comprising:
a light generator configured to generate a light;
a projector configured to scan the object with the light by changing an irradiation direction of the light;
a controller configured to control the light generator to periodically change an intensity of the light, and to change an
amplitude of the intensity change of the light according to the irradiation direction;

an imager configured to take an image of the object; and
a measuring portion configured to determine the three-dimensional form of the object based on the image of the object.

US Pat. No. 9,726,869

VARIABLE MAGNIFICATION OPTICAL SYSTEM, OPTICAL DEVICE, AND PRODUCTION METHOD FOR VARIABLE MAGNIFICATION OPTICAL SYSTEM

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A variable magnification optical system comprising, in order from an object side: a first lens group having positive refractive
power; a second lens group having negative refractive power; a third lens group having positive refractive power; and a fourth
lens group having positive refractive power;
upon zooming from a wide-angle end state to a telephoto end state, the first lens group being fixed in a position in the direction
of the optical axis, and at least the second lens group and the third lens group being moved in the direction of the optical
axis such that a distance between the first lens group and the second lens group is increased and a distance between the second
lens group and the third lens group is decreased;

at least a portion of the first lens group to the fourth lens group being moved to have a component in a direction perpendicular
to the optical axis; and

the following conditional expression being satisfied:
?1.20
where f13w denotes a composite focal length of the first lens group to the third lens group in the wide angle end state, f4 denotes a
focal length of the fourth lens group, and fw denotes a focal length of the variable magnification optical system in the wide
angle end state, and

wherein magnification of the second lens group varies so as to stride across the equi-magnification and
the following conditional expression is satisfied:
0.50
where ?2w denotes magnification of the second lens group in the wide angle end state, and ?2t denotes magnification of the second lens group in the telephoto end state.

US Pat. No. 9,054,140

SUBSTRATE HOLDER SYSTEM, SUBSTRATE HOLDER, FASTENING MECHANISM, SUBSTRATE BONDING APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING DEVICES

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A substrate holder system comprising:
a first substrate holder including a first surface which holds a first substrate;
an engaging member provided on the first substrate holder, the engaging member including a first contact portion;
a second substrate holder including a second surface which holds a second substrate and can, together with the first substrate
holder, sandwich the first substrate and the second substrate; and

an engagement receiving member that is provided on the second substrate holder and engages with the engaging member, the engagement
receiving member including a second contact portion;

wherein, during engagement of the engaging member and the engagement receiving member, at least one of the first contact portion
and second contact portion is below the lower of the first surface and the second surface, the at least one of the first contact
portion and second contact portion being within a cavity surrounding the lower of the first contact portion and the second
contact portion.

US Pat. No. 9,338,354

MOTION BLUR ESTIMATION AND RESTORATION USING LIGHT TRAILS

Nikon Corporation, (JP)

1. A method for processing a blurred image, the method comprising the steps of:
displaying the blurred image on an image display;
manually identifying an image patch in the displayed blurred image, the image patch having a captured light trail; and
calculating a point spread function for at least the captured light trail of the image patch with a control system, including
identifying light trail pixels in the image patch that have captured part of the captured light trail and identifying background
pixels in the image patch that have not captured part of the captured light trail using a segmentation algorithm.

US Pat. No. 9,310,691

OPTICAL UNIT, ILLUMINATION OPTICAL APPARATUS, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An illumination optical apparatus which illuminates an object having a pattern with illumination light, the apparatus comprising:
an optical integrator arranged in an optical path of the illumination light;
a spatial light modulator comprising a plurality of reflection surfaces which are arranged along a predetermined surface and
disposed in the optical path on an incidence side of the optical integrator so as to reflect the illumination light, an orientation
of each of the plurality of reflection surfaces being controllable individually so that at least part of the illumination
light from the spatial light modulator passes through an area on a illumination pupil of the illumination optical apparatus
via the optical integrator, the area being away from an optical axis of the illumination optical apparatus;

an optical element arranged in the optical path on an incidence side of the spatial light modulator, which improves an evenness
of a light intensity distribution of the illumination light on the plurality of reflection surfaces; and

a polarization element arranged in the optical path between the optical element and the optical integrator, which changes
a polarization state of the illumination light,

wherein the spatial light modulator sets orientations of the plurality of reflection surfaces so that a first part of the
illumination light passes through a first area of the area and a second part of the illumination light passes through a second
area of the area, the first area being different from the second area, the first part of the illumination light being incident
on a first part of the plurality of reflection surfaces, the second part of the illumination light being incident on a second
part of the plurality of reflection surfaces, and

wherein the polarization element changes the polarization state of the illumination light so that the first part of the illumination
light is substantially linearly polarized light having a first polarization direction in the first area and the second part
of the illumination light is substantially linearly polarized light having a second polarization direction in the second area,
the second polarization direction being different from the first polarization direction.

US Pat. No. 9,239,525

PATTERN FORMING METHOD AND APPARATUS, EXPOSURE METHOD AND APPARATUS, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD AND DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure method of exposing an object with an energy beam via a pattern forming apparatus, the method comprising steps
of:
performing a first exposure to a first pattern formation area on the object;
performing a second exposure to a second pattern formation area, different from the first pattern formation area, on the object;
between the first exposure and the second exposure, detecting information on a positional relation between the energy beam
and the object by receiving the energy beam via the pattern forming apparatus, using a mark arranged on a movable body that
holds the object; and

by using the detected information, calibrating at least one of movement control information of the movable body, the information
on the positional relation between the energy beam and the object, and measurement information of a measurement system that
measures a position of the movable body.

US Pat. No. 9,429,850

LASER DEVICE, AND EXPOSURE DEVICE AND INSPECTION DEVICE PROVIDED WITH LASER DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A laser device comprising:
a laser light output unit that outputs a fundamental wave laser light;
a wavelength conversion unit that includes a wavelength conversion optical element, and that performs wavelength conversion
of the fundamental wave laser light output from the laser light output unit and outputs a converted laser light;

an output detector that detects a power of the converted laser light output from the wavelength conversion unit;
a power feedback circuit that controls the power of the fundamental wave laser light output from the laser light output unit
according to the power of the converted laser light detected by the output detector such that the power of the converted laser
light output from the wavelength conversion unit is maintained in constant;

a phase matching adjustment configuration configured to adjust a quantity of state that relates to phase matching at the wavelength
conversion optical element so as to satisfy a phase matching condition of the wavelength conversion optical element; and

a phase matching control circuit that controls setting of the quantity of state by the phase matching adjustment configuration,
wherein

in a state in which the power of the converted laser light is controlled to be maintained in constant by the power feedback
circuit, the phase matching control circuit instructs the phase matching adjustment configuration to adjust the quantity of
state in a predetermined range such that the power of the fundamental wave laser light output from the laser light output
unit is minimized.

US Pat. No. 9,312,159

TRANSPORT APPARATUS AND EXPOSURE APPARATUS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A transport apparatus configured to transport a substrate between a first space and a second space, which are separated
by a partition wall and are arranged along a first direction, through an opening portion formed in the partition wall, the
apparatus comprising:
a support member that is movable relative to the opening portion and includes (i) a support portion that supports the substrate,
(ii) a first portion that is inserted into the opening portion when the support portion is positioned inside the first space,
and (iii) a second portion that is inserted into the opening portion when the support portion is positioned inside the second
space;

a driving device that drives the support member along the first direction; and
an adjustment device that adjusts, with respect to a second direction that crosses the first direction, an amount of a clearance
between the partition wall and at least one of the first portion positioned inside the opening portion and the second portion
positioned inside the opening portion by use of information regarding a clearance between the partition wall and at least
one of the first portion positioned inside the opening portion and the second portion positioned inside the opening portion.

US Pat. No. 9,256,137

EXPOSURE APPARATUS, LIQUID HOLDING METHOD, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus that exposes a substrate with exposure light through a first liquid, comprising:
a first member that is disposed at least in a part of a periphery of an optical path of the exposure light, and has a first
face that faces an upper face of an object through a first gap and holds the first liquid between the upper face of the object
and the first face;

a second member that is disposed at an outer side of the first face with respect to the optical path and has a second face
facing the upper face of the object through a second gap;

a first supply port that is disposed at an outer side of the second face with respect to the optical path and supplies a second
liquid biased from the second face toward the upper face of the object; and

a first suction port that is disposed between the first face and the second face, and suctions at least part of gas in an
outer space of the second member with respect to the optical path via a gap between the second face and the upper face of
the object, wherein the first suction port, while suctioning the second liquid, suctions the gas in the outer space to keep
the second liquid from dropping down from the second face to the upper face of the object and to maintain a gas passage between
the second face and the upper face of the object.

US Pat. No. 9,122,170

TRANSMISSION OPTICAL SYSTEM, ILLUMINATION OPTICAL SYSTEM, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An illumination optical system that illuminates an illumination target surface with light from an optical outlet port of
a light source, the illumination optical system comprising:
a transmission optical system that guides the light from the light source onto a predetermined plane;
an optical element having a plurality of optical surfaces each disposed on the predetermined plane; and
a distribution forming optical system that forms a predetermined light intensity distribution on an illumination pupil of
the illumination optical system, using light having traveled via the optical element,

wherein the transmission optical system comprises:
a dividing element that divides the light from the light source into a plurality of beams; and
a condensing optical system that condenses the plurality of beams divided by the dividing element so that the plurality of
beams partially overlap on the optical element, and

wherein the condensing optical system keeps the optical outlet port and the predetermined plane in an optical Fourier transform
relation.

US Pat. No. 9,086,636

OPTICAL ARRANGEMENT OF AUTOFOCUS ELEMENTS FOR USE WITH IMMERSION LITHOGRAPHY

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A lithographic projection apparatus comprising:
a projection optics having a last element, by which an exposure light is projected onto an upper surface of a wafer through
liquid covering only a portion of the upper surface, the last element having a convex-shape incident surface, the last element
having an exit surface from which the exposure light is emitted, the last element having an outer surface arranged above the
exit surface, the outer surface having a lower portion, and the outer surface extending radially-outwardly and upwardly from
the lower portion,

wherein the exit surface and at least a portion of the outer surface contact the liquid.

US Pat. No. 9,389,519

MEASURING METHOD AND MEASURING APPARATUS OF PUPIL TRANSMITTANCE DISTRIBUTION, EXPOSURE METHOD AND EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A measuring method of measuring a pupil transmittance distribution of an optical system to be examined which forms an image
of a first surface, comprising:
supplying a first beam and a second beam in at least a partially overlapping manner at predetermined positions on the first
surface, inclinations of the first and second beams relative to an optical axis of the optical system to be examined being
different from each other;

generating a positive order diffracted beam and a negative order diffracted beam by diffracting the first beam on the first
surface;

generating a positive order diffracted beam and a negative order diffracted beam by diffracting the second beam on the first
surface;

letting the positive order diffracted beam of the first beam, the negative order diffracted beam of the first beam, the positive
order diffracted beam of the second beam, and the negative order diffracted beam of the second beam be incident on the optical
system to be examined; and

determining the pupil transmittance distribution by using a measured value of an intensity of the positive order diffracted
beam of the first beam having passed through the optical system to be examined, a measured value of an intensity of the negative
order diffracted beam of the first beam having passed through the optical system to be examined, a measured value of an intensity
of the positive order diffracted beam of the second beam having passed through the optical system to be examined, and a measured
value of an intensity the negative order diffracted beam of the second beam having passed through the optical system to be
examined.

US Pat. No. 9,110,381

SUBSTRATE CONVEYANCE DEVICE AND SUBSTRATE CONVEYANCE METHOD, EXPOSURE APPARATUS AND EXPOSURE METHOD, DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A lithographic projection apparatus comprising:
a substrate table configured to hold a substrate;
a projection system arranged to project a patterned beam of radiation onto the substrate;
a liquid supply system configured to supply liquid to a space between the projection system and the substrate; and
a residual liquid detector configured to detect liquid remaining on the substrate after an exposure of the substrate is completed,
wherein the residual liquid detector detects the remaining liquid on the exposed substrate (i) while the exposed substrate
moves, via a path, away from the space under the projection system and (ii) before the exposed substrate is conveyed to a
holding table where a drying process is applied to the substrate.

US Pat. No. 9,194,694

INTERFEROMETER DEVICES FOR DETERMINING INITIAL POSITION OF A STAGE OR THE LIKE

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A position-measurement device, comprising:
a first portion comprising a first corner-cube and an optical system including a beamsplitter and a multi-element light detector
comprising an array of detector elements that define a light detection plane; and

a second portion that is movable relative to the first portion, the second portion comprising a second corner-cube mountable
on an object that is displaceable in a principal direction relative to the first portion, the beamsplitter splitting a beam
of collimated broadband light into a reference beam and a measurement beam that are directed by the optical system to make
respective multiple roundtrip passes from the optical system to the respective corner cubes and back and that interfere with
each other to produce a coherence envelope sensed by the multi-element light detector, wherein a detected displacement of
the coherence envelope in the light detection plane corresponds to a respective position of the object in the principal direction.

US Pat. No. 9,167,108

ELECTRONIC DEVICE, IMAGING DEVICE, IMAGE REPRODUCTION METHOD, IMAGE REPRODUCTION PROGRAM, RECORDING MEDIUM WITH IMAGE REPRODUCTION PROGRAM RECORDED THEREUPON, AND IMAGE REPRODUCTION DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An electronic device, comprising:
a display unit capable of displaying an image;
a communication unit capable of communicating with an external device, the external device including an image capture unit
and a processing unit that stores image data captured by the image capture unit into a storage medium, wherein the communication
unit comprises a first communication unit and a second communication unit that is different from the first communication unit;
and

a control unit, wherein:
(i) when the communication unit is in communication with the external device, the control unit receives image data having
been captured by the image capture unit before communication between the communication unit and the external device was established,
controls the display unit to display a reproduction image according to the image data thus received and performs a copy process
to copy the received image data;

(ii) when the communication unit is not in communication with the external device, the control unit controls the display unit
so as not to display a reproduction image according to image data that is not copied through the copy process; and

(iii) the control unit performs a first control in which the second communication unit communicates with the external device
after the first communication unit communicates with the external device, and a second control in which the second communication
unit communicates with the external device without using the first communication unit.

US Pat. No. 9,110,619

IMAGE DATA PROCESSING DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A system comprising:
a mobile device having a first memory and a first controller electrically connected to the first memory,
the first memory storing a plurality of a first type of image data,
the first controller controlling to delete at least one of the plurality of first type of image data in response to a manipulation
by a user and outputting a delete command signal corresponding to a command associated with the manipulation; and

a storage device having a second memory and a second controller,
the second memory storing a plurality of a second type of image data, each of the plurality of second type of image data corresponding
to each of the plurality of the first type of image data, a size of each of the plurality of second type of image data being
larger than a size of the corresponding each of the plurality of first type of image data,

the second controller controlling to delete at least one of the plurality of second type of image data in response to the
delete command received from the first controller, and

the second controller controlling to output a delete completed signal after having deleted the at least one of the plurality
of second type of image data,

wherein the first controller controls to delete the at least one of the plurality of first type of image data from the first
memory after having received the delete completed signal from the second controller.

