Nova has been granted a patent for a system and method utilizing X-ray reflectance scatterometry to measure samples with periodic structures. The method involves directing X-rays through a transmissive region towards the sample, suppressing emitted electrons, and collecting the scattered X-ray beam for analysis. GlobalData’s report on Nova gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Nova, Pose estimation was a key innovation area identified from patents. Nova's grant share as of February 2024 was 67%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

X-ray reflectance scatterometry method for measuring periodic structures

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Nova Ltd

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11874237B2) discloses a method and system for measuring a sample using X-ray reflectance scatterometry. The method involves directing an X-ray beam through a transmissive region towards a sample with a periodic structure, while suppressing emitted electrons using a magnetic electron suppression device. The scattered X-ray beam is then collected for analysis. The system includes a first sub-chamber, a second sub-chamber, an X-ray source, a sample holder, optics for focusing the X-ray beam, a magnetic electron suppression device, and a detector for collecting the scattered X-ray beam. The system allows for precise measurement and analysis of samples with periodic structures.

Furthermore, the system includes additional features such as a window for the X-ray transmissive region, positioning of the magnetic electron suppression device above the X-ray beam, and the use of specific materials for the X-ray source's anode. The system also incorporates a two-dimensional detector, a scanning slit detector, and a processor for analyzing the scattered X-ray beam to estimate the shape of the periodic structure. With the ability to analyze multiple orders of the scattered X-ray beam, the system provides detailed insights into the sample's characteristics. Additionally, the mechanical coupling of the magnetic electron suppression device to the second sub-chamber ensures stability and accuracy in the measurement process. Overall, the patented method and system offer a sophisticated and efficient solution for measuring samples with periodic structures using X-ray reflectance scatterometry.

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