Patents by Inventor Bryan L. Buckalew

Bryan L. Buckalew has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20190338440
    Abstract: An electroplating apparatus includes an electrode at the bottom of a chamber, an ionically resistive element with through holes arranged horizontally at the top of the chamber, with a membrane in the middle. One or more panels extend vertically and parallelly from the membrane to the element and extend linearly across the chamber, forming a plurality of regions between the membrane and the element. A substrate with a protuberance extending along a chord of the substrate and contacting a top surface of the element is arranged above a first region. An electrolyte flowed between the substrate and the element descends into the first region via the through holes on a first side of the protuberance and ascends from the first region via the through holes on a second side of the protuberance, forcing air bubbles out from a portion of the element associated with the first region.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 1, 2018
    Publication date: November 7, 2019
    Inventors: Stephen J. Banik, Bryan L. Buckalew, Gabriel Hay Graham, Alfred Bostick, Sean Wilbur, John Floyd Ostrowski
  • Publication number: 20190301042
    Abstract: The embodiments herein relate to methods and apparatus for electroplating one or more materials onto a substrate. Typically, the embodiments herein utilize a channeled plate positioned near the substrate, creating a cross flow manifold between the channeled plate and substrate, and on the sides by a flow confinement ring. A seal may be provided between the bottom surface of a substrate holder and the top surface of an element below the substrate holder (e.g., the flow confinement ring). During plating, fluid enters the cross flow manifold through channels in the channeled plate, and through a cross flow inlet, then exits at the cross flow exit, positioned opposite the cross flow inlet. The apparatus may switch between a sealed state and an unsealed state during electroplating, for example by lowering and lifting the substrate and substrate holder as appropriate to engage and disengage the seal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 5, 2019
    Publication date: October 3, 2019
    Inventors: Kari Thorkelsson, Aaron Berke, Bryan L. Buckalew, Steven T. Mayer
  • Patent number: 10364505
    Abstract: The embodiments herein relate to methods and apparatus for electroplating one or more materials onto a substrate. Typically, the embodiments herein utilize a channeled plate positioned near the substrate, creating a cross flow manifold between the channeled plate and substrate, and on the sides by a flow confinement ring. A seal may be provided between the bottom surface of a substrate holder and the top surface of an element below the substrate holder (e.g., the flow confinement ring). During plating, fluid enters the cross flow manifold through channels in the channeled plate, and through a cross flow inlet, then exits at the cross flow exit, positioned opposite the cross flow inlet. The apparatus may switch between a sealed state and an unsealed state during electroplating, for example by lowering and lifting the substrate and substrate holder as appropriate to engage and disengage the seal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2019
    Assignee: Lam Research Corporation
    Inventors: Kari Thorkelsson, Aaron Berke, Bryan L. Buckalew, Steven T. Mayer
  • Patent number: 10301738
    Abstract: Disclosed are pre-wetting apparatus designs and methods. In some embodiments, a pre-wetting apparatus includes a degasser, a process chamber, and a controller. The process chamber includes a wafer holder configured to hold a wafer substrate, a vacuum port configured to allow formation of a subatmospheric pressure in the process chamber, and a fluid inlet coupled to the degasser and configured to deliver a degassed pre-wetting fluid onto the wafer substrate at a velocity of at least about 7 meters per second whereby particles on the wafer substrate are dislodged and at a flow rate whereby dislodged particles are removed from the wafer substrate. The controller includes program instructions for forming a wetting layer on the wafer substrate in the process chamber by contacting the wafer substrate with the degassed pre-wetting fluid admitted through the fluid inlet at a flow rate of at least about 0.4 liters per minute.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: Novellus Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Bryan L. Buckalew, Steven T. Mayer, Thomas A. Ponnuswamy, Robert Rash, Brian Paul Blackman, Doug Higley
  • Publication number: 20190122890
    Abstract: A method of electroplating a metal into features of a partially fabricated electronic device on a substrate is provided. The method includes (a) electroplating the metal into the features, to partially fill the features by a bottom up fill mechanism, while contacting the features with a first electroplating bath having a first composition and comprising ions of the metal; (b) thereafter, electroplating more of the metal into the features, to further fill the features, while contacting the features with a second electroplating bath having a second composition, which is different than the first composition, and comprises the ions of the metal; and (c) removing the substrate from an electroplating tool where operation (b) was performed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 19, 2018
    Publication date: April 25, 2019
    Inventors: Kari Thorkelsson, Nirmal Shankar, Sigamani, Bryan L. Buckalew, Steven T. Mayer, Thomas Anand Ponnuswamy
  • Publication number: 20190085479