US Pat. No. 9,264,587

IMAGE SAVING APPARATUS, IMAGE TRANSFER APPARATUS AND IMAGE TRANSMISSION APPARATUS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An image saving apparatus in an image transfer system configured with an image transmission apparatus, an image transfer
apparatus and the image saving apparatus, wherein:
the image transmission apparatus transmits image data recorded in a storage medium to the image transfer apparatus, the image
transfer apparatus receives the image data transmitted from the image transmission apparatus, records the image data which
the image transfer apparatus has received into a first storage device and transfers the image data which the image transfer
apparatus has recorded to the image saving apparatus in response to an image transfer request issued from the image saving
apparatus, and the image saving apparatus receives the image data transferred from the image transfer apparatus and records
the image data into a second storage device; and

the image saving apparatus, comprising:
the second storage device;
a communication unit engaged in communication with the image transfer apparatus;
a recording control unit for controlling read and write at the second storage device of management information indicating
whether or not the image data is recorded in each of the storage medium and in the first storage device;

a request receiving unit for receiving an image acquisition request for target image data among the image data from a user;
a decision-making unit for making a decision as to whether or not the target image data are recorded in the first storage
device by referencing the management information read via the recording control unit;

an image requesting unit for issuing a first transmission request, as the image transfer request, for the target image data
to the image transfer apparatus via the communication unit if the decision-making unit determines that the target image data
are recorded in the first storage device, and issuing a second transmission request, as the image transfer request, for the
target image data to the image transmission apparatus via the image transfer apparatus engaged in communication with the communication
unit if the decision-making unit determines that the target image data are not recorded in the first storage device; and

an image recording unit for recording the target image data received via the communication unit based upon the first request
and the second request issued by the image requesting unit into the second storage device.

US Pat. No. 9,094,654

ELECTRONIC APPARATUS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An electronic apparatus, comprising:
a display at which a photographic image and a map image are displayed;
a display control unit that controls the display so as to display identifiers each indicating a specific photographing location
at which the photographic image among a plurality of photographic images was captured, over the map image displayed at the
display;

a specification unit that receives a selecting operation for selecting a part of the map image from an entire area of the
map image that is being displayed at the display and specifies the selected part of the map image as a specified region; and

an instruction unit that issues an instruction to change a common appearance of identifiers in the specified region specified
by the specification unit, wherein

the display control unit controls the display so as to change the appearance of all the common identifiers in the specified
region in accordance with the instruction issued by the instruction unit.

US Pat. No. 9,081,301

MOVABLE BODY DRIVE METHOD AND MOVABLE BODY DRIVE SYSTEM, PATTERN FORMATION METHOD AND APPARATUS, EXPOSURE METHOD AND APPARATUS, DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD, AND CALIBRATION METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure method of exposing an object with an energy beam, the method comprising:
mounting the object on a movable body that can move at least in a first direction and a second direction orthogonal in a predetermined
plane;

measuring positional information of the movable body using an encoder system, which has one of a grating section and a head
unit arranged at the movable body where the object is held and the other arranged external to the movable body and measures
positional information of the movable body in the predetermined plane with a head that faces the grating section among a plurality
of heads of the head unit; and

controlling a position of the movable body in the predetermined plane, based on correction information to compensate for at
least a measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to a position or displacement, in a direction orthogonal to
a measurement direction in the predetermined plane, of a detection point of the head used for the measurement and measurement
information of the encoder system.

US Pat. No. 9,243,969

METHOD FOR CALIBRATING A FORCE CONSTANT OF A MOTORIZED STAGE USED FOR SUPPORTING AND MOVING A WORKPIECE

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A method for calibrating a movable stage coupled to an actuator that receives force commands from a controller, the method
comprising:
obtaining baseline information by generating a first motion of the moveable stage with the actuator;
obtaining calibration information by generating a second motion of the moveable stage with the actuator at different time
from a time of the first motion of the movable stage;

estimating a first force-variation ratio from the baseline information and the calibration information in at least one of
the first motion and the second motion;

updating a force-compensation factor of the controller using the estimated first force-variation ratio; and
determining a force-variation coefficient of the movable stage from the force compensation factor.

US Pat. No. 9,097,988

EXPOSURE APPARATUS AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An immersion exposure apparatus comprising:
a projection system including an optical element that has a light emitting surface arranged to be in contact with immersion
liquid and has an outer surface arranged above the light emitting surface;

a holding member which holds the optical element; and
a liquid confinement member arranged to surround the optical element such that a gap is formed between the optical element
and the liquid confinement member, the liquid confinement member having a liquid supply opening and a liquid recovery opening,

wherein:
the outer surface of the optical element includes a first part and a second part,
the first part extends upwardly with respect to the light emitting surface,
the second part is arranged above the gap and extends radially outwardly with respect to the first part;
the gap is formed between the first part of the optical element and an inner surface of the liquid confinement member,
the liquid confinement member has an upper surface extending radially outwardly with respect to the inner surface, and
the holding member holds the optical element over a portion of the upper surface of the liquid confinement member.

US Pat. No. 9,952,038

SHAPE MEASUREMENT DEVICE, STRUCTURE PRODUCTION SYSTEM, SHAPE MEASUREMENT METHOD, STRUCTURE PRODUCTION METHOD, AND SHAPE MEASUREMENT PROGRAM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A shape measuring apparatus comprising:a projecting unit that projects a measurement beam onto a measurement region of a measurement target;
an imaging unit that is arranged at a position different from the projection unit, and that captures an image of the measurement region onto which the measurement beam is projected;
a movement mechanism that is configured to support the projection unit and the imaging unit, and that relatively moves one of the projecting unit and the imaging unit with respect to the measurement target so that a position of the measurement region of the measurement target changes; and
an extraction region setting unit that is connected to the imaging unit communicably, and that sets an extraction region for image information based on positions of images of the measurement beam in a composite image of a plurality of capture images captured by the imaging unit and superimposed on each other, the positions of images of the measurement beam being captured by the imaging unit when the measurement beam is projected onto different measurement regions, the image information being used for calculating a position of the measurement target.

US Pat. No. 9,402,048

IMAGE CONTROL DEVICE, IMAGE CONTROL SYSTEM, AND DIGITAL CAMERA

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An image control device, comprising:
an acquisition unit that acquires, from an external device having a first display unit that generates first data based on
an amount of time for which an image based on image data is displayed on the first display unit, the image data as well as
the first data;

a second display unit that displays the image based on the image data;
a generation unit that generates second data based on an amount of time for which an image based on image data is displayed
on the second display unit;

a determination unit determines a priority of the image data using the first data and the second data, and
a display control unit controls the second display unit to display the image based on the image data based on the priority
determined by the determination unit.

US Pat. No. 9,219,895

PROJECTION DEVICE

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A projection device, comprising:
a plate shaped member that is thermally conductive;
a light emitting element that is disposed upon a surface of the plate shaped member and emits light into an orientation going
away from the surface of the plate shaped member;

a mirror that bends light from the light emitting element, which is emitted into the orientation going away from the surface
of the plate shaped member, into an orientation parallel to the surface of the plate shaped member;

a modulation element that modulates light bent by the mirror; and
a polarized light separation element that is disposed upon the surface of the plate shaped member and bends light modulated
by the modulation element into the orientation going away from the surface of the plate shaped member, wherein:

the mirror is disposed in an optical path of the light from the light emitting element after the light emitting element and
before the modulation element.

US Pat. No. 9,099,149

IMAGE PLAYBACK DEVICE AND METHOD AND ELECTRONIC CAMERA WITH IMAGE PLAYBACK FUNCTION

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. An image playback device comprising:
a medium playback means which reads out recorded information that has been recorded on a recording medium;
a time period discriminating means which receives the recorded information read out by the medium playback means and discriminates
periods of time during which the recorded information agrees with at least one pre-set condition; and

a playback display means which plays back and displays moving-picture image information contained in the recorded information
in accordance with the results of the discrimination performed by the time period discriminating means;

wherein the time period discriminating means includes:
a sound quantity detection means which receives audio information from the recorded information read out by the medium playback
means, and detects a quantity of sound of the audio information; and

a silence discriminating means which discriminates silent periods in which the quantity of sound detected by the sound quantity
detection means drops below a predetermined sound quantity; and

the playback display means plays back and displays the moving-picture image information contained in the recorded information
only during time periods other than the silent periods discriminated by the silence discriminating means.

US Pat. No. 9,097,887

TELESCOPE OPTICAL SYSTEM AND OPTICAL DEVICE PROVIDED THEREWITH

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A telescope optical system having an objective lens system and an eyepiece lens system; the telescope optical system being
characterized in that:
the objective lens system includes a first diffractive optical element, and a first cemented lens composed of a first lens
having positive refractive power and a second lens having negative refractive power;

the eyepiece lens system includes a second diffractive optical element, and a second cemented lens composed of a third lens
having negative refractive power and a fourth lens having positive refractive power;

the first diffractive optical element is composed of a first diffractive optical composing element having a first diffractive
optical surface and a second diffractive optical composing element having a second diffractive optical surface, and the first
diffractive optical composing element and the second diffractive optical composing element are arranged so that the first
diffractive optical surface and the second diffractive optical surface face each other;

the second diffractive optical element is composed of a third diffractive optical composing element having a third diffractive
optical surface and a fourth diffractive optical composing element having a fourth diffractive optical surface, and the third
diffractive optical composing element and the fourth diffractive optical composing element are arranged so that the third
diffractive optical surface and the fourth diffractive optical surface face each other; and

the condition represented by the following expression is satisfied:
2?|(Po/FNO)/{Pe/(?×m)}|?15

where:
Ko represents the power of the objective lens system, Kodoe represents the power of the first diffractive optical element
of the objective lens system, and Po is defined as Po=Kodoe/Ko;

Ke represents the power of the eyepiece lens system, Kedoe represents the power of the second diffractive optical element
of the eyepiece lens system, and Pe is defined as Pe=Kedoe/Ke; and

FNO represents the F-number of the objective lens system, ? represents the real field of view of the telescope optical system,
and m represents the magnification of the telescope optical system.

US Pat. No. 9,223,109

VIBRATION ACTUATOR AND OPTICAL APPARATUS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A vibration actuator, comprising:
a vibrating element that is excited by an electromechanical conversion element;
a rotor portion that is relatively rotated by way of vibration of the vibrating element;
a pressing portion that generates a pressure force in a thrust direction between the vibrating element and the rotor portion;
a hollow rotor holder that restricts a position of the rotor portion in the thrust direction and a radial direction; and
a bearing member of which a rotation axis is coaxial with a rotation axis of the vibrating element, wherein
the rotor holder includes:
an outer circumference flange that is provided on an outer circumference thereof to receive the pressure force from the rotor
portion; and

an inner circumference flange that is provided on an inner circumference thereof to serve as a first track face of the bearing
member.

US Pat. No. 9,076,245

IMAGE DISPLAY APPARATUS AND IMAGING APPARATUS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An image display apparatus, comprising:
a display unit capable of performing a stereoscopic view display of a first image utilizing a disparity of a human being;
an inclination detecting unit detecting an angle of inclination of the image display apparatus when the image display apparatus
held in a horizontal state is inclined;

an image processing unit performing, on the first image, processing which changes a depth range in the stereoscopic view display
of the first image using the angle of inclination of the image display apparatus detected by the inclination detecting unit
when the image display apparatus held in the horizontal state is inclined from the horizontal state; and

a display controlling unit making the display unit display the first image on which the processing is performed by the image
processing unit, wherein

when an aspect by which the first image is perceived in the stereoscopic view display is set to a perceptive aspect, the perceptive
aspect in the stereoscopic view display of the first image, when the image display apparatus is held in the horizontal state,
is inclined by a predetermined angle with respect to a display surface of the display unit, and

regardless of the angle of inclination of the image display apparatus, the perceptive aspect in the stereoscopic view display
of the first image, when the image display apparatus is declined from the horizontal state, is held in a state inclined by
the predetermined angle with respect to the display surface of the display unit in the horizontal state.

US Pat. No. 9,188,432

PROFILE MEASURING APPARATUS, STRUCTURE MANUFACTURING SYSTEM, METHOD FOR MEASURING PROFILE, METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING STRUCTURE, AND NON-TRANSITORY COMPUTER READABLE MEDIUM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A profile measuring apparatus which measures a profile of an object, comprising:
a light source device configured to irradiate a projection light to the object, the projection light having a light amount
changing with lapse of time in a first period and having a predetermined spatial distribution;

an imaging element which is displaced at a different position from the light source and is configured to take an image of
the object to which the projection light is irradiated;

a second period setting section configured to set a second period including at least a part of the first period; and
a profile information obtaining section which is communicatably connected with the imaging element so that the profile information
obtaining section obtains an information with respect to the profile of the object based on an image data taken by the imaging
element in the second period;

wherein the second period setting section is configured to set the second period based on a light amount of a light which
comes into the imaging element at the time of an imaging performed before the imaging performed in the second period, and
based on a light amount change pattern of the projection light changing with lapse of time in the first period.

US Pat. No. 9,153,243

IMAGING DEVICE, PROGRAM, MEMORY MEDIUM, AND NOISE REDUCTION METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An imaging device comprising:
a movie shooting unit for shooting a movie;
a signal conversion unit for converting sound generated during the shooting of the movie into a sound signal;
a subject determination unit for predicting or recognizing a specific subject;
a noise detection unit for detecting noise included in the sound generated during the shooting of the movie;
a noise reduction unit for reducing a noise signal from the sound signal;
a voice detection unit for detecting a non-noise signal from the sound signal; and
a noise reduction performance change unit for decreasing performance of the noise reduction unit for reducing the noise signal
when the subject determination unit predicts or recognizes the specific subject, wherein:

the voice detection unit detects the non-noise signal from the sound signal in a range from a lower-limit threshold to an
upper-limit threshold of a frequency of the sound signal; and

when the subject determination unit predicts or recognizes the specific subject, the voice detection unit lowers the lower-limit
threshold.

US Pat. No. 9,146,386

OPTICAL ELEMENT, ZOOM LENS, OPTICAL APPARATUS, METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING OPTICAL ELEMENT AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING ZOOM LENS

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A zoom lens that comprises a first lens group and a rear lens group that is at an image side of the zoom lens relative
to the first lens group, said rear lens group including an optical element,
the optical element comprising, in order from an object side:
a first segment group having positive refractive power;
a second segment group having positive refractive power;
a third segment group having negative refractive power; and
a fourth segment group having positive refractive power;
focusing of the zoom lens being conducted by moving said first segment group along an optical axis,
said third segment group being moved in a direction including a component perpendicular to the optical axis, and
said optical element having positive refractive power on the whole, and satisfying the following conditional expression:
0.60
where Fb1 denotes a focal length of said first segment group, and Fb234 denotes a combined focal length of said second segment
group, said third segment group and said fourth segment group,

wherein the second segment group has a plurality of lenses;
an interval in the optical-axis direction between the first segment group and the second segment group is fixed upon zooming
of the zoom lens; and

an interval in the optical-axis direction between the second segment group and the third segment group and an interval in
the optical-axis direction between the third segment group and the fourth segment group are fixed upon zooming and are fixed
upon focusing of the zoom lens.

