JP2006017895A - Aligner - Google Patents

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Publication number
JP2006017895A
JP2006017895A JP2004194023A JP2004194023A JP2006017895A JP 2006017895 A JP2006017895 A JP 2006017895A JP 2004194023 A JP2004194023 A JP 2004194023A JP 2004194023 A JP2004194023 A JP 2004194023A JP 2006017895 A JP2006017895 A JP 2006017895A
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Prior art keywords
exposure
mask
object
exposed
optical system
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Pending
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JP2004194023A
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Japanese (ja)
Inventor
Mitsuyoshi Ito
三好 伊藤
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Integrated Solutions:Kk
株式会社 インテグレイテッド ソリューションズ
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Priority to JP2004194023A priority Critical patent/JP2006017895A/en
Publication of JP2006017895A publication Critical patent/JP2006017895A/en
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G03PHOTOGRAPHY; CINEMATOGRAPHY; ANALOGOUS TECHNIQUES USING WAVES OTHER THAN OPTICAL WAVES; ELECTROGRAPHY; HOLOGRAPHY
    • G03FPHOTOMECHANICAL PRODUCTION OF TEXTURED OR PATTERNED SURFACES, e.g. FOR PRINTING, FOR PROCESSING OF SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; MATERIALS THEREFOR; ORIGINALS THEREFOR; APPARATUS SPECIALLY ADAPTED THEREFOR
    • G03F9/00Registration or positioning of originals, masks, frames, photographic sheets or textured or patterned surfaces, e.g. automatically
    • G03F9/70Registration or positioning of originals, masks, frames, photographic sheets or textured or patterned surfaces, e.g. automatically for microlithography
    • G03F9/7088Alignment mark detection, e.g. TTR, TTL, off-axis detection, array detector, video detection

Abstract

PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To provide an exposure apparatus for efficiently exposing a wide exposure area using a small mask.
An exposure optical system 2 that irradiates a color filter substrate 6 with exposure light from a light source 7 and a color filter substrate 6 that is disposed facing the exposure optical system 2 are placed and conveyed at a constant speed. An exposure apparatus 1 that includes a transport unit 4 and transfers an image of an opening 10a of a mask 10 interposed on an optical path of the exposure optical system 2 onto a color filter substrate 6, in the moving direction of the transport unit 4. The image pickup means 3 for picking up the black matrix 11 formed in advance on the color filter substrate 6 and the black matrix 11 picked up by the image pickup means 3 are set in advance, with the front side of the exposure position by the exposure optical system 2 as the image pickup position. A reference position is detected, exposure light irradiation timing of the exposure optical system 2 is controlled with reference to the reference position, and an image of the opening 10a of the mask 10 is transferred to a predetermined position of the color filter substrate 6. The control means 5 is provided.
[Selection] Figure 1

Description

  The present invention relates to an exposure apparatus that irradiates exposure light by an exposure optical system and transfers an image of an opening of a mask interposed on the path of the exposure optical system onto the object to be exposed. Efficiently using a mask by controlling the exposure position setting and exposure light irradiation timing based on a reference position preset in a reference pattern formed on the object to be exposed while moving at a constant speed The present invention relates to an exposure apparatus that attempts to expose a wide exposure area.

In this type of conventional exposure apparatus, the substrate is held with the photosensitive material surface facing up, and can be controlled to move in the X, Y, Z axis directions and θ directions, and at least a predetermined distance in one direction of the X and Y directions. A stage that can be moved stepwise, a mask stage that holds a mask on the upper side of the substrate, a light source unit that irradiates exposure light from above the mask to the substrate side, and alignment of the substrate and mask on the stage is automatically performed It is equipped with an automatic alignment mechanism and a gap control mechanism for controlling the gap between the substrate and the mask, the substrate and the mask are controlled and aligned by the alignment mechanism and the gap control mechanism, and when the gap adjustment is completed, the light source unit The first exposure is performed by irradiating with the exposure light, and then the stage is moved by a predetermined pitch, for example, in the X direction to perform alignment again, thereby completing the gap adjustment. , Exposure for the second time, so that can be exposed to a predetermined pattern on the entire surface of the large substrate by repeating this (e.g., see Patent Document 1).
JP-A-9-127702

  However, in such a conventional exposure apparatus, once the exposure to a predetermined area is completed, the exposure operation is once ended, the mask is moved stepwise relative to the substrate, the substrate and the mask are aligned again, and the gap Since exposure was performed after adjustment, it took time for the alignment and gap adjustment to be performed a plurality of times, and it took a long time for exposure.

  In addition, the conventional exposure apparatus described above uses a small area mask so that a predetermined pattern can be exposed on the entire surface of a large substrate, and has an advantage that the cost of the mask to be used can be reduced. There is a problem that the smaller the area, the greater the number of times of alignment and gap adjustment, and the longer the adjustment time and the longer the exposure time.

