Patents Represented by Attorney, Agent or Law Firm Thomason, Moser & Patterson
  • Patent number: 6742279
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention provide a spin rinse dry (SRD) chamber for a semiconductor processing system. The SRD chamber includes a selectively rotatable substrate support member having an upper substrate receiving surface formed thereon, and a selectively rotatable shield member positioned above the upper substrate receiving surface, the rotatable shield member having a substantially planar lower surface that may be selectively positioned proximate the upper substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2004
    Assignee: Applied Materials Inc.
    Inventors: Dmitry Lubomirsky, Joseph J. Stevens
  • Patent number: 6544399
    Abstract: The present invention provides plating solutions, particularly copper plating solutions, designed to provide uniform coatings on substrates and to provide substantially defect free filling of small features formed on substrates with none or low supporting electrolyte, i.e., which include no acid, low acid, no base, or no conducting salts, and/or high metal ion, e.g., copper, concentration. Defect free filling of features is enhanced by a plating solution containing blends of polyethers (“carrier”) and organic divalent sulfur compounds (“accelerator”), wherein the concentration of the carrier ranges from about 0.1 ppm to about 2500 ppm of the plating solution, and the concentration of the accelerator ranges from about 0.05 ppm to about 1000 ppm of the plating solution. The plating solution is further improved by adding an organic nitrogen compound at a concentration from about 0.01 ppm to about 1000 ppm to improve the filling of vias on a resistive substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Uziel Landau, John J. D'Urso
  • Patent number: 6517303
    Abstract: The present invention provides an apparatus and method for substrate transport. In systems according to the invention, at least a first and second chamber are provided. The first chamber may be a load lock and the second chamber a processing chamber. A substrate transfer shuttle is provided and is moveable along a linear path defined by guide rollers between one position in the first chamber and another position in the second chamber. In this way, the substrate may be transferred, in both a forward and a reverse direction, between the first chamber and the second chamber. The substrate transfer shuttle is structured so that a substrate may be removed therefrom by moving a support in one of the chambers from a lowered position to an intermediate position, after which the substrate transfer shuttle may be removed from the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2003
    Assignee: Applied Komatsu Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: John M. White, Norman L. Turner, Robin L. Tiner, Ernst Keller, Shinichi Kurita, Wendell T. Blonigan, David E. Berkstresser
  • Patent number: 6486081
    Abstract: The present invention provides an apparatus for depositing a film on a substrate comprising a processing chamber, a substrate support member disposed within the chamber, a first gas inlet, a second gas inlet, a plasma generator and a gas exhaust. The first gas inlet provides a first gas at a first distance from an interior surface of the chamber, and the second gas inlet provides a second gas at a second distance that is closer than the first distance from the interior surface of the chamber. Thus, the second gas creates a higher partial pressure adjacent the interior surface of the chamber to significantly reduce deposition from the first gas onto the interior surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2002
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Tetsuya Ishikawa, Padmanabhan Krishnaraj, Feng Gao, Alan W. Collins, Lily Pang
  • Patent number: 6416647
    Abstract: The invention provides an electro-chemical deposition cell for face-up processing of semiconductor substrates comprising a substrate support member, a cathode connected to the substrate plating surface, an anode disposed above the substrate support member and an electroplating solution inlet supplying an electroplating solution fluidly connecting the anode and the substrate plating surface. Preferably, the anode comprises a consumable metal source disposed in a liquid permeable structure, and the anode and a cavity ring define a cavity for holding and distributing the electroplating solution to the substrate plating surface. Preferably, the substrate support member comprises a vacuum chuck having vacuum ports disposed on the substrate supporting surface that serves to provide suction during processing and to provide a blow-off gas flow to prevent backside contamination during substrate transfers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2002
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Yezdi Dordi, Joe Stevens, Roy Edwards, Bob Lowrance, Michael Sugarman, Mark Denome
  • Patent number: 6409896
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for detecting the presence of a plasma. The apparatus comprises an electrically floating contact member that is exposed to a plasma forming region, for example, a semiconductor wafer processing chamber. The floating contact is coupled to a measuring device. When a plasma is present in the plasma forming region, the plasma induces a voltage upon the floating contact which is detected by the measuring device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventor: Steve Crocker
