Patents Represented by Attorney, Agent or Law Firm Robert Wallace
  • Patent number: 7132618
    Abstract: A plasma reactor for processing a semiconductor workpiece, includes reactor chamber having a chamber wall and containing a workpiece support for holding the semiconductor support, the electrode comprising a portion of the chamber wall, an RF power generator for supplying power at a frequency of the generator to the overhead electrode and capable of maintaining a plasma within the chamber at a desired plasma ion density level. The overhead electrode has a capacitance such that the overhead electrode and the plasma formed in the chamber at the desired plasma ion density resonate together at an electrode-plasma resonant frequency, the frequency of the generator being at least near the electrode-plasma resonant frequency. The reactor further includes a set of MERIE magnets surrounding the plasma process area overlying the wafer surface that produce a slowly circulating magnetic field which stirs the plasma to improve plasma ion density distribution uniformity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2006
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel J. Hoffman, Yan Ye, Dan Katz, Douglas A. Buchberger, Jr., Xiaoye Zhao, Kang-Lie Chiang, Robert B. Hagen, Matthew L. Miller
  • Patent number: 6790311
    Abstract: In a plasma reactor including a reactor chamber, a workpiece support for holding a workpiece inside the chamber during processing and an inductive antenna, a window electrode proximal a wall of the chamber, the antenna and wall being positioned adjacently, the window electrode being operable as (a) a capacitive electrode accepting RF power to capacitively coupled plasma source power into the chamber, and (b) a window electrode passing RF power therethrough from said antenna into the chamber to inductively couple plasma source power into the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2004
    Inventors: Kenneth S Collins, Michael Rice, Farahmand E Askarinam, Douglas A Buchberger, Jr., Craig A Roderick
  • Patent number: 6623596
    Abstract: A plasma reactor for processing a workpiece includes a reactor enclosure defining a processing chamber, a base within the chamber for supporting the workpiece during processing thereof, a semiconductor window electrode overlying the base, a gas inlet system for admitting a plasma precursor gas into the chamber, an electrical terminal coupled to the semiconductor window electrode, an inductive antenna adjacent one side of the semiconductor window electrode opposite the base for coupling power into the interior of said chamber through the semiconductor window electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2003
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc
    Inventors: Kenneth S. Collins, Michael Rice, John Trow, Douglas Buchberger, Eric Askarinam, Joshua Chiu-Wing Tsui, David W. Groechel, Raymond Hung
  • Patent number: 6589437
    Abstract: A method and an apparatus for actively controlling the density of the species generated in a plasma reactor using time-modulation. The method of the present invention includes providing an inductively coupled plasma reactor, irradiating a process gas and time-modulating an energy emission from the RF applicator in order to achieve a desired density of species within a plasma. The time-modulation includes varying an on-time and an off-time of the modulating signal. Moreover, a short on-time and a longer off-time is preferred if the degree of dissociation is to be minimized. The apparatus of the present invention, in which the above method may be carried out, includes an all-semiconductor chamber having a signal modulator. Moreover, the apparatus includes a reactor having various embodiments of a solenoidal antenna and a signal modulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2003
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventor: Kenneth S. Collins
  • Patent number: 6586886
    Abstract: The invention is embodied in a plasma reactor for processing a semiconductor wafer, the reactor having a gas distribution plate including a front plate in the chamber and a back plate on an external side of the front plate, the gas distribution plate comprising a gas manifold adjacent the back plate, the back and front plates bonded together and forming an assembly. The assembly includes an array of holes through the front plate and communicating with the chamber, at least one gas flow-controlling orifice through the back plate and communicating between the manifold and at least one of the holes, the orifice having a diameter that determines gas flow rate to the at least one hole. In addition, an array of pucks is at least generally congruent with the array of holes and disposed within respective ones of the holes to define annular gas passages for gas flow through the front plate into the chamber, each of the annular gas passages being non-aligned with the orifice.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Dan Katz, Douglas A. Buchberger, Jr., Yan Ye, Robert B. Hagen, Xiaoye Zhao, Ananda H. Kumar, Kang-Lie Chiang, Hamid Noorbakhsh, Shiang-Bau Wang
  • Patent number: 6528751
    Abstract: In accordance with one aspect of the invention, a plasma reactor has a capacitive electrode driven by an RF power source, and the electrode capacitance is matched at the desired plasma density and RF source frequency to the negative capacitance of the plasma, to provide an electrode plasma resonance supportive of a broad process window within which the plasma may be sustained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2003
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel J. Hoffman, Gerald Zheyao Yin
  • Patent number: 6252354
    Abstract: In an RF plasma reactor including a reactor chamber with a process gas inlet, a workpiece support, an RF signal applicator facing a portion of the interior of the chamber and an RF signal generator having a controllable RF frequency and an RF signal output coupled to an input of the RF signal applicator, the invention tunes the RF signal generator to the plasma-loaded RF signal applicator by sensing an RF parameter at the RF signal generator or at the RF signal applicator and then adjusting the frequency of the RF signal generator so as to optimize the parameter. The invention further controls the RF signal generator output magnitude (power, current or voltage) by optimizing the value of the same RF parameter or another RF parameter. The reactor preferably includes a fixed tuning circuit between the RF signal generator and the RF signal applicator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2001
