US20200019071A1 - Carrier device, exposure apparatus, exposure method, manufacturing method of flat-panel display, device manufacturing method, and carrying method - Google Patents

Carrier device, exposure apparatus, exposure method, manufacturing method of flat-panel display, device manufacturing method, and carrying method Download PDF

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US20200019071A1
US20200019071A1 US16/336,134 US201716336134A US2020019071A1 US 20200019071 A1 US20200019071 A1 US 20200019071A1 US 201716336134 A US201716336134 A US 201716336134A US 2020019071 A1 US2020019071 A1 US 2020019071A1
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substrate
holding
carrier
carry
support
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US16/336,134
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Yasuo Aoki
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Nikon Corp
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Nikon Corp
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Priority to JP2016-194441 priority
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Priority to PCT/JP2017/035463 priority patent/WO2018062480A1/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
    • G03F7/00Photomechanical, e.g. photolithographic, production of textured or patterned surfaces, e.g. printing surfaces; Materials therefor, e.g. comprising photoresists; Apparatus specially adapted therefor
    • G03F7/70Exposure apparatus for microlithography
    • G03F7/70691Handling of masks or wafers
    • G03F7/70716Stages
    • 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
    • G03F7/00Photomechanical, e.g. photolithographic, production of textured or patterned surfaces, e.g. printing surfaces; Materials therefor, e.g. comprising photoresists; Apparatus specially adapted therefor
    • G03F7/70Exposure apparatus for microlithography
    • G03F7/70691Handling of masks or wafers
    • G03F7/70733Handling masks and workpieces, e.g. exchange of workpiece or mask, transport of workpiece or mask
    • 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
    • G03F7/00Photomechanical, e.g. photolithographic, production of textured or patterned surfaces, e.g. printing surfaces; Materials therefor, e.g. comprising photoresists; Apparatus specially adapted therefor
    • G03F7/20Exposure; Apparatus therefor
    • 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
    • G03F7/00Photomechanical, e.g. photolithographic, production of textured or patterned surfaces, e.g. printing surfaces; Materials therefor, e.g. comprising photoresists; Apparatus specially adapted therefor
    • G03F7/70Exposure apparatus for microlithography
    • G03F7/70691Handling of masks or wafers
    • G03F7/70733Handling masks and workpieces, e.g. exchange of workpiece or mask, transport of workpiece or mask
    • G03F7/7075Handling workpieces outside exposure position, e.g. SMIF box
    • 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
    • G03F7/00Photomechanical, e.g. photolithographic, production of textured or patterned surfaces, e.g. printing surfaces; Materials therefor, e.g. comprising photoresists; Apparatus specially adapted therefor
    • G03F7/70Exposure apparatus for microlithography
    • G03F7/70691Handling of masks or wafers
    • G03F7/70775Position control
    • 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
    • G03F7/00Photomechanical, e.g. photolithographic, production of textured or patterned surfaces, e.g. printing surfaces; Materials therefor, e.g. comprising photoresists; Apparatus specially adapted therefor
    • G03F7/70Exposure apparatus for microlithography
    • G03F7/708Construction of apparatus, e.g. environment, hygiene aspects or materials
    • G03F7/70975Assembly, maintenance, transport and storage of apparatus
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L21/00Processes or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or solid state devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/67Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere
    • H01L21/67005Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere
    • H01L21/67011Apparatus for manufacture or treatment
    • H01L21/67017Apparatus for fluid treatment
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L21/00Processes or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or solid state devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/67Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere
    • H01L21/67005Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere
    • H01L21/67242Apparatus for monitoring, sorting or marking
    • H01L21/67259Position monitoring, e.g. misposition detection or presence detection
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L21/00Processes or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or solid state devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/67Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere
    • H01L21/677Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for conveying, e.g. between different workstations
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L21/00Processes or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or solid state devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/67Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere
    • H01L21/677Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for conveying, e.g. between different workstations
    • H01L21/67739Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for conveying, e.g. between different workstations into and out of processing chamber
    • H01L21/67742Mechanical parts of transfer devices
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L21/00Processes or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or solid state devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/67Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere
    • H01L21/68Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for positioning, orientation or alignment

Abstract

A carrier device that carries a substrate to a noncontact holder that is configured to support the substrate in a noncontact manner is equipped with: holding pads that hold a part of the substrate at a first position located above the noncontact holder; a drive section that moves downward the holding pads holding the substrate so that the substrate is supported in a noncontact manner by the noncontact holder; and adsorption pads that hold the substrate supported in a noncontact manner by the noncontact holder, after the substrate held by the holding pads is moved by the drive section, wherein the drive section moves the holding pads from the first position to a second position where the substrate can be delivered to the adsorption pads.

Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present invention relates to carrier devices, exposure apparatuses, exposure methods, manufacturing methods of flat-panel displays, device manufacturing methods, and carrying methods, and more particularly to a carrier device and a carrying method for carrying objects, an exposure apparatus equipped with the carrier device, an exposure method making use of the carrying method, and a manufacturing method of flat-panel displays or a device manufacturing method using the exposure apparatus.
  • BACKGROUND ART
  • Conventionally, in a lithography process for manufacturing electronic devices (micro devices) such as liquid crystal display devices and semiconductor devices (integrated circuits and the like), used are exposure apparatuses such as an exposure apparatus of a step-and-scan method (a so-called scanning stepper (which is also called a scanner)) that, while synchronously moving a mask or a reticle (hereinafter, generically referred to as a “mask”) and a glass plate or a wafer (hereinafter, generically referred to as a “substrate”) along a predetermined scanning direction, transfers a pattern formed on the mask onto the substrate using an energy beam.
  • As this type of exposure apparatuses, an exposure apparatus is known that carries out a glass substrate that has been exposed on a substrate stage device using a substrate exchange device, and then carries in another glass substrate onto the substrate stage device using the substrate exchange device, and thereby sequentially exchanges the glass substrate to be held by the substrate stage device and performs the exposure processing with respect to a plurality of glass substrates in order (e.g., refer to PTL 1).
  • Here, in the case of exposing a plurality of glass substrates, it is preferable to swiftly exchange a glass substrate on the substrate stage device also for improvement of the entire throughput.
  • CITATION LIST Patent Literature
  • [PTL 1] U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2010/0266961
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a carrier device that carries an object to a support section for supporting the object in a noncontact manner, the device comprising: a first holding section that holds a part of the object at a first position located above the support section; a drive section that moves downward the first holding section holding the object so that the object is supported in a noncontact manner by the support section; and a second holding section that holds the object supported in a noncontact manner by the support section, after the object held by the first holding section is moved by the drive section, wherein the drive section moves the first holding section from the first position to a second position where the first holding section can deliver the object to the second holding section.
  • According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided an exposure apparatus, comprising: the carrier device related to the first aspect; and a pattern forming device that forms a predetermined pattern on the object using an energy beam.
  • According to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a manufacturing method of a flat-panel display, comprising: exposing an object using the exposure apparatus related to the second aspect; and developing the object that has been exposed.
