Patents by Inventor Paul R. McHugh

Paul R. McHugh 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: 20220145489
    Abstract: An electroplating system has a vessel assembly holding an electrolyte. A weir thief electrode assembly in the vessel assembly includes a plenum inside of a weir frame. The plenum divided into at least a first, a second and a third virtual thief electrode segment. A plurality of spaced apart openings through the weir frame lead out of the plenum. A weir ring is attached to the weir frame and guides flow of current during electroplating. The electroplating system provides process determined radial and circumferential current density control and does not require changing hardware components during set up.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 24, 2022
    Publication date: May 12, 2022
    Inventors: Paul R. McHugh, Gregory J. Wilson, Kyle M. Hanson, John L. Klocke, Paul Van Valkenburg, Eric J. Bergman, Adam Marc McClure, Deepak Saagar Kalaikadal, Nolan Layne Zimmerman, Michael Windham, Mikael R. Borjesson
  • Publication number: 20220145485
    Abstract: Systems and methods for electroplating are described. The electroplating system may include a vessel configured to hold a first portion of a liquid electrolyte. The system may also include a substrate holder configured for holding a substrate in the vessel. The system may further include a first reservoir in fluid communication with the vessel. In addition, the system may include a second reservoir in fluid communication with the vessel. Furthermore, the system may include a first mechanism configured to expel a second portion of the liquid electrolyte from the first reservoir into the vessel. The system may also include a second mechanism configured to take in a third potion of the liquid electrolyte from the vessel into the second reservoir when the second portion of the liquid electrolyte is expelled from the first reservoir. Methods may include oscillating flow of the electrolyte within the vessel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 24, 2022
    Publication date: May 12, 2022
    Applicant: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul R. McHugh, Gregory J. Wilson
  • Publication number: 20220127747
    Abstract: Electroplating systems may include an electroplating chamber. The systems may also include a replenish assembly fluidly coupled with the electroplating chamber. The replenish assembly may include a first compartment housing anode material. The first compartment may include a first compartment section in which the anode material is housed and a second compartment section separated from the first compartment section by a divider. The replenish assembly may include a second compartment fluidly coupled with the electroplating chamber and electrically coupled with the first compartment. The replenish assembly may also include a third compartment electrically coupled with the second compartment, the third compartment including an inert cathode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 23, 2020
    Publication date: April 28, 2022
    Applicant: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Nolan L. Zimmerman, Charles Sharbono, Gregory J. Wilson, Paul R. McHugh, Paul Van Valkenburg, Deepak Saagar Kalaikadal, Kyle M. Hanson
  • Patent number: 11268208
    Abstract: An electroplating system has a vessel assembly holding an electrolyte. A weir thief electrode assembly in the vessel assembly includes a plenum inside of a weir frame. The plenum divided into at least a first, a second and a third virtual thief electrode segment. A plurality of spaced apart openings through the weir frame lead out of the plenum. A weir ring is attached to the weir frame and guides flow of current during electroplating. The electroplating system provides process determined radial and circumferential current density control and does not require changing hardware components during set up.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2022
    Assignee: APPLIED MATERIALS, INC.
    Inventors: Paul R McHugh, Gregory J Wilson, Kyle M Hanson, John L Klocke, Paul Van Valkenburg, Eric J Bergman, Adam Marc McClure, Deepak Saagar Kalaikadal, Nolan Layne Zimmerman, Michael Windham, Mikael R Borjesson
  • Patent number: 11230793
    Abstract: Systems and methods for electroplating are described. The electroplating system may include a vessel configured to hold a first portion of a liquid electrolyte. The system may also include a substrate holder configured for holding a substrate in the vessel. The system may further include a first reservoir in fluid communication with the vessel. In addition, the system may include a second reservoir in fluid communication with the vessel. Furthermore, the system may include a first mechanism configured to expel a second portion of the liquid electrolyte from the first reservoir into the vessel. The system may also include a second mechanism configured to take in a third potion of the liquid electrolyte from the vessel into the second reservoir when the second portion of the liquid electrolyte is expelled from the first reservoir. Methods may include oscillating flow of the electrolyte within the vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2020
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2022
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul R. McHugh, Gregory J. Wilson
  • Publication number: 20210348296
    Abstract: An electroplating system has a vessel assembly holding an electrolyte. A weir thief electrode assembly in the vessel assembly includes a plenum inside of a weir frame. The plenum divided into at least a first, a second and a third virtual thief electrode segment. A plurality of spaced apart openings through the weir frame lead out of the plenum. A weir ring is attached to the weir frame and guides flow of current during electroplating. The electroplating system provides process determined radial and circumferential current density control and does not require changing hardware components during set up.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 8, 2020
