Lam Research Patent Grants

Dense oxide coated component of a plasma processing chamber and method of manufacture thereof

Granted: January 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9546432
A method of forming a dense oxide coating on an aluminum component of semiconductor processing equipment comprises cold spraying a layer of pure aluminum on a surface of the aluminum component to a predetermined thickness. A dense oxide coating is then formed on the layer of pure aluminum using a plasma electrolytic oxidation process, wherein the plasma electrolytic oxidation process causes the layer of pure aluminum to undergo microplasmic discharges, thus forming the dense oxide…

Methods and apparatus for dual confinement and ultra-high pressure in an adjustable gap plasma chamber

Granted: January 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9548186
A plasma processing system having a plasma processing chamber configured for processing a substrate is provided. The plasma processing system includes at least an upper electrode and a lower electrode for processing the substrate. The substrate is disposed on the lower electrode during plasma processing, where the upper electrode and the substrate forms a first gap. The plasma processing system also includes an upper electrode peripheral extension (UE-PE). The UE-PE is mechanically…

Method of conditioning vacuum chamber of semiconductor substrate processing apparatus

Granted: January 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9548188
A method of conditioning a vacuum chamber of a semiconductor substrate processing apparatus includes forming a layer of an organic polymeric film on plasma or process gas exposed surfaces thereof. The method includes: (a) flowing a first reactant in vapor phase of a diacyl chloride into the vacuum chamber; (b) purging the vacuum chamber after a flow of the first reactant has ceased; (c) flowing a second reactant in vapor phase into the vacuum chamber selected from the group consisting of…

Plasma etching systems and methods using empirical mode decomposition

Granted: January 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9548189
A substrate etching system includes an etching control module, a filtering module, and an endpoint module. The etching control module selectively begins plasma etching of a substrate within an etching chamber. The filtering module, during the plasma etching of the substrate: receives a signal including endpoint information; decomposes the signal using empirical mode decomposition (EMD); and generates a filtered signal based on results of the EMD. The endpoint module indicates when an…

Method and apparatus for processing wafer-shaped articles

Granted: January 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9548221
The wet treatment of wafer-shaped articles is improved by utilizing a droplet generator designed to produce a spray of monodisperse droplets. The droplet generator is mounted above a spin chuck, and is moved across a major surface of the wafer-shaped article in a linear or arcuate path. The droplet generator includes a transducer acoustically coupled to its body such that sonic energy reaches a region of the body surrounding the discharge orifices. Each orifice has a width w of at least…

Apparatus for treating surfaces of wafer-shaped articles

Granted: January 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9548223
A device and method for processing wafer-shaped articles comprises a process chamber and a rotary chuck located within the process chamber. The rotary chuck is adapted to be driven without physical contact through a magnetic bearing. The rotary chuck comprises a series of gripping pins adapted to hold a wafer shaped article in a position depending downwardly from the rotary chuck. The rotary chuck further comprises a plate that rotates together with the rotary chuck. The plate is…

Void free tungsten fill in different sized features

Granted: January 17, 2017
Patent Number: 9548228
Methods of depositing tungsten in different sized features on a substrate are provided herein. The methods involve depositing a first bulk layer of tungsten in the features, etching the deposited tungsten, depositing a second bulk tungsten, which is interrupted to treat the tungsten after the smaller features are completely filled, and resuming deposition of the second bulk layer after treatment to deposit smaller, smoother tungsten grains into the large features. The methods also…

Mask shrink layer for high aspect ratio dielectric etch

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9543148
Various embodiments herein relate to methods, apparatus and systems for forming a recessed feature in a dielectric-containing stack on a semiconductor substrate. In many embodiments, a mask shrink layer is deposited on a patterned mask layer to thereby narrow the openings in the mask layer. The mask shrink layer may be deposited through a vapor deposition process including, but not limited to, atomic layer deposition or chemical vapor deposition. The mask shrink layer can result in…

Systems and methods for forming ultra-shallow junctions

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9543150
A method for forming a junction on a substrate includes removing a native oxide layer of a bulk material; doping an outer layer of the bulk material with molecular hydrogen to create a hydrogen-doped outer layer; and nano-doping the hydrogen-doped outer layer using one of boron or phosphorous to a target junction depth to create a nano-doped layer.

