Lam Research Patent Grants

Systems and methods for pressure-based liquid flow control

Granted: March 28, 2017
Patent Number: 9605346
A liquid delivery system for a substrate processing system includes a liquid ampoule to store liquid precursor. A pressure adjusting system adjusts pressure in the liquid ampoule. A pressure sensor senses a pressure in the liquid ampoule. A capillary injector includes a capillary tube in fluid communication with an output of the liquid ampoule. A temperature control device controls a temperature of the capillary tube. A first valve has an input connected to the capillary tube. A…

Impedance-based adjustment of power and frequency

Granted: March 28, 2017
Patent Number: 9607810
Systems and methods for impedance-based adjustment of power and frequency are described. A system includes a plasma chamber for containing plasma. The plasma chamber includes an electrode. The system includes a driver and amplifier coupled to the plasma chamber for providing a radio frequency (RF) signal to the electrode. The driver and amplifier is coupled to the plasma chamber via a transmission line. The system further includes a selector coupled to the driver and amplifier, a first…

Pretreatment method for photoresist wafer processing

Granted: March 28, 2017
Patent Number: 9607822
Certain embodiments herein relate to methods and apparatus for processing a partially fabricated semiconductor substrate in a remote plasma environment. The methods may be performed in the context of wafer level packaging (WLP) processes. The methods may include exposing the substrate to a reducing plasma to remove photoresist scum and/or oxidation from an underlying seed layer. In some cases, photoresist scum is removed through a series of plasma treatments involving exposure to an…

Etch process with pre-etch transient conditioning

Granted: March 28, 2017
Patent Number: 9607848
A method for etching features with different aspect ratios in an etch layer is provided. A plurality of cycles is provided wherein each cycle comprises a pre-etch transient conditioning of the etch layer, which provides a transient condition of the etch layer, wherein the transient condition has a duration and etching the etch layer for a duration, wherein the duration of the etching with respect to the duration of the transient condition is controlled to control etch aspect ratio…

Lightup prevention using multi-layer ceramic fabrication techniques

Granted: March 28, 2017
Patent Number: 9608550
In accordance with this disclosure, there are provided several inventions, including an electrostatic chuck apparatus comprising multiple layers with cutouts that form a labyrinth structure which defined a path for cooling or heating gas. The structure prevents particles from accelerating such that they form unwanted lightup in the gas flow path.

Adjustment of VUV emission of a plasma via collisional resonant energy transfer to an energy absorber gas

Granted: March 28, 2017
Patent Number: 9609730
Disclosed are methods of adjusting the emission of vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) radiation from a plasma in a semiconductor processing chamber. The methods may include generating a plasma in the processing chamber which includes a VUV-emitter gas and a collisional energy absorber gas, and adjusting the emission of VUV radiation from the plasma by altering the concentration ratio of the VUV-emitter gas to collisional energy absorber gas in the plasma. In some embodiments, the VUV-emitter gas…

Apparatus for treating surfaces of wafer-shaped articles

Granted: March 21, 2017
Patent Number: 9597701
An apparatus for processing wafer-shaped articles comprises a closed process chamber providing a gas-tight enclosure. A rotary chuck is located within the closed process chamber, and is adapted to hold a wafer shaped article thereon. A lid is secured to an upper part of the closed process chamber. The lid comprises an annular chamber, gas inlets communicating with the annular chamber and opening on a surface of the lid facing outwardly of the closed process chamber, and gas outlets…

Slit nozzle

Granted: March 21, 2017
Patent Number: 9597703
A slit nozzle for dispensing liquid onto a surface of a wafer, comprises a nozzle body having a discharge opening whose length is from 10-100 mm and whose width is from 0.5-5 mm. The nozzle body has a dispensing chamber positioned upstream of the discharge opening and extending to the discharge opening, and a liquid distribution chamber positioned upstream of the dispensing chamber. The dispensing chamber and the liquid distribution chamber are in fluid communication with one another and…

Systems and methods for eliminating flourine residue in a substrate processing chamber using a plasma-based process

Granted: March 21, 2017
Patent Number: 9601319
A method for operating a substrate processing chamber includes after performing a process using a fluorine-based gas in the substrate processing chamber: a) during a first predetermined period, supplying a gas mixture to the substrate processing chamber including one or more gases selected from a group consisting of molecular oxygen, molecular nitrogen, nitric oxide and nitrous oxide and supplying RF power to strike plasma in the substrate processing chamber; b) during a second…

Method for encapsulating a chalcogenide material

Granted: March 21, 2017
Patent Number: 9601693
Methods of depositing silicon nitride encapsulation layers by atomic layer deposition over memory devices including chalcogenide material are provided herein. Methods include using iodine-containing silicon precursors and depositing thermally using ammonia or hydrazine as a second reactant, or iodine-containing silicon precursors and depositing using a nitrogen-based or hydrogen-based plasma.

