Patents Examined by Rodney McDonald
  • Patent number: 8790498
    Abstract: A method and device for ion beam processing of surfaces of a substrate positions the substrate to face an ion beam, and a new technologically-defined pattern of properties is established. According to the method, the current geometrical effect pattern of the ion beam on the surface of the substrate is adjusted depending on the known pattern of properties and the new technologically-defined pattern of properties, and depending upon the progress of the processing, by modifying the beam characteristic and/or by pulsing the ion beam. A device for carrying out the method includes a substrate support for holding at least one substrate, which can be moved along an Y-axis and an X-axis, and an ion beam source for generating an ion beam, which is perpendicular to the surface to be processed of the substrate in the Z-axis or which may be arranged in an axis, inclined in relation to the Z-axis. The distance between the ion beam source and the surface to be processed of the substrate may be fixed or variable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2014
    Assignee: Roth & Rau AG
    Inventors: Joachim Mai, Dietmar Roth, Bernd Rau, Karl-Heinz Dittrich
  • Patent number: 8778146
    Abstract: A method for manufacturing with high productivity a magnetic recording medium having an MgO film is disclosed which uses a DC sputtering method. The method suppresses oxygen deficiency in the MgO film, and the MgO film has high crystallinity. The method includes at least a process of forming an intermediate layer of MgO on a nonmagnetic base by a reactive DC sputtering method that uses a target containing Mg and MgO in an oxygen-containing gas, and a process of forming a magnetic recording layer containing an L10 ordered alloy on the intermediate layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Fuji Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Shinji Uchida
  • Patent number: 8778145
    Abstract: When a film is formed by using a sputter method, distribution variation due to a progress of target erosion generated during the film formation is suppressed, and film thickness distribution and resistance value distribution are corrected to an optimal state. In order to maintain the magnetic flux density formed on the target surface at a constant level, the distance between the target surface and the magnet surface (MT distance) is corrected in accordance with the progress of the target erosion. Further, two or more MT distances are set by a process recipe or the like while forming a thin film, and different distribution shapes are combined to form a near flat distribution shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Canon Anelva Corporation
    Inventors: Eisaku Watanabe, Tetsuro Ogata
  • Patent number: 8753491
    Abstract: It is an object to provide a method for packaging a target material with which a thin film that is less contaminated with an impurity in the air such as a compound containing a hydrogen atom can be formed. In addition, it is an object to provide a method for mounting a target with which a thin film that is less contaminated with an impurity can be formed. In order to achieve the objects, a target material in a target is not exposed to the air and kept sealed after being manufactured until a deposition apparatus on which the target is mounted is evacuated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2014
    Assignee: Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shunpei Yamazaki, Toru Takayama, Keiji Sato
  • Patent number: 8747627
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method and to a device for reversing the feeding of a sputter coating system, particularly when coating a photovoltaic module, in clean rooms, having the following characteristics: a) a transport frame (11) for receiving a substrate wafer (19) of a photovoltaic module, b) a rotary device having means for mounting the transport frame (11), having means for rotating the transport frame (11), and having means for transporting the transport frame (11), c) means for precisely aligning the rotary device relative to the sputter coating system, d) a detection device (18) for checking a sputter process, and computer program having a program code for performing the process steps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: Grenzebach Maschinenbau GmbH
    Inventor: Roland Franz
  • Patent number: 8728285
    Abstract: A method of deposition of a transparent conductive film from a metallic target is presented. A method of forming a transparent conductive oxide film according to embodiments of the present invention include depositing the transparent conductive oxide film in a pulsed DC reactive ion process with substrate bias, and controlling at least one process parameter to affect at least one characteristic of the conductive oxide film. The resulting transparent oxide film, which in some embodiments can be an indium-tin oxide film, can exhibit a wide range of material properties depending on variations in process parameters. For example, varying the process parameters can result in a film with a wide range of resistive properties and surface smoothness of the film.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: Demaray, LLC
    Inventors: Richard E. Demaray, Mukundan Narasimhan
  • Patent number: 8721847
    Abstract: A control system and method for controlling two motors determining the azimuthal and circumferential position of a magnetron rotating about the central axis of the sputter chamber in back of its target sputtering and capable of a nearly arbitrary scan path, e.g., with a planetary gear mechanism. A system controller periodically sends commands to the motion controller which closely controls the motors. Each command includes a command ticket, which may be one of several values. The motion controller accepts only commands having a command ticket of a different value from the immediately preceding command. One command selects a scan profile stored in the motion controller, which calculates motor signals from the selected profile. Another command instructs a dynamic homing command which interrogates sensors of the position of two rotating arms to determine if the arms in the expected positions. If not, the arms are rehomed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Yu Chang, William Kuang, Ronald D. DeDore, Jitendra R. Bhimjiyani, Wesley W. Zhang
  • Patent number: 8723322
    Abstract: A method of metal sputtering, comprising the following steps. A wafer holder and inner walls of a chamber are coated with a seasoning layer comprised of: a) a material etchable in a metal barrier layer etch process; or b) an insulating or non-conductive material. A wafer having two or more wafer conductive structures is placed upon the seasoning layer coated wafer holder. The wafer is cleaned wherein a portion of the seasoning layer is re-deposited upon the wafer over and between adjacent wafer conductive structures. A metal barrier layer is formed over the wafer. The wafer is removed from the chamber and at least two adjacent upper metal structures are formed over at least one portion of the metal barrier layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: Megit Acquisition Corp.