    Abstract: Various embodiments herein relate to methods and apparatus for electroplating material onto a semiconductor substrate. The apparatus includes an ionically resistive element that separates the plating chamber into a cross flow manifold (above the ionically resistive element) and an ionically resistive element manifold (below the ionically resistive element). Electrolyte is delivered to the cross flow manifold, where it shears over the surface of the substrate, and to the ionically resistive element manifold, where it passes through through-holes in the ionically resistive element to impinge upon the substrate as it enters the cross flow manifold. In certain embodiments, the flow of electrolyte into the cross flow manifold (e.g., through a side inlet) and the flow of electrolyte into the ionically resistive element manifold are actively controlled, e.g., using a three-way valve. In these or other cases, the ionically resistive element may include electrolyte jets.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 18, 2017
    Publication date: March 21, 2019
    Inventors: Stephen J. Banik, II, Aaron Berke, Bryan L. Buckalew, Robert Rash
  • Patent number: 10233556
    Abstract: The embodiments herein relate to methods and apparatus for electroplating one or more materials onto a substrate. In many cases the material is a metal and the substrate is a semiconductor wafer, though the embodiments are no so limited. Typically, the embodiments herein utilize a channeled plate positioned near the substrate, creating a cross flow manifold defined on the bottom by the channeled plate, on the top by the substrate, and on the sides by a cross flow confinement ring. Also typically present is an edge flow element configured to direct electrolyte into a corner formed between the substrate and substrate holder. During plating, fluid enters the cross flow manifold both upward through the channels in the channeled plate, and laterally through a cross flow side inlet positioned on one side of the cross flow confinement ring. The flow paths combine in the cross flow manifold and exit at the cross flow exit, which is positioned opposite the cross flow inlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: Lam Research Corporation
    Inventors: Gabriel Hay Graham, Jacob Lee Hiester, Lee Peng Chua, Bryan L. Buckalew
  • Publication number: 20190055665
    Abstract: Various embodiments described herein relate to methods and apparatus for electroplating material onto a semiconductor substrate. In some cases, one or more membrane may be provided in contact with an ionically resistive element to minimize the degree to which electrolyte passes backwards from a cross flow manifold, through the ionically resistive element, and into an ionically resistive element manifold during electroplating. The membrane may be designed to route electrolyte in a desired manner in some embodiments. In these or other cases, one or more baffles may be provided in the ionically resistive element manifold to reduce the degree to which electrolyte is able to bypass the cross flow manifold by flowing back through the ionically resistive element and across the electroplating cell within the ionically resistive element manifold. These techniques can be used to improve the uniformity of electroplating results.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 10, 2018
    Publication date: February 21, 2019
    Inventors: Stephen J. Banik, II, Bryan L. Buckalew, Aaron Berke, James Isaac Fortner, Justin Oberst, Steven T. Mayer, Robert Rash
  • Patent number: 10211052
    Abstract: Systems and methods for fabrication of a redistribution layer are described. There is no deposition of a seed layer, made from copper, on top of a substrate. The lack of the seed layer avoids a need for etching the seed layer. When the seed layer is not etched, the redistribution layer, also made from copper, is not etched.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: Lam Research Corporation
    Inventors: Bryan L. Buckalew, Stephen J. Banik, II, Joseph Richardson, Thomas A. Ponnuswamy
  • Patent number: 10190232
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are electroplating systems for electroplating nickel onto a semiconductor substrate having an electroplating cell for holding an electrolyte solution during electroplating which includes a cathode chamber and an anode chamber configured to hold a nickel anode, and having an oxygen removal device arranged to reduce oxygen concentration in the electrolyte solution as it is flowed to the anode chamber during electroplating and during idle times when the system is not electroplating. Also disclosed herein are methods of electroplating nickel onto a substrate in an electroplating cell having anode and cathode chambers, which include reducing the oxygen concentration in an electrolyte solution, flowing the electrolyte solution into the anode chamber and contacting a nickel anode therein, and electroplating nickel from the electrolyte solution onto a substrate in the cathode chamber, wherein the electrolyte solution in the cathode chamber is maintained at a pH of between about 3.5 and 4.5.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2019
    Assignee: Lam Research Corporation
    Inventors: Bryan L. Buckalew, Thomas A. Ponnuswamy, Ben Foley, Steven T. Mayer
  • Patent number: 10190230