  • Patent number: 6398948
    Abstract: In a method of removing acidic compounds, color, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, and for removing or converting hydrocarbons containing heteroatoms from used oil distillate, phase transfer catalysts are employed to facilitate the transfer of inorganic or organic bases to the substrate of the oil distillate. An inorganic or organic base, a phase transfer catalyst selected from the group including quaternary ammonium salts, polyol ethers and crown ethers, and used oil distillate are mixed and heated. Thereafter, contaminants are removed from the used oil distillate through distillation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: Miami University
    Inventors: Jeffrey H. Sherman, Richard T. Taylor
  • Patent number: 6395157
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for conditioning a surface of a ceramic body in a process chamber when the process chamber has a vacuum pump, an anode and a cathode. The conditioning method consists of pumping the process chamber down to a vacuum with the vacuum pump, introducing a gas into the chamber, energizing the anode and cathode with RF power to ignite the gas into a plasma, sputter etchinq the surface with ions from the plasma to remove contaminants therefrom. The method is accomplished either within a process chamber to condition, in situ, a ceramic chuck or within a cleaning chamber to condition any form of ceramic body or component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2002
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Nitin Khurana, Vince Burkhart, Steve Sansoni, Vijay Parkhe, Eugene Tzou
  • Patent number: 6356812
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for displaying information in a vehicle is provided. Initially, navigation information is received from at least one of a remote database via a wireless network and a local sensor. A driver attention threshold is then determined from the received navigation information. Information from a network information source is displayed in the vehicle if the driver attention threshold is exceeded by a display allowance value indicative of least one of a type of information to be displayed and a type of media to be displayed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Brian John Cragun
  • Patent number: 6349807
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for inhibiting tangling of a plurality of cables. The cable support apparatus includes a support brace having a plurality of legs, together at least partially surrounding a cable run for a plurality of cables. A side of the legs opposite the cable run is formed with a plurality of spaced apart passages for separating and guiding the plurality of cables with respect to the cable run. These passages at least partially surround corresponding cables and may be used together with a detachable clamping plate to retain the cables within the corresponding passages. The method includes passing cables to be connected to a movable member through corresponding cable passages in a first direction along an outer portion of the cable support brace and securing the cables within the cable passages. The cables are turned in a second direction substantially opposite the first direction and passed through an opening in an interior portion of the cable support brace.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2002
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas Northup, Peter C. Trieu
  • Patent number: 6348725
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for depositing a low dielectric constant film by reaction of an organosilicon compound and an oxidizing gas at a constant RF power level from about 10 W to about 200 W or a pulsed RF power level from about 20 W to about 500 W. Dissociation of the oxidizing gas can be increased prior to mixing with the organosilicon compound, preferably within a separate microwave chamber, to assist in controlling the carbon content of the deposited film. The oxidized organosilane or organosiloxane film has good barrier properties for use as a liner or cap layer adjacent other dielectric layers. The oxidized organosilane or organosiloxane film may also be used as an etch stop and an intermetal dielectric layer for fabricating dual damascene structures. The oxidized organosilane or organosiloxane films also provide excellent adhesion between different dielectric layers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1999
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2002
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: David Cheung, Wai-Fan Yau, Robert P. Mandal, Shin-Puu Jeng, Kuo-Wei Liu, Yung-Cheng Lu, Michael Barnes, Ralf B. Willecke, Farhad Moghadam, Tetsuya Ishikawa, Tze Wing Poon
  • Patent number: 6337638
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method, apparatus and article of manufacture for detecting the presence of one or more target vehicles and determining a distance and speed of the targeted vehicles relative to a targeting vehicle. When predetermined threshold conditions are satisfied, warning signals are output from a computer system to alert a driver of the one or more targeted vehicles. In addition, steps may be taken to determine whether the targeting vehicle and the one or more targeted vehicles will converge to create a congested condition. If so, the speed of the targeting vehicle maybe adjusted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2002
