Patents Examined by Maureen Gramaglia
  • Patent number: 9325007
    Abstract: A magnetic handling assembly for thin-film processing of a substrate, a system and method for assembling and disassembling a shadow mask to cover a top of a workpiece for exposure to a processing condition. The assembly may include a magnetic handling carrier and a shadow mask disposed over, and magnetically coupled to, the magnetic handling carrier to cover a top of a workpiece that is to be disposed between the shadow mask and the magnetic handling carrier when exposed to a processing condition. A system includes a first chamber with a first support to hold the shadow mask, a second support to hold a handling carrier, and an alignment system to align the shadow mask a workpiece to be disposed between the carrier and shadow mask. The first and second supports are moveable relative to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2016
    Inventors: Byung-Sung Leo Kwak, Stefan Bangert, Ralf Hofmann, Michael Koenig
  • Patent number: 9111729
    Abstract: A plasma etch processing tool is disclosed. The plasma etch processing tool, comprising a substrate support for supporting a substrate having a substrate surface area, a processing head including a plasma microchamber having an open side that is oriented over the substrate support, the open side of the plasma microchamber having a process area that is less than the substrate surface area, a sealing structure defined between the substrate support and the processing head and a power supply connected to the plasma microchamber and the substrate support. A method for performing a plasma etch is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2015
    Assignee: Lam Research Corporation
    Inventors: Richard Gottscho, Rajinder Dhindsa, Mukund Srinivasan
  • Patent number: 9111724
    Abstract: A chamber includes a lower electrode and an upper electrode. The lower electrode is defined to transmit a radiofrequency current through the chamber and to support a semiconductor wafer in exposure to a plasma within the chamber. The upper electrode is disposed above and in a spaced apart relationship with the lower electrode. The upper electrode is electrically isolated from the chamber and is defined by a central section and one or more annular sections disposed concentrically outside the central section. Adjacent sections of the upper electrode are electrically separated from each other by a dielectric material. Multiple voltage sources are respectively connected to the upper electrode sections. Each voltage source is defined to control an electric potential of the upper electrode section to which it is connected, relative to the chamber. The electric potential of each upper electrode section influences an electric potential of the plasma within the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2015
    Assignee: Lam Research Corporation
    Inventors: Douglas Keil, Lumin Li, Reza Sadjadi, Eric Hudson, Eric Lenz, Rajinder Dhindsa
  • Patent number: 9105449
    Abstract: A distributed power arrangement to provide local power delivery in a plasma processing system during substrate processing is provided. The distributed power arrangement includes a set of direct current (DC) power supply units. The distributed power arrangement also includes a plurality of power generators, which is configured to receive power from the set of DC power supply units. Each power generator of the plurality of power generators is coupled to a set of electrical elements, thereby enabling the each power generator of the plurality of power generators to control the local power delivery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2015
    Assignee: Lam Research Corporation
    Inventor: Neil Benjamin
  • Patent number: 9099503
    Abstract: In a plasma etching apparatus, a first high frequency for plasma generation and a second high frequency for ion attraction are respectively applied from two high frequency supplies to a susceptor. Further, DC voltage is applied from a variable DC power supply to an upper electrode via a filter circuit. An annular DC ground part attached to an upper side surface of the susceptor is connected to a filter circuit. This filter circuit allows a specific frequency component of the intermodulation distortion generated in a plasma by a series resonant to selectively flow to a ground line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2015
    Inventor: Manabu Iwata
  • Patent number: 9090963
    Abstract: A mask for use in an optical evaporation coating includes a main shaft, a number of horizontal rods, a number of pairs of shielding sheets, and a number of adjustment members. The horizontal rods are vertically fixed on the main shaft, and each horizontal has a scale thereon. A pair of shielding sheets is connected to the two ends of each horizontal rod, and can slide along the horizontal rod. The shape of the mask can be accurately adjusted using the adjustment members to ensure masks covered with aluminum foil by different workers have the same shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2015
    Inventor: Shao-Kai Pei
  • Patent number: 9091491
    Abstract: A cooling plate includes a channel to transmit a fluid, wherein the channel is disposed within a base and the channel has a first portion and a second portion. The first portion is disposed substantially along a peripheral edge of the base, and the second portion is coupled to the first portion and is disposed further away from the peripheral edge of the base than the first portion. The second portion has a length that is at least about 35% as long as the length of the first portion. The cooling plate also includes a lid disposed over the base and the channel, wherein the lid provides support for a substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2015
