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Número de publicaciónUS20080094592 A1
Tipo de publicaciónSolicitud
Número de solicitudUS 11/896,448
Fecha de publicación24 Abr 2008
Fecha de presentación31 Ago 2007
Fecha de prioridad31 Ago 2006
También publicado comoCN101405840A, CN101405840B, CN102520588A, CN102520589A, EP2065920A1, EP2065920A4, EP2738608A1, US20140049758, US20140049759, WO2008026742A1
Número de publicación11896448, 896448, US 2008/0094592 A1, US 2008/094592 A1, US 20080094592 A1, US 20080094592A1, US 2008094592 A1, US 2008094592A1, US-A1-20080094592, US-A1-2008094592, US2008/0094592A1, US2008/094592A1, US20080094592 A1, US20080094592A1, US2008094592 A1, US2008094592A1
InventoresYuichi Shibazaki
Cesionario originalNikon Corporation
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Movable body drive method and movable body drive system, pattern formation method and apparatus, exposure method and apparatus, and device manufacturing method
US 20080094592 A1
Resumen
During the drive of a stage, positional information in a movement plane of a stage is measured by three encoders that include at least one each of an X encoder and a Y encoder of an encoder system, and a controller switches an encoder used for a measurement of positional information of a stage in the movement plane from an encoder to an encoder so that the position of the stage in the movement plane is maintained before and after the switching. Therefore, although the switching of the encoder used for controlling the position of the stage is performed, the position of the stage in the movement plane is maintained before and after the switching, and a correct linkage becomes possible.
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1. A movable body drive method in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane including a first axis and a second axis orthogonal to each other, the method comprising:
a measuring process in which positional information of the movable body in the movement plane is measured using at least one encoder of an encoder system including a plurality of encoders having a head that irradiates a detection light on a grating and receives the detection light from the grating; and
a switching process in which at least one of an encoder used for position control of the movable body is switched to another encoder so as to maintain a position of the movable body in the movement plane before and after the switching.
2. The movable body drive method according to claim 1 wherein
in the switching process, a measurement value of a newly used encoder is predicted so that a result of position measurement of the movable body is continuously linked before and after the switching, and the predicted value is set as an initial value of the measurement value of the newly used encoder.
3. The movable body drive method according to claim 2 wherein
in order to predict the measurement value of the newly used encoder, a predetermined theoretical formula that includes a rotation angle of the movable body in the movement plane as a parameter and a required number of measurement values of active encoders including an encoder which will be suspended later are used.
4. The movable body drive method according to claim 3 wherein
when predicting the measurement value of the newly used encoder, a value obtained from a measurement result of a measurement unit different from the encoder system is used as the rotation angle of the movable body in the movement plane.
5. The movable body drive method according to claim 1 wherein
in the measuring process, at least two encoders of the encoder system is used to measure the positional information of the movable body in the movement plane, and
in the switching process, the encoder used for position control of the movable body is switched from an encoder of the at least two encoders to another encoder.
6. The movable body drive method according to claim 5 wherein
in the measuring process, three encoders are used to measure positional information of the movable body in the movement plane in directions of three degrees of freedom, and
in the switching process, the encoder used for position control of the movable body is switched from an encoder of the at least two encoders to another encoder so as to maintain a position of the movable body in directions of the three degrees of freedom before and after the switching.
7. The movable body drive method according to claim 1 wherein
on the movable body, at least one each of a first grating having a periodic direction parallel to the first axis and a second grating having a periodic direction parallel to the second axis is placed, and
a head of each encoder is placed external to the movable body.
8. The movable body drive method according to claim 7 wherein
on the movable body, a pair of the first gratings having a direction parallel to the first axis serving as a longitudinal direction is placed in a direction parallel to the second axis serving as a longitudinal direction at a predetermined distance.
9. The movable body drive method according to claim 1 wherein
as each of the encoders, a reflection type optical encoder is used.
10. The movable body drive method according to claim 1 wherein
in the switching process, when the switching is performed, positional information of the movable body in the movement plane is computed according to a computing formula that uses an affine transformation relation based on the measurement values of an at least the two encoders used for position control of the movable body before switching, and an initial value of the measurement value of the another encoder is decided so as to satisfy the computation result.
11. The movable body drive method according to claim 10 wherein
in the switching process, the initial value is decided taking into consideration at least one of correction information of the measurement value of the another encoder corresponding to a relative movement of a head of the another encoder with respect to the corresponding grating and of correction information of the pitch of the corresponding grating.
12. The movable body drive method according to claim 1, the method further comprising:
a scheduling process in which a combination of encoders subject to the switching is made and a switching timing is prepared based on a movement course of the movable body, prior to the switching.
13. The movable body drive method according to claim 1 wherein
in the switching process, an output of each encoder of the encoder system is constantly taken in, and a switching operation of switching from one encoder of the at least two encoders to another encoder is also executed in synchronization with a timing of position control of the movable body.
14-152. (canceled)
153. A pattern formation method, comprising:
a mount process in which an object is mounted on a movable body that can move in a movement plane; and
a drive process in which the movable body is driven by the movable body drive method according to claim 1, to form a pattern on the object.
154. A device manufacturing method including a pattern formation process wherein
in the pattern formation process, a pattern is formed on a substrate using the pattern formation method according to claim 153.
155. An exposure method in which a pattern is formed on an object by an irradiation of an energy beam wherein
for relative movement of the energy beam and the object, a movable body on which the object is mounted is driven, using the movable body drive method according to claim 1.
156. A movable body drive method in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane, the method comprising:
an intake process in which measurement data corresponding to a detection signal of at least one head of an encoder system including a plurality of heads that measure positional information of the movable body within the movement plane is taken in at a predetermined control sampling interval when the movable body is driven in a predetermined direction in the movement plane; and
a drive process in which the movable body is driven so as to correct a measurement error of the head due to a measurement delay that accompanies propagation of the detection signal, based on a plurality of data which include the most recent measurement data that was taken in the latest and previous measurement data including at least data just before the most recent measurement data, and information of a delay time that accompanies propagation of the detection signal through a propagation path.
157. The movable body drive method according to claim 156 wherein
in the intake process, the positional information of the movable body is measured using the plurality of heads of the encoder system, and measurement data corresponding to a detection signal of each head is also taken in at the control sampling interval, and
in the drive process, the movable body is driven so as to correct respective measurement errors of the plurality of heads due to the measurement delay, based on the plurality of data for each of the plurality of heads and the information on the delay time.
158. The movable body drive method according to claim 156 wherein
in the intake process, the positional information of the movable body is measured sequentially using a plurality of heads of the encoder system arranged apart in the predetermined direction, and measurement data corresponding to the detection signal of each head is taken in at the control sampling interval.
159. The movable body drive method according to claim 156 wherein
in the drive process, one of an approximation straight line and an approximate curve that shows the temporal change of the position of the movable body is obtained, using the plurality of data for the head, and based on one of the approximation straight line and the approximate curve, and information of the delay time of the head, the movable body is driven so as to correct the measurement error of the head due to the measurement delay.
160. The movable body drive method according to claim 156 wherein
the positional information of the movable body in the movement plane is measured furthermore by an interferometer system, the method further comprising:
a delay time acquisition process in which a delay time acquisition processing of driving the movable body in a predetermined direction, taking in a detection signal of the head and a detection signal of the interferometer system simultaneously at a predetermined sampling timing for at least one head of the encoder system during the drive, and acquiring information of the delay time of the at least one head based on both detection signals, with the detection signal of the interferometer system serving as a reference are executed.
161. The movable body drive method according to claim 160 wherein
in the delay time acquisition process, the delay time acquisition processing is executed for all heads in the encoder system.
162. The movable body drive method according to claim 160 wherein
in the delay time acquisition process, on the delay time acquisition processing, information of the delay time of the head is computed based on an intensity difference of the detection signal of the head and the detection signal of the interferometer system.
163. A pattern formation method, comprising:
a mount process in which an object is mounted on a movable body that can move in a movement plane; and
a drive process in which the movable body is driven by the movable body drive method according to claim 156, to form a pattern on the object.
164. A device manufacturing method including a pattern formation process wherein
in the pattern formation process, a pattern is formed on a substrate using the pattern formation method according to claim 163.
165. An exposure method in which a pattern is formed on an object by an irradiation of an energy beam wherein
for relative movement of the energy beam and the object, a movable body on which the object is mounted is driven, using the movable body drive method according to claim 156.
166. An exposure method in which an object on a movable body that moves in a movement plane is sequentially exchanged, and a pattern is formed respectively on each object by sequentially exposing the object after exchange, wherein
each time the exchange of the object is performed on the movable body, position control of the movable body in the movement plane is started once more, using at least three encoders of an encoder system that measures positional information of the movable body in the movement plane within a predetermined effective area including an exposure position.
167. The exposure method according to claim 166 wherein
as each encoder of the encoder system, an encoder is used that measures the positional information of the movable body in the measurement direction by irradiating a detection light on a grating placed on a surface parallel to the movement plane of the movable body and receiving the light from each grating.
168. The exposure method according to claim 166 wherein
even while exchange of the object is performed on the movable body, measurement of the positional information of the movable body in the measurement direction is continued using a specific encoder of the encoder system.
169. The exposure method according to claim 166 wherein
the positional information of the movable body in the movement plane is measured by an interferometer system, whereby
when the movable body moves outside the effective area from inside the effective area, position control of the movable body in the movement plane is switched from the position control using the encoder system to the position control using the interferometer system, and when the movable body moves inside the effective area from outside the effective area, position control of the movable body in the movement plane is switched from the position control using the interferometer system to the position control using the encoder system.
170. The exposure method according to claim 169 wherein
after having moved the movable body once near a position decided beforehand based on a measurement value of the interferometer system, by finely moving the movable body and at a point where an absolute phase of each of the at least three encoders respectively become a value that was decided beforehand, position control of the movable body in the movement plane using the at least three encoders is started once more.
171. The exposure method according to claim 166, wherein
each time the exchange of the object is performed on the movable body, prior to beginning detection of a mark formed on the object using a mark detection system, position control of the movable body in the movement plane using the at least three encoders is started once more.
172. A device manufacturing method including a pattern formation process in which a pattern is sequentially formed on a plurality of objects, using the exposure apparatus according to claim 171.
173. A movable body drive method in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane, the method comprising:
an execution process in which of an encoder system including a plurality of encoders respectively having a head that irradiates a detection light on a grating and receives the detection light from the grating and measures positional information of the movable body in the movable plane, an output of each encoder is constantly taken in, and an operation of switching an encoder used for position control of the movable body from an encoder that has been used for position control of the movable body to another encoder, at a timing in synchronization with the position control of the movable body is executed.
174. A movable body drive method in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane including a first axis and a second axis orthogonal to each other, the method comprising:
a measuring process in which positional information of the movable body in the movement plane is measured using at least one encoder of an encoder system including a plurality of encoders respectively having a head that irradiates a detection light on a grating and receives the detection light from the grating;
a scheduling process in which a combination of encoders subject to a switching where an encoder used for position control of the movable body is switched from an arbitrary encoder to another encoder is made and a switching timing is prepared, based on a movement course of the movable body; and
a switching process in which the arbitrary encoder is switched to the another encoder based on the contents prepared in the scheduling.
175. The movable body drive method according to claim 174 wherein
in the measuring process, three encoders are used to measure positional information of the movable body in the movement plane in directions of three degrees of freedom, and
in the scheduling process, a combination of encoders subject to a switching where an encoder is switched from an arbitrary encoder of the three encoders to another encoder is made and a switching timing is prepared, based on a movement course of the movable body.
176. The movable body drive method according to claim 174 wherein
in the switching process, an output of each encoder of the encoder system is constantly taken in, and a switching operation of switching from the arbitrary encoder to another encoder is also executed in synchronization with a timing of position control of the movable body.
177. A movable body drive system in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane including a first axis and a second axis orthogonal to each other, the system comprising:
an encoder system having a plurality of encoders respectively having a head that irradiates a detection light on a grating and receives the detection light from the grating, including a first encoder used for measuring positional information of the movable body in a direction parallel to the first axis; and
a controller that measures positional information of the movable body in the movement plane using at least one encoder of the encoder system, and also switches at least one of an encoder used for measurement of the positional information of the movable body in the movement plane to another encoder so as to maintain a position of the movable body in the movement plane before and after the switching.
178. The movable body drive system according to claim 177 wherein
the controller predicts a measurement value of a newly used encoder so that a result of position measurement of the movable body is continuously linked before and after the switching, and sets the predicted value as an initial value of the measurement value of the newly used encoder.
179. The movable body drive system according to claim 178 wherein
in order to predict the measurement value of the newly used encoder, the controller uses a predetermined theoretical formula that includes a rotation angle of the movable body in the movement plane as a parameter and a required number of measurement values of active encoders including an encoder which will be suspended later.
180. The movable body drive system according to claim 179, the system further comprising:
a measurement unit that measures positional information of the movable body in a rotation direction in the movement plane, wherein
when predicting the measurement value of the newly used encoder, the controller uses a value obtained from a measurement result of the measurement unit as the rotation angle of the movable body in the movement plane.
181. The movable body drive system according to claim 177 wherein
the encoder system has a total of three encoders or more including at least one each of the first encoder and a second encoder used for measurement of positional information of the movable body in a direction parallel to the second axis, and
the controller measures positional information of the movable body in the movement plane, using at least two encoders which at least include one each of the first encoder and the second encoder, and also switches the encoder used for the measurement of the positional information of the movable body from an encoder of one of the at least two encoders to another encoder.
182. The movable body drive system according to claim 181 wherein
the controller switches from an encoder of one of three encoders that measure positional information of the movable body in directions of three degrees of freedom in the movement plane to another encoder, so as to maintain a position of the movable body in directions of three degrees of freedom in the movement plane before and after the switching.
183. The movable body drive system according to claim 177 wherein
on the movable body, at least one each of a first grating having a periodic direction parallel to the first axis and a second grating having a periodic direction parallel to the second axis is placed, and
the encoder system includes at least one each of a first head unit and a second head unit placed external to the movable body, whereby
the first head unit has a plurality of heads placed in a direction intersecting the first grating at a predetermined interval, and
the second head unit has a plurality of heads placed in a direction intersecting the second grating at a predetermined interval.
184. The movable body drive system according to claim 183 wherein
on the movable body, a pair of the first gratings having a periodic direction parallel to the first axis is placed in a direction of the second axis at a predetermined distance, and
the encoder system includes a pair of the first head units corresponding to each of the pair of first gratings.
185. The movable body drive system according to claim 177 wherein
each of the encoders is a reflection type optical encoder.
186. The movable body drive system according to claim 177 wherein
on the switching, the controller computes the positional information of the movement plane of the movable body by a computing formula using the affine transformation relation based on the measurement value of at least the two encoders used for position control of the movable body before the switching, and decides an initial value of the measurement value of the another encoder so as to satisfy the computation results.
187. The movable body drive system according to claim 186 wherein
the controller determines the initial value, taking into consideration at least one of correction information of the measurement value of the another encoder corresponding to a relative movement of a head of the another encoder in a direction besides the measurement direction with respect to the corresponding grating and of correction information of the pitch of the corresponding grating.
188. The movable body drive system according to claim 177 wherein
the controller makes a combination of encoders subject to the switching and prepares a switching timing based on a movement course of the movable body.
189. The movable body drive system according to claim 177 wherein
the controller constantly takes in measurement values of each encoder of the encoder system, and also executes an operation to switch the encoder used for control of the movable body from an encoder of either of at least the two encoders used for position control of the movable body to another encoder in synchronization with the timing of the position control of the movable body.
190. A pattern formation apparatus, the apparatus comprising:
a movable body on which an object is mounted, and is movable in a movement plane holding the object; and
a movable body drive system according to claim 177 that drives the movable body to perform pattern formation with respect to the object.
191. The pattern formation apparatus according to claim 190, the apparatus further comprising:
an interferometer system that measures positional information of the movable body;
a mark detection system that detects a mark located on the movable body holding the object; and
a switching unit that switches a measurement unit used for position control of the movable body prior to a measurement of a plurality of marks on the object by the mark detection system, from the interferometer system to the encoder system.
192. An exposure apparatus that forms a pattern on an object by an irradiation of an energy beam, the apparatus comprising:
a patterning unit that irradiates the energy beam on the object; and
the movable body drive system according to claim 177, wherein
the movable body drive system drives the movable body on which the object is mounted for relative movement of the energy beam and the object.
193. A movable body drive system in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane, the system comprising:
an encoder system including a plurality of heads that measure positional information of the movable body in the movement plane; and
a controller that takes in measurement data corresponding to a detection signal of at least one head of an encoder system at a predetermined control sampling interval when the movable body is driven in a predetermined direction in the movement plane, and drives the movable body so that the measurement error of the head due to a measurement delay that accompanies propagation of the detection signal is corrected, based on a plurality of data that include the most recent measurement data that was taken in the latest and previous measurement data including at least data just before the most recent measurement data, and information of a delay time that accompanies propagation of the detection signal through a propagation path.
194. The movable body drive system according to claim 193 wherein
the controller measures positional information of the movable body, using a plurality of heads of the encoder system, and takes in measurement data corresponding to a detection signal of each head at the control sampling interval, and drives the movable body so as to correct respective measurement errors of the plurality of heads due to the measurement delay, based on the plurality of data for each of the plurality of heads and the information on the delay time.
195. The movable body drive system according to claim 193 wherein
the plurality of heads of the encoder system includes a plurality of heads placed apart in the predetermined direction, and
the controller measures the positional information of the movable body sequentially using a plurality of heads of the encoder system placed apart in the predetermined direction, and takes in measurement data corresponding to the detection signal of each head at the control sampling interval.
196. The movable body drive system according to claim 193 wherein
the controller obtains one of an approximation straight line and an approximate curve that shows the temporal change of the position of the movable body, using the plurality of data for the head, and based on one of the approximation straight line and the approximate curve, and information of the delay time of the head, drives the movable body so as to correct the measurement error of the head due to the measurement delay.
197. The movable body drive system according to claim 193 wherein the system further comprises
an interferometer system that measures positional information of the movable body in the movement plane, and also further comprises
a processing unit that executes a delay time acquisition process in which a delay time acquisition processing of driving the movable body in a predetermined direction, taking in a detection signal of the head and a detection signal of the interferometer system simultaneously at a predetermined sampling timing during this drive for at least one head of the encoder system, and acquiring information of the delay time of the at least one head based on both detection signals, with the detection signal of the interferometer system serving as a reference are executed.
198. The movable body drive system according to claim 197 wherein
the processing unit executes the delay time acquisition processing for all heads in the encoder system.
199. The movable body drive system according to claim 197 wherein
the processing unit computes information of the delay time of the head based on an intensity difference of the detection signal of the head and the detection signal of the interferometer system on the delay time acquisition processing.
200. A pattern formation apparatus, the apparatus comprising:
a movable body on which an object is mounted, and is movable in a movement plane holding the object; and
a movable body drive system according to claim 193 that drives the movable body to perform pattern formation with respect to the object.
201. The pattern formation apparatus according to claim 200, the apparatus further comprising:
an interferometer system that measures positional information of the movable body;
a mark detection system that detects a mark located on the movable body holding the object; and
a switching unit that switches a measurement unit used for position control of the movable body prior to a measurement of a plurality of marks on the object by the mark detection system, from the interferometer system to the encoder system.
202. An exposure apparatus that forms a pattern on an object by an irradiation of an energy beam, the apparatus comprising:
a patterning unit that irradiates the energy beam on the object; and
the movable body drive system according to claim 193, wherein
the movable body drive system drives the movable body on which the object is mounted for relative movement of the energy beam and the object.
203. A movable body drive system in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane, the system comprising:
an encoder system including a plurality of heads that measure positional information of the movable body in the movement plane;
an interferometer system that measures positional information of the movable body in the movement plane;
a processing unit that executes a delay time acquisition processing of driving the movable body in a predetermined direction, taking in a detection signal of each head and a detection signal of the interferometer system simultaneously at a predetermined sampling timing for a plurality of heads of the encoder system during the drive, and based on both detection signals, acquiring information of the delay time of the detection signals of the respective plurality of heads that accompanies the propagation through the propagation path, with the detection signal of the interferometer system serving as a reference; and
a controller that drives the movable body, based on measurement data corresponding to the respective detection signals of the plurality of heads of the encoder system and information of a delay time of the plurality of heads, respectively.
204. A pattern formation apparatus, the apparatus comprising:
a movable body on which an object is mounted, and is movable in a movement plane holding the object; and
a movable body drive system according to claim 203 that drives the movable body to perform pattern formation with respect to the object.
205. The pattern formation apparatus according to claim 204, the apparatus further comprising:
an interferometer system that measures positional information of the movable body;
a mark detection system that detects a mark located on the movable body holding the object; and
a switching unit that switches a measurement unit used for position control of the movable body prior to a measurement of a plurality of marks on the object by the mark detection system, from the interferometer system to the encoder system.
206. An exposure apparatus that sequentially exchanges an object on a movable body that moves in a movement plane, and forms a pattern respectively on each object by sequentially exposing the object after exchange, the apparatus comprising:
an encoder system including at least three encoders that measure positional information of the movable body in the movement plane in a predetermined effective area including an exposure position; and
a controller that starts position control of the movable body in the movement plane using at least three encoders of the encoder system once more, each time exchange of the object is performed on the movable body.
207. The exposure apparatus according to claim 206 wherein
on a surface parallel to the movement plane of the movable body, a plurality of gratings is placed that include at least one each of a first grating having a longitudinal direction in a first axis direction and a second grating having a longitudinal direction in a second axis direction which intersect with the first axis direction in the surface parallel to the movement plane, and
the encoder system has at least three encoders respectively including a head that irradiates detection light on each of the gratings and receives the light from each grating individually.
208. The exposure apparatus according to claim 206 wherein
the controller continues measurement of the positional information of the movable body in the measurement direction using a specific encoder of the encoder system even while exchange of the object is performed on the movable body.
209. The exposure apparatus according to claim 206, the apparatus further comprising:
an interferometer system that measures positional information of the movable body in the movement plane, wherein
when the movable body moves outside the effective area from inside the effective area, the controller switches position control of the movable body in the movement plane from the position control using the encoder system to the position control using the interferometer system, and when the movable body moves inside the effective area from outside the effective area, the controller switches the position control of the movable body in the movement plane from the position control using the interferometer system to the position control using the encoder system.
210. The exposure apparatus according to claim 209 wherein
after having moved the movable body once near a position determined beforehand based on a measurement value of the interferometer system, the controller finely moves the movable body and at a point where an absolute phase of each of the at least three encoders respectively become a value that was decided beforehand, starts position control of the movable body in the movement plane using the at least three encoders once more.
211. The exposure apparatus according to claim 206, the apparatus further comprising:
a mark detection system that detects a mark formed on the object, wherein
each time the exchange of the object is performed on the movable body, prior to beginning detection of a mark formed on the object using a mark detection system, the controller starts position control of the movable body in the movement plane using the at least three encoders once more.
212. A movable body drive system in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane, the system comprising:
an encoder system including a plurality of encoders respectively having a head that irradiates a detection light on a grating and receives the detection light from the grating and measures positional information of the movable body in the movable plane; and
a controller that constantly takes in an output of each encoder of the encoder system, and also executes an operation to switch the encoder used for control of the movable body from an encoder that has been used for position control of the movable body to another encoder in synchronization with the timing of the position control of the movable body.
213. A pattern formation apparatus, the apparatus comprising:
a movable body on which the object is mounted, and is movable in a movement plane holding the object; and
a movable body drive system according to claim 212 that drives the movable body to perform pattern formation with respect to the object.
214. The pattern formation apparatus according to claim 213, the apparatus further comprising:
an interferometer system that measures positional information of the movable body;
a mark detection system that detects a mark located on the movable body holding the object; and
a switching unit that switches a measurement unit used for position control of the movable body prior to a measurement of a plurality of marks on the object by the mark detection system, from the interferometer system to the encoder system.
215. An exposure apparatus that forms a pattern on an object by an irradiation of an energy beam, the apparatus comprising:
a patterning unit that irradiates the energy beam on the object; and
the movable body drive system according to claim 212 wherein
the movable body drive system drives the movable body on which the object is mounted for relative movement of the energy beam and the object.
216. A movable body drive system in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane including a first axis and a second axis orthogonal to each other, the system comprising:
an encoder system including a plurality of encoders having a head that irradiates a detection light on a grating and receives the detection light from the grating and measures positional information of the movable body in the movable plane; and
a controller that makes a combination of encoders subject to a switching where an encoder used for position control of the movable body is switched from an arbitrary encoder to another encoder and prepares a switching timing, based on a movement course of the movable body.
217. The movable body drive system according to claim 216 wherein
the controller makes a combination of encoders subject to a switching where an encoder is switched from an arbitrary encoder of three encoders of the encoder system that measure positional information of the movable body in directions of three degrees of freedom in the movement plane to another encoder and prepares a switching timing, based on a movement course of the movable body.
218. The movable body drive system according to claim 216 wherein
the controller constantly takes in the output of each encoder of the encoder system and executes an operation of switching an encoder used for position control of the movable body from an arbitrary encoder that has been used for position control of the movable body to another encoder, at a timing in synchronization with the position control of the movable body.
219. A pattern formation apparatus, the apparatus comprising:
a movable body on which the object is mounted, and is movable in a movement plane holding the object; and
a movable body drive system according to claim 216 that drives the movable body to perform pattern formation with respect to the object.
220. The pattern formation apparatus according to claim 219, the apparatus further comprising:
an interferometer system that measures positional information of the movable body;
a mark detection system that detects a mark located on the movable body holding the object; and
a switching unit that switches a measurement unit used for position control of the movable body prior to a measurement of a plurality of marks on the object by the mark detection system, from the interferometer system to the encoder system.
221. An exposure apparatus that forms a pattern on an object by an irradiation of an energy beam, the apparatus comprising:
a patterning unit that irradiates the energy beam on the object; and
the movable body drive system according to claim 216, wherein
the movable body drive system drives the movable body on which the object is mounted for relative movement of the energy beam and the object.
222. An exposure apparatus that exposes an object with an energy beam, the apparatus comprising:
a movable body that holds the object and is movable at least in a first and second directions which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane;
an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is held and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and positional information of the movable body in the predetermined plane is measured by a head that faces the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit; and
a controller that decides the positional information which should be measured by a head after a switching, during the switching of the head used for the measurement that accompanies the movement of the movable body, based on positional information measured by a head before the switching and positional information of the movable body in a direction different from the first and second directions.
223. The exposure apparatus according to claim 222 wherein
the positional information which should be measured by the head after the switching is decided so that a position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is maintained before and after the switching.
224. The exposure apparatus according to claim 222 wherein
the measurement is continued while switching the head used for the measurement to another head during the movement of the movable body, and the measurement of the positional information of the movable body is performed by the another head using the positional information that has been decided.
225. The exposure apparatus according to claim 222 wherein
positional information measured by the head before the switching is corrected, based on positional information of the movable body in the different direction, and the positional information that has been corrected is set as an initial value of the positional information measured by the head after the switching.
226. The exposure apparatus according to claim 222 wherein
the different direction includes the rotational direction in the predetermined plane.
227. The exposure apparatus according to claim 226 wherein
positional information of the movable body in the different direction is obtained from the measurement information of the encoder system.
228. The exposure apparatus according to claim 222 wherein
the grating section is arranged with the first direction serving as a longitudinal direction, and the head unit has the plurality of heads placed apart in the second direction.
229. The exposure apparatus according to claim 222 wherein
the grating section has a pair of a first grating section whose longitudinal direction is the first direction and is placed apart in the second direction and a pair of a second grating section whose longitudinal direction is the second direction and is placed apart in the first direction, and the head unit has a pair of a first head unit having a plurality of a first head placed apart in the second direction that face the pair of the first grating section on exposure and a pair of a second head unit having a plurality of a second head placed apart in the first direction that face the pair of the second grating section on exposure.
230. The exposure apparatus according to claim 229 wherein
positional information of the movable body in the first and second directions is measured by at least three of the pair of the first head units and the pair of the second head units.
231. The exposure apparatus according to claim 222 wherein
the switching is performed in a state where the head before the switching and the head after the switching both face the grating section.
232. The exposure apparatus according to claim 222 wherein
the grating section is arranged on a surface of the movable body, and the head unit is arranged facing the surface of the movable body.
233. The exposure apparatus according to claim 222 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least one of the head unit and the grating section and the measurement information of the encoder system.
234. The exposure apparatus according to claim 233 wherein
the correction information compensates for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least optical properties of the head unit.
235. The exposure apparatus according to claim 233 wherein
the correction information compensates for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least one of flatness and formation error of the grating section.
236. The exposure apparatus according to claim 233 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
237. The exposure apparatus according to claim 233 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
238. The exposure apparatus according to claim 222 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to displacement of the movable body in the direction that is different from the first and second directions on the measurement and the measurement information of the encoder system.
239. The exposure apparatus according to claim 238 wherein
the different direction includes at least one of a direction orthogonal to the predetermined plane, a rotational direction around an axis orthogonal to the predetermined plane, and a rotational direction around an axis parallel to the predetermined plane.
240. The exposure apparatus according to claim 238 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
241. The exposure apparatus according to claim 238 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
242. The exposure apparatus according to claim 222 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to gradient of the movable body with respect to the predetermined plane and the measurement information of the encoder system.
243. The exposure apparatus according to claim 242 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
244. The exposure apparatus according to claim 242 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
245. The exposure apparatus according to claim 222, the apparatus further comprising:
a measurement system that measures the positional information of the movable body in a third direction orthogonal to the predetermined plane by a sensor which faces the grating section of a plurality of sensors arranged on the same side as the head unit, wherein
the position of the movable body in the third direction is controlled based on measurement information of the measurement system.
246. The exposure apparatus according to claim 245 wherein
the measurement system measures the positional information in the third direction and inclination information of the movable body with a plurality of sensors that face the grating section.
247. The exposure apparatus according to claim 245 wherein
of positional information of the movable body in directions of six degrees of freedom, positional information in directions of three degrees of freedom including the first direction, the second direction and a rotational direction in the predetermined plane is measured by the encoder system, and positional information in the remaining directions of three degrees of freedom is measured by the measurement system.
248. The exposure apparatus according to claim 247 wherein
the position of the movable body in at least the exposure operation is controlled, based on the positional information measured in directions of six degrees of freedom.
249. The exposure apparatus according to claim 245, the apparatus further comprising:
a position measuring unit that measures positional information of the object in the third direction, wherein
in a measurement operation of a surface position information of the object, the encoder system, the measurement system, and the position measuring unit are used.
250. The exposure apparatus according to claim 245, the apparatus further comprising:
a mark detection system that detects a mark on the object, wherein
in a detection operation of the mark, the encoder system and the mark detection system are used.
251. The exposure apparatus according to claim 222, the apparatus further comprising:
an interferometer system that measures positional information of the movable body in at least the first and second directions, wherein
to drive the movable body, the measurement information of the encoder system is used in an exposure operation, and the measurement information of the interferometer system is used in an operation that is different from the exposure operation.
252. The exposure apparatus according to claim 251 wherein
in a detection operation of a mark and/or the surface position information of the object, the measurement information of the encoder system is used.
253. The exposure apparatus according to claim 251, wherein
at least a part of the measurement information of the interferometer system is used in the exposure operation.
254. The exposure apparatus according to claim 222 wherein
of a plurality of heads of the encoder system, the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on positional information of the head used for the measurement of the positional information of the movable body in a plane parallel to the predetermined plane, and the measurement information of the encoder system.
255. The exposure apparatus according to claim 222 wherein
the positional information of a plurality of heads of the head unit in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane is measured.
256. An exposure apparatus that exposes an object with an energy beam, the apparatus comprising:
a movable body that holds the object and is movable at least in a first and second directions which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane;
an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is held and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and positional information of the movable body in the predetermined plane is measured by a head that faces the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit; and
a controller that continues the measurement while switching the head used for the measurement to another head during the movement of the movable body, and controls a position of the movable body in the predetermined plane, based on measurement information of the encoder system measured by the another head and positional information of the movable body in a direction different from the first and second directions on the switching.
257. The exposure apparatus according to claim 256 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the positional information of the movable body in the different direction.
258. The exposure apparatus according to claim 256 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the positional information of the movable body in the different direction so as to compensate for a measurement error of the encoder system caused by displacement of the movable body in the different direction on the switching, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
259. The exposure apparatus according to claim 256 wherein
positional information measured by the head before the switching is set as an initial value of positional information measured by the another head.
260. The exposure apparatus according to claim 256 wherein
the different direction includes the rotational direction in the predetermined plane.
261. The exposure apparatus according to claim 260 wherein
positional information of the movable body in the different direction is obtained from the measurement information of the encoder system.
262. The exposure apparatus according to claim 256 wherein
the grating section is arranged with the first direction serving as a longitudinal direction, and the head unit has the plurality of heads placed apart in the second direction.
263. The exposure apparatus according to claim 256 wherein
the grating section has a pair of a first grating section whose longitudinal direction is the first direction and is placed apart in the second direction and a pair of a second grating section whose longitudinal direction is the second direction and is placed apart in the first direction, and the head unit has a pair of a first head unit having a plurality of a first head placed apart in the second direction that face the pair of the first grating section on exposure and a pair of a second head unit having a plurality of a second head placed apart in the first direction that face the pair of the second grating section on exposure.
264. The exposure apparatus according to claim 263 wherein
positional information of the movable body in the first and second directions is measured by at least three of the pair of the first head units and the pair of the second head units.
265. The exposure apparatus according to claim 256 wherein
the switching is performed in a state where the head before the switching and the head after the switching both face the grating section.
266. The exposure apparatus according to claim 256 wherein
the grating section is arranged on a surface of the movable body, and the head unit is arranged facing the surface of the movable body.
267. The exposure apparatus according to claim 256 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least one of the head unit and the grating section and the measurement information of the encoder system.
268. The exposure apparatus according to claim 267 wherein
the correction information compensates for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least optical properties of the head unit.
269. The exposure apparatus according to claim 267 wherein
the correction information compensates for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least one of flatness and formation error of the grating section.
270. The exposure apparatus according to claim 267 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
271. The exposure apparatus according to claim 267 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
272. The exposure apparatus according to claim 256 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to displacement of the movable body in the direction that is different from the first and second directions on the measurement and the measurement information of the encoder system.
273. The exposure apparatus according to claim 272 wherein
the different direction includes at least one of a direction orthogonal to the predetermined plane, a rotational direction around an axis orthogonal to the predetermined plane, and a rotational direction around an axis parallel to the predetermined plane.
274. The exposure apparatus according to claim 272 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
275. The exposure apparatus according to claim 272 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
276. The exposure apparatus according to claim 256 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to gradient of the movable body with respect to the predetermined plane and the measurement information of the encoder system.
277. The exposure apparatus according to claim 276 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
278. The exposure apparatus according to claim 276 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
279. The exposure apparatus according to claim 256, the apparatus further comprising:
a measurement system that measures the positional information of the movable body in a third direction orthogonal to the predetermined plane by a sensor which faces the grating section of a plurality of sensors arranged on the same side as the head unit, wherein
the position of the movable body in the third direction is controlled based on measurement information of the measurement system.
280. The exposure apparatus according to claim 279 wherein
the measurement system measures the positional information in the third direction and inclination information of the movable body with a plurality of sensors that face the grating section.
281. The exposure apparatus according to claim 279 wherein
of positional information of the movable body in directions of six degrees of freedom, positional information in directions of three degrees of freedom including the first direction, the second direction and a rotational direction in the predetermined plane is measured by the encoder system, and positional information in the remaining directions of three degrees of freedom is measured by the measurement system.
282. The exposure apparatus according to claim 281 wherein
the position of the movable body in at least the exposure operation is controlled, based on the positional information measured in directions of six degrees of freedom.
283. The exposure apparatus according to claim 279, the apparatus further comprising:
a position measuring unit that measures positional information of the object in the third direction, wherein
in a measurement operation of a surface position information of the object, the encoder system, the measurement system, and the position measuring unit are used.
284. The exposure apparatus according to claim 279, the apparatus further comprising:
a mark detection system that detects a mark on the object, wherein
in a detection operation of the mark, the encoder system and the mark detection system are used.
285. The exposure apparatus according to claim 256, the apparatus further comprising:
an interferometer system that measures positional information of the movable body in at least the first and second directions, wherein
to drive the movable body, the measurement information of the encoder system is used in an exposure operation, and the measurement information of the interferometer system is used in an operation that is different from the exposure operation.
286. The exposure apparatus according to claim 285 wherein
in a detection operation of a mark and/or the surface position information of the object, the measurement information of the encoder system is used.
287. The exposure apparatus according to claim 285, wherein
at least a part of the measurement information of the interferometer system is used in the exposure operation.
288. The exposure apparatus according to claim 256 wherein
of a plurality of heads of the encoder system, the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on positional information of the head used for the measurement of the positional information of the movable body in a plane parallel to the predetermined plane, and the measurement information of the encoder system.
289. The exposure apparatus according to claim 256 wherein
the positional information of a plurality of heads of the head unit in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane is measured.
290. An exposure apparatus that exposes an object with an energy beam, the apparatus comprising:
a movable body that holds the object and is movable at least in a first and second directions which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane;
an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is held and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and positional information of the movable body in the first and second directions, and rotational direction in the predetermined plane is measured by at least three heads that face the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit; and
a controller that continues the measurement while switching the three heads used for the measurement to three heads having at least one different head during the movement of the movable body, and during the switching, decides position information that should be measured by at least one head of the three heads after the switching which are different from the three heads before the switching, based on positional information measured by the three heads before the switching.
291. The exposure apparatus according to claim 290 wherein
the positional information which should be measured by the at least one head after the switching is decided so that the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is maintained before and after the switching.
292. The exposure apparatus according to claim 290 wherein
the positional information that has been decided is set as an initial value of the positional information measured by the at least one head after the switching so as to continuously link the positional information of the movable body that is measured before and after the switching.
293. The exposure apparatus according to claim 290 wherein
the grating section has a pair of a first grating section whose longitudinal direction is the first direction and is placed apart in the second direction and a pair of a second grating section whose longitudinal direction is the second direction and is placed apart in the first direction, and
the head unit has a pair of a first head unit having a plurality of a first head placed apart in the second direction that face the pair of the first grating section on exposure and a pair of a second head unit having a plurality of a second head placed apart in the first direction that face the pair of the second grating section on exposure, whereby
positional information of the movable body is measured by at least three of the pair of the first head units and the pair of the second head units.
294. The exposure apparatus according to claim 290 wherein
the switching is performed in a state where the head before the switching and the head after the switching both face the grating section.
295. The exposure apparatus according to claim 290 wherein
the grating section is arranged on a surface of the movable body, and the head unit is arranged facing the surface of the movable body.
296. The exposure apparatus according to claim 290 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least one of the head unit and the grating section and the measurement information of the encoder system.
297. The exposure apparatus according to claim 296 wherein
the correction information compensates for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least optical properties of the head unit.
298. The exposure apparatus according to claim 296 wherein
the correction information compensates for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least one of flatness and formation error of the grating section.
299. The exposure apparatus according to claim 296 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
300. The exposure apparatus according to claim 296 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
301. The exposure apparatus according to claim 290 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to displacement of the movable body in the direction that is different from the first and second directions on the measurement and the measurement information of the encoder system.
302. The exposure apparatus according to claim 301 wherein
the different direction includes at least one of a direction orthogonal to the predetermined plane, a rotational direction around an axis orthogonal to the predetermined plane, and a rotational direction around an axis parallel to the predetermined plane.
303. The exposure apparatus according to claim 301 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
304. The exposure apparatus according to claim 301 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
305. The exposure apparatus according to claim 290 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to gradient of the movable body with respect to the predetermined plane and the measurement information of the encoder system.
306. The exposure apparatus according to claim 305 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
307. The exposure apparatus according to claim 305 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
308. The exposure apparatus according to claim 290, the apparatus further comprising:
a measurement system that measures the positional information of the movable body in a third direction orthogonal to the predetermined plane by a sensor which faces the grating section of a plurality of sensors arranged on the same side as the head unit, wherein
the position of the movable body in the third direction is controlled based on measurement information of the measurement system.
309. The exposure apparatus according to claim 308 wherein
the measurement system measures the positional information in the third direction and inclination information of the movable body with a plurality of sensors that face the grating section.
310. The exposure apparatus according to claim 308 wherein
of positional information of the movable body in directions of six degrees of freedom, positional information in directions of three degrees of freedom including the first direction, the second direction and a rotational direction in the predetermined plane is measured by the encoder system, and positional information in the remaining directions of three degrees of freedom is measured by the measurement system.
311. The exposure apparatus according to claim 310 wherein
the position of the movable body in at least the exposure operation is controlled, based on the positional information measured in directions of six degrees of freedom.
312. The exposure apparatus according to claim 308, the apparatus further comprising:
a position measuring unit that measures positional information of the object in the third direction, wherein
in a measurement operation of a surface position information of the object, the encoder system, the measurement system, and the position measuring unit are used.
313. The exposure apparatus according to claim 308, the apparatus further comprising:
a mark detection system that detects a mark on the object, wherein
in a detection operation of the mark, the encoder system and the mark detection system are used.
314. The exposure apparatus according to claim 290, the apparatus further comprising:
an interferometer system that measures positional information of the movable body in at least the first and second directions, wherein
to drive the movable body, the measurement information of the encoder system is used in an exposure operation, and the measurement information of the interferometer system is used in an operation that is different from the exposure operation.
315. The exposure apparatus according to claim 314 wherein
in a detection operation of a mark and/or the surface position information of the object, the measurement information of the encoder system is used.
316. The exposure apparatus according to claim 314, wherein
at least a part of the measurement information of the interferometer system is used in the exposure operation.
317. The exposure apparatus according to claim 290 wherein
of a plurality of heads of the encoder system, the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on positional information of the head used for the measurement of the positional information of the movable body in a plane parallel to the predetermined plane, and the measurement information of the encoder system.
318. The exposure apparatus according to claim 290 wherein
the positional information of a plurality of heads of the head unit in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane is measured.
319. An exposure apparatus that exposes an object with an energy beam, the apparatus comprising:
a movable body that holds the object and is movable at least in a first and second directions which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane;
an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is held and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and positional information of the movable body in the predetermined plane is measured by a head that faces the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit; and
a controller that controls a position of the movable body in the predetermined plane, based on positional information of the head used for measuring the positional information in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane and measurement information of the encoder system.
320. An exposure apparatus that exposes an object with an energy beam, the apparatus comprising:
a movable body that holds the object and is movable at least in a first and second directions which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane;
an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is held and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and positional information of the movable body in the predetermined plane is measured by a head that faces the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit; and
a controller that measures positional information of the plurality of heads of the head unit in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane and controls a position of the movable body in the predetermined plane, based on positional information that has been measured and measurement information of the encoder system.
321. An exposure method of exposing an object with an energy beam wherein
the object is mounted on a movable body that can move in at least a first and second direction which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane, whereby
positional information of the movable body is measured using an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is mounted and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and positional information of the movable body in the predetermined plane is measured by a head that faces the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit, and
the positional information which should be measured by a head after a switching during the switching of the head used for the measurement that accompanies the movement of the movable body is decided, based on positional information measured by a head before the switching and positional information of the movable body in a direction different from the first and second directions.
322. The exposure method according to claim 321 wherein
the positional information which should be measured by the head after the switching is decided so that a position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is maintained before and after the switching.
323. The exposure method according to claim 321 wherein
the measurement is continued while switching the head used for the measurement to another head during the movement of the movable body, and the measurement of the positional information of the movable body is performed by the another head using the positional information that has been decided.
324. The exposure method according to claim 321 wherein
positional information measured by the head before the switching is corrected, based on positional information of the movable body in the different direction, and the positional information that has been corrected is set as an initial value of the positional information measured by the head after the switching.
325. The exposure method according to claim 321 wherein
the different direction includes the rotational direction in the predetermined plane.
326. The exposure method according to claim 325 wherein
positional information of the movable body in the different direction is obtained from the measurement information of the encoder system.
327. The exposure method according to claim 321 wherein
the grating section is arranged with the first direction serving as a longitudinal direction, and the head unit has the plurality of heads placed apart in the second direction.
328. The exposure method according to claim 321 wherein
the grating section has a pair of a first grating section whose longitudinal direction is the first direction and is placed apart in the second direction and a pair of a second grating section whose longitudinal direction is the second direction and is placed apart in the first direction, and
the head unit has a pair of a first head unit having a plurality of a first head placed apart in the second direction that face the pair of the first grating section on exposure and a pair of a second head unit having a plurality of a second head placed apart in the first direction that face the pair of the second grating section on exposure.
329. The exposure method according to claim 328 wherein
positional information of the movable body in the first and second directions is measured by at least three of the pair of the first head units and the pair of the second head units.
330. The exposure method according to claim 321 wherein
the switching is performed in a state where the head before the switching and the head after the switching both face the grating section.
331. The exposure method according to claim 321 wherein
the grating section is arranged on a surface of the movable body, and the head unit is arranged facing the surface of the movable body.
332. The exposure method according to claim 321 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least one of the head unit and the grating section and the measurement information of the encoder system.
333. The exposure method according to claim 332 wherein
the correction information compensates for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least optical properties of the head unit.
334. The exposure method according to claim 332 wherein
the correction information compensates for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least one of flatness and formation error of the grating section.
335. The exposure method according to claim 332 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
336. The exposure method according to claim 332 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
337. The exposure method according to claim 321 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to displacement of the movable body in the direction that is different from the first and second directions on the measurement and the measurement information of the encoder system.
338. The exposure method according to claim 337 wherein
the different direction includes at least one of a direction orthogonal to the predetermined plane, a rotational direction around an axis orthogonal to the predetermined plane, and a rotational direction around an axis parallel to the predetermined plane.
339. The exposure method according to claim 337 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
340. The exposure method according to claim 337 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
341. The exposure method according to claim 321 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to gradient of the movable body with respect to the predetermined plane and the measurement information of the encoder system.
342. The exposure method according to claim 341 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
343. The exposure method according to claim 341 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
344. The exposure method according to claim 321 wherein
a measurement system is further used to measure the positional information of the movable body in a third direction orthogonal to the predetermined plane by a sensor which faces the grating of a plurality of sensors arranged on the same side as the head unit, and
the position of the movable body in the third direction is controlled based on measurement information of the measurement system.
345. The exposure method according to claim 344 wherein
the measurement system measures the positional information in the third direction and inclination information of the movable body with a plurality of sensors that face the grating section.
346. The exposure method according to claim 344 wherein
of positional information of the movable body in directions of six degrees of freedom, positional information in directions of three degrees of freedom including the first direction, the second direction and a rotational direction in the predetermined plane is measured by the encoder system, and positional information in the remaining directions of three degrees of freedom is measured by the measurement system.
347. The exposure method according to claim 346 wherein
the position of the movable body in at least the exposure operation is controlled, based on the positional information measured in directions of six degrees of freedom.
348. The exposure method according to claim 344 wherein
in a measurement operation of a surface position information of the object, in addition to the encoder system and the measurement system, a position measuring unit is further used to measure the positional information of the object in the third direction.
349. The exposure method according to claim 344 wherein
in a detection operation of the mark, the encoder system and the mark detection system are used.
350. The exposure method according to claim 321 wherein
to drive the movable body, the measurement information of the encoder system is used in an exposure operation, and the measurement information of the interferometer system that measures the positional information of the movable body in at least the first and second directions is used in an operation that is different from the exposure operation.
351. The exposure method according to claim 350 wherein
in a detection operation of a mark and/or the surface position information of the object, the measurement information of the encoder system is used.
352. The exposure method according to claim 350 wherein
at least a part of the measurement information of the interferometer system is used in the exposure operation.
353. The exposure method according to claim 321 wherein
a position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on positional information of the head used for measuring the positional information of the movable body in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane of the plurality of heads in the encoder system and measurement information of the encoder system.
354. The exposure method according to claim 321 wherein
positional information of the plurality of heads of the head unit in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane is measured.
355. A device manufacturing method including a lithography process wherein
in the lithography process, an exposure method according to claim 321 is used to expose a sensitive object mounted on the movable body, and to form a pattern on the sensitive object.
356. An exposure method of exposing an object with an energy beam wherein
the object is mounted on a movable body that can move in at least a first and second direction which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane, whereby
positional information of the movable body is measured using an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is mounted and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and positional information of the movable body in the predetermined plane is measured by a head that faces the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit, and
the measurement is continued while switching the head used for the measurement to another head during the movement of the movable body, and a position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled based on measurement information of the encoder system measured by the another head and positional information of the movable body in a direction different from the first and second directions on the switching.
357. The exposure method according to claim 356 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the positional information of the movable body in the different direction.
358. The exposure method according to claim 356 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the positional information of the movable body in the different direction so as to compensate for a measurement error of the encoder system caused by displacement of the movable body in the different direction on the switching, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
359. The exposure method according to claim 356 wherein
positional information measured by the head before the switching is set as an initial value of positional information measured by the another head.
360. The exposure method according to claim 356 wherein
the different direction includes the rotational direction in the predetermined plane.
361. The exposure method according to claim 360 wherein
positional information of the movable body in the different direction is obtained from the measurement information of the encoder system.
362. The exposure method according to claim 356 wherein
the grating section is arranged with the first direction serving as a longitudinal direction, and the head unit has the plurality of heads placed apart in the second direction.
363. The exposure method according to claim 356 wherein
the grating section has a pair of a first grating section whose longitudinal direction is the first direction and is placed apart in the second direction and a pair of a second grating section whose longitudinal direction is the second direction and is placed apart in the first direction, and
the head unit has a pair of a first head unit having a plurality of a first head placed apart in the second direction that face the pair of the first grating section on exposure and a pair of a second head unit having a plurality of a second head placed apart in the first direction that face the pair of the second grating section on exposure.
364. The exposure method according to claim 363 wherein
positional information of the movable body in the first and second directions is measured by at least three of the pair of the first head units and the pair of the second head units.
365. The exposure method according to claim 356 wherein
the switching is performed in a state where the head before the switching and the head after the switching both face the grating section.
366. The exposure method according to claim 356 wherein
the grating section is arranged on a surface of the movable body, and the head unit is arranged facing the surface of the movable body.
367. The exposure method according to claim 356 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least one of the head unit and the grating section and the measurement information of the encoder system.
368. The exposure method according to claim 367 wherein
the correction information compensates for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least optical properties of the head unit.
369. The exposure method according to claim 367 wherein
the correction information compensates for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least one of flatness and formation error of the grating section.
370. The exposure method according to claim 367 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
371. The exposure method according to claim 367 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
372. The exposure method according to claim 356 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to displacement of the movable body in the direction that is different from the first and second directions on the measurement and the measurement information of the encoder system.
373. The exposure method according to claim 372 wherein
the different direction includes at least one of a direction orthogonal to the predetermined plane, a rotational direction around an axis orthogonal to the predetermined plane, and a rotational direction around an axis parallel to the predetermined plane.
374. The exposure method according to claim 372 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
375. The exposure method according to claim 372 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
376. The exposure method according to claim 356 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to gradient of the movable body with respect to the predetermined plane and the measurement information of the encoder system.
377. The exposure method according to claim 376 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
378. The exposure method according to claim 376 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
379. The exposure method according to claim 356 wherein
a measurement system is further used to measure the positional information of the movable body in a third direction orthogonal to the predetermined plane by a sensor which faces the grating of a plurality of sensors arranged on the same side as the head unit, and
the position of the movable body in the third direction is controlled based on measurement information of the measurement system.
380. The exposure method according to claim 379 wherein
the measurement system measures the positional information in the third direction and inclination information of the movable body with a plurality of sensors that face the grating section.
381. The exposure method according to claim 379 wherein
of positional information of the movable body in directions of six degrees of freedom, positional information in directions of three degrees of freedom including the first direction, the second direction and a rotational direction in the predetermined plane is measured by the encoder system, and positional information in the remaining directions of three degrees of freedom is measured by the measurement system.
382. The exposure method according to claim 381 wherein
the position of the movable body in at least the exposure operation is controlled, based on the positional information measured in directions of six degrees of freedom.
383. The exposure method according to claim 379 wherein
in a measurement operation of a surface position information of the object, in addition to the encoder system and the measurement system, a position measuring unit is further used to measure the positional information of the object in the third direction.
384. The exposure method according to claim 379 wherein
in a detection operation of the mark, the encoder system and the mark detection system are used.
385. The exposure method according to claim 356 wherein
to drive the movable body, the measurement information of the encoder system is used in an exposure operation, and the measurement information of the interferometer system that measures the positional information of the movable body in at least the first and second directions is used in an operation that is different from the exposure operation.
386. The exposure method according to claim 385 wherein
in a detection operation of a mark and/or the surface position information of the object, the measurement information of the encoder system is used.
387. The exposure method according to claim 385 wherein
at least a part of the measurement information of the interferometer system is used in the exposure operation.
388. The exposure method according to claim 356 wherein
a position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on positional information of the head used for measuring the positional information of the movable body in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane of the plurality of heads in the encoder system and measurement information of the encoder system.
389. The exposure method according to claim 356 wherein
positional information of the plurality of heads of the head unit in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane is measured.
390. A device manufacturing method including a lithography process wherein
in the lithography process, an exposure method according to claim 356 is used to expose a sensitive object mounted on the movable body, and to form a pattern on the sensitive object.
391. An exposure method of exposing an object with an energy beam wherein
the object is mounted on a movable body that can move in at least a first and second direction which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane, whereby
positional information of the movement body is measured using an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is held and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body and which also measures positional information of the movable body in the first direction, the second direction, and rotational direction in the predetermined plane with at least three heads that face the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit, and
the measurement is continued while switching the three heads used for the measurement to three heads having at least one different head during the movement of the movable body, and during the switching, position information that should be measured by at least one head of the three heads after the switching which are different from the three heads before the switching is decided, based on positional information measured by the three heads before the switching.
392. The exposure method according to claim 391 wherein
the positional information which should be measured by the at least one head after the switching is decided so that the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is maintained before and after the switching.
393. The exposure method according to claim 391 wherein
the positional information that has been decided is set as an initial value of the positional information measured by the at least one head after the switching so as to continuously link the positional information of the movable body that is measured before and after the switching.
394. The exposure method according to claim 391 wherein
the grating section has a pair of a first grating section whose longitudinal direction is the first direction and is placed apart in the second direction and a pair of a second grating section whose longitudinal direction is the second direction and is placed apart in the first direction, and
the head unit has a pair of a first head unit having a plurality of a first head placed apart in the second direction that face the pair of the first grating section on exposure and a pair of a second head unit having a plurality of a second head placed apart in the first direction that face the pair of the second grating section on exposure, whereby positional information of the movable body is measured by at least three of the pair of the first head units and the pair of the second head units.
395. The exposure method according to claim 391 wherein
the switching is performed in a state where the head before the switching and the head after the switching both face the grating section.
396. The exposure method according to claim 391 wherein
the grating section is arranged on a surface of the movable body, and the head unit is arranged facing the surface of the movable body.
397. The exposure method according to claim 391 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least one of the head unit and the grating section and the measurement information of the encoder system.
398. The exposure method according to claim 397 wherein
the correction information compensates for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least optical properties of the head unit.
399. The exposure method according to claim 397 wherein
the correction information compensates for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to at least one of flatness and formation error of the grating section.
400. The exposure method according to claim 397 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
401. The exposure method according to claim 397 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
402. The exposure method according to claim 391 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to displacement of the movable body in the direction that is different from the first and second directions on the measurement and the measurement information of the encoder system.
403. The exposure method according to claim 402 wherein
the different direction includes at least one of a direction orthogonal to the predetermined plane, a rotational direction around an axis orthogonal to the predetermined plane, and a rotational direction around an axis parallel to the predetermined plane.
404. The exposure method according to claim 402 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
405. The exposure method according to claim 402 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
406. The exposure method according to claim 391 wherein
the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on correction information to compensate for the measurement error of the encoder system that occurs due to gradient of the movable body with respect to the predetermined plane and the measurement information of the encoder system.
407. The exposure method according to claim 406 wherein
one of the measurement information of the encoder system and a target position where the movable body is positioned is corrected, based on the correction information.
408. The exposure method according to claim 406 wherein
the object is exposed by the energy beam via a mask, and at the time of the exposure, a position of the mask is controlled based on the correction information so as to compensate for the measurement error, while the movable body is driven based on the measurement information of the encoder system.
409. The exposure method according to claim 391 wherein
a measurement system is further used to measure the positional information of the movable body in a third direction orthogonal to the predetermined plane by a sensor which faces the grating of a plurality of sensors arranged on the same side as the head unit, and
the position of the movable body in the third direction is controlled based on measurement information of the measurement system.
410. The exposure method according to claim 409 wherein
the measurement system measures the positional information in the third direction and inclination information of the movable body with a plurality of sensors that face the grating section.
411. The exposure method according to claim 409 wherein
of positional information of the movable body in directions of six degrees of freedom, positional information in directions of three degrees of freedom including the first direction, the second direction and a rotational direction in the predetermined plane is measured by the encoder system, and positional information in the remaining directions of three degrees of freedom is measured by the measurement system.
412. The exposure method according to claim 411 wherein
the position of the movable body in at least the exposure operation is controlled, based on the positional information measured in directions of six degrees of freedom.
413. The exposure method according to claim 409 wherein
in a measurement operation of a surface position information of the object, in addition to the encoder system and the measurement system, a position measuring unit is further used to measure the positional information of the object in the third direction.
414. The exposure method according to claim 409 wherein
in a detection operation of the mark, the encoder system and the mark detection system are used.
415. The exposure method according to claim 391 wherein
to drive the movable body, the measurement information of the encoder system is used in an exposure operation, and the measurement information of the interferometer system that measures the positional information of the movable body in at least the first and second directions is used in an operation that is different from the exposure operation.
416. The exposure method according to claim 415 wherein
in a detection operation of a mark and/or the surface position information of the object, the measurement information of the encoder system is used.
417. The exposure method according to claim 415 wherein
at least a part of the measurement information of the interferometer system is used in the exposure operation.
418. The exposure method according to claim 391 wherein
a position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on positional information of the head used for measuring the positional information of the movable body in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane of the plurality of heads in the encoder system and measurement information of the encoder system.
419. The exposure method according to claim 391 wherein
positional information of the plurality of heads of the head unit in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane is measured.
420. A device manufacturing method including a lithography process wherein
in the lithography process, an exposure method according to claim 391 is used to expose a sensitive object mounted on the movable body, and to form a pattern on the sensitive object.
421. An exposure method of exposing an object with an energy beam wherein
the object is mounted on a movable body that can move in at least a first and second direction which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane, whereby
one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is held and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on measurement information of an encoder system that measures positional information of the movable body in the predetermined plane by a head that faces the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit, and positional information of the head used to measure the positional information in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane.
422. A device manufacturing method including a lithography process wherein
in the lithography process, an exposure method according to claim 421 is used to expose a sensitive object mounted on the movable body, and to form a pattern on the sensitive object.
423. An exposure method of exposing an object with an energy beam wherein
the object is mounted on a movable body that can move in at least a first and second direction which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane, whereby
of an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is held and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and positional information of the movable body in the predetermined plane is measured by a head that faces the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit, the positional information of a plurality of heads of the head unit in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane is measured, and
based on measured positional information and the measurement information of the encoder system, the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled.
424. A device manufacturing method including a lithography process wherein
in the lithography process, an exposure method according to claim 423 is used to expose a sensitive object mounted on the movable body, and to form a pattern on the sensitive object.
Descripción
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to movable body drive methods and movable body drive systems, pattern formation methods and apparatuses, exposure methods and apparatuses, and device manufacturing methods, and more particularly to a movable body drive method in which a movable body is driven within a movement plane and a movable body drive system, a pattern formation method using the movable body drive method and a pattern formation apparatus equipped with the movable body drive system, an exposure method using the movable body drive method and an exposure apparatus equipped with the movable body drive system, and a device manufacturing method in which the pattern formation method is used.