    Inventors: Hsien-Tsung Liu, Chien-Kang Chou, Ching-San Lin
  • Patent number: 8715471
    Abstract: To be able to realize a relatively wide magnetron sputter cathode, it is proposed that on the vacuum side of a carrier (2) is disposed the sputter target (4) with a backing plate (3), which maintains a gap (14) from the carrier (2). The backing plate (3) is developed as a cooling plate. In it are located cooling means channels (15), which, via an inlet (16) through the carrier (2), are supplied with cooling fluid, which can flow out again via an outlet (17) through the carrier (2). On the atmospheric side is located a magnet configuration (5).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Assignee: Applied Materials GmbH & Co KG
    Inventors: Jörg Krempel-Hesse, Andreas Jischke, Uwe Schüssler, Hans Wolf
  • Patent number: 8709219
    Abstract: A structured diamond tool having a predefined grayscale grating profile shape allows a corresponding grayscale grating profile to be machined into a work piece with a single pass with high accuracy. Manufacture of grayscale gratings using this technique saves time compared to the situation where the profile is machined by a single-point diamond tool with multiple passes. Also, more time-saving is realized if more than one period is machined in the diamond tool. Such a tool can be manufactured using a high precision focused ion beam (FIB), which is a true nanomachining tool that can machine features on the order of tens of nanometers. The diamond tool made by FIB therefore has extremely fine resolution and features required by the grayscale grating.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2014
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventor: Xinbing Liu
  • Patent number: 8702919
    Abstract: Sputtering targets are described that comprise: a) a target surface component comprising a target material; b) a core backing component having a coupling surface, a back surface and at least one open area, wherein the coupling surface is coupled to at least part of the target surface component; and wherein at least part of the target surface component fits into at least one open area of the core backing component. In some embodiments, the target surface component, the core backing component or a combination thereof have at least one surface area feature coupled to or located in the back surface of the core backing component, the target surface component or a combination thereof, wherein the surface area feature increases the cooling effectiveness of the target surface component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Stephane Ferrasse, Werner H. Hort, Jaeyeon Kim, Frank C. Alford
  • Patent number: 8702913
    Abstract: A film formation apparatus and film formation method that improve film thickness uniformity. A rotation mechanism holds a target having a sputtered surface in a state inclined relative to a surface of a substrate. The rotation mechanism rotatably supports the target about an axis extending along a normal of the sputtered surface. The target supported by the rotation mechanism is sputtered to form a thin film on the surface of the substrate. When forming the thin film, the rotation mechanism maintains the rotational angle of the target.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: Ulvac, Inc.
    Inventors: Kenichi Imakita, Tadashi Morita, Hiroki Yamamoto, Naoki Morimoto, Ayao Nabeya, Shinya Nakamura
  • Patent number: 8696875
    Abstract: A magnetron sputter reactor (410) and its method of use, in which SIP sputtering and ICP sputtering are promoted is disclosed. In another chamber (412) an array of auxiliary magnets positioned along sidewalls (414) of a magnetron sputter reactor on a side towards the wafer from the target is disclosed. The magnetron (436) preferably is a small one having a stronger outer pole (442) of a first polarity surrounding a weaker inner pole (440) of a second polarity all on a yoke (444) and rotates about the axis (438) of the chamber using rotation means (446, 448, 450). The auxiliary magnets (462) preferably have the first polarity to draw the unbalanced magnetic field (460) towards the wafer (424), which is on a pedestal (422) supplied with power (454). Argon (426) is supplied through a valve (428). The target (416) is supplied with power (434).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Peijun Ding, Rong Tao, Zheng Xu, Daniel C. Lubben, Suraj Rengarajan, Michael A. Miller, Arvind Sundarrajan, Xianmin Tang, John C. Forster, Jianming Fu, Roderick C. Mosely, Fusen Chen, Praburam Gopalraja
  • Patent number: 8696879
    Abstract: The invention provides methods and equipment for depositing a low-maintenance coating.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Cardinal CG Company
    Inventors: Kari B. Myli, Annette J. Krisko, John R. German, Klaus Hartig
  • Patent number: 8685215