  • According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a device manufacturing method, comprising: exposing an object using the exposure apparatus related to the second aspect; and developing the object that has been exposed.
  • According to a fifth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a carrying method of carrying an object to a support section for supporting the object in a noncontact manner, the method comprising: moving the first holding section that holds a part of the object at a first position located above the support section so that the object is supported in a noncontact manner by the support section; and holding the object, that is supported in a noncontact manner by the support section by the moving, with a second holding section, wherein in the moving, the object is moved from the first position to a second position where the object can be delivered to the second holding section.
  • According to a sixth aspect of the present invention, there is provided an exposure method, comprising: carrying the object to the support section with the carrying method related to the fifth aspect; and exposing the object that has been carried to the support section.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a view schematically showing a configuration of a liquid crystal exposure apparatus related a first embodiment.
  • FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line A-A shown in FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 is a view showing the details of a substrate stage device equipped in the liquid crystal exposure apparatus shown in FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 4 is a required part enlarged view of the substrate stage device.
  • FIG. 5 is a concept view of a substrate position measurement system equipped in the liquid crystal exposure apparatus shown in FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 6 is a block diagram showing the input/output relationship of a main controller that centrally configures a control system of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus.
  • FIGS. 7a and 7b are views (a plan view and a front view, respectively) used to explain an operation (No. 1) of the substrate stage device at the time of exposure operations.
  • FIGS. 8a and 8b are views (a plan view and a front view, respectively) used to explain an operation (No. 2) of the substrate stage device at the time of exposure operations.
  • FIGS. 9a and 9b are views (a plan view and a front view, respectively) used to explain an operation (No. 3) of the substrate stage device at the time of exposure operations.
  • FIGS. 10a and 10b are views (a plan view and a front view, respectively) showing a substrate carrier related to a first modified example of the first embodiment.
  • FIG. 11 is a view showing a substrate stage device related to a second modified example of the first embodiment.
  • FIG. 12a is a plan view of a substrate carrier related to the second modified example, and FIG. 12b is a plan view of a substrate table related to the second modified example.
  • FIGS. 13a and 13b are views (a plan view and a cross-sectional view, respectively) showing a substrate stage device related to a third modified example of the first embodiment.
  • FIG. 14 is a view showing a substrate stage device related to a second embodiment.
  • FIGS. 15a and 15b are views (a plan view and a side view, respectively) showing a Y guide bar, a weight-cancelling device and the like that the substrate stage device shown in FIG. 14 has.
  • FIGS. 16a and 16b are views (a plan view and a side view, respectively) showing a base frame, a coarse movement stage and the like that the substrate stage device shown in FIG. 14 has.
  • FIGS. 17a and 17b are views (a plan view and a side view, respectively) showing a noncontact holder, auxiliary tables and the like that the substrate stage device shown in FIG. 14 has.
  • FIGS. 18a and 18b are views (a plan view and a side view, respectively) showing a substrate carrier and the like that the substrate stage device shown in FIG. 14 has.
  • FIGS. 19a and 19b are views (a plan view and a side view, respectively) used to explain operations at the time of scan exposure of the substrate stage device related to the second embodiment.
  • FIGS. 20a and 20b are views (No. 1 and No. 2) used to explain a Y-step operation of the substrate stage device related to the second embodiment.
  • FIG. 21 is a view showing a substrate stage device related to a modified example (a fourth modified example) of the second embodiment.
  • FIGS. 22a and 22b are views (a plan view and a side view, respectively) showing Y guide bars, a weight-cancelling device and the like that the substrate stage device shown in FIG. 21 has.
  • FIGS. 23a and 23b are views (a plan view and a side view, respectively) showing a base frame, a coarse movement stage and the like that the substrate stage device shown in FIG. 21 has.
  • FIGS. 24a and 24b are views (a plan view and a side view, respectively) showing a noncontact holder, auxiliary tables and the like that the substrate stage device shown in FIG. 21 has.
  • FIGS. 25a and 25b are views (a plan view and a side view, respectively) showing a substrate carrier and the like that the substrate stage device shown in FIG. 21 has.
  • FIG. 26a is a view used to explain the substrate stage device related to the fourth modified example at the substrate carrying-out time, and FIG. 26b is a cross-sectional view taken along the line B-B shown in FIG. 26 a.
  • FIG. 27 is a view schematically showing a configuration of a liquid crystal exposure apparatus related a third embodiment.
  • FIG. 28 is a plan view of a substrate stage device and a substrate exchange device that the liquid crystal exposure apparatus shown in FIG. 27 has.
  • FIG. 29a is a plan view of the substrate stage device, and FIG. 29b is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 29 b-29 b shown in FIG. 29 a.
  • FIG. 30a is a plan view of the substrate exchange device, and FIG. 30b is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 30 b-30 b shown in FIG. 30 a.
  • FIGS. 31a and 31b are a plan view and a side view of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus, respectively, used to explain a substrate exchange operation (No. 1).
  • FIGS. 32a and 32b are a plan view and a side view of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus, respectively, used to explain a substrate exchange operation (No. 2).
  • FIGS. 33a and 33b are a plan view and a side view of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus, respectively, used to explain a substrate exchange operation (No. 3).
  • FIGS. 34a and 34b are a plan view and a side view of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus, respectively, used to explain a substrate exchange operation (No. 4).
  • FIGS. 35a and 35b are a plan view and a side view of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus, respectively, used to explain a substrate exchange operation (No. 5).
  • FIGS. 36a and 36b are a plan view and a side view of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus, respectively, used to explain a substrate exchange operation (No. 6).
  • FIGS. 37a and 37b are a plan view and a side view of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus, respectively, used to explain a substrate exchange operation (No. 7).
  • FIGS. 38a and 38b are a plan view and a side view of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus, respectively, used to explain a substrate exchange operation (No. 8).
  • FIGS. 39a and 39b are a plan view and a side view of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus, respectively, used to explain a substrate exchange operation (No. 9).
  • FIGS. 40a and 40b are a plan view and a side view of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus, respectively, used to explain a substrate exchange operation (No. 10).
  • FIGS. 41a and 41b are a plan view and a side view of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus, respectively, used to explain a substrate exchange operation (No. 11).
  • FIGS. 42a and 42b are a plan view and a side view of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus, respectively, used to explain a substrate exchange operation (No. 12).
  • FIGS. 43a and 43b are a plan view and a side view of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus, respectively, used to explain a substrate exchange operation (No. 13).
  • FIGS. 44a and 44b are a plan view and a side view of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus, respectively, used to explain a substrate exchange operation (No. 14).
  • FIGS. 45a and 45b are a plan view and a side view of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus, respectively, used to explain a substrate exchange operation (No. 15).
  • FIGS. 46a and 46b are a plan view and a side view of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus, respectively, used to explain a substrate exchange operation (No. 16).
  • FIGS. 47a and 47b are a plan view and a side view of the liquid crystal exposure apparatus, respectively, used to explain a substrate exchange operation (No. 17).
  • FIGS. 48a and 48b are views (No. 1) used to explain a fourth embodiment.