2. Description of the Background Art

Conventionally, in a lithography process for manufacturing microdevices (electron devices and the like) such as semiconductor devices and liquid crystal display devices, exposure apparatuses such as a projection exposure apparatus by a step-and-repeat method (a so-called stepper) and a projection exposure apparatus by a step-and-scan method (a so-called scanning stepper (which is also called a scanner) are relatively frequently used.

In this kind of exposure apparatus, in order to transfer a pattern of a reticle (or a mask) on a plurality of shot areas on a wafer, a wafer stage holding the wafer is driven in an XY two-dimensional direction, for example, by linear motors and the like. Especially in the case of a scanning stepper, not only the wafer stage but also a reticle stage is driven in by predetermined strokes in a scanning direction by linear motors and the like. Position measurement of the reticle stage and the wafer stage is generally performed using a laser interferometer whose stability of measurement values is good for over a long time and has a high resolution.

However, requirements for a stage position control with higher precision are increasing due to finer patterns that accompany higher integration of semiconductor devices, and now, short-term variation of measurement values due to temperature fluctuation of the atmosphere on the beam optical path of the laser interferometer has come to occupy a large percentage in the overlay budget.

Meanwhile, as a measurement unit besides the laser interferometer used for position measurement of the stage, an encoder can be used, however, because the encoder uses a scale, which lacks in mechanical long-term stability (drift of grating pitch, fixed position drift, thermal expansion and the like), it makes the encoder have a drawback of lacking measurement value linearity and being inferior in long-term stability when compared with the laser interferometer.

In view of the drawbacks of the laser interferometer and the encoder described above, various proposals are being made (refer to Kokai (Japanese Patent Unexamined Application Publication) No. 2002-151405, Kokai (Japanese Patent Unexamined Application Publication) No. 2004-101362 and the like) of a unit that measures the position of a stage using both a laser interferometer and an encoder (a position detection sensor which uses a diffraction grating) together.

Further, the measurement resolution of the conventional encoder was inferior when compared with an interferometer, however, recently, an encoder which has a nearly equal or a better measurement resolution than a laser interferometer has appeared (for example, refer to Kokai (Japanese Patent Unexamined Application Publication) No. 2005-308592), and the technology to put the laser interferometer and the encoder described above together is beginning to gather attention.

However, in the case position measurement is performed of the movement plane of the wafer stage of the exposure apparatus that moves two-dimensionally holding a wafer using an encoder, for example, in order to avoid an unnecessary increase in the size of the wafer stage and the like, it becomes essential to switch the encoder used for control while the wafer stage is moving using a plurality of encoders, or in other words, to perform a linkage between the plurality of encoders. However, as it can be easily imagined, for example, when considering the case when a grating is placed on the wafer stage, it is not so easy to perform linkage between a plurality of encoders while the wafer stage is being moved, especially while precisely the wafer stage is being moved two-dimensionally along a predetermined path.

Further, by repeating the linkage operation, the position error of the wafer stage may grow large with the elapse of time due to the accumulation of the error which occurs when linkage is performed, and the exposure accuracy (overlay accuracy) may consequently deteriorate.

Meanwhile, it is conceivable that the position of the wafer stage does not necessarily have to be measured using an encoder system in the whole movable range of the wafer stage.

Now, the propagation speed in the cable of an electrical signal such as the detection signal of the head of the encoder, or more specifically, the photoelectric conversion signal of the light receiving element is limited, and the length of the cable through which the detection signal of the encoder propagates is generally from several meters to 10 m, and in quite a few cases exceeds 10 m. When considering that a signal propagates through the cable of such a length at the speed of light, the influence of the delay time that accompanies the propagation is at a level that cannot be ignored.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has been made in consideration of the circumstances described above, and according to the first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a first movable body drive method in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane including a first axis and a second axis orthogonal to each other, the method comprising: a measuring process in which positional information of the movable body in the movement plane is measured using at least one encoder of an encoder system including a plurality of encoders having a head that irradiates a detection light on a grating and receives the detection light from the grating; and a switching process in which at least one of an encoder used for position control of the movable body is switched to another encoder so as to maintain a position of the movable body in the movement plane before and after the switching.

According to this method, while the movable body is driven, positional information of the movable body in the movement plane is measured using at least two encoders of the encoder system, and the encoder used for position control of the movable body is switched from at least one of an encoder used for position control of the movable body to another encoder so as to maintain the position of the movable body in the movement plane before and after the switching. Therefore, although the switching of the encoder used for the control of the position of the movable body is performed, the position of the movable body in the movement plane is maintained before and after the switching, and a precise linkage becomes possible. Accordingly, it becomes possible to move the movable body two-dimensionally precisely along a predetermined course, while performing the linkage between a plurality of encoders.

According to the second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a second movable body drive method in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane, the method comprising: an intake process in which measurement data corresponding to a detection signal of at least one head of an encoder system including a plurality of heads that measure positional information of the movable body within the movement plane is taken in at a predetermined control sampling interval when the movable body is driven in a predetermined direction in the movement plane; and a drive process in which the movable body is driven so as to correct a measurement error of the head due to a measurement delay that accompanies propagation of the detection signal, based on a plurality of data which include the most recent measurement data that was taken in the latest and previous measurement data including at least data just before the most recent measurement data, and information of a delay time that accompanies propagation of the detection signal through a propagation path.

According to this method, when the movable body is driven in a predetermined direction in the movement plane, measurement data corresponding to the detection signal of at least one head of an encoder system which measures positional information of the movable body in the movement plane are taken in at a predetermined control sampling interval, and the movable body is driven so that a measurement error of the head due to a measurement delay that accompanies the propagation of the detection signal is corrected drives movable body so that it is corrected, based on a plurality of data including the most recent measurement data taken in the latest and previous data including at least data just before the most recent measurement data (one control sampling interval earlier), and information of a delay time that accompanies propagation of the detection signal through a propagation path. Accordingly, it becomes possible to drive movable body with high precision in the desired direction, without being affected by the measurement delay that accompanies the propagation of the detection signal of the head of the encoder through the propagation path.

According to the third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a pattern formation method, comprising: a mount process in which an object is mounted on a movable body that can move in a movement plane; and a drive process in which the movable body is driven by the movable body drive method according to one of the first and second movable body drive methods, to form a pattern on the object.

According to this method, by forming a pattern on the object mounted on the movable body which is driven using one of the first and second movable body drive methods of the present invention, it becomes possible to form a desired pattern on the object.

According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a first device manufacturing method including a pattern formation process wherein in the pattern formation process, a pattern is formed on a substrate using the pattern formation method according to the pattern formation method of the present invention.

According to a fifth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a first exposure method in which a pattern is formed on an object by an irradiation of an energy beam wherein for relative movement of the energy beam and the object, a movable body on which the object is mounted is driven, using one of the first and second movable body drives method of the present invention.

According to this method, for relative movement of the energy beam irradiated on the object and the object, the movable body on which the object is mounted is driven with good precision, using one of the first and second movable body drive methods of the present invention. Accordingly, it becomes possible to form a desired pattern on the object by scanning exposure.

According to a sixth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a second exposure method in which an object on a movable body that moves in a movement plane is sequentially exchanged, and a pattern is formed respectively on each object by sequentially exposing the object after exchange, wherein each time the exchange of the object is performed on the movable body, position control of the movable body in the movement plane is started once more, using at least three encoders of an encoder system that measures positional information of the movable body in the movement plane within a predetermined effective area including an exposure position.

According to this method, each time the exchange of the object is performed on the movable body, position control of the movable body in the movement plane using at least three encoders of an encoder system that measures positional information of the movable body in the movement plane in an effective area is started once more. Therefore, each time the object exchange is performed, the position error of the movable body is canceled out, so that the position error of the movable body does not increase with the passage of time. Accordingly, it becomes possible to measure the positional information of the movable body in the movement plane in a predetermined effective area including the exposure position by the encoder system with good precision for over a long time, which makes it possible to maintain the exposure precision for over a long period of time.

According to a seventh aspect of the present invention, there is provided a third movable body drive method in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane, the method comprising: an execution process in which of an encoder system including a plurality of encoders respectively having a head that irradiates a detection light on a grating and receives the detection light from the grating and measures positional information of the movable body in the movable plane, an output of each encoder is constantly taken in, and an operation of switching an encoder used for position control of the movable body from an encoder that has been used for position control of the movable body to another encoder, at a timing in synchronization with the position control of the movable body is executed.

According to this method, when the movable body is driven, the output of each encoder of the encoder system is constantly taken in, and an operation of switching an encoder used for the position control of the movable body from an encoder that has been used for position control of the movable body to another encoder is executed at a timing in synchronization with the position control of the movable body. Therefore, the switching of the encoder will not have to be performed at a high speed, and a highly precise hardware for the switching will not be necessary, which consequently will make cost reduction possible.

According to an eighth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a fourth movable body drive method in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane including a first axis and a second axis orthogonal to each other, the method comprising: a measuring process in which positional information of the movable body in the movement plane is measured using at least one encoder of an encoder system including a plurality of encoders respectively having a head that irradiates a detection light on a grating and receives the detection light from the grating; a scheduling process in which a combination of encoders subject to a switching where an encoder used for position control of the movable body is switched from an arbitrary encoder to another encoder is made and a switching timing is prepared, based on a movement course of the movable body; and a switching process in which the arbitrary encoder is switched to the another encoder based on the contents prepared in the scheduling.

According to this method, a combination of encoders subject to a switching where an encoder used for position control of the movable body is switched from an arbitrary encoder to another encoder is made and a switching timing is prepared, based on a movement course of the movable body. And when the movable body is moving, the positional information of the movable body in the movement plane is measured using at least one encoder of the encoder system, and based on the contents made out in the scheduling above, the switching from an arbitrary encoder to another encoder is performed. According to this, a reasonable encoder switching according to the target track of the movable body becomes possible.

According to a ninth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a first movable body drive system in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane including a first axis and a second axis orthogonal to each other, the system comprising: an encoder system having a plurality of encoders respectively having a head that irradiates a detection light on a grating and receives the detection light from the grating, including a first encoder used for measuring positional information of the movable body in a direction parallel to the first axis; and a controller that measures positional information of the movable body in the movement plane using at least one encoder of the encoder system, and also switches at least one of an encoder used for measurement of the positional information of the movable body in the movement plane to another encoder so as to maintain a position of the movable body in the movement plane before and after the switching.

According to this system, when the movable body is driven, the positional information of the movable body in the movement plane is measured by at least two encoders which at least includes include one each of the first encoder and the second encoder of the encoder system, and the controller switches the encoder used for measurement of the positional information of the movable body in the movement plane from an encoder of either of the at least two encoders to another encoder so that the position of the movable body in the movement plane is maintained before and after the switching. Therefore, although the switching of the encoder used for controlling the position of the movable body is performed, the position of the movable body in the movement plane is maintained before and after the switching, which allows an accurate linkage. Accordingly, it becomes possible to move the movable body two-dimensionally, precisely along a predetermined course, while performing linkage between a plurality of encoders.

According to a tenth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a second movable body drive system in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane, the system comprising: an encoder system including a plurality of heads that measure positional information of the movable body in the movement plane; and a controller that takes in measurement data corresponding to a detection signal of at least one head of an encoder system at a predetermined control sampling interval when the movable body is driven in a predetermined direction in the movement plane, and drives the movable body so that the measurement error of the head due to a measurement delay that accompanies propagation of the detection signal is corrected, based on a plurality of data that include the most recent measurement data that was taken in the latest and previous measurement data including at least data just before the most recent measurement data, and information of a delay time that accompanies propagation of the detection signal through a propagation path.

According to this system, when the movable body is driven by the controller in a predetermined direction in the movement plane, the measurement data corresponding to the detection signal of at least one head of the encoder system are taken in at a predetermined control sampling interval, and the movable body is driven so as to correct the measurement error of the head due to a measurement delay that accompanies propagation of the detection signal, based on a plurality of data that include the most recent measurement data that was taken in the latest and previous measurement data including at least data just before the most recent measurement data, and information of a delay time that accompanies propagation of the detection signal through a propagation path. According to this, it becomes possible to drive the movable body with high precision in the desired direction without being affected by the measurement delay that accompanies the detection signals of the head of the encoder propagating through the propagation path.

According to an eleventh aspect of the present invention, there is provided a third movable body drive system in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane, the system comprising: an encoder system including a plurality of heads that measure positional information of the movable body in the movement plane; an interferometer system that measures positional information of the movable body in the movement plane; a processing unit that executes a delay time acquisition processing of driving the movable body in a predetermined direction, taking in a detection signal of each head and a detection signal of the interferometer system simultaneously at a predetermined sampling timing for a plurality of heads of the encoder system during the drive, and based on both detection signals, acquiring information of the delay time of the detection signals of the respective plurality of heads that accompanies the propagation through the propagation path, with the detection signal of the interferometer system serving as a reference; and a controller that drives the movable body, based on measurement data corresponding to the respective detection signals of the plurality of heads of the encoder system and information of a delay time of the plurality of heads, respectively.

According to this system, the processing unit executes a delay time acquisition process in which a delay time acquisition processing of driving the movable body in a predetermined direction, taking in a detection signal of each head and a detection signal of the interferometer system simultaneously at a predetermined sampling timing for at least a plurality of heads of the encoder system during the drive, and based on both detection signals, acquiring information of the delay time of the detection signals of the respective plurality of heads that accompanies the propagation through the propagation path, with the detection signal of the interferometer system serving as a reference are executed. Accordingly, it becomes possible for the processing unit itself to obtain information of the delay time on each of the plurality of heads with the detection signal of the interferometer system serving as a reference. Then, the controller drives the movable body based on the measurement data corresponding to each detection signal of the plurality of heads of the encoder system and information of the delay time for each of the plurality of heads that has been obtained. Accordingly, even if the delay time is different for each head, it becomes possible to drive the movable body using each encoder of the encoder system with good precision, without being affected by the difference of the delay time between the plurality of heads.

According to a twelfth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a first pattern formation apparatus, the apparatus comprising: a movable body on which an object is mounted, and is movable in a movement plane holding the object; and a movable body drive system according to any one of the first to third movable body drive systems of the present invention that drives the movable body to perform pattern formation with respect to the object.

According to this apparatus, by generating a pattern on an object on the movable body driven by any one of the first to third movable body drive systems of the present invention with a patterning unit, it becomes possible to form a desired pattern on the object.

According to a thirteenth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a first exposure apparatus that forms a pattern on an object by an irradiation of an energy beam, the apparatus comprising: a patterning unit that irradiates the energy beam on the object; and the movable body drive system according to any one of the first to third movable body drive systems of the present invention, wherein the movable body drive system drives the movable body on which the object is mounted for relative movement of the energy beam and the object.

According to this apparatus, for relative movement of the energy beam irradiated on the object from the patterning unit and the object, the movable body on which the object is mounted is driven by any one of the first to third movable body drive system of the present invention. Accordingly, it becomes possible to form a desired pattern on the object by scanning exposure.

According to a fourteenth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a second exposure apparatus that sequentially exchanges an object on a movable body that moves in a movement plane, and forms a pattern respectively on each object by sequentially exposing the object after exchange, the apparatus comprising: an encoder system including at least three encoders that measure positional information of the movable body in the movement plane in a predetermined effective area including an exposure position; and a controller that starts position control of the movable body in the movement plane using at least the three encoders of the encoder system once more, each time exchange of the object is performed on the movable body.

According to this apparatus, each time the exchange of the object is performed on the movable body by the controller, position control of the movable body in the movement plane using at least three encoders of an encoder system that measure positional information in the movement plane of the movable body in the effective area is started once more. Therefore, each time the object exchange is performed, the position error of the movable body is canceled out, so that the position error of the movable body does not increase with the passage of time. Accordingly, it becomes possible to measure the positional information of the movable body in the movement plane in a predetermined effective area including the exposure position by the encoder system with good precision for over a long time, which makes it possible to maintain the exposure precision for over a long period of time.

According to a fifteenth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a fourth movable body drive system in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane, the system comprising: an encoder system including a plurality of encoders respectively having a head that irradiates a detection light on a grating and receives the detection light from the grating and measures positional information of the movable body in the movable plane; and a controller that constantly takes in an output of each encoder of the encoder system, and also executes an operation to switch the encoder used for control of the movable body from an encoder that has been used for position control of the movable body to another encoder in synchronization with the timing of the position control of the movable body.

According to the system, when the movable body is driven, the controller constantly takes in the output of each encoder of the encoder system, and executes an operation of switching an encoder used for position control of the movable body from an encoder that has been used for position control of the movable body to another encoder at a timing in synchronization with the position control of the movable body. Therefore, the switching of the encoder will not have to be performed at a high speed, and a highly precise hardware for the switching will not be necessary, which consequently will make cost reduction possible.

According to a sixteenth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a fifth movable body drive system in which a movable body is driven in a movement plane including a first axis and a second axis orthogonal to each other, the system comprising: an encoder system including a plurality of encoders having a head that irradiates a detection light on a grating and receives the detection light from the grating and measures positional information of the movable body in the movable plane; and a controller that makes a combination of encoders subject to a switching where an encoder used for position control of the movable body is switched from an arbitrary encoder to another encoder and prepares a switching timing, based on a movement course of the movable body.

According to this system, the controller makes a combination of encoders subject to a switching where an encoder used for position control of the movable body is switched from an arbitrary encoder to another encoder and prepares a switching timing, based on a movement course of the movable body. And when the movable body is moving, the positional information of the movable body in the movement plane is measured using at least one encoder of the encoder system, and based on the contents made out in the scheduling above, the switching from an arbitrary encoder to another encoder is performed. According to this, a reasonable encoder switching according to the target track of the movable body becomes possible.

According to a seventeenth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a second pattern formation apparatus, the apparatus comprising: a movable body on which the object is mounted, and is movable in a movement plane holding the object; and a movable body drive system according to one of the fourth and fifth movable body drive systems of the present invention that drives the movable body to perform pattern formation with respect to the object.

According to this apparatus, by generating a pattern on the object on the movable body driven smoothly by one of the fourth and fifth movable body drive systems of the present invention with a patterning unit, it becomes possible to form a pattern on the object with good precision.

According to an eighteenth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a third exposure apparatus that forms a pattern on an object by an irradiation of an energy beam, the apparatus comprising: a patterning unit that irradiates the energy beam on the object; and the movable body drive system according to one of the fourth and fifth movable body drive systems of the present invention, wherein the movable body drive system drives the movable body on which the object is mounted for relative movement of the energy beam and the object.

According to this apparatus, for relative movement of the energy beam irradiated on the object from the patterning unit and the object, the movable body on which the object is mounted is driven with good precision by one of the fourth and fifth movable body drive system of the present invention. Accordingly, it becomes possible to form a pattern on the object with good precision by scanning exposure.

According to a nineteenth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a fourth exposure apparatus that exposes an object with an energy beam, the apparatus comprising: a movable body that holds the object and is movable at least in a first and second directions which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane; an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is held and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and positional information of the movable body in the predetermined plane is measured by a head that faces the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit; and a controller that decides the positional information which should be measured by a head after a switching, during the switching of the head used for the measurement that accompanies the movement of the movable body, based on positional information measured by a head before the switching and positional information of the movable body in a direction different from the first and second directions.

According to the apparatus, before and after the switching of the head used for position measurement of the movable body that accompanies the movement of the movable body, the position of the movable body is maintained, which allows a smooth switching of the head. Accordingly, it becomes possible to drive the movable body two-dimensionally accurately at least within the predetermined plane, while performing switching between a plurality of heads, which in turn allows exposure of the object on the movable body to be performed with good precision.

According to a twentieth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a fifth exposure apparatus that exposes an object with an energy beam, the apparatus comprising: a movable body that holds the object and is movable at least in a first and second directions which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane; an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is held and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and positional information of the movable body in the predetermined plane is measured by a head that faces the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit; and a controller that continues the measurement while switching the head used for the measurement to another head during the movement of the movable body, and controls a position of the movable body in the predetermined plane, based on measurement information of the encoder system measured by the another head and positional information of the movable body in a direction different from the first and second directions on the switching.

According to this, it becomes possible to drive the movable body two-dimensionally accurately at least within the predetermined plane, while performing switching between a plurality of heads, which in turn allows exposure of the object on the movable body to be performed with good precision.

According to a twenty-first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a sixth exposure apparatus that exposes an object with an energy beam, the apparatus comprising: a movable body that holds the object and is movable at least in a first and second directions which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane; an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is held and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and positional information of the movable body in the first and second directions, and rotational direction in the predetermined plane is measured by at least three heads that face the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit; and a controller that continues the measurement while switching the three heads used for the measurement to three heads having at least one different head during the movement of the movable body, and during the switching, decides position information that should be measured by at least one head of the three heads after the switching which are different from the three heads before the switching, based on positional information measured by the three heads before the switching.

According to the apparatus, before and after the switching of the head used for position measurement of the movable body that accompanies the movement of the movable body, the position (including rotation in the predetermined plane) of the movable body is maintained, which allows a smooth switching of the head. Accordingly, it becomes possible to drive the movable body two-dimensionally accurately at least within the predetermined plane, while performing switching between a plurality of heads, which in turn allows exposure of the object on the movable body to be performed with good precision.

According to a twenty-second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a seventh exposure apparatus that exposes an object with an energy beam, the apparatus comprising: a movable body that holds the object and is movable at least in a first and second directions which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane; an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is held and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and positional information of the movable body in the predetermined plane is measured by a head that faces the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit; and a controller that controls a position of the movable body in the predetermined plane, based on positional information of the head used for measuring the positional information in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane and measurement information of the encoder system.

According to the apparatus, it becomes possible to drive the movable body two-dimensionally accurately at least within the predetermined plane, which in turn allows exposure of the object on the movable body to be performed with good precision, without being affected by the measurement error of the encoder system due to the shift (for example, shift from the design position) of position of the head used for the measurement of the positional information in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane.

According to a twenty-third aspect of the present invention, there is provided an eighth exposure apparatus that exposes an object with an energy beam, the apparatus comprising: a movable body that holds the object and is movable at least in a first and second directions which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane; an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is held and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and positional information of the movable body in the predetermined plane is measured by a head that faces the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit; and a controller that measures positional information of the plurality of heads of the head unit in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane and controls a position of the movable body in the predetermined plane, based on positional information that has been measured and measurement information of the encoder system.

According to the apparatus, it becomes possible to drive the movable body two-dimensionally accurately at least within the predetermined plane, which in turn allows exposure of the object on the movable body to be performed with good precision. According to a twenty-fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided third exposure method of exposing an object with an energy beam wherein the object is mounted on a movable body that can move in at least a first and second direction which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane, whereby positional information of the movable body is measured using an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is mounted and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and positional information of the movable body in the predetermined plane is measured by a head that faces the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit, and the positional information which should be measured by a head after a switching during the switching of the head used for the measurement that accompanies the movement of the movable body is decided, based on positional information measured by a head before the switching and positional information of the movable body in a direction different from the first and second directions.