  Furthermore, in order to shorten the time required for the alignment and gap adjustment, when a somewhat large mask is used, the exposure light requires a large amount of energy, and the exposure light irradiation time must be lengthened due to the power limit of the light source. As a result, the exposure time could not be shortened.

  SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide an exposure apparatus that addresses such problems and efficiently exposes a wide exposure area using a small mask.

  In order to achieve the above object, a first invention of an exposure apparatus includes an exposure optical system that irradiates an exposure object with exposure light from a light source, and the exposure object disposed opposite the exposure optical system. An exposure apparatus for transferring an image of an opening of a mask interposed on the optical path of the exposure optical system onto the object to be exposed, the transfer means including a transfer means that is placed and transferred at a constant speed In this moving direction, an imaging position for imaging a reference pattern formed in advance on the object to be exposed is set in advance on an exposure position by the exposure optical system, and the reference pattern captured by the imaging means Control means for detecting a set reference position, controlling exposure light irradiation timing of the exposure optical system based on the reference position, and transferring an image of the opening of the mask to a predetermined position of the object to be exposed It is equipped with.

  With such a configuration, the object to be exposed is conveyed at a constant speed by the conveying means, the reference pattern previously formed on the object to be exposed is imaged by the imaging means, and the reference position preset in the reference pattern by the control means The exposure light irradiation timing from the light source of the exposure optical system is controlled with reference to the reference position, and the image of the opening of the mask interposed on the optical path by the exposure optical system is determined on the object to be exposed. Transfer to position. Thereby, it exposes to a wide exposure area | region efficiently using a mask.

  The exposure optical system includes an imaging lens that forms an image of the opening of the mask on the object to be exposed. Thus, the image of the opening of the mask is formed on the exposure object by the imaging lens and exposed.

  According to a second aspect of the present invention, an exposure apparatus irradiates exposure light from a light source through a mask having a predetermined opening to the object to be exposed, and an image of the opening of the mask on the object to be conveyed. An exposure apparatus that transfers the object to be exposed at a constant speed, and is disposed above the transfer means and disposed on an optical path from the light source to the object to be exposed. An exposure optical system having an imaging lens that forms an image of the opening of the mask on the object to be exposed, and a beam splitter that is disposed on an optical path between the imaging lens and the mask, and the beam splitter An imaging means that is arranged so as to be able to receive reflected light on the imaging lens side reflecting surface of the imaging lens, and that images a reference pattern previously formed on the object to be exposed through the imaging lens image, and imaging with the imaging means The reference pattern Control means for detecting a fixed reference position, controlling exposure light irradiation timing of the exposure optical system based on the reference position, and transferring an image of the opening of the mask to a predetermined position of the object to be exposed It is equipped with.

  With such a configuration, the object to be exposed is conveyed at a constant speed by the conveying means, the reference pattern previously formed on the object to be exposed is imaged by the imaging means via the imaging lens provided in the exposure optical system, and the control means The reference position preset in the reference pattern is detected, the exposure light irradiation timing of the light source provided in the exposure optical system is controlled based on the reference position, and the imaging lens is interposed on the optical path. An image of the opening of the mask is formed and transferred to a predetermined position of the object to be exposed. Thereby, the exposure position by an exposure optical system and the imaging position by an imaging means are made to correspond, and an exposure precision is improved.

  The light source is a flash lamp that intermittently emits exposure light. Thereby, the exposure light is intermittently emitted by the flash lamp.

  Further, on either one of the transport means or the exposure optical system, a deviation between the exposure planned position of the mask opening defined in the reference pattern and the actual exposure position is calculated based on the reference position, and the deviation is calculated. It is provided with alignment means for correcting. As a result, the deviation between the planned exposure position of the mask opening defined in the reference pattern by the alignment means and the actual exposure position is calculated based on the reference position, and the deviation is corrected.

  The mask is formed by forming a line of openings in the exposure region in a direction orthogonal to the moving direction of the object to be exposed. In the exposure region, exposure is performed using a mask in which openings for one row are formed in a direction orthogonal to the moving direction of the object to be exposed.

  Further, the mask is configured such that a single slit is formed in an exposure member in a direction orthogonal to the moving direction of the object to be exposed, and the size of the slit can be changed. Thereby, the size of the slit formed in the exposure member in the direction perpendicular to the moving direction of the object to be exposed is changed as necessary.

  According to the first aspect of the present invention, the reference pattern formed in advance on the object to be exposed is imaged by the imaging means while moving the object to be exposed at a constant speed, and the reference position preset in the reference pattern is determined by the control means. Detecting and controlling the irradiation timing of the exposure light with reference to the reference position, and transferring the image of the opening of the mask interposed on the optical path to the predetermined position of the object to be exposed by the exposure optical system Thus, it is possible to efficiently expose a wide exposure area using a mask. In addition, the position on the near side of the exposure position by the exposure optical system in the transport direction of the object to be exposed can be picked up by the image pickup means, and based on the reference position of the reference pattern picked up by the image pickup means while moving the object to be exposed By setting the exposure position on the object to be exposed, the exposure accuracy can be improved.