    Abstract: A continuously variable multi-position magnetron that is rotated about a central axis in back of a sputtering target at a freely selected radius. The position is dynamically controlled from the outside, for example, through a hydraulic actuator connected between a pivoting arm supporting the magnetron and an arm fixed to the shaft, by two coaxial shafts independent controllable from the outside and supporting the magnetron through a frog-leg mechanism, or a cable connected between the pivoting arms and moved by an external slider. The magnetron can be rotated at two, three, or more discrete radii or be moved in a continuous spiral pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Keith A. Miller, Anantha K. Subramani, Maurice E. Ewert, Tza-Jing Gung, Hong S. Yang, Vincent E. Burkhart
  • Patent number: 8679306
    Abstract: A sputtering apparatus with high usage efficiency of a target is provided. A sputtering apparatus of the present invention includes first and second ring magnets, first and second magnet members arranged inside a ring of the first and second ring magnets, wherein in the first and second ring magnets and the first and second magnet members, magnetic poles with the same magnetism are faced toward the rear surface of a first and a second targets. Thus, in the rear surface of the first and second targets, the magnetic poles with the same polarity are adjacently arranged, and the absolute value of the strength of horizontal magnetic field components formed in the surfaces of the first and second targets becomes small and the strength distribution becomes narrow, and the strength of vertical magnetic field components becomes uniform; and consequently, a non-erosion portion is not produced in the first and second targets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Ulvac, Inc.
    Inventors: Satoru Takasawa, Sadayuki Ukishima, Noriaki Tani, Satoru Ishibashi
  • Patent number: 8679307
    Abstract: An apparatus for preparing specimens for microscopy including equipment for providing two or more of each of the following specimen processing activities under continuous vacuum conditions: plasma cleaning the specimen, ion beam or reactive ion beam etching the specimen, plasma etching the specimen and coating the specimen with a conductive material. Also, an apparatus and method for detecting a position of a surface of the specimen in a processing chamber, wherein the detected position is used to automatically move the specimen to appropriate locations for subsequent processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: E.A. Fischione Instruments, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul E. Fischione, Alan C. Robins, David W. Smith, Rocco R. Cerchiara, Joseph M. Matesa, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8679302
    Abstract: Certain example embodiments relate to a layer of or including Ti1-xSixOy and/or a method of making the same. In certain example embodiments, the Ti1-xSixOy-based layer may be substoichiometric with respect to oxygen. In certain example embodiments of this invention, the layer may include Ti1-xSixOy where x is from about 0.05 to 0.95 (more preferably from about 0.1 to 0.9, and even more preferably from about 0.2 to 0.8, and possibly from about 0.5 to 0.8) and y is from about 0.2 to 2 (more preferably from about 1 to 2, and even more preferably from about 1.5 to 2, and possibly from about 1.9 to 2). The layer may have an index of refraction of from about 1.6 to 1.9. The layer may also be used with a transparent conductive oxide in a transparent conductive coating.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Guardian Industries Corp.
    Inventor: Yiwei Lu
  • Patent number: 8673124
    Abstract: The present invention provides a magnet unit and a magnetron sputtering apparatus which can suppress the consumption amount of a target by efficiently consuming the target and can easily cause erosion on the target to progress uniformly regardless whether the target size is small or large and whether the target is made of magnetic material or not.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: Canon Anelva Corporation
    Inventors: Tetsuya Endo, Einstein Noel Abarra
  • Patent number: 8668816
    Abstract: A magnetron sputter reactor for sputtering deposition materials such as tantalum, tantalum nitride and copper, for example, and its method of use, in which self-ionized plasma (SIP) sputtering and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) sputtering are promoted, either together or alternately, in the same or different chambers. Also, bottom coverage may be thinned or eliminated by ICP resputtering in one chamber and SIP in another. SIP is promoted by a small magnetron having poles of unequal magnetic strength and a high power applied to the target during sputtering. ICP is provided by one or more RF coils which inductively couple RF energy into a plasma. The combined SIP-ICP layers can act as a liner or barrier or seed or nucleation layer for hole. In addition, an RF coil may be sputtered to provide protective material during ICP resputtering. In another chamber an array of auxiliary magnets positioned along sidewalls of a magnetron sputter reactor on a side towards the wafer from the target.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2014
    Assignee: Applied Materials Inc.
    Inventors: Peijun Ding, Rong Tao, Zheng Xu, Daniel C. Lubben, Suraj Rengarajan, Michael A. Miller, Arvind Sundarrajan, Xianmin Tang, John C. Forster, Jianming Fu, Roderick C. Mosely, Fusen Chen, Praburam Gopalraja