According to this method, before and after the switching of the head used for position measurement of the movable body that accompanies the movement of the movable body, the position of the movable body is maintained, which allows a smooth switching of the head. Accordingly, it becomes possible to drive the movable body two-dimensionally accurately at least within the predetermined plane, while performing switching between a plurality of heads, which in turn allows exposure of the object on the movable body to be performed with good precision.

According to a twenty-fifth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a fourth exposure method of exposing an object with an energy beam wherein the object is mounted on a movable body that can move in at least a first and second direction which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane, whereby positional information of the movable body is measured using an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is mounted and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and positional information of the movable body in the predetermined plane is measured by a head that faces the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit, and the measurement is continued while switching the head used for the measurement to another head during the movement of the movable body, and a position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled based on measurement information of the encoder system measured by the another head and positional information of the movable body in a direction different from the first and second directions on the switching.

According to the method, it becomes possible to drive the movable body two-dimensionally accurately at least within the predetermined plane, while performing switching between a plurality of heads, which in turn allows exposure of the object on the movable body to be performed with good precision. According to a twenty-sixth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a fifth exposure method of exposing an object with an energy beam wherein the object is mounted on a movable body that can move in at least a first and second direction which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane, whereby positional information of the movement body is measured using an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is held and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body and which also measures positional information of the movable body in the first direction, the second direction, and rotational direction in the predetermined plane with at least three heads that face the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit, and the measurement is continued while switching the three heads used for the measurement to three heads having at least one different head during the movement of the movable body, and during the switching, position information that should be measured by at least one head of the three heads after the switching which are different from the three heads before the switching is decided, based on positional information measured by the three heads before the switching.

According to this method, before and after the switching of the head used for position measurement of the movable body that accompanies the movement of the movable body, the position (including rotation in the predetermined plane) of the movable body is maintained, which allows a smooth switching of the head. Accordingly, it becomes possible to drive the movable body two-dimensionally accurately at least within the predetermined plane, while performing switching between a plurality of heads, which in turn allows exposure of the object on the movable body to be performed with good precision.

According to a twenty-seventh aspect of the present invention, there is provided a sixth exposure method of exposing an object with an energy beam wherein the object is mounted on a movable body that can move in at least a first and second direction which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane, whereby one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is held and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled, based on measurement information of an encoder system that measures positional information of the movable body in the predetermined plane by a head that faces the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit, and positional information of the head used to measure the positional information in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane.

According to the method, it becomes possible to drive the movable body two-dimensionally accurately at least within the predetermined plane, which in turn allows exposure of the object on the movable body to be performed with good precision, without being affected by the measurement error of the encoder system due to the shift (for example, shift from the design position) of position of the head used for the measurement of the positional information in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane.

According to a twenty-eighth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a seventh exposure method of exposing an object with an energy beam wherein the object is mounted on a movable body that can move in at least a first and second direction which are orthogonal in a predetermined plane, whereby of an encoder system in which one of a grating section and a head unit is arranged on a surface of the movable body where the object is held and the other is arranged facing the surface of the movable body, and positional information of the movable body in the predetermined plane is measured by a head that faces the grating section of a plurality of heads of the head unit, the positional information of a plurality of heads of the head unit in a surface parallel to the predetermined plane is measured, and based on measured positional information and the measurement information of the encoder system, the position of the movable body in the predetermined plane is controlled.

According to the method, it becomes possible to drive the movable body two-dimensionally accurately at least within the predetermined plane, which in turn allows exposure of the object on the movable body to be performed with good precision.

According to a twenty-ninth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a second device manufacturing method including a lithography process wherein in the lithography process, a sensitive object mounted on the movable body is exposed using the exposure method according to one of the third and seventh exposure method of the present invention, and a pattern is formed on the sensitive object.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the accompanying drawings;

FIG. 1 is a view schematically showing the configuration of an exposure apparatus related to an embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a planar view showing a stage unit in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a planar view showing the placement of various measuring apparatuses (such as encoders, alignment systems, a multipoint AF system, and Z sensors) that are equipped in the exposure apparatus in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4A is a planar view showing a wafer stage, and FIG. 4B is a schematic side view of a partially sectioned wafer stage WST;

FIG. 5A is a planar view showing a measurement stage, and FIG. 5B is a schematic side view showing a partial cross section of the measurement stage;

FIG. 6 is a block diagram showing a main configuration of a control system of the exposure apparatus related to an embodiment;

FIG. 7A is a view showing an example of a configuration of an encoder, and FIG. 7B is a view showing the case when a laser beam LB having a sectional shape extending narrowly in the periodic direction of grating RG is used as a detection light;

FIG. 8A is a view showing a Doppler effect which the light scattered by a movement plane receives, and FIG. 8B is a view for explaining a relation between incoming light and diffraction light with respect to a reflection type diffraction grating of a beam in the encoder head;

FIG. 9A is a view showing a case when a measurement value does not change even if a relative movement in a direction besides the measurement direction occurs between a head of an encoder and a scale, and FIG. 9B is a view showing a case when a measurement value changes when a relative movement in a direction besides the measurement direction occurs between a head of an encoder and a scale;

FIGS. 10A to 10D are views used for describing the case when the measurement value of the encoder changes and the case when the measurement values do not change, when a relative movement in the direction besides the measurement direction occurs between the head and the scale;

FIGS. 11A and 11B are views for explaining an operation to acquire correction information to correct a measurement error of an encoder (a first encoder) due to the relative movement of the head and the scale in the direction besides the measurement direction;

FIG. 12 is a graph showing a measurement error of the encoder with respect to the change in the Z position in pitching amount θx=α;

FIG. 13 is a view for explaining an operation to acquire correction information to correct a measurement error of another encoder (a second encoder) due to the relative movement of the head and the scale in the direction besides the measurement direction;

FIG. 14 is a view for describing a calibration process of a head position;

FIG. 15 is a view for explaining a calibration process to obtain an Abbe offset quantity;

FIG. 16 is a view for explaining an inconvenience that occurs in the case a plurality of measurement points on the same scale is measured by a plurality of heads;

FIG. 17 is a view for explaining a method to measure the unevenness of the scale (No. 1);

FIGS. 18A to 18D are views for explaining a method to measure the unevenness of the scale (No. 2);

FIG. 19 is a view for describing an acquisition operation of correction information of the grating pitch of the scale and the correction information of the grating deformation;

FIG. 20 is a view for explaining a method to obtain a delay time that accompanies a propagation of the detection signal of each Y head through a cable;

FIG. 21 is a view for describing an example of a correction method of the measurement error of the encoder due to the measurement delay that accompanies a propagation of the detection signal of each head through a cable;

FIGS. 22A and 22B are views for explaining a concrete method to convert a measurement value of the encoder that has been corrected into a position of wafer stage WST;

FIGS. 23A and 23B are views for describing a carryover of position measurement of the wafer table in the XY plane by a plurality of encoders which respectively include a plurality of heads placed in the shape of an array and the measurement value between the heads;

FIGS. 24A to 24E are views for explaining a procedure of an encoder switching;

FIG. 25 is a view for explaining the switching process of the encoder used for position control of the wafer stage in the XY plane;

FIG. 26 is a view conceptually showing position control of the wafer stage, intake of the count value of the encoder, and an encoder switching timing;

FIG. 27 is a view showing a state of the wafer stage and the measurement stage where exposure to a wafer on the wafer stage is performed by a step-and-scan method;

FIG. 28 is a view showing the state of both stages just after the stages shifted from a state where the wafer stage and the measurements stage are distanced to a state where both stages are in contact after exposure has been completed;

FIG. 29 is a view showing a state where the measurement stage moves in the −Y direction and the wafer stage moves toward an unloading position, while maintaining the positional relation between the wafer table and the measurement table in the Y-axis direction;

FIG. 30 is a view showing a state of the wafer stage and the measurement stage when the measurement stage arrives at a position where Sec-BCHK (an interval) is performed;

FIG. 31 is a view showing a state of the wafer stage and the measurement stage when the wafer stage moves from the unloading position to a loading position, in parallel with the Sec-BCHK (interval) being performed;

FIG. 32 is a view showing a state of the wafer stage and the measurement stage when the measurement stage moves to an optimal scrum waiting position and a wafer is loaded on a wafer table;

FIG. 33 is a view showing a state of both stages when the wafer stage has moved to a position where the Pri-BCHK former process is performed while the measurement stage is waiting at the optimal scrum waiting position;

FIG. 34 is a view showing a state of the wafer stage and the measurement stage when alignment marks arranged in three first alignment shot areas are being simultaneously detected using alignment systems AL1, AL2 2 and AL2 3;

FIG. 35 is view showing a state with a wafer stage and the measurement stage when the focus calibration former process is performed;

FIG. 36 is a view showing a state of the wafer stage and the measurement stage when alignment marks arranged in five second alignment shot areas are being simultaneously detected using alignment systems AL1 and AL2 1 to AL2 4;

FIG. 37 is a view showing a state of the wafer stage and the measurement stage when at least one of the Pri-BCHK latter process and the focus calibration latter process is being performed;

FIG. 38 is a view showing a state of the wafer stage and the measurement stage when alignment marks arranged in five third alignment shot areas are being simultaneously detected using alignment systems AL1 and AL2 1 to AL2 4;

FIG. 39 is a view showing a state of the wafer stage and the measurement stage when alignment marks arranged in three fourth alignment shot areas are being simultaneously detected using alignment systems AL1, AL2 2 and AL2 3;

FIG. 40 is a view showing a state of the wafer stage and the measurement stage when the focus mapping has ended;

FIG. 41 is a flow chart for explaining an embodiment of the device manufacturing method; and

FIG. 42 is a flow chart which shows a concrete example of step 204 of FIG. 41.

DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

Hereinafter, an embodiment of the present invention will be described, referring to FIGS. 1 to 40.

FIG. 1 shows a schematic configuration of an exposure apparatus 100 related to the embodiment.

Exposure apparatus 100 is a scanning exposure apparatus of the step-and-scan method, namely the so-called scanner. As it will be described later, a projection optical system PL is arranged in the embodiment, and in the description below, a direction parallel to an optical axis AX of projection optical system PL will be described as the Z-axis direction, a direction within a plane orthogonal to the Z-axis direction in which a reticle and a wafer are relatively scanned will be described as the Y-axis direction, a direction orthogonal to the Z-axis and the Y-axis will be described as the X-axis direction, and rotational (inclination) directions around the X-axis, the Y-axis, and the Z-axis will be described as θx, θy, and θz directions, respectively.

Exposure apparatus 100 includes an illumination system 10, a reticle stage RST that holds a reticle R that is illuminated by an illumination light for exposure (hereinafter, referred to as “illumination light” or “exposure light”) IL from illumination system 10, a projection unit PU that includes projection optical system PL that projects illumination light IL emitted from reticle R on a wafer W, a stage unit 50 that has a wafer stage WST and a measurement stage MST, their control system, and the like. On wafer stage WST, wafer W is mounted.

Illumination system 10 is configured including a light source, an illuminance uniformity optical system, which includes an optical integrator and the like, and n illumination optical system that has a reticle blind and the like (none of which are shown), as is disclosed in, for example, Kokai (Japanese Patent Unexamined Application Publication) No. 2001-313250 (the corresponding U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2003/0025890 description) and the like. In illumination system 10, a slit-shaped illumination area extending in the X-axis direction which is set on reticle R with a reticle blind (a masking system) is illuminated by illumination light (exposure light) IL with a substantially uniform illuminance. In this case, as illumination light IL, for example, an ArF excimer laser beam (wavelength 193 nm) is used. Further, as the optical integrator, for example, a fly-eye lens, a rod integrator (an internal reflection type integrator), a diffractive optical element or the like can be used.

On reticle stage RST, reticle R on which a circuit pattern or the like is formed on its pattern surface (the lower surface in FIG. 1) is fixed, for example, by vacuum chucking. Reticle stage RST is finely drivable or movable in within an XY plane by a reticle stage drive section 11 (not shown in FIG. 1, refer to FIG. 6) that includes a linear motor or the like, and reticle stage RST is also drivable in a predetermined scanning direction (in this case, the Y-axis direction, which is the lateral direction of the page surface in FIG. 1) at a designated scanning speed.

The positional information (including rotation information in the θz direction) of reticle stage RST in the movement plane is constantly detected, for example, at a resolution of around 0.5 to 1 nm by a reticle laser interferometer (hereinafter referred to as a “reticle interferometer”) 116, via a movable mirror 15 (the mirrors actually arranged are a Y movable mirror that has a reflection surface which is orthogonal to the Y-axis direction and an X movable mirror that has a reflection surface orthogonal to the X-axis direction). The measurement values of reticle interferometer 116 are sent to a main controller 20 (not shown in FIG. 1, refer to FIG. 6). Main controller 20 computes the position of reticle stage RST in the X-axis direction, Y-axis direction, and the θz direction based on the measurement values of reticle interferometer 116, and also controls the position (and velocity) of reticle stage RST by controlling reticle stage drive section 11 based on the computation results. Incidentally, instead of movable mirror 15, the edge surface of reticle stage RSV can be mirror polished so as to form a reflection surface (corresponding to the reflection surface of movable mirror 15). Further, reticle interferometer 116 can measure positional information of reticle stage RST related to at least one of the Z-axis, θx, or θy directions.

Projection unit PU is placed below reticle stage RST in FIG. 1. Projection unit PU includes a barrel 40, and projection optical system PL that has a plurality of optical elements which are held in a predetermined positional relation inside barrel 40. As projection optical system PL, for example, a dioptric system is used, consisting of a plurality of lenses (lens elements) that is disposed along an optical axis AX, which is parallel to the Z-axis direction. Projection optical system PL is, for example, a both-side telecentric dioptric system that has a predetermined projection magnification (such as one-quarter, one-fifth, or one-eighth times). Therefore, when illumination light IL from illumination system 10 illuminates illumination area IAR, a reduced image of the circuit pattern (a reduced image of a part of the circuit pattern) of the reticle is formed within illumination area IAR, with illumination light IL that has passed through reticle R which is placed so that its pattern surface substantially coincides with a first plane (an object plane) of projection optical system PL, in an area conjugate to illumination area IAR on wafer W (exposure area) whose surface is coated with a resist (a sensitive agent) and is placed on a second plane (an image plane) side, via projection optical system PL (projection unit PU) and liquid Lq (refer to FIG. 1). And by reticle stage RST and wafer stage WST being synchronously driven, the reticle is relatively moved in the scanning direction (the Y-axis direction) with respect to illumination area IAR (illumination light IL) while wafer W is relatively moved in the scanning direction (the Y-axis direction) with respect to the exposure area (illumination light IL), thus scanning exposure of a shot area (divided area) on wafer W is performed, and the pattern of the reticle is transferred onto the shot area. That is, in the embodiment, the pattern is generated on wafer W according to illumination system 10, the reticle, and projection optical system PL, and then by the exposure of the sensitive layer (resist layer) on wafer W with illumination light IL, the pattern is formed on wafer W. Although it is not shown in the drawings, projection unit PU is mounted on a barrel platform supported by three struts via a vibration isolation mechanism, however, as is disclosed in, for example, the pamphlet of International Publication No. WO 2006/038952 and the like, projection unit PU can be supported by suspension with respect to a mainframe member (not shown) placed above projection unit PU or with respect to a base member on which reticle stage RST is placed.

Further, in exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment, in order to perform exposure applying the liquid immersion method, a nozzle unit 32 that constitutes part of a local liquid immersion unit 8 is arranged so as to enclose the periphery of the lower end portion of barrel 40 that holds an optical element that is closest to an image plane side (wafer W side) that constitutes projection optical system PL, which is a lens (hereinafter, also referred to a “tip lens”) 191 in this case. In the embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1, the lower end surface of nozzle unit 32 is set to be substantially flush with the lower end surface of tip lens 191. Further, nozzle unit 32 is equipped with a supply opening and a recovery opening of liquid Lq, a lower surface to which wafer W is placed facing and at which the recovery opening is arranged, and a supply flow channel and a recovery flow channel that are connected to a liquid supply pipe 31A and a liquid recovery pipe 31B respectively. As shown in FIG. 3, liquid supply pipe 31A and liquid recovery pipe 31B are inclined at an angle of 45 degrees with respect to the X-axis direction and the Y-axis direction in a planer view (when viewed from above) and are symmetrically placed with respect to a straight line LV in the Y-axis direction that passes through optical axis AX of projection optical system PL.

One end of a supply pipe (not shown) is connected to liquid supply pipe 31A while the other end of the supply pipe is connected to a liquid supply unit 5 (not shown in FIG. 1, refer to FIG. 6), and one end of a recovery pipe (not shown) is connected to liquid recovery pipe 31B while the other end of the recovery pipe is connected to a liquid recovery unit 6 (not shown in FIG. 1, refer to FIG. 6).

Liquid supply unit 5 includes a liquid tank, a compression pump, a temperature controller, a valve for controlling supply/stop of the liquid to liquid supply pipe 31A, and the like. As the valve, for example, a flow rate control valve is preferably used so that not only the supply/stop of the liquid but also the adjustment of flow rate can be performed. The temperature controller adjusts the temperature of the liquid within the liquid tank to nearly the same temperature, for example, as the temperature within the chamber (not shown) where the exposure apparatus is housed. Incidentally, the tank for supplying the liquid, the compression pump, the temperature controller, the valve, and the like do not all have to be equipped in exposure apparatus 100, and at least part of them can also be substituted by the equipment or the like available in the plant where exposure apparatus 100 is installed.

Liquid recovery unit 6 includes a liquid tank, a suction pump, a valve for controlling recovery/stop of the liquid via liquid recovery pipe 31B, and the like. As the valve, a flow rate control valve is preferably used corresponding to the valve of liquid supply unit 5. Incidentally, the tank for recovering the liquid, the suction pump, the valve, and the like do not all have to be equipped in exposure apparatus 100, and at least part of them can also be substituted by the equipment or the like available in the plant where exposure apparatus 100 is installed.

In the embodiment, as the liquid described above, pure water (hereinafter, it will simply be referred to as “water” besides the case when specifying is necessary) that transmits the ArF excimer laser light (light with a wavelength of 193 nm) is to be used. Pure water can be obtained in large quantities at a semiconductor manufacturing plant or the like without difficulty, and it also has an advantage of having no adverse effect on the photoresist on the wafer, to the optical lenses or the like.

Refractive index n of the water with respect to the ArF excimer laser light is around 1.44. In the water the wavelength of illumination light IL is 193 nm×1/n, shorted to around 134 nm.

Liquid supply unit 5 and liquid recovery unit 6 each have a controller, and the respective controllers are controlled by main controller 20 (refer to FIG. 6). According to instructions from main controller 20, the controller of liquid supply unit 5 opens the valve connected to liquid supply pipe 31A to a predetermined degree to supply water Lq (refer to FIG. 1) to the space between tip lens 191 and wafer W via liquid supply pipe 31A, the supply flow channel and the supply opening. Further, when the water is supplied, according to instructions from main controller 20, the controller of liquid recovery unit 6 opens the valve connected to liquid recovery pipe 31B to a predetermined degree to recover water Lq from the space between tip lens 191 and wafer W into liquid recovery unit 6 (the liquid tank) via the recovery opening, the recovery flow channel and liquid recovery pipe 31B. During the supply and recovery operations, main controller 20 gives commands to the controllers of liquid supply unit 5 and liquid recovery unit 6 so that the quantity of water supplied to the space between tip lens 191 and wafer W constantly equals the quantity of water recovered from the space. Accordingly, a constant quantity of water Lq is held (refer to FIG. 1) in the space between tip lens 191 and wafer W. In this case, water Lq held in the space between tip lens 191 and wafer W is constantly replaced.

As is obvious from the above description, in the embodiment, local liquid immersion unit 8 is configured including nozzle unit 32, liquid supply unit 5, liquid recovery unit 6, liquid supply pipe 31A and liquid recovery pipe 31B, and the like. Local liquid immersion unit 8 fills liquid Lq in the space between tip lens 191 and wafer W by nozzle unit 32, so that a local liquid immersion space (equivalent to a liquid immersion area 14) which includes the optical path space of illumination light IL is formed. Accordingly, nozzle unit 32 is also called a liquid immersion space formation member or a containment member (or, a confinement member). Incidentally, part of local liquid immersion unit 8, for example, at least nozzle unit 32 may also be supported in a suspended state by a main frame (including the barrel platform) that holds projection unit PU, or may also be arranged at another frame member that is separate from the main frame. Or, in the case projection unit PU is supported in a suspended state as is described earlier, nozzle unit 32 may also be supported in a suspended state integrally with projection unit PU, but in the embodiment, nozzle unit 32 is arranged on a measurement frame that is supported in a suspended state independently from projection unit PU. In this case, projection unit PU does not have to be supported in a suspended state.

Incidentally, also in the case measurement stage MST is located below projection unit PU, the space between a measurement table (to be described later) and tip lens 191 can be filled with water in a similar manner to the manner described above.

Incidentally, in the description above, one liquid supply pipe (nozzle) and one liquid recovery pipe (nozzle) were arranged as an example, however, the present invention is not limited to this, and a configuration having multiple nozzles as is disclosed in, for example, the pamphlet of International Publication No. WO 99/49504, may also be employed, in the case such an arrangement is possible taking into consideration a relation with adjacent members. Further, the lower surface of nozzle unit 32 can be placed near the image plane (more specifically, a wafer) of projection optical system PL rather than the outgoing plane of tip lens 191, or, in addition to the optical path of the image plane side of tip lens 191, a configuration in which the optical path on the object plane side of tip lens 191 is also filled with liquid can be employed. The point is that any configuration can be employed, as long as the liquid can be supplied in the space between optical member (tip lens) 191 in the lowest end constituting projection optical system PL and wafer W. For example, the liquid immersion mechanism disclosed in the pamphlet of International Publication No. WO 2004/053955, or the liquid immersion mechanism disclosed in the EP Patent Application Publication No. 1 420 298 can also be applied to the exposure apparatus of the embodiment.

Referring back to FIG. 1, stage unit 50 is equipped with wafer stage WST and measurement stage MST that are placed above a base board 12, an interferometer system 118 (refer to FIG. 6) including Y interferometers 16 and 18 that measure position information of stages WST and MST, an encoder system (to be described later) that is used for measuring position information of wafer stage WST on exposure or the like, a stage drive system 124 (refer to FIG. 6) that drives stages WST and MST, and the like.

On the bottom surface of each of wafer stage WST and measurement stage MST, a noncontact bearing (not shown), for example, a vacuum preload type hydrostatic air bearing (hereinafter, referred to as an “air pad”) is arranged at a plurality of points. Wafer stage WST and measurement stage MST are supported in a noncontact manner via a clearance of around several μm above base board 12, by static pressure of pressurized air that is blown out from the air pad toward the upper surface of base board 12. Further, stages WST and MST are independently drivable in two-dimensional directions, which are the Y-axis direction (a horizontal direction of the page surface of FIG. 1) and the X-axis direction (an orthogonal direction to the page surface of FIG. 1) in a predetermined plane (the XY plane), by stage drive system 124.

To be more specific, on a floor surface, as shown in the planar view in FIG. 2, a pair of Y-axis stators 86 and 87 extending in the Y-axis direction are respectively placed on one side and the other side in the X-axis direction with base board 12 in between. Y-axis stators 86 and 87 are each composed of, for example, a magnetic pole unit that incorporates a permanent magnet group that is made up of a plurality of sets of a north pole magnet and a south pole magnet that are placed at a predetermined distance and alternately along the Y-axis direction. At Y-axis stators 86 and 87, two Y-axis movers 82 and 84, and two Y-axis movers 83 and 85 are respectively arranged in a noncontact engaged state. In other words, four Y-axis movers 82, 84, 83 and 85 in total are in a state of being inserted in the inner space of Y-axis stator 86 or 87 whose XZ sectional surface has a U-like shape, and are severally supported in a noncontact manner via a clearance of, for example, around several μm via the air pad (not shown) with respect to corresponding Y-axis stator 86 or 87. Each of Y-axis movers 82, 84, 83 and 85 is composed of, for example, an armature unit that incorporates armature coils placed at a predetermined distance along the Y-axis direction. That is, in the embodiment, Y-axis movers 82 and 84 made up of the armature units and Y-axis stator 86 made up of the magnetic pole unit constitute moving coil type Y-axis linear motors respectively. Similarly, Y-axis movers 83 and 85 and Y-axis stator 87 constitute moving coil type Y-axis linear motors respectively. In the following description, each of the four Y-axis linear motors described above is referred to as a Y-axis linear motor 82, a Y-axis linear motor 84, a Y-axis linear motor 83 and a Y-axis linear motor 85 as needed, using the same reference codes as their movers 82, 84, 83 and 85.

Movers 82 and 83 of two Y-axis linear motors 82 and 83 out of the four Y-axis linear motors are respectively fixed to one end and the other end in a longitudinal direction of an X-axis stator 80 that extends in the X-axis direction. Further, movers 84 and 85 of the remaining two Y-axis linear motors 84 and 85 are fixed to one end and the other end of an X-axis stator 81 that extends in the X-axis direction. Accordingly, X-axis stators 80 and 81 are driven along the Y-axis by a pair of Y-axis linear motors 82 and 83 and a pair of Y-axis linear motors 84 and 85 respectively.

Each of X-axis stators 80 and 81 is composed of, for example, an armature unit that incorporates armature coils placed at a predetermined distance along the X-axis direction.

One X-axis stator, X-axis stator 81 is arranged in a state of being inserted in an opening (not shown) formed at a stage main section 91 (not shown in FIG. 2, refer to FIG. 1) that constitutes part of wafer stage WST. Inside the opening of stage main section 91, for example, a magnetic pole unit, which has a permanent magnet group that is made up of a plurality of sets of a north pole magnet and a south pole magnet placed at a predetermined distance and alternately along the X-axis direction, is arranged. This magnetic pole unit and X-axis stator 81 constitute a moving magnet type X-axis linear motor that drives stage main section 91 in the X-axis direction. Similarly, the other X-axis stator, X-axis stator 80 is arranged in a state of being inserted in an opening formed at a stage main section 92 (not shown in FIG. 2, refer to FIG. 1) that constitutes part of measurement stage MST. Inside the opening of stage main section 92, a magnetic pole unit, which is similar to the magnetic pole unit on the wafer stage WST side (stage main section 91 side), is arranged. This magnetic pole unit and X-axis stator 80 constitute a moving magnet type X-axis linear motor that drives measurement stage MST in the X-axis direction.

In the embodiment, each of the linear motors described above that constitute stage drive system 124 is controlled by main controller 20 shown in FIG. 6. Incidentally, each linear motor is not limited to either one of the moving magnet type or the moving coil type, and the types can appropriately be selected as needed.

Incidentally, by making thrust forces severally generated by a pair of Y-axis linear motors 84 and 85 be slightly different, yawing (rotation quantity in the θz direction) of wafer stage WST can be controlled. Further, by making thrust forces severally generated by a pair of Y-axis linear motors 82 and 83 be slightly different, yawing of measurement stage MST can be controlled.

Wafer stage WST includes stage main section 91 previously described and a wafer table WTB that is mounted on stage main section 91. Wafer table WTB and stage main section 91 are finely driven relative to base board 12 and X-axis stator 81 in the Z-axis direction, the θx direction, and the θy direction by a Z leveling mechanism (not shown) (including, for example, a voice coil motor and the like). More specifically, wafer table WTB is finely movable in the Z-axis direction and can also be inclined (tilted) with respect to the XY plane (or the image plane of projection optical system PL). Incidentally, in FIG. 6, stage drive system 124 is shown including each linear motor, the Z leveling mechanism, and the drive system of measurement stage MST described above. Further, wafer table WTB can also be configured finely movable in at least one of the X-axis, the Y-axis, and the θz directions.

On wafer table WTB, a wafer holder (not shown) that holds wafer W by vacuum suction or the like is arranged. The wafer holder may also be formed integrally with wafer table WTB, but in the embodiment, the wafer holder and wafer table WTB are separately configured, and the wafer holder is fixed inside a recessed portion of wafer table WTB, for example, by vacuum suction or the like. Further, on the upper surface of wafer table WTB, a plate (liquid repellent plate) 28 is arranged, which has the surface (liquid repellent surface) substantially flush with the surface of a wafer mounted on the wafer holder to which liquid repellent processing with respect to liquid Lq is performed, has a rectangular outer shape (contour), and has a circular opening that is formed in the center portion and is slightly larger than the wafer holder (a mounting area of the wafer). Plate 28 is made of materials with a low coefficient of thermal expansion, such as glasses or ceramics (such as Zerodur (the brand name) of Schott AG, Al2O3, or TiC), and on the surface of plate 28, a liquid repellent film is formed by, for example, fluorine resin materials, fluorine series resin materials such as polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon®), acrylic resin materials, or silicon series resin materials. Further, as shown in a planer view of wafer table WTB (wafer stage WST) in FIG. 4A, plate 28 has a first liquid repellent area 28 a whose outer shape (contour) is rectangular enclosing a circular opening, and a second liquid repellent area 28 b that has a rectangular frame (annular) shape placed around the first liquid repellent area 28 a. On the first liquid repellent area 28 a, for example, at the time of an exposure operation, at least part of a liquid immersion area 14 that is protruded from the surface of the wafer is formed, and on the second liquid repellent area 28 b, scales for an encoder system (to be described later) are formed. Incidentally, at least part of the surface of plate 28 does not have to be flush with the surface of the wafer, that is, may have a different height from that of the surface of the wafer. Further, plate 28 may be a single plate, but in the embodiment, plate 28 is configured by combining a plurality of plates, for example, first and second liquid repellent plates that correspond to the first liquid repellent area 28 a and the second liquid repellent area 28 b respectively. In the embodiment, pure water is used as liquid Lq as is described above, and therefore, hereinafter the first liquid repellent area 28 a and the second liquid repellent area 28 b are also referred to as a first water repellent plate 28 a and a second water repellent plate 28 b.

In this case, exposure light IL is irradiated to the first water repellent plate 28 a on the inner side, while exposure light IL is hardly irradiated to the second water repellent plate 28 b on the outer side. Taking this fact into consideration, in the embodiment, a first water repellent area to which water repellent coat having sufficient resistance to exposure light IL (light in a vacuum ultraviolet region, in this case) is applied is formed on the surface of the first water repellent plate 28 a, and a second water repellent area to which water repellent coat having resistance to exposure light IL inferior to the first water repellent area is applied is formed on the surface of the second water repellent plate 28 b. In general, since it is difficult to apply water repellent coat having sufficient resistance to exposure light IL (light in a vacuum ultraviolet region, in this case) to a glass plate, it is effective to separate the water repellent plate into two sections in this manner, i.e. the first water repellent plate 28 a and the second water repellent plate 28 b around it. Incidentally, the present invention is not limited to this, and two types of water repellent coat that have different resistance to exposure light IL may also be applied on the upper surface of the same plate in order to form the first water repellent area and the second water repellent area. Further, the same kind of water repellent coat may be applied to the first and second water repellent areas. For example, only one water repellent area may also be formed on the same plate.

Further, as is obvious from FIG. 4A, at the end portion on the +Y side of the first water repellent plate 28 a, a rectangular cutout is formed in the center portion in the X-axis direction, and a measurement plate 30 is embedded inside the rectangular space (inside the cutout) that is enclosed by the cutout and the second water repellent plate 28 b. A fiducial mark FM is formed in the center in the longitudinal direction of measurement plate 30 (on a centerline LL of wafer table WTB), and a pair of aerial image measurement slit patterns (slit-shaped measurement patterns) SL are formed in the symmetrical placement with respect to the center of fiducial mark FM on one side and the other side in the X-axis direction of fiducial mark FM. As each of aerial image measurement slit patterns SL, an L-shaped slit pattern having sides along the Y-axis direction and X-axis direction can be used, as an example.

Further, as shown in FIG. 4B, at the wafer stage WST section below each of aerial image measurement slit patterns SL, an L-shaped housing 36 in which an optical system containing an objective lens, a mirror, a relay lens and the like is housed is attached in a partially embedded state penetrating through part of the inside of wafer table WTB and stage main section 91. Housing 36 is arranged in pairs corresponding to the pair of aerial image measurement slit patterns SL, although omitted in the drawing.

The optical system inside housing 36 guides illumination light IL that has been transmitted through aerial image measurement slit pattern SL along an L-shaped route and emits the light toward a −Y direction. Incidentally, in the following description, the optical system inside housing 36 is described as a light-transmitting system 36 by using the same reference code as housing 36 for the sake of convenience.

Moreover, on the upper surface of the second water repellent plate 28 b, multiple grid lines are directly formed in a predetermine pitch along each of four sides. More specifically, in areas on one side and the other side in the X-axis direction of the second water repellent plate 28 b (both sides in the horizontal direction in FIG. 4A), Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 are formed, respectively. Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 are each composed of a reflective grating (e.g. diffraction grating) having a periodic direction in the Y-axis direction in which grid lines 38 having the longitudinal direction in the X-axis direction are formed in a predetermined pitch along a direction parallel to the Y-axis (Y-axis direction).

Similarly, in areas on one side and the other side in the Y-axis direction of the second water repellent plate 28 b (both sides in the vertical direction in FIG. 4A), X scales 39X1 and 39X2 are formed respectively. X scales 39X1 and 39X2 are each composed of a reflective grating (e.g. diffraction grating) having a periodic direction in the X-axis direction in which grid lines 37 having the longitudinal direction in the Y-axis direction are formed in a predetermined pitch along a direction parallel to the X-axis (X-axis direction).

As each of the scales, the scale made up of a reflective diffraction grating RG (refer to FIG. 7) that is created by, for example, hologram or the like on the surface of the second water repellent plate 28 b is used. In this case, each scale has gratings made up of narrow slits, grooves or the like that are marked at a predetermined distance (pitch) as graduations. The type of diffraction grating used for each scale is not limited, and not only the diffraction grating made up of grooves or the like that are mechanically formed, but also, for example, the diffraction grating that is created by exposing interference fringe on a photosensitive resin may be used. However, each scale is created by marking the graduations of the diffraction grating, for example, in a pitch between 138 nm to 4 μm, for example, a pitch of 1 μm on a thin plate shaped glass. These scales are covered with the liquid repellent film (water repellent film) described above. Incidentally, the pitch of the grating is shown much wider in FIG. 4A than the actual pitch, for the sake of convenience. The same is true also in other drawings.

In this manner, in the embodiment, since the second water repellent plate 28 b itself constitutes the scales, a glass plate with low-thermal expansion is to be used as the second water repellent plate 28 b. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and a scale member made up of a glass plate or the like with low-thermal expansion on which a grating is formed may also be fixed on the upper surface of wafer table WTB, by a plate spring (or vacuum suction) or the like so as to prevent local shrinkage/expansion. In this case, a water repellent plate to which the same water repellent coat is applied on the entire surface may be used instead of plate 28. Or, wafer table WTB may also be formed by a low thermal expansion material, and in such a case, a pair of Y scales and a pair of X scales may be directly formed on the upper surface of wafer table WTB.

Incidentally, in order to protect the diffraction grating, it is also effective to cover the grating with a glass plate with low thermal expansion that has liquid repellency. In this case, the thickness of the glass plate, for example, is 1 mm, and the glass plate is set on the upper surface of the wafer table WST so that its surface is at the same height same as the wafer surface. Accordingly, the distance between the surface of wafer W held on wafer stage WST and the grating surface of the scale in the Z-axis direction is 1 mm.

Incidentally, a lay out pattern is arranged for deciding the relative position between an encoder head and a scale near the edge of the scale (to be described later). The lay out pattern is configured from grid lines that have different reflectivity, and when the encoder head scans the pattern, the intensity of the output signal of the encoder changes. Therefore, a threshold value is determined beforehand, and the position where the intensity of the output signal exceeds the threshold value is detected. Then, the relative position between the encoder head and the scale is set, with the detected position as a reference.

In the embodiment, main controller 20 can obtain the displacement of wafer stage WST in directions of six degrees of freedom (the Z, X, Y, θz, θx, and θy directions) in the entire stroke area from the measurement results of interferometer system 118 (refer to FIG. 6). In this case, interferometer system 118 includes X interferometers 126 to 128, Y interferometer 16, and Z interferometers 43A and 43B.

To the −Y edge surface and the −X edge surface of wafer table WTB, mirror-polishing is applied, respectively, and a reflection surface 17 a and a reflection surface 17 b shown in FIG. 2 are formed. By severally projecting an interferometer beam (measurement beam) to reflection surface 17 a and reflection surface 17 b and receiving a reflected light of each beam, Y interferometer 16 and X interferometers 126, 127, and 128 (X interferometers 126 to 128 are not shown in FIG. 1, refer to FIG. 2) of interferometer system 118 (refer to FIG. 6) measure a displacement of each reflection surface from a datum position (generally, a fixed mirror is placed on the side surface of projection unit PU, and the surface is used as a reference surface), that is, positional information of wafer stage WST within the XY plane, and the measurement values are supplied to main controller 20. In the embodiment, as it will be described later on, as each interferometer a multiaxial interferometer that has a plurality of measurement axes is used with an exception for a part of the interferometers.

Meanwhile, to the side surface on the −Y side of stage main section 91, a movable mirror 41 having the longitudinal direction in the X-axis direction is attached via a kinematic support mechanism (not shown), as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4B.

A pair of Z interferometers 43A and 43B (refer to FIGS. 1 and 2) that configures a part of interferometer system 118 (refer to FIG. 6) and irradiates measurement beams on movable mirror 41 is arranged facing movable mirror 41. To be more specific, as it can be seen when viewing FIGS. 2 and 4B together, movable mirror 41 is designed so that the length in the X-axis direction is longer than reflection surface 17 a of wafer table WTB by at least the interval of Z interferometers 43A and 43B. Further, movable mirror 41 is composed of a member having a hexagonal cross-section shape as in a rectangle and an isosceles trapezoid that has been integrated. Mirror-polishing is applied to the surface on the −Y side of movable mirror 41, and three reflection surfaces 41 b, 41 a, and 41 c are formed.

Reflection surface 41 a configures the edge surface on the −Y side of movable mirror 41, and reflection surface 41 a is parallel with the XZ plane and also extends in the X-axis direction. Reflection surface 41 b configures a surface adjacent to the +Z side of reflection surface 41 a, and reflection surface 41 b is parallel with a plane inclined in a clockwise direction in FIG. 4B at a predetermined angle with respect to the XZ plane and also extends in the X-axis direction. Reflection surface 41 c configures a surface adjacent to the −Z side of reflection surface 41 a, and is arranged symmetrically with reflection surface 41 b, with reflection surface 41 b in between.

As it can be seen when viewing FIGS. 1 and 2 together, Z interferometers 43A and 43B are placed apart on one side and the other side of Y interferometer 16 in the X-axis direction at a substantially equal distance and at positions slightly lower than Y interferometer 16, respectively.

From each of the Z interferometers 43A and 43B, as shown in FIG. 1, measurement beam B1 along the Y-axis direction is projected toward reflection surface 41 b, and measurement beam B2 along the Y-axis direction is projected toward reflection surface 41 c (refer to FIG. 4B). In the embodiment, fixed mirror 47A having a reflection surface orthogonal to measurement beam B1 reflected off reflection surface 41 b and a fixed mirror 47B having a reflection surface orthogonal to measurement beam B2 reflected off reflection surface 41 c are arranged, each extending in the X-axis direction at a position distanced apart from movable mirror 41 in the −Y-direction by a predetermined distance in a state where the fixed mirrors do not interfere with measurement beams B1 and B2.

Fixed mirrors 47A and 47B are supported, for example, by the same support body (not shown) arranged in the frame (not shown) which supports projection unit PU. Incidentally, fixed mirrors 47A and 47B can be arranged in the measurement frame or the like previously described. Further, in the embodiment, movable mirror 41 having three reflection surfaces 41 b, 41 a, and 41 c and fixed mirrors 47A and 47B were arranged, however, the present invention is not limited to this, and for example, a configuration in which a movable mirror having an inclined surface of 45 degrees is arranged on the side surface of stage main section 91 and a fixed mirror is placed above wafer stage WST can be employed. In this case, the fixed mirror can be arranged in the support body previously described or in the measurement frame.

Y interferometer 16, as shown in FIG. 2, projects measurement beams B4 1 and B4 2 on reflection surface 17 a of wafer table WTB along a measurement axis in the Y-axis direction spaced apart by an equal distance to the −X side and the +X side from a straight line that is parallel to the Y-axis which passes through the projection center (optical axis AX, refer to FIG. 1) of projection optical system PL, and by receiving each reflected light, detects the position of wafer table WTB in the Y-axis direction (a Y position) at the irradiation point of measurement beams B4 1 and B4 2. Incidentally, in FIG. 1, measurement beams B4 1 and B4 2 are representatively shown as measurement beam B4.

Further, Y interferometer 16 projects a measurement beam B3 toward reflection surface 41 a along a measurement axis in the Y-axis direction with a predetermined distance in the Z-axis direction spaced between measurement beams B4 1 and B4 2, and by receiving measurement beam B3 reflected off reflection surface 41 a, detects the Y position of reflection surface 41 a (more specifically wafer stage WST) of movable mirror 41.

