Patents by Inventor Merritt Funk

Merritt Funk 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).

  • Patent number: 11094507
    Abstract: Embodiments are described herein for power generation systems and methods that use quadrature splitters and combiners to facilitate plasma stability and control. For one embodiment, a quadrature splitter receives an input signal and generates a first and second signals as outputs with the second signal being ninety degrees out of phase with respect to the first signal. Two amplifiers then generate a first and second amplified signals. A quadrature combiner receives the first and second amplified signals and generates a combined amplified signal that represents re-aligned versions of the first and second amplified signals. The power amplifiers can be combined into a system to generate a high power output to a processing chamber. Further, detectors can generate measurements used to monitor and control power generation. The power amplifiers, system, and methods provide significant advantages for high-power generation delivered to process chambers for plasma generation during plasma processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2021
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventors: Merritt Funk, Chelsea DuBose, Justin Moses, Kazuki Moyama, Kazushi Kaneko
  • Patent number: 11050394
    Abstract: Embodiments are described for modules, multi-stage systems, and related methods for radio frequency (RF) power amplifiers with reduced size and weight requirements. Fluid cooling is incorporated directly into the power amplifier (PA) module design rather than requiring PA modules to be mounted on separate cooling devices. For one embodiment, a PA module includes a circuit board, RF circuit components, a ground plane, and a cooling plate having one or more cooling channels to receive a cooling fluid. The cooling channels are positioned to dissipate heat from the RF circuit components through the ground plane. For a further embodiment, the PA module also includes RF bias and power electronics within a housing for the PA module without requiring an external control board or power conversion electronics. Also disclosed are multi-stage PA systems having a plurality of PA modules that are similarly cooled using cooling channels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventors: Chelsea DuBose, Merritt Funk, Justin Moses, Kazuki Moyama, Kazushi Kaneko
  • Publication number: 20210027992
    Abstract: Embodiments are described herein for power generation systems and methods that use quadrature splitters and combiners to facilitate plasma stability and control. For one embodiment, a quadrature splitter receives an input signal and generates a first and second signals as outputs with the second signal being ninety degrees out of phase with respect to the first signal. Two amplifiers then generate a first and second amplified signals. A quadrature combiner receives the first and second amplified signals and generates a combined amplified signal that represents re-aligned versions of the first and second amplified signals. The power amplifiers can be combined into a system to generate a high power output to a processing chamber. Further, detectors can generate measurements used to monitor and control power generation. The power amplifiers, system, and methods provide significant advantages for high-power generation delivered to process chambers for plasma generation during plasma processing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 22, 2019
    Publication date: January 28, 2021
    Inventors: Merritt Funk, Chelsea DuBose, Justin Moses, Kazuki Moyama, Kazushi Kaneko
  • Publication number: 20210013005
    Abstract: In one exemplary embodiment described herein are innovative plasma processing methods and system that utilize direct measurement of direct current (DC) field or self-bias voltage (Vdc) in a plasma processing chamber. In one embodiment, a non-plasma contact measurement using the electric field effect from Vdc is provided. The Vdc sensing method may be robust to a variety of process conditions. In one embodiment, the sensor is integrated with any focus ring material (for example, quartz or doped-undoped silicon). Robust extraction of the Vdc measurement signal may be used for process control. In one embodiment, the sensor may be integrated, at least in part, with the substrate being processed in the chamber.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 9, 2019
    Publication date: January 14, 2021
    Inventors: Merritt Funk, Peter Ventzek, Alok Ranjan, Barton Lane, Justin Moses, Chelsea DuBose
  • Publication number: 20200395901
    Abstract: Embodiments are described for modules, multi-stage systems, and related methods for radio frequency (RF) power amplifiers with reduced size and weight requirements. Fluid cooling is incorporated directly into the power amplifier (PA) module design rather than requiring PA modules to be mounted on separate cooling devices. For one embodiment, a PA module includes a circuit board, RF circuit components, a ground plane, and a cooling plate having one or more cooling channels to receive a cooling fluid. The cooling channels are positioned to dissipate heat from the RF circuit components through the ground plane. For a further embodiment, the PA module also includes RF bias and power electronics within a housing for the PA module without requiring an external control board or power conversion electronics. Also disclosed are multi-stage PA systems having a plurality of PA modules that are similarly cooled using cooling channels.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 14, 2019
    Publication date: December 17, 2020
    Inventors: Chelsea DuBose, Merritt Funk, Justin Moses, Kazuki Moyama, Kazushi Kaneko
  • Patent number: 10796916
    Abstract: A processing system is disclosed, having a power transmission element with an interior cavity that propagates electromagnetic energy proximate to a continuous slit in the interior cavity. The continuous slit forms an opening between the interior cavity and a substrate processing chamber. The electromagnetic energy may generate an alternating charge in the continuous slit that enables the generation of an electric field that may propagate into the processing chamber. The electromagnetic energy may be conditioned prior to entering the interior cavity to improve uniformity or stability of the electric field. The conditioning may include, but is not limited to, phase angle, field angle, and number of feeds into the interior cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventors: Merritt Funk, Jianping Zhao, Lee Chen
  • Publication number: 20200273678
