Intevac Patent Grants

Implant masking and alignment system with rollers

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9543114
System and method to align a substrate under a shadow mask. A substrate holder has alignment mechanism, such as rollers, that is made to abut against an alignment straight edge. The substrate is then aligned with respect to the straight edge and is chucked to the substrate holder. The substrate holder is then transported into a vacuum processing chamber, wherein it is made to abut against a mask straight edge to which the shadow mask is attached and aligned to. Since the substrate was…

Dual-mask arrangement for solar cell fabrication

Granted: December 20, 2016
Patent Number: 9525099
An arrangement for supporting substrates during processing, having a wafer carrier with a susceptor for supporting the substrate and confining the substrate to predetermined position. An inner mask is configured for placing on top of the substrate, the inner mask having an opening pattern to mask unprocessed parts of the substrate, but expose remaining parts of the substrate for processing. An outer mask is configured for placing on top of the inner mask, the outer mask having an opening…

System architecture for vacuum processing

Granted: November 22, 2016
Patent Number: 9502276
A system for processing substrates in plasma chambers, such that all substrates transport and loading/unloading operations are performed in atmospheric environment, but processing is performed in vacuum environment. The substrates are transported throughout the system on carriers. The system's chambers are arranged linearly, such that carriers move from one chamber directly to the next. A conveyor, placed above or below the system's chambers, returns the carriers to the system's entry…

Substrate processing system and method

Granted: April 26, 2016
Patent Number: 9324598
A system for processing substrates has a vacuum enclosure and a processing chamber situated to process wafers in a processing zone inside the vacuum enclosure. Two rail assemblies are provided, one on each side of the processing zone. Two chuck arrays ride, each on one of the rail assemblies, such that each is cantilevered on one rail assemblies and support a plurality of chucks. The rail assemblies are coupled to an elevation mechanism that places the rails in upper position for…

Grid for plasma ion implant

Granted: April 19, 2016
Patent Number: 9318332
A grid for minimizing effects of ion divergence in plasma ion implant. The plasma grid is made of a flat plate having a plurality of holes, wherein the holes are arranged in a plurality of rows and a plurality of columns thereby forming beamlets of ions that diverge in one direction. A mask is used to form the implanted shapes on the wafer, wherein the holes in the mask are oriented orthogonally to the direction of beamlet divergence.

Ion implant system having grid assembly

Granted: April 5, 2016
Patent Number: 9303314
An ion implantation system having a grid assembly. The system includes a plasma source configured to provide plasma in a plasma region; a first grid plate having a plurality of apertures configured to allow ions from the plasma region to pass therethrough, wherein the first grid plate is configured to be biased by a power supply; a second grid plate having a plurality of apertures configured to allow the ions to pass therethrough subsequent to the ions passing through the first grid…

System and method for dual-sided sputter etch of substrates

Granted: October 20, 2015
Patent Number: 9165587
A system is provided for etching patterned media disks. A movable electrode is utilized to perform sputter etch. The electrode moves to near or at slight contact to the substrate so as to couple RF energy to the disk. The material to be etched may be metal, e.g., Co/Pt/Cr or similar metals. The substrate is held vertically in a carrier and both sides are etched serially. That is, one side is etched in one chamber and then in the next chamber the second side is etched. An isolation valve…

Processing tool with combined sputter and evaporation deposition sources

Granted: October 13, 2015
Patent Number: 9157145
A substrate processing system particularly suitable for fabricating solar cells. The system has a front end module transporting cassettes, each cassette holding a preset number of substrates therein; a loading module coupled to the front end module and having mechanism for loading substrates from the cassettes onto carriers; and a plurality of processing chambers coupled to each other in series, each having tracks for transporting the carriers directly from one chamber to the next;…

Inductive/capacitive hybrid plasma source and system with such chamber

Granted: May 19, 2015
Patent Number: 9034143
A plasma processing chamber having capacitive and inductive coupling of RF power. An RF power source is connected to an inductive coil and to a top electrode via a variable capacitor to control the ratio of power applied to the coil and electrode. The bottom electrode, which is part of the chuck holding the substrates, is floating, but has parasitive capacitance coupling to ground. No RF bias is applied to the chuck and/or the substrate, but the substrate is chucked using DC power. In a…

Ion implant system having grid assembly

Granted: April 7, 2015
Patent Number: 8997688
An ion implantation system having a grid assembly. The system includes a plasma source configured to provide plasma in a plasma region; a first grid plate having a plurality of apertures configured to allow ions from the plasma region to pass therethrough, wherein the first grid plate is configured to be biased by a power supply; a second grid plate having a plurality of apertures configured to allow the ions to pass therethrough subsequent to the ions passing through the first grid…