  According to the second aspect of the present invention, the image of the opening of the mask is formed on the object to be exposed using the imaging lens, and the mask is exposed to the object to be exposed. They can be spaced apart, reducing the risk of soiling or damaging the mask.

  Further, according to the invention of claim 3, the imaging lens of the exposure optical system and the imaging lens of the image pickup means are shared, and the tilt between the imaging lens and the mask is on the optical path of the exposure optical system. Since the reference pattern of the object to be exposed is imaged by being reflected by the beam splitter arranged in this manner, the imaging position matches the exposure position, and the exposure accuracy can be further improved.

  Furthermore, according to the fourth aspect of the invention, the use of the flash lamp as the light source makes it easy to control the exposure light irradiation timing.

  According to the fifth aspect of the present invention, there is provided alignment means for calculating a deviation between the planned exposure position of the mask opening defined in the reference pattern and the actual exposure position based on the reference position, and correcting the deviation. Thus, alignment adjustment can be performed before the object to be exposed is moved to the next exposure position. Therefore, the alignment time can be shortened and exposure can be performed with high accuracy at any location in the exposure region.

  According to the sixth aspect of the present invention, the size of the mask is reduced by using a mask in which openings for one row are formed in a direction orthogonal to the moving direction of the object to be exposed in the exposure region. can do. Therefore, the cost of the mask can be reduced, the exposure optical system can be miniaturized, and the cost of the apparatus can be reduced.

  Furthermore, according to the invention which concerns on Claim 7, one slit was formed in the direction orthogonal to the moving direction of a to-be-exposed body in the exposure area | region in the opaque member, and it comprised so that the magnitude | size of this slit could be changed. Thus, it is possible to cope with exposure patterns having different sizes by changing the size of the slits.

Embodiments of the present invention will be described below in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 is a conceptual view showing a first embodiment of an exposure apparatus according to the present invention. This exposure apparatus 1 irradiates exposure light by an exposure optical system and transfers an image of an opening of a mask interposed on the path of the exposure optical system onto an object to be exposed. The imaging unit 3, the transport unit 4, and the control unit 5 are provided. Hereinafter, a color filter substrate of a liquid crystal display element will be described as an example of the object to be exposed.

  The exposure optical system 2 irradiates a color filter substrate 6 coated with a photosensitive agent with exposure light to expose a predetermined color filter pattern, and includes a light source 7, a mask stage 8, and an imaging lens 9. And.

  The light source 7 is, for example, a lamp that emits ultraviolet light, and is a flash lamp that emits light intermittently under the control of the control means 5 described later. The mask stage 8 is used to place and hold the mask 10 and is interposed on an optical path between the light source 7 and an imaging lens 9 described later. The imaging lens 9 forms an image of the opening 10 a of the mask 10 on the color filter substrate 6 and is disposed so as to face the color filter substrate 6. The mask 10 is formed by forming a row of openings 10a in a direction orthogonal to the moving direction (arrow A direction) of the color filter substrate 6 in the exposure region. In the first embodiment, the mask 10 The openings 10a are formed corresponding to, for example, five pixels 12 arranged in a line in the horizontal direction of the black matrix 11 as shown in FIG. The light source 7 may be a normal ultraviolet lamp instead of a flash lamp. In this case, the intermittent irradiation of the exposure light may be performed, for example, by providing a shutter in front of the exposure light irradiation direction and controlling the opening and closing of the shutter.

  Further, an imaging unit 3 is provided with an imaging position in front of an exposure position by the exposure optical system 2 in the moving direction of the color filter substrate 6 (arrow A direction). The image pickup means 3 picks up the pixels 12 of the black matrix 11 as a reference pattern formed in advance on the color filter substrate 6 and is, for example, a line CCD in which light receiving elements are arranged in a line. Here, as shown in FIG. 2, the imaging position of the imaging means 3 and the exposure position by the exposure optical system 2 are separated by a predetermined distance D, and after the pixel 12 is imaged by the imaging means 3. The pixel 12 reaches the exposure position after a predetermined time has elapsed. In addition, the said distance D is so preferable that it is small. Thereby, the movement error of the color filter substrate 6 can be reduced, and the exposure position can be more accurately positioned with respect to the pixel 12. As shown in the figure, the imaging center of the imaging means 3 and the center of the opening 10a of the mask 10 are the optical axes of the imaging lens 9 in the transport direction (arrow A direction) of the color filter substrate 6. It is arrange | positioned so that it may correspond to the surface containing. Further, illumination means (not shown) is provided in the vicinity of the imaging means 3 so that the imaging area of the imaging means 3 can be illuminated.

