Lam Research Patent Grants

Apparatus for treating surfaces of wafer-shaped articles

Granted: May 23, 2017
Patent Number: 9657397
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, the rotary chuck being adapted to hold a wafer shaped article thereon. A lid is secured to an upper part of the closed process chamber, the lid comprising an upper plate formed from a composite fiber-reinforced material and a lower plate that faces into the process chamber and is formed from a…

Measuring and controlling wafer potential in pulsed RF bias processing

Granted: May 23, 2017
Patent Number: 9659757
Apparatus and methods are provided for monitoring a pulsed RF bias signal applied to a chuck in a processing chamber. One method includes operations for detecting voltage values of individual pulses of the pulsed RF bias voltage, and for determining the time for sampling the value of each individual detected pulse. At the sampling time for each pulse, a particular voltage value of the respective individual detected pulse is sampled and the particular voltage value is held. Each…

High aspect ratio etch with combination mask

Granted: May 23, 2017
Patent Number: 9659783
A method for etching features in a stack is provided. A combination hardmask is formed by forming a first hardmask layer comprising carbon or silicon oxide over the stack, forming a second hardmask layer comprising metal over the first hardmask layer, and patterning the first and second hardmask layers. The stack is etched through the combination hardmask.

System, method and apparatus for improving accuracy of RF transmission models for selected portions of an RF transmission path

Granted: May 16, 2017
Patent Number: 9652567
Systems and methods for determining an RF transmission line model for an RF transmission system includes generating a baseline RF transmission line model characterizing the RF transmission system. A plasma RF voltage, RF current, RF power and/or a corresponding RF induced DC bias voltage is calculated from the baseline RF transmission line model. An end module including the electrostatic chuck, a plasma and an RF return path is added to the baseline RF transmission line model to create…

Method and apparatus for surface treatment using inorganic acid and ozone

Granted: May 16, 2017
Patent Number: 9653328
An apparatus for treating a surface of an article includes a chamber for receiving an article to be treated. A dispenser dispenses a treatment liquid including inorganic acid onto the article. A tank stores the treatment liquid. An ozone generator communicates with a supply line entering or exiting the tank to mix ozone with the treatment liquid. A cooler cools the treatment liquid to a subambient temperature in a range of 3° C. to less than 20° C. A heater heats a surface of an…

Systems and methods for using electrical asymmetry effect to control plasma process space in semiconductor fabrication

Granted: May 9, 2017
Patent Number: 9644271
Systems and methods are disclosed for plasma enabled film deposition on a wafer in which a plasma is generated using radiofrequency signals of multiple frequencies and in which a phase angle relationship is controlled between the radiofrequency signals of multiple frequencies. In the system, a pedestal is provided to support the wafer. A plasma generation region is formed above the pedestal. An electrode is disposed in proximity to the plasma generation region to provide for transmission…

Method for forming stair-step structures

Granted: May 9, 2017
Patent Number: 9646844
A method for forming a stair-step structure in a substrate is provided. An organic mask is formed over the substrate. A hardmask with a top layer and sidewall layer is formed over the organic mask. The sidewall layer of the hard mask is removed while leaving the top layer of the hardmask. The organic mask is trimmed. The substrate is etched. The forming the hardmask, removing the sidewall layer, trimming the organic mask, and etching the substrate are repeated a plurality of times.

Heating plate with heating zones for substrate processing and method of use thereof

Granted: May 9, 2017
Patent Number: 9646861
A heating plate for use in a substrate support is configured to provide temperature profile control of a substrate supported on the substrate support in a vacuum chamber of a substrate processing apparatus. The heating plate includes an independently controllable heater zones operable to tune a temperature profile on an upper surface of the heating plate. The heater zones are each powered by two or more power lines wherein each power line is electrically connected to a different group of…

Method for supplying vaporized precursor

Granted: May 2, 2017
Patent Number: 9637821
A method for supplying vapor to a chamber includes providing a first diverter valve that, when open, diverts vapor away from the chamber, and a second diverter valve that, when open, supplies the vapor to the chamber; supplying a carrier gas to the chamber; after supplying the carrier gas, creating plasma in the chamber while a substrate is in the chamber; opening the first diverter valve and closing the second diverter valve; supplying the vapor by vaporizing at least one liquid…

System and method for detecting a process point in multi-mode pulse processes

Granted: May 2, 2017
Patent Number: 9640371
A system and method of identifying a selected process point in a multi-mode pulsing process includes applying a multi-mode pulsing process to a selected wafer in a plasma process chamber, the multi-mode pulsing process including multiple cycles, each one of the cycles including at least one of multiple, different phases. At least one process output variable is collected for a selected at least one of the phases, during multiple cycles for the selected wafer. An envelope and/or a template…