US Pat. No. 9,140,882

ZOOM LENS, OPTICAL APPARATUS, AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING THE ZOOM LENS

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A zoom lens comprising, in order from an object:
a first lens group having positive refractive power;
a second lens group having negative refractive power;
a third lens group having positive refractive power; and
a fourth lens group having positive refractive power,
the following conditional expression being satisfied:
1.90<(?f2)/fw<3.00

where f2 denotes a focal length of the second lens group, and
fw denotes a focal length of the zoom lens in a wide-angle end state, and
the following conditional expression being satisfied:
0.005<(?f2)/ft<0.048

where ft denotes a focal length of the zoom lens in a telephoto end state.

US Pat. No. 9,106,822

IMAGE APPARATUS WITH MOTION CONTROL

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An image apparatus for capturing an image of a scene, the image apparatus comprising:
a capturing system that captures an image;
an image display that displays the captured image;
a control feature that influences the image captured by the capturing system or the image displayed on the image display;
a sensor assembly that senses motion; and
a control system that adjusts one of a white balance and a red eye reduction when the sensor assembly senses motion in a first
direction, and adjusts the other of the white balance and the red eye reduction when the sensor assembly senses a motion in
a second direction that is different from the first direction.

US Pat. No. 9,091,941

FAST ILLUMINATION SIMULATOR BASED ON A CALIBRATED FLEXIBLE POINT-SPREAD FUNCTION

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A method for obtaining a distribution of light at an illumination pupil of an illuminator, which illuminator is configured
to distribute light from a light source at the illumination pupil via a distributing optical element, and which illuminator
is configured to illuminate a target surface with the distributed light, the method comprising:
preparing a far field distribution of the distributing optical element; and
calculating the distribution of light at the illumination pupil with the use of a plurality of point spread functions of a
partial optical system, which point spread functions represent a plurality of positions at the illumination pupil,

wherein the partial optical system is positioned between the distributing optical element and the illumination pupil,
wherein the evaluating the distribution of light at the illumination pupil is effectuated according to
Areticle(xmn,ymn)??i?jAs(?ij,?ij)psf(xmn,ymn,?ij,?ij,IUsetting),

wherein the far field distribution of light, corresponding to the distributing element configured to scatter light, is represented
by As and is a function of coordinates ?ij and ?ij of an entrance pupil of the illumination system,

wherein subscripts i and j correspond to a discrete sum across a two dimensional array of pixels in the entrance pupil such
that each pixel (i,j) has a pair of pupil coordinates (?, ?),

wherein a distribution of light in an exit pupil of the illumination system, corresponding to an optical far field incident
at the reticle, is represented by Areticle which is a function of exit pupil coordinates (xm,n, ym,n),

wherein psf represents a point spread function, and
wherein IUsetting includes an array of values that determine adjustable parameters of the illumination system.

US Pat. No. 9,654,709

SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND ELECTRONIC CAMERA

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A solid-state imaging device comprising:
a plurality of first photoelectric converters generating a first image signal by photoelectrically converting a first color
component and a second color component of incoming light; and

a plurality of second photoelectric converters generating a second image signal by photoelectrically converting a third color
component and a fourth color component of light that transmitted the first photoelectric converters; the third color component
and the fourth color component being complementary colors of the first color component and the second color component, respectively.

US Pat. No. 9,395,528

PHOTOGRAPHING CONTROL DEVICE, MICROSCOPE AND PROGRAM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A photographing control device for controlling time lapse photography using a microscope, comprising:
a control device that controls an operation of apparatuses of said microscope that perform processing related to said time
lapse photography, in an execution mode for executing said time lapse photography, and a test mode for confirming an operation
of said time lapse photography before said execution mode, the test mode executing a predetermined number of rounds of time
lapse photography, wherein parameters of the test mode are set to be different than parameters of the execution mode so that
photography during the test mode are different than the photography during the execution mode, and wherein, during the predetermined
number of rounds of time lapse photography in the test mode, test mode photographing is ended if an instruction to interrupt
the test mode photographing is received;

a monitoring device that monitors an operation state of the each apparatus such that in response to determining that an abnormality
occurred during the predetermined number of rounds of time lapse photography of the test mode, a notification of the abnormality
is generated; and

a determination device that determines whether the operation state of said apparatuses is normal or not based on a monitoring
result by said monitoring device in said test mode.

US Pat. No. 9,389,439

SPATIAL LIGHT MODULATION ELEMENT AND EXPOSURE APPARATUS

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A spatial light modulation element comprising:
a substrate;
a reflecting mirror that moves from an initial position relative to the substrate;
an elastic member that exerts an elastic force in a direction causing the reflecting mirror to return to the original position;
a support body that supports the elastic member, the support body including a rib that protrudes toward the substrate from
at least one side of the support body; and

an elastic support member that elastically supports the support body relative to the substrate.

US Pat. No. 9,348,233

LASER DEVICE, AND EXPOSURE DEVICE AND INSPECTION DEVICE PROVIDED WITH LASER DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A laser device comprising:
a laser light output unit that outputs a fundamental wave laser light;a wavelength conversion unit that includes a wavelength conversion optical element, and that performs wavelength conversion
of the fundamental wave laser light output from the laser light output unit and outputs a converted laser light;
an output detector that detects a power of the converted laser light output from the wavelength conversion unit;
a power feedback circuit that controls the power of the fundamental wave laser light output from the laser light output unit
according to the power of the converted laser light detected by the output detector such that the power of the converted laser
light output from the wavelength conversion unit is maintained in constant;

a phase matching adjustment configuration configured to adjust a quantity of state that relates to phase matching at the wavelength
conversion optical element so as to satisfy a phase matching condition of the wavelength conversion optical element; and

a phase matching control circuit that controls setting of the quantity of state by the phase matching adjustment configuration,
wherein

in a state in which the power of the converted laser light is controlled to be maintained in constant by the power feedback
circuit, the phase matching control circuit instructs the phase matching adjustment configuration to adjust the quantity of
state in a predetermined range such that the power of the fundamental wave laser light output from the laser light output
unit is minimized.

US Pat. No. 9,316,921

EXPOSURE APPARATUS, EXPOSURE METHOD, AND METHOD FOR PRODUCING DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A liquid immersion exposure apparatus comprising:
a projection system;
an immersion area forming member having a liquid supply inlet and a liquid recovery outlet, the immersion area forming member
having an opening through which an exposure beam is projected, the immersion area forming member forming a liquid immersion
area on a portion of a surface of a substrate during exposure of the substrate;

a substrate stage system having a first substrate holding member by which the substrate is held, the substrate stage system
moving the substrate held by the first substrate holding member below and relative to the projection system and the immersion
area forming member;

a first temperature sensor provided at the first substrate holding member of the substrate stage system;
a first temperature adjustment system which performs temperature adjustment for the first substrate holding member, a part
of the first temperature adjustment system being provided at the first substrate holding member;

a second temperature adjustment system connected to a liquid supply apparatus, the second temperature adjustment system performing
temperature adjustment for liquid delivered from the liquid supply apparatus, the temperature-adjusted liquid being supplied
from the liquid supply inlet of the immersion area forming member; and

a controller which controls the first and second temperature adjustment systems,
wherein the controller controls a temperature adjustment operation based on a measurement result of the first temperature
sensor such that a temperature of the liquid to be supplied from the liquid supply inlet is substantially the same as a temperature
of the substrate held by the first substrate holding member, and

wherein during the exposure, the substrate held by the first substrate holding member is exposed with the exposure beam through
the liquid supplied from the liquid supply inlet of the immersion area forming member.

US Pat. No. 9,245,328

ALGORITHM FOR MINIMIZING LATENT SHARP IMAGE COST FUNCTION AND POINT SPREAD FUNCTION WITH A SPATIAL MASK IN A FIDELITY TERM

NIKON CORPORATION, (JP)

1. A method for estimating a latent sharp image for at least a portion of a blurry image, the method comprising the steps
of:
estimating the latent sharp image with a control system that includes a processor (i) utilizing a first spatial mask in a
fidelity term of a latent sharp image estimation cost function, the first spatial mask being a first array of individual weights
for individual pixels in the fidelity term, and

(ii) utilizing a variable splitting technique in the fidelity term during minimization of the latent sharp image estimation
cost function with the control system by introducing a first auxiliary variable and a first penalty term into the fidelity
term of the latent sharp image estimation cost function to help split the operations of convolution and element-wise multiplication
by the control system.

US Pat. No. 9,176,394

IMMERSION LITHOGRAPHY APPARATUS AND METHOD HAVING MOVABLE LIQUID DIVERTER BETWEEN IMMERSION LIQUID CONFINEMENT MEMBER AND SUBSTRATE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An immersion lithography apparatus comprising:
a substrate holder on which a substrate is held;
a projection system having a final optical element, the projection system projecting an exposure beam onto the substrate held
on the substrate holder through an immersion liquid in a gap between a surface of the substrate and the final optical element
during an exposure operation;

a liquid confinement member having an aperture through which the exposure beam is projected, the liquid confinement member
having a lower surface that surrounds the aperture, the lower surface of the liquid confinement member including a non-fluid
removal area that surrounds the aperture, the liquid confinement member having a liquid recovery outlet from which the immersion
liquid is recovered; and

a movable member that is movable relative to the liquid confinement member in a substantially horizontal direction, the movable
member having an opening through which the exposure beam is projected, the movable member having an upper surface and a lower
surface that surround the opening, the movable member being movable while a portion of the upper surface faces the non-fluid
removal area in the lower surface of the liquid confinement member,

wherein the aperture of the liquid confinement member is defined by a radially innermost edge of the non-fluid removal area,
and at least a part of the upper surface of the movable member is spaced from the substrate held on the substrate holder by
a shortest distance that is less than a shortest distance between the substrate and the radially innermost edge of the non-fluid
removal area.

US Pat. No. 9,066,001

FOCUS ADJUSTING DEVICE AND FOCUS ADJUSTING PROGRAM WITH DISTRIBUTION DETECTION OF FOCALIZED AND UNFOCUSED STATE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A focus adjusting device comprising:
an edge detection unit that detects edges of a subject image for each color component forming an image including the subject
image;

a distribution detection unit that detects distributions of a focalized state and an unfocused state of the image based on
the edges detected by the edge detection unit; and

a control unit that moves a lens based on the distributions detected by the distribution detection unit,
wherein the subject image is incident from an optical system having the lens, the control unit moves the lens, and thus the
subject image is focused on, and

wherein the distribution detection unit detects the distributions based on a gradient of a color component amount of the edges
detected by the edge detection unit.

US Pat. No. 9,429,848

POLARIZATION-MODULATING ELEMENT, ILLUMINATION OPTICAL APPARATUS, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND EXPOSURE METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An illumination optical apparatus which illuminates an object having a pattern with illumination light, the illumination
optical apparatus comprising:
a polarization-modulating element made of an optical material having optical activity, which is arranged in an optical path
of the illumination light and which changes a polarization state of the illumination light incident on the polarization-modulating
element into a predetermined polarization state based on the optical activity of the optical material, the polarization-modulating
element having a circumferentially varying thickness profile;

an annular ratio changing optical system, arranged in the optical path of the illumination light, that changes an annular
ratio of a light intensity distribution formed on an illumination pupil of the illumination optical apparatus; and

an optical integrator arranged in the optical path of the illumination light so that a rear focal plane of the optical integrator
is substantially coincident with the illumination pupil,

wherein the polarization-modulating element is arranged between the annular ratio changing optical system and the optical
integrator, and

wherein the circumferentially varying thickness profile is formed to change a linearly polarized state of the illumination
light having a polarization direction substantially along a single direction into an azimuthal polarized state having a polarization
direction substantially along a circumferential direction on the illumination pupil.

US Pat. No. 9,306,434

CONTROL APPARATUS FOR CONTROLLING ROTATION OF JOINTS OF ROBOT

DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED, ...

1. A control apparatus that controls rotation of a joint of a robot having a structure in which rotation of an electric motor
is reduced by a speed reducer and transferred to an arm, comprising:
a first encoder that detects a rotational position of the motor to output motor rotational position data indicating the rotational
position;

a second encoder that detects a rotational position of the arm to output arm rotational position data indicating the rotational
position;

a first latch circuit arranged in the first encoder and latches the motor rotational position data;
a second latch circuit arranged in the second encoder and latches the arm rotational position data;
a latch signal output means arranged in the second encoder outputs a latch signal to the first and second latch circuits every
time there is a change in the arm rotational position data; and

a control means that controls, when the latch signal is outputted, rotation of the motor on the basis of the motor rotational
position data and the arm rotational position data latched in the first and second latch circuits.

US Pat. No. 9,256,059

ZOOM LENS SYSTEM, IMAGING OPTICAL DEVICE, AND DIGITAL APPLIANCE

KONICA MINOLTA, INC., To...

1. A zoom lens system comprising, from an object side,
a first lens group having a negative optical power; and
a second lens group having a positive optical power,
the zoom lens system achieving zooming by varying a group-to-group distance,
wherein
the second lens group includes at least one three-element cemented lens which is a set of three lens elements cemented together
including, from the object side, a first lens element having a negative optical power, a second lens element having a positive
optical power, and a third lens element having a negative optical power, and

the three-element cemented lens fulfills conditional formulas (1) to (3) below:
0.08<(rs2+rs1)/(rs2?rs1)<0.5  (1)

27
20 where
rs1 represents a radius of curvature of an object-side cemented surface of the three-element cemented lens;

rs2 represents a radius of curvature of an image-side cemented surface of the three-element cemented lens;

v1 represents an Abbe number of the first lens element of the three-element cemented lens;

v2 represents an Abbe number of the second lens element of the three-element cemented lens;

v3 represents an Abbe number of the third lens element of the three-element cemented lens.

US Pat. No. 9,240,356

SURFACE INSPECTION APPARATUS, METHOD FOR INSPECTING SURFACE, EXPOSURE SYSTEM, AND METHOD FOR PRODUCING SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A surface inspection apparatus which inspects a surface of a substrate having a pattern formed thereon and processed under
a predetermined processing condition, comprising:
an irradiation unit which illuminates, with an illumination light beam, a predetermined region of the surface of the substrate;
a detection unit which detects a first detection signal according to a first light beam propagating in a first direction from
the pattern within the predetermined region and a second detection signal according to a second light beam propagating in
a second direction from the pattern within the predetermined region, the first direction being obtained so that a first diffraction
condition is satisfied, the second direction being obtained so that a second diffraction condition is satisfied;

a provide unit which is connected to the detection unit and which provides a first reference data and a second reference data
with respect to at least one substrate having a plurality of patterns processed under a plurality of predetermined processing
conditions, the first reference data indicating a relationship between the first detection signal detected by the detection
unit and the plurality of predetermined processing conditions and the second reference data indicating a relationship between
the second detection signal detected by the detection unit and the plurality of predetermined processing conditions; and

a determination unit which is connected to the detection unit and which determines a processing condition of the pattern in
the substrate as an inspection object substrate, based on consistency between the first detection signal for the inspection
object substrate detected by the detection unit and the first reference data, and consistency between the second detection
signal for the inspection object substrate detected by the detection unit and the second reference data.