Technique to deposit sidewall passivation for high aspect ratio cylinder etch

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9543158
Various embodiments herein relate to methods, apparatus and systems for forming a recessed feature in dielectric material on a substrate. Separate etching and deposition operations are employed in a cyclic manner. Each etching operation partially etches the feature. Each deposition operation forms a protective coating on the sidewalls of the feature to prevent lateral etch of the dielectric material during the etching operations. The protective coating may be deposited using methods that…

Auto-correction of malfunctioning thermal control element in a temperature control plate of a semiconductor substrate support assembly that includes deactivating the malfunctioning thermal control element and modifying a power level of at least one functioning thermal control element

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9543171
A method for auto-correction of at least one malfunctioning thermal control element among an array of thermal control elements that are independently controllable and located in a temperature control plate of a substrate support assembly which supports a semiconductor substrate during processing thereof, the method including: detecting, by a control unit including a processor, that at least one thermal control element of the array of thermal control elements is malfunctioning;…

Systems and methods for detecting endpoint for through-silicon via reveal applications

Granted: January 10, 2017
Patent Number: 9543225
Systems and methods for processing a semiconductor wafer includes a plasma processing chamber. The plasma processing chamber includes an exterior, an interior region with a wafer receiving mechanism and a viewport disposed on a sidewall of the plasma processing chamber providing visual access from the exterior to the wafer received on the wafer receiving mechanism. A camera is mounted to the viewport of the plasma processing chamber on the exterior and coupled to an image processor. The…

Method and apparatus for DC voltage control on RF-powered electrode

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9536711
In a plasma processing chamber, a method for processing a substrate is provided. The method includes supporting the substrate in the plasma processing chamber configured with an upper electrode (UE) and a lower electrode (LE), configuring at least one radio frequency power source to ignite plasma between the UE and the LE, and providing a conductive coupling ring, the conductive coupling ring is coupled to the LE to provide a conductive path. The method further includes providing a…

Use of ion beam etching to generate gate-all-around structure

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9536748
Various embodiments herein relate to methods and apparatus for performing anisotropic ion beam etching to form arrays of channels. The channels may be formed in semiconductor material, and may be used in a gate-all-around device. Generally speaking, a patterned mask layer is provided over a layer of semiconductor material. Ions are directed toward the substrate while the substrate is positioned in two particular orientations with respect to the ion trajectory. The substrate switches…

Ion energy control by RF pulse shape

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9536749
A method for slope control of ion energy is described. The method includes receiving a setting indicating that an etch operation is to be performed using a radio frequency (RF) pulse signal. The RF pulse signal includes a first state and a second state. The first state has a higher power level than the second state. The method further includes receiving a pulse slope associated with the RF pulse signal. The pulse slope provides a transition between the first state and the second state.…

End effector for wafer transfer system and method of transferring wafers

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9536764
An end effector of a wafer transfer system includes synchronously movable blades operable to hold and release wafers. The end effector comprises an end effector housing including a first blade mount coupled to a first blade, a second blade mount coupled to a second blade, and an actuator operable to move the blade mounts on respective linear rails. The actuator includes a longitudinally movable piston coupled to the respective blade mounts by respective actuator links. The actuator links…

Method and apparatus for liquid treatment of wafer shaped articles

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9536770
An apparatus for processing wafer-shaped articles includes a rotary chuck adapted to hold a wafer shaped article thereon. The rotary chuck includes a peripheral series of pins configured to contact an edge region of a wafer-shaped article. Each of the pins projects upwardly from the rotary chuck, and each of the pins is individually secured to the rotary chuck by a respective connecting mechanism. Any selected one of the pins can be removed from the rotary chuck by disconnecting its…

Dual control modes

Granted: December 27, 2016
Patent Number: 9530620
Systems and methods for using variables based on a state associated with a plasma system. A method includes determining whether the state associated with the plasma system is a first state or a second state and determining a first variable upon determining that the state is the first state. The first variable is determined based on a measurement at a communication medium. The method further includes determining a second variable upon determining that the state is the second state. The…

Continuous plasma etch process

Granted: December 27, 2016
Patent Number: 9530658
A method for processing a substrate in a process chamber is provided. A plurality of cycles is provided to process the substrate, wherein each cycle comprises the steps of providing a flow of a first process gas into the process chamber, stopping the flow of the first process gas into the process chamber, providing a flow of a first transition gas into the process chamber, wherein the first transition gas neutralizes a component of the first process gas, stopping the flow of the first…

Method and apparatus for chuck thermal calibration

Granted: December 27, 2016
Patent Number: 9530679
A chuck includes a first material layer having an upper surface upon which a wafer is supported. The upper surface includes portions that physically contact the wafer and portions that form gaps between the upper surface and the wafer. The chuck also includes a second material layer defined to support the first material layer. The second material layer is formed of a thermally conductive material and includes a first number of channels. The chuck also includes a second number of channels…