    Publication date: November 11, 2021
    Inventors: Paul R McHugh, Gregory J Wilson, Kyle M Hanson, John L Klocke, Paul Van Valkenburg, Eric J Bergman, Adam Marc McClure, Deepak Saagar Kalaikadal, Nolan Layne Zimmerman, Michael Windham, Mikael R Borjesson
  • Publication number: 20210102307
    Abstract: Systems and methods for electroplating are described. The electroplating system may include a vessel configured to hold a first portion of a liquid electrolyte. The system may also include a substrate holder configured for holding a substrate in the vessel. The system may further include a first reservoir in fluid communication with the vessel. In addition, the system may include a second reservoir in fluid communication with the vessel. Furthermore, the system may include a first mechanism configured to expel a second portion of the liquid electrolyte from the first reservoir into the vessel. The system may also include a second mechanism configured to take in a third potion of the liquid electrolyte from the vessel into the second reservoir when the second portion of the liquid electrolyte is expelled from the first reservoir. Methods may include oscillating flow of the electrolyte within the vessel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 7, 2020
    Publication date: April 8, 2021
    Applicant: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul R. McHugh, Gregory J. Wilson
  • Patent number: 10577712
    Abstract: Electroplating apparatus agitates electrolyte to provide high velocity fluid flows at the surface of a wafer. The apparatus includes a paddle which provides uniform high mass transfer over the entire wafer, even with a relatively large gap between the paddle and the wafer. Consequently, the processor may have an electric field shield positioned between the paddle and the wafer for effective shielding at the edges of the wafer. The influence of the paddle on the electric field across the wafer is reduced as the paddle is spaced relatively farther from the wafer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2020
    Assignee: APPLIED MATERIALS, INC.
    Inventors: Gregory J. Wilson, Paul R. McHugh
  • Patent number: 10570526
    Abstract: An electroplating apparatus has a vessel for holding electrolyte. A head has a rotor including a contact ring for holding a wafer having a notch. The contact ring includes a perimeter voltage ring having perimeter contact fingers for contacting the wafer around the perimeter of the wafer, except at the notch. The contact ring also has a notch contact segment having one or more notch contact fingers for contacting the wafer at the notch. The perimeter voltage ring is insulated from the notch contact segment. A negative voltage source is connected to the perimeter voltage ring, and a positive voltage source connected to the notch contact segment. The positive voltage applied at the notch reduces the current crowding effect at the notch. The wafer is plated with a film having more uniform thickness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2020
    Assignee: APPLIED MATERIALS, INC.
    Inventors: Paul R. McHugh, Gregory J. Wilson
  • Patent number: 10364506
    Abstract: An electro-processing apparatus has a contact ring including a seal which is able to compensate for electric field distortions created by a notch (or other irregularity) on the wafer or work piece. The shape of the contact ring at the notch is changed, to reduce current crowding at the notch. The change in shape changes the resistance of the current path between a thief electrode and the wafer edge to increase thief electrode current drawn from the region of the notch. As a result, the wafer is plated with a film having more uniform thickness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2019
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory J. Wilson, Paul R. McHugh
  • Publication number: 20190153611
    Abstract: Electroplating apparatus agitates electrolyte to provide high velocity fluid flows at the surface of a wafer. The apparatus includes a paddle which provides uniform high mass transfer over the entire wafer, even with a relatively large gap between the paddle and the wafer. Consequently, the processor may have an electric field shield positioned between the paddle and the wafer for effective shielding at the edges of the wafer. The influence of the paddle on the electric field across the wafer is reduced as the paddle is spaced relatively farther from the wafer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 29, 2019
    Publication date: May 23, 2019
    Inventors: Gregory J. Wilson, Paul R. McHugh
  • Patent number: 10240248
    Abstract: In electroplating apparatus, a paddle or agitator agitates electrolyte in a vessel to provide high velocity fluid flow at the surface of a wafer. The agitator is designed and/or moved to also selectively shield part of the wafer, for example the edge of the wafer, from the electric field in the vessel. Selectively shielding may be achieved by temporally shifting the average position of the agitator towards one side of the wafer, by omitting or shortening slots in the agitator, and/or by synchronizing movement of the agitator with rotation of the wafer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul Van Valkenburg, Robert Mikkola, John L. Klocke, Paul R. McHugh, Gregory J. Wilson, Kyle Moran Hanson, Eric J. Bergman
  • Patent number: 10227707
    Abstract: An electroplating processor has a vessel holding an electrolyte. An inert anode in the vessel has an anode wire within an anode membrane tube. A head for holds a wafer in contact with the electrolyte in the vessel. The wafer is connected to a cathode. A catholyte replenisher is connected to the vessel. The catholyte replenisher adds metal ions into the catholyte by moving ions of a bulk metal through a catholyte membrane in the catholyte replenisher.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2019