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth Collins, Craig Roderick, Douglas Buchberger, John Trow, Viktor Shel
  • Patent number: 6247425
    Abstract: The present invention provides an apparatus and method for processing a workpiece in an inductively coupled plasma reactor. Inductive power is applied to the reactor to generate a plasma. A magnetic field is generated within the plasma reactor having lines of force oriented perpendicular to the workpiece surface. It is a feature of the invention to control the electron temperature near the surface of the workpiece by controlling the applied magnetic field. It is a further feature to increase average ion density near the workpiece without otherwise causing damage to the workpiece due to uneven charge build-up. The applied magnetic field can be time invariant or time variant. In both cases processing can be optimized by adjusting the magnitude of the magnetic field to a level just below where damage due to uneven charge build-up occurs. With the time variant field, the average ion density can be adjusted with respect to average electron temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2001
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Dimitris Lymberopoulos, Peter Loewenhardt, John Yamartino
  • Patent number: 5948168
    Abstract: A plasma reactor has plural dielectric gas injection tubes extending from a gas injection source and through a microwave guide and into the top of the reactor chamber. The semiconductor wafer rests near the bottom of the chamber on a wafer pedestal connected to a bias RF power source which is controlled independently of the microwave source coupled to the microwave guide. The microwaves from the waveguide ignite and maintain a plasma in each of the tubes. Gas flow through the tubes carries the plasmas in all the tubes into the chamber and into contact with the wafer surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Hongching Shan, Harald Herchen, Michael Welch
  • Patent number: 5919382
    Abstract: The invention is embodied in a coil antenna for radiating RF power supplied by an RF source into a vacuum chamber of an inductively coupled plasma reactor which processes a semiconductor wafer in the vacuum chamber, the reactor having a gas supply inlet for supplying processing gases into the vacuum chamber, the coil antenna including plural concentric spiral conductive windings, each of the windings having an interior end near an apex of a spiral of the winding and an outer end at a periphery of the spiral of the winding, and a common terminal connected to the interior ends of the plural concentric spiral windings, the RF power source being connected across the terminal and the outer end of each one of the windings. In embodiment, the inner ends of the concentric spiral windings are connected radially outwardly of a common conductor rather than inwardly to an apex terminal. In another embodiment, the concentric spiral windings are each powered at a point intermediate the radially inner and outer ends.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 6, 1999
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Xue-Yu Qian, Arthur Sato
  • Patent number: 5907221
    Abstract: An inductively coupled plasma reactor for processing a substrate has an inductively coupled coil antenna including plural inductive antenna loops which are electrically separated from one another and independently connected to separately controllable plasma source RF power supplies. The RF power level in each independent antenna loop is separately programmed and instantly changeable to provide a perfectly uniform plasma ion density distribution across the entire substrate surface under a large range of plasma processing conditions, such as different process gases or gas mixtures. In a preferred embodiment, there are as many separately controllable RF power supplies as there are independent antenna loops, and all the separately controllable power supplies receive their RF power from a commonly shared RF generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 25, 1999
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Arthur H. Sato, Xue-Yu Qian
  • Patent number: 5897712
    Abstract: The present invention reduces those portions of the RF induction field over areas of the wafer experiencing higher etch or deposition rates than those experienced elsewhere on the wafer. Such a controlled reduction of those portions of the RF induction field whose attenuation results in reducing non-uniformity in the etch or deposition rate distribution is obtained by incorporating a plasma uniformity control apparatus into the inductively coupled plasma reactor. The incorporated plasma uniformity control apparatus for controlling the RF induction field produced by the antenna includes one or more conductive bodies which are disposed adjacent to one or more of the radiating elements of the antenna.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 27, 1999
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Hiroji Hanawa, Peter K Loewenhardt, Timothy D. Driscoll, Gerald Zheyao Yin
  • Patent number: 5047358
    Abstract: A process for forming both low voltage CMOS transistors and high voltage CMOS transistors on a common integrated circuit chip uses a common implantation and drive-in step to form both the n-type well of each PMOS transistor and the n-type drain extension well of each lightly doped drain (LDD) NMOS transistor and a separate implant and drive-in to form the p-type drain extension well of each LDD PMOS transistor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 1989
    Date of Patent: September 10, 1991
    Assignee: Delco Electronics Corporation
    Inventors: Walter K. Kosiak, Douglas R. Schnabel, Jonathan D. Mann, Jack D. Parrish, Paul R. Rowlands, III