Patent Number: 6,528,806

Title: Charged-particle-beam microlithography apparatus, reticles, and methods for reducing proximity effects, and device-manufacturing methods comprising same

Abstract: Apparatus and methods are disclosed for reducing proximity effects in pattern elements as defined on a reticle and projected onto a wafer or other substrate. Especially reduced are proximity effects arising from pattern elements (located inside a pattern or chip field on the substrate) and an alignment mark (located outside a pattern or chip field on the substrate). To control these proximity effects, the distance between the alignment mark, as projected onto the substrate, and nearest pattern elements is controlled. Desirably, the alignment mark(s) are regarded as part of the overall pattern as projected, thereby allowing any of various proximity-effect-reducing techniques to be applied. For example, the substrate can be exposed with a patterning beam and a corrective beam. The corrective beam serves to "sensitize" the substrate and can be exposed not only within the chip field but also in perimeter zones located just outside the chip field on the substrate.

Inventors: Kawamura; Yukisato (Sagamihara, JP)

Assignee: Nikon Corporation

International Classification: H01J 37/304 (20060101); H01J 37/30 (20060101); H01J 037/00 ()

Expiration Date: 03/04/2011