  • FIGS. 49a and 49b are views (No. 2) used to explain the fourth embodiment.
  • FIGS. 50a and 50b are views (No. 3) used to explain the fourth embodiment.
  • FIGS. 51a and 51b are views (No. 4) used to explain the fourth embodiment.
  • FIGS. 52a and 52b are views (No. 5) used to explain the fourth embodiment.
  • FIGS. 53a and 53b are views (No. 6) used to explain the fourth embodiment.
  • FIGS. 54a and 54b are views (No. 7) used to explain the fourth embodiment.
  • FIGS. 55a and 55b are views (No. 8) used to explain the fourth embodiment.
  • FIGS. 56a and 56b are views (No. 9) used to explain the fourth embodiment.
  • FIGS. 57a and 57b are views used to explain a modified example of the fourth embodiment.
  • FIG. 58 is a view (No. 1) used to explain a fifth embodiment.
  • FIG. 59 is a view (No. 2) used to explain the fifth embodiment.
  • FIG. 60 is a view (No. 3) used to explain the fifth embodiment.
  • FIG. 61 is a view (No. 4) used to explain the fifth embodiment.
  • FIG. 62 is a view (No. 5) used to explain the fifth embodiment.
  • FIG. 63 is a view (No. 6) used to explain the fifth embodiment.
  • FIG. 64 is a view (No. 7) used to explain the fifth embodiment.
  • FIG. 65 is a view (No. 8) used to explain the fifth embodiment.
  • FIGS. 66a and 66b are views (No. 1) used to explain a sixth embodiment.
  • FIGS. 67a and 67b are views (No. 2) used to explain the sixth embodiment.
  • FIGS. 68a and 68b are views (No. 3) used to explain the sixth embodiment.
  • FIGS. 69a and 69b are views (No. 4) used to explain the sixth embodiment.
  • FIGS. 70a and 70b are views (No. 5) used to explain the sixth embodiment.
  • FIG. 71 is a view (No. 1) used to explain a seventh embodiment.
  • FIG. 72 is a view (No. 2) used to explain the seventh embodiment.
  • FIG. 73 is a view (No. 3) used to explain the seventh embodiment.
  • FIG. 74 is a view (No. 4) used to explain the seventh embodiment.
  • FIGS. 75a to 75c are views (No. 5 to No. 7) used to explain the seventh embodiment.
  • FIG. 76 is a view (No. 1) used to explain an eighth embodiment.
  • FIGS. 75a to 75c are views (No. 2 to No. 4) used to explain the eighth embodiment.
  • FIG. 78 is a view (No. 1) used to explain a ninth embodiment.
  • FIGS. 79a to 79c are views (No. 2 to No. 5) used to explain the eighth embodiment.
  • FIG. 80 is a view (No. 6) used to explain the ninth embodiment.
  • FIG. 81 is a view (No. 7) used to explain the ninth embodiment.
  • FIG. 82 is a view (No. 8) used to explain the ninth embodiment.
  • FIG. 83 is a view (No. 9) used to explain the ninth embodiment.
  • FIG. 84 is a view used to explain a modified example of the ninth embodiment.
  • FIGS. 85a and 85b are views (No. 1 and No. 2) used to explain a first modified example.
  • FIGS. 86a and 86b are views (No. 1 and No. 2) used to explain a second modified example.
  • FIGS. 87a and 87b are views (No. 1 and No. 2) used to explain a carry-in operation of a substrate in the fourth embodiment, and FIGS. 87c and 87d are views (No. 1 and No. 2) showing an example of shift preventing structure of holding pads in the second modified example.
  • FIGS. 88a and 88b are views (No. 1 and No. 2) used to explain a third modified example.
  • FIGS. 89a to 89c are views (No. 1 to No. 3) used to explain a fourth modified example.
  • FIGS. 90a and 90b are views (No. 1 and No. 2) used to explain a fifth modified example.
  • FIG. 91 is a view (No. 1) used to explain a sixth modified example.
  • FIGS. 92a and 92b are views (No. 1 and No. 2) used to explain a seventh modified example.
  • FIGS. 93a and 93b are views (No. 1 and No. 2) used to explain an eighth modified example.
  • FIGS. 94a to 94c are views (No. 1 to No. 3) used to explain a ninth modified example.
  • FIG. 95 is a view used to explain a tenth modified example.
  • FIG. 96 is a view used to explain an eleventh modified example.
  • FIG. 97 is a view used to explain a twelfth modified example.
  • FIG. 98 is a view used to explain a thirteenth modified example.
  • FIG. 99 is a view used to explain a fourteenth modified example.
  • FIG. 100 is a view used to explain a fifteenth modified example.
  • FIG. 101 is a view used to explain a sixteenth modified example.
  • FIGS. 102a and 102b are views (No. 2 and No. 3) used to explain the sixth modified example.
  • DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS First Embodiment
  • A first embodiment will be described below, using FIGS. 1 to 9 b.
  • FIG. 1 schematically shows the configuration of a liquid crystal exposure apparatus 10 related to the first embodiment. Liquid crystal exposure apparatus 10 is a projection exposure apparatus of a step-and-scan method, which is a so-called scanner, with a rectangular (square) glass substrate P (hereinafter, simply referred to as a substrate P) used in, for example, a liquid crystal display device (a flat-panel display) or the like, serving as an exposure target object.
  • Liquid crystal exposure apparatus 10 has: an illumination system 12; a mask stage 14 to hold a mask M on which patterns such as a circuit pattern are formed; a projection optical system 16; an apparatus main body 18; a substrate stage device 20 to hold substrate P whose surface (a surface facing the +Z side in FIG. 1) is coated with resist (sensitive agent); a control system thereof; and the like. Hereinafter, the explanation is given assuming that a direction in which mask M and substrate P are each scanned relative to projection optical system 16 at the time of exposure is an X-axis direction, a direction orthogonal to the X-axis within a horizontal plane is a Y-axis direction, and a direction orthogonal to the X-axis and the Y-axis is a Z-axis direction. Further, the explanation is given assuming that rotation directions around the X-axis, the Y-axis and the Z-axis are a θx direction, a θy direction and a θz direction, respectively.
  • Illumination system 12 is configured similarly to an illumination system disclosed in, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,729,331 and the like. That is, illumination system 12 irradiates mask M with light emitted from a light source (not illustrated) (e.g. a mercury lamp), as illumination light for exposure (illumination light) IL, via a reflection mirror, a dichroic mirror, a shutter, a wavelength selecting filter, various types of lenses and the like (none of which are illustrated). As illumination light IL, light such as, for example, an i-line (with wavelength of 365 nm), a g-line (with wavelength of 436 nm), and an h-line (with wavelength of 405 nm) (or synthetic light of the i-line, the g-line and the h-line described above) is used.