  Further, a conveying means 4 is provided below the exposure optical system 2. The transport means 4 is configured such that the color filter substrate 6 is placed on the stage so as to be movable in the XY axis direction, and a transport motor (not shown) is controlled by the control means 5 so as to move the stage 4a. It has become. Note that the X-axis direction coincides with the conveyance direction (arrow A direction) of the color filter substrate 6 and the Y-axis direction is a direction orthogonal thereto. Further, the transport means 4 is provided with a position detection sensor and a speed sensor (not shown) such as an encoder and a linear sensor, and the output is fed back to the control means 5 to enable position control and speed control. Yes. Further, the transport unit 4 is provided with an alignment unit 29, which calculates a shift between the exposure planned position in the black matrix 11 and the exposure position of the opening 10a of the mask 10 based on the reference position, and the stage 4a. The displacement can be corrected by moving the rotation angle θ or the position in the Y-axis direction. The angle θ of the stage 4a can be detected by an angle sensor.

  A control unit 5 is provided in connection with the light source 7, the imaging unit 3, and the transport unit 4. The control unit 5 controls the entire apparatus to be appropriately driven. The image processing unit 13 detects a reference position preset in the pick cell imaged by the imaging unit 3, and the black matrix 11. A pixel 12 using a storage unit 14 that stores design data and data such as a lookup table corresponding to the reference position, a distance D between the imaging position and the exposure position, and a moving speed V of the color filter substrate 6. Calculates the time t during which the lens moves from the imaging position to the exposure position, or misalignment between the planned exposure position (hereinafter referred to as “exposed area”) obtained based on the reference position and the opening 10a of the mask 10 For example, a lamp controller 16 for controlling the irradiation timing of the exposure light of the light source 7 with reference to the reference position, and a stage of the conveying means 4 And the transfer mechanism controller 17 for driving the alignment means comprising a conveying means 4 together with the X-axis direction is driven at a predetermined speed, and a control unit 18 for controlling integrated the entire apparatus.

  3 and 4 are block diagrams illustrating an example configuration of the image processing unit 13. As shown in FIG. 3, the image processing unit 13 includes, for example, three ring buffer memories 19A, 19B, 19C connected in parallel, and, for example, three lines connected in parallel for each of the ring buffer memories 19A, 19B, 19C. A buffer circuit 20A, 20B, and 20C; a comparator circuit 21 that is connected to the line buffer memories 20A, 20B, and 20C and compares the determined threshold value and outputs gray level data; and the nine line buffer memories A look-up table of image data corresponding to the first reference position that defines the left end of the exposure area obtained from the output data 20A, 20B, and 20C and the storage unit 14 shown in FIG. 1 (hereinafter referred to as “left end LUT”) Left end determination circuit 22 that outputs a left end determination result when both data match, The output data of the nine line buffer memories 20A, 20B, and 20C and a look-up table (hereinafter referred to as image data) corresponding to the second reference position that defines the right end of the exposed area obtained from the storage unit 14 shown in FIG. And a right end determination circuit 23 that outputs a right end determination result when the two data match each other.

  As shown in FIG. 4, the image processing unit 13 receives the left end determination result and counts the number of coincidence of image data corresponding to the first reference position, and the output of the counting circuit 24A. 1 is compared with the left end pixel number obtained from the storage unit 14 shown in FIG. 1, and when both numerical values match, a comparison circuit 25A that outputs a left end designation signal to the storage unit 14 and the right end determination result are input. The counting circuit 24B that counts the number of times that the image data corresponding to the second reference position is matched, and the output of the counting circuit 24B and the rightmost pixel number obtained from the storage unit 14 shown in FIG. A comparison circuit 25B that outputs a right end designation signal to the storage unit 14, a left end pixel counting circuit 26 that counts the left end pixel number n based on the output of the counting circuit 24A, and the left end pixel. A comparison circuit that compares the output of the counting circuit 26 with the exposure end pixel column number N obtained from the storage unit 14 shown in FIG. 1 and outputs an exposure end pixel column designation signal to the storage unit 14 when both values match. 27. The counting circuits 24A and 24B are reset by the reading start signal when the reading operation by the imaging means 3 is started. Further, the left end pixel counting circuit 26 is reset by an exposure end signal when the exposure for a predesignated region is completed.

Next, the operation of the exposure apparatus configured as described above will be described with reference to the flowchart of FIG.
First, when the exposure apparatus 1 is turned on, the image pickup means 3, the illumination means, and the control means 5 shown in FIG. 1 are activated to enter a standby state. Next, when the color filter substrate 6 is placed on the stage 4a of the transport unit 4 and a switch (not shown) is operated, the transport unit 4 is controlled by the transport unit controller 17 of the control unit 5 to be controlled by the color filter. The substrate 6 is transported at a constant speed in the direction of arrow A. When the color filter substrate 6 reaches the imaging position of the imaging means 3, an exposure operation is executed according to the following procedure.

