Patent Issued for Apparatus And Method For Measuring Thickness (USPTO 10,088,297)

Electronics Newsweekly |

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea) has been issued patent number 10,088,297, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventors are Ryu, Sung Yoon (Suwon-si, KR); Sohn, Younghoon (Incheon, KR); Yang, Yusin (Seoul, KR); Jun, Chungsam (Suwon-si, KR); Jee, Yunjung (Seongnam-si, KR).

This patent was filed on and was published online on .

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "The present inventive concepts relate to apparatuses and methods for measuring a thickness and, more particularly, to apparatuses and a methods for measuring thicknesses of individual layers in a stacked structure using a femto-second laser.

"As the semiconductor device becomes complicated and finely patterned, thicknesses of respective layers in a semiconductor device have affected the total package size and performance of the chip depending on its thickness. Accordingly, a gap height between the chips needs to be precisely measured."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Example embodiments of the present inventive concepts provide enhanced reliable apparatus and methods for measuring thicknesses.

"According to example embodiments of the present inventive concepts, an apparatus for measuring a thickness may include a light source that emits a femto-second laser, a first optical coupler through which a first portion of the femto-second laser is incident onto a target and a second portion of the femto-second laser is incident onto a reference mirror, a detector configured to receive a reflection signal reflected on the reference mirror and a sample signal generated from the target, the detector configured to measure a thickness of the target based on an interference signal between the reflection signal and the sample signal, and a plurality of optical fiber lines configured to connect the light source, the optical coupler, and the detector to each other.

"According to example embodiments of the present inventive concepts, a method for measuring a thickness may include emitting a femto-second laser, directing a first portion of the femto-second laser to be incident onto a reference mirror, directing a second portion of the femto-second laser to be incident onto a stacked structure, receiving a reference signal reflected from the reference mirror, receiving sample signals from the stacked structure, and measuring thicknesses of individual layers included in the stacked structure based on the interference signals between the reference signal and the sample signals. The step of measuring the thickness may include transforming peaks of the interference signals into thicknesses of layers included in the stacked structure, respectively.

"According to example embodiments of the present inventive concepts, an apparatus for measuring a thickness may include a light source configured to emit a pulsed laser having a near-infrared band wavelength, a first optical coupler configured to direct a first portion of the pulsed laser onto a target and a second portion of the pulsed laser onto a reference mirror, and a detector configured to receive a reflection signal reflected from the reference mirror and sample signals generated from the target, the detector configured to measure thicknesses of individual layers in the target based on an interference signal between the reflection signal and the sample signals."

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

"What is claimed is:

"1. An apparatus for measuring a thickness, comprising: a light source configured to emit a femto-second laser; a reference mirror configured to reflect the femto-second laser; a first optical coupler through which a first portion of the femto-second laser is incident onto a target and a second portion of the femto-second laser is incident onto a reference mirror; a detector configured to receive a reflection signal reflected on the reference mirror and a sample signal generated from the target, the detector configured to measure a thickness of the target based on an interference signal between the reflection signal and the sample signal; a plurality of optical fiber lines configured to connect the light source, the first optical coupler, and the detector to each other; and a reference mirror driver configured to move the reference mirror along an incidence direction of the femto-second laser, wherein the detector is configured to determine the thickness of the target based on a distance that the reference mirror has moved between peaks of the interference signal, and wherein the plurality of optical fiber lines includes, a first optical fiber line connecting the light source to the one end of the first optical coupler, a second optical fiber line connecting the detector to the one end of the first optical coupler, a third optical fiber line extending from the opposite end of the first optical coupler toward the target such that one end of the third optical fiber line faces the target, and a fourth optical fiber line extending from the opposite end of the first optical coupler toward the reference mirror such that one end of the fourth optical fiber line faces the reference mirror.

"2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first optical coupler include one end connected to the light source and the detector and an opposite end adjacent to the target and the reference mirror.

"3. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: a second optical coupler on one of the plurality of optical fiber lines, the one of the plurality of optical fiber lines between the first optical coupler and the detector.

"4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the plurality of optical fiber lines further includes: a fifth optical fiber line extending toward the target from an opposite end of the second optical coupler; and a sixth optical fiber line connecting the one end of the first optical coupler to the opposite end of the second optical coupler.

"5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein an end of the third optical fiber line and an end of the fifth optical fiber line are arranged to face each other on opposite sides of the target.

"6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the sample signal is a reflection signal reflected from the target.

"7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the sample signal is a transmission signal transmitted through the target.

"8. An apparatus for measuring a thickness, comprising: a light source configured to emit a pulsed laser having a near-infrared band wavelength; a reference mirror configured to reflect the pulsed laser; a first optical coupler configured to direct a first portion of the pulsed laser onto a target and a second portion of the pulsed laser onto a reference mirror; a detector configured to receive a reflection signal reflected from the reference mirror and sample signals generated from the target, the detector configured to measure thicknesses of individual layers in the target based on an interference signal between the reflection signal and the sample signals; and a reference mirror driver configured to move the reference mirror along an incidence direction of the pulsed laser, wherein the detector is configured to determine the thicknesses of the individual layers in the target based on a distance that the reference mirror has moved between peaks of the interference signal, and wherein the plurality of optical fiber lines includes, a first optical fiber line connecting the light source to the one end of the first optical coupler, a second optical fiber line connecting the detector to the one end of the first optical coupler, a third optical fiber line extending from the opposite end of the first optical coupler toward the target such that one end of the third optical fiber line faces the target, and a fourth optical fiber line extending from the opposite end of the first optical coupler toward the reference mirror such that one end of the fourth optical fiber line faces the reference mirror.

"9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the detector is further configured to remove high-order harmonic frequencies from the interference signal in accordance with a wave length of the pulsed laser.

"10. The apparatus of claim 8, further comprising: a second optical coupler between the detector and the first optical coupler, one end of the second optical coupler optically connected to the detector, and an opposite end of the second optical coupler adjacent to the target and optically connected to the first optical coupler."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Ryu, Sung Yoon; Sohn, Younghoon; Yang, Yusin; Jun, Chungsam; Jee, Yunjung. Apparatus And Method For Measuring Thickness. U.S. Patent Number 10,088,297, filed , and published online on . Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=10,088,297.PN.&OS=PN/10,088,297RS=PN/10,088,297

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