  • Mask stage 14 holds mask M of a light-transmitting type. Main controller 50 (see FIG. 6) drives mask stage 14 (i.e. mask M) with a predetermined long stroke relative to illumination system 12 (illumination light IL) in the X-axis direction (the scan direction), and also finely drives mask stage 14 in the Y-axis direction and the θz direction, via a mask stage drive system 52 (see FIG. 6) including, for example, a linear motor. Position information of mask stage 14 within the horizontal plane is obtained by a mask stage position measurement system 54 (see FIG. 6) including, for example, a laser interferometer.
  • Projection optical system 16 is disposed below mask stage 14. Projection optical system 16 is a so-called multi-lens type projection optical system having a configuration similar to a projection optical system disclosed in, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,552,775 and the like, and projection optical system 16 is equipped with a plurality of optical systems that are, for example, both-side telecentric and form erected normal images. An optical axis AX of illumination light IL projected on substrate P from projection optical system 16 is substantially parallel to the Z-axis.
  • In liquid crystal exposure apparatus 10, when mask M located in a predetermined illumination area is illuminated with illumination light IL from illumination system 12, by illumination light IL that has passed through mask M, a projected image of a pattern (a partial image of the pattern) of mask M within the illumination area is formed on an exposure area on substrate P, via projection optical system 16. Then, mask M is moved relative to the illumination area (illumination light IL) in the scanning direction and also substrate P is moved relative to the exposure area (illumination light IL) in the scanning direction, and thereby the scanning exposure of one shot area on substrate P is performed and the pattern formed on mask M (the entire pattern corresponding to the scanning range of mask M) is transferred onto the shot area. Here, the illumination area on mask M and the exposure area (an irradiation area of the illumination light) on substrate P are in a relationship optically conjugate with each other by projection optical system 16.
  • Apparatus main body 18 is a section to support mask stage 14 and projection optical system 16 described above, and is installed on a floor F of a clean room via a plurality of vibration isolating devices 18 d. Apparatus main body 18 is configured similarly to an apparatus main body as disclosed in, for example, U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2008/0030702, and apparatus main body 18 has: an upper mount section 18 a (which is also referred to as an optical surface plate or the like) that supports projection optical system 16 described above; a pair of lower mount sections 18 b (one of which is not illustrated in FIG. 1 because the pair of lower mount sections 18 b overlap in a depth direction of the paper surface; see FIG. 2); and a pair of middle mount sections 18 c.
  • Substrate stage device 20 is a section that performs the high accuracy positioning of substrate P relative to projection optical system 16 (illumination light IL), and substrate stage device 20 drives substrate P with a predetermined long stroke along the horizontal plane (the X-axis direction and the Y-axis direction), and also finely drives substrate P in directions of six degrees of freedom. Substrate stage device 20 is equipped with a base frame 22, a coarse movement stage 24, a weight cancelling device 26, an X guide bar 28, a substrate table 30, a noncontact holder 32, a pair of auxiliary tables 34, a substrate carrier 40 and the like.
  • Base frame 22 is equipped with a pair of X beams 22 a. X beam 22 a is made up of a member with a rectangular YZ cross-sectional shape extending in the X-axis direction. The pair of X beams 22 a are disposed at a predetermined spacing in the Y-axis direction, and are each installed on floor F via leg sections 22 b, in a state of being physically separated (vibrationally isolated) from apparatus main body 18. Each of the pair of X beams 22 a and each of leg sections 22 b are integrally connected by a connecting member 22C.
  • Coarse movement stage 24 is a section for driving substrate P with a long stroke in the X-axis direction, and is equipped with a pair of X carriages 24 a, correspondingly to the pair of X beams 22 a described above. X carriage 24 a is formed into an inversed L-like YZ cross-sectional shape, and is placed on the corresponding X beam 22 a via a plurality of mechanical linear guide devices 24 c.
  • The pair of X carriages 24 a are synchronously driven with a predetermined long stroke in the X-axis direction (about 1 to 1.5 time the length of substrate P in the X-axis direction) along the respectively corresponding X beams 22 a, by main controller 50 (see FIG. 6) via an X linear actuator that is a part of a substrate table drive system 56 (see FIG. 6) for driving substrate table 30. The type of the X linear actuator for driving X carriage 24 a can be changed as needed. In FIG. 2, for example, a linear motor 24 d including a mover that X carriage 24 a has and a stator that the corresponding X beam 22 a has is used, but this is not intended to be limiting, and for example, a feed screw (ball screw) device or the like may be used.
  • Further, as illustrated in FIG. 2, coarse movement stage 24 has a pair of Y stators 62 a. Y stator 62 a is made up of a member extending in the Y-axis direction (see FIG. 1). One of Y stators 62 a and the other of Y stators 62 a bridge on the pair of X carriages 24 a, at the +X side end vicinity part of coarse movement stage 24 and at the −X side end vicinity part of coarse movement stage 24 a (see FIG. 1), respectively. The functions of Y stators 62 a will be described later.
  • Weight cancelling device 26 is inserted between the pair of X carriages 24 a that coarse movement stage 24 has, and supports the empty weight of a system including substrate table 30 and noncontact holder 32, from below. Since the details of weight cancelling device 26 are disclosed in, for example, U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2010/0018950, the description thereof will be omitted. Weight cancelling device 26 is mechanically connected to coarse movement stage 24, via a plurality of connecting devices 26 a (which are also referred to as flexure devices) radially extending from weight cancelling device 26, and weight cancelling device 26 is towed by coarse movement stage 24, thereby being moved integrally with coarse movement stage 24 in the X-axis direction. Note that, although weight cancelling device 26 is to be connected to coarse movement stage 24 via connecting devices 26 a radially extending from weight cancelling device 26, a configuration, in which weight cancelling device 26 is connected by connecting devices 26 a extending in the X direction in order to be moved only in the X-axis direction, may also be employed.
  • X guide bar 28 is a section that functions as a surface plate when weight cancelling device 26 is moved. X guide bar 28 is made up of a member extending in the X-axis direction, and as illustrated in FIG. 1, X guide bar 28 is inserted between the pair of X beams 22 a that base frame 22 has, and is fixed on the pair of lower mount sections 18 b that apparatus main body 18 has. The center in the Y-axis direction of X guide bar 28 substantially coincides with the center in the Y-axis direction of the exposure area generated on substrate P by illumination light IL. The upper surface of X guide bar 28 is set parallel to the XY plane (the horizontal plane). Weight cancelling device 26 described above is placed on X guide bar 28 in a noncontact state, for example, via air bearings 26 b. When coarse movement stage 24 is moved in the X-axis direction on base frame 22, weight cancelling device 26 is moved in the X-axis direction on X guide bar 28.
  • Substrate table 30 is made up of a plate-like (or box-like) member having a rectangular shape in planar view with the X-axis direction serving as a longitudinal direction, and as illustrated in FIG. 2, is supported in a noncontact manner from below by weight cancelling device 26 in a state where the center part is freely oscillated with respect to the XY plane via a spherical bearing device 26 c. Further, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the pair of auxiliary tables 34 (not illustrated in FIG. 2) are connected to substrate table 30. The functions of the pair of auxiliary tables 34 will be described later.
