INSULATED SEMICONDUCTOR FACEPLATE DESIGNS

- Applied Materials, Inc.

An exemplary faceplate may include a conductive plate defining a plurality of apertures. The faceplate may additionally include a plurality of inserts, and each one of the plurality of inserts may be disposed within one of the plurality of apertures. Each insert may define at least one channel through the insert to provide a flow path through the faceplate.

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Description

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This Application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/162,000, filed Jan. 23, 2014, which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/774,963, filed Mar. 8, 2013, the entire disclosures of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entirety for all purposes.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present technology relates to semiconductor processes and equipment. More specifically, the present technology relates to processing system plasma components that are at least partially insulated.

BACKGROUND

Integrated circuits are made possible by processes which produce intricately patterned material layers on substrate surfaces. Producing patterned material on a substrate requires controlled methods for removal of exposed material. Chemical etching is used for a variety of purposes including transferring a pattern in photoresist into underlying layers, thinning layers, or thinning lateral dimensions of features already present on the surface. Often it is sought to have an etch process that etches one material faster than another facilitating, for example, a pattern transfer process. Such an etch process is said to be selective to the first material. As a result of the diversity of materials, circuits, and processes, etch processes have been developed with a selectivity towards a variety of materials.

Dry etches produced in local plasmas formed within the substrate processing region can penetrate more constrained trenches and exhibit less deformation of delicate remaining structures. However, local plasmas can damage the substrate through the production of electric arcs as they discharge. Plasmas additionally may sputter or otherwise degrade chamber components often requiring replacement of internal parts. Protecting chamber components can be performed by seasoning the chamber, which may increase process queue times and may be a disadvantage to adequate throughput.

Thus, there is a need for improved system components that can be used in plasma environments effectively while providing suitable degradation profiles. These and other needs are addressed by the present technology.

SUMMARY

Exemplary faceplates may include a conductive plate defining a plurality of apertures.

The faceplates may additionally include a plurality of inserts, and each one of the plurality of inserts may be disposed within one of the plurality of apertures. Each insert may define at least one channel through the insert to provide a flow path through the faceplate. Each insert may also define more than one channel, and may for example define six channels through the insert arranged in a hexagonal pattern.

The faceplates may further include a plurality of o-rings positioned within annular channels, and each annular channel may be defined at least partially by each of the plurality of inserts. A portion of each o-ring of the plurality of o-rings may be seated within an annular groove defined along a region of a corresponding insert between a top and bottom of the insert. A second o-ring may also be seated within a second annular groove defined along a region of a corresponding insert between the top and bottom of the insert and vertically disposed from the first o-ring. The o-rings may be disposed within the inserts and the inserts may be housed within the respectively defined apertures of the conductive plate and may extend radially within each aperture to within at least 50 mils of the radius of each aperture. A portion of each aperture may be defined with a decreasing diameter from an upper region to a lower region to define a tapered region of the aperture. In exemplary faceplates the conductive plate may include a layer of material, such as dielectric material, on all surfaces of the conductive plate that may be exposed to plasma. Also, the layer of material may be located on all surfaces of the conductive plate including on all surfaces defining the plurality of apertures. The layer of material may be formed from a dielectric material, and may further be a ceramic material.

Exemplary faceplates of the technology may include a conductive plate defining a plurality of apertures. The faceplates may additionally include a plurality of inserts, and each one of the plurality of inserts may be disposed within one of the plurality of apertures. Each aperture may be defined with an upper portion and a lower portion of the aperture. The upper portion may be characterized by a cylindrical shape having a first diameter, and the lower portion may be characterized by a cylindrical shape having a second diameter less than the first diameter. A ledge may be defined by the conductive plate at the boundary between the upper portion and lower portion. The upper portion may be less than 10% of the length of the aperture in exemplary apertures. Each insert may be seated on the defined ledge of each corresponding aperture, and each insert may occupy at least a portion of both the upper portion and lower portion of each aperture. Each insert may also occupy only the upper portion or only the lower portion of each corresponding aperture in embodiments. Additionally, a plurality of o-rings may be positioned to form a seal between the inserts and the upper and/or lower portion of the apertures.

The inserts may also be formed from a dielectric material, and may further be a ceramic material. The ceramic may include one or more of aluminum oxide, zirconium oxide, and yttrium oxide. The plurality of inserts may be fixedly coupled to an insert plate in exemplary faceplates, and the insert may extend unidirectionally from a surface of the insert plate. The insert plate may be configured to be thermally fit to the conductive plate such that a surface of the insert plate covers a surface of the conductive plate, and the inserts may at least partially extend through the corresponding apertures.

Methods are also described forming exemplary faceplates. The methods may include forming a plurality of apertures through a conductive plate. The methods may include coating at least a portion of the conductive plate with a dielectric material, and the coating additionally may cover at least a portion of surfaces of the plate defining the plurality of apertures. The methods may further include disposing a plurality of inserts within the apertures such that each aperture includes at least one insert, and the inserts may each define at least one channel through the insert.