US Pat. No. 9,202,265

POINT SPREAD FUNCTION COST FUNCTION WITH NON-UNIFORM WEIGHTS

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A method for deblurring a blurry image, the method comprising the step of:
estimating a PSF kernel of at a least a portion of the image using a PSF cost function having (i) a first fidelity term that
includes a derivative in a first direction, (ii) a first weight for the first fidelity term, (iii) a second fidelity term
that includes a derivative in a second direction that is different from the first direction, (iv) a second weight for the
second fidelity term, the second weight being different from the first weight, (v) a third fidelity term that includes a derivative
in a third direction, and (vi) a third weight for the third fidelity term, wherein the third direction is different from the
first direction and the second direction, and wherein the third weight is different from the second weight and the first weight;
and

deblurring the image utilizing the estimated PSF kernel.

US Pat. No. 9,194,697

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR MEASURING THREE-DIMENSIONAL OBJECTS

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

9. A form measuring method comprising:
projecting a plurality kinds of patterns onto a measuring object in sequence, the plurality kinds of patterns having a common
repetitive structure and differing in phase;

acquiring an image data set by taking an image of the measuring object at each of the plurality kinds of patterns projected
onto the measuring object;

selecting a data set as an adequate data set, the data set concerning an identical area on the measuring object, and all data
in the set falling within an effective brightness range over which an imager acquiring the image data set has linear input
and output characteristics; and

calculating a form of the area as a basis of acquiring the adequate data on the measuring object, based on the selected adequate
data set.

US Pat. No. 9,091,861

SCANNING MICROSCOPE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A scanning microscope, comprising:
a scanning unit that deflects illumination light from a light source by controlling a scanning member based on a driving signal
which non-linearly changes with respect to time;

an optical detection unit that receives observation light from a sample and performs photoelectric conversion on the observation
light so as to generate an electric signal;

a sampling unit that samples the electric signal generated by the optical detection unit; and
an imaging unit that generates an observation image of the sample, based on the sampled electric signal, wherein
the cycle of the sampling is an integral multiple of a predetermined cycle.

US Pat. No. 10,031,425

POLARIZATION-MODULATING ELEMENT, ILLUMINATION OPTICAL APPARATUS, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND EXPOSURE METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An illumination optical apparatus which illuminates an object with illumination light, the illumination optical apparatus comprising:a fly's eye lens arranged in an optical path of the illumination light so that a rear focal plane of the fly's eye lens is substantially located on an illumination pupil plane of the illumination optical apparatus;
a plurality of optical elements arranged in the optical path on an incidence side of the fly's eye lens so as to be movable relative to each other, which transforms a beam of the illumination light to form a light intensity distribution of the illumination light on the illumination pupil plane by moving the plurality of optical elements relative to each other, the light intensity distribution on the illumination pupil plane being in a state in which a light intensity in a region being away from an optical axis of the illumination optical apparatus is larger than a light intensity on the optical axis on the illumination pupil plane;
a polarization modulating member made of an optical material with optical activity and provided with different thicknesses of the optical material in a direction of the optical axis at different positions on an entrance surface of the polarization modulating member, the polarization modulating member being arranged in the optical path on the incidence side of the fly's eye lens to rotate a polarization direction of the illumination light and forming a linearly polarized state of the illumination light on the illumination pupil plane by rotating the polarization direction of the illumination light, the linearly polarized state having polarization directions being substantially coincident with an azimuthal direction about the optical axis or a radial direction centered around the optical axis in the region away from the optical axis; and
an optical system including a lens element arranged in the optical path of the illumination light from the fly's eye lens,
wherein the polarization modulating member is arranged so that a direction of an optic axis of the optical material is substantially coincident with a direction of the optical axis.

US Pat. No. 9,534,931

ENCODER, ENCODER INSTALLATION METHOD, TORQUE-LIMITING MECHANISM, DRIVING APPARATUS, AND ROBOT APPARATUS

DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED, ...

1. An encoder comprising:
a first rotator connectable to a rotating shaft and including a first pattern;
a first detection unit positioned at a non-rotatory member and configured to detect the first pattern;
a second rotator connectable to an output shaft that is rotatable around a predetermined axis and configured to output rotation
caused by the rotating shaft, the second rotator including a second pattern;

a second detection unit positioned at the non-rotatory member and configured to detect the second pattern; and
a reference unit configured to position the first detection unit and the second detection unit by a common position reference,
wherein the non-rotatory member abuts with the reference unit, and the first detection unit and the second detection unit
abut with the non-rotatory member.

US Pat. No. 9,509,978

IMAGE PROCESSING METHOD, IMAGE PROCESSING APPARATUS, IMAGE-CAPTURING APPARATUS, AND IMAGE PROCESSING PROGRAM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An image processing method comprising:
receiving a first image in which a subject image has been taken into mutually different pixels simultaneously through a single
optical system in a standard direction view point, a left direction view point, and a right direction view point by using
an image sensor, the image sensor comprising a pixel array including a plurality of pixels having one aperture mask per pixel,
the plurality of pixels including non-parallax pixels having an aperture mask producing a view point in a standard direction,
left parallax pixels having an aperture mask producing parallax in a left direction with respect to the standard direction,
and right parallax pixels having an aperture mask producing parallax in a right direction with respect to the standard direction;

for converting the first image into an image from the left direction view point and an image from the right direction view
point, the method comprising the steps of:

generating a temporary left parallax image using, for each pixel, a pixel value of the left parallax pixels of the first image;
generating a temporary right parallax image using, for each pixel, a pixel value of the right parallax pixels of the first
image;

generating a standard view point image using, for each pixel, a pixel value of at least the non-parallax pixels of the first
image; generating an edge enhanced standard view point image, by carrying out an edge enhancement process on the standard
view point image; and

generating a left direction view point image and a right direction view point image based on the edge enhanced standard view
point image, the temporary left parallax image, and the temporary right parallax image for each pixel.

US Pat. No. 9,488,797

LENS BARREL, IMAGE-CAPTURING DEVICE, AND METHOD FOR CONTROLLING LENS BARREL

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A lens barrel comprising:
a first lens;
a second lens different from the first lens; and
a driving unit, which moves at least one of the first lens and the second lens in an optical axis direction, and which changes
a tilt of the second lens in relation to the optical axis direction, based on a position of at least one of the first lens
and the second lens in the optical axis direction.

US Pat. No. 9,368,725

METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING TRANSISTOR AND TRANSISTOR

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A method for manufacturing a transistor, the method comprising:
forming a base film for supporting a catalyst for electroless plating;
forming a resist layer having an opening portion onto the base film, the opening portion having first and second openings
corresponding to a source electrode and a drain electrode, respectively;

causing the base film within the opening portion to support the catalyst for electroless plating and performing a first electroless
plating to form electrodes respectively in the first and second openings;

removing the resist layer;
after the removing the resist layer, performing a second electroless plating on a surface of each of the electrodes formed
by the first electroless plating, thereby forming a source electrode and a drain electrode; and

forming a semiconductor layer in contact with a surface of the source electrode and a surface of the drain electrode, the
surfaces facing each other, wherein

an energy level difference between a work function of a metal material which is used for the second electroless plating and
an energy level of a molecular orbital which is used for electron transfer in a formation material of the semiconductor layer
is less than an energy level difference between a work function of a metal material which is used for the first electroless
plating and the energy level of the molecular orbital.

US Pat. No. 9,341,832

MICROSCOPE OBJECTIVE LENS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A microscope objective lens comprising, in order from an object side,
a first lens group having positive refractive power,
a second lens group having positive refractive power, and
a third lens group having negative refractive power, wherein
the first lens group includes, on the most object side, a positive meniscus lens whose concave surface is directed to the
object side,

the second lens group includes a diffractive optical element having positive refractive power, and
the diffractive optical element is arranged at a position closer to the image than a portion at which the diameter of a light
flux passing through the first lens group and the second lens group is the largest,

the microscope objective lens satisfying the following expressions:
n1?1.8

0.5?(?r1)/F?4.2

?DOE/?max<0.9
where a refractive index relative to a d-line of a medium of the positive meniscus lens included in the first lens group is
set as n1, a radius of curvature of the most object side lens surface of the first lens group is set as r1, a focal length
of the whole lens system is set as F, the maximum diameter of the light flux passing through the first lens group and the
second lens group is set as ?max, and the maximum diameter of a light flux passing through a diffractive optical surface of
the diffractive optical element is set as ?DOE.

US Pat. No. 9,335,639

EXPOSURE METHOD, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus that exposes an object via a projection optical system and a liquid, the apparatus comprising:
a stage on which the object can be mounted and which moves in a light emitting side of the projection optical system;
a liquid immersion member having a supply port from which the liquid is supplied to the light emitting side of the projection
optical system; and

a first member which has a transmissive member and which is placed on the stage, the stage being movable to a position at
which the first member comes into contact with the liquid and at which the first member is irradiated with a measurement light
from the projection optical system through the liquid, wherein

the measurement light enters the transmissive member via a first surface of the transmissive member and exits from the transmissive
member via a second surface of the transmissive member, and

the first member has a light-limiting material arranged on a portion of the second surface of the transmissive member.

US Pat. No. 9,172,063

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR MANUFACTURING DISPLAY DEVICES

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A method for fabricating a display device, which has a plurality of pixels, on a flexible sheet-like substrate transferred
in a first direction, said method comprising:
preparing an imprint roller having a surface with a stumper of partition walls for forming the plurality of pixels and for
forming a bus line between electrodes of transistors provided at the plurality of respective pixels and the plurality of pixels,
and a stumper of alignment marks being located at a predetermined position with respect to the plurality of pixels;

forming the partition walls for forming the plurality of pixels and for forming the electrodes of the transistors and the
bus line, and forming the alignment marks simultaneously on the flexible substrate along the first direction by pressing the
flexible sheet-like substrate against the imprint roller while transferring the flexible sheet-like substrate in the first
direction;

detecting the alignment marks formed on the flexible substrate and obtaining a positional information of the alignment marks;
a first applying step of, based on the positional information, selectively applying a liquid conductive material between parts
of the partition walls for forming the electrodes and the bus line using a first applicator so as to form the electrodes and
the bus line; and

a second applying step of, after the first applying step, detecting the alignment marks formed on the flexible sheet-like
substrate and, based on positional information of the alignment marks, applying a liquid insulating material or a liquid semiconductor
material onto a part of the electrodes or the bus line formed between the partition walls using a second applicator in a selective
manner that depends on positions of the transistors.

US Pat. No. 9,164,209

ILLUMINATION OPTICAL APPARATUS, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND EXPOSURE METHOD WITH OPTICAL MEMBER WITH OPTICAL ROTATORY POWER HAVING DIFFERENT THICKNESSES TO ROTATE LINEAR POLARIZATION DIRECTION

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An illumination optical apparatus which illuminates an object with a beam, the illumination optical apparatus comprising:
an optical member made of an optical material with optical rotatory power, which rotates a polarization direction of a linear
polarization incident on the optical member, the optical member being arranged in an optical path of the beam so that an optic
axis of the optical material of the optical member is substantially parallel to an optical axis of the illumination optical
apparatus at a location where the optical material is arranged;

an optical integrator arranged in the optical path of the beam on an exit side of the optical member; and
an optical system arranged in the optical path between the optical member and the optical integrator, which locates the optical
member and an entrance surface of the optical integrator substantially in the relation of Fourier transform so as to form
an illumination area on a pupil plane of the illumination optical apparatus, the pupil plane substantially being located at
a rear focal plane of the optical integrator, wherein

the optical member includes a first portion having a first length and a second portion having a second length different from
the first length,

the first and second lengths are a length between an entrance surface and an exit surface of the optical material of the optical
member in a direction of the optical axis,

the illumination area on the pupil plane is formed so that a first beam passing through the first portion of the optical member
passes through a first region of the illumination area and a second beam passing through the second portion of the optical
member passes through a second region of the illumination area, the second region being different from the first region, the
first and second beams being part of the beam, and

the beam of which a polarization direction is rotated by the optical member on the basis of the optical rotatory power is
irradiated onto the object through the pupil plane.

US Pat. No. 9,134,621

EXPOSURE APPARATUS, EXPOSURE METHOD, AND METHOD FOR PRODUCING DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus in which a substrate is exposed by radiating an exposure light beam onto the substrate through a
liquid, the exposure apparatus comprising:
a projection system having a final optical element;
a nozzle member having a circular opening through which the exposure light beam passes, the nozzle member having a lower surface
which is arranged to surround the opening, the nozzle member having a liquid recovery port which is arranged to surround the
lower surface, and the lower surface and the liquid recovery port being arranged such that a surface of the substrate faces
the lower surface and the recovery port,

wherein:
the opening of the nozzle member is substantially the same size as the end surface of the final optical element of the projection
system; and

the liquid flows between a side surface of the optical element and the nozzle member and then the liquid is supplied to the
surface of the substrate through the opening of the nozzle member.

US Pat. No. 9,057,955

FUNCTIONAL FILM, LIQUID IMMERSION MEMBER, METHOD OF MANUFACTURING LIQUID IMMERSION MEMBER, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A functional film that is applied to a surface of a base material configured to be immersed in a liquid, the functional
film comprising a film of Ti-doped tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C:Ti film); wherein:
an atomic ratio of Ti to C in a composition of the film is equal to or greater than 0.03 and equal to or less than 0.09; and
the atomic ratio of Ti to C is equal to a number of Ti atoms occupying the film divided by a sum of a number of carbon atoms
having an sp3 hybrid orbital and a number of carbon atoms having an sp2 hybrid orbital occupying the film.

US Pat. No. 9,606,447

REFLECTIVE MIRROR, PROJECTION OPTICAL SYSTEM, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A reflective mirror for reflecting incident light comprising:
a base having a base surface that includes a first surface portion and a second surface portion associated with a first base
height and a second base height, respectively; and

a multilayer film having a first surface situated on the base surface and a second surface opposite the first surface, wherein
the second surface has a constant height, wherein the multilayer film is configured to reflect at least a portion of the incident
light and includes a first layer and a second layer that are laminated alternately on the base, the multilayer film including
a first portion having a first thickness situated at the first surface portion of the base that is associated with the first
base height and a second portion having a second thickness different from the first thickness situated at the second surface
portion of the base that is associated with the second base height, the second portion being provided at a position rotationally
symmetric to a position of the first portion about an optical axis of the reflective mirror.

US Pat. No. 9,481,846

SLIDING FILM, MEMBER ON WHICH SLIDING FILM IS FORMED, AND MANUFACTURING METHOD THEREFOR

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A sliding film formed on a surface of a member which slides relative to another member, comprising:
a metal-doped tetrahedral amorphous carbon layer; and
a surface layer that is formed on top of the metal-doped tetrahedral amorphous carbon layer and has a higher coefficient of
kinetic friction than the metal-doped tetrahedral amorphous carbon layer, wherein a coefficient of kinetic friction of the
surface layer is from 0.2 to 0.3.