  • Referring back to FIG. 2, substrate table 30 is finely driven as needed relative to coarse movement stage 24, in directions intersecting the horizontal plane (the XY plane), i.e., the Z-axis direction, the θx direction and the θy direction (hereinafter, referred to as Z-tilt directions), by a plurality of linear motors 30 a (e.g. voice coil motors) that are a part of substrate table drive system 56 (see FIG. 6) and include stators that coarse movement stage 24 has and movers that substrate table 30 itself has.
  • Substrate table 30 is mechanically connected to coarse movement stage 24 via a plurality of connecting devices 30 b (flexure devices) radially extending from substrate table 30. Connecting devices 30 b include, for example, boll joints, and are arranged so as not to disturb the relative movement of substrate table 30 with a fine stroke with respect to coarse movement stage 24 in the Z-tilt directions. Further, in the case where coarse movement stage 24 is moved with a long stroke in the X-axis direction, substrate table 30 is towed by coarse movement stage 24 via the plurality of connecting devices 30 b, and thereby coarse movement stage 24 and substrate table 30 are integrally moved in the X-axis direction. Note that, since substrate table 30 is not moved in the Y-axis direction, substrate table 30 may be connected to coarse movement stage 24 via a plurality of connecting devices 30 b parallel to the X-axis direction, instead of connecting devices 30 b radially extending toward coarse movement stage 24.
  • Noncontact holder 32 is made up of a plate-like (or box-like) member having a rectangular shape in planar view with the X-axis direction serving as a longitudinal direction, and supports substrate P from below with its upper surface. Noncontact holder 32 has a function of preventing the sag, wrinkle or the like of substrate P from being generated (of performing flatness correction of substrate P). Noncontact holder 32 is fixed to the upper surface of substrate table 30, and is moved with a long stroke integrally with substrate table 30 described above in the X-axis direction and is also finely moved in the Z-tilt directions.
  • The length of each of the four sides of the upper surface (the substrate supporting surface) of noncontact holder 32 is set to be substantially the same as (actually, slightly shorter than) the length of each of the four sides of substrate P. Consequently, noncontact holder 32 can support substantially the entirety of substrate P from below, or more specifically, can support an exposure target area on substrate P (an area excluding margin areas that are formed at the end vicinity parts of substrate P) from below.
  • A pressurized gas supply device and a vacuum suction device (not illustrated) that are installed external to substrate stage device 20 are connected to noncontact holder 32 via piping members such as, for example, tubes. Further, a plurality of minute hole sections that communicate with the piping members referred to above are formed on the upper surface (the substrate placing surface) of noncontact holder 32. Noncontact holder 32 jets pressurized gas (e.g. compressed air) supplied from the pressurized gas supply device described above to the lower surface of substrate P via (apart of) the hole sections, thereby levitating substrate P. Further, together with the jet of the pressurized gas described above, noncontact holder 32 suctions air between the lower surface of substrate P and the substrate supporting surface by a vacuum suction force supplied from the vacuum suction device described above. Accordingly, the load (the preload) acts on substrate P, and the flatness correction of substrate P is performed along the upper surface of noncontact holder 32. However, the relative movement between substrate P and noncontact holder 32 in directions parallel to the horizontal plane is not disturbed because a gap is formed between substrate P and noncontact holder 32.
  • Substrate carrier 40 is a section that holds substrate P, and moves substrate P relative to illumination light IL (see FIG. 1) in directions of three degrees of freedom within the horizontal plane (the X-axis direction, the Y-axis direction and the θz direction). Substrate carrier 40 is formed into a rectangular frame-like (a picture-frame-like) shape in planar view, and is moved relative to noncontact holder 32 along the XY plane in a state of holding the areas (the margin areas) near the ends (the outer periphery edges) of substrate P. The details of substrate carrier 40 will be described below using FIG. 3.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 3, substrate carrier 40 is equipped with a pair of X frames 42 x and a pair of Y frames 42 y. The pair of X frames 42 x are each made up of a tabular member extending in the X-axis direction, and are disposed at a predetermined spacing in the Y-axis direction (the spacing wider than the size of substrate P and the size of noncontact holder 32 in the Y-axis direction). Further, the pair of Y frames 42 y are each made up of a tabular member extending in the Y-axis direction, and are disposed at a predetermined spacing in the X-axis direction (the spacing wider than the size of substrate P and the size of noncontact holder 32 in the X-axis direction).
  • Y frame 42 y on the +X side is connected, via a spacer 42 a, to the lower surface of the +X side end vicinity part of each of the pair of X frames 42 x. Similarly, Y frame 42 y on the −X side is connected, via a spacer 42 a, to the lower surface of the −X side end vicinity part of each of the pair of X frames 42 x. Accordingly, the height positions (the positions in the Z-axis direction) of the upper surfaces of the pair of Y frames 42 y are set lower (on the −Z side) than the height positions of the lower surfaces of the pair of X frames 42 x.
  • Further, a pair of adsorption pads 44 are attached, spaced apart in the X-axis direction, to the lower surface of each of the pair of X frames 42 x. Consequently, substrate carrier 40 has, for example, four adsorption pads 44 in total. Adsorption pads 44 are disposed protruding from the surfaces of the pair of X frames 42 x facing each other, toward directions opposed to each other (to the inner side of substrate carrier 40). For example, the positions of the four adsorption pads 44 within the horizontal plane (the attached positions with respect to X frames 42 x) are set so that the four adsorption pads 44 can support the four corner vicinity parts (the margin areas) of substrate P from below in a state where substrate P is inserted between the pair of X frames 42 x. For example, a vacuum suction device (not illustrated) is connected to each of the four adsorption pads 44. Adsorption pads 44 adsorb and hold the lower surface of substrate P by vacuum suction forces supplied from the vacuum suction device descried above. Note that the number of adsorption pads 44 is not limited to four, but can be changed as needed.
  • Here, as illustrated in FIG. 2, in a state where noncontact holder 32 and substrate carrier 40 are combined, the four corner vicinity parts of substrate P are supported (adsorbed and held) from below by adsorption pads 44 that substrate carrier 40 has, and also the substantially entire surface including the center part of substrate P is supported in a noncontact manner from below by noncontact holder 32. In this state, the +X side end and the −X side end of substrate P protrude from the +X side end and the −X side end of noncontact holder 32, respectively, and for example, the four adsorption pads 44 (a part of which is not illustrated in FIG. 2) adsorb and hold the portions of substrate P protruding from noncontact holder 32. That is, the attached positions of adsorption pads 44 with respect to X frames 42 x are set so that adsorption pads 44 are located on the outer side with respect to noncontact holder 32 in the X-axis direction.
  • Next, a substrate carrier drive system 60 (see FIG. 6) for driving substrate carrier 40 will be described. In the present embodiment, main controller 50 (see FIG. 6) drives substrate carrier 40 with a long stroke relative to noncontact holder 32 in the Y-axis direction and also finely drives substrate carrier 40 in the directions of three degrees of freedom within the horizontal plane, via substrate carrier drive system 60. Further, main controller 50 drives noncontact holder 32 and substrate carrier 40 integrally (synchronously) in the X-axis direction via substrate table drive system 56 described above (see FIG. 6) and substrate carrier drive system 60.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 2, substrate carrier drive system 60 is equipped with a pair of Y linear actuators 62 that include Y stators 62 a that coarse movement stage 24 described above has and Y movers 62 b that work with Y stators 62 a to generate thrust forces in the Y-axis direction. As illustrated in FIG. 4, a Y stator 64 a and an X stator 66 a are attached to Y mover 62 b of each of the pair of Y linear actuators 62.
