Optical metrology with small illumination spot size

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United States of America Patent

PATENT NO 9915524





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Methods and systems are presented to reduce the illumination spot size projected onto a measurement target and associated spillover onto area surrounding a measurement target. In one aspect, a spatial light modulator (SLM) is located in the illumination path between the illumination light source and the measurement sample. The SLM is configured to modulate amplitude, phase, or both, across the path of the illumination light to reduce wavefront errors. In some embodiments, the desired state of the SLM is based on wavefront measurements performed in an optical path of the metrology system. In another aspect, an illumination aperture having an image plane tilted at an oblique angle with respect to a beam of illumination light is employed to overcome defocusing effects in metrology systems that employ oblique illumination of the measurement sample. In some embodiments, the illumination aperture, objective lens, and specimen are aligned to satisfy the Scheimpflug condition.

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International Classification(s)


Inventor Name Address # of filed Patents Total Citations
Buettner, Alexander Weilburg, DE 12 24
Peterlinz, Kevin A San Ramon, US 8 30
Purrucker, Kerstin Fliederweg, DE 4 1
Sapiens, Noam Cupertino, US 34 311
Shchegrov, Andrei V Campbell, US 72 924

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