US Pat. No. 9,323,162

MOVABLE BODY APPARATUS, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, EXPOSURE METHOD, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus that exposes a substrate with illumination light via a projection optical system, the apparatus comprising:
a frame structure that supports the projection optical system;
a base member placed under the projection optical system and having a surface placed substantially parallel to a predetermined
plane orthogonal to an optical axis of the projection optical system, wherein the base member is a component of the exposure
apparatus that is supported by a floor;

a substrate stage that is placed on the base member and holds the substrate, the substrate stage having a holding member and
a main body section, the holding member having a mounting area of the substrate provided on an upper surface side and a measurement
surface having a grating provided on a lower surface side, and the main body section supporting the holding member so that
a space is formed between the measurement surface and the surface of the base member;

a drive system having an electromagnetic motor that drives the substrate stage, wherein the electromagnetic motor includes
a planar motor that has a stator arranged at the base member;

a measurement member coupled to the frame structure, a part of the measurement member being placed under the projection optical
system;

a measurement system that has a head section arranged at the part of the measurement member and placed lower than the measurement
surface and higher than the surface of the base member, and measures positional information of the substrate stage by irradiating
the measurement surface with a measurement beam from below via the head section that is placed in the space as the substrate
stage is arranged facing the projection optical system; and

a controller that is coupled to the drive system and controls drive of the substrate stage by the drive system based on the
positional information measured by the measurement system and correction information of a measurement error that occurs in
a tilt of the holding member included in the positional information.

US Pat. No. 9,296,982

CELL PICKING-ASSISTING DEVICE, DISPLAY DEVICE AND CULTURE CONTAINER

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A cell picking support device, comprising:
a fixing unit that fixes a culture container that holds cells cultured in a predetermined culture environment;
an acquisition unit that acquires coordinate information for specifying positions, on a bottom face of the culture container,
of specific cells from among the cells held in the culture container in the culture environment; and

a display unit that is provided adjacent to the bottom face of the culture container fixed by the fixing unit, and that displays
information denoting the specific cells, at display positions corresponding to the positions on the bottom face of the culture
container as specified by the coordinate information that is acquired by the acquisition unit.

US Pat. No. 9,285,684

EXPOSURE METHOD, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND METHOD FOR PRODUCING DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus that exposes a substrate with exposure light via a projection optical system and a liquid, the apparatus
comprising:
a liquid immersion member having a supply port of the liquid and having a recovery port that is configured to recover the
liquid from a liquid immersion area, the liquid immersion area being formed below the projection optical system with the liquid
supplied via the supply port, a portion of the liquid immersion member being configured to be movable and to come into contact
with the liquid of the liquid immersion area;

a driving device that is configured to drive the portion of the liquid immersion member;
a substrate stage having a holder to hold the substrate; and
a controller that is configured to drive the substrate stage at a plurality of movement conditions and to control the driving
device such that the portion of the liquid immersion member is driven by the driving device differently between the plurality
of movement conditions.

US Pat. No. 9,250,537

IMMERSION EXPOSURE APPARATUS AND METHOD WITH DETECTION OF LIQUID ON MEMBERS OF THE APPARATUS

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus that exposes a substrate via a projection optical system and a liquid, comprising:
a movable member that is configured to move relative to a predetermined member; and
a detection device that is supported by the movable member and is configured to detect whether there is any of the liquid
on and in contact with a predetermined surface of the predetermined member, which is other than the movable member, the exposure
apparatus being configured such that the substrate is moved relative to and above the predetermined surface of the predetermined
member during exposure of the substrate.

US Pat. No. 9,241,098

CAMERA BODY AND INTERCHANGEABLE LENS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An interchangeable lens storing a plurality of sets of optical characteristics data, each of which expresses specific optical
characteristics in a plurality of representation formats, the interchangeable lens comprising:
an identification information transmission unit that transmits lens-side identification information to a camera body, the
lens-side identification information expressing each of the plurality of stored representation formats; and

an optical characteristic transmission unit that transmits optical characteristic data to the camera body, the optical characteristic
data having been requested by the camera body in a respective representation format from among the plurality of stored representation
formats.

US Pat. No. 9,237,261

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR IMPROVING CONTRAST DETECTED IN A FRINGE PROJECTION AUTOFOCUS SYSTEM

Nikon Corporation, (JP)

1. A method for improving contrast in a fringe projection autofocus system, the method comprising:
scanning the substrate in a direction of a scan;
forming an image of a fringe pattern, formed by a fringe projection portion of the fringe projection autofocus system on a
substrate, at a surface of a digital camera by projecting light reflected from the substrate in a direction that is oblique
with respect to the substrate,

wherein said fringe pattern is spatially-periodic at least in a first direction, and said image being spatially-periodic at
least in a second direction;

reducing a fill factor of the digital camera in a chosen direction defined such as to improve the contrast at spatial frequencies
near and above the Nyquist limit in the chosen direction,

wherein said reducing includes reducing the fill factor in the direction of a scan while substantially maintaining the fill
factor a direction transverse to the direction of a scan.

US Pat. No. 9,213,162

LENS BARREL AND IMAGE CAPTURING APPARATUS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A device comprising:
a lens barrel operable to change between a contracted state and an extended state, the lens barrel including:
a first optical member that moves in an optical axis direction to change one of focus and magnification prior to image capturing
and during image capturing,

a first drive member including one of a stepping motor, a supersonic motor, and a voice coil motor that causes the first optical
member to move in the optical axis direction along a drive axle during image capturing,

a second optical member that has the first drive member fixed thereto, moves in the optical axis direction only to change
the lens barrel between the extended state and the contracted state, and is fixed at a position in the optical axis direction
during image capturing,

a case that houses the drive axle, and
a second drive member that causes the second optical member, the first optical member, and the case to move in the optical
axis direction when changing between the extended state and the contracted state, wherein

the case includes a first end that is fixed to the second optical member such that the case is in a cantilevered state.

US Pat. No. 9,210,337

IMAGING DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An imaging device, comprising: a sensor chip including:
a plurality of pixels arranged in a 2-dimensional matrix; and
a plurality of data output terminal groups, each of the data output terminal groups being made UP of a plurality of data output
terminals which output signals of the pixels;

a same number of signal processing chips as data output terminal groups, each signal processing chip including:
a data input terminal group electrically coupled to one of the data output terminal groups;
a processing unit which performs processing on the signals of the pixels received by the data input terminal group, and the
processing unit including a plurality of A/D converters which convert analog signals into digital signals; and

a control unit which controls operation of the processing unit and operates in synchronization with control units of other
signal processing chips, wherein:

the control unit of at least one of the plurality of signal processing chips includes an A/D conversion control circuit which
controls operation of the plurality of A/D converters,

the control unit of at least one of the plurality of signal processing chips has a timing generator which controls a driving
timing of the sensor chip, controls the operation of the processing unit, and controls operation of the sensor chip,

a simple A/D conversion control circuit is provided in signal processing chips not having the A/D conversion control circuit,
and

a simple timing generator is provided in signal processing chips not having the timing generator, the simple diming generator
generating a test signal for testing the signal processing chips alone.

US Pat. No. 9,097,986

SUBSTRATE CONVEYANCE DEVICE AND SUBSTRATE CONVEYANCE METHOD, EXPOSURE APPARATUS AND EXPOSURE METHOD, DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus which exposes a substrate via a projection optical system and an immersion liquid, comprising:
a substrate table which moves under the projection optical system while holding the substrate;
an immersion system which has a liquid supply port and a liquid recovery port, the immersion liquid being supplied onto a
part of the substrate via the liquid supply port and being recovered via the liquid recovery port to form a liquid immersion
region onto the part of the substrate; and

a liquid detecting device; and
a controller that instructs the liquid detection device to detect a remaining immersion liquid on the substrate (i) after
the substrate has been exposed via the immersion region and (ii) while the exposed substrate moves via a path away from the
projection optical system, the remaining immersion liquid being a liquid which is not recovered via the liquid recovery port.

US Pat. No. 9,091,845

CONFOCAL SCANNING MICROSCOPE

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A confocal scanning microscope comprising:
an apochromat objective optical system that converges illumination light on a sample, forms a first image plane locating at
a conjugate position with the sample, and corrects lateral chromatic aberration over an entire visible wavelength range;

a scanning mechanism that scans the illumination light on a surface of the sample; and
a scanning optical system that is provided between the scanning mechanism and the first image plane formed by the apochromat
objective optical system;

the scanning optical system being composed of, in order from the scanning mechanism side, a first lens group, a second lens
group, and a third lens group,

wherein the first lens group has positive refractive power, the second lens group has negative refractive power, and the third
lens group has positive refractive power,

the third lens group has first and second chromatic aberration correction portions, each formed by a positive lens and a negative
lens adjoining each other or by a negative lens and a positive lens adjoining each other,

the first chromatic aberration correction portion being configured to carry out chromatization, and the second chromatic aberration
correction portion being configured to carry out achromatization, and

the first and second chromatic aberration correction portions correct lateral chromatic aberration generated in an ultraviolet
wavelength region by the apochromat objective optical system.

US Pat. No. 9,063,343

IMAGE PROCESSING APPARATUS, INCUBATION OBSERVING APPARATUS, AND IMAGE PROCESSING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An image processing apparatus, comprising:
an outline extracting processing device configured to input a phase contrast image of a cell colony acquired by an observing
device, and extract an outline of the cell colony,

an extracting device configured to set, along the outline, a belt-like area with a predetermined width including the outline
of the cell colony, the predetermined width of the belt-like area being defined by an outer belt line and an inner belt line,
the outline being disposed between the outer belt line and the inner belt line and being spaced from the outer belt line and
the inner belt line,

the extracting device being further configured to extract a feature quantity of the outline of the cell colony based on a
combination of brightness information of an inner area between the outline and the inner belt line and brightness information
of an outer area between the outline and the outer belt line, and

an automatic discriminating device configured to automatically discriminate whether or not the cell colony is an iPS cell
colony based on a discriminant criterion determined in advance and the feature quantity extracted by the extracting device.

US Pat. No. 9,063,436

EXPOSURE APPARATUS, EXPOSURE METHOD, AND METHOD FOR PRODUCING DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus which exposes a substrate through a liquid in a liquid immersion area, the exposure apparatus comprising:
a projection optical system including a first optical element disposed closest to an image plane of the projection optical
system;

a liquid immersion system including a nozzle member configured to form the liquid immersion area of the liquid in a space
between the first optical element and a surface provided on a side of the image plane of the projection optical system;

an observation unit which observes a lower surface of the nozzle member; and
a control unit configured to confirm a contamination state of the lower surface of the nozzle member based on an output of
the observation unit.

US Pat. No. 9,063,438

EXPOSURE APPARATUS, EXPOSURE METHOD, AND METHOD FOR PRODUCING DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A liquid immersion exposure apparatus comprising:
a projection system having a last optical element, the projection system projecting a beam onto a substrate through an immersion
liquid;

a movable stage having a holder by which the substrate is held;
a measurement member provided on the movable stage, the measurement member having a measurement portion covered with a light-transmissive
material;

a first alignment system by which an alignment mark is detected not through the immersion liquid; and
a second alignment system which is configured to receive a measurement light via the measurement member through the projection
system and the immersion liquid between the projection system and the light-transmissive material of the measurement member
in order to obtain first positional information of the beam to be projected by the projection system through the immersion
liquid,

wherein in order to obtain the first positional information, the movable stage is moved so that the measurement member is
under the projection system and a gap between the projection system and the measurement member is filled with the immersion
liquid.

US Pat. No. 9,057,963

ILLUMINATION OPTICAL SYSTEM, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, OPTICAL ELEMENT AND MANUFACTURING METHOD THEREOF, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An illumination optical system which illuminates a surface to be illuminated on the basis of light from a light source,
the illumination optical system comprising:
a first optical path in which a diffractive optical element can be arranged at a first position thereof;
a second optical path in which a spatial light modulator with a plurality of optical elements arrayed two-dimensionally and
controlled individually can be arranged at a second position thereof;

a third optical path which is an optical path of light having passed via at least one of the first optical path and the second
optical path and in which a distribution forming optical system is arranged,

wherein the distribution forming optical system forms a predetermined light intensity distribution on an illumination pupil
located in the third optical path, based on the light having passed via at least one of the first and second optical paths;
and

a selector that is configured to switch between an optical path in which the light from the light source is guided to the
diffractive optical element arranged in the first optical path and an optical path in which the light source is guided to
the spatial light modulator arranged at the second position.

US Pat. No. 9,625,733

ZOOM OPTICAL SYSTEM COMPRISING DIFFRACTIVE OPTICAL ELEMENT AND IMAGING DEVICE HAVING THE SAME

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A zoom optical system comprising, in order from an object:
a first lens group having positive refractive power; a second lens group having negative refractive power; a third lens group
having positive refractive power; and a fourth lens group having negative refractive power,

upon zooming, distance between the first lens group and the second lens group varies, distance between the second lens group
and the third lens group varies, and distance between the third lens group and the fourth lens group varies,

the third lens group or the fourth lens group including at least one contact multi-layer type diffractive optical element,
and

the following conditional expressions are satisfied:
0.010?|?doei/?i|?0.025

where ?i denotes a total refractive power of the lens group including the contact multi-layer type diffractive optical element,
and ?doei denotes a refractive power of the contact multi-layer type diffractive optical element, and

0.8?TLw/fw?1.3

where TLw denotes a distance from a lens surface closest to an object to an image plane in a wide-angle end state, and fw
denotes a focal length of the zoom optical system in the wide-angle end state.

US Pat. No. 9,618,619

RADAR SYSTEMS WITH DUAL FIBER COUPLED LASERS

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. An optical measurement apparatus, comprising:
a beam pointing system, comprising an elevational stage and an azimuthal stage;
an optical system secured so as to be rotatable with the azimuthal stage, wherein the optical system is configured to:
receive, focus, and shape a measurement beam for delivery to a target area as a probe beam, wherein the target area is based
on an elevational angle and an azimuthal angle established by the beam pointing system,

combine a portion of the probe beam returned from the target with a portion of the measurement beam in an optical fiber, and
a rotatable reflective surface situated so as to establish an elevational angle for the probe beam; and
a signal processing system configured to provide an estimate of a target distance based on the combined beam.

US Pat. No. 9,552,619

IMAGE PROCESSING APPARATUS AND IMAGE PROCESSING INTERFACE CIRCUIT

MegaChips Corporation, O...

1. An image processing apparatus comprising:
a plurality of image processing circuits, each including a module core circuit configured to execute predetermined image processing;
a module arbiter circuit directly connected to said plurality of image processing circuits and configured to communicate over
a bus that is configured to be directly connected to a memory and a central processing unit and to arbitrate memory access
over said bus which is given by said plurality of image processing circuits; and

a DMAC (Direct Memory Access Controller) circuit directly connected to said module arbiter circuit and directly connected
to said bus and configured to execute said memory access related to an arbitration result obtained by said module arbiter
circuit.

US Pat. No. 9,519,229

APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR INHIBITING IMMERSION LIQUID FROM FLOWING BELOW A SUSTRATE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A lithographic exposure apparatus that exposes a substrate by forming an image of a pattern through an immersion liquid
onto the substrate, the lithographic exposure apparatus comprising:
a projection optical system that projects the image of the pattern onto the substrate; and
a substrate stage that includes a substrate holding member that holds the substrate adjacent to a last optical element of
the projection optical system with a gap between the last optical element and a surface of the substrate onto which the image
of the pattern is projected, the immersion liquid at least partially filling the gap,

the substrate stage including an immersion liquid collection member disposed so as to be located at least partly below the
outer periphery of the substrate held by the substrate holding member, the collection member having an uppermost liquid-receiving
surface that is spaced below a lowermost surface of the substrate held by the substrate holding member,

wherein the collection member includes a first portion and a second portion, the first portion is located radially inward
of the second portion so that the first portion is disposed closer to a center of the substrate holding member than is the
second portion, a surface of the first portion is hydrophobic so as to repel the immersion liquid to assist in causing the
immersion liquid to move from the first portion toward the second portion, at least a part of the hydrophobic surface of the
first portion is disposed directly under the outer periphery of the substrate held by the substrate holding member, the portion
includes a hydroplhilic surface, the hydrophobic surface and the hydrophilic surface are disposed so that the hydrophobic
surface and at least a part of the hydrophilic surface of the second portion are parallel to the substrate held by the substrate
holding member.