Such technology may provide numerous benefits over conventional systems and techniques. For example, degradation of the faceplate may be prevented or limited. An additional advantage is that improved uniformity of distribution may be provided from the channels of the inserts. These and other embodiments, along with many of their advantages and features, are described in more detail in conjunction with the below description and attached figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A further understanding of the nature and advantages of the disclosed technology may be realized by reference to the remaining portions of the specification and the drawings.

FIG. 1 shows a top plan view of one embodiment of an exemplary processing system.

FIG. 2A shows a schematic cross-sectional view of an exemplary processing chamber.

FIG. 2B shows a detailed view of a portion of the processing chamber illustrated in FIG. 2A.

FIG. 3 shows a bottom plan view of an exemplary showerhead according to the disclosed technology.

FIG. 4 shows a plan view of an exemplary faceplate according to the disclosed technology.

FIG. 5 shows a simplified cross-sectional view of a faceplate according to the disclosed technology.

FIGS. 6A-6C show exemplary insert channel arrangements according to the disclosed technology.

FIGS. 7A-7C show exemplary cross-sectional aperture structures according to the disclosed technology.

FIG. 8A shows a cross-sectional view of an exemplary aperture and insert arrangement according to the disclosed technology.

FIG. 8B shows a top plan view of the arrangement of FIG. 8A.

FIG. 9 shows an exemplary conductive plate and insert plate according to the disclosed technology.

FIG. 10 shows a cross-sectional view of an exemplary conductive plate coupled with an insert plate according to the disclosed technology.

FIG. 11 shows a method of forming a faceplate according to the disclosed technology.

Several of the Figures are included as schematics. It is to be understood that the Figures are for illustrative purposes, and are not to be considered of scale unless specifically stated to be as such.

In the appended figures, similar components and/or features may have the same reference label. Further, various components of the same type may be distinguished by following the reference label by a letter that distinguishes among the similar components. If only the first reference label is used in the specification, the description is applicable to any one of the similar components having the same first reference label irrespective of the letter.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present technology includes systems and components for semiconductor processing. When plasmas are formed in situ in processing chambers, such as with a capacitively coupled plasma (“CCP”) for example, exposed surfaces may be sputtered or degraded by the plasma or the species produced by the plasma. When dry etchant formulas that may include several radical species produced by the plasma are formed, the radical species produced may interact and affect the remote plasma chamber.

Conventional technologies have dealt with these unwanted side effects through regular maintenance and replacement of components, however, the present systems may at least partially overcome this need by providing components that may be less likely to degrade as well as components that may be easier to protect. By utilizing dielectric inserts within larger bore apertures, multiple benefits or advantages may be provided. The apertures of the plate may be of sufficient diameter to allow protective coatings to be applied to the plate, and the inserts may have channels specifically configured to produce more uniform flow patterns for precursors being delivered. Accordingly, the systems described herein provide improved performance and cost benefits over many conventional designs. These and other benefits will be described in detail below.

Although the remaining disclosure will routinely identify specific etching processes utilizing the disclosed technology, it will be readily understood that the systems and methods are equally applicable to deposition and cleaning processes as may occur in the described chambers.

Accordingly, the technology should not be considered to be so limited as for use with etching processes alone.

FIG. 1 shows a top plan view of one embodiment of a processing system 100 of deposition, etching, baking, and curing chambers according to embodiments. In the figure, a pair of front opening unified pods (FOUPs) 102 supply substrates of a variety of sizes that are received by robotic arms 104 and placed into a low pressure holding area 106 before being placed into one of the substrate processing chambers 108a-f, positioned in tandem sections 109a-c. A second robotic arm 110 may be used to transport the substrate wafers from the holding area 106 to the substrate processing chambers 108a-f and back. Each substrate processing chamber 108a-f, can be outfitted to perform a number of substrate processing operations including the dry etch processes described herein in addition to cyclical layer deposition (CLD), atomic layer deposition (ALD), chemical vapor deposition (CVD), physical vapor deposition (PVD), etch, pre-clean, degas, orientation, and other substrate processes.

The substrate processing chambers 108a-f may include one or more system components for depositing, annealing, curing and/or etching a dielectric film on the substrate wafer. In one configuration, two pairs of the processing chamber, e.g., 108c-d and 108e-f, may be used to deposit dielectric material on the substrate, and the third pair of processing chambers, e.g., 108a-b, may be used to etch the deposited dielectric. In another configuration, all three pairs of chambers, e.g., 108a-f, may be configured to etch a dielectric film on the substrate. Any one or more of the processes described may be carried out in chamber(s) separated from the fabrication system shown in different embodiments. It will be appreciated that additional configurations of deposition, etching, annealing, and curing chambers for dielectric films are contemplated by system 100.

FIG. 2A shows a cross-sectional view of an exemplary process chamber system 200 with partitioned plasma generation regions within the processing chamber. During film etching, e.g., titanium nitride, tantalum nitride, tungsten, silicon, polysilicon, silicon oxide, silicon nitride, silicon oxynitride, silicon oxycarbide, etc., a process gas may be flowed into the first plasma region 215 through a gas inlet assembly 205. A remote plasma system (RPS) 201 may optionally be included in the system, and may process a first gas which then travels through gas inlet assembly 205. The inlet assembly 205 may include two or more distinct gas supply channels where the second channel (not shown) may bypass the RPS 201, if included.