Main controller 20 computes the Y position (or to be more precise, displacement A Y in the Y-axis direction) of reflection surface 17 a, or more specifically, wafer table WTB (wafer stage WST), based on an average value of the measurement values of the measurement axes corresponding to measurement beams B4 1 and B4 2 of Y interferometer 16. Further, main controller 20 computes displacement (yawing amount) Δθz(Y) in the θz direction of wafer stage WST, based on a difference of the measurement values of the measurement axes corresponding to measurement beams B4 1 and B4 2. Further, main controller 20 computes displacement (pitching amount) Δθx in the θx direction of wafer stage WST, based on the Y position (displacement ΔY in the Y-axis direction) of reflection surface 17 a and reflection surface 41 a.

Further, as shown in FIG. 2, X interferometer 126 projects measurement beams B5 1 and B5 2 on wafer table WTB along the dual measurement axes spaced apart from straight line LH previously described by the same distance, and based on the measurement values of the measurement axes corresponding to measurement beams B5 1 and B5 2, main controller 20 computes a position (an X position, or to be more precise, displacement ΔX in the X-axis direction) of wafer stage WST in the X-axis direction. Further, main controller 20 computes displacement (yawing amount) Δz(X) of wafer stage WST in the θz direction from a difference of the measurement values of the measurement axes corresponding to measurement beams B5 1 and B5 2. Incidentally, Δθz(X) obtained from X interferometer 126 and Δθz(Y) obtained from Y interferometer 16 are equal to each other, and represents displacement (yawing amount) Δθz of wafer stage WST in the θz direction.

Further, as is indicated in a dotted line in FIG. 2, a measurement beam B7 is emitted from X interferometer 128 along a measurement axis parallel to the X-axis. X interferometer 128 actually projects measurement beam B7 on reflection surface 17 b of wafer table WTB located in the vicinity of an unloading position UP and a loading position LP along a measurement axis, which is parallel to the X-axis and joins unloading position UP and loading position LP (refer to FIG. 3) as in the description later on. Further, as shown in FIG. 2, a measurement beam B6 from X interferometer 127 is projected on reflection surface 17 b of wafer table WTB. Measurement beam B6 is actually projected on reflection surface 17 b of wafer table WTB along a measurement axis parallel to the X-axis that passes through the detection center of a primary alignment system AL1.

Main controller 20 can obtain displacement ΔX of wafer table WTB in the X-axis direction from the measurement values of length measurement beam B6 of X interferometer 127 and the measurement values of length measurement beam B7 of X interferometer 128. However, the three X interferometers 126, 127, and 128 are placed differently regarding the Y-axis direction, and X interferometer 126 is used at the time of exposure as shown in FIG. 27, X interferometer 127 is used at the time of wafer alignment as shown in FIG. 34 and the like, and X interferometer 128 is used at the time of wafer loading shown in FIG. 32 and wafer unloading shown in FIG. 30.

Further from Z interferometers 43A and 43B, measurement beams B1 and B2 that proceed along the Y-axis are projected toward movable mirror 41, respectively. These measurement beams B1 and B2 are incident on reflection surfaces 41 b and 41 c of movable mirror 41, respectively, at a predetermined angle of incidence (the angle is to be θ/2). Then, measurement beams B1 and B2 are reflected off reflection surfaces 41 b and 41 c, respectively, and are incident on the reflection surfaces of fixed mirrors 47A and 47B perpendicularly. And then, measurement beams B1 and B2, which were reflected off the reflection surface of fixed mirrors 47A and 47B, are reflected off reflection surfaces 41 b and 41 c again (returns the optical path at the time of incidence), respectively, and are received by Z interferometers 43A and 43B.

In this case, when displacement of wafer stage WST (more specifically movable mirror 41) in the Y-axis direction is ΔYo and displacement in the Z-axis direction is ΔZo, an optical path length change ΔL1 of measurement beam B1 and an optical path length change ΔL2 of measurement beam B2 received at of Z interferometers 43A and 43B can respectively be expressed as in formulas (1) and (2) below.
ΔL1=ΔYo*(1+cos θ)−ΔZo*sin θ  (1)
ΔL2=ΔYo*(1+cos θ)+ΔZo*sin θ  (2)

Accordingly, from formulas (1) and (2), ΔZo and ΔYo can be obtained using the following formulas (3) and (4).
ΔZo=(ΔL2−ΔL1)/2 sin θ  (3)
ΔYo=(ΔL1+ΔL2)/{2(1+cos θ)}  (4)

Displacements ΔZo and ΔYo above can be obtained with Z interferometers 43A and 43B. Therefore, displacement which is obtained using Z interferometer 43A is to be ΔZoR and ΔYoR, and displacement which is obtained using Z interferometer 43B is to be ΔZoL and ΔYoL. And the distance between measurement beams B1 and B2 projected by Z interferometers 43A and 43B, respectively, in the X-axis direction is to be a distance D (refer to FIG. 2). Under such premises, displacement (yawing amount) Δθz of movable mirror 41 (more specifically wafer stage WST) in the θz direction and displacement (rolling amount) Δθy of movable mirror 41 (more specifically wafer stage WST) in the θy direction can be obtained by the following formulas (5) and (6).
Δθz≅(ΔYoR−ΔYoL)/D  (5)
Δθy≅(ΔZoL−ΔZoR)/D  (6)

Accordingly, by using the formulas (3) to (6) above, main controller 20 can compute displacement of wafer stage WST in four degree of freedom, ΔZo, ΔYo, Δθz, and Δθy, based on the measurement results of Z interferometers 43A and 43B.

In the manner described above, from the measurement results of interferometer system 118, main controller 20 can obtain displacement of wafer stage WST in directions of six degrees of freedom (Z, X, Y, θz, θx, and θy directions). Incidentally, in the embodiment, interferometer system 118 could measure the positional information of wafer stage WST in directions of six degrees of freedom, however, the measurement direction is not limited to directions of six degrees of freedom, and the measurement direction can be directions of five degrees of freedom or less.

Incidentally, as the main error cause of an interferometer, there is an effect of air fluctuation which occurs by a temperature change and a temperature gradient of the atmosphere on a beam optical path. When a wavelength λ of light changes from λ to λ+Δλ by air fluctuation, because the change of a phase difference KΔL due to a minute change Δλ of this wavelength is wave number K=2π/λ, 2πΔL Δλ/λ2 can be obtained. In this case, when wavelength of light λ=1 μm and minute change Δλ=1 nm, the phase change becomes 2π*100 with respect to an optical path difference ΔL=100 mm. This phase change corresponds to displacement which is 100 times the measurement unit. In the case the optical path length which is set is long as is described, the interferometer is greatly affected by the air fluctuation which occurs in a short time, and is inferior in short-term stability. In such a case, it is desirable to use an encoder.

Incidentally, in the embodiment, the case has been described where wafer stage WST (91, WTB) is a single stage that can move in six degrees of freedom, however, the present invention is not limited to this, and wafer stage WST can be configured including stage main section 91 which can move freely in the XY plane, and wafer table WTB mounted on stage main section 91 that can be finely driven relative to stage main section 91 at least in the Z-axis direction, the θx direction, and the θy direction. In this case, movable mirror 41 described earlier is arranged in wafer table WTB. Further, instead of reflection surface 17 a and reflection surface 17 b, a movable mirror consisting of a plane mirror can be arranged in wafer table WTB.

However, in the embodiment, positional information (positional information in directions of three degrees of freedom including rotary information in the θz direction) of wafer stage WST (wafer table WTB) in the XY plane is mainly measured by an encoder system described later on, and the measurement values of interferometer 16, 126, and 127 are used secondarily as backup or the like, such as in the case of correcting (calibrating) a long-term change (due to, for example, temporal deformation of a scale) of the measurement values of the encoder system, and in the case of output abnormality in the encoder system. Incidentally, in the embodiment, of the positional information of wafer stage WST in directions of six degrees of freedom, positional information in directions of three degrees of freedom including the X-axis direction, the Y-axis direction and the θz direction is measured by the encoder system described later on, and the remaining directions of three degrees of freedom, or more specifically, the positional information in the Z-axis direction, the θx direction, and the E y direction is measured by a measurement system which will also be described later that has a plurality of Z sensors. Positional information of the remaining directions of three degrees of freedom can be measured by both the measurement system and interferometer system 118. For example, positional information in the Z-axis direction and the θy direction can be measured by the measurement system, and positional information in the θx direction can be measured by interferometer system 118.

Incidentally, at least part of interferometer system 118 (such as an optical system) may be arranged at the main frame that holds projection unit PU, or may also be arranged integrally with projection unit PU that is supported in a suspended state as is described above, however, in the embodiment, interferometer system 118 is to be arranged at the measurement frame described above.

Measurement stage MST includes stage main section 92 previously described, and measurement table MTB mounted on stage main section 92. Measurement table MTB is mounted on stage main section 92, via the Z leveling mechanism (not shown). However, the present invention is not limited to this, and for example, measurement stage MST can employ the so-called coarse and fine movement structure in which measurement table MTB can be finely driven in the X-axis direction, the Y-axis direction, and the θz direction with respect to stage main section 92, or measurement table MTB can be fixed to stage main section 92, and all of measurement stage MST including measurement table MTB and stage main section 92 can be configured drivable in directions of six degrees of freedom.

Various measurement members are arranged at measurement table MTB (and stage main section 92). As such measurement members, for example, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 5A, members such as an uneven illuminance measuring sensor 94 that has a pinhole-shaped light-receiving section which receives illumination light IL on an image plane of projection optical system PL, an aerial image measuring instrument 96 that measures an aerial image (projected image) of a pattern projected by projection optical system PL, a wavefront aberration measuring instrument 98 by the Shack-Hartman method that is disclosed in, for example, the pamphlet of International Publication No. WO 03/065428 and the like are employed.

As wavefront aberration measuring instrument 98, the one disclosed in, for example, the pamphlet of International Publication No. WO 99/60361 (the corresponding EP Patent Application Publication No. 1 079 223) can also be used. As irregular illuminance sensor 94, the configuration similar to the one that is disclosed in, for example, Kokai (Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication) No. 57-117238 (the corresponding U.S. Pat. No. 4,465,368) and the like can be used. Further, as aerial image measuring instrument 96, the configuration similar to the one that is disclosed in, for example, Kokai (Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication) No. 2002-014005 (the corresponding U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2002/0041377) and the like can be used. Incidentally, three measurement members (94, 96 and 98) are to be arranged at measurement stage MST in the embodiment, however, the types and/or the number of measurement members are/is not limited to them. As the measurement members, for example, measurement members such as a transmittance measuring instrument that measures a transmittance of projection optical system PL, and/or a measuring instrument that observes local liquid immersion unit 8, for example, nozzle unit 32 (or tip lens 191) or the like may also be used. Furthermore, members different from the measurement members such as a cleaning member that cleans nozzle unit 32, tip lens 191 or the like may also be mounted on measurement stage MST.

In the embodiment, as it can be seen from FIG. 5A, the sensors that are frequently used such as irregular illuminance sensor 94 and aerial image measuring instrument 96 are placed on a centerline CL (Y-axis passing through the center) of measurement stage MST. Therefore, in the embodiment, measurement using these sensors can be performed by moving measurement stage MST only in the Y-axis direction without moving the measurement stage in the X-axis direction.

In addition to each of the sensors described above, an illuminance monitor that has a light-receiving section having a predetermined area size that receives illumination light IL on the image plane of projection optical system PL may also be employed, which is disclosed in, for example, Kokai (Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication) No. 11-016816 (the corresponding U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2002/0061469) and the like. The illuminance monitor is also preferably placed on the centerline.

Incidentally, in the embodiment, liquid immersion exposure is performed in which wafer W is exposed with exposure light (illumination light) IL via projection optical system PL and liquid (water) Lq, and accordingly irregular illuminance sensor 94 (and the illuminance monitor), aerial image measuring instrument 96 and wavefront aberration measuring instrument 98 that are used in measurement using illumination light IL receive illumination light IL via projection optical system PL and water. Further, only part of each sensor such as the optical system may be mounted on measurement table MTB (and stage main section 92), or the entire sensor may be placed on measurement table MTB (and stage main section 92).

As shown in FIG. 5B, a frame-shaped attachment member 42 is fixed to the end surface on the −Y side of stage main section 92 of measurement stage MST. Further, to the end surface on the −Y side of stage main section 92, a pair of photodetection systems 44 are fixed in the vicinity of the center position in the X-axis direction inside an opening of attachment member 42, in the placement capable of facing a pair of light-transmitting systems 36 described previously. Each of photodetection systems 44 is composed of an optical system such as a relay lens, a light receiving element such as a photomultiplier tube, and a housing that houses them. As it can be easily imagined from FIGS. 4B and 5B and the description so far, in the embodiment, in a state where wafer stage WST and measurement stage MST are closer together within a predetermined distance in the Y-axis direction (including a contact state), illumination light IL that has been transmitted through each aerial image measurement slit pattern SL of measurement plate 30 is guided by each light-transmitting system 36 and received by the light-receiving element of each photodetection system 44. That is, measurement plate 30, light-transmitting systems 36 and photodetection systems 44 constitute an aerial image measuring unit 45 (refer to FIG. 6), which is similar to the one disclosed in Kokai (Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication) No. 2002-014005 (the corresponding U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2002/0041377) referred to previously, and the like.

On attachment member 42, a confidential bar (hereinafter, shortly referred to as a “CD bar”) 46 that is made up of a bar-shaped member having a rectangular sectional shape and serves as a reference member is arranged extending in the X-axis direction.

CD bar 46 is kinematically supported on measurement stage MST by a full-kinematic mount structure. Since CD bar 46 serves as a prototype standard (measurement standard), an optical glass ceramic that has a low thermal expansion, such as Zerodur (the brand name) of Schott AG is employed as the material. The flatness degree of the upper surface (the surface) of CD bar 46 is set high to be around the same level as a so-called datum plane plate. Further, as shown in FIG. 5A, a reference grating (e.g. diffraction grating) 52 whose periodic direction is the Y-axis direction is respectively formed in the vicinity of the end portions on one side and the other side in the longitudinal direction of CD bar 46. The pair of reference gratings 52 are formed placed apart from each other at a predetermined distance (which is to be “L”) in the symmetrical placement with respect to the center in the X-axis direction of CD bar 46, that is, centerline CL described above. For example, distance L is distance more than 400 mm incidentally.

Further, on the upper surface of CD bar 46, a plurality of reference marks M are formed in the placement as shown in FIG. 5A. The plurality of reference marks M are formed in three-row arrays in the Y-axis direction in the same pitch, and the array of each row is formed being shifted from each other by a predetermined distance in the X-axis direction. As each of reference marks M, a two-dimensional mark having a size that can be detected by a primary alignment system and secondary alignment systems (to be described later) is used. Reference mark M may also be different in shape (constitution) from fiducial mark FM, but in the embodiment, reference mark M and fiducial mark FM have the same constitution and also they have the same constitution with that of an alignment mark of wafer W. Incidentally, in the embodiment, the surface of CD bar 46 and the surface of measurement table MTB (which may include the measurement members described above) are also covered with a liquid repellent film (water repellent film) severally.

Also on the +Y end surface and the −X end surface of measurement table MTB, reflection surfaces 19 a and 19 b are formed similar to wafer table WTB as is described above (refer to FIGS. 2 and 5A). By projecting an interferometer beam (measurement beam), as shown in FIG. 2, on reflection surfaces 19 a and 19 b and receiving a reflected light of each interferometer beam, a Y interferometer 18 and an X interferometer 130 (X-axis interferometer 130 is not shown in FIG. 1, refer to FIG. 2) of interferometer system 118 (refer to FIG. 6) measure a displacement of each reflection surface from a datum position, that is, positional information of measurement stage MST (e.g. including at least positional information in the X-axis and Y-axis directions and rotation information in the θz direction), and the measurement values are supplied to main controller 20.

In exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment, in actual, a primary alignment system AL1 is placed on straight line LV passing through the center of projection unit PU (optical axis AX of projection optical system PL, which also coincides with the center of exposure area IA in the embodiment) and being parallel to the Y-axis, and has a detection center at a position that is spaced apart from the optical axis at a predetermined distance on the −Y side as shown in FIG. 3, although omitted in FIG. 1 from the viewpoint of avoiding intricacy of the drawing. Primary alignment system AL1 is fixed to the lower surface of a main frame (not shown) via a support member 54. On one side and the other side in the X-axis direction with primary alignment system AL1 in between, secondary alignment systems AL2 1 and AL2 2, and AL2 3 and AL2 4 whose detection centers are substantially symmetrically placed with respect to straight line LV are severally arranged. That is, five alignment systems AL1 and AL2 1 to AL2 4 are placed so that their detection centers are placed at different positions in the X-axis direction, that is, placed along the X-axis direction.

As is representatively shown by secondary alignment system AL2 4, each secondary alignment system AL2 n (n=1 to 4) is fixed to a tip (turning end) of an arm 56 n (n=1 to 4) that can turn around a rotation center O as the center in a predetermined angle range in clockwise and anticlockwise directions in FIG. 3. In the embodiment, a part of each secondary alignment system AL2 n (e.g. including at least an optical system that irradiates an alignment light to a detection area and also leads the light that is generated from a subject mark within the detection area to a light-receiving element) is fixed to arm 56 n and the remaining section is arranged at the main frame that holds projection unit PU. The X-positions of secondary alignment systems AL2 1, AL2 2, AL2 3 and AL2 4 are severally adjusted by rotating around rotation center O as the center. In other words, the detection areas (or the detection centers) of secondary alignment systems AL2 1, AL2 2, AL2 3 and AL2 4 are independently movable in the X-axis direction. Accordingly, the relative positions of the detection areas of primary alignment system AL1 and secondary alignment systems AL2 1, AL2 2, AL2 3 and AL2 4 are adjustable in the X-axis direction. Incidentally, in the embodiment, the X-positions of secondary alignment systems AL2 1, AL2 2, AL2 3 and AL2 4 are to be adjusted by the rotation of the arms. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and a drive mechanism that drives secondary alignment systems AL2 1, AL2 2, AL2 3 and AL2 4 back and forth in the X-axis direction may also be arranged. Further, at least one of secondary alignment systems AL2 1, AL2 2, AL2 3 and AL2 4 can be moved not only in the X-axis direction but also in the Y-axis direction. Incidentally, since part of each secondary alignment system AL2 n is moved by arm 56 n, positional information of the part that is fixed to arm 56 n is measurable by a sensor (not shown) such as, for example, an interferometer or an encoder. The sensor may only measure position information in the X-axis direction of secondary alignment system AL2 n, or may be capable of measuring position information in another direction, for example, the Y-axis direction and/or the rotation direction (including at least one of the θx and θy directions).

On the upper surface of each arm 56 n, a vacuum pad 58 n (n=1 to 4) that is composed of a differential evacuation type air bearing is arranged. Further, arm 56 n is rotated by a rotation drive mechanism 60 n (n=1 to 4, not shown in FIG. 3, refer to FIG. 6) that includes a motor or the like, in response to instructions of main controller 20. Main controller 20 activates each vacuum pad 58 n to fix each arm 56 n to a main frame (not shown) by suction after rotation adjustment of arm 56 n. Thus, the state of each arm 56 n after rotation angle adjustment, that is, a desired positional relation of four secondary alignment systems AL2 1 to AL2 4 with respect to primary alignment system AL1 is maintained.

Incidentally, in the case a portion of the main frame facing arm 56 n is a magnetic body, an electromagnet may also be employed instead of vacuum pad 58.

In the embodiment, as each of primary alignment system AL1 and four secondary alignment systems AL2 1 to AL2 4, for example, an FIA (Field Image Alignment) system by an image processing method is used that irradiates a broadband detection beam that does not expose resist on a wafer to a subject mark, and picks up an image of the subject mark formed on a light-receiving plane by the reflected light from the subject mark and an image of an index (an index pattern on an index plate arranged within each alignment system) (not shown), using an imaging device (such as CCD), and then outputs their imaging signals. The imaging signal from each of primary alignment system AL1 and four secondary alignment systems AL2 1 to AL2 4 is supplied to main controller 20 in FIG. 6.

Incidentally, each of the alignment systems described above is not limited to the FIA system, and an alignment sensor, which irradiates a coherent detection light to a subject mark and detects a scattered light or a diffracted light generated from the subject mark or makes two diffracted lights (e.g. diffracted lights of the same order or diffracted lights being diffracted in the same direction) generated from the subject mark interfere and detects an interference light, can naturally be used alone or in combination as needed. Further, five alignment systems AL1 and AL2 1 to AL2 4 are to be arranged in the embodiment. However, the number of alignment systems is not limited to five, but may be the number equal to or more than two and equal to or less than four, or may be the number equal to or more than six, or may be the even number, not the odd number. Moreover, in the embodiment, five alignment systems AL1 and AL2 1 to AL2 4 are to be fixed to the lower surface of the main frame that holds projection unit PU, via support member 54. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and for example, the five alignment systems may also be arranged on the measurement frame described earlier. Further, because alignment systems AL1 and AL2 1 to AL2 4 detect alignment marks on wafer W and reference marks on and CD bar 46, in the embodiment, the systems will also be simply referred to as a mark detection system.

In exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment, as shown in FIG. 3, four head units 62A to 62D of the encoder system are placed in a state of surrounding nozzle unit 32 on all four sides. In actual, head units 62A to 62D are fixed to the foregoing main frame that holds projection unit PU in a suspended state via a support member, although omitted in FIG. 3 from the viewpoint of avoiding intricacy of the drawings. Incidentally, for example, in the case projection unit PU is supported in a suspended state, head units 62A to 62D may be supported in a suspended state integrally with projection unit PU, or may be arranged at the measurement frame described above.

Head units 62A and 62C are respectively placed on the +X side and −X side of projection unit PU having the longitudinal direction in the X-axis direction, and are also placed apart at the substantially same distance from optical axis AX of projection optical system PL symmetrically with respect to optical axis AX of projection optical system PL. Further, head units 62B and 62D are respectively placed on the +Y side and −Y side of projection unit PU having the longitudinal direction in the Y-axis direction and are also placed apart at the substantially same distance from optical axis AX of projection optical system PL.

As shown in FIG. 3, head units 62A and 62C are each equipped with a plurality of (six in this case) Y heads 64 that are placed at a predetermined distance on a straight line LH that passes through optical axis AX of projection optical system PL and is parallel to the X-axis, along the X-axis direction. Head unit 62A constitutes a multiple-lens (six-lens in this case) Y linear encoder (hereinafter, shortly referred to as a “Y encoder” or an “encoder” as needed) 70A (refer to FIG. 6) that measures the position in the Y-axis direction (the Y-position) of wafer stage WST (wafer table WTB) using Y scale 39Y1 described above. Similarly, head unit 62C constitutes a multiple-lens (six-lens, in this case) Y linear encoder 70C (refer to FIG. 6) that measures the Y-position of wafer stage WST (wafer table WTB) using Y scale 39Y2 described above. In this case, a distance between adjacent Y heads 64 (i.e. measurement beams) equipped in head units 62A and 62C is set shorter than a width in the X-axis direction of Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 (to be more accurate, a length of grid line 38). Further, out of a plurality of Y heads 64 that are equipped in each of head units 62A and 62C, Y head 64 located innermost is fixed to the lower end portion of barrel 40 of projection optical system PL (to be more accurate, to the side of nozzle unit 32 enclosing tip lens 191) so as to be placed as close as possible to the optical axis of projection optical system PL.

As shown in FIG. 3, head unit 62B is equipped with a plurality of (seven in this case) X heads 66 that are placed on straight line LV at a predetermined distance along the Y-axis direction. Further, head unit 62D is equipped with a plurality of (eleven in this case, out of eleven X heads, however, three X heads that overlap primary alignment system AL1 are not shown in FIG. 3) X heads 66 that are placed on straight line LV at a predetermined distance. Head unit 62B constitutes a multiple-lens (seven-lens, in this case) X linear encoder (hereinafter, shortly referred to as an “X encoder” or an “encoder” as needed) 70B (refer to FIG. 6) that measures the position in the X-axis direction (the X-position) of wafer stage WST (wafer table WTB) using X scale 39X1 described above. Further, head unit 62D constitutes a multiple-lens (eleven-lens, in this case) X linear encoder 70D (refer to FIG. 6) that measures the X-position of wafer stage WST (wafer table WTB) using X scale 39X2 described above. Further, in the embodiment, for example, at the time of alignment (to be described later) or the like, two X heads 66 out of eleven X heads 66 that are equipped in head unit 62D simultaneously face X scale 39X1 and X scale 39X2 respectively in some cases. In these cases, X scale 39X1 and X head 66 facing X scale 39X1 constitute X linear encoder 70B, and X scale 39X2 and X head 66 facing X scale 39X2 constitute X linear encoder 70D.

Herein, some of eleven X heads 66, in this case, three X heads are attached to the lower surface side of support member 54 of primary alignment system AL1. Further, a distance between adjacent X heads 66 (measurement beams) that are equipped in each of head units 62B and 62D is set shorter than a width in the Y-axis direction of X scales 39X1 and 39X2 (to be more accurate, a length of grid line 37). Further, X head 66 located innermost out of a plurality of X heads 66 that are quipped in each of head units 62B and 62D is fixed to the lower end portion of the barrel of projection optical system PL (to be more accurate, to the side of nozzle unit 32 enclosing tip lens 191) so as to be placed as close as possible to the optical axis of projection optical system PL.

Moreover, on the −X side of secondary alignment system AL2 1 and on the +X side of secondary alignment system AL2 4, Y heads 64 y 1 and 64 y 2 are respectively arranged, whose detection points are placed on a straight line parallel to the X-axis that passes through the detection center of primary alignment system AL1 and are substantially symmetrically placed with respect to the detection center. The distance between Y heads 64 y 1 and 64 y 2 is set substantially equal to distance L described previously. Y heads 64 y 1 and 64 y 2 face Y scales 39Y2 and 39Y1 respectively in a state where the center of wafer W on wafer stage WST is on straight line LV as shown in FIG. 3. On an alignment operation (to be described later) or the like, Y scales 39Y2 and 39Y1 are placed facing Y heads 64 y 1 and 64 y 2 respectively, and the Y-position (and the θz rotation) of wafer stage WST is measured by Y heads 64 y 1 and 64 y 2 (i.e. Y encoders 70C and 70A composed of Y heads 64 y 1 and 64 y 2).

Further, in the embodiment, at the time of baseline measurement of the secondary alignment systems (to be described later) or the like, a pair of reference gratings 52 of CD bar 46 face Y heads 64 y 1 and 64 y 2 respectively, and the Y-position of CD bar 46 is measured at the position of each of reference gratings 52 by Y heads 64 y 1 and 64 y 2 and facing reference gratings 52. In the following description, encoders that are composed of Y heads 64 y 1 and 64 y 2 facing reference gratings 52 respectively are referred to as Y-axis linear encoders 70E and 70F (refer to FIG. 6).

Six linear encoders 70A to 70F described above measure the positional information of wafer stage WST in each measurement direction at a resolution of, for example, around 0.1 nm, and the measurement values (measurement information) are supplied to main controller 20. Main controller 20 controls the position within the XY plane of wafer table WTB based on the measurement values of linear encoders 70A to 70D, and also controls the rotation in the θz direction of CD bar 46 based on the measurement values of linear encoders 70E and 70F. Incidentally, the configuration and the like of the linear encoder will be described further later in the description.

In exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment, a position measuring unit that measures positional information of wafer W in the Z-axis direction is arranged. As shown in FIG. 3, in the embodiment, as the position measuring unit, a multipoint focal position detecting system (hereinafter, shortly referred to as a “multipoint AF system”) by an oblique incident method is arranged, which is composed of an irradiation system 90 a and a photodetection system 90 b, and has the configuration similar to the one disclosed in, for example, Kokai (Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication) No. 06-283403 (the corresponding U.S. Pat. No. 5,448,332) and the like. In the embodiment, as an example, irradiation system 90 a is placed on the −Y side of the −X end portion of head unit 62C and photodetection system 90 b is placed on the −Y side of the +X end portion of head unit 62A in a state of opposing irradiation system 90 a.

A plurality of detection points of the multipoint AF system (90 a, 90 b) are placed at a predetermined distance along the X-axis direction on the surface to be detected, although it is omitted in the drawings. In the embodiment, the plurality of detection points are placed, for example, in the arrangement of a matrix having one row and M columns (M is a total number of detection points) or having two rows and N columns (N is a half of a total number of detection points). In FIG. 3, the plurality of detection points to which a detection beam is severally irradiated are not individually shown, but are shown as an elongate detection area (beam area) AF that extends in the X-axis direction between irradiation system 90 a and photodetection system 90 b. Since the length of detection area AF in the X-axis direction is set to around the same as the diameter of wafer W, position information (surface position information) in the Z-axis direction across the entire surface of wafer W can be measured by only scanning wafer W in the Y-axis direction once. Further, since detection area AF is placed between liquid immersion area 14 (exposure area IA) and the detection areas of the alignment systems (AL1, AL2 1, AL2 2, AL2 3 and AL2 4) in the Y-axis direction, the detection operations of the multipoint AF system and the alignment systems can be performed in parallel. The multipoint AF system may also be arranged on the main frame that holds projection unit PU or the like, but is to be arranged on the measurement frame described earlier in the embodiment.

Incidentally, the plurality of detection points are to be placed in one row and M columns, or two rows and N columns, but the number(s) of rows and/or columns is/are not limited to these numbers. However, in the case the number of rows is two or more, the positions in the X-axis direction of detection points are preferably made to be different even between the different rows. Moreover, the plurality of detection points is to be placed along the X-axis direction. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and all of or some of the plurality of detection points may also be placed at different positions in the Y-axis direction. For example, the plurality of detection points may also be placed along a direction that intersects both of the X-axis and the Y-axis. That is, the positions of the plurality of detection points only have to be different at least in the X-axis direction. Further, a detection beam is to be irradiated to the plurality of detection points in the embodiment, but a detection beam may also be irradiated to, for example, the entire area of detection area AF. Furthermore, the length of detection area AF in the X-axis direction does not have to be nearly the same as the diameter of wafer W.

In the embodiment, in the vicinity of detection points located at both ends out of a plurality of detection points of the multipoint AF system, that is, in the vicinity of both end portions of beam area AF, one each pair of surface position sensors for Z position measurement (hereinafter, shortly referred to as “Z sensors”), that is, a pair of Z sensors 72 a and 72 b and a pair of Z sensors 72 c and 72 d are arranged in the symmetrical placement with respect to straight line LV. Z sensors 72 a to 72 d are fixed to the lower surface of a main frame (not shown). As Z sensors 72 a to 72 d, a sensor that irradiates a light to wafer table WTB from above, receives the reflected light and measures position information of the wafer table WTB surface in the Z-axis direction orthogonal to the XY plane, as an example, an optical displacement sensor (sensor by an optical pickup method), which has the configuration like an optical pickup used in a CD drive unit, is used. Incidentally, Z sensors 72 a to 72 d may also be arranged on the measurement frame described above or the like.

Moreover, head unit 62C is equipped with a plurality of (in this case six each, which is a total of twelve) Z sensors 74 i,j (i=1, 2, j=1, 2, . . . , 6), which are placed corresponding to each other along two straight lines at a predetermined distance, the straight lines being parallel to straight line LH and are located on one side and the other side of straight line LH in the X-axis direction that connects a plurality of Y heads 64. In this case, Z sensors 74 1,j and 74 2,j that make a pair are disposed symmetrical to straight line LH. Furthermore, the plurality of pairs (in this case, six pairs) of Z sensors 74 1,j and 74 2,j and a plurality of Y heads 64 are placed alternately in the X-axis direction. As each Z sensor 74 i,j, a sensor by an optical pickup method similar to Z sensors 72 a to 72 d is used.

In this case, the distance between each pair of Z sensors 74 1,j and 74 2,j that are located symmetrically with respect to straight line LH is set to be the same distance as the distance between Z sensors 74 a and 74 b previously described. Further, a pair of Z sensors 74 1,4 and 74 2,4 are located on the same straight line in the Y-axis direction as Z sensors 72 a and 72 b.

Further, head unit 62A is equipped with a plurality of (twelve in this case) Z sensors 76 p,q (p=1, 2 and q=1, 2, . . . , 6) that are placed symmetrically to a plurality of Z sensors 74 i,j with respect to straight line LV. As each Z sensor 76 p,q, a sensor by an optical pickup method similar to Z sensors 72 a to 72 d is used. Further, a pair of Z sensors 76 1,3 and 76 2,3 are located on the same straight line in the Y-axis direction as Z sensors 72 c and 72 d. Incidentally, Z sensors 74 i,j and 76 p,q are installed, for example, at the mainframe or the measurement frame previously described. Further, in the embodiment, the measurement system that has Z sensors 72 a to 72 d, and 74 i,j and 76 p,q measures positional information of wafer stage WST in the Z-axis direction using one or a plurality of Z sensors that face the scale previously described. Therefore, in the exposure operation, Z sensors 74 i,j and 76 p,q used for position measurement are switched, according to the movement of wafer stage WST. Furthermore, in the exposure operation, Y scale 39Y1 and at least one Z sensor 76 p,q face each other, and Y scale 39Y2 and at least one Z sensor 74 i,j also face each other. Accordingly, the measurement system can measure not only positional information of wafer stage WST in the Z-axis direction, but also positional information (rolling) in the θy direction. Further, in the embodiment, each Z sensor of the measurement system detects a grating surface (a formation surface of a diffraction grating) of the scale, however, the measurement system can also detect a surface that is different from the grating surface, such as, for example, a surface of the cover glass that covers the grating surface.

Incidentally, in FIG. 3, measurement stage MST is omitted and a liquid immersion area that is formed by water Lq held in the space between measurement stage MST and tip lens 191 is shown by a reference code 14. Further, in FIG. 3, a reference code 78 indicates a local air-conditioning system that blows dry air whose temperature is adjusted to a predetermined temperature to the vicinity of a beam path of the multipoint AF system (90 a, 90 b) by, for example, downflow as is indicated by outline arrows in FIG. 3. Further, a reference code UP indicates an unloading position where a wafer on wafer table WTB is unloaded, and a reference code LP indicates a loading position where a wafer is loaded on wafer table WTB. In the embodiment, unloading position UP and loading position LP are set symmetrically with respect to straight line LV. Incidentally, unloading position UP and loading position LP may be the same position.

FIG. 6 shows the main configuration of the control system of exposure apparatus 100. The control system is mainly configured of main controller 20 composed of a microcomputer (or workstation) that performs overall control of the entire apparatus. In a memory 34 which is an auxiliary memory connecting to main controller 20, correction information, which will be described below, is stored. Incidentally, in FIG. 6, various sensors such as irregular illuminance sensor 94, aerial image measuring instrument 96 and wavefront aberration measuring instrument 98 that are arranged at measurement stage MST are collectively shown as a sensor group 99.

In the embodiment, by using encoder systems 70A to 70F (refer to FIG. 6), main controller 20 can measure a position coordinate of wafer stage WST in directions of three degree of freedom (X, Y, θz), in an effective stroke range of wafer stage WST, namely in an area where wafer stage WST moves for alignment and exposure operation.

The configuration of encoders 70A to 70F will be described now, focusing on Y encoder 70A that is enlargedly shown in FIG. 7A, as a representative. FIG. 7A shows one Y head 64 of head unit 62A that irradiates a detection light (measurement beam) to Y scale 39Y1.

Y head 64 is mainly composed of three sections, which are an irradiation system 64 a, an optical system 64 b and a photodetection system 64 c.

Irradiation system 64 a includes a light source that emits a laser beam LB in a direction inclined at an angle of 45 degrees with respect to the Y-axis and Z-axis, for example, a semiconductor laser LD, and a converging lens L1 that is placed on the optical path of laser beam LB emitted from semiconductor laser LD.

Optical system 64 b is equipped with a polarization beam splitter PBS whose separation plane is parallel to an XZ plane, a pair of reflection mirrors R1 a and R1 b, lenses L2 a and L2 b, quarter wavelength plates (hereinafter, referred to as a λ/4 plate) WP1 a and WP1 b, refection mirrors R2 a and R2 b, and the like.

Photodetection system 64 c includes a polarizer (analyzer), a photodetector, and the like.

In Y encoder 70A, laser beam LB emitted from semiconductor laser LD is incident on polarization beam splitter PBS via lens L1, and is split by polarization into two beams LB1 and LB2. Beam LB1 having been transmitted through polarization beam splitter PBS reaches reflective diffraction grating RG that is formed on Y scale 39Y1, via reflection mirror R1 a, and beam LB2 reflected off polarization beam splitter PBS reaches reflective diffraction grating RG via reflection mirror R1 b. Incidentally, “split by polarization” in this case means the splitting of an incident beam into a P-polarization component and an S-polarization component.

Predetermined-order diffraction beams that are generated from diffraction grating RG due to irradiation of beams LB1 and LB2, for example, the first-order diffraction beams are severally converted into a circular polarized light by λ/4 plates WP1 b and WP1 a via lenses L2 b and L2 a, and reflected by reflection mirrors R2 b and R2 a and then the beams pass through λ/4 plates WP1 b and WP1 a again and reach polarization beam splitter PBS by tracing the same optical path in the reversed direction.

Each of the polarization directions of the two beams that have reached polarization beam splitter PBS is rotated at an angle of 90 degrees with respect to the original direction. Therefore, the first-order diffraction beam of beam LB1 that was previously transmitted through polarization beam splitter PBS is reflected off polarization beam splitter PBS and is incident on photodetection system 64 c, and also the first-order diffraction beam of beam LB2 that was previously reflected off polarization beam splitter PBS is transmitted through polarization beam splitter PBS and is synthesized concentrically with the first-order diffraction beam of beam LB1 and is incident on photodetection system 64 c.

Then, the polarization directions of the two first-order diffraction beams described above are uniformly arranged by the analyzer inside photodetection system 64 c and the beams interfere with each other to be an interference light, and the interference light is detected by the photodetector and is converted into an electric signal in accordance with the intensity of the interference light.

Then, when Y scale 39Y1 (more specifically, wafer stage WST) moves in a measurement direction (in this case, the Y-axis direction), the phase of the two beams changes, respectively, which changes the intensity of the interference light. This change in the intensity of the interference light is detected by photodetection system 64 c, and positional information corresponding to the intensity change is output as a measurement value of Y encoder 70A. Other encoders 70B, 70C, 70D, 70E, and 70F are also configured similarly with encoder 70A.

As is obvious from the above description, in encoders 70A to 70F, since the optical path lengths of the two beams to be interfered are extremely short and also are almost equal to each other, the influence by air fluctuations can mostly be ignored. Incidentally, as each encoder, an encoder having a resolution of, for example, around 0.1 nm is used.

Incidentally, in the encoders of the embodiment, as shown in FIG. 7B, laser beam LB having a sectional shape that is elongated in the periodic direction of grating RG may also be used, as a detection light. In FIG. 7B, beam LB is overdrawn largely compared to grating RG.

Incidentally, as another form of the encoder head, there is a type in which only optical system 64 b is included in the encoder head and irradiation system 64 a and photodetection system 64 c are physically separate from optical system 64 b. In this type of encoder, the three sections are optically connected via an optical fiber.

Next, a measurement principle of an encoder will be explained in detail, with Y encoder 70A shown in FIG. 7A serving as an example. First of all, a relation between the intensity of interference light that is synthesized from two return beams LB1 and LB2 and displacement (relative displacement with Y head 64) of Y scale 39Y2 is derived.

When the two beams (beam) LB1 and LB2 are scattered by reflection grating RG that moves, the beams are subject to a frequency shift by a Doppler effect, or in other words, undergo a Doppler shift. FIG. 8A shows a scatter of light by the moving reflection surface DS. However, vectors k0 and k1 in the drawing are to be parallel with a YZ plane, and reflection surface DS is to be parallel to the Y-axis and perpendicular to the Z-axis.

Supposing that reflection surface DS moves at a velocity vector v=vy+vz, or more specifically, moves in the +Y direction at a speed Vy (=|vy|) and also in the +Z direction at a speed Vz (=|vz|). To this reflection surface, the light of wave number vector k0 is incident at an angle θ0, and the light of wave number vector k1 is scattered at an angle θ1. However, |k0|=|k1|=k. The Doppler shift (frequency difference of scattered light k1 and incident light k0) fD that incident light k0 undergoes is given in the next formula (7). 2 Π f D = ( k 1 - k 0 ) * v = 2 KVy cos [ ( θ 1 - θ 0 ) / 2 ] cos θ + 2 KVz cos [ ( θ 1 - θ 0 ) / 2 ] sin θ ( 7 )

In this case, since θ=π/2−(θ10)/2, the above formula is transformed so as to obtain the following formula (8).
2πf D =KVy(sin θ1+sin θ0)+KVz(cos θ1+cos θ0)  (8)

Reflection surface DS is displaced during time Δt by displacement vector vΔt, or more specifically, displaced in the +Y direction by a distance ΔY=VyΔt and in the +Z direction by a distance ΔZ=VzΔt. And with this displacement, the phase of scattered light k1 shifts by φ=2πfDΔt. When substituting formula (8), phase shift φ can be obtained from the following formula (9).
φ=KΔY(sin θ1+sin θ0)+KΔz(cos θ1+cos θ1)  (9)

In this case, a relation (a diffraction condition) expressed as in the following formula is valid between incident angle θ0 and scattering angle θ1.
sin θ1+sin θ0 =πλ/p  (10)

However, λ is the wavelength of the light, p is the pitch of the diffraction grating, and n is the order of diffraction. Incidentally, order of diffraction n becomes positive to a diffraction light scattered (generated) in the +Y direction, and becomes negative to a diffraction light generated in the −Y-direction, with a zero order diffraction light of scattering angle (diffraction angle) −θ0 serving as a reference. When formula (10) is substituted into formula (9), phase shift φ can be rewritten as in formula (II) below.
φ=2πnΔY/p+KΔZ(cos θ1+cos θ0)  (11)

As is obvious from formula (II) above, if reflection surface DS stops, or more specifically, ΔY=ΔZ=0, phase shift φ also becomes zero.

