Patents by Inventor Michael R. Rice

Michael R. Rice 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: 20210216054
    Abstract: A system comprises a factory interface (FI) comprising an FI chamber and a carrier purge chamber, the FI configured to receive a substrate carrier that becomes coupled to the FI such that the carrier purge chamber is positioned between the FI chamber and the substrate carrier, the substrate carrier comprising a carrier door. The system further comprises an environmental control system coupled to at least one of the FI chamber or the carrier purge chamber and configured to couple to the substrate carrier, the environmental control system operable to separately control environmental conditions within at least one of: the carrier purge chamber and the substrate carrier; the carrier purge chamber and the FI chamber; or the FI chamber and the substrate carrier, while the carrier door of the substrate carrier is closed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 31, 2021
    Publication date: July 15, 2021
    Inventors: Michael R. Rice, Dean C. Hruzek
  • Patent number: 11049740
    Abstract: A mainframe of a device fabrication system includes a base, a plurality of facets on the base, an a lid over the plurality of facets. A first facet of the plurality of facets includes a frame. The base, the lid and the plurality of facets together define an interior volume that includes a robot arm. A first replaceable interface plate is attached to the first frame of the first facet. The first replaceable interface plate includes a plurality of substrate access ports. A first substrate access port of the plurality of substrate access ports is configured to provide access for the robot arm to a first process chamber. A second substrate access port of the plurality of substrate access ports is configured to provide access for the robot arm to a second process chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael R. Rice
  • Patent number: 11043360
    Abstract: A gas distribution plate assembly for a processing chamber is provided that in one embodiment includes a body made of a metallic material, a base plate comprising a silicon infiltrated metal matrix composite coupled to the body, and a perforated faceplate comprising a silicon disk coupled to the base plate by a bond layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2021
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Carducci, Kenneth S. Collins, Kartik Ramaswamy, Michael R. Rice, Richard Charles Fovell, Vijay D. Parkhe
  • Publication number: 20210183657
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for surface profiling and texturing of chamber components for use in a process chamber, such surface-profiled or textured chamber components, and method of use of same are provided herein. In some embodiments, a method includes measuring a parameter of a reference substrate or a heated pedestal using one or more sensors and modifying a surface of a chamber component based on the measured parameter.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 17, 2019
    Publication date: June 17, 2021
    Inventors: DAVID W. GROECHEL, MICHAEL R. RICE, GANG GRANT PENG, RUI CHENG, ZUBIN HUANG, HAN WANG, KARTHIK JANAKIRAMAN, DIWAKAR KEDLAYA, PAUL L. BRILLHART
  • Publication number: 20210183676
    Abstract: The disclosure describes devices, systems, and methods for causing a factory interface of an electronic device manufacturing system to be moveable between a first position and a second position. An electronic device manufacturing system can include a transfer chamber, processing chambers connected to the transfer chamber, a load lock connected to the transfer chamber, and a factory interface connected to the load lock. The factory interface can be moveable between a first position and a second position. The factory interface, while oriented in the first position, is positioned for transfer of one or more substrates between the factory interface and the load lock, where at least one of the transfer chamber or the load lock are inaccessible for maintenance while the factory interface is oriented at the first position. The factory interface, while oriented in the second position, is positioned to provide maintenance access to at least one of the transfer chamber or the load lock.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 2, 2020
    Publication date: June 17, 2021
    Inventors: Michael R. Rice, Juan Carlos Rocha-Alvarez, Jeffrey C. Hudgens
  • Publication number: 20210175100
    Abstract: A mainframe of a device fabrication system includes a base, a plurality of facets on the base, an a lid over the plurality of facets. A first facet of the plurality of facets includes a frame. The base, the lid and the plurality of facets together define an interior volume that includes a robot arm. A first replaceable interface plate is attached to the first frame of the first facet. The first replaceable interface plate includes a plurality of substrate access ports. A first substrate access port of the plurality of substrate access ports is configured to provide access for the robot arm to a first process chamber. A second substrate access port of the plurality of substrate access ports is configured to provide access for the robot arm to a second process chamber.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 6, 2020
    Publication date: June 10, 2021
    Inventor: Michael R. Rice
  • Patent number: 11003149
