Applied Materials Patent Grants

Method of reducing tungsten film roughness and resistivity

Granted: January 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9546419
Methods for controlling crystal size in bulk tungsten layers are disclosed herein. Methods for depositing a bulk tungsten metal layer can include positioning a substrate with a barrier layer in a processing chamber, forming a tungsten nucleation layer, post-treating the nucleation layer with one or more treatment gas cycles including an activating gas and a purging gas, heating the substrate to a deposition temperature, and depositing a bulk tungsten layer with alternating nitrogen flow…

Variable frequency microwave (VFM) processes and applications in semiconductor thin film fabrications

Granted: January 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9548200
Methods and apparatus for processing a substrate are described herein. A vacuum multi-chamber deposition tool can include a degas chamber with both a heating mechanism and a variable frequency microwave source. The methods described herein use variable frequency microwave radiation to increased quality and speed of the degas process without damaging the various components.

Self-aligned multiple spacer patterning schemes for advanced nanometer technology

Granted: January 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9548201
The present disclosure provides forming nanostructures with precision dimension control and minimum lithographic related errors for features with dimension under 14 nanometers and beyond. A self-aligned multiple spacer patterning (SAMSP) process is provided herein and the process utilizes minimum lithographic exposure process, but rather multiple deposition/etching process to incrementally reduce feature sizes formed in the mask along the manufacturing process, until a desired extreme…

Reconfigurable multi-zone gas delivery hardware for substrate processing showerheads

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9540731
Reconfigurable showerheads used in process chambers for substrate processing are provided herein. In some embodiments, a reconfigurable showerhead may include a body having one or more plenums disposed therein; and one or more inserts configured to be disposed within the one or more plenums, wherein the one or more inserts divide the reconfigurable showerhead into a plurality of zones. In some embodiments, a substrate processing system may include a process chamber having a…

Methods of etching films with reduced surface roughness

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9540736
Provided are methods for etching films comprising transition metals which help to minimize higher etch rates at the grain boundaries of polycrystalline materials. Certain methods pertain to amorphization of the polycrystalline material, other pertain to plasma treatments, and yet other pertain to the use of small doses of halide transfer agents in the etch process.

Capacitively coupled plasma source for abating compounds produced in semiconductor processes

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9543124
Embodiments disclosed herein include a plasma source for abating compounds produced in semiconductor processes. The plasma source has a first plate and a second plate parallel to the first plate. An electrode is disposed between the first and second plates and an outer wall is disposed between the first and second plates surrounding the cylindrical electrode. The plasma source has a first plurality of magnets disposed on the first plate and a second plurality of magnets disposed on the…

Collimator for use in substrate processing chambers

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9543126
Embodiments of collimators for use in substrate processing chambers are provided herein. In some embodiments, a collimator includes: a body having a central region, a peripheral region, and a transitional region disposed between the central and peripheral regions; a first plurality of apertures in the central region having a first aspect ratio; a second plurality of apertures in the peripheral region having a second aspect ratio less than the first aspect ratio; and a third plurality of…

Methods for forming features in a material layer utilizing a combination of a main etching and a cyclical etching process

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9543163
Methods for etching a material layer disposed on the substrate using a combination of a main etching step and a cyclical etching process are provided. The method includes performing a main etching process in a processing chamber to an oxide layer, forming a feature with a first predetermined depth in the oxide layer, performing a treatment process on the substrate by supplying a treatment gas mixture into the processing chamber to treat the etched feature in the oxide layer, performing a…

Apparatus for providing and directing heat energy in a process chamber

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9543172
Apparatus for providing heat energy to a process chamber are provided herein. The apparatus may include a process chamber body of the process chamber, a solid state source array having a plurality of solid state sources, disposed on a first substrate, to provide heat energy to the process chamber to heat a target component disposed in the process chamber body, and at least one reflector disposed on the first substrate proximate to one or more of the plurality of solid state sources to…

Substrate support with controlled sealing gap

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9543186
Embodiments of substrate supports are provided herein. In some embodiments, a substrate support may include a support plate having a support surface to support a substrate, a support ring to support a substrate at a perimeter of the support surface; and a plurality of first support elements disposed in the support ring, wherein an end portion of each of the first support elements is raised above an upper surface of the support ring to define a gap between the upper surface of the support…