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Helder Lee, Miriam Schwartz, Michael Kuchar, Aaron Webb, Theodoss Costuros
  • Patent number: 9076636
    Abstract: There is provided a plasma processing apparatus including a susceptor 114, having a substrate mounting portion for mounting thereon a substrate, to which a high frequency power is applied; a focus ring 210, disposed to surround the substrate mounted on the substrate mounting portion, including an outer ring 214 having a top surface higher than a top surface of the substrate and an inner ring 212 extending inwardly from the outer ring so as to allow at least a part of the inner ring to be positioned below a periphery of the substrate, the outer ring and the inner ring being formed as a single member; a dielectric ring 220 positioned between the focus ring and the susceptor; a dielectric constant varying device 250 for varying a dielectric constant of the dielectric ring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2015
    Inventors: Mitsunori Ohata, Hidetoshi Kimura, Kiyoshi Maeda, Jun Hirose, Tsuyoshi Hida
  • Patent number: 9070724
    Abstract: A plasma processing apparatus includes a processing chamber, a wafer table, a refrigerant passage disposed inside the wafer table in which a refrigerant flows, a refrigeration cycle comprising the refrigerant passage in the wafer table as a first evaporator in which the refrigerant is evaporated as a result of a heat-exchange therein, a compressor, a condenser and an expansion valve, a second evaporator, and a controlling unit which adjusts a number of rotations of the compressor based upon a degree of dryness of the refrigerant at a position on the refrigeration cycle after passing through the first evaporation in a range in which dry-out does not occur in the first evaporator, and the dryness of the refrigerant being determined based upon an amount of a heat exchange during the evaporation of the refrigerant in the second evaporator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2015
    Assignee: Hitachi High-Technologies Corp.
    Inventors: Takumi Tandou, Masaru Izawa
  • Patent number: 9064911
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for controlling the temperature of a substrate support assembly includes a pedestal, a chuck connected to the pedestal, a cooling plate structure thermally coupled with the chuck, a heater thermally coupled with the cooling plate structure, and a controller configured to control the cooling plate structure while controlling the heater during processing of a substrate on the chuck. The method includes cooling a substrate support with a cooling plate structure while heating the cooling plate structure with a heater thermally coupled with the cooling plate structure, monitoring the performance of the cooling plate structure and the heater, and regulating the performance of the cooling plate structure and the heater to maintain the substrate support at a desired temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2015
    Inventors: Shambhu N. Roy, Matt Cheng-hsiung Tsai
  • Patent number: 9057130
    Abstract: A transport cylinder for the vacuum treatment of substrates includes a roll body and at least one spacer element arranged on the roll body and enveloping the roll body. The spacer element is made of a knitted tube containing metallic or/and metallic threads.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2015
    Assignee: VON ARDENNE GmbH
    Inventors: Steffen Mosshammer, Reinhardt Bauer, Thomas Meyer, Matthias Smolke, Michael Hofmann, Torsten Dsaak
  • Patent number: 9038566
    Abstract: A capacitive coupling plasma processing apparatus includes a process chamber configured to have a vacuum atmosphere, and a process gas supply section configured to supply a process gas into the chamber. In the chamber, a first electrode and a second electrode are disposed opposite each other. The second electrode includes a plurality of conductive segments separated from each other and facing the first electrode. An RF power supply is configured to apply an RF power to the first electrode to form an RF electric field within a plasma generation region between the first and second electrodes, so as to turn the process gas into plasma by the RF electric field. A DC power supply is configured to apply a DC voltage to at least one of the segments of the second electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Inventors: Shinji Himori, Tatsuo Matsudo
  • Patent number: 9034143
    Abstract: A plasma processing chamber having capacitive and inductive coupling of RF power. An RF power source is connected to an inductive coil and to a top electrode via a variable capacitor to control the ratio of power applied to the coil and electrode. The bottom electrode, which is part of the chuck holding the substrates, is floating, but has parasitive capacitance coupling to ground. No RF bias is applied to the chuck and/or the substrate, but the substrate is chucked using DC power. In a system utilizing the chamber, the chuck is movable and is loaded with substrates outside the chamber, enter the chamber from one side for processing, exit the chamber from an opposite side after the processing, and is unloaded in an unloading chamber. The chuck is then transported back to the loading chamber. Substrates are delivered to and removed from the system using conveyor belts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: INTEVAC, INC.