Cable power loss determination for virtual metrology

Granted: March 14, 2017
Patent Number: 9594105
A method for modeling cable loss is described. The method includes receiving a measurement of reverse power and forward power at a radio frequency (RF) generator. The method further includes computing theoretical power delivered to a matching network as a difference between the forward power and the reverse power and calculating a ratio of the reverse power to the forward power to generate an RF power reflection ratio. The method further includes identifying a cable power attenuation…

Impedance matching circuit for operation with a kilohertz RF generator and a megahertz RF generator to control plasma processes

Granted: March 14, 2017
Patent Number: 9595424
An impedance matching circuit (IMC) is described. The impedance matching circuit includes a first circuit. The first circuit has an input coupled to a kilohertz (kHz) radio frequency (RF) generator. The IMC includes a second circuit. The second circuit has an input coupled to a low frequency megahertz (MHz) RF generator. The IMC includes a third circuit. The third circuit has an input coupled to a high frequency MHz RF generator. The IMC includes an output of the first, second, and third…

Residue free oxide etch

Granted: March 14, 2017
Patent Number: 9595452
A method for selectively etching silicon oxide is provided. A surface reaction phase is provided comprising flowing a surface reaction gas comprising hydrogen, nitrogen and fluorine containing components to form silicon oxide into a compound comprising silicon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and fluorine, forming the surface reaction gas into a plasma, and stopping the flow of the surface reaction gas. The surface is wet treated to remove the compound.

Methods of preparing tungsten and tungsten nitride thin films using tungsten chloride precursor

Granted: March 14, 2017
Patent Number: 9595470
Methods for forming tungsten film using fluorine-free tungsten precursors such as tungsten chlorides are provided. Methods involve depositing a tungsten nucleation layer by exposing a substrate to a reducing agent such as diborane (B2H6) and exposing the substrate to a tungsten chloride, followed by depositing bulk tungsten by exposing the substrate to a tungsten chloride and a reducing agent. Methods also involve diluting the reducing agent and exposing the substrate to a fluorine-free…

Radio frequency generator having multiple mutually exclusive oscillators for use in plasma processing

Granted: March 14, 2017
Patent Number: 9596744
A radio frequency (RF) power supply is provided. The RF power supply includes a first frequency oscillator for generating a first frequency signal and a second frequency oscillator for generating a second frequency signal. Also provided is an amplifier and a first switch connected to an output of the first frequency oscillator and a second switch connected to an output of the second frequency oscillator. An output of the first switch and the second switch are connected to an input of the…

Method of depositing ammonia free and chlorine free conformal silicon nitride film

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9589790
Provided herein are methods of depositing conformal silicon nitride films using atomic layer deposition by exposure to a halogen-free, N—H-bond-free, and carbon-free silicon-containing precursor such as disilane, purging of the precursor, exposure to a nitrogen plasma, and purging of the plasma at low temperatures. A high frequency plasma is used, such as a plasma having a frequency of at least 13.56 MHz or at least 27 MHz. Methods yield substantially pure conformal silicon nitride…

High selectivity and low stress carbon hardmask by pulsed low frequency RF power

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9589799
Methods of forming high etch selectivity, low stress ashable hard masks using plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition are provided. In certain embodiments, the methods involve pulsing low frequency radio frequency power while keeping high frequency radio frequency power constant during deposition of the ashable hard mask using a dual radio frequency plasma source. According to various embodiments, the low frequency radio frequency power can be pulsed between non-zero levels or by…

Method for depositing extremely low resistivity tungsten

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9589808
Methods for depositing extremely low resistivity tungsten in semiconductor processing are disclosed herein. Methods involve annealing the substrate at various times during the tungsten deposition process to achieve uniform tungsten layers with substantially lower resistivity.

Apparatus for liquid treatment of wafer shaped articles and liquid control ring for use in same

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9589818
An apparatus for treating a wafer-shaped article includes a rotary chuck configured to hold a wafer-shaped article of a predetermined diameter such that a surface of the wafer-shaped article facing the rotary chuck is spaced from an upper surface of the rotary chuck. A ring is mounted on the rotary chuck, and includes a first upper surface overlapping an outer peripheral edge of a wafer-shaped article when positioned on the rotary chuck and a second upper surface positioned radially…

Method of planarizing an upper surface of a semiconductor substrate in a plasma etch chamber

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9589853
A method of planarizing an upper surface of a semiconductor substrate in a plasma etch chamber comprises supporting the substrate on a support surface of a substrate support assembly that includes an array of independently controlled thermal control elements therein which are operable to control the spatial and temporal temperature of the support surface of the substrate support assembly to form independently controllable heater zones which are formed to correspond to a desired…