    Abstract: Methods and systems are disclosed for focus ring thickness measurement and feedback control within process chambers. For disclosed embodiments, in-chamber sensors measure physical parameters associated with focus rings, and these measurements are used to determine thickness for the focus rings. The thickness determinations can be used to detect when a focus ring should be replaced and can also be used as feedback to adjust the position of the focus rings within the chamber. For one embodiment, measurements from ultrasonic sensors are used to make thickness determinations for focus rings. For further embodiments, these ultrasonic sensors are positioned at end portions of focus ring lift pins. Other sensors can also be used such as capacitive sensors, resistive sensors, and/or other desired sensors. Further variations and implementations can also be achieved using in-chambers sensors to facilitate focus ring thickness determinations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 7, 2019
    Publication date: August 27, 2020
    Inventors: Merritt Funk, Alok Ranjan, Barton Lane, Peter Ventzek, Justin Moses, Chelsea DuBose
  • Patent number: 10510512
    Abstract: Embodiments of method and system for controlling plasma performance are described. In an embodiment a method may include supplying power at a first set of power parameters to a plasma chamber. Additionally, the method may include forming plasma within the plasma chamber using the first set of power parameters. The method may also include measuring power coupling to the plasma at the first set of power parameters. Also, the method may include supplying power at a second set of power parameters to the plasma chamber. The method may additionally include measuring power coupling to the plasma at the second set of power parameters to the plasma. The method may also include adjusting the first set of power parameters based, at least in part, on the measuring of the power coupling at the second set of power parameters.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Merritt Funk, Megan Doppel, Kazuki Moyama, Chelsea DuBose, Justin Moses
  • Patent number: 10424462
    Abstract: A processing system is disclosed, having a multiple power transmission elements with an interior cavity that may be arranged around a plasma processing chamber. Each of the power transmission elements may propagates electromagnetic energy that may be used to generate plasma within the plasma process chamber. The power transmission elements may be designed to accommodate a range of power and frequency ranges that range from 500 W to 3500 W and 0.9 GHz to 9 GHz. In one embodiment, the power transmission elements may include a rectangular interior cavity that enables the generation of a standing wave with two or more modes. In another embodiment, the power transmission elements may have a cylindrical interior cavity that may be placed along the plasma processing chamber or have one end of the cylinder placed against the plasma processing chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2019
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventors: Merritt Funk, Megan Doppel, John Entralgo, Jianping Zhao, Toshihisa Nozawa
  • Patent number: 10395903
    Abstract: A processing system is disclosed, having an electron beam source chamber that excites plasma to generate an electron beam, and an ion beam source chamber that houses a substrate and also excites plasma to generate an ion beam. The processing system also includes a dielectric injector coupling the electron beam source chamber to the ion beam source chamber that simultaneously injects the electron beam and the ion beam and propels the electron beam and the ion beam in opposite directions. The voltage potential gradient between the electron beam source chamber and the ion beam source chamber generates an energy field that is sufficient to maintain the electron beam and ion beam as a plasma treats the substrate so that radio frequency (RF) power initially applied to the processing system to generate the electron beam can be terminated thus improving the power efficiency of the processing system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Zhiying Chen, Lee Chen, Merritt Funk
  • Patent number: 10388528
    Abstract: This disclosure relates to a plasma processing system for controlling plasma density near the edge or perimeter of a substrate that is being processed. The plasma processing system may include a plasma chamber that can receive and process the substrate using plasma for etching the substrate, doping the substrate, or depositing a film on the substrate. This disclosure relates to a plasma processing system that may be configured to enable non-ambipolar diffusion to counter ion loss to the chamber wall. The plasma processing system may include a ring cavity coupled to the plasma processing system that is in fluid communication with plasma generated in the plasma processing system. The ring cavity may be coupled to a power source to form plasma that may diffuse ions into the plasma processing system to minimize the impact of ion loss to the chamber wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2019
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventors: Lee Chen, Zhiying Chen, Jianping Zhao, Merritt Funk
  • Patent number: 10375812
    Abstract: A surface wave plasma (SWP) source couples microwave (MW) energy into a processing chamber through, for example, a radial line slot antenna, to result in a low mean electron energy (Te). An ICP source, is provided between the SWP source and the substrate and is energized at a low power, less than 100 watts for 300 mm wafers, for example, at about 25 watts. The ICP source couples energy through a peripheral electric dipole coil to reduce capacitive coupling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Jianping Zhao, Lee Chen, Merritt Funk, Radha Sundararajan
  • Publication number: 20190228950
    Abstract: Embodiments of method and system for controlling plasma performance are described. In an embodiment a method may include supplying power at a first set of power parameters to a plasma chamber. Additionally, the method may include forming plasma within the plasma chamber using the first set of power parameters. The method may also include measuring power coupling to the plasma at the first set of power parameters. Also, the method may include supplying power at a second set of power parameters to the plasma chamber. The method may additionally include measuring power coupling to the plasma at the second set of power parameters to the plasma. The method may also include adjusting the first set of power parameters based, at least in part, on the measuring of the power coupling at the second set of power parameters.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 25, 2018