Using formula (II), phase shift of the two beams LB1 and LB2 are obtained. First of all, phase shift of beam LB1 will be considered. In FIG. 8B, supposing that beam LB1, which was reflected off reflection mirror R1 a, is incident on reflection grating RG at an angle θa0, and a na th order diffraction light is to be generated at an angle θa1. When the diffraction light is generated, the phase shift that the diffraction light undergoes becomes the same form as the right-hand side of formula (II). And the return beam, which is reflected off reflection mirror R2 a and follows the return path, is incident on reflection grating RG at an angle θa1. Then, a diffraction light is generated again. In this case, the diffraction light that occurs at angle θa0 and moves toward reflection mirror R1 a following the original optical path is an na th order diffraction light, which is a diffraction light of the same order as the diffraction light generated on the outward path. Accordingly, the phase shift which beam LB1 undergoes on the return path is equal to the phase shift which beam LB1 undergoes on the outward path. Accordingly, the total phase shift which beam LB1 undergoes is obtained as in the following formula (12).
φ1=4πn a ΔY/p+2KΔZ(cos θa1+cos θa0)  (12)

However, a diffraction condition was given as in the next formula (13).
sin θa1+sin θa0 =n a λ/p  (13)

Meanwhile, beam LB2 is incident on reflection grating RG at an angle θb0, and an nb th order diffraction light is generated at an angle θb1. Supposing that this diffraction light is reflected off reflection mirror R2 b and returns to reflection mirror R1 b following the same optical path. The total phase shift which beam LB2 undergoes can be obtained as in the next formula (14), similar to formula (12).
φ2=4πn b ΔY/p+2KΔZ(cos θb1+cos θb0)  (14)

However, a diffraction condition was given as in the next formula (15).
sin θb1+sin θb0 =n b λ/p  (15)

Intensity I of the interference light synthesized by the two return beams LB1 and LB2 is dependent on a phase difference φ between the two return beams LB1 and LB2 in the light receiving position of the photodetector, by I∝1+cos φ. However, the intensity of the two beams LB1 and LB2 was to be equal to each other. In this case, phase difference φ can be obtained as a sum of a difference (more specifically φ2−φ1) of phase shifts due to Y and Z displacements of each reflection grating RG of the two beams LB1 and LB2 and a phase difference (KΔL) due to optical path difference ΔL of the two beams LB1 and LB2, using a formula (12) and formula (14) as in the following formula (16).
φ=KΔL+4π(n b −n aY/p+2KΔZfa0, θa1, θb0, θb1)+φ0  (16)

In this case, a geometric factor, which is to be decided from the placement of reflection mirrors R1 a, R1 b, R2 a, and R2 b and diffraction conditions (13) and (15), was expressed as in the following formula (17).
fa0, θa1, θb0, θb1)=cos θb1+cos θb0−cos θa1−cos θa0  (17)

Further, in formula (16) above, a constant phase term, which is to be decided by other factors (e.g., a definition of the reference position of displacements ΔL, ΔY, and ΔZ), was expressed as φ0.

In this case, the encoder is to be configured so as to satisfy optical path difference ΔL=0 and a symmetry shown in the following formula (18).
θa0b0, θa1b1  (18)

In such a case, inside the parenthesis of the third term on the right-hand side of formula (16) becomes zero, and also at the same time nb=−na (=n), therefore, the following formula (19) can be obtained.
φsymY)=2πΔY/( p/4n)+φ0  (19)

From formula (19) above, it can be seen that phase difference φsym is not dependent on wavelength λ of the light. And, it can be seen that intensity I of the interference light repeats strong and weak intensities each time displacement ΔY is increased or decreased by a measurement unit (also referred to as a measurement pitch) of p/4n. Therefore, the number of times is measured of the strong and weak intensities of the interference light that accompanies displacement ΔY from a predetermined reference position. And by using a counting value (count value) cΔY, a measurement value cΔY of displacement ΔY is computed from formula (20) below.
C ΔY=(p/4n)*c ΔY  (20)

Furthermore, by splitting a sinusoidal intensity change of the interference light using interpolation instrument (an interpolator), its phase φ′(=φsym % 2π) can be measured. In this case, measurement value cΔY of displacement ΔY is computed according to the following formula (21).
C ΔY=(p/4n)*[c ΔY+(φ′−φ0)/2π]  (21)

In formula (21) above, constant phase term φ0 is to be a phase offset (however, 0≦φ0<2π), and phase φsym (ΔY=0) at the reference position of displacement ΔY is to be kept.

As it can be seen from the description so far above, by using an interpolation instrument together, displacement ΔY can be measured at a measurement resolution whose measurement unit is (p/4π) or under. The measurement resolution in this case is decided from an interpolation error or the like, due to a shift of an intensity change I(ΔY)=I(φsym(ΔY)) of the interference light from an ideal sinusoidal waveform according to displacement ΔY, which is a discretization error (also referred to as a quantization error) determined from a split unit of phase φ′. Incidentally, because the discretization unit of displacement ΔY is, for example, one in several thousand of measurement unit (p/4n), which is sufficiently small about 0.1 nm, measurement value cΔY of the encoder will be regarded as a continuous quantity unless it is noted otherwise.

Meanwhile, when wafer stage WST moves in a direction different from the Y-axis direction and a relative motion (a relative motion in a direction besides the measurement direction) occurs between head 64 and Y scale 39Y1 in a direction besides the direction that should be measured, in most cases, a measurement error occurs in Y encoder 70A due to such motion. In the description below, a mechanism of the generation of a measurement error will be considered, based on the measurement principle of the encoder described above.

In this case, the change of phase difference φ indicated by formula (16) above in two cases shown in FIGS. 9A and 9B will be considered, as a simple example. First of all, in the case of FIG. 9A, an optical axis of head 64 coincides with the Z-axis direction (head 64 is not inclined). Supposing that wafer stage WST was displaced in the Z-axis direction (ΔZ≠0, ΔY=0). In this case, because there are no changes in optical path difference ΔL, there are no changes in the first term on the right-hand side of formula (16). The second term becomes zero, according to a supposition ΔY=0. And, the third term becomes zero because it satisfies the symmetry of formula (18). Accordingly, no change occurs in phase difference φ, and further no intensity change of the interference light occurs. As a consequence, the measurement values of the encoder also do not change.

Meanwhile, in the case of FIG. 9B, the optical axis of head 64 is inclined (head 64 is inclined) with respect to the Z-axis. Supposing that wafer stage WST was displaced in the Z-axis direction from this state (ΔZ≠0, ΔY=0). In this case as well, because there are no changes in optical path difference ΔL, there are no changes in the first term on the right-hand side of formula (16). And, the second term becomes zero, according to supposition ΔY=0. However, because the head is inclined the symmetry of formula (18) will be lost, and the third term will not become zero and will change in proportion to Z displacement ΔZ. Accordingly, a change occurs in phase difference φ, and as a consequence, the measurement values change. Incidentally, even if head 64 is not gradient, for example, the symmetry of formula (18) is lost depending on the optical properties (such as telecentricity) of the head, and count values change likewise. More specifically, characteristic information of the head unit, which is a generation factor of the measurement error of the encoder system, includes not only the gradient of the head but also the optical properties as well.

Further, although it is omitted in the drawings, in the case wafer stage WST is displaced in a direction perpendicular to the measurement direction (the Y-axis direction) and the optical axis direction (the Z-axis direction), (ΔX≠0, ΔY=0, ΔZ=0), the measurement values do not change as long as the direction (longitudinal direction) in which the grid line of diffraction grating RG faces is orthogonal to the measurement direction, however, in the case the direction is not orthogonal, sensitivity occurs with a gain proportional to the angle.

Next, a case will be considered in which wafer stage WST rotates (the inclination changes), using FIGS. 10A to 10D. First of all, in the case of FIG. 10A, the optical axis of head 64 coincides with the Z-axis direction (head 64 is not inclined). Even if wafer stage WST is displaced in the +Z direction and moves to a condition shown in FIG. 10B from this state, the measurement value of the encoder does not change since the case is the same as in FIG. 9A previously described.

Next, suppose that wafer stage WST rotates around the X-axis from the state shown in FIG. 10B and moves into a state shown in FIG. 10C. In this case, since the head and the scale do not perform relative motion, or more specifically, because a change occurs in optical path difference ΔL due to the rotation of wafer stage WST even though ΔY=ΔZ=0, the measurement values of the encoder change. That is, a measurement error occurs in the encoder system due to an inclination (tilt) of wafer stage WST.

Next, suppose that wafer stage WST moves downward from a state shown in FIG. 10C and moves into a state shown in FIG. 10D. In this case, a change in optical path difference ΔL does not occur because wafer stage WST does not rotate. However, because the symmetry of formula (18) has been lost, phase difference φ changes by Z displacement ΔZ through the third term on the right-hand side of formula (16). Accordingly, the measurement values of the encoder change. Incidentally, the count value of the encoder in the case of FIG. 10D will be the same as the count value in the case of FIG. 10A.

According to a result of a simulation that the inventors and the like performed, it became clear that the measurement values of the encoder have sensitivity not only to the displacement of the scale in the Y-axis direction, which is the measurement direction but also have sensitivity to an attitude change in the θx direction (the pitching direction) and the θz direction (the yawing direction), and moreover, depend on the position change in the Z-axis direction in the case such as when the symmetry has been lost as is previously described. That is, the theoretical description previously described agreed with the result of the simulation.

Therefore, in the embodiment, correction information to correct the measurement error of each encoder caused by the relative motion of the head and the scale in the direction besides the measurement direction is acquired as follows.

a. First of all, main controller 20 drives wafer stage WST via stage drive system 124, while monitoring the measurement values of Y interferometer 16 of interferometer system 118, X interferometer 126, and Z interferometers 43A and 43B, and as shown in FIGS. 11A and 11B, makes Y head 64 located farthest to the −X side of head unit 62A face an arbitrary area (an area circled in FIG. 11A) AR of Y scale 39Y1 on the upper surface of wafer table WTB.

b. Then, based on the measurement values of Y interferometer 16 and Z interferometers 43A and 43B, main controller 20 drives wafer table WTB (wafer stage WST) so that a rolling amount θy and yawing amount θz of wafer table WTB (wafer stage WST) both become zero while a pitching amount θx also becomes a desired value α0 (in this case, α0=200 μrad), irradiates a detection light on area AR of Y scale 39Y1 from head 64 above after the drive, and stores the measurement values which correspond to a photoelectric conversion signal from head 64 which has received the reflected light in an internal memory.

c. Next, while maintaining the attitude (pitching amount θx=α0, yawing amount θz=0, rolling amount θy=0) of wafer table WTB (wafer stage WST) based on the measurement values of Y interferometer 16 and Z interferometers 43A and 43B, main controller 20 drives wafer table WTB (wafer stage WST) within a predetermined range, such as, for example, the range of −100 μm to +100 μm in the Z-axis direction as is indicated by an arrow in FIG. 11B, sequentially takes in the measurement values corresponding to the photoelectric conversion signals from head 64 which has received the reflected light at a predetermined sampling interval while irradiating a detection light on area AR of Y scale 39Y1 from head 64 during the drive, and stores the values in the internal memory.

d. Next, main controller 20 changes pitching amount θx of wafer table WTB (wafer stage WST) to (α=α0−Δα), based on the measurement values of Y interferometer 16.

e. Then, as for the attitude after the change, main controller 20 repeats an operation similar to c. described above.

f. Then, main controller 20 alternately repeats the operations of d. and e described above, and for a range where pitching amount θx is, for example, −200 μrad<θx<+200 μrad, takes in the measurement values of head 64 within the Z drive range described above at Δα(rad), at an interval of, for example, 40 μrad.

g. Next, by plotting each data within the internal memory obtained by the processes b. to e. described above on a two-dimensional coordinate system whose horizontal axis indicates a Z position and vertical axis indicates an encoder count value, sequentially linking plot points where the pitching amounts are the same, and shifting the horizontal axis in the vertical axis direction so that a line (a horizontal line in the center) which indicates a zero pitching amount passes through the origin, main controller 20 can obtain a graph (a graph that shows a change characteristic of the measurement values of the encoder (head) according to the Z leveling of the wafer stage) like the one shown in FIG. 12.

The values of the vertical axis at each point on the graph in FIG. 12 is none other than the measurement error of the encoder in each Z position, in pitching amount θx=α. Therefore, main controller 20 sees pitching amount θx, the Z position, and the encoder measurement error at each point on the graph in FIG. 12 as a table data, and stores the table data in memory 34 (refer to FIG. 6) as stage position induced error correction information. Or main controller 20 sees the measurement error as a function of Z position z and pitching amount θx, and obtains the function computing an undetermined coefficient, for example, by the least-squares method, and stores the function in memory 34 as stage position induced error correction information.

h. Next, main controller 20 drives wafer stage WST in the −X-direction by a predetermined amount via stage drive system 124 while monitoring the measurement values of X interferometer 126 of interferometer system 118, and as shown in FIG. 13, makes Y head 64 located second from the edge on the −X side of head unit 62A (the Y head next to Y head 64 whose data has already been acquired in the process described above) face area AR previously described (the area circled in FIG. 13) of Y scale 39Y1 on the upper surface of wafer table WTB.

i. Then, main controller 20 performs a process similar to the ones described above on Y head 64, and stores correction information of Y encoder 70A configured by head 64 and Y scale 39Y1 in memory 34.

j. Hereinafter, in a similar manner, main controller 20 respectively obtains correction information of Y encoder 70A configured by each remaining Y head 64 of head unit 62A and Y scale 39Y1, correction information of X encoder 70B configured by each X head 66 of head unit 62B and X scale 39X1, correction information of Y encoder 70C configured by each X head 64 of head unit 62C and Y scale 39Y2, and correction information of X encoder 70D configured by each X head 66 of head unit 62D and X scale 39X2, and stores them in memory 34.

In this case, it is important that the same area on X scale 39X1 is used on the measurement using each X head 66 of head unit 62B described above, the same area on Y scale 39Y2 is used on the measurement using each Y head 64 of head unit 62C, and the same area in X scale 39X2 is used on the measurement using each Y head 66 of head unit 62D. The reason for this is because if the correction (including the curve correction of reflection surfaces 17 a and 17 b, and reflection surfaces 41 a, 41 b, and 41 c) of each interferometer of interferometer system 118 has been completed, the attitude of wafer stage WST can be set to a desired attitude anytime based on the measurement values of the interferometers, and by using the same location of each scale, even if the scale surface is inclined, the measurement error caused by the effect of the inclination does not occur between the heads.

Further, main controller 20 performs the measurement described above for Y heads 64 y 1 and 64 y 2 using the same area on Y scale 39Y2 and 39Y1, respectively, which is the same as each Y head 64 of head units 62C and 64A described above, obtains correction information of encoder 70C configured by Y head 64 y 1 which faces Y scale 39Y2 and correction information of encoder 70A configured by Y head 64 y 2 which faces Y scale 39Y1, and stores the information in memory 34.

Next, in a similar procedure as in the case described above where the pitching amount was changed, main controller 20 sequentially changes yawing amount θz of wafer stage WST for a range of −200 μrad<θz<+200 μrad and drives wafer table WTB (wafer stage WST) in the Z-axis direction at each position within a predetermined range, such as, for example, within −100 μm˜+100 μm, while maintaining both the pitching amount and the rolling amount of wafer stage WST at zero, and during the drive, sequentially takes in the measurement values of the head at a predetermined sampling interval and stores them in the internal memory. Such a measurement is performed for all heads 64 or 66, and in a procedure similar to the one described earlier, by plotting each data within the internal memory on the two-dimensional coordinate system whose horizontal axis indicates the Z position and vertical axis indicates the encoder count value, sequentially linking plot points where the yawing amounts are the same, and shifting the horizontal axis so that a line (a horizontal line in the center) which indicates a zero pitching amount passes through the origin, main controller 20 can obtain a graph similar to the one shown in FIG. 12. Then, main controller 20 sees yawing amount θz, Z position z, and the encoder measurement error at each point on the graph as a table data, and stores the table data in memory 34 as correction information. Or, main controller 20 sees the measurement error as a function of Z position z and yawing amount θz, and obtains the function computing an undetermined coefficient, for example, by the least-squares method, and stores the function in memory 34 as correction information.

In this case, the measurement error of each encoder in the case both the pitching amount and the yawing amount of wafer stage WST are not zero when wafer stage WST is at Z position z can safely be considered to be a simple sum of the measurement error that corresponds to the pitching amount described above and the measurement error that corresponds to the yawing amount (a linear sum) when wafer stage WST is at Z position z. The reason for this is, as a result of simulation, it has been confirmed that the measurement error (count value) linearly changes according to the change of the Z position, even when the yawing is changed.

Hereinafter, to simplify the description, as for the Y heads of each Y encoder, a function of pitching amount θx, yawing amount θz, and Z position z of wafer stage WST that expresses a measurement error Δy as shown in the next formula (22) is to be obtained, and to be stored in memory 34. Further, as for the X heads of each X encoder, a function of rolling amount θy, yawing amount θz, and Z position z of wafer stage WST that expresses a measurement error Δx as shown in the next formula (23) is to be obtained, and to be stored in memory 34.
Δy=f(z, θx, θz)=θx(z−a)+θz(z−b)  (22)
Δx=g(z, θy, θz)=θy(z−c)+θz(z−d)  (23)

In formula (22) above, a is a Z-coordinate of a point where each straight line intersects on the graph in FIG. 12, and b is a Z-coordinate of a point where each straight line intersects on a graph similar to FIG. 12 in the case when the yawing amount is changed so as to acquire the correction information of the Y encoder. Further, in formula (23) above, c is a Z-coordinate of a point where each straight line intersects on a graph similar to FIG. 12 in the case when the rolling amount is changed so as to acquire the correction information of the X encoder, and d is a Z-coordinate of a point where each straight line intersects on a graph similar to FIG. 12 in the case when the yawing amount is changed so as to acquire the correction information of the X encoder.

Incidentally, because Δy and Δx described above show the degree of influence of the position of wafer stage WST in the direction besides the measurement direction (e.g. the θx direction, the θy direction, the θz direction and the Z-axis direction) on the measurement values of the Y encoder or the X encoder, in the present specification, it will be referred to as a stage position induced error, and because the stage position induced error can be used as it is as correction information, the correction information will be referred to as stage position induced error correction information.

Next, a calibration process of a head position for acquiring a position coordinate of each head in the XY plane, especially the position coordinate in the direction besides the measurement direction, which becomes a premise in processes such as a process to convert the measurement value of an encoder to be described later into positional information of wafer stage WST in the XY plane and a linkage process among a plurality of encoders, will be described. In this case, as an example, a calibration process of the position coordinate in the direction besides the measurement direction (the X-axis direction) orthogonal to the measurement direction of Y head 64 configuring each head unit 62A and 62C will be described.

First of all, on starting this calibration process, main controller 20 drives wafer stage WST so that Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 are located below head units 62A and 62C, respectively. For example, as shown in FIG. 14, Y head 64 A3, which is the third head from the left of head unit 62A, and Y head 64 C5, which is the second head from the right of head unit 62C, are made to face Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2, respectively.

Next, based on the measurement values of measurement beams B4 1 and B4 2 of Y interferometer 16, or the measurement values of Z interferometers 43A and 43B, main controller 20 rotates wafer stage WST only by a predetermined angle (the angle being θ) within the XY plane with optical axis AX of projection optical system PL serving as a center as shown by an arrow RV in FIG. 14, and acquires the measurement values of encoders 70A and 70C configured by Y heads 64 A3 and 64 C5 and Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 facing Y heads 64 A3 and 64 C5, respectively, which can be obtained during the rotation. In FIG. 14, vectors MA and MB, which correspond to the measurement values measured during the rotation of wafer stage WST by Y heads 64 A3 and 64 C5, are respectively shown.

In this case, because θ is a very small angle, MA=b*θ and MB=a*θ are valid, and a ratio MA/MB of the magnitude of vectors MA and MB are equal to a ratio a/b, which is a ratio of the distance from the rotation center to Y heads 64 A3 and 64 C5.

Therefore, main controller 20 computes distances b and a, or more specifically, the X-coordinate values of Y heads 64 A3 and 64 C5, based on predetermined angle θ obtained from the measurement values of encoders 70A and 70C and the measurement values of interferometer beams B4 1 and B4 2, respectively, or, furthermore performs a calculation based on the X-coordinate values that have been calculated, and computes the positional shift amount (more specifically, correction information of the positional shift amount) of Y heads 64 A3 and 64 C5 in the X-axis direction with respect to the design position.

Further, in the case wafer stage WST is located at the position shown in FIG. 14, in actual practice, head units 62B and 62D face X scales 39X1 and 39X2, respectively. Accordingly, on the rotation of wafer stage WST described above, main controller 20 simultaneously acquires the measurement values of X scales 39X1 and 39X2 and encoders 70B and 70D, which are configured by one X head 66 each of head units 62B and 62D that respectively face X scale 39X1 and 39X2. Then, in a manner similar to the description above, main controller 20 computes the Y-coordinate values of one X head 66 each that respectively face X scale 39X1 and 39X2, or, furthermore performs a calculation based on the computation result, and computes the positional shift amount (more specifically, correction information of the positional shift amount) of the X heads in the Y-axis direction with respect to the design position.

Next, main controller 20 moves wafer stage WST in the X-axis direction at a predetermined pitch, and by performing a processing similar to the procedure described above at each positioning position, main controller 20 can obtain the X-coordinate values, or the positional shift amount (more specifically, correction information of the positional shift amount) in the X-axis direction with respect to the design position also for the remaining Y heads of head units 62A and 62C.

Further, by moving wafer stage WST in the Y-axis direction at a predetermined pitch from the position shown in FIG. 14 and performing a processing similar to the procedure described above at each positioning position, main controller 20 can obtain the Y-coordinate values, or the positional shift amount (more specifically, correction information of the positional shift amount) in the Y-axis direction with respect to the design position also for the remaining Y heads of head units 62B and 62D.

Further, in a method similar to Y head 64 described above, main controller 20 acquires the X-coordinate values or the positional shift amount (more specifically, correction information of the positional shift amount) in the X-axis direction with respect to the design position, also for Y heads 64 y 1 and y 2.

In the manner described above, main controller 20 can acquire the X-coordinate values or the positional shift amount (more specifically, correction information of the positional shift amount) in the X-axis direction with respect to the design position for all Y heads 64, 64 y 1, and 64 y 2, and the Y-coordinate values or the positional shift amount (more specifically, correction information of the positional shift amount) in the Y-axis direction with respect to the design position also for all X heads 66, therefore, the information that has been acquired is stored in a storage unit, such as, for example, memory 34. The X-coordinate values or the Y coordinate values or the positional shift amount in the X-axis direction or the Y-axis direction with respect to the design position of each head stored in memory 34, will be used such as when converting the measurement values of an encoder into positional information within the XY plane of wafer stage WST, as it will be described later on. Incidentally, on converting the measurement values of an encoder into positional information within the XY plane of wafer stage WST or the like described later on, design values are used for the Y coordinate values of each Y head, and the X-coordinate values of each X head. This is because since the influence that the position coordinates of each head in the measurement direction has on the control accuracy of the position of wafer stage WST is extremely weak, (the effectiveness to the control accuracy is extremely slow), it is sufficient enough to use the design values.

Now, when there is an error (or a gap) between the height (the Z position) of each scale surface (the grating surface) on wafer table WTB and the height of a reference surface including the exposure center (it is the center of exposure area IA previously described and coincides with optical axis AX of projection optical system PL in the embodiment), the so-called Abbe error occurs in the measurement values of the encoder on rotation (pitching or rolling) around an axis (an X-axis or a Y-axis) parallel to the XY plane of wafer stage WST, therefore, this error needs to be corrected. In this case, the reference surface is a surface that serves as a reference to displacement ΔZo of wafer stage WST in the Z-axis direction measured by interferometer system 118, and in the embodiment, the surface is to coincide with the image plane of projection optical system PL.

For the correction of the error described above, it is necessary to accurately obtain the difference of height (the so-called Abbe offset quantity) of each scale surface (the grating surface) with respect to the reference surface of wafer stage WST. This is because correcting the Abbe errors due to the Abbe offset quantity described above is necessary in order to accurately control the position of wafer stage WST within the XY plane using an encoder system. By taking into consideration such points, in the embodiment, main controller 20 performs calibration for obtaining the Abbe offset quantity described above in the following procedure.

First of all, on starting this calibration processing, main controller 20 drives wafer stage WST and moves Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 so that Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 are located under head units 62A and 62C, respectively. In this case, for example, as shown in FIG. 15, Y head 64 A3 being the third head from the left of head unit 62A faces area AR which is a specific area on Y scale 39Y1 where Y head 64 A3 had faced when acquiring the stage position induced error correction information in the previous description. Further, in this case, as shown in FIG. 15, Y head 64 C4 being the fourth head from the left of head unit 62C faces an area which is a specific area on Y scale 39Y2 where Y head 64 C4 had faced when acquiring the stage position induced error correction information in the previous description.

Next, based on measurement results of Y interferometer 16 which uses interferometer beams B4 1, B4 2 and B3 previously described, main controller 20 tilts wafer stage WST around an axis that passes the exposure center and is parallel to the X-axis so that pitching amount Δθx becomes zero in the case displacement (pitching amount) Δθx of wafer stage WST in the θx direction with respect to the XY plane is not zero, based on the measurement results of Y interferometer 16 of interferometer system 118. Because all the corrections of each interferometer of interferometer system 118 have been completed at this point, such pitching control of wafer stage WST becomes possible.

Then, after such adjustment of the pitching amount of wafer stage WST, main controller 20 acquires measurement values yA0 and yC0 of encoders 70A and 70C, configured by Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 and Y heads 64 A3 and 64 C4 that face Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2, respectively.

Next, based on measurement results of Y interferometer 16, using interferometer beams B4 1, B4 2 and B3, main controller 20 tilts wafer stage WST at an angle φ around the axis that passes the exposure center and is parallel to the X-axis, as shown by arrow Rx in FIG. 15. Then, main controller 20 acquires measurement values yA1 and yC1 of encoders 70A and 70C, configured by Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 and Y heads 64 A3 and 64 C4 that face Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2, respectively.

Then, based on measurement values YA0, yC0, and YA1, YC1 of encoders 70A and 70C acquired above, and angle φ above, main controller 20 computes the so-called Abbe offset quantities hA and hC of Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2.

In this case, because φ is a very small angle, sin φ=φ and cos φ=1 are valid.
h A=(y A1 −y A0)/φ  (24)
h C=(y C1 −y C0)/φ  (25)

Next, after adjusting the pitching amount of wafer stage WST so that pitching amount Δθx becomes zero, main controller 20 drives wafer stage WST if necessary in the X-axis direction, and makes a predetermined X head 66 of head units 62B and 62D face the specific area on X scales 39X1 and 39X2 where each X head 66 had faced when acquiring the stage position induced error correction information in the previous description.

Next, main controller 20 performs a calculation of formula (6) previously described, using the output of Z interferometers 43A and 43B previously described, and in the case displacement (rolling amount) Δθy of wafer stage WST in the θy direction with respect to the XY plane is not zero, main controller 20 tilts wafer stage WST around an axis that passes the exposure center and is parallel to the Y-axis so that rolling amount Δθy becomes zero. Then, after such adjustment of the rolling amount of wafer stage WST, main controller 20 acquires measurement values xB0 and xD0 of encoders 70B and 70D, configured by X scales 39X1 and 39X2 and each X head 66, respectively.

Next, main controller 20 tilts wafer stage WST at angle φ around the axis that passes the exposure center and is parallel to the Y-axis, based on the output of Z interferometers 43A and 43B, and acquires measurement values xB1 and xD1 of encoders 70B and 70D, configured by X scales 39X1 and 39X2 and each X head 66, respectively.

Then, based on measurement values xB0, xD0, and xB1, xD1 of encoders 70B and 70D acquired above, and angle φ above, main controller 20 computes the so-called Abbe offset quantities hB and hD of X scales 39X1 and 39X2. In this case, φ is a very small angle.
h B=(x B1 −X B0)/φ  (26)
h D=(x D1 −x D0)/φ  (27)

As it can be seen from formulas (24) and (25) above, when the pitching amount of wafer stage WST is expressed φx, then Abbe errors ΔAA and ΔAC of Y encoders 70A and 70C that accompany the pitching of wafer stage WST can be expressed as in the following formulas (28) and (29).
ΔA A =h A *φx  (28)
ΔA C =h C *φx  (29)

As it can be seen from formulas (26) and (27) above, when the rolling amount of wafer stage WST is expressed φy, then Abbe errors ΔAB and ΔAD of X encoders 70B and 70D that accompany the rolling of wafer stage WST can be expressed as in the following formulas (30) and (31).
ΔA B =h B *φy  (30)
ΔA D =h D *φy  (31)

Main controller 20 stores the quantities hA to hD or formulas (28) to (31) obtained in the manner described above in memory 34. Accordingly, on the actual position control of wafer stage WST such as during lot processing and the like, main controller 20 is able to drive (perform position control of) wafer stage WST with high precision in an arbitrary direction within the XY plane while correcting the Abbe errors included in the positional information of wafer stage WST within the XY plane (the movement plane) measured by the encoder system, or, more specifically, measurement errors of Y encoders 70A and 70C corresponding to the pitching amount of wafer stage WST caused by the Abbe offset quantities of the surface of Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 (the grating surface) with respect to the reference surface previously described, or measurement errors of X encoders 70B and 70D corresponding to the rolling amount of wafer stage WST caused by the Abbe offset quantities of the surface of X scales 39X1 and 39X2 (the grating surface) with respect to the reference surface previously described.

Now, in the case the optical axis of the heads of the encoder substantially coincides with the Z-axis, and the pitching amount, rolling amount, and yawing amount of wafer stage WST are all zero, as it is obvious from formulas (22) and (23) above, measurement errors of the encoder described above due to the attitude of wafer table WTB are not supposed to occur, however, even in such a case, the measurement errors of the encoder are not actually zero. This is because the surface of Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2, and X scales 39X1 and 39X2 (the surface of the second water repellent plate 28 b) is not an ideal plane, and is somewhat uneven. When the surface of the scale (to be more precise, the diffraction grating surface, and including the surface of a cover glass in the case the diffraction grating is covered with the cover glass) is uneven, the scale surface will be displaced in the Z-axis direction (move vertically), or be inclined with respect to the heads of the encoder even in the case when wafer stage WST moves along a surface parallel to the XY plane. This consequently means none other that a relative motion occurs in the direction besides the measurement direction between the head and the scale, and as it has already been described, such a relative motion becomes a cause of the measurement error.

Further, as shown in FIG. 16, for example, in the case of measuring a plurality of measurement points P1 and P2 on the same scale 39 x using a plurality of heads 66A and 66B, when the tilt of the optical axis of the plurality of heads 66A and 66B is different and there is also an unevenness (including inclination) to the surface of scale 39X, as is obvious from ΔXA≠ΔXB shown in FIG. 16, the influence that the unevenness has on the measurement values will differ for each head depending on the tilt difference. Accordingly, in order to remove such difference in the influence, it will be necessary to obtain the unevenness of the surface of scale 39X. The unevenness of the surface of scale 39X may be measured, for example, using a measurement unit besides the encoder such as the Z sensor previously described, however, in such a case, because the measurement accuracy of the unevenness is set according to the measurement resolution of the measurement unit, in order to measure the unevenness with high precision, a possibility may occur of having to use a sensor that has higher precision and an expensive sensor must become use than the sensor which is necessary for an original purpose as a Z sensor to measure unevenness in high accuracy.

Therefore, in the embodiment, a method of measuring the unevenness of the surface of a scale using the encoder system itself is employed. Following is a description of the method.

As shown in a graph (an error characteristics curve) of FIG. 12, which shows a change characteristic of the measurement values of the encoder (a head) corresponding to the Z leveling of wafer stage WST previously described, only one point can be found in the Z-axis direction for each encoder head where the head has no sensibility to the tilt operation of wafer stage WST, or more specifically, a singular point where the measurement error of the encoder becomes zero regardless of the angle of inclination of wafer stage WST to the XY plane. If this point can be found by moving wafer stage WST similarly as when acquiring the stage position induced error correction information previously described, the point (a Z position) can be positioned the singular point with respect to the encoder head. If such operation to find the singular point is performed on a plurality of measurement points on the scale, the shape (unevenness) of the surface of the scale can be obtained.

(a) Therefore, main controller 20 first of all drives wafer stage WST via stage drive system 124, while monitoring the measurement values of Y interferometer 16 of interferometer system 118, X interferometer 126, and Z interferometers 43A and 43B, and as shown in FIG. 17, makes an arbitrary Y head of head unit 62A, such as for example, Y head 64 A2 in FIG. 17, face the vicinity of the end section of Y scale 39Y1 on the +Y side. Then, main controller 20 changes the pitching amount (θx rotation quantity) of wafer stage WST at the position in at least two stages as is previously described, and in a state where the attitude of wafer stage WST at the time of change is maintained for every change, main controller 20 scans (moves) wafer stage WST in the Z-axis direction in a predetermined stroke range while irradiating a detection light on a point of Y scale 39Y1 subject to measurement from Y head 64 A2, and samples the measurement results of Y head 64 A2 (encoder 70A) that faces Y scale 39Y1 during the scan (movement). Incidentally, the sampling above is performed while maintaining the yawing amount (and rolling amount) of wafer stage WST at zero.

Then, by performing a predetermined operation based on the sampling results, main controller 20 obtains an error characteristics curve (refer to FIG. 12) at the point described above subject to the measurement of encoder 70A corresponding to the Z position of wafer stage WST for a plurality of attitudes, and sets the intersecting point of the plurality of error characteristics curves, or more specifically, sets the point where the measurement error of encoder 70A above becomes zero regardless of the angle of inclination of wafer stage WST with respect to the XY plane as the singular point at the measurement point, and obtains Z positional information z1 (refer to FIG. 18A) of the singular point.

(b) Next, main controller 20 steps wafer stage WST in the +Y direction by a predetermined amount via stage drive system 124 while maintaining the pitching amount and rolling amount of wafer stage WST at zero, while monitoring the measurement values of Y interferometer 16 of interferometer system 118, X interferometer 126, and Z interferometers 43A and 43B. This step movement is performed at a speed slow enough so that measurement errors caused by air fluctuation of the interferometers can be ignored.

(c) Then, at a position after the step movement, as in (a) above, main controller 20 obtains a Z positional information zp (in this case, p=2) of the singular point of encoder 70A above at the position.

After this operation, by repeating the operations similar to the ones described in (b) and (c) above, main controller 20 obtains a Z positional information zp (p=2, 3 . . . , i, . . . k, . . . n) in a plurality of (e.g. n−1) measurement points set at a predetermined interval in the Y-axis direction on scale 39Y1.

FIG. 18B shows a z positional information zi of the singular point at the i-th measurement point that was obtained in the manner described above, and FIG. 18C shows a z positional information zk of the singular point at the kth measurement point.

(d) Then, based on Z positional information z1, z2, . . . zn of the singular point obtained for each of the plurality of measurement points above, main controller 20 obtains the unevenness of scale 39Y1. As shown in FIG. 18D, if one end of a double-sided arrow showing Z position zp of the singular point in each measurement point on scale 39Y1 is made to coincide with a predetermined reference line, the curve which links the other end of each double-sided arrow indicates the shape of the surface (unevenness) of scale 39Y1. Accordingly, main controller 20 obtains function z=f1(y) that expresses this unevenness by performing curve fitting (a least square approximation) on the point at the other end of each double-sided arrow, and is stored in memory 34. Incidentally, y is a Y-coordinate of wafer stage WST measured with Y interferometer 16.

(e) In a similar manner described above, main controller 20 obtains function z=f2(y) that expresses the unevenness of Y scale 39Y2, function z=g1(x) that expresses the unevenness of X scale 39X1, and, function z=g2(x) that expresses the unevenness of X scale 39X2, respectively, and stores them in memory 34. Incidentally, x an X-coordinate of wafer stage WST measured with X interferometer 126.

In this case, at each measurement point on each scale, when an error characteristics curve whose measurement error always becomes zero is obtained regardless of the change of Z in the case of obtaining the error characteristics curve (refer to FIG. 12) described above, the pitching amount (or rolling amount) of wafer stage WST at the point when the error characteristics curve was obtained corresponds to an inclined quantity of the scale surface at the measurement point. Accordingly, in the method above, information on inclination at each measurement point can also be obtained, in addition to the height information of the scale surface. This arrangement allows fitting with higher precision when the curve fitting described above is performed.

Now, the scale of the encoder lacks in mechanical long-term stability, such as in the diffraction grating deforming due to thermal expansion or other factors by the passage of use time, or the pitch of the diffraction grating changing partially or entirely. Therefore, because the errors included in the measurement values grow larger with the passage of use time, it becomes necessary to correct the errors. Hereinafter, an acquisition operation of correction information of the grating pitch and of correction information of the grating deformation performed in exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment will be described, based on FIG. 19.

In FIG. 19, measurement beams B4 1 and B4 2 are arranged symmetric to straight line LV previously described, and the substantial measurement axis of Y interferometer 16 coincides with straight line LV, which passes through the optical axis of projection optical system PL and is parallel to the Y-axis direction. Therefore, according to Y interferometer 16, the Y position of wafer table WTB can be measured without Abbe error. Similarly, measurement beams B5 1 and B5 2 are arranged symmetric to straight line LH previously described, and the substantial measurement axis of X interferometer 126 coincides with straight line LH, which passes through the optical axis of projection optical system PL and is parallel to the X-axis direction. Therefore, according to X interferometer 126, the X position of wafer table WTB can be measured without Abbe error.

First of all, an acquisition operation of correction information of the deformation (curve of the grid line) of the grid line of the X scale, and correction information of the grating pitch of the Y scale will be described. In this case, to simplify the description, reflection surface 17 b is to be an ideal plane. Further, prior to this acquisition operation, a measurement of the unevenness information of the surface of each scale described above is performed, and function z=f1(y) that expresses the unevenness of Y scale 39Y1, function z=f2(y) that expresses the unevenness of Y scale 39Y2, function z=g1(x) that expresses the unevenness of X scale 39X1, and function z=g2(x) that expresses the unevenness of X scale 39X2, are to be stored in memory 34.

First of all, main controller 20 reads function z=f1(y), function z=f2(y), function z=g1(x) and function z=g2(x) stored in memory 34 into the internal memory.

Next, at a speed low enough so that the short-term variation of the measurement values of Y interferometer 16 can be ignored and also in a state where the measurement value of X interferometer 126 is fixed to a predetermined value, main controller 20 moves wafer stage WST based on the measurement values of Y interferometer 16, and Z interferometers 43A and 43B, for example, in at least one direction of the +Y direction and the −Y-direction with in the effective stroke range mentioned earlier as is indicated by arrow F and F′ in FIG. 19, in a state where the pitching amount, the rolling amount, and the yawing amount are all maintained at zero. During this movement, while correcting the measurement values (the output) of Y linear encoders 70A and 70C using the function z=f1(y) and function z=f2(y) described above, respectively, main controller 20 takes in the measurement values after the correction and the measurement values (or to be more precise, measurement values of interferometer beams B4 1 and B4 2) of Y interferometer 16 at a predetermined sampling interval, and based on each measurement value that has been taken in, obtains a relation between the measurement values of Y linear encoders 70A and 70C (output of encoder 70A—the measurement values corresponding to function f1(y), output of encoder 70C—the measurement values corresponding to function f2(y)) and the measurement values of Y interferometer 16. More specifically, in the manner described above, main controller 20 obtains a grating pitch (the distance between adjacent grid lines) of Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 which are sequentially placed opposing head units 62A and 62C with the movement of wafer stage WST and correction information of the grating pitch. As the correction information of the grating pitch, for example, in the case a horizontal axis shows the measurement values of the interferometer and a vertical axis shows the measurement values (the measurement values whose errors due to the unevenness of the scale surface has been corrected) of the encoder, a correction map which shows the relation between the two using a curve can be obtained. Because the measurement values of Y interferometer 16 in this case are obtained when wafer stage WST was scanned at an extremely low speed as was previously described, the measurement values hardly include any short-term variation errors due to air fluctuation, as well as long-term variation errors, and it can be said that the measurement values are accurate values in which the errors can be ignored.

Further, during the movement of wafer stage WST described above, by statistically processing the measurement values (the measurement values of X linear encoders 70B and 70D) obtained from a plurality of X heads 66 of head units 62B and 62D placed sequentially opposing X scales 39X1 and 39X2 with the movement, such as, for example, averaging (or performing weighted averaging), main controller 20 also obtains correction information of the deformation (warp) of grid lines 37 which sequentially face the plurality of X heads 66. This is because in the case reflection surface 17 b is an ideal plane, the same blurring pattern should appear repeatedly in the process when wafer stage WST is sent in the +Y direction or the −Y-direction, therefore, if averaging or the like is performed on the measurement data acquired with the plurality of X heads 66, it becomes possible to precisely obtain correction information of the deformation (warp) of grid lines 37 which sequentially face the plurality of X head 66.