  First, in step S <b> 1, the image of the pixel 12 of the black matrix 11 is acquired by the imaging unit 3. The acquired image data is captured and processed in the three ring buffer memories 19A, 19B, and 19C of the image processing unit 13 shown in FIG. Then, the latest three data are output from each ring buffer memory 19A, 19B, 19C. In this case, for example, the previous data is output from the ring buffer memory 19A, the previous data is output from the ring buffer memory 19B, and the latest data is output from the ring buffer memory 19C. Further, for each of these data, for example, 3 × 3 CCD pixel images are arranged on the same clock (time axis) by three line buffer memories 20A, 20B, and 20C. The result is obtained as an image as shown in FIG. When this image is digitized, it corresponds to a numerical value of 3 × 3 as shown in FIG. Since these digitized images are arranged on the same clock, they are compared with a threshold value by a comparison circuit and binarized. For example, if the threshold value is “45”, the image in FIG. 10A is binarized as shown in FIG.

  In step S2, the reference positions at the left and right ends of the exposed area are detected. Specifically, the reference position is detected in the left end determination circuit 22 by comparing the binarized data with the data of the left end LUT obtained from the storage unit 14 shown in FIG.

  For example, when the first reference position for designating the left end of the exposure area is set at the upper left corner of the pixel 12 of the black matrix 11 as shown in FIG. Is as shown in FIG. 5B, and the data of the left-end LUT at this time is “000011011”. Therefore, the binarized data is compared with the data “000011011” of the left-end LUT, and when the two data match, it is determined that the image data acquired by the imaging unit 3 is the first reference position. The left end determination result is output from the left end determination circuit 22. When five pixels 12 are arranged as shown in FIG. 10, the upper left corner of each pixel 12 corresponds to the first reference position.

Based on the determination result, the number of matches is counted in the counting circuit 24A shown in FIG. Then, the count number is compared with the left end pixel number obtained from the storage unit 14 shown in FIG. 1 in the comparison circuit 25A, and a left end designation signal is output to the storage unit 14 when both numerical values match. In this case, as shown in FIG. 10, for example, when determining the first pixel 12 1 as the leftmost pixel number, upper left end corner portion of the pixel 12 1 is set to the first reference position. Thus, the element addresses in the line CCD imaging means 3 corresponding to the reference position of the first, for example, EL 1 is stored in the storage unit 14.

  On the other hand, the binarized data is compared with data in the right end LUT obtained from the storage unit 14 shown in FIG. For example, when the second reference position for designating the right end of the exposure area is set at the upper right corner of the pixel 12 of the black matrix 11 as shown in FIG. Is as shown in FIG. 5B, and the data of the right end LUT at this time is “110110000”. Therefore, the binarized data is compared with the data “110110000” in the right end LUT, and when the two data match, the image data acquired by the imaging means 3 is the right end reference position of the exposed area. The right end determination result is output from the right end determination circuit 23. Similarly to the above, when five pixels 12 are arranged as shown in FIG. 10, for example, the upper right corner of each pixel 12 corresponds to the second reference position.

Based on the determination result, the number of matches is counted in the counting circuit 24B shown in FIG. Then, the count number is compared with the right end pixel number obtained from the storage unit 14 shown in FIG. 1 in the comparison circuit 25B, and a right end designation signal is output to the storage unit 14 when both numerical values match. In this case, as shown in FIG. 10, for example, when determining the 5 th pixel 12 5 as the rightmost pixel number, right upper corner of the pixel 12 5 is set as the second reference position. Accordingly, the element address in the line CCD of the image pickup means 3 corresponding to the second reference position, for example, EL 5 is stored in the storage unit 14. When the left and right reference positions of the exposure area are detected as described above, the process proceeds to step S3.

In step S3, as shown in FIG. 9, based on the detection times t 1 and t 2 of the first reference position and the second reference position, the inclination θ of the color filter substrate 6 with respect to the transport direction is calculated by the calculation unit 15. Calculated. For example, when the transport speed is V, the amount of deviation between the first reference position and the second reference position in the transport direction is (t 1 −t 2 ) V. Further, the distance between the first reference position and the second reference position, the imaging corresponding to the first element address EL first imaging unit 3 corresponding to the reference position of the second reference position, as shown in FIG. 10 it can be obtained from K (EL 5 -EL 1) based on the element address EL 5 means 3. Note that K is an imaging magnification. Therefore, the inclination angle θ of the color filter substrate 6 is
θ = arctan (t 1 −t 2 ) V / {K (EL 5 −EL 1 )}
Can be obtained by calculating.

