Mattson Technology Patent Grants

Low cost high throughput processing platform

Granted: November 15, 2016
Patent Number: 9493306
As part of a system for processing workpieces, a workpiece support arrangement, separate from a process chamber arrangement supports at least two workpieces at least generally in a stacked relationship to form a workpiece column. A transfer arrangement transports at least two of the workpieces between the workpiece column and the process chamber arrangement by simultaneously moving the two workpieces at least generally along first and second transfer paths, respectively, that are defined…

Repeatable heat-treating methods and apparatus

Granted: November 1, 2016
Patent Number: 9482468
A first heat-treating method involves monitoring at least one thermal efficiency parameter associated with an irradiance system configured to produce an irradiance flash incident on a surface of a workpiece, and automatically updating control information used by the irradiance system to produce the irradiance flash, in response to the monitoring of the thermal efficiency parameter. A second method involves predicting a heating effect of an irradiance flash to be incident upon a surface…

Mask removal process strategy for vertical NAND device

Granted: July 19, 2016
Patent Number: 9396963
A method for removing a doped amorphous carbon mask from a semiconductor substrate is disclosed. The method comprises generating a plasma to be used in treating the substrate, wherein the plasma comprises an oxygen containing gas, a halogen containing gas, and a hydrogen containing gas; and treating the substrate by exposing the substrate to the plasma. The doped amorphous carbon mask can be a boron doped amorphous carbon mask or a nitrogen doped amorphous carbon mask. The method can…

Methods, apparatus and media for determining a shape of an irradiance pulse to which a workpiece is to be exposed

Granted: March 8, 2016
Patent Number: 9279727
A method and system for determining a shape of an irradiance pulse to which a semiconductor wafer is to be exposed during a thermal cycle are disclosed. The method includes receiving, with a processor circuit, thermal cycle parameters specifying requirements of the thermal cycle, and determining, with the processor circuit, a shape of a heating portion of the irradiance pulse. Determining includes optimizing at least one parameter of a flux profile model of the heating portion of the…

Apparatus and methods for generating electromagnetic radiation

Granted: January 26, 2016
Patent Number: 9245730
An apparatus for generating electromagnetic radiation includes an envelope, a vortex generator configured to generate a vortexing flow of liquid along an inside surface of the envelope, first and second electrodes within the envelope configured to generate a plasma arc therebetween, and an insulative housing associated surrounding at least a portion of an electrical connection to one of the electrodes. The apparatus further includes a shielding system configured to block electromagnetic…

High efficiency plasma source

Granted: December 15, 2015
Patent Number: 9214319
A plasma reactor and method for improved gas injection for an inductive plasma source for dry strip plasma processing are disclosed. According to embodiments of the present disclosure, gas is fed into a plasma chamber through a gas injection channel located adjacent to the side wall of the plasma chamber, rather than from the center, so that the process gas enters the plasma chamber in a close proximity to the induction coil. In particular embodiments, the process gas that enters the…

Advanced multi-workpiece processing chamber

Granted: November 10, 2015
Patent Number: 9184072
An apparatus and method are described for processing workpieces in a treatment process. A multi-wafer chamber defines a chamber interior including at least two processing stations within the chamber interior such that the processing stations share the chamber interior. Each processing station includes a plasma source and a workpiece pedestal for exposing one of the workpieces to the treatment process using a respective plasma source. The chamber includes an arrangement of one or more…

Workpiece breakage prevention method and apparatus

Granted: June 30, 2015
Patent Number: 9070590
Methods and apparatus for heat-treating a workpiece are disclosed. An illustrative method includes measuring deformation of a workpiece during heat-treating thereof, and taking an action in relation to the heat-treating of the workpiece, in response to the measuring of the deformation of the workpiece. The workpiece may include a semiconductor wafer. Taking an action may include applying a deformation correction to a temperature or reflectivity measurement of the wafer during thermal…

Plasma reactor with inductie excitation of plasma and efficient removal of heat from the excitation coil

Granted: March 31, 2015
Patent Number: 8992725
The plasma reactor of the invention is intended for treating the surfaces of objects such as semiconductor wafers and large display panels, or the like, with plasma. The main part of the plasma reactor is an array of RF antenna cells, which are deeply immersed into the interior of the working chamber. Each antenna cell has a ferromagnetic core with a heat conductor and a coil wound onto the core. The core and coil are sealed in the protective cap. Deep immersion of the antenna cells…

Inductive plasma source with high coupling efficiency

Granted: December 30, 2014
Patent Number: 8920600
A method and apparatus are provided for processing a substrate with a radiofrequency inductive plasma in the manufacture of a device. The inductive plasma is maintained with an inductive plasma applicator having one or more inductive coupling elements. There are thin windows between the inductive coupling elements and the interior of the processing chamber. Various embodiments have magnetic flux concentrators in the inductive coupling elements and feed gas holes interspersed among the…

