Novellus Systems Patent Grants

Plasma activated conformal dielectric film deposition

Granted: February 14, 2017
Patent Number: 9570274
Methods of depositing a film on a substrate surface include surface mediated reactions in which a film is grown over one or more cycles of reactant adsorption and reaction. In one aspect, the method is characterized by intermittent delivery of dopant species to the film between the cycles of adsorption and reaction.

Ultra low silicon loss high dose implant strip

Granted: February 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9564344
Improved methods for stripping photoresist and removing ion implant related residues from a work piece surface are provided. According to various embodiments, plasma is generated using elemental hydrogen, a fluorine-containing gas and a protectant gas. The plasma-activated gases reacts with the high-dose implant resist, removing both the crust and bulk resist layers, while simultaneously protecting exposed portions of the work piece surface. The work piece surface is substantially…

Apparatuses and methods for depositing SiC/SiCN films via cross-metathesis reactions with organometallic co-reactants

Granted: January 24, 2017
Patent Number: 9552982
Disclosed herein are methods of forming SiC/SiCN film layers on surfaces of semiconductor substrates. The methods may include introducing a silicon-containing film-precursor and an organometallic ligand transfer reagent into a processing chamber, adsorbing the silicon-containing film-precursor, the organometallic ligand transfer reagent, or both onto a surface of a semiconductor substrate under conditions whereby either or both form an adsorption-limited layer, and reacting the…

Protecting anodes from passivation in alloy plating systems

Granted: January 3, 2017
Patent Number: 9534308
An apparatus for continuous simultaneous electroplating of two metals having substantially different standard electrodeposition potentials (e.g., for deposition of Sn—Ag alloys) comprises an anode chamber for containing an anolyte comprising ions of a first, less noble metal, (e.g., tin), but not of a second, more noble, metal (e.g., silver) and an active anode; a cathode chamber for containing catholyte including ions of a first metal (e.g., tin), ions of a second, more noble, metal…

Enhancement of electrolyte hydrodynamics for efficient mass transfer during electroplating

Granted: December 20, 2016
Patent Number: 9523155
The embodiments herein relate to methods and apparatus for electroplating one or more materials onto a substrate. In many cases the material is a metal and the substrate is a semiconductor wafer, though the embodiments are no so limited. Typically, the embodiments herein utilize a channeled plate positioned near the substrate, creating a cross flow manifold defined on the bottom by the channeled plate, on the top by the substrate, and on the sides by a cross flow confinement ring. During…

Plating cup with contoured cup bottom

Granted: December 6, 2016
Patent Number: 9512538
Disclosed herein are cups for engaging wafers during electroplating in clamshell assemblies and supplying electrical current to the wafers during electroplating. The cup can comprise an elastomeric seal disposed on the cup and configured to engage the wafer during electroplating, where upon engagement the elastomeric seal substantially excludes plating solution from a peripheral region of the wafer, and where the elastomeric seal and the cup are annular in shape, and comprise one or more…

Method of depositing a diffusion barrier for copper interconnect applications

Granted: November 29, 2016
Patent Number: 9508593
The present invention pertains to methods for forming a metal diffusion barrier on an integrated circuit wherein the formation includes at least two operations. The first operation deposits barrier material via PVD or CVD to provide some minimal coverage. The second operation deposits an additional barrier material and simultaneously etches a portion of the barrier material deposited in the first operation. The result of the operations is a metal diffusion barrier formed in part by net…

Wafer position correction with a dual, side-by-side wafer transfer robot

Granted: November 15, 2016
Patent Number: 9496159
Methods and systems for positioning wafers using a dual side-by-side end effector robot are provided. The methods involve performing place moves using dual side-by-side end effector robots with active wafer position correction. According to various embodiments, the methods may be used for placement into a process module, loadlock or other destination by a dual wafer transfer robot. The methods provide nearly double the throughput of a single wafer transfer schemes by transferring two…

Carousel reactor for multi-station, sequential processing systems

Granted: November 1, 2016
Patent Number: 9484233
A reactor for processing a plurality of substrates includes P processing station assemblies arranged symmetrically around an axis, where P is an integer greater than one. A pedestal carousel assembly includes P pedestal assemblies arranged symmetrically around the axis, each of the P pedestal assemblies including a pedestal. A rotational actuator rotates the pedestal carousel assembly relative to the axis to selectively index the P pedestal assemblies with the P processing station…

Temperature controlled showerhead

Granted: October 25, 2016
Patent Number: 9476120
A temperature controlled showerhead for chemical vapor deposition (CVD) chambers enhances heat dissipation to enable accurate temperature control with an electric heater. Heat dissipates by conduction through a showerhead stem and fluid passageway and radiation from a back plate. A temperature control system includes one or more temperature controlled showerheads in a CVD chamber with fluid passageways serially connected to a heat exchanger.