High throughput load lock for solar wafers

Granted: April 7, 2015
Patent Number: 8998553
A system for transporting substrates from an atmospheric pressure to high vacuum pressure and comprising: a rough vacuum chamber having an entry valve and an exit opening; a high vacuum chamber having an entry opening, the high vacuum chamber coupled to the rough vacuum chamber such that the exit opening and the entry opening are aligned; a valve situated between the exit opening and the entry opening; a first conveyor belt provided in the rough vacuum chamber; a second conveyor provided…

System and method for substrate transport

Granted: March 31, 2015
Patent Number: 8992153
Introduction of substrates into vacuum environment is accomplish by gradually reducing the number of substrates being transferred simultaneously as the clean and evacuated environment is progressed. Cassettes are maintained in clean atmospheric environment and do not enter the vacuum environment. Several vacuum locks are linearly staggered so as to introduce progressively higher level of vacuum environment. The number of substrates transported through this arrangement is a portion of the…

Backside-thinned image sensor using AlOsurface passivation

Granted: March 10, 2015
Patent Number: 8975668
A structure and method of manufacture is disclosed for a backside thinned imager that incorporates a conformal, Al2O3, low thermal budget, surface passivation. This passivation approach facilitates fabrication of backside thinned, backside illuminated, silicon image sensors with thick silicon absorber layer patterned with vertical trenches that are formed by etching the exposed back surface of a backside-thinned image sensor to control photo-carrier diffusion and optical crosstalk. A…

Application specific implant system and method for use in solar cell fabrications

Granted: October 28, 2014
Patent Number: 8871619
Solar cells and other semiconductor devices are fabricated more efficiently and for less cost using an implanted doping fabrication system. A system for implanting a semiconductor substrate includes an ion source (such as a single-species delivery module), an accelerator to generate from the ion source an ion beam having an energy of no more than 150 kV, and a beam director to expose the substrate to the beam. In one embodiment, the ion source is single-species delivery module that…

Elevator linear motor drive

Granted: September 16, 2014
Patent Number: 8834088
Disclosed is a substrate processing system with a magnetic conduit configuration to improve the movement of a substrate carrier within the system. The configuration specifically provides for safe, secure movement of a carrier between multiple levels of a substrate processing system by using magnetic conduits to redirect magnetic forces created by a linear motor, permitting the linear motor to be positioned outside of the system and in a location that will not interfere with the movement…

System and method for processing substrates with detachable mask

Granted: August 5, 2014
Patent Number: 8795466
Apparatus and methods are provided that enable processing of patterned layers on substrates using a detachable mask. Unlike prior art where the mask is formed directly over the substrate, according to aspects of the invention the mask is made independently of the substrate. During use, the mask is positioned in close proximity or in contact with the substrate so as to expose only portions of the substrate to processing, e.g., sputtering or etch. Once the processing is completed, the mask…

System and method for dual-sided sputter etch of substrates

Granted: July 22, 2014
Patent Number: 8784622
A system is provided for etching patterned media disks. A movable non-contact electrode is utilized to perform sputter etch. The electrode moves to near contact distance to, but not contacting, the substrate so as to couple RF energy to the disk. The material to be etched may be metal, e.g., Co/Pt/Cr or similar metals. The substrate is held vertically in a carrier and both sides are etched serially. That is, one side is etched in one chamber and then in the next chamber the second side…

Plasma grid implant system for use in solar cell fabrications

Granted: June 10, 2014
Patent Number: 8749053
A method of ion implantation comprising: providing a plasma within a plasma region of a chamber; positively biasing a first grid plate, wherein the first grid plate comprises a plurality of apertures; negatively biasing a second grid plate, wherein the second grid plate comprises a plurality of apertures; flowing ions from the plasma in the plasma region through the apertures in the positively-biased first grid plate; flowing at least a portion of the ions that flowed through the…

Process for optimization of island to trench ratio in patterned media

Granted: May 6, 2014
Patent Number: 8715515
A sequence of process steps having balanced process times are implemented in sequence of etch chambers coupled linearly and isolated one from the other, resulting in the optimization of island to trench ratio for a patterned media. A biased chemical etching using active etching gas is used to descum and trim the resist patterns. An inert gas sputter etch is performed on the magnetic layers, resulting in the patterned magnetic layer on the disk. A final step of stripping is then performed…

Method and apparatus for precision surface modification in nano-imprint lithography

Granted: April 15, 2014
Patent Number: 8697189
A scalable, high-throughput nanoimprint lithography priming tool includes a dual-reactant chemical vapor deposition reactor chamber, a mandrel configured to hold a plurality of hard disks at an inner diameter of the hard disks, and a transport mechanism to move the plurality of hard disks into and out of the chamber. The tool may also include a transfer tool to transfer the plurality of hard disks to additional chambers for processing.