    Inventors: Young Kyu Cho, Kenneth Tan, Karthik Janakiraman, Judy Huang
  • Patent number: 9011634
    Abstract: Provided are a plasma processing apparatus and a plasma processing method, by which plasma damage is reduced during processing. At the time of performing desired plasma processing to a substrate (5), a process chamber (2) is supplied with an inert gas for carrying in and out the substrate (5), pressure fluctuation in the process chamber (2) is adjusted to be within a prescribed range, and plasma (20) of the inert gas supplied in the process chamber (2) is generated. The density of the plasma (20) in the transfer area of the substrate (5) is reduced by controlling plasma power to be in a prescribed range, and the substrate (5) is carried in and out to and from a supporting table (4).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Ryuichi Matsuda, Masahiko Inoue, Kazuto Yoshida, Tadashi Shimazu
  • Patent number: 9011633
    Abstract: A plasma generator system for reducing the effects of impedance mismatch. The system has a variable frequency source having an output for emitting an RF signal. A plasma chamber has an input for receiving the RF signal. The variable frequency source modulates at least one of the frequency and phase of the RF signal to improve the system tolerance of impedance mismatches between the output of the variable frequency source and the input of the plasma chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: MKS Instruments, Inc.
    Inventors: Scott R. Bullock, Aaron Radomski, Brent Irvine
  • Patent number: 9011637
    Abstract: A plasma processing apparatus and a method of manufacturing a semiconductor device which can prevent a discharge from occurring between a substrate such as a semiconductor wafer or the like, and a base material of a lower electrode or a peripheral structure of the base material, and can improve yield and productivity. The plasma processing apparatus includes a processing chamber, a lower electrode, an upper electrode, and a plurality of lifter pins for supporting a substrate to be processed. Each of the lifter pins includes a pin body part and a lid part which is disposed on a top portion of the pin body part and has an outer diameter greater than an outer diameter of the pin body part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventor: Takashi Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 8997687
    Abstract: A system for coating a side surface of a moving substrate. The system includes an array of plasma sources, a first plurality of orifices located upstream of the array and a second plurality of orifices located downstream of the array. A coating reagent is injected from each orifice into a plasma jet issuing from plasma source associated with that orifice. A controller modulates the flow of coating reagent and the flow flush gas to the orifices according to the contours of the substrate and to the position of the substrate relative to the array. An additional plasma array and set of orifices may be employed to coat the opposite side surface of the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Exatec LLC
    Inventor: Steven M. Gasworth
  • Patent number: 8999063
    Abstract: A susceptor includes a first step portion on which a wafer is placed; and a convex portion placed on a bottom surface of the first step portion, wherein a void is formed between a top surface of the convex portion and a rear surface of the wafer in a state in which the wafer is placed on the top surface of the convex portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: NuFlare Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Hideki Ito
  • Patent number: 8992686
    Abstract: Provided is a mounting table structure for use in forming a thin film on a surface of a target object mounted on the mounting table structure by using a raw material gas including an organic metal compound in a processing chamber. The mounting table structure includes: a mounting table main body which mounts thereon the target object and has therein a heater; and a base which supports the mounting table main body while surrounding a side surface and a bottom surface of the mounting table main body, the base having therein a coolant path where a coolant flows therethrough and being maintained at a temperature higher than the solidification temperature or the liquefaction temperature of the raw material gas, but lower than the decomposition temperature of the raw material gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Atsushi Gomi, Yasushi Mizusawa, Tatsuo Hatano, Masamichi Hara, Kaoru Yamamoto, Satoshi Taga, Chiaki Yasumuro
  • Patent number: 8986492
    Abstract: A method for forming an array area with a surrounding periphery area, wherein a substrate is disposed under an etch layer, which is disposed under a patterned organic mask defining the array area and covers the entire periphery area is provided. The patterned organic mask is trimmed. An inorganic layer is deposited over the patterned organic mask where a thickness of the inorganic layer over the covered periphery area of the organic mask is greater than a thickness of the inorganic layer over the array area of the organic mask. The inorganic layer is etched back to expose the organic mask and form inorganic spacers in the array area, while leaving the organic mask in the periphery area unexposed. The organic mask exposed in the array area is stripped, while leaving the inorganic spacers in place and protecting the organic mask in the periphery area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: Lam Research Corporation
    Inventors: S. M. Reza Sadjadi, Amit Jain