US Pat. No. 9,519,155

OPTICAL SYSTEM, IMAGING APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING THE OPTICAL SYSTEM

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. An optical system comprising a first lens element which is shiftable to have a component in a direction perpendicular to
the optical axis and a second lens element which is shiftable to have a component in a direction perpendicular to the optical
axis,
said second lens element comprising said first lens element and other lens element, and
said first lens element or said second lens element being shifted to have a component in a direction perpendicular to the
optical axis,

said first lens element being shifted relative to said other lens element upon said first lens element shifting thereby carrying
out a correction of the image plane.

US Pat. No. 9,500,959

EXPOSURE APPARATUS AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A liquid confinement member that supplies liquid to and collects the liquid from a liquid immersion area that is formed
adjacent to a final optical element of an immersion exposure apparatus, the liquid confinement member comprising:
a channel formation member configured to surround a portion of the final optical element of the immersion exposure apparatus,
the channel formation member including:

a hole through which exposure light projected by the final optical element passes,
a liquid supply opening through which the liquid is supplied to the liquid immersion area,
a liquid recovery opening through which the liquid is recovered from the liquid immersion area,
a liquid supply channel by which the liquid is supplied to the liquid supply opening, and
a liquid recovery channel by which the liquid is recovered from the liquid recovery opening,
wherein at least one of the liquid supply channel and the liquid recovery channel includes a protrusion that protrudes into
a portion of the channel, the protrusion extending in a direction that intersects a flow direction of the liquid through the
channel.

US Pat. No. 9,462,141

ELECTRONIC DEVICE, IMAGING DEVICE, IMAGE REPRODUCTION METHOD, IMAGE REPRODUCTION PROGRAM, RECORDING MEDIUM WITH IMAGE REPRODUCTION PROGRAM RECORDED THEREUPON, AND IMAGE REPRODUCTION DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An electronic device, comprising:
an operating unit that has an operation member to issue a command in response to an operation of the operation member;
a communicator capable of communicating with an external device; and
a controller that executes a first operation when the communicator is not in communication with the external device based
on the command and executes a second operation when the communicator is in communication with the external device based on
the command, the first operation being different from the second operation, wherein:

the communicator comprises a first communicator and a second communicator that is different from the first communicator, and
the controller performs a first control in which the second communicator communicates with the external device after the first
communicator communicates with the external device, and a second control in which the second communicator communicates with
the external device without using the first communicator.

US Pat. No. 9,423,694

POLARIZATION-MODULATING ELEMENT, ILLUMINATION OPTICAL APPARATUS, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND EXPOSURE METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An illumination optical apparatus which illuminates an object having a pattern with illumination light, the illumination
optical apparatus comprising:
an optical integrator arranged in an optical path of the illumination light; and
a polarization modulating member made of an optical material with optical activity, the polarization modulating member having
a thickness that varies with respect to azimuthal positions about an optical axis of the illumination optical apparatus, the
polarization modulating member being arranged in the optical path on an incidence side of the optical integrator and being
arranged around the optical axis so as to surround the optical axis, a direction of an optic axis of the optical material
being substantially coincident with a direction of the optical axis of the illumination optical apparatus,

wherein the polarization modulating member rotates a polarization direction of the illumination light so that the illumination
light, being incident on the polarization modulating member in a linearly polarized state having the polarization direction
along a single direction, is changed to a linearly polarized state having polarization directions being substantially coincident
with an azimuthal direction about the optical axis at a pupil plane of the illumination optical apparatus, wherein the polarization
modulating member has a region without optical activity in an area perpendicular to the optical axis, the region being on
the optical axis, and

wherein the polarization modulating member has substantially constant thicknesses in at least two radial directions that are
not parallel to each other.

US Pat. No. 9,423,702

EXPOSURE APPARATUS, EXPOSURE METHOD, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD MEASURING POSITION OF SUBSTRATE STAGE BY SWITCHING BETWEEN ENCODER AND INTERFEROMETER

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus that exposes a substrate with an energy beam via a mask, the apparatus comprising:
a substrate stage system having a movable body that holds the substrate, which drives the movable body to move the substrate
within a predetermined plane;

a measurement system having an encoder system that irradiates a grating section placed substantially parallel to the predetermined
plane with a beam and measures positional information of the movable body, and an interferometer system that measures positional
information of the movable body; and

a control system that controls a movement of the movable body based on measurement information of the measurement system,
wherein

the control system switches the positional information used for movement control of the movable body from the positional information
of one of the encoder system and the interferometer system to the positional information of the other, in a case when at least
a part of information necessary for position control of the movable body cannot be obtained any longer from the one of the
encoder system and the interferometer system,

the switching is performed in an exposure operation of the substrate, and
at least during a time at which the substrate is being exposed with the energy beam via the mask, measurement information
of the encoder system is used in the movement control of the movable body.

US Pat. No. 9,401,478

METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING TRANSISTOR AND TRANSISTOR

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A method for manufacturing a transistor, the method comprising:
forming a base film for supporting a catalyst for electroless plating;
forming a resist layer having an opening portion onto the base film, the opening portion having first and second openings
corresponding to a source electrode and a drain electrode, respectively;

causing the base film within the opening portion to support the catalyst for electroless plating and performing a first electroless
plating to form electrodes respectively in the first and second openings;

removing the resist layer;
after the removing the resist layer, performing a second electroless plating on a surface of each of the electrodes formed
by the first electroless plating, thereby forming a source electrode and a drain electrode; and

forming a semiconductor layer in contact with a surface of the source electrode and a surface of the drain electrode, the
surfaces facing each other, wherein

an energy level difference between a work function of a metal material which is used for the second electroless plating and
an energy level of a molecular orbital which is used for electron transfer in a formation material of the semiconductor layer
is less than an energy level difference between a work function of a metal material which is used for the first electroless
plating and the energy level of the molecular orbital.

US Pat. No. 9,347,968

ELECTRONIC DEVICE AND INPUT METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An electronic device comprising:
an acceleration sensor configured to detect acceleration of the electronic device;
a motion detection unit configured to detect a motion of the electronic device on the basis of an acceleration detected by
the acceleration sensor and generate data of the detected motion of the electronic device;

a correction range determination unit configured to determine a reference direction and a reference position on the basis
of data of a motion in a predetermined section, among the data of the motion of the electronic device generated by the motion
detection unit, and determine a correction range which has, as boundaries, a plurality of straight lines intersecting a straight
line with a predetermined angle in the reference direction at the reference position; and

a correction unit configured to correct the data of the motion of the electronic device when the motion of the electronic
device detected by the motion detection unit is in the correction range determined by the correction range determination unit.

US Pat. No. 9,341,959

SUBSTRATE HOLDING DEVICE, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus that exposes a substrate via a projection optical system and via a liquid immersion region, which
is formed with a liquid supplied below the projection optical system, the exposure apparatus comprising:
a stage that is capable of moving relative to the projection optical system, wherein the stage comprises:
a supporting portion that comprises a plurality of supports supporting a rear surface of the substrate;
a porous member located at a level lower than a gap formed by the substrate supported by the supporting portion and an upper
surface of the stage, the upper surface being located around the supporting portion, the porous member being configured to
keep the liquid from the gap;

a recovery portion having a recovery port located below the porous member that recovers the liquid from the porous member
via the recovery port;

a first peripheral wall portion that is provided to surround the supporting portion and that is provided so that the rear
surface of the substrate supported by the supporting portion faces the first peripheral wall portion; and

a suction port facing a space surrounded by the first peripheral wall portion and configured to suck gas in the space,
wherein the porous member is disposed outside the first peripheral wall portion, and
wherein at least a part of the porous member is located directly below an overhang region of the substrate supported by the
supporting portion, the overhang region overhanging the first peripheral wall portion.

US Pat. No. 9,340,764

TRANSFER DEVICE FOR CULTURE VESSEL, CULTURE DEVICE AND HOLDER FOR CULTURE VESSEL

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A transfer device for a culture vessel comprising:
a chamber configured to maintain an atmosphere of a constant temperature and a constant humidity,
a transferring unit provided in the chamber and configured to transfer the culture vessel for culturing a cell;
an inputting unit configured to input information;
a processor;
a computer readable medium having computer instructions embodied thereon that, when executed by the processor, determines
information indicating a kind of the culture vessel being input based on information input into the inputting unit indicating
the kind of the culture vessel and how the kind of culture vessel differs in shape and size from other culture vessels;

a speed setting unit connected to the inputting unit electrically and configured to set a transfer speed of the culture vessel
based on the determination of the information indicating the kind of the culture vessel being input; and

a speed controlling unit configured to control the transferring unit to allow the culture vessel to be transferred at the
transfer speed set by the speed setting unit.

US Pat. No. 9,329,492

APPARATUS AND METHOD TO CONTROL VACUUM AT POROUS MATERIAL USING MULTIPLE POROUS MATERIALS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An immersion liquid confinement apparatus for confining an immersion liquid in an immersion area that includes a gap between
a projection system and an object in an immersion lithography system, the apparatus also recovering the immersion liquid from
the immersion area, the apparatus comprising:
an aperture through which a patterned image is projected;
an outlet that faces downwardly so that the outlet faces the object, the outlet located radially outward of an outer circumference
of the aperture relative to an optical axis of the projection system;

a first chamber into which the immersion liquid is recovered through the outlet; and
a second chamber into which the immersion liquid is recovered through a porous member from the first chamber,
wherein:
the porous member has a first surface contacting the first chamber and a second surface contacting the second chamber, and
a vertical position of a first portion of the first surface is different from a vertical position of a second portion of the
first surface.

US Pat. No. 9,325,924

SOLID-STATE IMAGE-CAPTURING DEVICE HAVING LINES THAT CONNECT INPUT UNITS AND ELECTRONIC CAMERA USING THE SAME

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A solid-state image-capturing device, comprising:
a plurality of pixels arranged in a two-dimensional manner;
a plurality of vertical signal lines each provided for a corresponding column of the plurality of pixels, and each configured
to receive a signal from pixels of a corresponding column;

a plurality of signal processing units each configured to process a signal of one of the plurality of vertical signal lines
based on a ramp signal and a reference voltage;

a first line configured as a common line that connects first input units of the plurality of signal processing units each
configured to receive the ramp signal, and configured such that the ramp signal is supplied to one side of the first line
along a row direction;

a second line configured as a common line that connects second input units of the plurality of signal processing units each
configured to receive the reference voltage, and configured such that the reference voltage is supplied to one side of the
second line along the row direction and the reference voltage is not supplied to another side of the second line along the
row direction.

US Pat. No. 9,304,412

MOVABLE BODY DRIVE METHOD AND MOVABLE BODY DRIVE SYSTEM, PATTERN FORMATION METHOD AND APPARATUS, EXPOSURE METHOD AND APPARATUS, DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD, AND MEASURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure method of exposing a substrate with an illumination light via a projection optical system, the method comprising:
moving a movable body that mounts the substrate, while detecting positional information of the movable body in a direction
parallel to a two-dimensional plane orthogonal to an optical axis of the projection optical system, by a head that faces a
scale member, of a plurality of heads of a first detection device, so that the substrate is placed facing a second detection
device that is placed apart from the projection optical system, the first detection device having the plurality of heads that
each irradiate a beam to the scale member where a reflective grating is formed, the first detection device being also capable
of detecting positional information of the movable body in a direction orthogonal to the two-dimensional plane;

detecting positional information of the substrate in the direction orthogonal to the two-dimensional plane by the second detection
device; and

during an exposure operation of the substrate, moving the movable body in the direction parallel to the two-dimensional plane
based on the positional information of the movable body in the direction parallel to the two-dimensional plane detected by
the first detection device, and also driving the movable body in at least one of the direction orthogonal to the two-dimensional
plane and a tilt direction with respect to the two-dimensional plane based on the positional information of the movable body
in the direction orthogonal to the two-dimensional plane detected by the first detection device, information related to unevenness
of a detection subject of the scale member irradiated with the beam, and the positional information of the substrate detected
by the second detection device, wherein

during a detection operation of the second detection device, the positional information of the movable body is detected by
the first detection device.

US Pat. No. 9,291,814

SPATIAL LIGHT MODULATOR, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING DEVICE

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A spatial light modulator that modulates incident light and emits the modulated light, the spatial light modulator comprising:
a plurality of reflective elements that have reflective surfaces situated to reflect the incident light, each reflective surface
being able to change at least one of position and inclination;

a first portion situated to reflect light incident to a gap between the reflective surfaces of adjacent reflective elements,
and

a second portion that reflects light incident to the gap,
wherein the first portion and the second portion are situated at the gap between the adjacent reflective elements so that
a predetermined phase difference is set between light reflected by the first portion and the second portion.

US Pat. No. 9,286,416

SCANNER BASED OPTICAL PROXIMITY CORRECTION SYSTEM AND METHOD OF USE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A modeling method, comprising:
inputting tool parameters into a model;
inputting basic model parameters into the model;
generating a simulated, corrected reticle design using the tool parameters and the basic model parameters;
comparing an image of test patterns for an integrated circuit against the simulated, corrected reticle design;
determining whether a difference between the simulated, corrected reticle design and exposure results of the image of the
test patterns is less than a predetermined criteria;

completing the model when the difference between the simulated, corrected reticle design and the exposure results of the image
of the test patterns is less than the predetermined criteria; and

outputting information about variation of image to the tool parameters in order to determine which tool parameters are to
be used in the model.

US Pat. No. 9,244,362

ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEM INCLUDING VACUUM SCAVENGE FOR AN IMMERSION LITHOGRAPHY APPARATUS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A liquid immersion exposure apparatus comprising:
an optical assembly having a final optical element, from which exposure light is projected through immersion liquid filling
an optical path of the exposure light under the final optical element;

a containment member having a first inlet and a gas supply outlet, the containment member surrounding a tip portion of the
optical assembly;

a stage configured to hold a substrate and that has an upper surface around the held substrate, the stage being movable below
and relative to the optical assembly and the containment member;

a frame by which the optical assembly and the containment member are supported; and
an optical mount isolator which has an actuator and which isolates the optical assembly from vibrations of the frame, wherein
the optical mount isolator does not isolate the containment member from the vibrations of the frame;

wherein:
the first inlet of the containment member is arranged to face at least one of the substrate and the stage and collects fluid
from a gap between the containment member and the at least one of the substrate and the stage, and

the gas supply outlet of the containment member supplies gas to the gap.