A cooling plate 203, faceplate 217, ion suppressor 223, showerhead 225, and a substrate support 265, having a substrate 255 disposed thereon, are shown and may each be included according to embodiments. The pedestal 265 may have a heat exchange channel through which a heat exchange fluid flows to control the temperature of the substrate. The wafer support platter of the pedestal 265, which may comprise aluminum, ceramic, or a combination thereof, may also be resistively heated in order to achieve relatively high temperatures, such as from up to or about 100° C. to above or about 1100° C., using an embedded resistive heater element.

The faceplate 217 may be pyramidal, conical, or of another similar structure with a narrow top portion expanding to a wide bottom portion. The faceplate 217 may additionally be flat as shown and include a plurality of through-channels used to distribute process gases. Plasma generating gases and/or plasma excited species, depending on use of the RPS 201, may pass through a plurality of holes, shown in FIG. 2B, in faceplate 217 for a more uniform delivery into the first plasma region 215.

Exemplary configurations may include having the gas inlet assembly 205 open into a gas supply region 258 partitioned from the first plasma region 215 by faceplate 217 so that the gases/species flow through the holes in the faceplate 217 into the first plasma region 215. Structural and operational features may be selected to prevent significant backflow of plasma from the first plasma region 215 back into the supply region 258, gas inlet assembly 205, and fluid supply system 210. The faceplate 217, or a conductive top portion of the chamber, and showerhead 225 are shown with an insulating ring 220 located between the features, which allows an AC potential to be applied to the faceplate 217 relative to showerhead 225 and/or ion suppressor 223. The insulating ring 220 may be positioned between the faceplate 217 and the showerhead 225 and/or ion suppressor 223 enabling a capacitively coupled plasma (CCP) to be formed in the first plasma region. A baffle (not shown) may additionally be located in the first plasma region 215, or otherwise coupled with gas inlet assembly 205, to affect the flow of fluid into the region through gas inlet assembly 205.

The ion suppressor 223 may comprise a plate or other geometry that defines a plurality of apertures throughout the structure that are configured to suppress the migration of ionically-charged species out of the plasma excitation region 215 while allowing uncharged neutral or radical species to pass through the ion suppressor 223 into an activated gas delivery region between the suppressor and the showerhead. In embodiments, the ion suppressor 223 may comprise a perforated plate with a variety of aperture configurations. These uncharged species may include highly reactive species that are transported with less reactive carrier gas through the apertures. As noted above, the migration of ionic species through the holes may be reduced, and in some instances completely suppressed. Controlling the amount of ionic species passing through the ion suppressor 223 may advantageously provide increased control over the gas mixture brought into contact with the underlying wafer substrate, which in turn may increase control of the deposition and/or etch characteristics of the gas mixture. For example, adjustments in the ion concentration of the gas mixture can significantly alter its etch selectivity, e.g., TiNx:SiOx etch ratios, TiN:W etch ratios, etc. In alternative embodiments in which deposition is performed, it can also shift the balance of conformal-to-flowable style depositions for dielectric materials.

The plurality of apertures in the ion suppressor 223 may be configured to control the passage of the activated gas, i.e., the ionic, radical, and/or neutral species, through the ion suppressor 223. For example, the aspect ratio of the holes, or the hole diameter to length, and/or the geometry of the holes may be controlled so that the flow of ionically-charged species in the activated gas passing through the ion suppressor 223 is reduced. The holes in the ion suppressor 223 may include a tapered portion that faces the plasma excitation region 215, and a cylindrical portion that faces the showerhead 225. The cylindrical portion may be shaped and dimensioned to control the flow of ionic species passing to the showerhead 225. An adjustable electrical bias may also be applied to the ion suppressor 223 as an additional means to control the flow of ionic species through the suppressor.

The ion suppressor 223 may function to reduce or eliminate the amount of ionically charged species traveling from the plasma generation region to the substrate. Uncharged neutral and radical species may still pass through the openings in the ion suppressor to react with the substrate. It should be noted that the complete elimination of ionically charged species in the reaction region surrounding the substrate may not be performed in embodiments. In certain instances, ionic species are required to reach the substrate in order to perform the etch and/or deposition process. In these instances, the ion suppressor may help to control the concentration of ionic species in the reaction region at a level that assists the process.

Showerhead 225 in combination with ion suppressor 223 may allow a plasma present in chamber plasma region 215 to avoid directly exciting gases in substrate processing region 233, while still allowing excited species to travel from chamber plasma region 215 into substrate processing region 233. In this way, the chamber may be configured to prevent the plasma from contacting a substrate 255 being etched. This may advantageously protect a variety of intricate structures and films patterned on the substrate, which may be damaged, dislocated, or otherwise warped if directly contacted by a generated plasma. Additionally, when plasma is allowed to contact the substrate or approach the substrate level, the rate at which oxide species etch may increase. Accordingly, if an exposed region of material is oxide, this material may be further protected by maintaining the plasma remotely from the substrate.