Incidentally, in a normal case where reflection surface 17 b is not an ideal plane, by measuring the unevenness (warp) of the reflection surface and obtaining the correction data of the curve in advance and performing movement of wafer stage WST in the +Y direction or the −Y-direction while controlling the X position of wafer stage WST, based on the correction data instead of fixing the measurement value of X interferometer 126 to the predetermined value on the movement of wafer stage WST in the +Y direction or the −Y-direction described above, wafer stage WST can be made to move precisely in the Y-axis direction. In this manner, the same correction information of the grating pitch of the Y scale and the correction information of the deformation (warp) of grid lines 37 can be obtained as in the description above. Incidentally, the measurement data acquired with the plurality of X heads 66 described above is a plurality of data at different location references of reflection surface 17 b, and because X heads 66 measure deformation (warp) of the same grid line 37, there is a collateral effect of the curve correction residual of the reflection surface being averaged and approaching its true value (in other words, by averaging the measurement data (curve information of grid line 37) acquired by the plurality of X heads, the effect of the curve residual can be weakened) by the averaging or the like described above.

Next, acquisition operations of correction information of deformation (curve of the grid lines) of the grid lines of the Y scale and correction information of the grating pitch of the X scale will be described. In this case, to simplify the description, reflection surface 17 a is to be an ideal plane. In this case, a processing as in the case of the correction described above, but with the X-axis direction and the Y-axis direction interchanged, should be performed.

More specifically, at a speed low enough so that the short-term variation of the measurement values of X interferometer 126 can be ignored and also in a state where the measurement value of Y interferometer 16 is fixed to a predetermined value, main controller 20 moves wafer stage WST based on the measurement values of Y interferometer 16, and Z interferometers 43A and 43B, for example, in at least one direction of the +X direction and the −X-direction with in the effective stroke range mentioned earlier, in a state where the pitching amount, the rolling amount, and the yawing amount are all maintained at zero. During this movement, while correcting the measurement values of X linear encoders 70B and of 70D using the function z=g1(x) and function z=g2(x) described above, respectively, main controller 20 takes in the measurement values after the correction and the measurement values of X interferometer 126 at a predetermined sampling interval, and based on each measurement value that has been taken in, obtains a relation between the measurement values of X linear encoders 70B and 70D (output of encoder 70B—the measurement values corresponding to function g1(x), output of encoder 70D—the measurement values corresponding to function g2(x)) and the measurement values of X interferometer 126. More specifically, in the manner described above, main controller 20 obtains a grating pitch (the distance between adjacent grid lines) of X scales 39X1 and 39X2 which are sequentially placed opposing head units 62B and 62D with the movement of wafer stage WST and the correction information of the grating pitch. As the correction information of the grating pitch, for example, in the case a horizontal axis shows the measurement values of the interferometer and a vertical axis shows the measurement values (the measurement values whose errors due to the unevenness of the scale surface has been corrected) of the encoder, a map which shows the relation between the two using a curve can be obtained. Because the measurement values of X interferometer 126 in this case are obtained when wafer stage WST was scanned at an extremely low speed as was previously described, the measurement values hardly include any short-term variation errors due to air fluctuation, as well as long-term variation errors, and it can be said that the measurement values are accurate values in which the errors can be ignored.

Further, during the movement of wafer stage WST described above, by statistically processing the measurement values (the measurement values of Y linear encoders 70A and 70C) obtained from a plurality of Y heads 64 of head units 62A and 62C placed sequentially opposing Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 with the movement, such as, for example, averaging (or performing weighted averaging), main controller 20 also obtains correction information of the deformation (warp) of grid lines 38 which sequentially face the plurality of Y heads 64. This is because in the case reflection surface 17 a is an ideal plane, the same blurring pattern should appear repeatedly in the process when wafer stage WST is sent in the +X direction or the −X-direction, therefore, if averaging or the like is performed on the measurement data acquired with the plurality of Y heads 64, it becomes possible to precisely obtain correction information of the deformation (warp) of grid lines 38 which sequentially face the plurality of Y head 64.

Incidentally, in a normal case where reflection surface 17 a is not an ideal plane, by measuring the unevenness (warp) of the reflection surface and obtaining the correction data of the curve in advance and performing movement of wafer stage WST in the +X direction or the −X-direction while controlling the Y position of wafer stage WST, based on the correction data instead of fixing the measurement value of Y interferometer 16 to the predetermined value on the movement of wafer stage WST in the +X direction or the −X-direction described above, wafer stage WST can be made to move precisely in the X-axis direction. In this manner, the same correction information of the grating pitch of the X scale and the correction information of the deformation (warp) of grid lines 38 can be obtained as in the description above.

As is described above, main controller 20 obtains correction information on grating pitch of the Y scales and correction information on deformation (warp) of grating lines 37, and correction information on grating pitch of the X scales and correction information on deformation (warp) of grating lines 38 at each predetermined timing, for example, with respect to each lot, or the like.

And, during processing of the lot, main controller 20 performs movement control of wafer stage WST in the Y-axis direction, using Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 and head units 62A and 62C, or more specifically, using Y linear encoders 70A and 70C, while correcting the measurement values obtained from head units 62A and 62C (more specifically, the measurement values of encoders 70A and 70C), based on correction information of the grating pitch and correction information of the deformation (warp) of grid line 38 referred to above, stage position induced error correction information corresponding to the Z position of wafer stage WST measured by interferometer system 118, pitching amount Δθx, and yawing amount Δθz, and correction information of the Abbe error that corresponds to pitching amount Δθx of wafer stage WST caused by the Abbe offset quantity of the surface of Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2. By this operation, it becomes possible for main controller 20 to perform movement control of wafer stage WST in the Y-axis direction with good precision using Y linear encoders 70A and 70C, without being affected by temporal change of the grating pitch of the Y scale and the warp of each grating (line) that make up the Y scale, without being affected by the change of position of wafer stage WST in the direction besides the measurement direction (relative motion between the head and the scale in the direction besides the measurement direction), and without being affected by the Abbe error.

Further, during processing of the lot, main controller 20 performs movement control of wafer stage WST in the X-axis direction, using X scales 39X1 and 39X2 and head units 62B and 62D, or more specifically, using X linear encoders 70B and 70D, while correcting the measurement values obtained from head units 62B and 62D (more specifically, the measurement values of encoders 70B and 70D), based on correction information of the grating pitch and correction information of the deformation (warp) of grid line 37 referred to above, stage position induced error correction information corresponding to the Z position of wafer stage WST measured by interferometer system 118, rolling amount θy, and yawing amount θz, and correction information of the Abbe error that corresponds to rolling amount Δθy of wafer stage WST caused by the Abbe offset quantity of the surface of X scales 39X1 and 39X2. By this operation, it becomes possible for main controller 20 to perform movement control of wafer stage WST in the X-axis direction with good precision using X linear encoders 70B and 70D, without being affected by temporal change of the grating pitch of the X scale and the warp of each grating (line) that make up the X scale, without being affected by the change of position of wafer stage WST in the direction besides the measurement direction (relative motion between the head and the scale in the direction besides the measurement direction), and without being affected by the Abbe error.

Incidentally, in the description above, the case has been described where the correction information of the grating pitch and the grid line warp was acquired for both the Y scale and the X scale, however, the present invention is not limited to this, and the correction information of the grating pitch and the grid line warp can be acquired only for either the Y scale or the X scale, or the correction information of only either the grating pitch or the grid line warp can be acquired for both the Y scale and the X scale. For example, in the case where only the acquisition of the correction information of the warp of grid line 37 of the X scale is performed, wafer stage WST can be moved in the Y-axis direction based on the measurement values of Y linear encoders 70A and 70C, without necessarily using Y interferometer 16. Similarly, in the case where only the acquisition of the correction information of the warp of grid line 38 of the Y scale is performed, wafer stage WST can be moved in the X-axis direction based on the measurement values of X linear encoders 70B and 70D, without necessarily using X interferometer 126. Further, either one of the stage position induced error previously described or the measurement error (hereinafter also referred to as a scale induced error) of the encoder which occurs due to the scale (for example, degree of flatness of the grating surface (surface smoothness) and/or grating formation error (including pitch error, grid line warp and the like) can be compensated.

Now, on actual exposure, wafer stage WST is driven by main controller 20 via stage drive system 124 at a speed in which the short-term variation of the measurement values due to air fluctuation on the optical path of the beam of the interferometer cannot be ignored. Accordingly, it becomes important to perform position control of wafer stage WST based on the measurement values of the encoder system. For example, when wafer stage WST is scanned in the Y-axis direction during exposure, main controller 20 drives stage drive system 124 based on the measurement values of a pair of Y heads 64 (a Y encoder) which faces Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2, respectively. In doing so, in order to move wafer stage WST accurately in Y-axis direction via wafer stage drive system 124 based on the measurement values of the pair of Y heads 64 (the Y encoder), it is necessary to make sure that the measurement error caused by the measurement delay that accompanies each detection signal (a photoelectric conversion signal by the light receiving element) of the pair of Y heads 64 propagating through the cable does not affect the position control of wafer stage WST. Further, for example, on the stepping operation or the like between shots of wafer stage WST performed between exposure of a shot area on wafer W and exposure of the adjacent shot area, main controller 20 also has to control the position of wafer stage WST in the X-axis direction, based on the measurement values of a pair of X heads 66 (an X encoder) which face X scales 39X1 and 39X2, respectively. In this case, it is necessary to make sure that the measurement error caused by the measurement delay that accompanies each detection signal (a photoelectric conversion signal by the light receiving element) of the pair of X heads 66 propagating through the cable does not affect the position control of wafer stage WST. Further, in order to expose all the shot areas on wafer W, a linkage operation between a plurality of encoders is essential, which will be described later in the description. Accordingly, it becomes necessary to obtain the information of the delay time that accompanies the detection signals (photoelectric conversion signals by the light receiving element) of all the Y heads 64 and X heads 66 in the encoder system and the pair of Y heads 64 y 1 and 64 y 2 propagating through the cable in advance.

On the other hand, in addition to the encoder system, exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment can also measure positional information of wafer stage WST in the XY plane by interferometer system 118. More specifically, in exposure apparatus 100, simultaneous measurement of positional information of wafer stage WST in the Y-axis direction using each Y head of the encoder system and Y interferometer 16 and simultaneous measurement of positional information of positional information of wafer stage WST in the X-axis direction using each X head of the encoder system and X interferometer 126 are possible.

Therefore, as in the following procedure, main controller 20 acquires the information of the delay time that accompanies the detection signals (photoelectric conversion signals by the light receiving element) of all the Y heads 64 and X heads 66 in the encoder system and the pair of Y heads 64 y 1 and 64 y 2 propagating through the cable, for example, during the start-up period of the apparatus.

First of all, main controller 20 moves wafer stage WST to the position so that one head of Y heads 64 in each head unit 62A and 62C faces Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2, respectively.

Next, main controller 20 drives wafer stage WST at a predetermined speed, such as, for example, at a speed as in the scanning exposure, in the +Y direction or the −Y-direction, while controlling the X position of wafer stage WST based on Y interferometer 16, X interferometer 126, and the warp correction data of reflection surface 17 b, and also in a state where the pitching amount, the rolling amount, and the yawing amount are all maintained at zero, based on the measurement values of Y interferometer 16 and Z interferometers 43A and 43B. During this drive, main controller 20 takes in detection signals from the two Y heads 64 that face Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2, and an output signal of Y interferometer 16 simultaneously and at a predetermined sampling interval, in a storage unit, such as, for example, memory 34.

As a result of this, for example, an output signal C1 of Y interferometer 16 and a detection signal C2 of each Y head 64 both expressed in a sine curve are obtained, as shown in FIG. 20. In FIG. 20, the horizontal axis shows time t, and the vertical axis shows signal intensity I. Incidentally, FIG. 20 shows both signals after having normalized at least one of the signals so that the peak value and the bottom value of both signals C1 and C2 become the same value.

Then, main controller 20 obtains intersecting points Q1 and Q2 of a straight line parallel to the vertical axis shown in FIG. 20 and both signals C1 and C2, obtains distance (difference in intensity) ΔI of points Q1 and Q2, and then multiplies a predetermined coefficient γ to intensity difference ΔI and obtains a delay time δ of each Y head 64 that accompanies signal C2 propagating through the cable, with signal C1 serving as a reference. In this case, coefficient γ is a coefficient for converting difference ΔI of intensity obtained by experiment or the like in advance into delay time δ.

In this case, as a matter of course, main controller 20 obtains delay time δ for each of the two Y heads 64 that respectively oppose Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2.

Next, main controller 20 moves wafer stage WST in the −X-direction (or the +X direction) only by a distance to the adjacent Y head, and in a procedure similar to the description above, main controller 20 obtains delay time δ for each of the two Y heads 64 that respectively oppose Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2. Hereinafter, main controller 20 repeats the same procedure as in the description above, and obtains delay time δ of all the Y heads 64, and Y heads 64 y 1 and 64 y 2. Incidentally, in the description above, delay time δ was obtained at a time with two Y heads as a set, however, the present invention is not limited to this, and delay time δ can be obtained for each Y head in the same procedure as in the description above.

Further, in the case of obtaining information of the delay time that accompanies the detection signals (photoelectric conversion signals by the light receiving element) of each X head 66 in the encoder system propagating through the cable, main controller 20 performs a processing in which the X-axis direction and the Y-axis direction are interchanged in the case of the correction described above. Incidentally, details on this processing will be omitted. In the manner described above, main controller 20 obtains the information of delay time that accompanies the propagation of the detection signals of each Y head through the cable which uses the measurement values of Y interferometer 16 as a reference, and the information of delay time that accompanies the propagation of the detection signals of each X head through the cable which uses the measurement values of X interferometer 126 as a reference, respectively, and stores the information in memory 34.

Next, an example of a correction method of a measurement error in an encoder caused by a measurement delay that accompanies the detection signals of each head propagating through the cable is described, referring to FIG. 21. FIG. 21 shows a temporal change curve y=y(t) that indicates an example of a temporal change of a position in the Y-axis direction of wafer stage WST which is decelerating at a predetermined acceleration (deceleration) from a predetermined speed v0, and an approximation straight line y=ycal(t), which is used to correct the measurement error. In this case, temporal change curve y=y(t) is a curve (a curve which is a least squares approximation of the measurement values of Y interferometer 16 obtained at a predetermined measurement sampling interval) showing a change of position of wafer stage WST in the Y-axis direction measured by a measurement unit, Y interferometer 16 in this case, which serves as a reference for delay time δ that accompanies the propagation of the detection signals of each Y head through the cable. Approximation straight line y=ycal(t) is a straight line that joins together point S1 and point S2 on temporal change curve y=y(t). When the current time is expressed as t, point S1 is a point corresponding to the latest measurement values of the Y encoder (Y head) that main controller 20 acquires at current time t, located on temporal change curve y=y(t) at a time (t−δ), which is earlier than the current time by only delay time δ. Further, point S2 is a point corresponding to the measurement values of the Y encoder (Y head) that main controller 20 has acquired at time (t−Δt), which is earlier than current time t by one control sampling interval Δt (Δt, for example, is 96 μs), or more specifically, a point corresponding to the measurement values of the previous Y encoder (Y head), located on temporal change curve y=y(t) at time (t−Δt−δ). Accordingly, main controller 20 can compute approximation straight line y=ycal(t), based on the latest measurement values of the Y encoder (Y head) which main controller 20 acquires at current time t and the measurement values of the previous Y encoder (Y head).

In this case, approximation straight line y=ycal(t) can be expressed as in formula (32) below. y = y cal ( t ) = y ( t - δ ) + y ( t - δ ) - y ( t - δ - Δ t ) Δ t δ ( 32 )

Further, because temporal change curve y=y(t) is a curve that shows an example of a position change of wafer stage WST in the Y-axis direction decelerating at a predetermined acceleration (deceleration) a from a predetermined speed v0, it can be expressed, as an example, as in formula (33) below.
y=y(t)=v 0 t−1/2at 2  (33)

Accordingly, the correction error shown in FIG. 21, or more specifically, a difference (ycal(t)−y(t)) between y=y(t) and y=ycal(t) at current time t can be expressed as in formula (34) below. y cal ( t ) - y ( t ) = a δ ( δ + Δ t ) 2 a δΔ t 2 ( 34 )

In the case of deceleration (acceleration) a=20 [m/s2], delay time δ=100 [ns], and one control sampling interval Δt=96 [μsec], the correction error results to be 0.1 nm, which is a quantity that will not cause any problems for the time being. More specifically, if delay time δ of each Y head is precisely obtained, the measurement errors of the encoder due to the measurement delay (delay time) can be corrected software wise by the method described above.

More specifically, by locating points S1 and S2 on temporal change curve y=y(t) at time t and time (t−Δt), computing the approximation straight line y=ycal(t) that passes through points S1 and S2, and obtaining a y-coordinate value of a point on approximation straight line y=ycal(t) at time t, based on the measurement values of each Y head of the encoder system and the measurement values which are one control sampling interval earlier, main controller 20 can correct the measurement errors by the measurement delay that accompanies the detection signals of each Y head propagating through the cable, and can correct the influence of the measurement delay of each Y head of the encoder system.

Further, main controller 20 can also correct the influence of the measurement delaying (delay time δ) on each X head 66 of the encoder system in a manner similar to the description above.

As other generation factors of measurement errors, temperature fluctuation (air fluctuation) of the atmosphere on the beam optical path can be considered. Phase difference φ between the two return beams LB1 and LB2 depend on optical path difference ΔL of the two beams, according to the first term on the right-hand side of formula (16). Suppose that wavelength λ0 of the light changes to λ+Δλ by air fluctuation. By minute change Δλ of this wavelength, the phase difference changes by minute amount Δφ=2πΔLΔλ/λ2. In this case, when the wavelength of light λ=1 μm and minute change Δλ=1 nm, then phase change Δφ=2π with respect to optical path difference ΔL=1 mm. This phase change is equivalent to 1 when it is converted into a count value of the encoder. Further, when it is converted into displacement, it is equivalent to p/2 (nb−na). Accordingly, if nb=−na=1, in the case of p=1 μm, a measurement error of 0.25 μm will occur.

In the actual encoder, because the optical path length of the two beams which are made to interfere is extremely short, wavelength change Δλ due to the air fluctuation is extremely small. Furthermore, optical path difference ΔL is designed to be approximately 0, in an ideal state where the optical axis is orthogonal to the reflection surface. Therefore, the measurement errors due to the air fluctuation can be substantially ignored. The fluctuation is remarkably small when compared with the interferometer, and is superior in short-term stability.

In exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment, for example, at the time of start-up of the apparatus, main controller 20 can perform a series of calibration processing described earlier, or more specifically, A. acquisition processing of the stage position induced error correction information, B. head position calibration processing, C. calibration processing to obtain Abbe offset quantity, D. processing for obtaining the shape (unevenness) of the surface of the scale, E. acquisition processing of correction information of the grating pitch of the scale and the correction information of the grating deformation, and F. acquisition processing of the correction information of the measurement errors due to the measurement delay, a plurality of times, or repeated in the order previously described or in a different order. On this repetition, the various calibrations from the second time onward can be performed, using the various information that has been measured until the previous time.

For example, on the acquisition processing of the stage position induced error correction information described above, for example, the pitching (or the rolling) of wafer table WTB (wafer stage WST) has to be adjusted by making wafer stage WST perform a θx rotation (or a θy rotation) around a point where Z position z=0 serves as a center, and as the premise, the Abbe offset quantity previously described of Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 (or, X scales 39X1 and 39X2) will have to be known. Therefore, in the first acquisition process of the stage position induced error correction information, A. acquisition processing of the stage position induced error correction information can be performed in the procedure described above, using design values of Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 (or, X scale 39X1 and 39X2) as the Abbe offset quantity, and then, after performing B. head position calibration processing and C. calibration processing to obtain Abbe offset quantity, D. processing for obtaining the shape (unevenness) of the surface of the scale and E. acquisition processing of correction information of the grating pitch of the scale and the correction information of the grating deformation can be performed, and then, when the second A. acquisition process of the stage position induced error correction information is performed, wafer stage WST can be made to perform a ex rotation (or a θy rotation) around a point where Z position z=0 serves as a center, based on the Abbe offset quantity which is actually obtained in the manner described above, and the stage position induced error correction information can be acquired in the procedure previously described. By the processing described above, it becomes possible to acquire the stage position induced error correction information that is not affected by the errors to the design values of the Abbe offset quantity in the second measurement.

Next, a switching process of the encoder used for position control of wafer stage WST in the XY plane that is executed during the actual processing or the like, or more specifically, a linkage process between a plurality of encoders will be described, after processing such as the acquisition of the stage position induced error correction information, unevenness measurement of the surface of the scale, the acquisition of correction information of the grating pitch of the scale and the correction information of the grating deformation, and the acquisition of the Abbe offset quantity of the scale surface and the like are performed in advance.

In this case, first of all, prior to describing the linkage process of the plurality of encoders, a concrete method of converting the corrected measurement values of the encoder into the position of wafer stage WST, which is the premise, will be described, using FIGS. 22A and 22B. In this case, in order to simplify the description, the degrees of freedom of wafer stage WST is to be three degrees of freedom (X, Y, and θz).

FIG. 22A shows a reference state where wafer stage WST is at the origin of coordinates (X, Y, θz)=(0,0,0). From this reference state, wafer stage WST is driven within a range where encoders (Y heads) Enc1 and Enc2 and encoder (X head) Enc3 do not move away from the scanning areas of their opposing scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 and 39X1. The state where wafer stage WST is moved to position (X, Y, θz) in the manner described above is shown in FIG. 22B.

Here, supposing that the position coordinates (X, Y) of the measurement points of encoders Enc1, Enc2, and Enc3 on the XY coordinate system are (p1, q1), (p2, q2), and (p3, q3), respectively. Then, as X coordinate values p1 and p2 of encoders Enc1 and Enc2 and Y coordinate values q3 of Enc3, the positional information which was acquired in the case of the calibration of the head position described earlier is read from memory 34 and is used, whereas as Y coordinate values q1 and q2 of encoders Enc1 and Enc2 and X coordinate values p3 of Enc3, the positional information of design values is read from memory 34 and is used.

The X head and the Y head respectively measure the relative distance from central axes LL and LW of wafer stage WST. Accordingly, measurement values CX and CY of the X head and the Y head can be expressed, respectively, as in the following formulas (35a) and (35b).
C X =r′*ex′  (35a)
C Y =r′*ey′  (35b)

In this case, ex′ and ey′ are X′ and Y′ unit vectors in a relative coordinate system (X′, Y′, θz′) set on wafer stage WST, and have a relation as in the following Y formula (36) with θx and θy, which are X, Y unit vectors in a reference coordinate system (X, Y, θz). ( ex ey ) = ( cos θ z sin θ z - sin θ z cos θ z ) ( ex ey ) ( 36 )

Further, r′ is a position vector of the encoder in the relative coordinate system, and r′ is given r′=r−(O′−O), using position vector r=(p, q) in the reference coordinate system. Accordingly, formulas (35a) and (35b) can be rewritten as in the next formulas (37a) and (37b).
C X=(p−X)cos θz+(q−Y)sin θz  (37a)
C Y=−(p−X)sin θz+(q−Y)cos θz  (37b)

Accordingly, as shown in FIG. 22B, when wafer stage WST is located at the coordinate (X, Y, θz), the measurement values of three encoders can be expressed theoretically in the next formulas (38a) to (38c) (also referred to as a relationship of the affine transformation).
C 1=−(p 1 −X)sin θz+(q 1 −Y)cos θz  (38a)
C 2=−(p 2 −X)sin θz+(q 2 −Y)cos θz  (38b)
C 3=(p 3 −X)cos θz+(q 3 −Y)sin θz  (38c)

Incidentally, in the reference state of FIG. 22A, according to simultaneous formulas (38a) to (38c), C1=q1, C2=q2, and C3=p3. Accordingly, in the reference state, if the measurement values of the three encoders Enc1, Enc2, and Enc3 are initialized to q1, q2, and p3 respectively, then the three encoders will show theoretical values given by formulas (38a) to (38c) with respect to displacement (X, Y, θz) of wafer stage WST from then onward.

In simultaneous formulas (38a) to (38c), three formulas are given to the three variables (X, Y, θz). Accordingly, if dependent variables C1, C2, and C3 are given in the simultaneous formulas (38a) to (38c), variables X, Y, and θz can be obtained. In this case, when approximation sin.θz≈θz is applied, or even if an approximation of a higher order is applied, the formulas can be solved easily. Accordingly, the position of wafer stage WST (X, Y, θz) can be computed from measurement values C1, C2, and C3 of the encoder.

In exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment which is configured in the manner described above, because the placement of the X scales and Y scales on wafer table WTB and the arrangement of the X heads and Y heads which were described above were employed, in the effective stroke range (more specifically, in the embodiment, the range in which the stage moves for alignment and exposure operation) of wafer stage WST, at least one X head 66 in the total of 18 X heads belonging to head units 62B and 62D must face at least one of X scale 39X1 and 39X2, and at least one Y head 64 each, or Y head 64 y 1 and 64 y 2 belonging to head units 62A and 62C, also respectively face Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2, respectively, as illustrated in FIGS. 23A and 23B. That is, at least one each of the corresponding heads is made to face at least the three out of the four scales.

Incidentally, in FIGS. 23A and 23B, the head which faces the corresponding X scale or Y scale is shown surrounded in a circle.

Therefore, in the effective stroke range of wafer stage WST referred to earlier, by controlling each motor that configures stage drive system 124, based on at least a total of three measurement values of the encoders, which are encoders 70A and 70C, and at least one of encoders 70B and 70D, main controller 20 can control positional information (including rotation in the θz direction) of wafer stage WST in the XY plane with high accuracy. Because the effect of the air fluctuation that the measurement values of encoder 70A to 70D receive is small enough so that it can be ignored when compared with an interferometer, the short-term stability of the measurement affected by the air fluctuation is remarkably good when compared with the interferometer.

Further, when wafer stage WST is driven in the X-axis direction as is shown by an outlined arrow in FIG. 23A, Y heads 64 that measure the position of wafer stage WST in the Y-axis direction are sequentially switched, as is indicated by arrows e1 and e2 in the drawing, to the adjacent Y heads 64. For example, the heads are switched from Y heads 64 surrounded by a solid circle to Y heads 64 that are surrounded by a dotted circle. Therefore, before or after this switching, linkage process of the measurement values which will be described later on is performed.

Further, when wafer stage WST is driven in the Y-axis direction as is shown by an outlined arrow in FIG. 23B, X heads 66 that measure the position of wafer stage WST in the X-axis direction are sequentially switched to the adjacent X heads 66. For example, the heads are switched from X heads 66 surrounded by a solid circle to X heads 66 that are surrounded by a dotted circle. Therefore, before or after this switching, linkage process of the measurement values is performed.

The switching procedure of will now be described here, based on FIGS. 24A to 24E, with the switching from Y heads 64 3 to 64 4 shown by arrow e1 in FIG. 23A serving as an example.

In FIG. 24A, a state before the switching is shown. In this state, Y head 64 3 facing the scanning area (the area where the diffraction grating is arranged) on Y scale 39Y2 is operating, and Y head 64 4 which has moved away from the scanning area is suspended. The operating head is indicated here, using a solid black circle, and the suspended head is indicated by an outlined circle. Then, main controller 20 monitors the measurement values of Y head 64 3 which is operating. The head whose measurement values are monitored, here, is shown in a double rectangular frame.

Then, wafer stage WST moves in the +X direction. Accordingly, Y scale 39Y2 is displaced to the right. In this case, in the embodiment, as is previously described, the distance between the two adjacent Y heads is set smaller than the effective width (width of the scanning area) of Y scale 39Y2 in the X-axis direction. Accordingly, as shown in FIG. 24B, a state occurs where Y heads 64 3 and 64 4 face the scanning area of Y scale 39Y2. Therefore, main controller 20 makes sure that Y head 64 4, which is suspended, has faced the scanning area along with Y head 64 3 that is operating, and then activates the suspended Y head 64 4. However, main controller 20 does not yet start monitoring the measurement values at this point.

Next, as shown in FIG. 24C, while Y head 64 3, which will be suspended later faces the scanning area, main controller 20 computes a reference position of Y head 64 4, which has been restored, from the measurement values of the active encoder heads including Y head 64 3. Then, main controller 20 sets the reference position as an initial value of the measurement value of Y head 64 4. Incidentally, details on the computation of the reference position and the setting of the initial value will be described later in the description.

Main controller 20 switches the encoder head whose measurement values are monitored from Y head 64 3 to Y head 64 4 simultaneously with the setting of the initial value above. After the switching has been completed, main controller 20 suspends the operation of Y head 64 3 before it moves off the scanning area as shown in FIG. 24D. By the operation described above, all the operations of switching the encoder heads are completed, and hereinafter, as shown in FIG. 24E, the measurement values of Y head 64 4 are monitored by main controller 20.

In the embodiment, the distance between adjacent Y heads 64 that head units 62A and 62C have is, for example, 70 mm (with some exceptions), and is set smaller than the effective width (e.g. 76 mm) of the scanning area of Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 in the X-axis direction. Further, for example, the distance between adjacent X heads 66 that head units 62B and 62D have is, for example, 70 mm (with some exceptions), and is set smaller than the effective width (e.g. 76 mm) of the scanning area of X scales 39X1 and 39X2 in the Y-axis direction. Accordingly, the switching operation of Y heads 64 and X heads 66 can be performed smoothly as in the description above.

Incidentally, in the embodiment, the range in which both adjacent heads face the scale, or more specifically, the moving distance of wafer stage WST from a state shown in FIG. 24B to a state shown in FIG. 24D, for example, is 6 mm. And at the center, or more specifically, when wafer stage WST is located at the position shown in FIG. 24C, the head that monitors the measurement values is switched. This switching operation is completed by the time the head which is to be suspended moves off the scanning area, or more specifically, while wafer stage WST moves in an area by a distance of 3 mm during the state shown in FIG. 24C until the state shown in FIG. 24D. For example, in the case the movement speed of the stage is 1 m/sec, then the switching operation of the head is to be completed within 3 msec.

Next, the linkage process when the encoder head is switched, or more specifically, the initial setting of the measurement values will be described, focusing mainly on the operation of main controller 20.

In the embodiment, as is previously described, three encoders (the X heads and the Y heads) constantly observe wafer stage WST within the effective stroke range of wafer stage WST, and when the switching process of the encoder is performed, four encoders will be made to observe wafer stage WST, as shown in FIG. 25.

At the moment when the switching process (linkage) of the encoder used for the position control of wafer stage WST within the XY plane is to be performed, encoders Enc1, Enc2, Enc3 and Enc4 are positioned above scales 39Y1, 39Y2, 39X1, and 39X2, respectively, as shown in FIG. 25. When having a look at FIG. 25, it looks as though the encoder is going to be switched from encoder Enc1 to encoder Enc4, however, as is obvious from the fact that the measurement direction is different in encoder Enc1 and encoder Enc4, it does not have any meaning even if the measurement values (count values) of encoder Enc1 are given without any changes as the initial value of the measurement values of encoder Enc4.

Therefore, in the embodiment, main controller 20 switches from measurement/servo by the three encoders Enc1, Enc2 and Enc3 to measurement/servo by the three encoders Enc2, Enc3 and Enc4. More specifically, as it can be seen from FIG. 25, this method is different from the concept of a normal encoder linkage, and in this method the linkage is made not from one head to another head, but from a combination of three heads (an encoder) to a combination of another three heads (an encoder). Incidentally, in the three heads and another three heads, the different head is not limited to one. Further, in FIG. 25, encoder Enc3 was switched to encoder Enc4, however, instead of encoder Enc4, for example, the encoder can be switched, for example, to the encoder adjacent to encoder Enc3.

First of all, main controller 20 solves the simultaneous formulas (38a) to (38c) based on the measurement values C1, C2, and C3 of encoders Enc1, Enc2, and Enc3, and computes positional information (X, Y, θz) of wafer stage WST within the XY plane.

Next, main controller 20 substitutes X and θz computed above into the affine transformation of the next formula (39), and determines the initial value of the measurement values of encoder (X head) Enc4.
C 4=(p 4 −X)cos θz+(q 4 −Y)sin θz  (39)

In formula (39) above, p4 and q4 are the X-coordinate value and the Y-coordinate value at the measurement point of encoder Enc4. As Y coordinate value q4 of encoder Enc4, the positional information which was acquired on calibration of the head position previously described is read from memory 34 and is used, while as X-coordinate value p4 of encoder Enc4, the design position information is read from memory 34 and is used.

By giving initial value C4 as an initial value of encoder Enc4, linkage will be completed without any contradiction, having maintained the position (X, Y, θz) of wafer stage WST in directions of three degree of freedom. From then onward, the following simultaneous formulas (38b) to (38d) are solved, using the measurement values C2, C3, and C4 of encoders Enc2, Enc3, and Enc4 which are used after the switching, and a position coordinate (X, Y, θz) of wafer stage WST is computed.
C 2=−(p 2 −X)sin θz+(q 2 −Y)cos θz  (38b)
C 3=(p 3 −X)cos θz+(q 3 −Y)sin θz  (38c)
C 4=(p 4 −X)cos θz+(q 4 −Y)sin θz  (38d)

Incidentally, in the case the fourth encoder is a Y head, simultaneous formulas (38b) (38c) (38e) that use the following theoretical formula (38e) instead of theoretical formula (38d) can be used.
C 4=−(p 4 −X)sin θz+(q 4 −Y)cos θz  (38e)

However, because measurement value C4 computed above is a measurement value of a corrected encoder whose measurement errors of the various encoders previously described have been corrected, main controller 20 performs inverse correction on measurement value C4 and computes a raw value C4′ which is the value before correction, and determines raw value C4′ as the initial value of the measurement value of encoder Enc4, using the stage position induced error correction information, the correction information of the grating pitch of the scale (and the correction information of the grating deformation), the Abbe offset quantity (the Abbe error correction information) and the like previously described.

In this case, the inverse correction refers to the processing of computing measurement value C4′ based on measurement value C4, under the hypothesis that the measurement value of the encoder after correcting measurement value C4′ is C4, when measurement value C4′, on which no correction has been performed, is corrected using the stage position induced error correction information, the scale induced error correction information (e.g., correction information of the grating pitch of the scale (and correction information of the grating deformation), and the Abbe offset quantity (Abbe error correction information) and the like.

Now, the position control interval (control sampling interval) of wafer stage WST, as an example, is 96 [μsec], however, the measurement interval (measurement sampling interval) of an interferometer or an encoder has to be at a much higher speed. The reason why the sampling of the interferometer and the encoder has to be performed at a higher-speed than the control sampling is because both the interferometer and the encoder count the intensity change (fringe) of the interference light, and when the sampling becomes rough, measurement becomes difficult.

However, with the position servo control system of wafer stage WST, the system updates the current position of wafer stage WST at every control sampling interval of 96 [μsec], performs calculation to set the position to a target position, and outputs thrust command values and the like. Accordingly, the positional information of the wafer stage is necessary at every control sampling interval of 96 [μsec], and the positional information in between the sampling intervals will not be necessary in the position control of wafer stage WST. The interferometer and the encoder merely perform sampling at a high speed so as not to lose track of the fringe.

Therefore, in the embodiment, at all times while wafer stage WST is located in the effective stroke range previously described, main controller 20 continues to receive the measurement values (count values) from each encoder (a head) of the encoder system, regardless of whether or not the encoder watches the scale. And, main controller 20 performs the switching operation (linkage operation between the plurality of encoders) previously described, in synchronization with the timing of the position control of the wafer stage performed every 96 [μsec]. In such an arrangement, the switching operation of an electrically high-speed encoder will not be required, which means that costly hardware to realize such a high-speed switching operation does not necessarily have to be arranged. FIG. 26 conceptually shows the timing of position control of wafer stage WST, the uptake of the count values of the encoder, and the switching of the encoder, which are performed in the embodiment. In FIG. 26, reference code CSCK shows a generation timing of a sampling clock of the position control of wafer stage WST, and reference code MSCK shows a generation timing of a measurement sampling clock of the encoder (and the interferometer). Further, reference code CH typically shows the switching (linkage) of the encoder.

Incidentally, main controller 20 performs the correction of the measurement errors due to delay time δ for each head, each time at the generation timing of the sampling clock of the position control of the wafer stage, regardless of whether or not the switching of the encoder is performed. Accordingly, based on the measurement values of the three encoders whose measurement errors due to the measurement delay have been corrected, the position (X, Y, θz) of wafer stage WST is to be controlled.

Now, in the description above, the switching that could be performed from one combination of heads (encoders) to another combination of heads (encoders), and the timing when the switching can be performed are to be known, however, they also must be known in the actual sequence as well. It is also preferable to prepare the scheduling of the timing to carry out the linkage in advance.

Therefore, in the embodiment, main controller 20 prepares the schedule for the switching (the switching from one combination of three heads (e.g., Enc1, Enc2, and Enc3) to another combination of three heads (e.g., Enc4, Enc2, and Enc3), and the timing of the switch) of the three encoders (heads) which are used for measuring the positional information of wafer stage WST in directions of three degrees of freedom (X, Y, θz) within the XY plane, based on the movement course (target track) of wafer stage WST, and stores the scheduling result in the storage unit such as memory 34.

In this case, if a retry (redoing) is not considered, the contents of the schedule in every shot map (an exposure map) becomes constant, however, in actual practice, because a retry must be considered, it is preferable for main controller 20 to constantly update the schedule slightly ahead while performing the exposure operation.

Incidentally, in the embodiment above, because the description was made related to the principle of the switching method of the encoder used for position control of wafer stage WST, expressions such as encoder (head) Enc1, Enc2, Enc3, and Enc4 were used, however, it goes without saying that head Enc1 and Enc2 indicate either Y head 64 of head units 62A and 62C or a pair of Y heads 64 y 1 and 64 y 2, representatively, and heads Enc3 and Enc4 indicates X head 66 of head unit 62B and 62D, representatively. Further, for similar reasons, in FIGS. 22A, 22B and 25, the placement of encoders (heads) Enc1, Enc2, Enc3 and the like is shown differently from the actual placement (FIG. 3 and the like).

<<Generalization of Switching and Linkage Principle>>

In the embodiment, in order to measure the position coordinates of wafer stage WST in directions of three degree of freedom (X, Y, θz), among the X encoders (heads) and Y encoders (heads) that constitute encoder systems 70A to 70D, at least three heads which at least include one X head and at least two Y heads are constantly used. Therefore, when the head which is to be used is switched along with the movement of wafer stage WST, a method of switching from a combination of three heads to another combination of three heads is employed, so as to continuously link the measurement results of the stage position before and after the switching. This method will be referred to as a first method.

However, when considering the basic principle of the switching and linkage process from a different point of view, it can also be viewed as a method of switching one head of the three heads that are used to another head. This method will be referred to as a second method. Therefore, the second method will be described, with the switching and linkage process from Y heads 64 3 to 64 4 shown in FIGS. 24A to 24E, serving as an example.

The basic procedure of the switching process is similar to the procedure described above, and while both the first head 64 3 which will be suspended later and the second head 64 4 which will be newly used face the corresponding scale 39Y2, as shown in figure of FIG. 24A or more 24E, main controller 20 executes the restoration of the second head 64 4 and the setting of the measurement values (linkage process), and the switching (and suspension of the first head 64 3) of the head monitoring the measurement value.

When the measurement value is set (linkage process), main controller 20 predicts a measurement value CY4 of the second head 64 4 using a measurement value CY3 of the first head 64 3. In this case, according to the theoretical formula (37b), measurement values CY3 and CY4 of Y heads 64 3 and 64 4 follow formulas (39a) and (39b) below.
C Y3=−(p 3 −X)sin θz+(q 3 −Y)cos θz  (39a)
C Y4=−(p 4 −X)sin θz+(q 4 −Y)cos θz  (39b)
In this case, (p3, q3) and (p4, q4) are the X and Y setting positions (or to be more precise, the X and Y positions of the measurement points) of Y heads 64 3 and 64 4.

To make it more simple, suppose that the Y setting positions of Y heads 64 3 and 64 4 are equal (q3=q4). Under this supposition, formula (40) below can be obtained by formulas (39a) and (39b) above.
C Y4 =C Y3+(p 3 −p 4)sin θz  (40)
Accordingly, by substituting the measurement value of first head 64 3 which will be suspended later into CY3 on the right-hand side of formula (40) above and obtaining CY4 on the left-hand side, the measurement value of the second head 64 4 which will be newly used can be predicted.

Predicted value CY4 that has been obtained is to be set as the initial value of the measurement value of the second head 64 4 at a proper timing. After the setting, the first head 64 3 is suspended when it moves off scale 39Y2, which completes the switching and linkage process.

Incidentally, when the measurement value of the second head 64 4 is predicted using formula (40) above, a value of rotation angle θz, which is obtained from the measurement results of another head that is active, should be substituted into variable θz. In this case, another head that is active is not limited to the first head 64 3 which is subject to switching, but includes all the heads that provide the measurement results necessary to obtain rotation angle θz. In this case, because the first head 64 3 is a head of head unit 62C, rotation angle θz can be obtained using the first head 64 3, and for example, one of the heads of head unit 62A that faces Y scale 39Y1 during the switching. Or, a value of rotation angle θz, which can be obtained from the measurement results of X interferometer 126 of interferometer system 118, Y interferometer 16, or Z interferometer 43A and 43B and the like can be substituted into variable θz.