  • Y stator 64 a works with a Y mover 64 b attached to substrate carrier 40 (the lower surface of Y frame 42 y), to configure a Y voice coil motor 64 that applies a thrust force in the Y-axis direction to substrate carrier 40. Further, X stator 66 a works with an X mover 66 b attached to substrate carrier 40 (the lower surface of Y frame 42 y), to configure an X voice coil motor 66 that applies a thrust force in the X-axis direction to substrate carrier 40. In this manner, substrate stage device 20 has one each of Y voice coil motor 64 and X voice coil motor 66 on each of the +X side and the −X side of substrate carrier 40.
  • Here, on the +X side and the −X side of substrate carrier 40, Y voice coil motors 64 and X voice coil motors 66 are each disposed point-symmetric with respect to the gravity center position of substrate P. Consequently, when causing the thrust force in the X-axis direction to act on substrate carrier 40 using X voice coil motor 66 on the +X side of substrate carrier 40 and X voice coil motor 66 on the −X side of substrate carrier 40, the effect similar to that of causing the thrust force in parallel to the X-axis direction to act on the gravity center position of substrate P can be obtained, that is, the moment in the θz direction can be suppressed from acting on substrate carrier 40 (substrate P). Note that, since a pair of Y voice coil motors 64 are disposed with the gravity center (line) of substrate P in the X-axis direction in between, the moment in the θz direction does not act on substrate carrier 40.
  • Substrate carrier 40 is finely driven relative to coarse movement stage 24 (i.e. noncontact holder 32) in the directions of three degrees of freedom within the horizontal plane, by main controller 50 (FIG. 6) via the pair of Y voice coil motors 64 and the pair of X voice coil motors 66 described above. Further, when coarse movement stage 24 (i.e. noncontact holder 32) is moved with a long stroke in the X-axis direction, main controller 50 applies the thrust force in the X-axis direction to substrate carrier 40 using the pair of X voice coil motors 66 described above so that noncontact holder 32 and substrate carrier 40 are integrally moved with a long stroke in the X-axis direction.
  • Further, main controller 50 (see FIG. 6) relatively moves substrate carrier 40 with a long stroke with respect to noncontact holder 32 in the Y-axis direction, using the pair of Y linear actuators 62 and the pair of Y voice coil motors 64 described above. More specifically, while moving Y movers 62 b of the pair of Y linear actuators 62 in the Y-axis direction, main controller 50 causes the thrust force in the Y-axis direction to act on substrate carrier 40 using Y voice coil motors 64 including Y stators 64 a attached to Y movers 62 b. Accordingly, substrate carrier 40 is moved with a long stroke independently (separately) from noncontact holder 32 in the Y-axis direction.
  • In this manner, in substrate stage device 20 of the present embodiment, substrate carrier 40 that holds substrate P is moved with a long stroke integrally with noncontact holder 32 in the X-axis (scanning) direction, whereas substrate carrier 40 is moved with a long stroke independently from noncontact holder 32 in the Y-axis direction. Note that, although the Z-positions of adsorption pads 44 and the Z-position of noncontact holder 32 are partially overlap as can be seen from FIG. 2, there is no risk that adsorption pads 44 and noncontact holder 32 come into contact with each other because it is only the Y-axis direction in which substrate carrier 40 is relatively moved with a long stroke with respect to noncontact holder 32.
  • Further, in the case where substrate table 30 (i.e. noncontact holder 32) is driven in the Z-tilt directions, substrate P whose flatness has been corrected along noncontact holder 32 changes in attitude together with noncontact holder 32 in the Z-tilt directions, and therefore substrate carrier 40 that adsorbs and holds substrate P changes in attitude together with substrate P in the Z-tilt directions. Note that the attitude of substrate carrier 40 may be prevented from changing, by the elastic deformation of adsorption pads 44.
  • Referring back to FIG. 1, the pair of auxiliary tables 34 are devices that work with noncontact holder 32 to support the lower surface of substrate P held by substrate carrier 40, when substrate carrier 40 is relatively moved in the Y-axis direction separately from noncontact holder 32. As is described above, substrate carrier 40 is relatively moved with respect to noncontact holder 32 in a state of holding substrate P, and therefore, for example, when substrate carrier 40 is moved toward the +Y direction from the state shown in FIG. 1, the +Y side end vicinity part of substrate P is no longer supported by noncontact holder 32. Therefore, in substrate stage device 20, in order to suppress the bending due to the self-weight of a portion, of substrate P, that is not supported by noncontact holder 32, substrate P is supported from below using one of the pair of auxiliary tables 34. The pair of auxiliary tables 34 have substantially the same structure, except that they are disposed laterally symmetric on the page surface.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 3, auxiliary table 34 has a plurality of air levitation units 36. Note that a configuration, in which air levitation unit 36 is formed into a bar-like shape extending in the Y-axis direction and the plurality of air levitation units 36 are disposed at a predetermined spacing in the X-axis direction, is employed in the present embodiment, but the shape, the number, the placement and the like of air levitation units 36 are not limited in particular, as far as the bending of substrate P caused by the self-weight can be suppressed. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the plurality of air levitation units 36 are supported from below by arm-like support members 36 a protruding from the side surfaces of substrate table 30. A minute gap is formed between the plurality of air levitation units 36 and noncontact holder 32.
  • The height positions of the upper surfaces of air levitation units 36 are set to be substantially the same as (or slightly lower than) the height position of the upper surface of noncontact holder 32. Air levitation units 36 support substrate Pin a noncontact manner by jetting gas (e.g. air) from the upper surfaces of air levitation units 36 to the lower surface of substrate P. Note that, although noncontact holder 32 described above performs the flatness correction of substrate P by causing the preload to act on substrate P, air levitation units 36 only have to suppress the bending of substrate P, and therefore air levitation units 36 should only supply the gas to the lower surface of substrate P and do not have to control in particular the height position of substrate P on air levitation units 36.
  • Next, a substrate position measurement system for measuring position information of substrate P in the directions of six degrees of freedom will be described. The substrate position measurement system has a Z-tilt position measurement system 58 (see FIG. 6) for obtaining position information of substrate table 30 in directions intersecting the horizontal plane (the position information in the Z-axis direction, and rotation amount information in the θx direction and the θy direction, hereinafter, referred to as “Z-tilt position information”), and a horizontal-in-plane position measurement system 70 (see FIG. 6) for obtaining position information of substrate carrier 40 within the XY plane (the position information in the X-axis direction and the Y-axis direction, and rotation amount information in the θz direction).