  When the tilt angle θ is calculated, the alignment unit 29 of the transfer unit 4 is driven by the transfer unit controller 17 to rotate the stage 4a by the angle θ. As a result, as shown in FIG. 10, each side of the exposed area of the black matrix 11 and each side of the opening 10 a of the mask 10 become parallel.

Next, in step S4, the calculation unit 15 calculates an intermediate position between the first reference position and the second reference position. Specifically, based on the element address EL 1 of the imaging unit 3 corresponding to the first reference position read from the storage unit 14 and the element address EL 5 of the imaging unit 3 corresponding to the second reference position, the intermediate The position can be obtained by (EL 1 + EL 5 ) / 2.

Next, in step S5, it is determined whether or not the intermediate position obtained in step S4 matches the imaging center (element address EL C ) of the imaging means 3. If “NO determination” is determined here, the process proceeds to step S6.

In step S 6, the alignment unit 29 is controlled by the transport unit controller 17, and the direction indicated by the arrow B in the Y-axis direction by K {EL C − (EL 1 + EL 5 ) / 2} as shown in FIG. Move the stage 4a. As a result, as shown in FIG. 2, the center position of the exposed region and the imaging center of the imaging means 3 (or the central position of the opening 10a of the mask 10) coincide. Then, the process proceeds to step S7.

  On the other hand, also when it becomes "YES determination" in step S5, it progresses to step S7.

In step S <b> 7, it is determined whether or not the exposure area of the black matrix 11 is set at the exposure position of the exposure optical system 2. This determination is based on the detection time t 1 of the first reference position stored in the storage unit 14, the width W and the transport speed V of the pixel 12 in the transport direction shown in FIG. 2, and the distance D between the imaging position and the exposure position. Based on the data, the time t during which the color filter substrate 6 is transported by the distance D after the center position of the pixel row is imaged by the imaging means 3 is calculated by the calculation unit 15 and is managed by managing the time t. . If it is determined that the time t has elapsed, that is, the exposure area of the black matrix 11 has been set to the exposure position (“YES determination”), the process proceeds to step S8.

  In step S8, the lamp controller 16 is activated to cause the light source 7 to emit light for a predetermined time. In this case, since the color filter substrate 6 is moving at a constant speed, the edge in the conveyance direction of the exposure pattern may be blurred. Therefore, the conveyance speed, the exposure time, and the power of the light source 7 are set in advance so that the blur amount becomes an allowable value.

  In step S9, the leftmost pixel number n is counted by the leftmost pixel counting circuit 26 shown in FIG. In step S10, the leftmost pixel number n is set in advance and compared with the exposure end pixel column number N stored in the storage unit 14 by the comparator 27, and it is determined whether or not both numerical values match. The

  If “NO determination” is determined in step S10, the process returns to step S1 and proceeds to the operation for detecting the next reference position. In this case, the counting circuits 24A and 24B shown in FIG.

  On the other hand, if “YES determination” is made in step S10, all exposure to a predetermined area of the color filter substrate 6 is completed, and the left end pixel counting circuit 26 is reset by an exposure end signal shown in FIG. Then, the transport unit 4 returns the stage 4a to the start position at high speed.

  When the exposure possible area by the exposure optical system 2 is narrower than the width of the color filter substrate 6, when the step S10 is completed, the stage 4a is moved by a predetermined distance in the Y direction, and the steps S1 to S10 are performed again. Execute and perform exposure on the area adjacent to the already exposed area. Note that a plurality of the exposure optical system 2 and the imaging means 3 may be arranged in a row in the Y-axis direction so that the entire width of the color filter substrate 6 can be exposed once. Further, when the imaging area by the imaging means 3 is narrower than the exposed area, a plurality of imaging means 3 may be installed side by side in the Y-axis direction.

  For convenience of explanation, steps S1 to S10 have been described as a series of operations. However, the detection of the reference position is performed in parallel with the execution of the above steps, and the detection data is stored in the storage unit 14 as needed. Therefore, the θ adjustment of the color filter substrate 6 in step S3 and the Y-axis adjustment of the color filter substrate 6 in step S6 are performed by reading the necessary data from the storage unit 14 and moving the color filter substrate 6 from the previous exposure position to the next. It is executed within the time to move to the exposure position.

  As described above, according to the exposure apparatus 1 of the present invention, the light source is based on the reference position set for the pixel 12 of the black matrix 11 imaged by the imaging means 3 while transporting the color filter substrate 6 at a constant speed. 7 is controlled, and an image of the opening 10a is formed on the color filter substrate 6 by using the mask 10 in which the openings 10a for one row are formed in the direction orthogonal to the moving direction of the color filter substrate 6 in the exposure region. By performing the transfer exposure at a predetermined position, it is possible to efficiently perform exposure on a wide exposure region using the small mask 10.

