2 June 2003 Image stepper: high-resolution image processing using distributed computing
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A high-speed image processing has been created. Distributed computing is used to get the necessary resources. Controlling a high-resolution microscope, the image processing system grabs thousands of single images from different XYZ-positions. The system can get all available optical information from a greater microscopical structure like a complete chip on a wafer. Image pre-processing functions are used to eliminate optical effects like shading. A digital contrast enhancement is also available to get a better image quality. The scanning process can take several hours if a high-aperture objective lens is used. At the end we have a complex cluster image structure, and after the image post-processing the creation of the mosaic image can be started. The post-processing functions reduce the 3D data to 2D data. Best focus images can be defined or extended depth of focus images can be created. XY-neighboring images have overlapped areas. In two runs a correlation function define offset values. In a XY-run all available offset values define the final offset values. The result can be checked and manual changes are possible before writing the final mosaic image file.
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Volker Tympel, Volker Tympel, Roberto Witt, Roberto Witt, Shannon Layland, Shannon Layland, } "Image stepper: high-resolution image processing using distributed computing", Proc. SPIE 5038, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XVII, (2 June 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.482639; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.482639

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