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Cary Lee Bates, Michael Martin Tomashek
  • Patent number: 6336204
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for handling deadlocks in a multichamber semiconductor wafer processing system known as a cluster tool. A plurality of software routines execute upon a sequencer of a cluster tool to perform deadlock avoidance, deadlock detection and deadlock resolution towards achieving optimal wafer throughput for a cluster tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2002
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventor: Dusan Jevtic
  • Patent number: 6327517
    Abstract: A system and an associated method for positioning a substrate includes transferring a substrate along a path intersecting a plane of a sensor beam; determining a center point and an orientation indicator of the substrate utilizing signals from the sensor beam; and positioning a substrate according to the center point and the orientation indicator of the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2001
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventor: Satish Sundar
  • Patent number: 6324924
    Abstract: The present disclosure sets out a sample measuring loop connected to a valve system. The valve system connects also to a sample additive loop. The valve system connects to a sample source and an additive source. They fill the loops. The valve system connects also to a wash fluid and gas source to clear the loops and valves to enable measured mixing and delivery to a sample analyzer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2001
    Inventor: Roger Peterson
  • Patent number: 6323463
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for heating a loadlock to inhibit the formation of contaminants within the loadlock. At least one heater is attached to the walls of the loadlock to boil contaminants from the surfaces within the loadlock. These desorbed contaminants are exhausted from the loadlock by a vacuum pump. Alternatively, a purge gas can be supplied to the loadlock while the loadlock is being heated. The flow of purge gas flushes the desorbed contaminants from the loadlock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew F. Davis, Douglas R. McAllister, David Evans
  • Patent number: 6322252
    Abstract: A discrete fluid dynamic bearing comprising a fluid dynamic bearing including a bearing cone mounted on a sleeve and defining in cooperation with a bearing seat having a surface facing an outer surface of the bearing cone across a fluid bearing gap, a first seal establishing a pressure gradient from a distal end of the sleeve toward the gap of the fluid dynamic bearing and a second seal on an opposite side of the fluid dynamic bearing from the first seal for establishing a positive, higher pressure toward the fluid bearing gap, the press established by the first and second seals maintain the fluid in the gap during relative rotation of the surfaces of the fluid dynamic bearing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Assignee: Seagate Technology LLC
    Inventors: Alan Lyndon Grantz, Gunter Karl Heine
  • Patent number: 6322312
    Abstract: The present invention generally provides a robot that can transfer workpieces, such as silicon wafers, at increased speeds and accelerations and decelerations. More particularly, the present invention provides a robot wrist associated with the robot arm for mechanically clamping a workpiece to a workpiece handling member attached to the arm. The workpiece clamp selectively applies sufficient force to hold the workpiece and prevent slippage and damage to the workpiece during rapid rotation and linear movement of the handling member. In one embodiment, a clamp for securing silicon wafers uses two clamp fingers connected to a single flexure member to position and hold the wafer with minimal particle generation and wafer damage. The clamp is designed so that wafers are normally clamped except near full extension of the workpiece handling member to deliver or pick up a wafer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventor: Satish Sundar
  • Patent number: 6319098
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method and apparatus for delivering one or more rinse agents to a surface, such as a polishing pad surface and preferably one or more polishing fluids. The invention also provides a method of cleaning one or more surfaces, such as a polishing pad surface and a substrate surface, by delivering a spray of one or more rinse agents to the surface and, preferably, causing the rinse agent to flow across the surface from a central region to an outer region where unwanted debris and material is collected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas H. Osterheld, Peter McKeever, Chad Garretson
  • Patent number: 6316853
    Abstract: A novel spindle motor assembly is disclosed that utilizes a fixed shaft and places the motor rotor components on the outside wall of the spindle hub directly below its disc stack supporting flange. The structure disclosed provides a compact yet powerful motor having a relatively low profile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2001
    Assignee: Seagate Technology LLC
    Inventor: Donald James MacLeod