    Publication date: July 25, 2019
    Inventors: Merritt Funk, Megan Doppel, Kazuki Moyama, Chelsea DuBose, Justin Moses
  • Patent number: 10354841
    Abstract: The present invention provides a SWP (surface wave plasma) processing system that does not create underdense conditions when operating at low microwave power and high gas pressure, thereby achieving a larger process window. The DC ring subsystem can be used to adjust the edge to central plasma density ratio to achieve uniformity control in the SWP processing system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventors: Jianping Zhao, Lee Chen, Barton G. Lane, Merritt Funk, Radha Sundararajan
  • Publication number: 20180269041
    Abstract: A processing system is disclosed, having an electron beam source chamber that excites plasma to generate an electron beam, and an ion beam source chamber that houses a substrate and also excites plasma to generate an ion beam. The processing system also includes a dielectric injector coupling the electron beam source chamber to the ion beam source chamber that simultaneously injects the electron beam and the ion beam and propels the electron beam and the ion beam in opposite directions. The voltage potential gradient between the electron beam source chamber and the ion beam source chamber generates an energy field that is sufficient to maintain the electron beam and ion beam as a plasma treats the substrate so that radio frequency (RF) power initially applied to the processing system to generate the electron beam can be terminated thus improving the power efficiency of the processing system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 18, 2018
    Publication date: September 20, 2018
    Applicant: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Zhiying Chen, Lee Chen, Merritt Funk
  • Publication number: 20180226255
    Abstract: A processing system is disclosed, having a power transmission element with an interior cavity that propagates electromagnetic energy proximate to a continuous slit in the interior cavity. The continuous slit forms an opening between the interior cavity and a substrate processing chamber. The electromagnetic energy may generate an alternating charge in the continuous slit that enables the generation of an electric field that may propagate into the processing chamber. The electromagnetic energy may be conditioned prior to entering the interior cavity to improve uniformity or stability of the electric field. The conditioning may include, but is not limited to, phase angle, field angle, and number of feeds into the interior cavity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 30, 2018
    Publication date: August 9, 2018
    Applicant: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventors: Merritt Funk, Jianping Zhao, Lee Chen
  • Patent number: 9978568
    Abstract: A processing system is disclosed, having an electron beam source chamber that excites plasma to generate an electron beam, and an ion beam source chamber that houses a substrate and also excites plasma to generate an ion beam. The processing system also includes a dielectric injector coupling the electron beam source chamber to the ion beam source chamber that simultaneously injects the electron beam and the ion beam and propels the electron beam and the ion beam in opposite directions. The voltage potential gradient between the electron beam source chamber and the ion beam source chamber generates an energy field that is sufficient to maintain the electron beam and ion beam as a plasma treats the substrate so that radio frequency (RF) power initially applied to the processing system to generate the electron beam can be terminated thus improving the power efficiency of the processing system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2018
    Inventors: Zhiying Chen, Lee Chen, Merritt Funk
  • Patent number: 9947515
    Abstract: A processing system is disclosed, having a power transmission element with an interior cavity that propagates electromagnetic energy proximate to a continuous slit in the interior cavity. The continuous slit forms an opening between the interior cavity and a substrate processing chamber. The electromagnetic energy may generate an alternating charge in the continuous slit that enables the generation of an electric field that may propagate into the processing chamber. The electric field may interact with process gas in the processing chamber to generate plasma for treating the substrate. The interior cavity may be isolated from the process chamber by a dielectric component that covers the continuous slit. The power transmission element may be used to control plasma density within the process chamber, either by itself or in combination with other plasma sources.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventors: Merritt Funk, Jianping Zhao, Lee Chen, Toshihiko Iwao, Toshihisa Nozawa, Zhiying Chen, Peter Ventzek
  • Patent number: 9941126
    Abstract: A processing system is disclosed, having a power transmission element with an interior cavity that propagates electromagnetic energy proximate to a continuous slit in the interior cavity. The continuous slit forms an opening between the interior cavity and a substrate processing chamber. The electromagnetic energy may generate an alternating charge in the continuous slit that enables the generation of an electric field that may propagate into the processing chamber. The electromagnetic energy may be conditioned prior to entering the interior cavity to improve uniformity or stability of the electric field. The conditioning may include, but is not limited to, phase angle, field angle, and number of feeds into the interior cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2018
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventors: Merritt Funk, Jianping Zhao, Lee Chen
  • Patent number: 9934974
    Abstract: A processing system is disclosed, having a power transmission element with an interior cavity that propagates electromagnetic energy proximate to a continuous slit in the interior cavity. The continuous slit forms an opening between the interior cavity and a substrate processing chamber. The electromagnetic energy may generate an alternating charge in the continuous slit that enables the generation of an electric field that may propagate into the processing chamber. The electromagnetic energy may be conditioned prior to entering the interior cavity to improve uniformity or stability of the electric field. The conditioning may include, but is not limited to, phase angle, field angle, and number of feeds into the interior cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2018
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventors: Jianping Zhao, Merritt Funk, Lee Chen