System and process for calibrating pyrometers in thermal processing chambers

Granted: December 23, 2014
Patent Number: 8918303
A method and system for calibrating temperature measurement devices, such as pyrometers, in thermal processing chambers are disclosed. According to the present invention, the system includes a calibrating light source that emits light energy onto a substrate contained in the thermal processing chamber. A light detector then detects the amount of light that is being transmitted through the substrate. The amount of detected light energy is then used to calibrate a temperature measurement…

Pulsed processing semiconductor heating methods using combinations of heating sources

Granted: September 16, 2014
Patent Number: 8837923
Pulsed processing methods and systems for heating objects such as semiconductor substrates feature process control for multi-pulse processing of a single substrate, or single or multi-pulse processing of different substrates having different physical properties. Heat is applied a controllable way to the object during a background heating mode, thereby selectively heating the object to at least generally produce a temperature rise throughout the object during background heating. A first…

Methods for forming microlenses

Granted: August 12, 2014
Patent Number: 8801947
Methods for forming microlenses on a semiconductor substrate are provided. An inductively coupled plasma etch process using a process gas that includes a mixture of CF4 and CHF3 can be used to modify the lens shape of a plurality of microlens objects located on a semiconductor substrate to meet microlens specifications in terms of curvature, height, length, shape, and/or distance between adjacent microlens objects on the substrate. The inductively coupled plasma process can be performed…

Method and system for determining optical properties of semiconductor wafers

Granted: April 15, 2014
Patent Number: 8696197
A method and system are disclosed for determining at least one optical characteristic of a substrate, such as a semiconductor wafer. Once the optical characteristic is determined, at least one parameter in a processing chamber may be controlled for improving the process. For example, in one embodiment, the reflectivity of one surface of the substrate may first be determined at or near ambient temperature. From this information, the reflectance and/or emittance of the wafer during high…

Irradiance pulse heat-treating methods and apparatus

Granted: April 8, 2014
Patent Number: 8693857
A method of heat-treating a workpiece includes generating an initial heating portion and a subsequent sustaining portion of an irradiance pulse incident on a target surface area of the workpiece. A combined duration of the initial heating portion and the subsequent sustaining portion is less than a thermal conduction time of the workpiece. The initial heating portion heats the target surface area to a desired temperature and the subsequent sustaining portion maintains the target surface…

Methods for determining wafer temperature

Granted: March 11, 2014
Patent Number: 8668383
Methods and apparatus for wafer temperature measurement and calibration of temperature measurement devices may be based on determining the absorption of a layer in a semiconductor wafer. The absorption may be determined by directing light towards the wafer and measuring light reflected from the wafer from below the surface upon which the incident light impinges. Calibration wafers and measurement systems may be arranged and configured so that light reflected at predetermined angles to…

Low cost high throughput processing platform

Granted: March 11, 2014
Patent Number: 8668422
As part of a system for processing workpieces, a workpiece support arrangement, separate from a process chamber arrangement supports at least two workpieces at least generally in a stacked relationship to form a workpiece column. A transfer arrangement transports at least two of the workpieces between the workpiece column and the process chamber arrangement by simultaneously moving the two workpieces at least generally along first and second transfer paths, respectively, that are defined…

System and process for heating semiconductor wafers by optimizing absorption of electromagnetic energy

Granted: March 11, 2014
Patent Number: 8669496
An apparatus for heat treating semiconductor wafers is disclosed. The apparatus includes a heating device which contains an assembly linear lamps for emitting light energy onto a wafer. The linear lamps can be placed in various configurations. In accordance with the present invention, tuning devices which are used to adjust the overall irradiance distribution of the light energy sources are included in the heating device. The tuning devices can be, for instance, are lamps or lasers.

Endeffectors for handling semiconductor wafers

Granted: January 7, 2014
Patent Number: 8622451
An endeffector for handling wafers at a relatively low temperature is disclosed along with an endeffector for handling wafers at a relatively high temperature. Both endeffectors include a base member and uniquely designed support members that are configured to only contact a wafer at the wafer's edge. Further, the support members have an arcuate shape that generally matches a radius of a semiconductor wafer. More specifically, each support member has a curved wafer contact surface that…

Monitoring witness structures for temperature control in RTP systems

Granted: November 5, 2013
Patent Number: 8575521
Temperature control in an RTP system can be improved by consideration of one or more witness structures different from the wafer (or other semiconductor object) being processed. For example, power coupling between the RTP heating system and witness structure can be used to adjust one or more control parameters, such as model definitions, that are used by the RTP system to control wafer heating. As another example, a stored trajectory of a desired witness structure temperature or other…