    Abstract: Electronic device processing systems including environmental control of the factory interface, a carrier purge chamber, and one or more substrate carriers are described. One electronic device processing system has a factory interface having a factory interface chamber, one or more substrate carriers coupled to the factory interface, and an environmental control system coupled to the factory interface, the carrier purge chamber, and the one or more substrate carriers and operational to control an environment at least within the factory interface chamber, carrier purge chamber, and the one or more substrate carriers. Methods for processing substrates are described, as are numerous other aspects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael R. Rice, Dean C. Hruzek
  • Patent number: 10943805
    Abstract: Electronic device manufacturing apparatus and robot apparatus are described. The apparatus are configured to efficiently pick and place substrates wherein the robot apparatus includes an upper arm and three blades B1, B2, B3 that are independently rotatable. The three blades are configured to service a first dual load lock and second dual load lock wherein each dual load lock includes a different pitch. In some embodiments, a first pitch P1 is smaller than a second pitch P2. Blades B2 and B3 (or optionally blades B1 and B2) can service the first dual load lock with Pitch P1 and blades B1 and B3 can service the second dual load lock including the second pitch P2. Methods of operating the electronic device manufacturing apparatus and the robot apparatus are provided, as are numerous other aspects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 9, 2021
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey C. Hudgens, Michael R. Rice, Karuppasamy Muthukamatchi, Nir Merry
  • Publication number: 20210043479
    Abstract: An equipment front end module (EFEM) includes sidewalls forming an EFEM chamber configured to receive inert gas from an inert gas supply. The sidewalls include a first sidewall configured to attach to a panel first side of a panel. The panel forms a panel opening extending between the panel first side and a panel second side. The panel second side is configured to attach to a side storage pod. The EFEM further includes a robot disposed in the EFEM chamber. The robot is configured to transfer substrates from the EFEM chamber into the side storage pod via the panel opening. An exhaust conduit is coupled to the side storage pod to exhaust gas from the side storage pod to an exterior of the side storage pod.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 26, 2020
    Publication date: February 11, 2021
    Inventors: Devendra Channappa Holeyannavar, Sandesh Doddamane Ramappa, Dean C. Hruzek, Michael R. Rice, Jeffrey A. Brodine
  • Publication number: 20200402819
    Abstract: A system includes a filter purge apparatus configured to supply a flushing gas to a portion of a factory interface chamber located upstream of a chamber filter to minimize moisture contamination of the chamber filter by ambient air. The filter purge apparatus is configured to supply the flushing gas in association with breach of the factory interface chamber which compromises controlled environment of the factory interface chamber.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 31, 2020
    Publication date: December 24, 2020
    Inventor: Michael R. Rice
  • Patent number: 10847390
    Abstract: Electronic device processing systems including side storage pods are described. One electronic device processing system has a side storage pod having a first chamber configured to receive a side storage container; a panel having a panel opening; the panel configured to be coupled between a side storage container and an equipment front end module; a side storage container received in the first chamber; and an exhaust conduit configured to be coupled to the side storage container received and extending to an exterior of the first chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2020
    Assignee: APPLIED MATERIALS, INC.
    Inventors: Devendra Channappa Holeyannavar, Sandesh Doddamane Ramappa, Dean C. Hruzek, Michael R. Rice, Jeffrey A. Brodine
  • Publication number: 20200350191
    Abstract: Dual load lock chambers for use in a multi-chamber processing system are disclosed herein. In some embodiments, a dual load lock chamber, includes a first load lock chamber having a first interior volume and a first substrate support, wherein the first substrate support includes a first plurality of support surfaces vertically spaced apart by a first predetermined distance; at least one heat transfer device disposed within the first substrate support to heat or cool the first plurality of substrates; and a second load lock chamber disposed adjacent to the first load lock chamber and having a second interior volume and a second substrate support, wherein the second substrate support includes a second plurality of support surfaces vertically spaced apart by a second predetermined distance that less than the first predetermined distance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 20, 2020
    Publication date: November 5, 2020
    Inventor: MICHAEL R. RICE
  • Publication number: 20200308703
    Abstract: A gas distribution plate for a showerhead assembly of a processing chamber may include at least a first plate and second plate. The first plate may include a first plurality holes each having a diameter of at least about 100 um. The second plate may include a second plurality of holes each having a diameter of at least about 100 um. Further, each of the first plurality of holes is aligned with a respective one of the second plurality of holes forming a plurality of interconnected holes. Each of the interconnected holes is isolated from each other interconnected holes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 26, 2020
    Publication date: October 1, 2020
    Inventors: Sumit AGARWAL, Sanjeev BALUJA, Chad PETERSON, Michael R. RICE
  • Patent number: 10763134