The processing system may further include a power supply 240 electrically coupled with the processing chamber to provide electric power to the faceplate 217, ion suppressor 223, showerhead 225, and/or pedestal 265 to generate a plasma in the first plasma region 215 or processing region 233. The power supply may be configured to deliver an adjustable amount of power to the chamber depending on the process performed. Such a configuration may allow for a tunable plasma to be used in the processes being performed. Unlike a remote plasma unit, which is often presented with on or off functionality, a tunable plasma may be configured to deliver a specific amount of power to the plasma region 215. This in turn may allow development of particular plasma characteristics such that precursors may be dissociated in specific ways to enhance the etching profiles produced by these precursors.

A plasma may be ignited either in chamber plasma region 215 above showerhead 225 or substrate processing region 233 below showerhead 225. Plasma may be present in chamber plasma region 215 to produce the radical precursors from an inflow of, for example, a fluorine-containing precursor or other precursor. An AC voltage typically in the radio frequency (RF) range may be applied between the conductive top portion of the processing chamber, such as faceplate 217, and showerhead 225 and/or ion suppressor 223 to ignite a plasma in chamber plasma region 215 during deposition. An RF power supply may generate a high RF frequency of 13.56 MHz but may also generate other frequencies alone or in combination with the 13.56 MHz frequency.

FIG. 2B shows a detailed view 253 of the features affecting the processing gas distribution through faceplate 217. As shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, faceplate 217, cooling plate 203, and gas inlet assembly 205 intersect to define a gas supply region 258 into which process gases may be delivered from gas inlet 205. The gases may fill the gas supply region 258 and flow to first plasma region 215 through apertures 259 in faceplate 217. The apertures 259 may be configured to direct flow in a substantially unidirectional manner such that process gases may flow into processing region 233, but may be partially or fully prevented from backflow into the gas supply region 258 after traversing the faceplate 217.

The gas distribution assemblies such as showerhead 225 for use in the processing chamber section 200 may be referred to as dual channel showerheads (DCSH) and are additionally detailed in the embodiments described in FIG. 3 as well as FIG. 4 herein. The dual channel showerhead may provide for etching processes that allow for separation of etchants outside of the processing region 233 to provide limited interaction with chamber components and each other prior to being delivered into the processing region.

The showerhead 225 may comprise an upper plate 214 and a lower plate 216. The plates may be coupled with one another to define a volume 218 between the plates. The coupling of the plates may be so as to provide first fluid channels 219 through the upper and lower plates, and second fluid channels 221 through the lower plate 216. The formed channels may be configured to provide fluid access from the volume 218 through the lower plate 216 via second fluid channels 221 alone, and the first fluid channels 219 may be fluidly isolated from the volume 218 between the plates and the second fluid channels 221. The volume 218 may be fluidly accessible through a side of the gas distribution assembly 225.

FIG. 3 is a bottom view of a showerhead 325 for use with a processing chamber according to embodiments. Showerhead 325 corresponds with the showerhead shown in FIG. 2A. Through-holes 365, which show a view of first fluid channels 219, may have a plurality of shapes and configurations in order to control and affect the flow of precursors through the showerhead 225. Small holes 375, which show a view of second fluid channels 221, may be distributed substantially evenly over the surface of the showerhead, even amongst the through-holes 365, and may help to provide more even mixing of the precursors as they exit the showerhead than other configurations.

An arrangement for a faceplate according to embodiments is shown in FIG. 4. As shown, the faceplate 400 may comprise a perforated plate or manifold. The assembly of the faceplate may be similar to the showerhead as shown in FIG. 3, or may include a design configured specifically for distribution patterns of precursor gases. Faceplate 400 may include an annular frame 410 positioned in various arrangements within an exemplary processing chamber, such as the chamber as shown in FIG. 2. On or within the frame may be coupled a plate 420, which may be similar in embodiments to ion suppressor plate 223 as previously described. In embodiments faceplate 400 may be a single-piece design where the frame 410 and plate 420 are a single piece of material.

The plate may have a disc shape and be seated on or within the frame 410. The plate may be a conductive material such as a metal including aluminum, as well as other conductive materials that allow the plate to serve as an electrode for use in a plasma arrangement as previously described. The plate may be of a variety of thicknesses, and may include a plurality of apertures 465 defined within the plate. An exemplary arrangement as shown in FIG. 4 may include a pattern as previously described with reference to the arrangement in FIG. 3, and may include a series of rings of apertures in a geometric pattern, such as a hexagon as shown. As would be understood, the pattern illustrated is exemplary and it is to be understood that a variety of patterns, hole arrangements, and hole spacing are encompassed in the design.

The apertures 465 may be sized or otherwise configured to allow inserts to be positioned or disposed within each one of the apertures such that each aperture includes a corresponding insert. An exemplary insert is illustrated in aperture 465n, and described further below in conjunction with FIG. 5. The apertures may be sized less than about 2 inches in various embodiments, and may be less than or about 1.5 inches, about 1 inch, about 0.9 inches, about 0.8 inches, about 0.75 inches, about 0.7 inches, about 0.65 inches, about 0.6 inches, about 0.55 inches, about 0.5 inches, about 0.45 inches, about 0.4 inches, about 0.35 inches, about 0.3 inches, about 0.25 inches, about 0.2 inches, about 0.15 inches, about 0.1 inches, about 0.05 inches, etc. or less. When the apertures have any of the profiles as will be described below, any of the sections or regions of the apertures may be of any of the sizes discussed herein.