US Pat. No. 9,244,363

ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEM INCLUDING A TRANSPORT REGION FOR AN IMMERSION LITHOGRAPHY APPARATUS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An immersion lithography apparatus comprising:
an optical assembly including an optical element, the optical assembly configured to project a beam onto a substrate through
an immersion liquid;

a containment member arranged to surround a path of the beam;
a stage on which the substrate is held, the substrate on the stage being moved below a bottom surface of the containment member
with the substrate being spaced from the bottom surface of the containment member; and

an isolator having an actuator which limits vibrations of the optical assembly,
wherein the containment member includes:
a nozzle outlet via which water as the immersion liquid is released,
a recovery channel via which the immersion liquid is recovered from a gap between the containment member and the substrate
and/or the stage,

a fluid channel via which water is released to the gap between the containment member and the substrate and/or the stage,
the fluid channel being provided radially inward of the recovery channel, and

a removal channel which is provided radially outward of the recovery channel.

US Pat. No. 9,238,790

INCUBATOR, SCHEDULE MANAGEMENT METHOD, AND PROGRAM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An incubator comprising:
a temperature-controlled room that has a storage section configured to house a plurality of incubation containers, and configured
to maintain an interior of the temperature-controlled room to a predefined environment condition;

an imaging section configured to capture images of a condition of samples within an incubation container in the temperature-controlled
room;

a carrying mechanism configured to move the incubation container between the storage section and the imaging section;
a controlling section configured to control the imaging section and the carrying mechanism to automatically execute an observation
sequence of the incubation container;

a first memory that stores first data indicating a carrying period of the incubation container by the carrying mechanism,
and second data indicating an imaging duration of the imaging section;

a second memory that stores schedule data including a plurality of observation schedules, each of the observation schedules
including a start time and an observation duration of the observation sequence in association with one of the incubation containers;

an input section configured to accept, from a user, a first input selection of an incubation container, and a second input
selection of an imaging condition;

a controller executing a program stored in memory, the program performing the steps of:
calculating an observation duration of the selected incubation container based on the first data and the second data according
to the selected imaging condition;

extracting, based on the stored schedule data and the calculated observation duration, a registrable time zone, the registrable
time zone being a time zone in which the observation sequence of the specified incubation container can be executed without
overlapping with the previously stored plurality of observation schedules; and

outputting to a display the registrable time zone.

US Pat. No. 9,184,197

BACKSIDE ILLUMINATION IMAGE SENSOR AND IMAGE-CAPTURING DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A backside illumination image sensor that includes a semiconductor substrate with a plurality of pairs of photoelectric
conversion elements formed thereat and a read circuit formed on a side where a front surface of the semiconductor substrate
is present, and captures an image by outputting, via the read circuit, electrical signals generated as incident light having
passed through an image forming optical system and having reached a side where a back surface of the semiconductor substrate
is present, is received at a plurality of pairs of light receiving areas, each pair of light receiving areas being formed
in each pair of the plurality of pairs of photoelectric conversion elements, comprising:
an on-chip lens formed at a position set apart from the each pair of light receiving areas by a predetermined distance;
a first separating area that is constituted with a type of semiconductor and that separates unit pixel areas from each other,
each of the unit pixel areas including the each pair of the plurality of pairs of photoelectric conversion elements; and

a second separating area that is constituted with the type of semiconductor and that forms a boundary between the each pair
of photoelectric conversion elements; wherein:

the each pair of light receiving areas and an exit pupil plane at which an exit pupil of the image forming optical system
is present achieve a conjugate relation to each other with regard to the on-chip lens.

US Pat. No. 9,170,504

MOVABLE BODY APPARATUS, EXPOSURE APPARATUS AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus that exposes a substrate to an energy beam while scanning the substrate in a first direction, the
apparatus comprising:
a substrate holding member that holds the substrate;
a first supporting member that supports the substrate holding member from below;
a second supporting member that supports the first supporting member from below such that the first supporting member and
the second supporting member are capable of moving relative to each other; and

a driving system that moves the substrate holding member, the first supporting member and the second supporting member, the
driving system including a first driving device and a second driving device, the first driving device moving the substrate
holding member and the first supporting member in a direction along a predetermined axis, and the second driving device moving
the second supporting member in the direction along the predetermined axis.

US Pat. No. 9,146,393

STRUCTURED ILLUMINATION APPARATUS, STRUCTURED ILLUMINATION MICROSCOPY, AND STRUCTURED ILLUMINATION METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A structured illumination apparatus, comprising:
a light modulator being disposed in a light path of an exit light flux from a light source, and in which a sonic wave propagation
path is arranged in a direction traversing the exit light flux;

a driving unit generating a sonic standing wave in the sonic wave propagation path by giving a driving signal for vibrating
a medium of the sonic wave propagation path to the light modulator;

an illuminating optical system making at least three diffracted lights of the exit light flux passed through the sonic wave
propagation path to be interfered with one another, and forming interference fringes of the diffracted lights on an observational
object; and

a controlling unit controlling a phase of at least one diffracted light among the diffracted lights in a predetermined pitch.

US Pat. No. 9,146,476

ILLUMINATION OPTICAL APPARATUS AND PROJECTION EXPOSURE APPARATUS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An illumination optical apparatus which illuminates a pattern on a mask with illumination light through a pupil plane of
the illumination optical apparatus, the illumination optical apparatus comprising:
an optical integrator arranged in an optical path of the illumination light on an incidence side of the pupil plane;
a plurality of birefringent members made of a birefringent material, which are arranged in the optical path on an incidence
side of the optical integrator and arranged in order in a direction along an optical axis of the illumination optical apparatus
so as to change a polarization state of the illumination light; and

a distribution changing member arranged in the optical path between the plurality of birefringent members and the optical
integrator so as to change a light quantity distribution of the illumination light on the pupil plane, the light quantity
distribution including a light quantity in a first region larger than a light quantity in a second region, the first region
being away from the optical axis, the second region including the optical axis, wherein

the plurality of birefringent members change the polarization state of the illumination light entering into the plurality
of birefringent members in a substantially single polarization state so that a polarization state of the illumination light
in the first region consists primarily of linear polarization of which a polarization direction is substantially coincident
with a circumferential direction about the optical axis.

US Pat. No. 9,110,356

CAMERA ACCESSORY, CAMERA BODY AND CAMERA SYSTEM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A camera accessory to be detachably mounted at a camera body that includes a first body contact point and a second body
contact point and detects disengagement of the camera accessory when the second body contact point sustains a signal level
corresponding to a first truth value continuously over a length of time equal to or greater than a predetermined time length,
the camera accessory comprising:
a mounting device to be detachably mounted at the camera body;
a first accessory contact point that is connected with the first body contact point while the camera accessory is engaged
with the camera body by the mounting device and to which an information communication operation with the camera body is executed;

a second accessory contact point that is connected with the second body contact point while the camera accessory is engaged
with the camera body by the mounting device so as to allow a signal that has a level corresponding to the first truth value
to be output to the camera body during a time period in which the information communication operation via the first accessory
contact point is disallowed; and

an accessory-side communication control device that executes the information communication operation with the camera body
via the first accessory contact point, wherein:

the accessory-side communication control device executes control so as to ensure that a time length during which the signal
that has a level corresponding to the first truth value continues to be output at the second accessory contact point is less
than the predetermined time length while the mounting device is mounted at the camera body.

US Pat. No. 9,097,881

ZOOM LENS SYSTEM, OPTICAL APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING ZOOM LENS SYSTEM

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A zoom lens system consisting of, in order from an object side:
a first lens group having negative refractive power; and
a second lens group having positive refractive power,
a distance between the first lens group and the second lens group varying upon zooming from a wide-angle end state to a telephoto
end state,

the first lens group including, in order from the object side, a first lens component having negative refractive power, a
second lens component having negative refractive power, a third lens component having positive refractive power, and a fourth
lens component having positive refractive power,

wherein at least a portion of the second lens group is moved as a focusing lens group along an optical axis so as to carry
out focusing from an infinitely distant object to a close object,

the following conditional expression is satisfied:
0.15<|fw/ff|<0.45

where fw denotes a focal length of the zoom lens system in the wide-angle end state, and ff denotes a focal length of the
focusing lens group, and

wherein the zoom lens system includes a shift lens group including a component that shifts in a direction perpendicular to
the optical axis, and wherein the following conditional expression is satisfied:

?3.70
wherein fs denotes a focal length of the shift lens group.

US Pat. No. 9,080,935

IMAGE ANALYSIS METHOD FOR CELL OBSERVATION, IMAGE-PROCESSING PROGRAM, AND IMAGE-PROCESSING DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An image analysis method for cell observation, comprising:
obtaining a first image showing a plurality of cells in an observation region, the first image being captured by an imaging
device, and a second image showing the observation region, the second image being captured by the imaging device a predetermined
time before the first image is captured;

selecting one cell as a cell of interest from the plurality of cells included in the first image;
specifying cells on the periphery of the cell of interest as peripheral cells; and
calculating movement statistics of the peripheral cells with respect to the cell of interest based on an amount of relative
movement of the cell of interest and the peripheral cells in the first image and the second image; and

adding together the movement statistics obtained by sequentially substituting the selected cell of interest with other cells
positioned in the observation region, and calculating a total movement statistic for all of the cells in the observation region,

the image analysis method for cell observation being configured so that a state of interaction of the peripheral cells in
relation to the cell of interest can be determined and that a state of interaction between cells in the observation region
can be evaluated based on the total movement statistic.

US Pat. No. 9,488,841

IMAGE PROCESSING APPARATUS, IMAGE PROCESSING METHOD, DISPLAY APPARATUS, DISPLAY METHOD, AND COMPUTER READABLE RECORDING MEDIUM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An image processing apparatus comprising:
a detecting section that detects a subject distance in each region of a captured image; and
an image processing section that changes a distance perspective of an image of each region depending on the subject distance
detected for the region of the captured image, wherein

the image processing section increases an amount of blue relative to other colors of a region whose detected subject distance
is larger than a reference value causing an entirety of the region to appear more blue.

US Pat. No. 9,366,970

ILLUMINATION OPTICAL SYSTEM, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, OPTICAL ELEMENT AND MANUFACTURING METHOD THEREOF, AND DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A method of configuring an illumination optical system used in an exposure apparatus, the illumination optical system being
arranged to illuminate an object with light and comprising a distributing optical system which forms a predetermined light
intensity distribution on an illumination pupil of the illumination optical system and which includes a first optical system
arranged in an optical path of the light and an optical integrator arranged in the optical path on an exit side of the first
optical system, the method comprising a step of:
replacing the first optical system with a second optical system according to a control signal from a control system,
wherein the first optical system comprises one of a spatial light modulator and a diffractive optical element arranged in
the optical path, and

wherein the second optical system comprises the other of the spatial light modulator and the diffractive optical element in
the optical path.

US Pat. No. 9,366,850

MICROSCOPE OBJECTIVE LENS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A microscope objective lens comprising, in order from an object side:
a first lens group with positive refractive power; and
a second lens group with negative refractive power, wherein
the first lens group comprises a diffractive optical element including a diffractive optical surface,
the diffractive optical element is arranged at a position closer to an image side than a position where a diameter of a light
flux passing through the first lens group is the largest, and

conditions of the following expressions are satisfied, in which a maximum diameter of the light flux passing through the first
lens group is defined as ?max, a maximum diameter of the light flux passing through the diffractive optical surface is defined
as ?DOE, a focal length of the second lens group is defined as f2, and a focal length of an entire system is defined as f:

?DOE/?max<0.76
0.65<(?f2)/f<2.0.

US Pat. No. 9,360,738

CAMERA ACCESSORY, CAMERA BODY AND CAMERA SYSTEM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A camera accessory configured to be detachably mounted to a camera body, the camera accessory comprising:
an accessory contact point configured, when the camera accessory is mounted to the camera body, to output to the camera body
a ready signal that indicates whether or not an information communication operation with the camera body is enabled; and

a pull-down resistor electrically connected to the accessory contact point.

US Pat. No. 9,335,159

METHODS AND DEVICES FOR REDUCING ERRORS IN GOOS-HäNCHEN CORRECTIONS OF DISPLACEMENT DATA

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. In a system comprising a tool that performs a task on a workpiece, a method for determining displacement of the workpiece
relative to the tool, comprising:
from Goos-Hänchen (GH) insensitive focus information, mapping respective displacements of loci of at least a region of the
workpiece to produce a first set of displacement data for the region;

mapping respective displacements, from the tool, of the loci using an optical displacement sensor to produce a second set
of displacement data for the region;

determining goodness of fit of the second set with the first set;
according to the goodness of fit, determining a respective Goos-Hänchen correction (GHC) coefficient for at least one locus
of the region; and

when measuring displacement of the at least one locus in the region relative to the tool, applying the respective GHC coefficient
to the measured displacement to reduce an error that otherwise would be present in the measured displacement due to a GH effect.

US Pat. No. 9,217,933

APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR KEEPING IMMERSION FLUID ADJACENT TO AN OPTICAL ASSEMBLY DURING WAFER EXCHANGE IN AN IMMERSION LITHOGRAPHY MACHINE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A lithographic projection apparatus comprising:
a projection optical assembly having a final optical element;
a stage assembly including a substrate table on which a substrate is supported, the substrate supported by the substrate table
being exposed with an exposure beam from the final optical element of the projection optical assembly through an immersion
liquid;

a confinement member which encircles a portion of a path of the exposure beam, the confinement member having an aperture through
which the exposure beam is projected; and

a movable member which is movable in a space between the confinement member and the substrate, the substrate table, or both,
a first portion of the space located between a first surface of the movable member and the confinement member, and a second
portion of the space located between a second surface of the movable member and the substrate, the substrate table, or both,

wherein a vertical position and a tilt of the movable member are adjustable relative to the confinement member.

US Pat. No. 9,193,560

LEADER MEMBER, SUBSTRATE, SUBSTRATE CARTRIDGE, SUBSTRATE-PROCESSING APPARATUS, LEADER-CONNECTING METHOD, METHOD OF MANUFACTURING DISPLAY ELEMENT, AND APPARATUS FOR MANUFACTURING DISPLAY ELEMENT

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A substrate having a band-shape and flexibility in order to form an electric circuit, the substrate comprising:
a flexible substrate main body having a fixed size in a shorter side direction of the band-shape and having a predetermined
length in a longitudinal direction of the band-shape, the electric circuit being formed on a surface of the substrate main
body; and

a leader member that has a width corresponding to the size of the substrate main body in the shorter side direction and that
is configured to be connected to an end portion of the substrate main body in the longitudinal direction, the leader member
including a position reference providing an alignment reference with the substrate main body.

US Pat. No. 9,184,677

DRIVING DEVICE, LENS BARREL, AND IMAGE CAPTURING APPARATUS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A lens barrel comprising:
a vibration actuator that drives at least one lens of a photographic optical system;
an input section that inputs a set of driving signals to the vibration actuator;
a phase shifting section that changes a phase difference of the set of driving signals; and
a control section that executes first processing that causes the phase shifting section to perform an operation that reduces
a magnitude of the phase difference while driving the lens in a first direction by the vibration actuator, and when a movement
direction of the lens becomes a second direction, which is reversed with respect to the first direction, increases the magnitude
of the phase difference while driving the lens in the second direction.

