News Column

Patent Issued for Optical Device and Exposure Apparatus Including the Same

September 10, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Choi, Jin (Seoul, KR); Kim, Byung-gook (Seoul, KR), filed on July 12, 2011, was published online on August 26, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8817234, is Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do, KR).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The inventive concept relates to an optical device for modifying a single beam into a bundle of beams and an exposure apparatus including the optical device. More particularly, embodiments relate to an exposure apparatus for a lithography operation that is used to manufacture a device, e.g., a semiconductor device, an image pickup device, a liquid crystal display (LCD) device, a thin film magnetic head, etc., and an optical device included in the exposure apparatus.

"Many beam splitting apparatuses are disclosed in the art to which the inventive concept pertains. A typical beam splitting apparatus modifies a single beam into a plurality of beams using partially-coated mirrors. However, since the beam splitting apparatus uses a plurality of optical elements, alignment of all of the optical elements may be difficult, the structure of the beam splitting apparatus may be complicated, and the number of mirrors may have to increase as the number of beams is increased."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Embodiments are directed to an optical device for modifying a single beam into a plurality of beams and to an exposure apparatus including the optical device.

"Some embodiments may provide an optical device includes a first lens array including a plurality of first diffractive optical element (DOE) lenses that are two-dimensionally arranged on a first plane, and that split a first parallel beam into a plurality of second beams by condensing the first parallel beam; and a second lens array including a plurality of second DOE lenses that are arranged on a second plane parallel to the first plane so as to respectively correspond to the plurality of first DOE lenses, and that modify the plurality of second beams into a plurality of third beams.

"An interval between the first plane and the second plane may be equal to the sum of a focal length of each of the first DOE lenses and a focal length of each of the second DOE lenses, and the plurality of third beams may be parallel beams that are perpendicular to the second plane. The focal length of each of the first DOE lenses may be greater than the focal length of each of the second DOE lenses. In addition, a ratio of intensity per unit area of the first parallel beam to intensity per unit area of the bundle of beams may be proportional to a square of a ratio of a focal length of each of the first DOE lenses to a focal point of each of the second DOE lenses.

"The optical device may further include a piezoelectric device that is disposed between the first lens array and the second lens array. A divergent angle of the third beams may be adjusted by controlling a voltage applied to the piezoelectric device to control an interval between the first lens array and the second lens array.

"Each of the first DOE lenses or each of the second DOE lenses may include a Fresnel zone plate, or a kinoform lens, and may be manufactured by using a photomask manufacturing method including a photography process and an etching process.

"The optical device may further include a filter including apertures formed so as to respectively correspond to centers of the first DOE lenses, wherein the filter is disposed on a third plane parallel to the first plane, wherein the third plane is spaced from the first plane by a focal length of each of the first DOE lenses.

"The optical device may further include a liquid crystal panel including a plurality of liquid crystal cells that change a phase of a beam according to driving of liquid crystals therein; and a rear polarization plate for controlling intensity of the beam according to the phase of the beam, wherein the liquid crystal panel is disposed on an optical path of the second beams or an optical path of the third beams so that the second beams or the third beams are transmitted through the liquid crystal cells. In addition, the liquid crystal cells may be independently controlled so as to independently control intensities of the second beams.

"Further embodiments may provide an exposure apparatus including a beam generator for generating a first parallel beam; a first lens array including a first DOE lenses for splitting a first parallel beam into a plurality of second beams by condensing the first parallel beam; a second lens array including a plurality of second DOE lenses for modifying the plurality of second beams into a plurality of third beams; and an imaging unit for forming an image on a photosensitive material using the plurality of third beams.

"Still further embodiments may provide an optical device including a first DOE lens array for splitting a first parallel beam into a plurality of second beams and condensing the plurality of second beams and a second DOE lens array parallel to the first DOE lens array, DOE lenses in the first and second DOE lens arrays being in a one-to-one correspondence, the second DOE lens array condensing the plurality of second beams and outputting a plurality of third beams."

For more information, see this patent: Choi, Jin; Kim, Byung-gook. Optical Device and Exposure Apparatus Including the Same. U.S. Patent Number 8817234, filed July 12, 2011, and published online on August 26, 2014. 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=8817234.PN.&OS=PN/8817234RS=PN/8817234

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Samsung Electronics Co., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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