Turning to FIG. 5 is shown a simplified cross-sectional view of a portion of a faceplate 500 according to the disclosed technology. As shown, the faceplate may include a plate 520 such as a conductive plate defining a plurality of apertures 565. The faceplate 500 may also include a plurality of inserts 515, where each one of the plurality of inserts 515 is disposed within one of the plurality of apertures 565. Each of the apertures 565 may have similar characteristics as the other apertures, or the apertures 565 may include a variety of patterns and shapes. The corresponding inserts 515 may have similar shapes as the apertures 565, or may be configured to be positioned within the various shapes that may characterize the corresponding apertures 565.

Each insert 515 may further define at least one channel 517 through the insert, and in embodiments may define a plurality of channels 517 within each insert 515, that may include at least 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, etc. or more channels defined by the insert. The channels may be a variety of sizes based on the number of channels, desired flow characteristics, etc., and in embodiments may be less than or about 1 inch. The channels may also be less than or about 0.8, about 0.75 inches, about 0.6 inches, about 0.5 inches, about 0.4 inches, about 0.3 inches, about 0.2 inches, about 0.1 inches, about 0.09 inches, about 0.08 inches, about 0.07 inches, about 0.06 inches, about 0.05 inches, about 0.04 inches, about 0.03 inches, about 0.02 inches, about 0.01 inches, about 0.005 inches, etc. or less. The channels may be defined along a parallel axis as the apertures, or may be angled towards or away from a central axis of the aperture in embodiments.

The inserts may be made of a variety of materials that include dielectrics, insulative materials, oxides, and ceramics or other inorganic or organic nonmetallic solids. The inserts may be made of material providing a resistance to physical bombardment as well as chemical inertness, among other properties. The ceramics may be whiteware or technical ceramics and may include one or more oxides including aluminum oxide, beryllium oxide, cerium oxide, zirconium oxide, yttrium oxide, etc. The ceramics may include nonoxides including carbide, boride, nitride, silicide, etc., as well as composite materials such as particulates or fibers to reinforce the material. The ceramics may also include one or more combinations of oxides and nonoxides, and in embodiments may include a combination of aluminum oxide and yttrium oxide. The ceramic may also include a combination of aluminum oxide, yttrium oxide, and zirconium oxide in a variety of proportions to provide specific properties. Each or any of the oxides may be at least about 0.1% of the composite, and may also be at least about 3%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 35%, 40%, 45%, 50%, 55%, 60%, 65%, 70%, 75%, 80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, etc. or more of the total amount of material in the composite up to 100% in which case the ceramic is essentially that material. The amount of each material may also be considered within a range of any of the disclosed percentages or numbers enclosed by any of the percentages listed.

The inserts may be disposed in the apertures in a variety of ways including press fitting, thermal shrinking, or with other clamping and fitting mechanisms as would be understood. For example, one or more devices 523 such as o-rings may be positioned along the inserts to provide a sealing between the plate 520 and the inserts 515. The o-rings 523 or other devices may be positioned within annular channels 524 defined at least partially by the plurality of inserts 515, and a portion of each o-ring 523 may be seated within an annular groove 525 defined along a region of a corresponding insert between the top and bottom of the insert. The annular channels may also be at least partially defined by the plate 520 as illustrated by the annular grooves 526. In embodiments more than one device such as multiple o-rings may be used in conjunction to provide stability and sealing of the insert. For example, a second o-ring may be seated within a second annular groove defined along a region of a corresponding insert between the top and bottom of the insert and vertically spaced from the first o-ring. The o-rings 523 may be disposed within the inserts such that the inserts are housed within the respectively defined apertures of the conductive plate and extend radially within each aperture to within at least about 0.5 inches of the radius of each aperture. In embodiments the inserts may extend radially within each aperture to within at least about 0.25 inches, about 0.1 inches, about 0.075 inches, about 0.05 inches, about 0.025 inches, about 0.015 inches, about 0.01 inches, about 0.005 inches, about 0.001 inches, etc. or less.

FIGS. 6A-6C show top plan views of exemplary insert and channel arrangements according to the disclosed technology. For example, FIG. 6A illustrates an insert 615a having four equal channels 617a defined therein. The channels 617 may be spaced in a variety of patterns and the channels may be characterized by equal dimensions or different dimensions in embodiments. FIG. 6B shows an additional arrangement where insert 615b defines six channels 617 through the insert arranged in a hexagonal pattern. As shown, channels 617f are characterized by a smaller diameter than are channels 617b. Any number of variations as would be understood are similarly encompassed by the technology. FIG. 6C shows another embodiment in which insert 615c includes a single channel 617c characterized by a larger diameter than other channels shown. The inserts 615 shown, or variations thereof, may be used in any combination across the plate to provide a more uniform distribution or flow of precursors through the inserts.

The flow capacity of each channel may also determine the number of apertures used.

For example, if larger diameter channels are used, or a greater number of channels, less apertures with inserts may be required to deliver a certain flow of precursors or plasma effluents. Additionally, the number of channels and size of the channels will similarly affect the diameter of the inserts used. This may affect cost and manufacturing time associated with the faceplates and inserts. For example, larger inserts and/or larger channels may be less expensive to manufacture than smaller inserts or features. Certain inserts defining no channels may be used in select locations to further modify the flow patterns through the plate. For example, one of the rings of apertures as previously described may have each aperture or any number of apertures of the ring house or hold an insert having no channels defined therein in order to direct flow away from the particular apertures.