Incidentally, the switching and linkage process between Y heads was explained as an example here, however, the switching and linkage process between X heads, and further, also the switching and linkage process between two heads belonging to different head units such as between the X head and the Y head can also be explained similarly as the second method.

Therefore when the principle of the linkage process is generalized, the measurement value of another head newly used is predicted so that the results of the position measurement of wafer stage WST is linked continuously before and after the switching, and the predicted value is set as the initial value of the measurement values of the second head. In this case, in order to predict the measurement values of another head, theoretical formulas (37a) and (37b) and the measurement values of the active heads including the head which will be suspended later subject to the switching will be used as required. However, for the rotation angle in the θz direction of wafer stage WST which is necessary on the linkage, a value which is obtained from the measurement results of interferometer system 118 can be used.

As is described above, even if it is premised that at least three heads are constantly used to measure the position of wafer age WST in directions of three degree of freedom (X, Y, θz) as in the preceding first method, if focusing on only the two heads which are direct objects of the switching and linkage process without referring to the concrete procedure of predicting the measurement value of another head newly used, the observation on the second method where one head out of the three heads used is switched to another head can be realized.

Incidentally, the description so far was made on the premise that the position of wafer stage WST in directions of three degrees of freedom (X, Y, θz) was measured using at least three heads. However, even in the case of measuring the position of two or more in directions of m degrees of freedom (the choice of the degrees of freedom is arbitrary) using at least m heads, it is obvious that the observation of the second method where one head out of m heads used is switched to another head can be realized, as in the description above.

Next, a description will be made in which under a specific condition, an observation of a method (to be referred to as a third method) where a combination of two heads is switched to a combination of another two heads can be consistently realized.

In the example above, as shown in FIGS. 24A to 24E, switching and linkage process between heads 64 3 and 64 4 is executed, while Y heads 64 3 and 64 4 each face the corresponding Y scale 39Y2. During this operation, according to the placement of the scale and the head employed in exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment, one Y head (expressed as 64 A) of head unit 62A faces Y scale 39Y1 and measures relative displacement of Y scale 39Y1 in the Y-axis direction. Therefore, a switching and linkage process will be considered from a first combination of Y heads 64 3 and 64 A to a second combination of Y heads 64 4 and 64 A.

According to theoretical formula (37b), a measurement value CYA of Y head 64 A follows formula (39c) below.
C YA=−(p A −X)sin θz+(q A −Y)cos θz  (39c)

In this case, (pA, qA) is the X and Y setting position (or to be more precise, the X and Y positions of the measurement point) of Y head 64 A. To make it more simple, suppose that Y setting position qA of Y head 64 A is equal to Y setting positions q3 and q4 of Y heads 64 3 and 64 4 (qA=q3=q4).

When theoretical formulas (39a) and (39c), which measurement values CY3 and CYA of Y heads 64 3 and 64 A of the first combination follow, are substituted into theoretical formula (39b), which measurement value CY3 of Y head 64 4 that is newly used follows, formula (41) below is derived.
C Y4=(1−c)C Y3 −c*C YA  (41)

However, constant C=(p3−p4)/(qA−q3). Accordingly, by substituting the measurement values of Y heads 64 3 and 64 A into CY3 and CYA on the right-hand side of formula (41) above and obtaining CY4 on the left-hand side, the measurement value of Y head 64 4 newly used can be predicted.

Predicted value CY4 that has been obtained is to be set as the initial value of the measurement value of Y head 64 4 at a proper timing. After the setting, Y head 64 3 is suspended when it moves off scale 39Y2, which completes the switching and linkage process.

Incidentally, according to the placement of the scale and the head employed in exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment, at least one X head 66 faces X scale 39X1 or 39X2 and measures the relative displacement in the X-axis direction. Then, according to the measurement results of the three heads, which are one X head 66 two Y heads 64 3 and 64 A, the position of wafer stage WST in directions of three degrees of freedom (X, Y, θz) is computed. However, in the example of the switching and linkage process described above, X head 66 merely plays the role of a spectator, and the observation of the third method where a combination of two heads, Y heads 64 3 and 64 A is switched to a combination of another two heads, Y head 64 4 and 64 A, is consistently realized.

Accordingly, under the premise that the use of three heads is indispensable to measure the position of wafer stage WST in directions of three degrees of freedom (X, Y, θz), the first method was proposed as a general method of the switching and linkage process that could be applied to every case, regardless of the placement of the scale and the head employed in exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment. And, based on the concrete placement of the scale and the head employed in exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment and the concrete procedure of the linkage process, the observation of the third method could be realized under a particular condition.

Incidentally, in addition to the first method, in the switching and linkage process of the encoder head by the second and third methods described above, the measurement value of another head to be newly used was predicted so that the position coordinate of wafer stage WST which is monitored is continuously linked before and after the switching, and this predicted value was set as an initial value for the measurement value of another head. Instead of the processing above, the measurement error of another head including the measurement error generated by the switching and linkage process can be computed and the correction data can be made. And, while the another head is being used, the correction data that has been made can be used for servo drive control of wafer stage WST. In this case, based on the correction data, positional information of wafer stage WST measured by the another head can be corrected, or a target position of wafer stage WST for servo control can be corrected. Furthermore, in the exposure operation, servo drive control of the reticle stage is performed, following the movement of wafer stage WST. Therefore, based on the correction data, instead of correcting the servo control of wafer stage WST, the follow-up servo control of the reticle stage can be corrected. Further, according to these control system, the measurement value of the head before the switching may be set as an initial value of another head without any changes. Incidentally, when making the correction data, not only the encoder system but also other measurement systems that the exposure apparatus in the embodiment has, such as the interferometer systems, should be appropriately used.

Next, a parallel processing operation that uses wafer stage WST and measurement stage MST in exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment will be described based on FIGS. 27 to 40. Incidentally, during the operation below, main controller 20 performs the open/close control of each valve of liquid supply unit 5 of local liquid immersion unit 8 and liquid recovery unit 6 in the manner previously described, and water is constantly filled in the space right under tip lens 191 of projection optical system PL. However, in the description below, for the sake of simplicity, the explanation related to the control of liquid supply unit 5 and liquid recovery unit 6 will be omitted. Further, many drawings are used in the operation description hereinafter, however, reference codes may or may not be given to the same member for each drawing. More specifically, the reference codes written are different for each drawing, however, such members have the same configuration regardless of the indication of the reference codes. The same can be said for each drawing used in the description so far.

FIG. 27 shows a state where exposure by the step-and-scan method is being performed on wafer W (in this case, as an example, the wafer is a wafer midway of a certain lot (one lot contains 25 or 50 wafers)) on wafer stage WST. In this state, measurement stage MST can wait at a withdrawal position where it avoids bumping into wafer stage WST, however, in the embodiment, measurement stage MST is moving, following wafer stage WST while keeping a predetermined distance. Therefore, when measurement stage MST moves into a contact state (or a proximity state) with wafer stage WST after the exposure has been completed, the same distance as the predetermined distance referred to above will be enough to cover the movement distance.

During this exposure, main controller 20 controls the position (including the θz rotation) of wafer table WTB (wafer stage WST) within the XY plane, based on the measurement values of at least three encoders out of two X heads 66 (X encoders 70B and 70D) shown surrounded by a circle in FIG. 27 facing X scales 39X1 and 39X2, respectively, and two Y heads 64 (Y encoders 70A and 70C) shown surrounded by a circle in FIG. 27 facing Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2, respectively, the pitching amount or rolling amount, and yawing amount of wafer stage WST measured by interferometer system 118, the stage position induced error correction information (correction information obtained by formula (22) or formula (23) previously described) of each encoder corresponding to the Z position, the correction information of the grating pitch of each scale and correction information of the warp of the grid line, and the Abbe offset quantity (Abbe error correction information). Further, main controller 20 controls the position of wafer table WTB in the Z-axis direction, the θy rotation (rolling), and the ex rotation (pitching), based on measurement values of one pair each of Z sensors 74 1,j and 74 2,j, and 76 1,q and 76 2,q that face one end and the other end (in the embodiment, Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2) of the wafer table WTB surface in the X-axis direction. Incidentally, the position of wafer table WTB in the Z-axis direction and the θy rotation (rolling) can be controlled based on the measurement value of Z sensors 74 1,j, 74 2,j, 76 1,q, and 76 2,q, and the θx rotation (pitching) can be controlled based on the measurement values of Y interferometer 16. In any case, the control (focus leveling control of wafer W) of the position of wafer table WTB in the Z-axis direction, the θy rotation, and the θx rotation during this exposure is performed, based on results of a focus mapping performed in advance by the multipoint AF system previously described.

Main controller 20 performs the exposure operation described above, based on results of wafer alignment (e.g. Enhanced Global Alignment (EGA)) that has been performed beforehand and on the latest baseline and the like of alignment systems AL1, and AL2 1 to AL2 4, by repeating a movement operation between shots in which wafer stage WST is moved to a scanning starting position (an acceleration starting position) for exposure of each shot area on wafer W, and a scanning exposure operation in which a pattern formed on reticle R is transferred onto each shot area by a scanning exposure method. Incidentally, the exposure operation described above is performed in a state where water is retained in the space between tip lens 191 and wafer W. Further, exposure is performed in the order from the shot area located on the −Y side to the shot area located on the +Y side in FIG. 27. Incidentally, details on the EGA method are disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,780,617 and the like.

And before the last shot area on wafer W is exposed, main controller 20 controls stage drive system 124 based on the measurement value of Y interferometer 18 while maintaining the measurement value of X interferometer 130 to a constant value, and moves measurement stage MST (measurement table MTB) to the position shown in FIG. 28. When the measurement stage is moved, the edge surface of CD bar 46 (measurement table MTB) on the −Y side touches the edge surface of wafer table WTB on the +Y side. Incidentally, measurement table MTB and wafer table WTB can be separated, for example, at around 300 μm in the Y-axis direction while monitoring, for example, the interferometer that measures the position of each table in the Y-axis direction or the measurement values of the encoder so as to maintain a non-contact state (proximity state). After wafer stage WST and measurement stage MST are set to the positional relation shown in FIG. 28 during the exposure of wafer W, both stages are moved while maintaining this positional relation.

Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 29, main controller 20 begins the operation of driving measurement stage MST in the −Y-direction, and also begins the operation of driving wafer stage WST toward unloading position UP, while maintaining the positional relation of wafer table WTB and measurement table MTB in the Y-axis direction. When the operations begin, in the embodiment, measurement stage MST is moved only in the −Y direction, and wafer stage WST is moved in the −Y direction and the −X direction. Further, at the beginning stage of the movement, main controller 20 controls the position (including the θz rotation) of wafer table WTB (wafer stage WST) in the XY plane, based on the measurement values of three encoders.

When main controller 20 simultaneously drives wafer stage WST and measurement stage MST in the manner described above, the water (water of liquid immersion area 14 shown in FIG. 29) which was retained in the space between tip lens 191 of projection unit PU and wafer W sequentially moves over wafer W→plate 28→CD bar 46→measurement table MTB, along with the movement of wafer stage WST and measurement stage MST to the −Y side. Incidentally, during the movement above, wafer table WTB and measurement table MTB maintain the contact state (or proximity state) previously described. Incidentally, FIG. 29 shows a state just before the water of liquid immersion area 14 is moved over to CD bar 46 from plate 28. Further, in the state shown in FIG. 29, main controller 20 controls the position (including the θz rotation) of wafer table WTB (wafer stage WST) within the XY plane, based on the measurement values (and the stage position induced error correction information, the correction information of the grating pitch of the scale and the correction information of the grid line of encoders 70A, 70B or 70D stored in memory 34, corresponding to the pitching amount, rolling amount, yawing amount, and the Z position of wafer stage WST measured by interferometer system 118) of the three encoders 70A, 70B, and 70D.

When wafer stage WST and measurement stage MST are driven simultaneously, slightly in the directions above furthermore from the state shown in FIG. 29, respectively, because the position measurement of wafer stage WST (wafer table WTB) by Y encoder 70A (and, 70C) will no longer be possible, main controller 20 switches the control of the Y position and the θz rotation of wafer stage WST (wafer table WTB) just before this, from a control based on the measurement values of Y encoders 70A and 70C to a control based on the measurement values of Y interferometer 16 and Z interferometers 43A and 43B. Then, after a predetermined time later, measurement stage MST reaches a position where baseline measurement (hereinafter appropriately referred to as Sec-BCHK (interval)) of the secondary alignment system is performed at a predetermined interval (in this case, at each wafer exchange) as shown in FIG. 30. Then, main controller 20 stops measurement stage MST at the position, and drives wafer stage WST furthermore toward unloading position UP and then stops wafer stage WST at unloading position UP, while measuring the X position of wafer stage WST using X head 66 (X linear encoder 70B) shown in FIG. 30 surrounded by a circle that faces X scale 39X1 and also measuring the position in the Y-axis direction and the θz rotation measure using Y interferometer 16 and Z interferometers 43A and 43B. Incidentally, in the state shown in FIG. 30, the water is retained in the space between measurement table MTB and tip lens 191.

Subsequently, as shown in FIGS. 30 and 31, main controller 20 adjusts the θz rotation of CD bar 46, based on the measurement values of Y-axis linear encoders 70E and 70F configured by Y heads 64 y 1 and 64 y 2 shown in FIG. 31 surrounded by a circle that face a pair of reference grids 52 on CD bar 46 supported by measurement stage MST, respectively, and also adjusts the XY position of CD bar 46, based on the measurement value of primary alignment system AL1 which detects reference mark M located on or in the vicinity of center line CL of measurement table MTB. Then, in this state, main controller 20 performs the Sec-BCHK (interval) in which the baseline (the relative position of the four secondary alignment systems with respect to primary alignment system AL1) of the four secondary alignment systems AL2 1 to AL2 4 is obtained by simultaneously measuring reference mark M on CD bar 46 located within the field each secondary alignment system, respectively, using the four secondary alignment systems AL2 1 to AL2 4. In parallel with this Sec-BCHK (an interval), main controller 20 gives a command to a drive system of an unload arm (not shown) so that wafer W on wafer stage WST suspended at unload position UP is unloaded, and also drives wafer stage WST in the +X direction so that the stage is moved to loading position LP, while keeping a vertical movement pin CT (not shown in FIG. 30, refer to FIG. 31) elevated by a predetermined amount, which was driven upward on the unloading.

Next, as shown in FIG. 32, main controller 20 moves measurement stage MST to an optimal waiting position (hereinafter referred to as “optimal scrum waiting position”)), which is the optimal waiting position for moving measurement stage MST from the state distanced from wafer stage WST into the contact state (or proximity state) previously described with wafer stage WST. In parallel with this, main controller 20 gives a command to a drive system of a load arm (not shown) so that a new wafer W is loaded on wafer table WTB. In this case, because vertical movement pin CT is maintaining the state of being elevated by a predetermined amount, wafer loading can be performed in a short period of time when compared with the case when vertical movement pin CT is driven downward and is housed inside the wafer holder. Incidentally, FIG. 32 shows a state where wafer W is loaded on wafer table WTB.

In the embodiment, the optimal scrum waiting position of measurement stage MST referred to above is appropriately set according to the Y-coordinate of alignment marks arranged on the alignment shot area on the wafer. Further, in the embodiment, the optimal scrum waiting position is decided so that wafer stage WST can move into the contact state (or proximity state) at the position where wafer stage WST stops for wafer alignment.

Next, main controller 20 moves wafer stage WST from loading position LP, to a position (more specifically, a position where the former process of base line measurement (Pri-BCHK) of the primary alignment system is performed) in the field (detection area) of primary alignment system AL1 where fiducial mark FM on measurement plate 30 shown in FIG. 33 is positioned. On this operation, by irregular control based on the measurement values of Encoder 70B for the X-axis direction, and Y interferometer 16 and Z interferometer 43A and 43B for the Y-axis direction and the θz rotation, main controller 20 controls the position of wafer table WTB (wafer stage WST) in the XY plane. And, when wafer stage WST arrives at the position shown in FIG. 33 where the former process of Pri-BCHK is performed, main controller 20 switches the position control of wafer stage WST in the XY plane from the irregular control described above to the position control using the three encoders (heads) in the following procedure.

In a state where wafer stage WST has been moved to the position shown in FIG. 33 where of the former process of Pri-BCHK is performed, two X heads 66 (of the heads, head 66 that faces X scale 39X2 is shown surrounded by a circle) of head unit 62D face X scales 39X1 and 39X2, respectively, and two Y heads 64 y 2 and 64 y 1, which are shown in FIG. 33 surrounded by a circle, face Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2, respectively. In this state, main controller 20 selects the two Y heads 64 y 2 and 64 y 1 and X head 66 that faces X scale 39X2 (these three selected heads will hereinafter be referred to as origin heads), and finely moves wafer stage WST within the XY plane so that an absolute phase of each origin head will be the initial value for each origin head that has been decided beforehand. In this case, the initial value of the absolute phase of each origin head is decided to be the measurement values of the absolute phase of Y heads 64 y 2 and 64 y 1 which were obtained after adjusting θz rotation of wafer stage WST in advance so as to make the θz rotational error of wafer stage WST become a value close to zero as much as possible, and the measurement value of the absolute phase of the remaining origin head 66 which was measured at the same time with the measurement values of the Y heads. Incidentally, at the point when the fine movement described above is started, the position of wafer stage WST within the XY plane is driven so that the value that the measurement value of each origin head decided beforehand fits within a range of one fringe of the interference fringe.

Then, at a point when the absolute phase of the three origin heads 66, 64 y 2 and 64 y 1 each become the initial value, main controller 20 begins the position control of wafer stage WST within the XY plane again, using origin heads (Y heads) 64 y 2 and 64 y 1 (encoders 70A and 70C) which face Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2, respectively, and origin head (X head) 66 (encoder 70D) which face X scale 39X2. That is, in the manner described above, main controller 20 switches the position control of wafer stage WST in the XY plane at the position where of the former process of Pri-BCHK is performed from the irregular control previously described to the position control based on the measurement values of encoders 70A, 70C and 70D corresponding to the three origin heads 66, 64 y 2 and 64 y 1. The position control based on the measurement values of encoders 70A, 70C and 70D is performed by controlling the position of wafer stage WST within the XY plane, based on the measurement values of encoders 70A, 70C and 70D, the stage position induced error correction information (the correction information that is obtained from formulas (22) and (23) previously described) of each encoder which corresponds to the pitching amount or rolling amount, yawing amount, and the Z position of wafer stage WST measured by interferometer system 118, the correction information of the grating pitch and the correction information of the grid line of each scale, and the Abbe offset quantity (Abbe error correction information).

Subsequently, main controller 20 performs the former process of Pri-BCHK in which fiducial mark FM is detected using primary alignment system AL1. At this point in time, measurement stage MST is waiting at the optimal scrum waiting position described above.

Next, while controlling the position of wafer stage WST based on the measurement values of at least the three encoders and each correction information described above, main controller 20 begins the movement of wafer stage WST in the +Y direction toward a position where the alignment marks arranged in three first alignment shot areas are detected.

Then, when wafer stage WST reaches the position shown in FIG. 34, main controller 20 stops wafer stage WST. Prior to this, main controller 20 activates (turns on) Z sensors 72 a to 72 d at the point when Z sensors 72 a to 72 d begins to move over wafer table WTB or at the point before, and measures the Z position and the inclination (θy rotation and θx rotation) of wafer table WTB.

After wafer stage WST is stopped as in the description above, main controller 20 detects the alignment marks arranged in the three first alignment shot areas substantially at the same time and also individually (refer to the star-shaped marks in FIG. 34), using primary alignment system AL1, and secondary alignment systems AL2 2 and AL2 3, and makes a link between the detection results of the three alignment systems AL1, AL2 2, and AL2 3 and the measurement values (measurement values after the correction according to each correction information) of at least the three encoders above at the time of the detection, and stores them in the internal memory.

As in the description above, in the embodiment, the shift to the contact state (or proximity state) between measurement stage MST and wafer stage WST is completed at the position where detection of the alignment marks of the first alignment shot areas is performed, and from this position, main controller 20 begins to move both stages WST and MST in the +Y direction (step movement toward the position for detecting alignment marks arranged in five second alignment shot areas) in the contact state (or proximity state). Prior to starting the movement of both stages WST and MST in the +Y direction, as shown in FIG. 34, main controller 20 begins irradiation of a detection beam from irradiation system 90 of the multipoint AF system (90 a, 90 b) toward wafer table WTB. Accordingly, a detection area of the multipoint AF system is formed on wafer table WTB.

Then, when both stages WST and MST reach the position shown in FIG. 35 during the movement of both stages WST and MST in the +Y direction, main controller 20 performs the former process of the focus calibration, and obtains the relation between the measurement values (surface position information on one side and the other side of wafer table WTB in the X-axis direction) of Z sensors 72 a, 72 b, 72 c, and 72 d, in a state where a straight line (center line) in the Y-axis direction passing through the center (substantially coinciding with the center of wafer W) of wafer table WTB coincides with straight line LV previously described, and the detection results (surface position information) of a detection point (the detection point located in or around the center, among a plurality of detection points) on the surface of measurement plate 30 of the multipoint AF system (90 a, 90 b). At this point, liquid immersion area 14 is located in the vicinity of the border of CD bar 46 and wafer table WTB. More specifically, liquid immersion area 14 is in a state just before it is passed over to wafer table WTB from CD bar 46.

Then, when both stages WST and MST move further in the +Y direction and reach the position shown in FIG. 36 while maintaining the contact state (or proximity state), the alignment marks arranged in the five second alignment shot areas are detected substantially at the same time and also individually (refer to the star-shaped marks in FIG. 3), using the five alignment systems AL1, and AL2 1 to AL2 4 and a link is made between the detection results of the five alignment systems AL1, and AL2 1 to AL2 4 and the measurement values (measurement values after the correction according to each correction information) of the three encoders 70A, 70C, and 70D at the time of the detection, and stored in the internal memory. At this point in time, since the X head that faces X scale 39X1 and is located on straight line LV does not exist, main controller 20 controls the position within the XY plane of wafer table WTB based on the measurement values of X head 66 facing X scale 39X2 (X linear encoder 70D) and Y linear encoders 70A and 70C.

As is described above, in the embodiment, the positional information (two-dimensional positional information) of a total of eight alignment marks can be detected at the point when the detection of the alignment marks in the second alignment shot areas is completed. Therefore, at this stage, main controller 20 can perform a statistical computation such as the one disclosed in, for example, Kokai (Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication) No. 61-44429 (the corresponding U.S. Pat. No. 4,780,617) and the like, to obtain the scaling (shot magnification) of wafer W, and can adjust the optical properties of projection optical system PL, such as for example, the projection magnification, by controlling an adjustment 68 (refer to FIG. 6) based on the shot magnification which has been computed. Adjustment unit 68 adjusts the optical properties of projection optical system PL, for example, by driving a particular movable lens that configures projection optical system PL, or changing gas pressure in an airtight chamber formed between particular lenses that configure projection optical system PL or the like.

Further, after the simultaneous detection of the alignment marks arranged in the five second alignment shot areas is completed, main controller 20 starts again movement in the +Y direction of both stages WST and MST in the contact state (or proximity state), and at the same time, starts the focus mapping using Z sensors 72 a to 72 d and the multipoint AF system (90 a, 90 b), as is shown in FIG. 36.

Then, when both stages WST and MST reach the position with which measurement plate 30 is located directly below projection optical system PL shown in FIG. 37, main controller 20 performs the Pri-BCHK latter process and the latter process of the focus calibration. In this case, the Pri-BCHK latter process refers to a processing in which a projected image (aerial image) of a pair of measurement marks on reticle R projected by projection optical system PL is measured, using aerial image measurement unit 45 previously described which has aerial image measurement slit pattern SL formed on measurement plate 30, and the measurement results (aerial image intensity depending on the XY position of wafer table WTB) are stored in the internal memory. In this processing, the projected image of the pair of measurement marks is measured in an aerial image measurement operation by the slit scan method, using a pair of aerial image measurement slit patterns SL, respectively, similar to the method disclosed in, U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2002/0041377 and the like. Further, the latter process of the focus calibration refers to a processing in which main controller 20 measures the aerial image of a measurement mark formed on a mark plate (not shown) on reticle R or on reticle stage RST using aerial image measurement unit 45, while controlling the position (Z position) of measurement plate 30 (wafer table WTB) related to the optical axis direction of projection optical system PL, based on the surface position information of wafer table WTB (wafer stage WST) measured by Z sensors 72 a, 72 b, 72 c, and 72 d, and then measures the best focus position of projection optical system PL based on the measurement results, as shown in FIG. 37. For example, the measurement operation of the projected image of the measurement mark is disclosed in, for example, the pamphlet of International Publication No. WO 05/124834 and the like. While moving measurement plate 30 in the Z-axis direction, main controller 20 takes in the measurement values of Z sensors 74 1,4, 74 2,4, 76 1,3, and 76 2,3 in synchronization with taking in the output signal from aerial image measurement unit 45. Then, main controller 20 stores the values of Z sensors 74 1,4, 74 2,4, 76 1,3, and 76 2,3 corresponding to the best focus position of projection optical system PL in a memory (not shown). Incidentally, the reason why the position (Z position) related to the optical axis direction of projection optical system PL of measurement plate 30 (wafer stage WST) is controlled using the surface position information measured in the latter process of the focus calibration by Z sensors 72 a, 72 b, 72 c, and 72 d is because the latter process of the focus calibration is performed during the focus mapping previously described.

In this case, because liquid immersion area 14 is formed between projection optical system PL and measurement plate 30 (wafer table WTB), the measurement of the aerial image is performed via projection optical system PL and water Lq. Further, because measurement plate 30 and the like is installed in wafer stage WST (wafer table WTB), and the light receiving element and the like is installed in measurement stage MST, the measurement of the aerial image is performed while maintaining the contact state (or proximity state) of wafer stage WST and measurement stage MST, as shown in FIG. 37. By the measurement described above, measurement values (more specifically, surface position information of wafer table WTB) of Z sensors 74 1,4, 74 2,4, 76 1,3, and 76 2,3 corresponding to the best focus position of projection optical system PL are obtained, in a state where the straight line (the center line) in the Y-axis direction passing through the center of wafer table WTB coincides with straight line LV previously described.

Then, main controller 20 computes the baseline of primary alignment system AL1, based on the results of the former process of Pri-BCHK and the results of the latter process of Pri-BCHK described above. With this, based on the relation between the measurement values (surface position information of wafer table WTB) of Z sensors 72 a, 72 b, 72 c, and 72 d obtained in the former process of the focus calibration described above and the detection results (surface position information) of the detection point on the surface of measurement plate 30 of the multipoint AF system (90 a, 90 b), and the measurement values (more specifically, surface position information of wafer table WTB) of Z sensors 74 1,4, 74 2,4, 76 1,3, and 76 2,3 corresponding to the best focus position of projection optical system PL which are obtained in the latter process of the focus calibration described above, main controller 20 obtains the offset at a representative detection point (the detection point located in or around the center, among a plurality of detection points) of the multipoint AF system (90 a, 90 b) with respect to the best focus position of projection optical system PL and adjusts the detection origin of the multipoint AF system, for example, by an optical method so that the offset becomes zero.

In this case, from the viewpoint of improving throughput, only one processing of the latter process of Pri-BCHK described above and the latter process of the focus calibration can be performed, or the procedure can move on to the next processing without performing both processing.

As a matter of course, in the case the latter process of Pri-BCHK is not performed, the former process of Pri-BCHK described earlier also does not have to be performed, and in this case, main controller 20 only has to move wafer stage WST from loading position LP to a position where the alignment marks arranged in the first alignment shot areas are detected. Incidentally, in the case Pri-BCHK processing is not performed, the baseline which is measured by a similar operation just before the exposure of a wafer exposed earlier than wafer W subject to exposure is used. Further, when latter process of the focus calibration is not performed, similar to the baseline, the best focus position of projection optical system PL which is measured just before the exposure of a preceding wafer is used.

Incidentally, in the state shown in FIG. 37, the focus mapping previously described is being continued.

When wafer stage WST reaches the position shown in FIG. 38 by movement in the +Y direction of both stages WST and MST in the contact state (or proximity state) described above, main controller 20 stops wafer stage WST at that position, while also making measurement stage MST continue the movement in the +Y direction. Then, main controller 20 almost simultaneously and individually detects the alignment marks arranged in the five third alignment shot areas AS (refer to star-shaped marks in FIG. 38) using five alignment systems AL1 and AL2 1 to AL2 4, links the detection results of five alignment systems AL1 and AL2 1 and AL2 4 and the measurement values of the four encoders at the time of the detection and stores them in the internal memory. At this point in time, the focus mapping is being continued.

Meanwhile, after a predetermined period of time from the suspension of wafer stage WST described above, measurement stage MST and wafer stage WST moves from the contact state (or proximity state) into a separation state. After moving into the separation state, main controller 20 stops the movement of measurement stage MST when measurement stage MST reaches an exposure start waiting position where measurement stage MST waits until exposure is started.

Next, main controller 20 starts to move wafer stage WST in the +Y direction toward a position where alignment marks arranged in three fourth alignment shot areas are detected. At this point in time, the focus mapping is being continued. Meanwhile, measurement stage WST is waiting at the exposure start waiting position described above.

Then, when wafer stage WST reaches the position shown in FIG. 39, main controller 20 immediately stops wafer stage WST, and almost simultaneously and individually detects the alignment marks arranged in the three fourth alignment shot areas on wafer W (refer to star-shaped marks in FIG. 39) using primary alignment system AL1 and secondary alignment systems AL2 2 and AL2 3, links the detection results of three alignment systems AL1, AL2 2 and AL2 3 and the measurement values of the four encoders at the time of the detection, and stores them in the internal memory. Also at this point in time, the focus mapping is being continued, and measurement stage MST is still waiting at the exposure start waiting position. Then, using the detection results of a total of 16 alignment marks and the measurement values (measurement values after the correction by each correction information) of the corresponding encoders obtained in the manner described above, main controller 20 computes array information (coordinate values) of all the shot areas on wafer W on a coordinate system (for example, an XY coordinate system whose origin is placed at the center of wafer table WTB) that is set by the measurement axes of the four encoders, using the EGA method disclosed in, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,780,617 and the like.

Next, main controller 20 continues the focus mapping while moving wafer stage WST in the +Y direction again. Then, when the detection beam from the multipoint AF system (90 a, 90 b) moves off the wafer W surface, as is shown in FIG. 40, main controller 20 ends the focus mapping. After that, based on the results of the wafer alignment (EGA) described earlier performed in advance, the latest baselines of the five alignment systems AL1 and AL2 1 to AL2 4, and the like, main controller 20 performs exposure by the step-and-scan method in a liquid immersion exposure and sequentially transfers a reticle pattern to a plurality of shot areas on wafer W. Afterwards, similar operations are repeatedly performed so as to expose the remaining wafers within the lot.

As discussed in detail above, according to exposure apparatus 100 related to the embodiment, the positional information (including the θz rotation) of wafer stage WST within the XY plane is measured by three encoders, which at least include one each of an X encoder and a Y encoder of the encoder system, while wafer stage WST is being driven. Then, main controller 20 switches an encoder (a head) used for measuring the positional information of wafer stage WST in the XY plane from one of the encoders of the three encoders to another encoder, so that the position of wafer stage WST within the XY plane is maintained before and after the switching. Because of this, although the encoder which is used for the control of the position of wafer stage WST has been switched, the position of wafer stage WST within the XY plane is maintained before and after the switching, which makes an accurate linkage possible. Further, also on the switching of the encoder, main controller 20 uses the measurement values of each encoder whose measurement errors of the head (encoder) due to the measurement delay previously described have been corrected. Accordingly, it becomes possible to move wafer stage WST two-dimensionally, precisely along a predetermined course, while performing linkage between a plurality of encoders.

Further, according to exposure apparatus 100 related to the embodiment, for example, while the lot is being processed, main controller 20 measures the positional information (including the θz rotation) of wafer stage WST within the XY plane (the movement plane) by three heads (encoders), which at least include one each of an X head (X encoder) and a Y head (Y encoder) of the encoder system. Then, based on the measurement results of the positional information and the positional information ((X, Y) coordinate value) in the movement plane of the three heads used for measuring the positional information, main controller 20 drives wafer stage WST within the XY plane. In this case, main controller 20 drives wafer stage WST within the XY plane, while computing the positional information of wafer stage WST within the XY plane using the affine transformation relation. Accordingly, it becomes possible to control the movement of wafer stage WST with good precision while switching the head (encoder) used for control during the movement of wafer stage WST, using the encoder system including head units 62A to 62D which respectively have a plurality of Y heads 64 or a plurality of X heads 66.

Further, according to exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment, while wafer stage WST is being driven, main controller 20 takes in the output of each encoder (a head) of the encoder system constantly (at a predetermined measurement sampling interval), as well as executes an operation where the encoder used for position control of wafer stage WST is switched from an encoder (a head) that has been used for position control of wafer stage WST to another encoder (a head) in synchronization with the timing of the position control of wafer stage WST. Therefore, the switching of the encoder no longer has to be performed at a high speed in synchronization with the measurement sampling where the output of the interferometer and the encoder is taken in, and a highly precise hardware for the switching will not be necessary, which consequently will make cost reduction possible.

Further, according to exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment, main controller 20 can make out a combination of encoders subject to the switching of the encoder used for position control of wafer stage WST from an arbitrary encoder of the encoder system to another encoder and prepare a schedule in advance for the timing of the switching, based on the movement course of wafer stage WST. Then, during the movement of wafer stage WST, main controller 20 measures the positional information of wafer stage WST within the XY plane using the three encoders of the encoder system, and based on the contents above that have been scheduled, the switching from the arbitrary encoder to the another encoder is performed. According to this, a reasonable encoder switching according to the target track of wafer stage WST becomes possible.

Further, according to exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment, in the case of moving wafer stage WST in a predetermined direction, such as, for example, the Y-axis direction at the time of wafer alignment time or exposure, wafer stage WST is driven in the Y-axis direction, based on the measurement information of the encoder system, the positional information (including inclination information, e.g., rotation information in the θx direction) of wafer stage WST in a direction different from the Y-axis direction, the characteristic information (e.g., the degree of flatness of the grating surface, and/or a grating formation error) of the scale, and the correction information of the Abbe error due to the Abbe offset quantity of the scale. More specifically, wafer stage WST is driven to compensate for the measurement errors of the encoder system (encoders 70A and 70C) caused by the displacement (including the inclination) of wafer stage WST in a direction different from the Y-axis direction and the scale. In the embodiment, main controller 20 drives wafer stage WST in the Y-axis direction, based on the measurement values of encoders 70A and 70C which measure the positional information of wafer stage WST in a predetermined direction, such as, for example, in the Y-axis direction, the positional information of wafer stage WST in a direction different from the Y-axis direction at the time of the measurement (direction besides the measurement direction), such as, for example, the stage position induced error correction information (the correction information which is computed by formula (22) previously described) that corresponds to the positional information of wafer stage WST in the θx direction, θz direction, and the Z-axis direction measured by Y interferometer 16 and Z interferometers 43A and 43B of interferometer system 118, the correction information (the correction information which takes into consideration the unevenness (degree of flatness) of the Y scale) of the grating pitch of the Y scale, the correction information of the warp of grid line 38 of the Y scale, and the correction information of the Abbe error due to the Abbe offset quantity of the Y scale. In the manner described above, stage drive system 124 is controlled and wafer stage WST is driven in the Y-axis direction, based on the measurement values of encoders 70A and 70C which are corrected according to each correction information of the relative displacement of scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 and Y head 64 in the direction besides the measurement direction, the measurement errors of encoders 70A and 70C, due to the grating pitch of Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 the warp of grid line 38, and the Abbe error due to the Abbe offset quantity of the Y scale. In this case, the measurement values (count values) of encoders 70A and 70C are the same results as when an ideal grating (diffraction grating) is measured with an ideal encoder (head). An ideal grating (diffraction grating), here, refers to a grating whose surface of the grating is parallel to the movement plane (the XY plane) of the stage and is a completely flat surface, and the pitch direction of the grating is parallel to the beam of the interferometer and the distance between the grid lines is completely equal. An ideal encoder (head) refers to a head whose optical axis is perpendicular to the movement plane of the stage and whose measurement values do not change by Z displacement, leveling, yawing and the like.

Further, in the case wafer stage WST is moved in the X-axis direction, wafer stage WST is driven in the X-axis direction, based on the measurement information of the encoder system, the positional information (including inclination information, e.g., rotation information in the θy direction) of wafer stage WST in a direction different from the X-axis direction, the characteristic information (e.g., the degree of flatness of the grating surface, and/or a grating formation error) of the scale, and the correction information of the Abbe error due to the Abbe offset quantity of the scale. More specifically, wafer stage WST is driven to compensate for the measurement errors of the encoder system (encoders 70B and 70D) caused by the displacement (including the inclination) of wafer stage WST in a direction different from the X-axis direction. In the embodiment, main controller 20 drives wafer stage WST in the X-axis direction, based on the measurement values of encoders 70B and 70D which measure the positional information of wafer stage WST in the X-axis direction, the positional information of wafer stage WST in a direction different from the X-axis direction at the time of the measurement (direction besides the measurement direction), such as, for example, the stage position induced error correction information (the correction information which is computed by formula (23) previously described) that corresponds to the positional information of wafer stage WST in the θy direction, θz direction, and the Z-axis direction measured by Z interferometers 43A and 43B of interferometer system 118, the correction information (the correction information which takes into consideration the unevenness (degree of flatness) of the X scales) of the grating pitch of the X scales, the correction information of the warp of grid line 37 of the X scales, and the correction information of the Abbe error due to the Abbe offset quantity of X scales 39X1 and 39X2. In the manner described above, stage drive system 124 is controlled and wafer stage WST is driven in the X-axis direction, based on the measurement values of encoders 70B and 70D which are corrected according to each correction information of the relative displacement of X scales 39X1 and 39X2 and X head 66 in the direction besides the measurement direction, the measurement errors of encoders 70B and 70D, due to the grating pitch of X scales 39X1 and 39X2 the warp of grid line 37, and the Abbe error due to the Abbe offset quantity of X scales 39X1 and 39X2. In this case, the measurement values of encoders 70B and 70D are the same results as when an ideal grating (diffraction grating) is measured with an ideal encoder (head).

Accordingly, it becomes possible to drive wafer stage WST using an encoder in a desired direction with good precision, without being affected by the relative motion in directions other than the direction (measurement direction) of the head and the scale to be measured, without being affected by the Abbe error, without being affected by the unevenness of the scale, and without being affected by the grating pitch of the scale and the grating warp.

Further, according to exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment, when the pattern of reticle R is formed in each shot area on the wafer, exposure by the step-and-scan method is performed, and during the exposure operation of this step-and-scan method, main controller 20 performs the linkage operation between the plurality of encoders, between the encoders (between combinations of the encoders) in accordance with the schedule set in advance, at a timing in accordance with the schedule, in synchronization with the timing of the position control of wafer stage WST.

Further, according to exposure apparatus 100 related to the embodiment, when wafer stage WST is driven in a predetermined direction within the XY plane by main controller 20, the measurement data corresponding to the detection signals of a total of three heads including at least one of the encoder systems, such as, for example, an X head and a Y head, is taken in at a predetermined control sampling interval (for example, 96 [μsec]), respectively, and based on the measurement data which was taken in the latest and the data just before the latest data (one control sampling interval earlier) for each head, and the information of delay time δ that accompanies the detection signals propagating through the cable (propagation path), wafer stage WST is driven so that the measurement errors of the head (encoder) due to the measurement delay that accompanies the detection signals propagating delay the cable (propagation path) are corrected. According to this, it becomes possible to drive wafer stage WST with high precision in the desired direction without being affected by the measurement delay that accompanies the detection signals of the head of the encoder propagating through the cable (propagation path).

For example, in exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment, in the case wafer stage WST is driven in the Y-axis, the positional information of wafer stage WST is measured using a total of three heads (encoders) that include encoders 70A and 70C each having a pair of Y heads 64 which faces Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2, respectively. On this measurement, even if delay time δ between the pair of Y heads 64 that each faces Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 is different, because main controller 20 drives wafer stage WST so that the measurement errors of the head (encoder) due to delay time δ are corrected, there consequently is no risk of the θz rotational error occurring in wafer stage WST according to the difference in delay time described above between the pair of Y heads 64.

Further, in the embodiment, prior to the drive of wafer stage WST described above, for example, such as at the startup time of the apparatus, main controller 20 drives wafer stage WST in a predetermined direction (e.g. the Y-axis direction (or the X-axis direction)) within the XY plane, and during the drive, for a plurality of Y heads 64 (or X heads 66) of the encoder system, such as for example, a pair, takes in the detection signals of each head and detection signals of Y interferometer 16 (or X interferometer 126) of interferometer system 118 in memory 34 simultaneously at a predetermined sampling timing, and based on both of the detection signals, executes a delay time acquisition process of acquiring information of the delay time for each head the with the detection signals of the corresponding interferometer serving as a reference. In the manner described above, it becomes possible for exposure apparatus 100 (main controller 20) itself to acquire the information of the delay time of the detection signals of each of the plurality of heads with the detection signals of the corresponding interferometer of interferometer system 118 serving as a reference.

