Lam Research Patent Grants

Methods for depositing silicon oxide

Granted: June 20, 2017
Patent Number: 9685320
The embodiments herein focus on plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) processes. Conventional PEALD techniques result in films having high quality at the bottom and top of a feature, but low quality on the sidewalls. The disclosed embodiments achieve more uniform film quality as evidenced by more uniform wet etch rates and electrical properties throughout the film. The disclosed embodiments may use one or more of a relatively high deposition temperature, a relatively high RF…

Apparatus for liquid treatment of wafer shaped articles and heating system for use in such apparatus

Granted: June 20, 2017
Patent Number: 9685358
An apparatus for treating a disc-shaped article comprises a spin chuck and at least three individually controllable infrared heating elements. The infrared heating elements are mounted in a stationary manner with respect to rotation of said spin chuck. At least the transparent plate positioned between the infrared heating elements and the underside of a wafer is mounted for rotation with the spin chuck. Alternatively, the transparent plate is part of a housing that encloses the infrared…

Membrane design for reducing defects in electroplating systems

Granted: June 13, 2017
Patent Number: 9677190
Certain embodiments disclosed herein pertain to methods and apparatus for electrodepositing material on a substrate. More particularly, a novel membrane for separating the anode from the cathode/substrate, and a method of using such a membrane are presented. The membrane includes at least an ion exchange layer and a charge separation layer. The disclosed embodiments are beneficial for maintaining relatively constant concentrations of species in the electrolyte over time, especially…

Gas distribution device with actively cooled grid

Granted: June 13, 2017
Patent Number: 9679749
A grid assembly for a substrate processing system includes a first portion including a first body defining a central opening, an inlet, an outlet, and an upper manifold that is located in the first body and that is in fluid communication with the inlet or the outlet. A second portion is arranged adjacent to the first portion and includes a second body defining a central opening. A plurality of tubes is arranged in the central opening of the second body. First ones of the plurality of…

Chamber filler kit for plasma etch chamber useful for fast gas switching

Granted: June 13, 2017
Patent Number: 9679751
A chamber filler kit for an inductively coupled plasma processing chamber in which semiconductor substrates are processed by inductively coupling RF energy through a window facing a substrate supported on a cantilever chuck. The kit includes at least one chamber filler which reduces the lower chamber volume in the chamber below the chuck. The fillers of the kit can be mounted in a standard chamber having a chamber volume of over 60 liters and by using different sized chamber fillers it…

Anisotropic high resistance ionic current source (AHRICS)

Granted: June 6, 2017
Patent Number: 9670588
An electroplating apparatus that promotes uniform electroplating on the substrates having thin seed layers includes a convex anisotropic high resistance ionic current source (AHRICS), such as an electrolyte-permeable resistive domed plate. The AHRICS is positioned in close proximity of the substrate, so that a distance from the central portion of the AHRICS to the substrate is smaller than the distance from the edge portion of the AHRICS to the substrate. The apparatus further includes a…

Electrostatic chuck including embedded faraday cage for RF delivery and associated methods for operation, monitoring, and control

Granted: June 6, 2017
Patent Number: 9673025
A ceramic layer is attached to a top surface of a base plate using a bond layer. The ceramic layer has a top surface configured to support a substrate. At least one clamp electrode is positioned within an upper region of the ceramic layer. A primary radiofrequency (RF) power delivery electrode is positioned within the ceramic layer at a location vertically below the at least one clamp electrode such that a region of the ceramic layer between the primary RF power delivery electrode and…

Edge ramping

Granted: June 6, 2017
Patent Number: 9673026
Systems and methods for performing edge ramping are described. A system includes a base RF generator for generating a first RF signal. The first RF signal transitions from one state to another. The transition from one state to another of the first RF signal results in a change in plasma impedance. The system further includes a secondary RF generator for generating a second RF signal. The second RF signal transitions from one state to another to stabilize the change in the plasma…

Plasma assisted atomic layer deposition titanium oxide for patterning applications

Granted: June 6, 2017
Patent Number: 9673041
The embodiments herein relate to methods and apparatus for depositing an encapsulation layer over memory stacks in MRAM and PCRAM applications. The encapsulation layer is a titanium dioxide (TiO2) layer deposited through an atomic layer deposition reaction. In some embodiments, the encapsulation layer may be deposited as a bilayer, with an electrically favorable layer formed atop a protective layer. In certain implementations, gaps between neighboring memory stacks may be filled with…

Method for forming stair-step structures

Granted: June 6, 2017
Patent Number: 9673057
A method for forming a stair-step structure in a substrate within a plasma processing chamber is provided. An organic mask is formed over the substrate. The organic mask is trimmed with a vertical to lateral ratio of less than 0.8, wherein the trimming simultaneously forms a deposition over the organic mask. The substrate is etched. The steps of trimming the organic mask and etching the substrate are cyclically repeated a plurality of times.

Method for etching features in dielectric layers

Granted: June 6, 2017
Patent Number: 9673058
A method for etching features in a silicon oxide containing etch layer disposed below a patterned mask in a chamber is provided. An etch gas comprising a tungsten containing gas is flowed into the chamber. The etch gas comprising the tungsten containing gas is formed into a plasma. The silicon oxide etch layer is exposed to the plasma formed from the etch gas comprising the tungsten containing gas. Features are etched in the silicon oxide etch layer while exposed to the plasma formed…

Buffer station for thermal control of semiconductor substrates transferred therethrough and method of transferring semiconductor substrates

Granted: June 6, 2017
Patent Number: 9673071
A buffer station for thermal control of semiconductor substrates in a semiconductor substrate processing system is configured to interface with first and second vacuum transfer modules of the system so as to allow substrates to be transferred therebetween. The buffer station comprises a first vacuum transfer module interface configured to allow substrates to be transferred between the first vacuum transfer module and the buffer station, and a second transfer module interface configured…

Ultrasonic cleaning method and apparatus

Granted: May 30, 2017
Patent Number: 9662686
A device and method for treating the surface of a semiconductor wafer provides a treatment fluid in the form of a dispersion of gas bubbles in a treatment liquid generated at acoustic pressures less than those required to induce cavitation in the treatment liquid. A resonator supplies ultrasonic or megasonic energy to the treatment fluid and is configured to create an interference pattern in the treatment fluid comprising regions of pressure amplitude minima and maxima at an interface of…

Method of collapse-free drying of high aspect ratio structures

Granted: May 30, 2017
Patent Number: 9666427
A method, for drying an etched layer with a plurality of structures with etched spaces between the plurality of structures is provided. A liquid is provided within the spaces on the etched layer. The liquid is displaced with a drying solution with a solvent. Some of the solvent is removed from the drying solution to form a solid from the solution, wherein the solid at least fill half the height of the etched high aspect ratio spaces. The solid is removed.

Dual push between a host computer system and an RF generator

Granted: May 30, 2017
Patent Number: 9667303
A system and a method for increasing a rate of transfer of data between a radio frequency (RF) generator and a host computer system is described. The rate of transfer of data is increased by implementing dedicated physical layers associated with the RF generator and the host computer system and a dedicated physical communication medium between the RF generator and the host computer system. Moreover, a dual push operation is used between the RF generator and the host computer system.…

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…