US Pat. No. 9,176,307

ZOOM LENS SYSTEM, OPTICAL APPARATUS, AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING ZOOM LENS SYSTEM

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A zoom lens system comprising, in order from an object side: a first lens group having positive refractive power; a second
lens group having negative refractive power; a third lens group having positive refractive power; a fourth lens group having
negative refractive power; and a fifth lens group having positive refractive power;
upon zooming the first lens group being fixed with respect to an image plane in the direction of the optical axis,
upon focusing at least a portion of the third lens group being moved along the optical axis, and
the zoom lens system satisfying the following conditional expression:
0.010
where f1 denotes a focal length of the first lens group, and

f3 denotes a focal length of the third lens group,

wherein
upon zooming from a wide angle end state to a telephoto end state, a distance between the first lens group and the second
lens group is increased, a distance between the second lens group and the third lens group is decreased, a distance between
the third lens group and the fourth lens group is increased, and a distance between the fourth lens group and the fifth lens
group is decreased.

US Pat. No. 9,164,393

EXPOSURE METHOD AND APPARATUS, AND METHOD FOR FABRICATING DEVICE WITH LIGHT AMOUNT DISTRIBUTION HAVING LIGHT LARGER IN FOUR AREAS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure method for illuminating a pattern with an illumination system to expose a substrate through a projection system,
the method comprising:
illuminating the pattern with illumination light with a light amount distribution in which an amount of light is larger in
a pair of first areas and a pair of second areas than in a third area, the third area being an area other than the first and
second areas on a pupil plane of the illumination system and surrounding each of the first and second areas, the pair of the
first areas being arranged outside an optical axis, the pair of the second areas being arranged outside the pair of the first
areas, each center of gravity of the pair of the first areas and each center of gravity of the pair of the second areas being
in the same straight line passing through the optical axis, each of the first areas being surrounded by the third area so
as to be out of contact with the pair of second areas; and

projecting an image of the pattern illuminated with the illumination light onto the substrate by the projection system.

US Pat. No. 9,122,018

CASSETTE FOR OPTICAL FIBER AMPLIFIER, OPTICAL FIBER AMPLIFIER AND LIGHT SOURCE DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A cassette for an optical fiber amplifier, comprising:
a substrate with a surface;
a groove formed in the surface and having a width corresponding to a width of a single optical fiber and for containing amplifying
optical fibers, the groove including a first groove part for containing an optical fiber introduced from an outside of the
substrate and a second groove part for containing an amplifying optical fiber led out to the outside of the substrate;

recesses formed in the surface for respectively containing an optical coupler which is coupled to optical fibers including
one of the amplifying optical fibers; and

a plurality of grooves formed in the surface for containing optical fibers for excitation light introduced from the outside
of the substrate and connected to a respective recess and having a width corresponding to a width of a single optical fiber.

US Pat. No. 9,097,557

POSITION DETECTION DEVICE, TWO-DIMENSIONAL POSITION MEASURING APPARATUS, OPTICAL APPARATUS AND POSITION DETECTION METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An optical apparatus comprising:
a two-dimensional position measuring apparatus that comprises two position detection devices which are arranged such that
a direction of detection of position by one of the two position detection devices and a direction of detection of position
by another of the two position detection devices are perpendicular to each other; and

a controller configured to perform control using results of measurement by the two-dimensional position measuring apparatus,
wherein

each of the two position detection devices comprises:
a magnet comprising:
a first pole and a second pole arranged spaced apart from each other having a same magnetic polarity; and
a third pole and a fourth pole arranged spaced apart from each other having a magnetic polarity different from the magnetic
polarity of the first pole and the second pole, the first pole facing the third pole, the second pole facing the fourth pole;
and

a magnetic detector configured to detect magnetism of the first pole, the second pole, the third pole, and the fourth pole.

US Pat. No. 10,073,359

MOVABLE BODY DRIVE SYSTEM AND MOVABLE BODY DRIVE METHOD, PATTERN FORMATION APPARATUS AND METHOD, EXPOSURE APPARATUS AND METHOD, DEVICE MANUFACTURING METHOD, AND DECISION-MAKING METHOD

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus that exposes a substrate with an illumination light via a projection optical system, the apparatus comprising:a frame member that supports the projection optical system;
a stage that is disposed below the projection optical system and holds the substrate;
a drive system that has a motor to drive the stage;
an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head is provided at the stage and the other of the grating section and the head is provided at the frame member to be disposed above the stage, on a lower end side of the projection optical system, and which irradiates the grating section with a measurement beam via the head and measures positional information of the stage with a plurality of the heads that face the grating section; and
a controller coupled to the encoder system, that controls the drive system based on the positional information measured with the encoder system while compensating for a measurement error of the encoder system related to a measurement direction of the positional information by the heads, the measurement error occurring due to a relative motion between the heads and the grating section in a different direction that is different from the measurement direction, wherein
the controller switches one head of three heads that face the grating section, of the plurality of heads, to another head different from the three heads, during movement of the stage, and
after the switching, positional information of the stage is measured with three heads that include two remaining heads and the another head, the two remaining heads excluding the one head of the three heads used before the switching.

US Pat. No. 9,507,265

EXPOSURE APPARATUS, EXPOSING METHOD, METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING DEVICE, PROGRAM, AND RECORDING MEDIUM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An exposure apparatus that sequentially exposes each of a plurality of shot regions of a substrate by exposure light via
liquid between an emitting surface of an optical member and the substrate while moving the substrate in a scanning direction
with respect to the exposure light emitted from the emitting surface, the exposure apparatus comprising:
a liquid immersion member that includes a first member and a second member and that is configured to form a liquid immersion
space of the liquid, the first member being disposed at at least a portion of surrounding of the optical member, the second
member being disposed at a portion of surrounding of the optical member;

a driving apparatus that is configured to move the second member with respect to the first member; and
a controller that is configured to control the driving apparatus,
wherein, before or after sequential exposures of each of a plurality of shot regions, which are included in one row on the
substrate and are disposed in a direction which intersects with the scanning direction, are performed, shot regions of another
row different from the one row are exposed,

the controller controls the driving apparatus so that a first operation of the second member in a first movement period of
the substrate which is between exposure termination of a first shot region and exposure start of a second shot region is different
from a second operation of the second member in a second movement period of the substrate which is between exposure termination
of a third shot region and exposure start of a fourth shot region, the first and second shot regions being included in the
same row, the third and fourth shot regions being arranged in different rows, and

positions of the second member with respect to the optical member are different from each other in the direction which intersects
with the scanning direction at start of the first movement period and at start of the second movement period.

US Pat. No. 9,500,943

PROJECTION OPTICAL SYSTEM, EXPOSURE APPARATUS, AND EXPOSURE METHOD

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A projection optical system which projects a reduced image of a pattern illuminated with light onto a substrate through
liquid, the projection optical system comprising:
a first optical system which forms a first intermediate image of the pattern with the light, the first optical system including
first lenses;

a second optical system which forms a second intermediate image of the pattern with the light from the first optical system,
the second optical system including a plurality of mirrors; and

a third optical system which forms the reduced image of the pattern with the light from the second optical system, the third
optical system including second lenses,

wherein the second optical system includes no transmissive member,
wherein an optical axis each optical element of the first, second and third optical system is substantially arranged on a
single optical axis,

wherein the plurality of mirrors comprises at least two concave mirrors,
wherein the at least two concave mirrors comprises:
a first concave mirror of which reflection surface is arranged toward to a first surface on which the pattern is arranged,
and which reflects the light from the first optical system; and

a second concave mirror of which reflection surface is arranged toward to a second surface on which the substrate is arranged,
and which reflects the light from the first concave mirror,

wherein the first concave mirror is arranged so that an area on the reflection surface of the first concave mirror, into which
the light from the first optical system enters, does not cross the single optical axis, and

wherein an exit pupil of the projection optical system has no shield area.

US Pat. No. 9,404,074

INCUBATION APPARATUS

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

14. An incubation apparatus including a temperature-controlled room adjusted to be a predetermined environment condition suitable
for incubating cells, and incubating a sample of an incubation container inside the temperature-controlled room, the incubation
apparatus comprising:
an imaging section that photographs an entirety of the incubation container and an area external of the incubation container
inside the temperature-controlled room to generate a total observing image that includes image information concerning a contour
and an inside of the incubation container;

an image analyzing section that is capable of (i) determining an occurrence of a scattering of a culture by analyzing the
image information concerning the contour of the incubation container, (ii) determining whether it is necessary to issue an
error signal notifying the occurrence of the scattering of the culture in accordance with an analysis result, (iii) estimating
a culture amount inside the incubation container based on luminance and a ratio of respective color components inside the
incubation container, and (iv) outputting another error signal when an estimated value of the culture amount deviates from
a setting range;

a microscope unit that is capable of photographing a sample observing image in which a sample inside the incubation container
is microscopically observed, and

a controller that controls the image analyzing section and the microscope unit,
wherein after the total observing image is generated by the imaging section, the controller:
instructs the image analyzing section to determine (i) the occurrence of the scattering of the culture by analyzing the image
information concerning the contour of the incubation container, and (ii) whether it is necessary to issue the error signal
notifying the occurrence of the scattering of the culture,

instructs the image analyzing section to issue the error signal when it is determined that it is necessary to issue the error
signal,

instructs the microscope unit to photograph the sample observing image in which the sample inside the incubation container
is microscopically observed at predetermined time intervals, when it is determined that it is not necessary to issue the error
signal, and

instructs the image analyzing section to estimate the culture amount inside the incubation container, and output the other
error signal when the estimated value of the culture amount deviates from the setting range.

US Pat. No. 9,392,159

FOCUS ESTIMATING DEVICE, IMAGING DEVICE, AND STORAGE MEDIUM STORING IMAGE PROCESSING PROGRAM

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A focus estimating device comprising:
an area setting unit setting an area in which focusing of an image is determined and dividing the area into a plurality of
blocks;

a block selecting unit selecting a block to be used for focus determination:
a block focus determination unit performing focus determination for each block from an edge of each color component within
the block selected by the block selecting unit; and

a focus determination unit determining focusing of the area based on the focus determination.

US Pat. No. 9,341,829

ZOOM LENS, IMAGING DEVICE AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING THE ZOOM LENS

Nikon Corporation, Tokyo...

1. A zoom lens comprising, in order from an object:
a first lens group having positive refractive power;
a second lens group having negative refractive power;
a third lens group having positive refractive power; and
a fourth lens group having positive refractive power,
performing zooming by changing an air gap between the lens groups,
the fourth lens group including, in order from the object, a lens component having positive or negative refractive power,
a positive lens component, and a positive lens component having a convex surface facing the object, and the following conditional
expression being satisfied:

0.00<(Rc2?Rc1)/(Rc2+Rc1)<1.00

where Rc2 denotes a radius of curvature of an image side surface of the positive lens component which constitutes the fourth lens group
and has the convex surface facing the object, and Rcl denotes a radius of curvature of an object side surface of the positive
lens component which constitutes the fourth lens group and has the convex surface facing the object wherein

the following conditional expression is satisfied:
4.0
where Fb denotes a focal length of the positive lens component which constitutes the fourth lens group, and Fw denotes a focal
length of the zoom lens upon focusing on infinity in the wide-angle end state.

US Pat. No. 9,341,935

IMAGE CAPTURING DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An image capture device, comprising:
a plurality of microlenses that are arranged in a two dimensional configuration in a vicinity of a focal plane of a photographic
optical system;

an image capture element in which a plurality of element groups are arranged in a two dimensional configuration so as respectively
to correspond to the microlenses, each element group including a plurality of photoelectric conversion elements that receive
via the microlenses light fluxes from a photographic subject that have passed through the photographic optical system and
that output image signals;

a setting unit that sets a plurality of different region upon the pupil surface of the photographic optical system;
a generation unit that extracts, among the image signals outputted from the plurality of photoelectric conversion elements
included in each of the plurality of element groups, region image signals respectively corresponding to the plurality of different
partial regions that are set by the setting unit and that generates, on the basis of the region image signals, a plurality
of sets of image data as a plurality of sets of viewpoint image data whose viewpoint positions are different with each other,
each of the plurality of sets of image data respectively corresponding to the regions set by the setting unit; and

a viewpoint condition input operation member that inputs a viewpoint condition input operation to input a viewpoint condition,
wherein

the setting unit sets the plurality of different region upon the pupil surface of the photographic optical system based upon
the viewpoint condition input by the viewpoint condition input operation member,

the viewpoint condition input operation member receives parallax selection operation to select a parallax that specifies an
amount of change of viewpoint between the plurality of sets of viewpoint image data,

the setting unit sets the regions at positional intervals that correspond to the parallax selected by the parallax selection
operation, and

the generation unit generates the sets of viewpoint image data by extracting the region image signal corresponding to each
of the set regions that are positioned apart at the intervals.

US Pat. No. 9,606,437

FLUORINE-CONTAINING COMPOUND, SUBSTRATE FOR PATTERN FORMATION, PHOTODEGRADABLE COUPLING AGENT, PATTERN FORMATION METHOD, AND COMPOUND

KANAGAWA UNIVERSITY, Yok...

1. A fluorine-containing compound represented by a following general formula (1):

where X represents a halogen atom or a methoxy group, R1 represents a branched chain or cyclic alkyl group having 3 to 10 carbon atoms, Rf1 and Rf2 represent fluorinated alkoxy groups having 5 to 10 carbon atoms, and n represents an integer of 0 to 20.

US Pat. No. 9,494,766

IMAGE-CAPTURING DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. An image processing apparatus, comprising:
an image generating unit, executed by a processor, that generates, from output data of a first receive unit and a second receive
unit, and from output data of a third receive unit and a fourth receive unit among a plurality of receive units that is disposed
at each of a plurality of micro-lenses and outputs the output data to generate an image on an arbitrary focal plane, the image
on the focal plane that is constituted with more pixels than the plurality of micro-lenses, the first receive unit being disposed
at a predetermined micro-lens and used regardless of the focal plane of the image to be generated, the second receive unit
being disposed near at the predetermined micro-lens and changed in accordance with change of the focal plane of the image
to be generated, the third receive unit being different from the first receive unit, disposed at the predetermined micro-lens
and used regardless of the focal plane of the image to be generated, and the fourth receive unit being disposed near at the
predetermined micro-lens and changed in accordance with change of the focal plane of the image to be generated,

wherein the first receive unit, the second receive unit, the third receive unit, an the fourth receive unit each comprises
image-capturing pixels.

US Pat. No. 9,497,374

FOCUS DETECTION DEVICE

NIKON CORPORATION, Tokyo...

1. A focus detection device, comprising:
an image sensor that generates a first signal string and a second signal string in correspondence to a pair of light fluxes
passing through an exit pupil of an optical system; and

a defocus amount calculation unit that calculates a defocus amount by shifting the first signal string and the second signal
string relative to each other, and then adding together a first signal in the first signal string and a second signal in the
second signal string after the first signal string and the second signal string have been shifted, the first signal and the
second signal corresponding to each other.

US Pat. No. 9,412,039

BLUR DETECTION SYSTEM FOR NIGHT SCENE IMAGES

NIKON CORPORATION, (JP)

1. A method for determining if a test image is blurred, the method comprising the steps of;
reviewing the pixel values in the test image with a control system that includes a processor to identify potential light trail
pixels;

reviewing the potential light trail pixels with the control system to identify valid light trails in the test image; and
reviewing the valid light trails with the control system to identify the number of valid light trails with similar orientation
and size to estimate if the test image is blurred with the control system.