  • As illustrated in FIG. 2, Z-tilt position measurement system 58 (see FIG. 6) includes a plurality (at least three) of laser displacement meters 58 a fixed around spherical bearing device 26 c on the lower surface of substrate table 30. Laser displacement meter 58 a irradiates a target 58 b fixed to a housing of weight cancelling device 26, with measurement light, and receives its reflection light, thereby supplying displacement amount information of substrate table 30 in the Z-axis direction at the irradiation point of the measurement light to main controller 50 (see FIG. 6). For example, at least three laser displacement meters 58 a are disposed at three locations that do not lie on the same straight line (e.g. positions corresponding to vertexes of a regular triangle), and main controller 50 obtains the Z-tilt position information of substrate table 30 (i.e. substrate P) on the basis of the outputs of the at least three laser displacement meters 58 a. Since weight cancelling device 26 is moved along the upper surface of X guide bar 28 (the horizontal plane), main controller 50 can measure the attitude change of substrate table 30 with respect to the horizontal plane regardless of the X-position of substrate table 30.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 1, horizontal-in-plane position measurement system 70 (see FIG. 6) has a pair of head units 72. One of head units 72 is disposed on the −Y side of projection optical system 16, while the other head unit 72 is disposed on the +Y side of projection optical system 16.
  • Each of the pair of head units 72 obtains position information of substrate P within the horizontal plane using reflection-type diffraction gratings that substrate carrier 40 has. As illustrated in FIG. 3, correspondingly to the pair head units 72 a, a plurality (e.g. six in FIG. 3) of scale plates 46 are pasted on the upper surface of each of the pair of X frames 42 x of substrate carrier 40. Scale plate 46 is made up of a member with a band-like shape in planar view extending in the X-axis direction. The length of scale plate 46 in the X-axis direction is shorter, compared to the length of X frame 42 x in the X-axis direction, and the plurality of scale plates 46 are arrayed at a predetermined spacing (spaced apart from each other) in the X-axis direction.
  • FIG. 5 shows X frame 42 x on the +Y side and head unit 72 corresponding thereto. On each of the plurality of scale plates 46 fixed on X frame 42 x, an X scale 48 x and a Y scale 48 y are formed. X scale 48 x is formed in the −Y side half area of scale plate 46, while Y scale 48 y is formed in the +Y side half area of scale plate 46. X scale 48 x has a reflection-type X diffraction grating, and Y scale 48 y has a reflection-type Y diffraction grating. Note that in order to facilitate the understanding, a spacing (a pitch) between a plurality of grid lines that form X scale 48 x and Y scale 48 y is illustrated wider in FIG. 5 than the actual spacing (the actual pitch).
  • As illustrated in FIG. 4, head unit 72 is equipped with: a Y linear actuator 74; a Y slider 76 that is driven with a predetermined stroke relative to projection optical system 16 (see FIG. 1) in the Y-axis direction, by Y linear actuator 74; and a plurality of measurement heads (X encoder heads 78 x and 80 x, and Y encoder heads 78 y and 80 y) that are fixed to Y slider 76. The pair of head units 72 are similarly configured, except that they are configured laterally symmetric on the page surface in FIGS. 1 and 4. Further, the plurality of scale plates 46 fixed on the pair of X frames 42 x, respectively, are also configured laterally symmetric in FIGS. 1 and 4.
  • Y linear actuator 74 is fixed to the lower surface of upper mount section 18 a that apparatus main body 18 has. Y linear actuator 74 is equipped with a linear guide that straightly guides Y slider 76 in the Y-axis direction, and a drive system that applies a thrust force to Y slider 76. The type of the linear guide is not particularly limited, but an air bearing with a high repetitive reproducibility is suitable. Further, the type of the drive system is not particularly limited, and a linear motor, a belt (or wire) drive device or the like can be used.
  • Y linear actuator 74 is controlled by main controller 50 (see FIG. 6). The stroke amount of Y slider 76 in the Y-axis direction by Y linear actuator 74 is set equivalent to the stroke amount of substrate P (substrate carrier 40) in the Y-axis direction.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 5, head unit 72 is equipped with a pair of X encoder heads 78 x (hereinafter, referred to as “X heads 78 x”), and a pair of Y encoder heads 78 y (hereinafter, referred to as “Y heads 78 y”). The pair of X heads 78 x and the pair of Y heads 78 y are each disposed, spaced apart at a predetermined spacing in the X-axis direction.
  • X heads 78 x and Y heads 78 y are encoder heads of a so-called diffraction interference method as disclosed in, for example, U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2008/0094592, and irradiate their corresponding scales (X scale 48 x and Y scale 48 y) with measurement beams downwardly (toward the −Z direction), and receive beams (returned beams) from the corresponding scales, thereby supplying displacement amount information of substrate carrier 40 to main controller 50 (see FIG. 6).
  • That is, in horizontal-in-plane position measurement system 70 (see FIG. 6), for example, four X heads 78 x in total that the pair of heads units 72 have and X scales 48 x that face these X heads 78 x configure, for example, four X linear encoder systems for obtaining position information of substrate carrier 40 in the X-axis direction. Similarly, for example, four Y heads 78 y in total that the pair of heads units 72 have and Y scales 48 y that face these Y heads 78 y configure, for example, four Y linear encoder systems for obtaining position information of substrate carrier 40 in the Y-axis direction.
  • Here, the spacing in the X-axis direction between the pair of X heads 78 x and the spacing in the X-axis direction between the pair of Y heads 78 y that each of the pair of head units 72 has are each set wider than the spacing between scale plates 46 adjacent to each other. Accordingly, in the X encoder systems and the Y encoder systems, at least one of the pair of X heads 78 x constantly faces X scale 48 x and also at least one of the pair of Y heads 78 y constantly faces Y scale 48 y, irrespective of the position of substrate carrier 40 in the X-axis direction.
  • Specifically, main controller 50 (FIG. 6) obtains X-position information of substrate carrier 40 on the basis of the average value of the outputs of the pair of X heads 78 x in a state where the pair X heads 78 x both face X scale 48 x. Further, main controller 50 obtains the X-position information of substrate carrier 40 on the basis of only the output of one X head 78 x of the pair of X heads 78 x in a state where only the one X head 78 x faces X scale 48 x. Consequently, the X encoder systems can supply the position information of substrate carrier 40 to main controller 50 without interruption. The same can be said for the Y encoder systems.
  • Here, since substrate carrier 40 of the present embodiment is movable with a predetermined long stroke also in the Y-axis direction as is described above, main controller 50 (see FIG. 6) drives Y slider 76 (see FIG. 4) of each of the pair of head units 72 in the Y-axis direction, via Y linear actuator 74 (see FIG. 4), to follow substrate carrier 40, depending on the position of substrate carrier 40 in the Y-axis direction, so that respective facing states between X heads 78 x and Y heads 78 y and scales 48 x and 48 y respectively corresponding thereto are maintained. Main controller 50 comprehensively obtains position information of substrate carrier 40 within the horizontal plane, by using together the displacement amount (the position information) in the Y-axis direction of Y sliders 76 (i.e. each of heads 78 x and 78 y) and the output from each of heads 78 x and 78 y.