  Further, the alignment of the angle θ of the stage 4a and the Y axis is adjusted within the time required for the color filter substrate 6 to move from the previous exposure position to the next exposure position based on the reference position. The time can be shortened and the exposure can be performed with high accuracy at any location in the exposure region.

  In the first embodiment, the case where the alignment unit 29 is provided in the transport unit 4 has been described. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and the alignment unit may be provided in a mechanism that holds the exposure optical system 2 and the imaging unit 3. . In this case, the alignment in the Y-axis direction may be performed by moving the mask stage 8 or the imaging lens 9 that holds the mask 10 as shown in FIG. For example, when adjustment is performed by moving the mask stage 8, as shown in FIG. 5A, when the mask stage 8 is shifted in the direction of arrow C, the image on the color filter substrate 6 moves in the direction of arrow D. Therefore, adjustment is performed by shifting the mask stage 8 in the direction opposite to the adjustment direction of the exposure pattern. For example, when adjustment is performed by moving the imaging lens 9, the imaging lens 9 is moved in the same direction as the exposure pattern adjustment direction (arrow E direction) as shown in FIG. .

  FIG. 12 is a diagram illustrating another configuration example of the mask 10. The mask 10 is formed by forming a slit in an opaque member, for example, a black alumite-treated metal member 28 in a direction perpendicular to the moving direction of the color filter substrate 6 in the exposure region, and in the transport direction in the longitudinal direction of the slit. Both end members 28a in a direction perpendicular to the direction (Y-axis direction) are movable in the Y-axis direction. Therefore, the alignment in the Y-axis direction is performed by moving the both end members 28a by a predetermined amount. According to this, alignment adjustment in the Y-axis direction can be performed if the both end members 28a are moved by the same amount in the same direction, and the width of the exposure pattern can be arbitrarily set by appropriately setting each movement amount and movement direction of the both end members 28a. can do. This adjustment can be performed by automatic control by the control means 5.

  In the first embodiment, the case where the image of the opening 10a or the slit of the mask 10 is formed on the color filter substrate 6 using the imaging lens 9 has been described. The present invention can also be applied to a proximity exposure apparatus that directly exposes 10 close to the color filter substrate 6.

  FIG. 13 is a side view showing an essential part of a second embodiment of the exposure apparatus according to the present invention. In the second embodiment, a beam splitter 30 is arranged between the mask stage 8 and the imaging lens 9 to constitute the exposure optical system 2, and the reflected light on the imaging lens side reflecting surface 30 a of the beam splitter 30. The imaging means 3 is disposed so as to receive light, and the imaging lens 9 is used in common with an imaging lens that forms an image of the black matrix 11 formed on the color filter substrate 6 on the light receiving element surface of the imaging means 3. It has become. Here, in FIG. 13, reference numeral 31 denotes an illumination light source, and reference numeral 32 denotes a half mirror. The imaging position of the imaging means 3 can be illuminated through the imaging lens 9. Note that by selecting the wavelength of light from the light source 7, the exposure light source 7 can also be used for illumination instead of the illumination light source 31 of the imaging means 3.

  In the second embodiment configured as described above, the black color on the color filter substrate 6 is conveyed by the image pickup unit 3 via the imaging lens 9 while the color filter substrate 6 is conveyed at a constant speed in the direction of arrow A by the conveyance unit 4. The pixel 12 of the matrix 11 is imaged, the reference position preset in the pixel 22 imaged by the imaging means 3 is detected by the control means 5, and the mask 10 is based on the reference position as in the first embodiment. And the color filter substrate 6 are adjusted, the light source 7 of the exposure optical system 2 is caused to emit light, and an image of the opening 10a of the mask 10 is formed at a predetermined position of the color filter substrate 6 by the imaging lens 9. Transfer the image.

  As described above, according to the second embodiment, the imaging lens 9 of the exposure optical system 2 and the imaging lens of the imaging unit 3 are shared, so that the exposure position of the exposure optical system 2 and the imaging unit 3 are shared. When the exposure position on the color filter substrate 6 coincides with the image pickup position and is picked up and detected by the image pickup means 3, exposure can be performed immediately, and the exposure accuracy can be further improved as compared with the first embodiment. .

  In the first and second embodiments, the case where the alignment means is provided has been described. However, the deviation amount between the exposure position and the actual exposure position is allowed only by setting the color filter substrate 6 on the stage 4a. If it can fall within the range, the alignment means is unnecessary.

  In the first and second embodiments, the case where the color filter substrate 6 is used as the object to be exposed has been described. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and the substrate having a predetermined pattern arranged in a matrix is used. Can also be applied.