The apertures and inserts may also take on a variety of profiles that include cylindrical bodies as shown in FIG. 5, or in different shapes as shown in FIG. 7A-7C in which three exemplary cross-sectional views of apertures are shown. FIG. 7A shows a profile of an aperture 765a having an opening at a first diameter that tapers down to a cylindrical portion having a second smaller diameter. At least a portion of the aperture is thus defined with a decreasing diameter from an upper region to a lower region to define the tapered region. FIG. 7C illustrates an additional aperture 765c having a cylindrical upper portion over a smaller cylindrical lower portion such as a counterbore-type aperture. The aperture may alternatively have a countersink-type profile having a conical upper portion over a cylindrical lower portion. FIG. 7B shows an aperture with an upper cylindrical portion and lower cylindrical portion in which the upper portion has a depth that is less than about 10% of the overall length or depth of the aperture.

In embodiments the upper portion may have a depth that is greater than or about 90% of the overall depth of the aperture, less than about 90%, less than or about 85%, 80%, 75%, 70%, 65%, 60%, 55% 50%, 45%, 40%, 35%, 30%, 25%, 20%, 15%, 10%, 5%, 2%, or less and may have a profile similar to a spotface in which the upper portion accounts for only a small fraction of the overall length of the aperture. The aperture shape may provide additional support for the insert disposed therein, which may be seated on the defined ledge of the corresponding aperture, and occupy at least a portion of both the upper portion and lower portion of each aperture, such as shown in FIG. 7B. As illustrated, insert 715 is seated on the ledge formed between the upper and lower portions of aperture 765b and occupies a portion of both the upper portion and the lower portion. The insert 715 also defines channels 717 which provide access through the insert. Optional devices such as o-rings 723 may additionally be used to stabilize and position the insert within the aperture.

FIG. 8A shows a cross-sectional view of an exemplary aperture and insert arrangement 800 according to the disclosed technology. Aperture 865 may be characterized by an upper portion 867 and a lower portion 869. The upper portion 867 may be characterized by a cylindrical shape having a first diameter, and the lower portion 869 may be characterized by a cylindrical shape having a second diameter less than the first diameter. This arrangement may define a ledge within each aperture at the boundary between the upper and lower portions. Insert 815 may be disposed within the aperture 865, and may be seated on the ledge such that each insert 815 occupies only the upper portion of each corresponding aperture 865. The insert may be press fit or thermally fit within the aperture, and may alternatively have one or more devices such as o-rings 823 seated within one or more annular grooves 825, 826 defined within the insert 815. In embodiments the annular grooves may be defined at least partially by the inserts, at least partially by the plate defining the apertures at annular grooves 824, and/or both. The o-rings 823 may be positioned to form a seal between the insert 815 and the plate defining the upper portion 867 of the aperture 865.

When using the plate as an electrode, such as with plasma operations as described previously in which the plate may comprise a lower electrode or ground electrode, areas having dielectric inserts, or gaps in the conductive material, may allow plasma leakage to occur in the processing region below the faceplate, as these regions may be relatively transparent to the RF. Although this may be desirable for certain operations, in embodiments, the operations may seek to minimize plasma in the processing region and thus large bore holes may provide access by which plasma ignition may occur below the faceplate. However, manufacturing costs may dictate that larger inserts are more economical under certain conditions. Accordingly, by forming apertures having an upper portion and a smaller lower portion, a larger and potentially more cost effective insert may be utilized, while plasma leakage through the plate may be minimized by having smaller gaps that actually penetrate the conductive plate, which may advantageously contain the plasma partially, substantially, or essentially above the faceplate. In embodiments the apertures may be configured to reduce or limit the leakage through the faceplate. As discussed previously, the faceplate may be coupled with a showerhead to form a single electrode, for example. In embodiments, the arrangement of holes in the showerhead and faceplate may be configured to limit direct through-paths for ignition in the processing region. For example, the first channels of the showerhead may be offset from the apertures of the faceplate in order to provide a consistent electrode region across the combined surfaces.

FIG. 8B shows a top plan view of the arrangement 800 of FIG. 8A. As shown, insert 815 includes channel 817 formed therethrough, and is disposed within aperture 865. O-ring 823 is visible forming a seal between the insert 815 and portion of the plate defining the aperture 865. Although shown with a defined gap, it is to be understood that the insert may be entirely or substantially flush with the portion of the plate defining the aperture.