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory J. Wilson, Paul R. McHugh, John L. Klocke
  • Patent number: 10227706
    Abstract: Electroplating apparatus agitates electrolyte to provide high velocity fluid flows at the surface of a wafer. The apparatus includes a paddle which provides uniform high mass transfer over the entire wafer, even with a relatively large gap between the paddle and the wafer. Consequently, the processor may have an electric field shield positioned between the paddle and the wafer for effective shielding at the edges of the wafer. The influence of the paddle on the electric field across the wafer is reduced as the paddle is spaced relatively farther from the wafer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2019
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory J. Wilson, Paul R. McHugh
  • Patent number: 10191379
    Abstract: In systems and methods for removing a photoresist film off of a wafer, the wafer is moved into a bath of a process liquid in a process tank. The process liquid removes the photoresist film from the wafer. The process liquid is pumped from the process tank to a filter assembly and moved through filter media to filter out solids from the process liquid, and the filtered process liquid is returned to the process tank. A scraper scrapes the filter media to prevent clogging of the filter media by accumulated solids.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2019
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul R. McHugh, Kyle Moran Hanson, John L. Klocke, Eric J. Bergman, Stuart Crane, Gregory J. Wilson
  • Patent number: 10081881
    Abstract: An electroplating apparatus has one or more membrane tube rings which act as electric field shields, to provide advantageous plating characteristics at the perimeter of a work piece. The membrane tube rings may be filled with fluids having different conductivity, to change the shielding effect as desired for electroplating different types of substrates. The membrane tube rings may optionally be provided in or on a diffuser plate in the vessel of the apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2018
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul R. McHugh, Gregory J. Wilson, Roey Shaviv
  • Patent number: 10047453
    Abstract: An electroplating processor includes a base having a vessel body. A membrane assembly including a membrane housing is attached to a membrane plate. A membrane is provided on a membrane support attached to the membrane housing. An anode assembly includes an anode cup and one or more anodes in the anode cup. An anode plate is attached to the anode cup. Two or more posts on a first side of the anode plate are engageable with post fittings on the membrane plate. Latches on a second side of the anode plate are engageable with and releasable from a latch fitting on the membrane plate. The anode assembly is quickly and easily removable from the processor for maintenance, without disturbing or removing other components of the processor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2018
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel J. Woodruff, Gregory J. Wilson, Paul R. McHugh
  • Patent number: 9920448
    Abstract: An electroplating system includes a processor has a vessel having a first or upper compartment and a second or lower compartment containing catholyte and anolyte, respectively, with an processor anionic membrane between them. An inert anode is located in the second compartment. A replenisher is connected to the vessel via catholyte return and supply lines and anolyte return and supply lines, to circulate catholyte and anolyte through compartments in the replenisher separated by a replenisher anionic membrane. The replenisher adds metal ions into the catholyte by moving ions from a bulk metal source, and moves anions from the anolyte through the anionic membrane and into the catholyte. Concentrations or metal ions and anions in the catholyte and the anolyte remain balanced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul R. McHugh, Gregory J. Wilson
  • Publication number: 20170365492
    Abstract: A processing system includes at least one processor having a tank for holding a process liquid. A clean assembly above the tank is provided with an upper housing having at least one upper housing spray nozzle, and a lower housing having at least one lower housing spray nozzle, with the lower housing below the upper housing. A door between the upper housing and the lower housing is movable via an actuator from an open position wherein a load port through the clean assembly is open, to a closed position wherein the load port is closed off. The door largely prevents liquids used in the upper housing from moving down into the process liquid in the tank, and may also improve gas flow in the system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 24, 2017
    Publication date: December 21, 2017
    Inventors: Kyle Moran Hanson, Paul R. McHugh
  • Publication number: 20170357158
    Abstract: In systems and methods for removing a photoresist film off of a wafer, the wafer is moved into a bath of a process liquid in a process tank. The process liquid removes the photoresist film from the wafer. The process liquid is pumped from the process tank to a filter assembly and moved through filter media to filter out solids from the process liquid, and the filtered process liquid is returned to the process tank. A scraper scrapes the filter media to prevent clogging of the filter media by accumulated solids.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 26, 2017
    Publication date: December 14, 2017
    Inventors: Paul R. McHugh, Kyle Moran Hanson, John L. Klocke, Eric J. Bergman, Stuart Crane, Gregory J. Wilson