1 is a conceptual diagram showing a first embodiment of an exposure apparatus according to the present invention. It is explanatory drawing which shows the relationship with the opening part of an imaging means, a mask, and the to-be-exposed area | region of a black matrix. It is a block diagram which shows the first half part of a processing system in the internal structure of an image processing part. It is a block diagram which shows the latter half part of a processing system in the internal structure of an image processing part. 6 is a flowchart for explaining the operation of the exposure apparatus according to the present invention. It is explanatory drawing which shows the method of binarizing the output of a ring buffer memory. It is explanatory drawing which shows the image of the 1st reference position preset to the pixel of a black matrix, and its lookup table. It is explanatory drawing which shows the image of the 2nd reference position previously set to the pixel of the black matrix, and its lookup table. It is a figure explaining the method to adjust the inclination of a color filter board | substrate. It is a figure explaining the alignment adjustment method of the Y-axis direction of a color filter substrate. It is a figure explaining the other method of alignment adjustment of the Y-axis direction of a color filter substrate. It is a figure which shows the other structural example of a mask, (a) is a top view, (b) is a cross-sectional view. It is a side view which shows the principal part of 2nd Embodiment of the exposure apparatus by this invention.

Explanation of symbols

DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 1 ... Exposure apparatus 2 ... Exposure optical system 3 ... Imaging means 4 ... Conveyance means 5 ... Control means 6 ... Color filter substrate (exposed body)
DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 7 ... Light source 9 ... Imaging lens 10 ... Mask 10a ... Opening 11 ... Black matrix (reference pattern)
12 ... Pixel 29 ... Alignment means 30 ... Beam splitter 30a ... Objective lens side reflecting surface

Claims (7)

  1. An exposure optical system that irradiates an object to be exposed with exposure light from a light source; and a conveying unit that is disposed opposite to the exposure optical system and that carries the object to be exposed and conveys the object at a constant speed. An exposure apparatus that transfers an image of an opening of a mask interposed on an optical path of an optical system onto the object to be exposed,
    An imaging unit that images a reference pattern formed in advance on the object to be exposed, with a front side of an exposure position by the exposure optical system in the moving direction of the transport unit as an imaging position;
    A reference position preset in the reference pattern imaged by the imaging means is detected, and the exposure light irradiation timing of the exposure optical system is controlled based on the reference position, so that the exposure object is positioned at a predetermined position. Control means for transferring an image of the opening of the mask;
    An exposure apparatus comprising:
  2.   2. The exposure apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the exposure optical system includes an imaging lens that forms an image of the opening of the mask on the object to be exposed.
  3. An exposure apparatus that irradiates an object to be exposed with a light source through a mask having a predetermined opening, and transfers an image of the opening of the mask onto the object to be conveyed,
    Transport means for transporting the object to be exposed at a constant speed;
    An imaging lens that is disposed above the conveying means and forms an image of the opening of the mask disposed on the optical path from the light source to the object to be exposed on the object to be exposed, and the image forming lens And an exposure optical system having a beam splitter disposed on the optical path between the mask and the mask,
    An imaging means arranged to receive the reflected light on the imaging lens side reflecting surface of the beam splitter, and to image a reference pattern previously formed on the object to be exposed through the imaging lens;
    A reference position preset in the reference pattern imaged by the imaging means is detected, and the exposure light irradiation timing of the exposure optical system is controlled based on the reference position, so that the exposure object is positioned at a predetermined position. Control means for transferring an image of the opening of the mask;
    An exposure apparatus comprising:
  4.   The exposure apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the light source is a flash lamp that intermittently emits exposure light.
  5.   Based on the reference position, a deviation between the exposure planned position of the mask opening defined in the reference pattern and the actual exposure position is calculated by either the transport means or the exposure optical system, and the deviation is corrected. The exposure apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising an alignment unit.
  6.   The exposure apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the mask has an opening for one row formed in a direction orthogonal to a moving direction of the object to be exposed in an exposure region. .
  7.   2. The mask according to claim 1, wherein a single slit is formed in an opaque member in a direction orthogonal to a moving direction of the object to be exposed in an exposure area, and the size of the slit can be changed. The exposure apparatus according to any one of -5.
JP2004194023A 2004-06-30 2004-06-30 Aligner Pending JP2006017895A (en)

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JP2004194023A JP2006017895A (en) 2004-06-30 2004-06-30 Aligner
PCT/JP2005/011739 WO2006003863A1 (en) 2004-06-30 2005-06-27 Exposure equipment
CN 200580022190 CN1981244B (en) 2004-06-30 2005-06-27 Exposure equipment
KR1020067027970A KR101149089B1 (en) 2004-06-30 2005-06-27 Exposure equipment
TW94121819A TWI397776B (en) 2004-06-30 2005-06-29 Exposing apparatus

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Publication number Publication date
WO2006003863A1 (en) 2006-01-12
CN1981244A (en) 2007-06-13
TWI397776B (en) 2013-06-01
CN1981244B (en) 2010-11-10
KR20070024685A (en) 2007-03-02
KR101149089B1 (en) 2012-05-25
TW200600981A (en) 2006-01-01

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