06590634 is referenced by 442 patents and cites 19 patents.

Two stages (WS

1,

WS

2

) holding wafers can independently move between a positional information measuring section (PIS) under an alignment system (

24

a

) and an exposing section (EPS) under a projection optical system (PI). The wafer exchange and alignment are performed on the stage (WS

1

), during which wafer (W

2

) is exposed on the stage (WS

2

). A position of each shot area of wafer (WS

1

) is obtained as a relative position with respect to a reference mark formed on the stage WS

1

in the section (PIS). Relative positional information can be used for the alignment with respect to an exposure pattern when the wafer (WS

1

) is moved to the section (EPS) to be exposed. Therefore, it is not necessary that a stage position is observed continuously in moving the stage. Exposure operations are performed in parallel by the two wafer stages (WS

1

) and (WS

2

) so as to improve the throughput.

Title
Exposure apparatus and method
Application Number
9/716405
Publication Number
6590634 (B1)
Application Date
November 21, 2000
Publication Date
July 8, 2003
Inventor
Kazuya Ota
Ota-ku
US
Kenji Nishi
Yokohama
US
Agent
Oliff & Berridge
US
Assignee
Nikon Corporation
US
IPC
G03B 27/42
View Original Source