    Abstract: The embodiments herein relate to methods and apparatus for electroplating one or more materials onto a substrate. In many cases the material is a metal and the substrate is a semiconductor wafer, though the embodiments are no so limited. Typically, the embodiments herein utilize a channeled plate positioned near the substrate, creating a cross flow manifold defined on the bottom by the channeled plate, on the top by the substrate, and on the sides by a cross flow confinement ring. During plating, fluid enters the cross flow manifold both upward through the channels in the channeled plate, and laterally through a cross flow side inlet positioned on one side of the cross flow confinement ring. The flow paths combine in the cross flow manifold and exit at the cross flow exit, which is positioned opposite the cross flow inlet. These combined flow paths result in improved plating uniformity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2019
    Assignee: Novellus Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard Abraham, Steven T. Mayer, Bryan L. Buckalew, Robert Rash
  • Patent number: 10128102
    Abstract: Disclosed are pre-wetting apparatus designs and methods for cleaning solid contaminants from substrates prior to through resist deposition of metal. In some embodiments, a pre-wetting apparatus includes a process chamber having a substrate holder, and at least one nozzle located directly above the wafer substrate and configured to deliver pre-wetting liquid (e.g., degassed deionized water) onto the substrate at a grazing angle of between about 5 and 45 degrees. In some embodiments the nozzle is a fan nozzle configured to deliver the liquid to the center of the substrate, such that the liquid first impacts the substrate in the vicinity of the center and then flows over the center of the substrate. In some embodiments the substrate is rotated unidirectionally or bidirectionally during pre-wetting with multiple accelerations and decelerations, which facilitate removal of contaminants.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: Novellus Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Lee Peng Chua, Bryan L. Buckalew, Thomas Anand Ponnuswamy, Brian Paul Blackman, Chad Michael Hosack, Steven T. Mayer
  • Publication number: 20180291517
    Abstract: Methods of electroplating metal on a substrate while controlling azimuthal uniformity, include, in one aspect, providing the substrate to the electroplating apparatus configured for rotating the substrate during electroplating, and electroplating the metal on the substrate while rotating the substrate relative to a shield such that a selected portion of the substrate at a selected azimuthal position dwells in a shielded area for a different amount of time than a second portion of the substrate having the same average arc length and the same average radial position and residing at a different angular (azimuthal) position. The shield is positioned in close proximity of the substrate (e.g., within a distance that is equal to 0.1 of the substrate's radius). The shield in some embodiments may be an ionically resistive ionically permeable element having an azimuthally asymmetric distribution of channels.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 13, 2018
    Publication date: October 11, 2018
    Inventors: Steven T. Mayer, David W. Porter, Bryan L. Buckalew, Robert Rash
  • Patent number: 10092933
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are methods of cleaning a lipseal and/or cup bottom of an electroplating device by removing metal deposits accumulated in prior electroplating operations. The methods may include orienting a nozzle such that it is pointed substantially at the inner circular edge of the lipseal and/or cup bottom, and dispensing a stream of cleaning solution from the nozzle such that the stream contacts the inner circular edge of the lipseal and/or cup bottom while they are being rotated, removing metal deposits. In some embodiments, the stream has a velocity component against the rotational direction of the lipseal and/or cup bottom. In some embodiments, the deposits may include a tin/silver alloy. Also disclosed herein are cleaning apparatuses for mounting in electroplating devices and for removing electroplated metal deposits from their lipseals and/or cup bottoms. In some embodiments, the cleaning apparatuses may include a jet nozzle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2018
    Assignee: Novellus Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Santosh Kumar, Bryan L. Buckalew, Steven T. Mayer, Thomas Ponnuswamy, Chad Michael Hosack, Robert Rash, Lee Peng Chua, David Porter
  • Patent number: 10094034
    Abstract: The embodiments herein relate to methods and apparatus for electroplating one or more materials onto a substrate. In many cases the material is a metal and the substrate is a semiconductor wafer, though the embodiments are no so limited. Typically, the embodiments herein utilize a channeled plate positioned near the substrate, creating a cross flow manifold defined on the bottom by the channeled plate, on the top by the substrate, and on the sides by a cross flow confinement ring. Also typically present is an edge flow element configured to direct electrolyte into a corner formed between the substrate and substrate holder. During plating, fluid enters the cross flow manifold both upward through the channels in the channeled plate, and laterally through a cross flow side inlet positioned on one side of the cross flow confinement ring. The flow paths combine in the cross flow manifold and exit at the cross flow exit, which is positioned opposite the cross flow inlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2018
    Assignee: Lam Research Corporation
    Inventors: Gabriel Hay Graham, Bryan L. Buckalew, Steven T. Mayer, Robert Rash, James Isaac Fortner, Lee Peng Chua
  • Publication number: 20180286660