    Abstract: Electronic device processing apparatus including factory interface chamber with environmental controls and a purge control apparatus allowing purge of a chamber filter. The filter purge apparatus includes a chamber filter and a flushing gas supply configured to supply flushing gas to the chamber filter when an access door to the factory interface chamber is open to allow personnel safe servicing access to the factory interface chamber. The supply of flushing gas to the chamber filter minimizes moisture contamination of the chamber filter by factory ambient air when the access door is open thereby allowing rapid resumption of substrate processing after factory interface servicing. Purge control methods and apparatus are described, as are numerous other aspects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2020
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael R. Rice
  • Patent number: 10736182
    Abstract: Substrate temperature control apparatus and electronic device manufacturing systems provide pixelated light-based heating to a substrate in a process chamber. A substrate holder in the process chamber may include a baseplate. The baseplate has a top surface that may have a plurality of cavities and a plurality of grooves connected to the cavities. Optical fibers may be received in the grooves such that each cavity has a respective optical fiber terminating therein to transfer light thereto. Some or all of the cavities may have an epoxy optical diffuser disposed therein to diffuse light provided by the optical fiber. A ceramic plate upon which a substrate may be placed may be bonded to the baseplate. A thermal spreader plate may optionally be provided between the baseplate and the ceramic plate. Methods of controlling temperature across a substrate holder in an electronic device manufacturing system are also provided, as are other aspects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2020
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew Busche, Wendell Boyd, Jr., Todd J. Egan, Gregory L. Kirk, Vijay D. Parkhe, Michael R. Rice, Leon Volfovski
  • Patent number: 10720348
    Abstract: Dual load lock chambers for use in a multi-chamber processing system are disclosed herein. In some embodiments, a dual load lock chamber, includes a first load lock chamber having a first interior volume and a first substrate support, wherein the first substrate support includes a first plurality of support surfaces vertically spaced apart by a first predetermined distance; at least one heat transfer device disposed within the first substrate support to heat or cool the first plurality of substrates; and a second load lock chamber disposed adjacent to the first load lock chamber and having a second interior volume and a second substrate support, wherein the second substrate support includes a second plurality of support surfaces vertically spaced apart by a second predetermined distance that less than the first predetermined distance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2020
    Assignee: APPLIED MATERIALS, INC.
    Inventor: Michael R. Rice
  • Publication number: 20200185249
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a substrate support assembly having a ground electrode mesh disposed therein along a side surface of the substrate support assembly. The substrate support assembly has a body. The body has an outer top surface, an outer side surface and an outer bottom surface enclosing an interior of the body. The body has a ground electrode mesh disposed in the interior of the body and adjacent the outer side surface, wherein the ground electrode does not extend through to the outer top surface or the outer side surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 14, 2019
    Publication date: June 11, 2020
    Inventors: Michael R. RICE, Vijay D. PARKHE
  • Publication number: 20200181771
    Abstract: Certain embodiments of the present disclosure relate to coated articles and methods of coating articles. In one embodiment, a coated article comprises an article adapted for use in a processing chamber, and a coating formed on exterior and interior surfaces of the article. In one embodiment, the coating comprises a rare earth metal-containing ceramic, and the coating is substantially uniform, conformal, and porosity-free.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 6, 2018
    Publication date: June 11, 2020
    Inventors: Xiaowei Wu, Jennifer Y. Sun, Michael R. Rice
  • Patent number: 10665476
    Abstract: In one aspect, a valve assembly adapted to seal an opening in a chamber is disclosed. Valve assembly includes a housing being adapted for coupling to a chamber surface having the opening therein, the housing including a threshold portion positioned adjacent to the chamber opening, the threshold portion having one or more inlets adapted to supply gas to an interior region of the housing adjacent to the chamber opening; and a sealing surface adapted to selectively (1) seal the opening, and (2) retract from the opening so as not to obstruct substrate passage. Numerous other system aspects are provided, as are methods and computer program products in accordance with these and other aspects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2020
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Efrain Quiles, Mehran Behdjat, Robert B. Lowrance, Michael R. Rice, Brent Vopat
  • Publication number: 20200140996
    Abstract: An article comprises a body having a coating. The coating comprises a Y—O—F coating or other yttrium-based oxy-fluoride coating generated either by performing a fluorination process on a yttrium-based oxide coating or an oxidation process on a yttrium-based fluorine coating.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 6, 2020
    Publication date: May 7, 2020
    Inventors: Xiaowei Wu, David Fenwick, Guodong Zhan, Jennifer Y. Sun, Michael R. Rice