The inserts may be made of a dielectric material as previously described, and in embodiments an additional material such as a layer of material may coat or cover all surfaces of the conductive plate that are exposed or facing plasma. For example, if only one side of the plate is plasma-facing, then in embodiments only that face of the plate may be coated with the layer of material. The coating may also cover the walls of the plate defining the apertures. Additionally, the layer of material may be located on all surfaces of the conductive plate including on all surfaces defining the plurality of apertures. In this way, the plate may be protected from radical species, such as fluorine species, that may interact with the plate. In such embodiments, o-rings or other devices may be used to ease the inserts into the material, although press fitting or thermal fitting may similarly be employed. If a ceramic material is utilized as the coating, the coating may be temperature limited for subsequent operations or else the material might crack or otherwise produce defects. Accordingly, if thermal operations are subsequently performed, such as to fit the inserts into the conductive plate, the operations may be required to occur at temperatures below a threshold temperature affecting the coating. This temperature may be less than or about 500° C. in embodiments, and may also be less than or about 450° C., about 400° C., about 350° C., about 300° C., about 250° C., about 200° C., about 150° C., about 100° C., about 50° C., etc. or less. The material may be a dielectric or insulative material, and may be similar to or different from the material used for the inserts. For example, the material may include one or more of aluminum oxide, yttrium oxide, or zirconium oxide as previously discussed. For example, the material may be a ceramic coating that is plasma sprayed or otherwise applied to the surfaces of the plate. Such processes may be limited for certain aperture diameters, and as such, the apertures may be sized to accommodate and ensure complete coating of the surfaces with the dielectric material.

Turning to FIG. 9 is another exemplary structure including conductive plate 920 defining apertures 965 therethrough. Inserts 915 may be fixedly or otherwise coupled with an insert plate 930 for use as a coating or protection of the conductive plate 920. The inserts may extend unidirectionally from a surface of the insert plate, or may extend through the insert plate in embodiments. The insert plate 930 and inserts 915 may be formed as a single component and may be cast or molded to the desired shape. The inserts may be located or positioned on the insert plate so as to match with the configuration of the apertures defined within the conductive plate. The inserts 915 may alternatively be formed separately and coupled with or otherwise attached to the insert plate 930. FIG. 10 shows a cross-sectional view 1000 of the insert plate when coupled with the conductive plate 1020. As illustrated, insert plate 1030 may coat or otherwise cover conductive plate 1020. Conductive plate apertures 1065 may include the disposed inserts 1015, and channels 1017 formed through inserts 1015 may be accessible through the insert plate 1030. The insert plate may be thermally fixed to the conductive plate as previously discussed or other devices or operations may be similarly used or performed. In this way, the insert plate may be configured to be thermally fit to the conductive plate such that a surface of the insert plate covers a surface of the conductive plate, and the inserts at least partially extend into or through the corresponding apertures defined in the conductive plate. An additional plate of dielectric material may be coupled with the bottom and or sides of the conductive plate in embodiments and may be coupled, fixed, or combined with the insert plate 1030.

FIG. 11 shows a method of forming a faceplate according to the disclosed technology. The method may include forming a plurality of apertures through a conductive plate at operation 1110. The apertures may be drilled, cut, or otherwise formed in a variety of patterns. Once formed the resulting perforated plate may be coated with a material on at least a portion of the conductive plate at operation 1120. The coating may be an insulative coating, or a dielectric coating such as a plasma sprayed ceramic coating that forms a complete barrier to the underlying conductive surface. A plurality of inserts may be disposed within the apertures at operation 1130. The inserts may have channels defined or formed through the material in order to provide access through the conductive plate. The plate and inserts may include any of the features or characteristics as previously described. The plate may be coupled with a grounding source or an electrical source to operate as an electrode at least partially defining a space in which a plasma is formed. For example, the faceplate may be coupled within the system as described above with respect to FIG. 2, for example with regard to the ion suppressor. The faceplate may be electrically coupled with a showerhead to act together as the electrode. The faceplate and showerhead may be aligned to provide a continuous or substantially continuous electrode surface. This may be accomplished by offsetting the apertures of the components so that a portion of the apertures or a majority of the apertures do not align providing space through which plasma leakage may occur.

In the preceding description, for the purposes of explanation, numerous details have been set forth in order to provide an understanding of various embodiments of the present technology. It will be apparent to one skilled in the art, however, that certain embodiments may be practiced without some of these details, or with additional details.

Having disclosed several embodiments, it will be recognized by those of skill in the art that various modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents may be used without departing from the spirit of the embodiments. Additionally, a number of well-known processes and elements have not been described in order to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the present technology. Accordingly, the above description should not be taken as limiting the scope of the technology.

Where a range of values is provided, it is understood that each intervening value, to the smallest fraction of the unit of the lower limit, unless the context clearly dictates otherwise, between the upper and lower limits of that range is also specifically disclosed. Any narrower range between any stated values or unstated intervening values in a stated range and any other stated or intervening value in that stated range is encompassed. The upper and lower limits of those smaller ranges may independently be included or excluded in the range, and each range where either, neither, or both limits are included in the smaller ranges is also encompassed within the technology, subject to any specifically excluded limit in the stated range. Where the stated range includes one or both of the limits, ranges excluding either or both of those included limits are also included.

As used herein and in the appended claims, the singular forms “a”, “an”, and “the” include plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to “an aperture” includes a plurality of such apertures, and reference to “the plate” includes reference to one or more plates and equivalents thereof known to those skilled in the art, and so forth.

Also, the words “comprise(s)”, “comprising”, “contain(s)”, “containing”, “include(s)”, and “including”, when used in this specification and in the following claims, are intended to specify the presence of stated features, integers, components, or operations, but they do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, components, operations, acts, or groups.