Cleaning electroplating substrate holders using reverse current deplating

Granted: October 25, 2016
Patent Number: 9476139
Provided are cleaning methods and systems to remove unintended metallic deposits from electroplating apparatuses using reverse current deplating techniques. Such cleaning involves positioning a cleaning (deplating) disk in an electroplating cup similar to a regular processed substrate. The front surface of the cleaning disk includes a corrosion resistant conductive material to form electrical connections to deposits on the cup's surfaces. The disk is sealed in the cup and submerged into…

Dedicated hot and cold end effectors for improved throughput

Granted: October 18, 2016
Patent Number: 9472432
Methods, systems and apparatuses for high throughput substrate transfer are provided. According to various embodiments, the methods and systems described use robots having dedicated end effectors for hot and cold wafers or other substrates). Throughput is increased by optimizing the transfer of both the hot and the cold wafers. Also described are wafer transfer apparatuses having end effectors configured for supporting either hot or cold wafers. In certain embodiments, dual arm robots…

Control of electrolyte hydrodynamics for efficient mass transfer during electroplating

Granted: October 11, 2016
Patent Number: 9464361
Described are apparatus and methods for electroplating one or more metals onto a substrate. Embodiments include electroplating apparatus configured for plating highly uniform metal layers. In specific embodiments, the apparatus includes a flow-shaping element made of an ionically resistive material and having a plurality of channels made through the flow shaping element. The channels allow for transport of the electrolyte through the flow shaping element during electroplating. The…

Methods and apparatus for wetting pretreatment for through resist metal plating

Granted: September 27, 2016
Patent Number: 9455139
Disclosed are pre-wetting apparatus designs and methods. In some embodiments, a pre-wetting apparatus includes a degasser, a process chamber, and a controller. The process chamber includes a wafer holder configured to hold a wafer substrate, a vacuum port configured to allow formation of a subatmospheric pressure in the process chamber, and a fluid inlet coupled to the degasser and configured to deliver a degassed pre-wetting fluid onto the wafer substrate at a velocity of at least about…

Dual plenum, axi-symmetric showerhead with edge-to-center gas delivery

Granted: September 20, 2016
Patent Number: 9447499
A dual-plenum showerhead for semiconductor processing operations is provided. The showerhead may include a faceplate with two sets of gas distribution holes, each set fed by a separate plenum. One set of gas distribution holes may be through-holes in the faceplate of the showerhead and may allow gases trapped between the faceplate and a plasma dome to flow towards a wafer. The other set of gas distribution holes may distribute gas routed through passages or channels in the faceplate…

Wet etching methods for copper removal and planarization in semiconductor processing

Granted: September 20, 2016
Patent Number: 9447505
Exposed copper regions on a semiconductor substrate can be etched by a wet etching solution comprising (i) one or more complexing agents selected from the group consisting of bidentate, tridentate, and quadridentate complexing agents; and (ii) an oxidizer, at a pH of between about 5 and 12. In many embodiments, the etching is substantially isotropic and occurs without visible formation of insoluble species on the surface of copper. The etching is useful in a number of processes in…

Ceramic showerhead with embedded RF electrode for capacitively coupled plasma reactor

Granted: September 20, 2016
Patent Number: 9449795
A showerhead assembly for a substrate processing system includes a back plate connected to a gas channel. A face plate is connected adjacent to a first surface of the back plate and includes a gas diffusion surface. An electrode is arranged in one of the back plate and the face plate and is connected to one or more conductors. A gas plenum is defined between the back plate and the face plate and is in fluid communication with the gas channel. The back plate and the face plate are made of…

Apparatus for advanced packaging applications

Granted: September 20, 2016
Patent Number: 9449808
The embodiments disclosed herein pertain to novel methods and apparatus for removing material from a substrate. In certain embodiments, the method and apparatus are used to remove negative photoresist, though the disclosed techniques may be implemented to remove a variety of materials. In practicing the disclosed embodiments, a stripping solution may be introduced from an inlet to an internal manifold, sometimes referred to as a cross flow manifold. The solution flows laterally through a…

Hybrid ceramic showerhead

Granted: September 13, 2016
Patent Number: 9441296
Various implementations of hybrid ceramic faceplates for substrate processing showerheads are provided. The hybrid ceramic showerhead faceplates may include an electrode embedded within the ceramic material of the faceplate, as well as a pattern of through-holes. The electrode may be fully encapsulated within the ceramic material with respect to the through-holes. In some implementations, a heater element may also be embedded within the hybrid ceramic showerhead faceplate. A DC voltage…

Treatment method of electrodeposited copper for wafer-level-packaging process flow

Granted: August 9, 2016
Patent Number: 9412713
A method of treating a copper containing structure on a substrate is disclosed. The method includes electrodepositing the copper containing structure on a substrate, annealing the copper containing structure, and forming an interface between a pad of the copper containing structure and a solder structure after anneal. The interface can have improved resistance to interfacial voiding. The copper containing structure is configured to deliver current between one or more ports and one or…