Thin film battery having improved efficiency of collecting electric current

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9543587
Provided is a thin film battery, including: a base substrate; a cathode current collector pattern and an anode current collector pattern being formed on the base substrate to be electrically separated from each other; a cathode pattern being formed on the cathode current collector pattern; an electrolyte pattern being formed on the cathode pattern; and an anode pattern being formed on the electrolyte pattern. At least one pattern of the cathode current collector pattern and the anode…

Method of fabricating a color filter array using a multilevel structure

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9535315
A method of fabricating a color filter array including providing substrate, forming a multilevel structure that is attached to the substrate, etching the multilevel structure to expose first wells in the multilevel structure, filling at least the first wells in the multilevel structure with the first color component, curing the first color component, etching the multilevel structure to expose second wells in the multilevel structure, filling at least the second wells in the multilevel…

Tunable gas delivery assembly with internal diffuser and angular injection

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9536710
An apparatus for providing processing gases to a process chamber with improved uniformity is disclosed. One embodiment provides a gas delivery assembly. The gas delivery assembly includes a hub, a nozzle, and one or more gas diffusers disposed in the nozzle. The nozzle has a cylindrical body with a side wall and a top surface. A plurality of injection passages are formed inside the nozzle to deliver processing gases into the process chamber via a plurality of outlets disposed in the side…

Patterned deposition of liquid films for biomedical devices

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9533278
Embodiments described herein generally relate to a method for deposition of a biofunctionalizing material, such as for the production of a biomedical device. The method can include positioning a substrate on a substrate support, the substrate having a plurality of wells formed therein. A printing mask is positioned over the substrate, the printing mask having a plurality of mask openings, the plurality of mask openings corresponding to the plurality of wells. A biofunctionalizing…

Methods for in-situ chamber clean utilized in an etching processing chamber

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9533332
Embodiments of the invention include methods for in-situ chamber dry cleaning a plasma processing chamber utilized for gate structure fabrication process in semiconductor devices. In one embodiment, a method for in-situ chamber dry clean includes supplying a first cleaning gas including at least a boron containing gas into a processing chamber in absence of a substrate disposed therein, supplying a second cleaning gas including at least a halogen containing gas into the processing…

PVD target for self-centering process shield

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9534286
In some embodiments, a target assembly, for use in a substrate processing chamber having a process shield, may include a backing plate having a first side and an opposing second side, wherein the second side comprises a first surface having a first diameter bounded by a first edge; a target material having a first side bonded to the first surface of the backing plate; wherein the first edge is an interface between the backing plate and the target material; a plurality of slots disposed…

Plasma process chambers employing distribution grids having focusing surfaces thereon enabling angled fluxes to reach a substrate, and related methods

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9534289
Plasma process chambers employing distribution grids having focusing surfaces thereon enabling angled fluxes to reach a substrate, and associated methods are disclosed. A distribution grid is disposed in a chamber between the plasma and a substrate. The distribution grid includes a first surface facing the substrate and a focusing surface facing the plasma. A passageway extends through the distribution grid, and is sized with a width to prevent the plasma sheath from entering therein. By…

Cleaning method for thin-film processing applications and apparatus for use therein

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9534294
According to the present disclosure, a method for cleaning the processing chamber of a flexible substrate processing apparatus without breaking the vacuum in the processing chamber is provided. The method for cleaning the processing chamber includes guiding a sacrificial foil into the processing chamber; initiating a first pump process in the processing chamber; plasma cleaning the processing chamber while the sacrificial foil is provided in the processing chamber; initiating a second…

Chamber pressure control apparatus for chemical vapor deposition systems

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9534295
In one embodiment, a pressure control assembly includes a cylindrical hollow body having an opening to receive a ballast gas, a first and second flange, and a first and second cone. The first flange is coupled to a first end of the body, and a second flange is coupled to an opposing end of the body. The first cone is coupled to the first flange, and the second cone is coupled to the second flange. A method for controlling pressure in a chamber includes measuring a pressure of the chamber…

Systems and methods for inspecting an object

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9535014
A system, including an illumination module that comprises (a) a first traveling lens acousto-optic device; (b) a light source for illuminating the first traveling lens to provide an input beam that propagates along a first direction; (c) illumination optics for outputting an output beam that scans the object at a second direction; a detection unit; and a collection module for collecting a collected beam from the object, wherein the collected beam propagates along a third direction; and…