Claims

1. A faceplate comprising:

a conductive plate defining a plurality of apertures;
a plurality of inserts, wherein each aperture of the plurality of apertures contains an insert of the plurality of inserts, wherein each insert defines at least one channel through an interior portion of the insert; and
a plurality of o-rings, wherein each o-ring of the plurality of o-rings is positioned within an annular channel associated with each aperture of the plurality of apertures, wherein each annular channel is at least partially defined by the conductive plate within the aperture of the plurality of apertures.

2. The faceplate of claim 1, wherein each insert defines a plurality of channels, and wherein each channel of the plurality of channels is radially offset from a central axis through the insert defining the plurality of channels.

3. The faceplate of claim 2, wherein each insert defines at least six channels through the insert arranged separate from one another about the insert.

4. The faceplate of claim 1, wherein each annular channel is at least partially defined by an annular groove defined along an exterior region of a corresponding insert of the plurality of inserts positioned within the aperture of the plurality of apertures.

5. The faceplate of claim 4, wherein a portion of each o-ring of the plurality of o-rings is seated within the annular groove defined along a region of a corresponding insert between a first end and a second end of the insert.

6. The faceplate of claim 5, wherein the plurality of o-rings comprise a first plurality of o-rings, wherein the faceplate further comprises a second plurality of o-rings, and wherein each o-ring of the second plurality of o-rings is seated within a second annular groove defined along the region of a corresponding insert between a first end and a second end of the insert within each aperture of the plurality of apertures.

7. The faceplate of claim 4, wherein the plurality of o-rings are disposed with the plurality of inserts, wherein each insert of the plurality of inserts is housed within a respectively defined aperture of the plurality of apertures of the conductive plate and extend radially within each aperture to within at least 50 mils of a radius of each aperture.

8. The faceplate of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of each aperture of the plurality of apertures is defined with a decreasing diameter from an upper region to a lower region to define a tapered region.

9. The faceplate of claim 1, further comprising a layer of dielectric material extending across a first surface of the conductive plate, wherein the first surface of the conductive plate is configured to be exposed to a plasma within a semiconductor processing chamber.

10. The faceplate of claim 9, wherein the layer of dielectric material is located on all surfaces of the conductive plate including on all surfaces defining the plurality of apertures.

11. A faceplate comprising:

a conductive plate defining a plurality of apertures; and
a plurality of inserts, wherein each insert of the plurality of inserts is disposed within a separate aperture of the plurality of apertures, wherein each aperture of the plurality of apertures is defined to include an upper portion and a lower portion within the conductive plate, wherein a ledge is defined by the conductive plate at a boundary between the upper portion and the lower portion, wherein each insert of the plurality of inserts defines a channel therethrough, wherein each insert is seated on the defined ledge of each corresponding aperture, and wherein each insert occupies at least a portion of both the upper portion and lower portion of each aperture.

12. The faceplate of claim 11, wherein the upper portion of each aperture is characterized by a cylindrical shape characterized by a first diameter extending from a first end of the aperture to the ledge, and wherein the lower portion is characterized by a cylindrical shape characterized by a second diameter extending from the ledge to a second end of the aperture, and wherein the second diameter is less than the first diameter.

13. The faceplate of claim 12, wherein each insert occupies only the upper portion of each corresponding aperture.

14. The faceplate of claim 12, wherein a plurality of o-rings are individually positioned within respective apertures of the plurality of apertures to form a seal between the inserts and a portion of the plate defining the upper portion of the apertures.

15. The faceplate of claim 11, wherein the upper portion of each aperture comprises less than 10% of a length of the aperture.

16. The faceplate of claim 11, wherein each insert comprises a dielectric material.

17. The faceplate of claim 16, wherein the dielectric material comprises a ceramic including one or more of aluminum oxide (Al2O3), zirconium oxide (ZrO2), and yttrium oxide (Y2O3).

18. The faceplate of claim 11, wherein the plurality of inserts are fixedly coupled with an insert plate, and wherein the inserts extend unidirectionally from a surface of the insert plate.

19. The faceplate of claim 18, wherein the insert plate is configured to be fit with the conductive plate so the surface of the insert plate covers a corresponding surface of the conductive plate, and wherein the plurality of inserts at least partially extend through the corresponding apertures of the plurality of apertures defined by the conductive plate.

20. A method of forming a faceplate, the method comprising:

forming a plurality of apertures through a conductive plate;
coating at least a portion of the conductive plate with a dielectric material, wherein the coating additionally covers at least a portion of surfaces of the plate defining the plurality of apertures; and
disposing a plurality of inserts within the plurality of apertures such that each aperture of the plurality of apertures includes at least one insert of the plurality of inserts, wherein each insert of the plurality of inserts defines at least one channel through the insert.

Patent History

Publication number: 20190139743
Type: Application
Filed: Dec 31, 2018
Publication Date: May 9, 2019
Applicant: Applied Materials, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA)
Inventors: Xinglong Chen (San Jose, CA), Dmitry Lubomirsky (Cupertino, CA), Shankar Venkataraman (San Jose, CA)
Application Number: 16/236,991

Classifications

International Classification: H01J 37/32 (20060101); C23C 16/455 (20060101);