  • The position (displacement amount) information of Y sliders 76 (see FIG. 4) within the horizontal plane is obtained by encoder systems with the measurement accuracy equivalent to that of the encoder systems using X heads 78 x and Y heads 78 y described above. As can be seen from FIGS. 4 and 5, Y slider 76 has a pair of X encoder heads 80 x (hereinafter, referred to as “X heads 80 x”) and a pair of Y encoder heads 80 y (hereinafter, referred to as “Y heads 80 y”). The pair of X heads 80 x and the pair of Y heads 80 y are each disposed at a predetermined spacing in the Y-axis direction.
  • Main controller 50 (see FIG. 6) obtains position information of Y sliders 76 within the horizontal plane using a plurality of scale plates 82 fixed to the lower surface of upper mount section 18 a of apparatus main body 18 (see FIG. 1 for each of them). Scale plate 82 is made up of a member with a band-like shape in planar view extending in the Y-axis direction. In the present embodiment, for example, two scale plates 82 are disposed at a predetermined spacing (spaced apart from each other) in the Y-axis direction, above each of the pair of head units 72.
  • As illustrated in FIG. 5, in a +X side area on the lower surface of scale plate 82, an X scale 84 x is formed facing the pair of X heads 80 x described above, and in a −X side area on the lower surface of scale plate 82, a Y scale 84 y is formed facing the pair of Y heads 80 y described above. X scale 84 x and Y scale 84 y are light-reflection-type diffraction gratings having the configurations substantially similar to those of X scale 48 x and Y scale 48 y formed on scale plate 46 described above. Further, X head 80 x and Y head 80 y are encoder heads of a diffraction interference method having the configurations similar to those of X head 78 x and Y head 78 y (the downward heads) described above.
  • The pair of X heads 80 x and the pair of Y heads 80 y irradiate their corresponding scales (X scale 84 x and Y scale 84 y) with measurement beams upwardly (toward the +Z direction), and receive the beams from the corresponding scales, thereby supplying displacement amount information of Y slider 76 (see FIG. 4) within the horizontal plane to main controller 50 (see FIG. 6). The spacing in the Y-axis direction between the pair of X heads 80 x and the spacing in the Y-axis direction between the pair of Y heads 80 y are each set wider than the spacing between scale plates 82 adjacent to each other. Accordingly, at least one of the pair of X heads 80 x constantly faces X scale 84 x and also at least one of the pair of Y heads 80 y constantly faces Y scale 84 y, irrespective of the position of Y slider 76 in the Y-axis direction. Consequently, the position information of Y slider 76 can be supplied to main controller 50 (see FIG. 6) without interruption.
  • In FIG. 6, a block diagram is illustrated that shows the input/output relationship of main controller 50 that centrally configures the control system of liquid crystal exposure apparatus 10 (see FIG. 1) and performs the overall control of each of the constituents. Main controller 50 includes a workstation (or a microcomputer) and the like, and performs the overall control of each of the constituents of liquid crystal exposure apparatus 10.
  • In liquid crystal exposure apparatus 10 (see FIG. 1) configured as described above, under the control of main controller 50 (see FIG. 6), mask M is loaded onto mask stage 14 by a mask loader (not illustrated) and also substrate P is loaded onto substrate stage device 20 (substrate carrier 40 and noncontact holder 32) by a substrate loader (not illustrated). After that, main controller 50 implements alignment measurement using an alignment detection system (not illustrated), and focus mapping using an autofocus sensor (not illustrated) (a surface position measurement system of substrate P), and after the alignment measurement and the focus mapping are finished, the exposure operations of a step-and-scan method are sequentially performed with respect to a plurality of shot areas set on substrate P.
  • Next, an example of operations of substrate stage device 20 at the time of exposure operations will be described using FIGS. 7a to 9b . Note that, in the description below, the case where four shot areas are set on one substrate P (the so-called case of preparing four areas) will be described, but the number and the placement of the shot areas set on one substrate P can be changed as needed. In the present embodiment, as an example, the description will be made assuming that the exposure processing is performed from a first shot area 51 set on the −Y side and on the +X side of substrate P. Further, in order to avoid the intricacy of the drawings, a part of elements that substrate stage device 20 has is omitted in FIGS. 7a to 9 b.
  • FIGS. 7a and 7b show a plan view and a front view, respectively, of substrate stage device 20 in a state where operations such as an alignment operation have been completed and preparation of the exposure operation with respect to the first shot area S1 is finished. In substrate stage device 20, as illustrated in FIG. 7a , the positioning of substrate P is performed on the basis of the output of horizontal-in-plane position measurement system 70 (see FIG. 6) so that the +X side end of the first shot area S1 is slightly located on the further −X side than exposure area IA to be formed on substrate P by illumination light IL from projection optical system 16 (see FIG. 7b for each of them) being irradiated (however, in the state shown in FIG. 7a , illumination light IL has not yet been irradiated on substrate P).
  • Further, since the center of exposure area IA and the center of X guide bar 28 (i.e. noncontact holder 32) substantially coincide with each other in the Y-axis direction, the +Y side end vicinity part of substrate P held by substrate carrier 40 protrudes from noncontact holder 32. The protruding portion of substrate P is supported from below by auxiliary table 34 disposed on the +Y side of noncontact holder 32. At this time, although the flatness correction by noncontact holder 32 is not performed with respect to the +Y side end vicinity part of substrate P, the exposure accuracy is not affected because the flatness corrected state is maintained for an area including the first shot area S1 serving as an exposure target.
  • Subsequently, from the state as shown in FIGS. 7a and 7b , substrate carrier 40 and noncontact holder 32 are integrally (synchronously) driven (accelerated, driven at the constant speed, and decelerated) toward the +X direction on X guide bar 28 (see a black arrow in FIG. 8a ), synchronously with mask M (see FIG. 1), on the basis of the output of horizontal-in-plane position measurement system 70 (see FIG. 6), as illustrated in FIGS. 8a and 8b . While substrate carrier 40 and noncontact holder 32 are driven at the constant speed in the X-axis direction, substrate P is irradiated with illumination light IL that has passed through mask M (see FIG. 1) and projection optical system 16 (see FIG. 8b for each of illumination light IL and projection optical system 16), and thereby a mask pattern that mask M has is transferred onto the shot area 51. At this time, substrate carrier 40 is finely driven as needed relative to noncontact holder 32 in the directions of three degrees of freedom within the horizontal plane, in accordance with the result of the alignment measurement, and noncontact holder 32 is finely driven as needed in the Z-tilt directions in accordance with the result of the focus mapping described above.
  • Here, in horizontal-in-plane position measurement system 70 (see FIG. 6), when substrate carrier 40 and noncontact holder 32 are driven in the X-axis direction (toward the +X direction in FIG. 8a ), Y sliders 76 that the pair of head units 72 respectively have (see FIG. 4 for each of them) are in a static state (however, head units 72 do not have to be strictly in a static state, and at least a part of the heads that head units 72</