Fast-gas switching for etching

Granted: May 2, 2017
Patent Number: 9640408
A method for etching a layer in a plasma chamber with an inner injection zone gas feed and an outer injection zone gas feed is provided. The layer is placed in the plasma chamber. A pulsed etch gas is provided from the inner injection zone gas feed at a first frequency, wherein flow of pulsed etch gas from the inner injection zone gas feed is ramped down to zero. The pulsed etch gas is provided from the outer injection zone gas feed at the first frequency and simultaneous with and out of…

Self-limited planarization of hardmask

Granted: May 2, 2017
Patent Number: 9640409
A method for processing a semiconductor substrate includes a) providing a substrate stack including a first layer, a plurality of cores arranged in a spaced relationship on the first layer and one or more underlying layers arranged below the first layer; b) depositing a conformal layer on the first layer and the plurality of cores; c) partially etching the conformal layer to create spacers arranged adjacent to sidewalls of the plurality of cores, wherein the partial etching of the…

Systems and methods enabling low defect processing via controlled separation and delivery of chemicals during atomic layer deposition

Granted: April 25, 2017
Patent Number: 9631276
A gas delivery system includes a first valve including an inlet that communicates with a first gas source. A first inlet of a second valve communicates with an outlet of the first valve and a second inlet of the second valve communicates with a second gas source. An inlet of a third valve communicates with a third gas source. A connector includes a first gas channel and a cylinder defining a second gas channel. The cylinder and the first gas channel collectively define a flow channel…

Internal plasma grid applications for semiconductor fabrication

Granted: April 25, 2017
Patent Number: 9633846
The embodiments disclosed herein pertain to improved methods and apparatus for etching a semiconductor substrate. A plasma grid assembly is positioned in a reaction chamber to divide the chamber into upper and lower sub-chambers. The plasma grid assembly may include one or more plasma grids having slots of a particular aspect ratio, which allow certain species to pass through from the upper sub-chamber to the lower sub-chamber. In some cases, an electron-ion plasma is generated in the…

Method and apparatus for anisotropic tungsten etching

Granted: April 25, 2017
Patent Number: 9633867
Methods for anisotropically etching a tungsten-containing material (such as doped or undoped tungsten metal) include cyclic treatment of tungsten surface with Cl2 plasma and with oxygen-containing radicals. Treatment with chlorine plasma is performed while the substrate is electrically biased resulting in predominant etching of horizontal surfaces on the substrate. Treatment with oxygen-containing radicals passivates the surface of the substrate to etching, and protects the vertical…

Device for treating surfaces of wafer-shaped articles and gripping pin for use in the device

Granted: April 25, 2017
Patent Number: 9633890
A device for processing wafer-shaped articles comprises a rotary chuck having a series of pins adapted to hold a wafer shaped article on the rotary chuck. Each of the pins comprises a cylindrical body and a projecting gripping portion formed integrally therewith. The cylindrical body and gripping portion are made from a ceramic material. The gripping portion comprises cylindrical surfaces having a common generatrix with surfaces of the cylindrical body.

Methods for formation of low-k aluminum-containing etch stop films

Granted: April 25, 2017
Patent Number: 9633896
Dielectric AlO, AlOC, AlON and AlOCN films characterized by a dielectric constant (k) of less than about 10 and having a density of at least about 2.5 g/cm3 are deposited on partially fabricated semiconductor devices to serve as etch stop layers and/or diffusion barriers. In one implementation, a substrate containing an exposed dielectric layer (e.g., a ULK dielectric) and an exposed metal layer is contacted with an aluminum-containing compound (such as trimethylaluminum) in an iALD…

Dielectric window cleaning apparatuses

Granted: April 18, 2017
Patent Number: 9623449
A dielectric window cleaning apparatus may be used for cleaning a dielectric window of a plasma processing device. The dielectric window cleaning apparatus may comprise a window support base, a fluid containing enclosure, a window rotating mechanism, a spray arm, and multiple fluid spraying nozzles. The fluid containing enclosure may include at least one overflow containment sidewall and may be located at least partially under and at least partially around a portion of the window support…

Method for RF compensation in plasma assisted atomic layer deposition

Granted: April 18, 2017
Patent Number: 9624578
Methods for depositing film on substrates are provided. In these embodiments, the substrates are processed in batches. Due to changing conditions within a reaction chamber as additional substrates in the batch are processed, various film properties may trend over the course of a batch. The methods herein can be used to address the trending of film properties over the course of a batch. More specifically, film property trending is minimized by changing the amount of RF power used to…

Tuning a parameter associated with plasma impedance

Granted: April 18, 2017
Patent Number: 9627182
Systems and methods for tuning a parameter associated with plasma impedance are described. One of the methods includes receiving information to determine a variable. The information is measured at a transmission line and is measured when the parameter has a first value. The transmission line is used to provide power to a plasma chamber. The method further includes determining whether the variable is at a local minima and providing the first value to tune the impedance matching circuit…