    Abstract: An apparatus for electroplating metal on a semiconductor substrate with improved plating uniformity includes in one aspect: a plating chamber configured to contain an electrolyte and an anode; a substrate holder configured to hold the semiconductor substrate; and an ionically resistive ionically permeable element comprising a substantially planar substrate-facing surface and an opposing surface, wherein the element allows for flow of ionic current towards the substrate during electroplating, and wherein the element comprises a region having varied local resistivity. In one example the resistivity of the element is varied by varying the thickness of the element. In some embodiments the thickness of the element is gradually reduced in a radial direction from the edge of the element to the center of the element. The provided apparatus and methods are particularly useful for electroplating metal in WLP recessed features.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 1, 2018
    Publication date: October 4, 2018
    Inventors: Burhanuddin Kagajwala, Bryan L. Buckalew, Lee Peng Chua, Aaron Berke, Robert Rash, Steven T. Mayer
  • Publication number: 20180258546
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for electroplating substrates are described herein. In some cases, an ionically resistive element is positioned near the substrate, creating a cross flow manifold between the ionically resistive element and the substrate. During plating, fluid may enter the cross flow manifold upward through the channels in the ionically resistive element, and (optionally) laterally through a cross flow side inlet. The flow paths combine in the cross flow manifold and exit at the cross flow outlet, which may be positioned opposite the cross flow inlet. In some embodiments, the ionically resistive element may include two or more flow regions, where the flow through each flow region is independently controllable. In these or other embodiments, an electrolyte jet may be included to flow additional electrolyte toward the substrate at a particular radial location or locations during plating. In some embodiments, the ionically resistive element may be omitted.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 9, 2017
    Publication date: September 13, 2018
    Inventors: Gabriel Hay Graham, Bryan L. Buckalew, Lee Peng Chua, Robert Rash, James Isaac Fortner, Aaron Berke
  • Patent number: 10017869
    Abstract: Methods of electroplating metal on a substrate while controlling azimuthal uniformity, include, in one aspect, providing the substrate to the electroplating apparatus configured for rotating the substrate during electroplating, and electroplating the metal on the substrate while rotating the substrate relative to a shield such that a selected portion of the substrate at a selected azimuthal position dwells in a shielded area for a different amount of time than a second portion of the substrate having the same average arc length and the same average radial position and residing at a different angular (azimuthal) position. For example, a semiconductor wafer substrate can be rotated during electroplating slower or faster, when the selected portion of the substrate passes through the shielded area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2018
    Assignee: Novellus Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven T. Mayer, David W. Porter, Bryan L. Buckalew, Robert Rash
  • Patent number: 10014170
    Abstract: An apparatus for electroplating metal on a semiconductor substrate with improved plating uniformity includes in one aspect: a plating chamber configured to contain an electrolyte and an anode; a substrate holder configured to hold the semiconductor substrate; and an ionically resistive ionically permeable element comprising a substantially planar substrate-facing surface and an opposing surface, wherein the element allows for flow of ionic current towards the substrate during electroplating, and wherein the element comprises a region having varied local resistivity. In one example the resistivity of the element is varied by varying the thickness of the element. In some embodiments the thickness of the element is gradually reduced in a radial direction from the edge of the element to the center of the element. The provided apparatus and methods are particularly useful for electroplating metal in WLP recessed features.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2018
    Assignee: Lam Research Corporation
    Inventors: Burhanuddin Kagajwala, Bryan L. Buckalew, Lee Peng Chua, Aaron Berke, Robert Rash, Steven T. Mayer
  • Publication number: 20180105949
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for electroplating material onto a substrate are provided. In many cases the material is metal and the substrate is a semiconductor wafer, though the embodiments are no so limited. Typically, the embodiments herein utilize a porous ionically resistive plate positioned near the substrate, the plate having a plurality of interconnecting 3D channels and creating a cross flow manifold defined on the bottom by the plate, on the top by the substrate, and on the sides by a cross flow confinement ring. During plating, fluid enters the cross flow manifold both upward through channels in the plate, and laterally through a cross flow side inlet positioned on one side of the cross flow confinement ring. The flow paths combine in the cross flow manifold and exit at the cross flow exit, which is positioned opposite the cross flow inlet. These combined flow paths result in improved plating uniformity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 31, 2017
    Publication date: April 19, 2018
    Inventors: Steven T. Mayer, Bryan L. Buckalew, Haiying Fu, Thomas Ponnuswamy, Hilton Diaz Camilo, Robert Rash, David W. Porter