Then, based on the information of the delay time for each of the plurality of heads of the encoder system that has been acquired, and the measurement data corresponding to the detection signals of each of the plurality of heads, main controller 20 drives wafer stage WST in the manner described above. Accordingly, even if the delay time is different for each head, it becomes possible to drive wafer stage WST using each encoder of the encoder system with good precision, without being affected by the difference of the delay time between the plurality of heads.

Further, according to exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment, when main controller 20 completes the exposure of wafer W on wafer stage WST, wafer stage WST is sequentially moved to unloading position UP and then to loading position LP, and unloading of wafer W that has been exposed from wafer stage WST and loading of a new wafer W on wafer stage WST, or more specifically, exchange of wafer W is performed on wafer stage WST. Each time the exchange of wafer W is completed, main controller 20 sets the position of wafer stage WST at the processing position where the former process of Pri-BCHK described earlier is performed, and starts the position control of wafer stage WST within the XY plane using the three encoders of the encoder system once more, according to the procedure previously described. Therefore, even if the linkage process (the switching process of the encoder used for the position control of wafer stage WST in the XY plane) between the plurality of encoders previously described is repeatedly performed, the position error (the cumulative error which is accumulated each time the linkage process is performed) of wafer stage WST that accompanies the linkage process is canceled each time exchange of wafer W is performed, so the position error of wafer stage WST never accumulates beyond a permissible level. Accordingly, the encoder system makes it possible to measure the positional information of wafer stage WST within the XY plane in the effective area previously described that includes the exposure position with good precision for over a long period, which in turn makes it possible to maintain the exposure precision for over a long period of time.

Further, in the embodiment, main controller 20 starts the position control of wafer stage WST within the XY plane using the three encoders of the encoder system once more, in a state in which yawing of wafer stage WST is adjusted to a position where the absolute phase of a pair of origin heads 64 y 2 and 64 y 1 which are spaced apart by distance L (≧400 mm) becomes the initial value that has been decided in advance. Because of this, the yawing error of wafer stage WST based on the measurement values of three origin heads at the control starting point within the XY plane of wafer stage WST can be set approximately to 0, and as a result, the shift of the baseline of the primary alignment system in the X-axis direction that accompanies the yawing error of wafer stage WST, chip rotation (rotational error of the shot area on wafer W), and the generation of overlay error that accompanies the chip rotation can be effectively controlled.

Further, in the embodiment, each time exchange of wafer W is performed on wafer stage WST, prior to starting the EGA alignment measurement, or to be more specific, prior to the measurement of the alignment marks arranged in the three first alignment shot areas on wafer W by alignment systems AL1, AL2 2, and AL2 3, main controller 20 begins the position control of wafer stage WST within the XY plane using the three encoders once more. Therefore, even if there are some errors in the measurement values of the X position and the Y position of wafer stage WST measured by the encoder at the point in time when position control of wafer stage WST within the XY plane using the three encoders is started once more, the errors are consequently canceled by the EGA performed next.

Further, in the embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 30, 31, and 32, main controller 20 continues the measurement of the positional information of wafer stage WST in the X-axis direction, which is the measurement direction of X encoder 70B, even while exchange of wafer W is being performed on wafer stage WST, using X encoder 70B (X head 66, which is a head of head unit 62D that faces X scale 39X2) of the encoder system. Therefore, X interferometer 128, which measures the X position of wafer stage WST in the vicinity of unloading position UP and loading position LP, does not necessarily have to be arranged. However, in the embodiment, X interferometer 128 is arranged for the purpose of backup, such as at the time of abnormality of the encoder.

Further, according to exposure apparatus 100 of the embodiment, for relative movement between illumination light IL irradiated on wafer W via reticle R, projection optical system PL, and water Lq from illumination system 10 and wafer W, main controller 20 drives wafer stage WST on which wafer W is placed with good precision, based on the measurement values of each encoder described above, the stage position induced error correction information of each encoder corresponding to the positional information of the wafer stage in the direction besides the measurement direction at the time of the measurement, the correction information of the grating pitch of each scale and the correction information of the grid line, and the correction information of the Abbe error due to the Abbe offset quantity of each scale.

Accordingly, by scanning exposure and liquid immersion exposure, it becomes possible to form a desired pattern of reticle R in each shot area on the wafer with good precision.

Further, in the embodiment, as it has been described earlier based on FIGS. 33 and 34, prior to the measurement (EGA alignment measurement) of the alignment marks arranged in the three first alignment shot areas on wafer W by alignment systems AL1, AL2 2, and AL2 3, main controller 20 switches the measurement unit used for the position control of wafer stage WST from interferometer system 118 to the encoder system (switches the control of the position of wafer table WTB within the XY plane from the irregular control previously described to the control based on the measurement values of at least three encoders out of encoders 70B and 70D and encoders 70A and 70C). According to this, even if there are some errors in the measurement values of the X position and the Y position of wafer stage WST by the encoder system just after the switching, there is an advantage of the errors being consequently canceled by the EGA performed next.

Further, according to the embodiment, on acquiring the stage position induced error correction information of the measurement values of the encoder previously described, main controller 20 changes wafer stage WST into a plurality of different attitudes, and for each attitude, in a state where the attitude of wafer stage WST is maintained based on the measurement results of interferometer system 118, moves wafer stage WST in the Z-axis direction in a predetermined stroke range while irradiating a detection light from head 64 or 66 of the encoder on the specific area of scales 39Y1, 39Y2, 39X1 or 39X2, and samples the measurement results of the encoder during the movement. According to this, change information (for example, an error characteristics curve as shown in the graph in FIG. 12) of the measurement values of the encoder corresponding to the position in the direction (Z-axis direction) orthogonal to the movement plane of wafer stage WST for each attitude can be obtained.

Then, by performing a predetermined operation based on this sampling result, namely the change information of the measurement values of the encoder corresponding to the position of wafer stage WST in the Z-axis direction for each attitude, main controller 20 obtains the correction information of the measurement values of the encoder corresponding to the positional information of wafer stage WST in the direction besides the measurement direction. Accordingly, the stage position induced error correction information for correcting the measurement errors of the encoder due to a relative change between the head and the scale in the direction besides the measurement direction can be determined by a simple method.

Further, in the embodiment, in the case of deciding the correction information above, for a plurality of heads that configure the same head unit, such as, for example, a plurality of Y heads 64 that configure head unit 62A, because a detection light is irradiated from each Y head 64 on the same specific area of the corresponding Y scale 39Y1, the sampling described above is performed on the measurement results of the encoder, and the stage position induced error correction information of each encoder configured by each Y head 64 and Y scale 39Y1 is determined based on the sampling result, by using this correction information, a geometric error which occurs because of the gradient of the head is also consequently corrected. In other words, when main controller 20 obtains by the correction information with the plurality of encoders corresponding to the same scale as the object, it obtains the correction information of the encoder serving as the object taking into consideration the geometric error which occurs by the gradient of the head of the object encoder when wafer stage WST is moved in the Z-axis direction. Accordingly, in the embodiment, a cosine error caused by different gradient angles in a plurality of heads is also not generated. Further, even if a gradient does not occur in Y head 64, for example, when a measurement error occurs in an encoder caused by the optical properties (telecentricity) of the head or the like, obtaining the correction information similarly can prevent the measurement error from occurring, which in turn prevents the deterioration of the position control precision of wafer stage WST. That is, in the embodiment, wafer stage WST is driven so as to compensate for the measurement errors (hereinafter also referred to as a head induced error) of the encoder system which occur due to the head unit. Incidentally, for example, correction information of the measurement values of the encoder system can be computed, based on the characteristic information (for example, including the gradient of the head and/or the optical properties and the like) of the head unit.

Incidentally, in the embodiment above, on the switching of the encoder used for position control of wafer stage WST, the case has been described where of the three encoders (head) that measure the positional information of wafer stage WST within the movement plane in directions of three degrees of freedom, one encoder (head) was switched to another encoder (head) so that the position (X, Y, θz) of wafer stage WST within the XY plane (movement plane) in directions of three degrees of freedom is maintained before and after the switching, however, the present invention is not limited to this. For example, in the case when a movable body is not allowed to rotate within the movement plane, the degree of freedom that the movable body has is only two degrees of freedom (X, Y) in the movement plane, however, the present invention can be applied even to such a case. More specifically, in this case, an encoder system that includes a total of three or more encoders including at least one each of a first encoder which measures positional information of the movable body in a direction that is parallel to a first axis within the movement plane and a second encoder which measures positional information of the movable body in a direction parallel to a second axis orthogonal to the first axis in the movement plane can be used by a controller, and the controller can switch an encoder used for measurement of the positional information of the movable body within the movement plane from an encoder of either of at least two encoders that include each one of the first encoder and the second encoder to another encoder, so as to maintain the position of the movable body within the movement plane before and after the switching. In the case of such an arrangement, the position of the movable body within the movement plane before and after the switching is maintained although the switching of the encoder used for controlling the position of the movable body is performed, which allows a precise linkage to be performed, which in turn makes it possible to perform linkage between a plurality of encoders while moving the movable body two-dimensionally precisely along a predetermined course. Further, similar to the embodiment above, the controller can make out a combination of the encoders subject to the switching and prepare the schedule for the switching timing based on the movement course of the movable body, as well as constantly takes in the measurement values of each encoder of the encoder system, and the controller can also execute an operation to switch the encoder used for control of the movable body from an encoder of either of at least the two encoders used for position control of the movable body to another encoder in synchronization with the timing of the position control of the movable body.

Further, on the switching described above, the controller can compute the positional information of the movement plane of the movable body by a computing formula using the affine transformation relation based on the measurement value of at least the two encoders used for position control of the movable body before the switching, and can decide the initial value of the measurement value of the another encoder so as to satisfy the computed results.

Incidentally, in the embodiment above, a movable body drive system was described in which an encoder system including an a plurality of encoders which measure the positional information of a wafer stage that moves within a two-dimensional plane is equipped, and main controller 20 constantly takes in the output of each encoder of the encoder system and executes an operation of switching an encoder used for position control of the movable body from an encoder that has been used for position control of the movable body to another encoder, at a timing in synchronization with the position control of the movable body, however, besides such a system, for example, in a movable body drive system equipped with the encoder system including a plurality of encoders which measure the positional information of a movable body that moves only in a one-dimensional direction, the controller can constantly take in the output of each encoder of the encoder system and execute an operation of switching an encoder used for position control of the movable body from an encoder that has been used for position control of the movable body to another encoder, at a timing in synchronization with the position control of the movable body. Even in such a case, the switching of the encoder will not have to be performed at a high speed, and a highly precise hardware for the switching will not be necessary, which consequently will make cost reduction possible.

Further, in the embodiment above, the case has been described where main controller 20 makes out a combination of the encoders subject to the switching of the encoder from an arbitrary encoder out of the three encoders of the encoder system that measures the positional information of wafer stage WST in directions of three degrees of freedom within the movement plane (XY plane) to another encoder and prepares the schedule for the switching timing based on the movement course of the movable body, however, the present invention is not limited to this. For example, there are movable bodies in which the movement of the movable body is allowed only in directions of two degrees of freedom or in a direction of one degree of freedom, however, even in a movable body drive system that drives such a movable body within the movement plane, if the system is equipped with an encoder system including a plurality of encoders for measuring the positional information of the movable body within the movement plane, it is desirable to make out a combination of the encoders subject to the switching of the encoder from an arbitrary encoder of the encoder system used for position control of the movable body to another encoder and prepare the schedule for the switching timing based on the movement course of the movable body, similar to the embodiment described above. According to this, a reasonable encoder switching according to the target track of the movable body becomes possible. Further, in this case as well, the controller can constantly take in the output of each encoder of the encoder system and execute an operation of switching an encoder used for position control of the movable body from an encoder that has been used for position control of the movable body to another encoder, at a timing in synchronization with the position control of the movable body.

When wafer stage WST is moved in the X-axis direction, in the embodiment above, for example, the switching of the head and linkage process of head unit 62A and head unit 62C is performed simultaneously, or a part of the process is performed in parallel, however, the process can be performed in head units 62A and 62C at a different timing. In this case, for example, the distance between adjacent heads is to be the same in head units 62A and 62C, and the position of head units 62A and 62C placed in the X-axis direction can be shifted.

Incidentally, in the embodiment above, an invention related to the switching of the head of the encoder and the linkage of the measurement value, an invention related to the correction of various measurement errors (e.g., stage position induced error, head induced error, scale induced error, Abbe error and the like) of the encoder system, an invention (invention about the reset of the encoder system) in which the position control of the wafer stage using the encoder system was started once more after every wafer exchange, an invention related to the switching timing in which the switching operation of the encoder (head) is executed at a timing in synchronization with the position control of the wafer stage, an invention to prepare the schedule for the switching timing based on the movement course of the wafer stage, an invention associated with the correction of the measurement errors of the encoder head due to the measurement delay that accompanies the propagation of the detection signal and the like were carried out by the same exposure apparatus. However, the inventions above can be executed alone or in any combination.

Further, in combination with the head switching/the linkage process previously described, a correction of the stage position induced error, the head induced error, the scale induced error and the Abbe error previously described or a combination of two or more of the corrections can also be performed.

Incidentally, in the embodiment above, the case has been described where main controller 20 computes an approximation straight line (for example, refer to straight line y=Ycal(t) shown in FIG. 10) with respect to the temporal change (for example, refer to temporal change curve y=y(t) shown in FIG. 10) of the position of wafer stage WST, based on the latest measurement values of each encoder (head) acquired at current time t and the measurement values of each encoder just before the latest measurement value (one control sampling interval), and drives wafer stage WST using the approximation straight line so that the measurement errors due to the measurement delay that accompanies the propagation of the detection signal of each head of the encoder system through the propagation path are corrected, however, the present invention is not limited to this. More specifically, in the present invention, in addition to the latest measurement data and the measurement data just before the latest measurement data (one control sampling interval), the controller can compute a secondary approximate curve of the temporal change curve of the position of the movable body using measurement data two measurements before the latest measurement data (two control sampling interval), and can drive wafer stage WST so that the measurement errors due to the measurement delay that accompanies the propagation of the detection signal of each head of the encoder system through the propagation path are corrected based on the approximation curve. The important thing is the controller should drive the movable body based on a plurality of data which includes the latest measurement data of the head of the encoder system and previous data including at least the measurement data just before the latest measurement data and on information of the delay time that accompanies the propagation the detection signal of the head through the cable, so that the measurement errors due to the measurement delay of the head are corrected.

Further, in the embodiment above, based on the detection signals of each Y head (each or, X head) of the encoder system and the detection signals of Y interferometer 16 (or X interferometer 126), main controller 20 performed the delay time acquisition process in which the information of the delay time of each Y head (or each X head) was acquired with the detection signals of Y interferometer 16 (or X interferometer 126) serving as a reference, however, the present invention is not limited to this, and by obtaining the difference of the delay time that accompanies the propagation of the detection signal of one of the X heads (or Y heads) through the cable and the delay time that accompanies the propagation of the detection signal of other X heads (or Y heads), information of the delay time for other X heads (or Y head) can be acquired with the detection signals of the one X head (or Y head) above serving as a reference.

Further, in the embodiment above, main controller 20 performed the delay time acquisition process on all heads of the encoder system, however, the present invention is not limited to this, and the delay time acquisition process can be performed on some heads.

Further, in the embodiment above, as it has been described referring to FIG. 20, on the delay time acquisition process, main controller 20 obtained the information of the delay time based on intensity difference ΔI of each head, e.g. detection signal C2 of Y head 64 and the corresponding interferometer, e.g. output signal C1 of Y interferometer 16, and computed the information of delay time δ above for Y head 64, however, the present invention is not limited to this, and the information of the delay time can be obtained directly, from the shift of both signals in the temporal axis direction.

Incidentally, in the embodiment above, the case has been described where all heads of head unit 62D except for one head 66 no longer face the scale at the unloading position and the loading position, and the position measurement of the wafer stage within the XY plane by the encoder system could no longer be performed physically, however, the present invention is not limited to this. More specifically, even if the position measurement of the wafer stage within the XY plane by the encoder system can be continued even at the unloading position and the loading position, it is desirable to begin the position measurement and position control of wafer stage WST using the three encoders once more, at any point while wafer stage WST returns from the wafer exchange position to the alignment area, similar to the embodiment above. By doing so, the cumulative error of the wafer stage position that accompanies the linkage process repeatedly performed between a plurality of encoders can be canceled regularly.

Incidentally, in the embodiment above, in order to simplify the description, main controller 20 had control over each part of the exposure apparatus such as the stage system, the interferometer system, the encoder system and the like, however, the present invention is not limited to this, and it is a matter of course that at least a part of the control performed by main controller 20 can be shared with a plurality of controllers. For example, a stage controller, which controls wafer stage WST based on the measurement values of the encoder system, the Z sensor and the interferometer system, can be arranged to operate under main controller 20. Further, the control that main controller 20 performs does not necessarily have to be realized by hardware, and the control can be realized by software using a computer program that sets the operation of main controller 20 or each operation of some controllers that share the control as previously described.

Incidentally, the configuration and the placement of the encoder system, the interferometer system, the multipoint AF system, the Z sensor and the like in the embodiment above is an example among many, and it is a matter of course that the present invention is not limited to this. For example, in the embodiment above, an example was indicated of a case where the pair of Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 used for the measurement of the position in the Y-axis direction and the pair of X scales 39X1 and 39X2 used for the measurement of the position in the X-axis direction are arranged on wafer table WTB, and corresponding to the scales, the pair of head units 62A and 62C is placed on one side and the other side of the X-axis direction of projection optical system PL, and the pair of head units 62B and 62D is placed on one side and the other side of the Y-axis direction of projection optical system PL. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and of Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2 used for the measurement of the position in the Y-axis direction and X scales 39X1 and 39X2 used for the measurement of the position in the X-axis direction, at least one of the scales can be arranged singularly on wafer table WTB, without being a pair, or, of the pair of head units 62A and 62C and the pair of head units 62B and 62D, at least one of the head units can be arranged, singularly. Further, the extension direction of the scale and the extension direction of the head unit are not limited to an orthogonal direction such as the X-axis direction and the Y-axis direction in the embodiment above, and it can be any direction as long as the directions intersect each other. Further, the periodic direction of the diffraction grating can be a direction orthogonal to (or intersecting with) the longitudinal direction of each scale, and in such a case, a plurality of heads of the corresponding head unit should be placed in a direction orthogonal to the periodic direction of the diffraction grating. Further, each head unit can have a plurality of heads placed without any gap in a direction orthogonal to the periodic direction of the diffraction grating.

Further, in the embodiment above, the case has been described where the X scale and the Y scale were placed on a surface parallel to the XY plane of wafer stage WST, or to be more concrete, on the upper surface, however, the present invention is not limited to this, and the grating can be placed, as a matter of course, on the lower surface, or on the side surface of wafer stage WST. Or an encoder system having a configuration in which a head is arranged on a wafer stage, and a two-dimensional grating (or a one-dimensional grating section which is arranged two-dimensionally) placed external to the movable body can be employed. In this case, when a Z sensor is placed on the wafer stage upper surface, the two-dimensional grating (or the one-dimensional grating section which is arranged two-dimensionally) can also be used as a reflection surface reflecting the measurement beam from a Z sensor.

Incidentally, in the embodiment above, rotation information (pitching amount) of wafer stage WST in the θx direction was measured by interferometer system 118, however, for example, the pitching amount can be obtained from the measurement values of either of the pair of Z sensors 74 i,j or 76 p,q. Or, similar to head units 62A and 62C, for example, one Z sensor or a pair of Z sensors can be arranged in proximity each head of head units 62B and 62D, and the pitching amount can be obtained from X scales 39X1 and 39X2 and the measurement value of the Z sensors that face the scales, respectively. Accordingly, it becomes possible to measure the positional information of wafer stage WST in directions of six degrees of freedom, or more specifically, the X-axis, Y-axis, Z-axis, θx, θy, and θz directions using the encoder and the Z sensor previously described, without using interferometer system 118. The measurement of the positional information of wafer stage WST in directions of six degrees of freedom using the encoder and the Z sensor previously described can be performed not only in the exposure operation but also in the alignment operation and/or the focus mapping operation previously described.

Further, in the embodiment above, the measurement values of the encoder system were corrected based on the correction information previously described so as to compensate for the measurement errors of the encoder system that occur due to displacement (relative displacement of the head and the scale) of wafer stage WST in a direction different from a predetermined direction in which wafer stage WST is driven, however, the present invention is not limited to this, and the target position for setting the position of wafer stage WST based on the correction information previously described can be corrected, for example, while driving wafer stage WST based on the measurement values of the encoder system. Or, especially in the exposure operation, the position of reticle stage RST can be corrected based on the correction information previously described, while, for example, driving wafer stage WST based on the measurement values of the encoder system.

Further, in the embodiment above, wafer stage WST was driven based on the measurement value of the encoder system, for example, in the case of exposure, however, for example, an encoder system the measures the position of reticle stage RST can be added, and reticle stage RST can be driven based on the correction information that corresponds to the measurement values of the encoder system and the positional information of the reticle stage in the direction besides the measurement direction measured by reticle interferometer 116.

Further, in the embodiment above, the case has been described where the apparatus is equipped with one fixed primary alignment system and four movable secondary alignment systems, and alignment marks arranged in the 16 alignment shot areas on the wafer are detected by the sequence according to the five alignment systems. However, the secondary alignment system does not need to be movable, and, further, the number of the secondary alignment systems does not matter. The important thing is that there is at least one alignment system that can detect the alignment marks on the wafer.

Incidentally, in the embodiment above, the exposure apparatus which is equipped with measurement stage MST separately from wafer stage WST was described as in the exposure apparatus disclosed in the pamphlet of International Publication No. WO 2005/074014, however, the present invention is not limited to this, and for example, as is disclosed in, for example, Kokai (Japanese Patent Unexamined Application Publication) No. 10-214783 and the corresponding U.S. Pat. No. 6,341,007, and in the pamphlet of International Publication No. WO 98/40791 and the corresponding U.S. Pat. No. 6,262,796 and the like, even in an exposure apparatus by the twin wafer stage method that can execute the exposure operation and the measurement operation (e.g., mark detection by the alignment system) almost in parallel using two wafer stages, it is possible to perform the position control of each wafer stage the encoder system (refer to FIG. 3 and the like) previously described. By appropriately setting the placement and length of each head unit not only during the exposure operation but also during the measurement operation, the position control of each wafer stage can be performed continuing the use of the encoder system previously described, however, a head unit that can be used during the measurement operation can be arranged, separately from head units (62A to 62D) previously described. For example, four head units can be placed in the shape of a cross with one or two alignment systems in the center, and during the measurement operation above, the positional information of each wafer stage WST can be measured using these head units and the corresponding scales. In the exposure apparatus by the twin wafer stage method, at least two scales each is arranged in the two wafer stages, respectively, and when the exposure operation of the wafer mounted on one of the wafer stages is completed, in exchange with the stage, the other wafer stage on which the next wafer that has undergone mark detection and the like at the measurement position is mounted is placed at the exposure position. Further, the measurement operation performed in parallel with the exposure operation is not limited to the mark detection of wafers and the like by the alignment system, and instead of this, or in combination with this, the surface information (step information) of the wafer can also be detected.

Incidentally, in the embodiment above, the case has been described where Sec-BCHK (interval) is performed using CD bar 46 on the measurement stage MST side while each wafer is exchanged on the wafer stage WST side, however, the present invention is not limited to this, and at least one of an illuminance irregularity measurement (and illuminance measurement), aerial image measurement, wavefront aberration measurement and the like can be performed using a measuring instrument (measurement member) of measurement stage MST, and the measurement results can be reflected in the exposure of the wafer performed later on. To be more concrete, for example, projection optical system PL can be adjusted by adjustment unit 68 based on the measurement results.

Further, in the embodiment above, a scale can also be placed on measurement stage MST, the position control of the measurement stage can be performed using the encoder system (head unit) previously described. More specifically, the movable body that performs the measurement of positional information using the encoder system is not limited to the wafer stage.

Incidentally, when reducing the size and weight of wafer stage WST is taken into consideration, it is desirable to place the scale as close as possible to wafer W on wafer stage WST, however, when the size of the wafer stage is allowed to increase, by increasing the size of the wafer stage and increasing the distance between the pair of scales that is placed facing the stage, positional information of at least two each in the X-axis and Y-axis directions, that is, a total of four positional information, can be measured constantly during the exposure operation. Further, instead of increasing the size of the wafer stage, for example, a part of the scale can be arranged so that it protrudes from the wafer stage, or, by placing the scale on the outer side of wafer stage main body using an auxiliary plate on which at least one scale is arranged, the distance between the pair of scales that face the stage can be increased as in the description above.

Further, in the embodiment above, in order to prevent deterioration in the measurement accuracy caused by adhesion of a foreign material, contamination, and the like to Y scales 39Y1 and 39Y2, and X scales 39X1 and 39X2, for example, a coating can be applied on the surface so as to cover at least the diffraction grating, or a cover glass can be arranged. In this case, especially in the case of a liquid immersion type exposure apparatus, a liquid repellent protection film can be coated on the scale (a grating surface), or a liquid repellent film can be formed on the surface (upper surface) of the cover glass. Furthermore, the diffraction grating was formed continually on substantially the entire area in the longitudinal direction of each scale, however, for example, the diffraction grating can be formed intermittently divided into a plurality of areas, or each scale can be configured by a plurality of scales. Further, in the embodiment above, an example was given in the case where an encoder by the diffraction interference method is used as the encoder, however, the present invention is not limited to this, and methods such as the so-called pickup method, the magnetic method and the like can be used, and the so-called scan encoders whose details are disclosed in, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,639,686 and the like, can also be used.

Further, in the embodiment above, as the Z sensor, instead of the sensor by the optical pick-up method referred to above, for example, a sensor configured by a first sensor (the sensor can be a sensor by the optical pick-up method or other optical displacement sensors) that projects a probe beam on a measurement object surface and optically reads the displacement of the measurement object surface in the Z-axis direction by receiving the reflected light, a drive section that drives the first sensor in the Z-axis direction, and a second sensor (e.g. encoders and the like) that measures the displacement of the first sensor in the Z-axis direction can be used. In the Z sensor having the configuration described above, a mode (the first servo control mode) in which the drive section drives the first sensor in the Z-axis direction based on the output of the first sensor so that the distance between the measurement object surface, such as the surface of the scale and the first sensor in the Z-axis direction is always constant, and a mode (the first servo control mode) in which a target value of the second sensor is given from an external section (controller) and the drive section maintains the position of the first sensor in the Z-axis direction so that the measurement values of the second sensor coincides with the target value can be set. In the case of the first servo control mode, as the output of the Z sensor, the output of the measuring section (the second sensor) can be used, and in the case of the second servo control mode, the output of the second sensor can be used. Further, in the case of using such a Z sensor, and when an encoder is employed as the second sensor, as a consequence, the positional information of wafer stage WST (wafer table WTB) in directions of six degrees of freedom can be measured using an encoder. Further, in the embodiment above, as the Z sensor, a sensor by other detection methods can be employed.

Further, in the embodiment above, the configuration of the plurality of interferometers used for measuring the positional information of wafer stage WST and their combination are not limited to the configuration and the combination previously described. The important thing is that as long as the positional information of wafer stage WST of the direction except for the measurement direction of the encoder system can be measured, the configuration of the interferometers and their combination does not especially matter. The important thing is that there should be a measurement unit (it does not matter whether it is an interferometer or not) besides the encoder system described above that can measure the positional information of wafer stage WST in the direction except for the measurement direction of the encoder system. For example, the Z sensor previously described can be used as such a measurement unit.

Further, in the embodiment above, the Z sensor was arranged besides the multipoint AF system, however, for example, in the case the surface position information of the shot area subject to exposure of wafer W can be detected with the multipoint AF system on exposure, then the Z sensor does not necessarily have to be arranged.

Incidentally, in the embodiment above, pure water (water) was used as the liquid, however, it is a matter of course that the present invention is not limited to this. As the liquid, liquid that is chemically stable, having high transmittance to illumination light IL and safe to use, such as a fluorine-containing inert liquid may be used. As the fluorine-containing inert liquid, for example, Fluorinert (the brand name of 3M United States) can be used. The fluorine-containing inert liquid is also excellent from the point of cooling effect. Further, as the liquid, liquid which has a refractive index higher than pure water (a refractive index is around 1.44), for example, liquid having a refractive index equal to or higher than 1.5 can be used. As this type of liquid, for example, a predetermined liquid having C—H binding or O—H binding such as isopropanol having a refractive index of about 1.50, glycerol (glycerin) having a refractive index of about 1.61, a predetermined liquid (organic solvent) such as hexane, heptane or decane, or decalin (decahydronaphthalene) having a refractive index of about 1.60, or the like can be cited. Alternatively, a liquid obtained by mixing arbitrary two or more of these liquids may be used, or a liquid obtained by adding (mixing) the predetermined liquid to (with) pure water can be used. Alternatively, as the liquid, a liquid obtained by adding (mixing) base or acid such as H+, Cs+, K+, Cl, SO4 2−, or PO4 2− to (with) pure water can be used. Moreover, a liquid obtained by adding (mixing) particles of Al oxide or the like to (with) pure water can be used. These liquids can transmit ArF excimer laser light. Further, as the liquid, liquid, which has a small absorption coefficient of light, is less temperature-dependent, and is stable to a projection optical system (tip optical member) and/or a photosensitive agent (or a protection film (top coat film), an antireflection film, or the like) coated on the surface of a wafer, is preferable. Further, in the case an F2 laser is used as the light source, fomblin oil can be selected.

Further, in the embodiment above, the recovered liquid may be reused, and in this case, a filter that removes impurities from the recovered liquid is preferably arranged in a liquid recovery unit, a recovery pipe or the like.

Further, in the embodiment above, the case has been described where the exposure apparatus is a liquid immersion type exposure apparatus, however, the present invention is not limited to this, and it can also be applied to a dry type exposure apparatus that performs exposure of wafer W without liquid (water).

Further, in the embodiment above, the case has been described where the present invention is applied to a scanning exposure apparatus by a step-and-scan method or the like. However, the present invention is not limited to this, but may also be applied to a static exposure apparatus such as a stepper. Even with the stepper or the like, by measuring the position of a stage on which an object subject to exposure is mounted by encoders, generation of position measurement error caused by air fluctuations can substantially be nulled likewise. Further, with the stepper or the like, the switching of the encoder used for position control of the stage can be performed as is previously described, and a combination of the encoders (heads) subject to the switching can be made out and the schedule for the switching timing prepared. Further, the timing of the switching operation can be in synchronization with the timing of the position control of the stage. Furthermore, it becomes possible to set the position of the stage with high precision based on the measurement values of the encoder and each of the correction information previously described, and as a consequence, it becomes possible to transfer a reticle pattern onto an object with high precision. Further, the present invention can also be applied to a reduction projection exposure apparatus by a step-and-stitch method that synthesizes a shot area and a shot area, an exposure apparatus by a proximity method, a mirror projection aligner, or the like.

Further, the magnification of the projection optical system in the exposure apparatus of the embodiment above is not only a reduction system, but can also be either an equal magnifying system or a magnifying system, and projection optical system PL is not only a dioptric system, but can also be either a catoptric system or a catadioptric system, and in addition, the projected image may be either an inverted image or an upright image. Moreover, the exposure area to which illumination light IL is irradiated via projection optical system PL is an on-axis area that includes optical axis AX within the field of projection optical system PL. However, for example, as is disclosed in the pamphlet of International Publication No. WO 2004/107011, the exposure area can also be an off-axis area that does not include optical axis AX, similar to a so-called inline type catadioptric system, in part of which an optical system (catoptric system or catadioptric system) that has plural reflection surfaces and forms an intermediate image at least once is arranged, and which has a single optical axis. Further, the illumination area and exposure area described above are to have a rectangular shape. However, the shape is not limited to rectangular, and can also be circular arc, trapezoidal, parallelogram or the like.

Incidentally, a light source of the exposure apparatus in the embodiment above is not limited to the ArF excimer laser, but a pulse laser light source such as a KrF excimer laser (output wavelength: 248 nm), an F2 laser (output wavelength: 157 nm), an Ar2 laser (output wavelength: 126 nm) or a Kr2 laser (output wavelength: 146 nm), or an extra-high pressure mercury lamp that generates an emission line such as a g-line (wavelength: 436 nm) or an i-line (wavelength: 365 nm) can also be used. Further, a harmonic wave generating unit of a YAG laser or the like can also be used. Besides the sources above, as is disclosed in, for example, the pamphlet of International Publication No. WO 1999/46835 (the corresponding U.S. Pat. No. 7,023,610), a harmonic wave, which is obtained by amplifying a single-wavelength laser beam in the infrared or visible range emitted by a DFB semiconductor laser or fiber laser as vacuum ultraviolet light, with a fiber amplifier doped with, for example, erbium (or both erbium and ytteribium), and by converting the wavelength into ultraviolet light using a nonlinear optical crystal, can also be used.

Further, in the embodiment above, illumination light IL of the exposure apparatus is not limited to the light having a wavelength equal to or more than 100 nm, and it is needless to say that the light having a wavelength less than 100 nm can be used. For example, in recent years, in order to expose a pattern equal to or less than 70 nm, development of an EUV exposure apparatus that makes an SOR or a plasma laser as a light source generate an EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet) light in a soft X-ray range (e.g. a wavelength range from 5 to 15 nm), and uses a total reflection reduction optical system designed under the exposure wavelength (e.g. 13.5 nm) and the reflective mask is underway. In the EUV exposure apparatus, the arrangement in which scanning exposure is performed by synchronously scanning a mask and a wafer using a circular arc illumination can be considered, and therefore, the present invention can also be suitably applied to such an exposure apparatus. Besides such an apparatus, the present invention can also be applied to an exposure apparatus that uses charged particle beams such as an electron beam or an ion beam.

Further, in the embodiment above, a transmissive type mask (reticle), which is a transmissive substrate on which a predetermined light shielding pattern (or a phase pattern or a light attenuation pattern) is formed, is used. Instead of this reticle, however, as is disclosed in, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,778,257, an electron mask (which is also called a variable shaped mask, an active mask or an image generator, and includes, for example, a DMD (Digital Micromirror Device) that is a type of a non-emission type image display device (spatial light modulator) or the like) on which a light-transmitting pattern, a reflection pattern, or an emission pattern is formed according to electronic data of the pattern that is to be exposed can also be used. In the case of using such a variable shaped mask, because the stage on which a wafer or a glass plate is mounted moves relatively with respect to the variable shaped mask, by driving the stage based on the measurement values of an encoder and each correction information previously described while measuring the position of the stage within the movement plane using the encoder system and performing the linkage operation between a plurality of encoders previously described, an equivalent effect as the embodiment described above can be obtained.

Further, as is disclosed in, for example, the pamphlet of International Publication No. WO 2001/035168, the present invention can also be applied to an exposure apparatus (lithography system) that forms line-and-space patterns on a wafer by forming interference fringes on the wafer.

Moreover, the present invention can also be applied to an exposure apparatus that synthesizes two reticle patterns via a projection optical system and almost simultaneously performs double exposure of one shot area by one scanning exposure, as is disclosed in, for example, Kohyo (published Japanese translation of International Publication for Patent Application) No. 2004-519850 (the corresponding U.S. Pat. No. 6,611,316).

Further, an apparatus that forms a pattern on an object is not limited to the exposure apparatus (lithography system) described above, and for example, the present invention can also be applied to an apparatus that forms a pattern on an object by an ink-jet method.

Incidentally, an object on which a pattern is to be formed (an object subject to exposure to which an energy beam is irradiated) in the embodiment above is not limited to a wafer, and can be other objects such as a glass plate, a ceramic substrate, a film member, or a mask blank.

The use of the exposure apparatus is not limited only to the exposure apparatus for manufacturing semiconductor devices, but the present invention can also be widely applied to an exposure apparatus for transferring a liquid crystal display device pattern onto a rectangular glass plate and an exposure apparatus for producing organic ELs, thin-film magnetic heads, imaging devices (such as CCDs), micromachines, DNA chips, and the like. Further, the present invention can be applied not only to an exposure apparatus for producing microdevices such as semiconductor devices, but can also be applied to an exposure apparatus that transfers a circuit pattern onto a glass plate or silicon wafer to produce a mask or reticle used in a light exposure apparatus, an EUV exposure apparatus, an X-ray exposure apparatus, an electron-beam exposure apparatus, and the like.

Incidentally, the movable body drive system, the movable body drive method, or the deciding method of the present invention can be applied not only to the exposure apparatus, but can also be applied widely to other substrate processing apparatuses (such as a laser repair apparatus, a substrate inspection apparatus and the like), or to apparatuses equipped with a movable body such as a stage that moves within a two-dimensional plane such as a position setting apparatus for samples or a wire bonding apparatus in other precision machines.

Further, the exposure apparatus (the pattern forming apparatus) of the embodiment above is manufactured by assembling various subsystems, which include the respective constituents that are recited in the claims of the present application, so as to keep predetermined mechanical accuracy, electrical accuracy and optical accuracy. In order to secure these various kinds of accuracy, before and after the assembly, adjustment to achieve the optical accuracy for various optical systems, adjustment to achieve the mechanical accuracy for various mechanical systems, and adjustment to achieve the electrical accuracy for various electric systems are performed. A process of assembling various subsystems into the exposure apparatus includes mechanical connection, wiring connection of electric circuits, piping connection of pressure circuits, and the like among various types of subsystems. Needless to say, an assembly process of individual subsystem is performed before the process of assembling the various subsystems into the exposure apparatus. When the process of assembling the various subsystems into the exposure apparatus is completed, a total adjustment is performed and various kinds of accuracy as the entire exposure apparatus are secured. Incidentally, the making of the exposure apparatus is preferably performed in a clean room where the temperature, the degree of cleanliness and the like are controlled.

Incidentally, the disclosures of the various publications, the pamphlets of the International Publications, and the U.S. Patent Application Publication descriptions and the U.S. patent descriptions that are cited in the embodiment above and related to exposure apparatuses and the like are each incorporated herein by reference.

Next, an embodiment of a device manufacturing method in which the exposure apparatus (pattern forming apparatus) described above is used in a lithography process will be described.

FIG. 41 shows a flowchart of an example when manufacturing a device (a semiconductor chip such as an IC or an LSI, a liquid crystal panel, a CCD, a thin film magnetic head, a micromachine, and the like). As is shown in FIG. 41, first of all, in step 201 (design step), function and performance design of device (such as circuit design of semiconductor device) is performed, and pattern design to realize the function is performed. Then, in step 202 (a mask making step), a mask (reticle) is made on which the circuit pattern that has been designed is formed. Meanwhile, in step 203 (a wafer fabrication step), wafers are manufactured using materials such as silicon.

Next, in step 204 (wafer processing step), the actual circuit and the like are formed on the wafer by lithography or the like in a manner that will be described later, using the mask and the wafer prepared in steps 201 to 203. Then, in step 205 (device assembly step), device assembly is performed using the wafer processed in step 204. Step 205 includes processes such as the dicing process, the bonding process, and the packaging process (chip encapsulation), and the like when necessary.

Finally, in step 206 (an inspecting step), tests are performed on a device made in step 205, such as the operation check test, durability test and the like. After these processes, the devices are completed and are shipped out.

FIG. 42 is a flowchart showing a detailed example of step 204 described above. In FIG. 42, in step 211 (an oxidation step), the surface of wafer is oxidized. In step 212 (CDV step), an insulating film is formed on the wafer surface. In step 213 (an electrode formation step), an electrode is formed on the wafer by deposition. In step 214 (an ion implantation step), ions are implanted into the wafer. Each of the above steps 211 to step 214 constitutes the preprocess in each step of wafer processing, and the necessary processing is chosen and is executed at each stage.

When the above-described preprocess ends in each stage of wafer processing, post-process is executed as follows. First of all, in the post-process, first in step 215 (a resist formation step), a photosensitive agent is coated on the wafer. Then, in step 216 (exposure step), the circuit pattern of the mask is transferred onto the wafer by the exposure apparatus (pattern forming apparatus) described above and the exposure method (pattern forming method) thereof. Next, in step 217 (development step), the wafer that has been exposed is developed, and in step 218 (etching step), an exposed member of an area other than the area where resist remains is removed by etching. Then, in step 219 (resist removing step), when etching is completed, the resist that is no longer necessary is removed.

By repeatedly performing the pre-process and the post-process, multiple circuit patterns are formed on the wafer.

By using the device manufacturing method of the embodiment described above, because the exposure apparatus (pattern forming apparatus) in the embodiment above and the exposure method (pattern forming method) thereof are used in the exposure step (step 216), exposure with high throughput can be performed while maintaining the high overlay accuracy. Accordingly, the productivity of highly integrated microdevices on which fine patterns are formed can be improved.

While the above-described embodiments of the present invention are the presently preferred embodiments thereof, those skilled in the art of lithography systems will readily recognize that numerous additions, modifications, and substitutions may be made to the above-described embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope thereof. It is intended that all such modifications, additions, and substitutions fall within the scope of the present invention, which is best defined by the claims appended below.

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Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.355/53, 356/509, 355/77, 355/67, 310/12.06, 310/12.19
Clasificación internacionalH02K41/00, G01B11/02, G03B27/42, G03B27/54
Clasificación cooperativaG03F7/70725, G03F7/70775, G03F7/70341
Clasificación europeaG03F7/70N12, G03F7/70N4B
Eventos legales
FechaCódigoEventoDescripción
26 Dic 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: NIKON CORPORATION, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SHIBAZAKI, YUICHI;REEL/FRAME:020308/0571
Effective date: 20071119