Novellus Systems Patent Grants

Apparatus and method for edge bevel removal of copper from silicon wafers

Granted: June 20, 2017
Patent Number: 9685353
Chemical etching methods and associated modules for performing the removal of metal from the edge bevel region of a semiconductor wafer are described. The methods and systems provide the thin layer of pre-rinsing liquid before applying etchant at the edge bevel region of the wafer. The etchant is less diluted and diffuses faster through a thinned layer of rinsing liquid. An edge bevel removal embodiment involving that is particularly effective at reducing process time, narrowing the…

Multi-plenum, dual-temperature showerhead

Granted: June 13, 2017
Patent Number: 9677176
A dual-temperature, multi-plenum showerhead for use in semiconductor processing equipment is described. The showerhead may supply multiple separate gases to a wafer reaction area while keeping the gases largely segregated within the showerhead. Additionally, the showerhead may be configured to allow a faceplate of the showerhead to be maintained at a significantly higher temperature than the rest of the showerhead.

Electrofill vacuum plating cell

Granted: June 13, 2017
Patent Number: 9677188
The disclosed embodiments relate to methods and apparatus for immersing a substrate in electrolyte in an electroplating cell under sub-atmospheric conditions to reduce or eliminate the formation/trapping of bubbles as the substrate is immersed. Various electrolyte recirculation loops are disclosed to provide electrolyte to the plating cell. The recirculation loops may include pumps, degassers, sensors, valves, etc. The disclosed embodiments allow a substrate to be immersed quickly,…

Method for depositing a chlorine-free conformal SiN film

Granted: June 6, 2017
Patent Number: 9670579
Described are methods of making silicon nitride (SiN) materials on substrates. Improved SiN films made by the methods are also included. One aspect relates to depositing chlorine (Cl)-free conformal SiN films. In some embodiments, the SiN films are Cl-free and carbon (C)-free. Another aspect relates to methods of tuning the stress and/or wet etch rate of conformal SiN films. Another aspect relates to low-temperature methods of depositing high quality conformal SiN films. In some…

Low temperature tungsten film deposition for small critical dimension contacts and interconnects

Granted: June 6, 2017
Patent Number: 9673146
Provided are methods of void-free tungsten fill of high aspect ratio features. According to various embodiments, the methods involve a reduced temperature chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process to fill the features with tungsten. In certain embodiments, the process temperature is maintained at less than about 350° C. during the chemical vapor deposition to fill the feature. The reduced-temperature CVD tungsten fill provides improved tungsten fill in high aspect ratio features, provides…

Tensile dielectric films using UV curing

Granted: May 23, 2017
Patent Number: 9659769
A highly tensile dielectric layer is generated on a heat sensitive substrate while not exceeding thermal budget constraints. Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation is used to produce highly tensile films to be used, for example, in strained NMOS transistor architectures. UV curing of as-deposited PECVD silicon nitride films, for example, has been shown to produce films with stresses of at least 1.65 E10 dynes/cm2. Other dielectric capping layer film materials show similar results. In transistor…

Tungsten feature fill

Granted: May 16, 2017
Patent Number: 9653353
Described herein are methods of filling features with tungsten and related systems and apparatus. The methods include inside-out fill techniques as well as conformal deposition in features. Inside-out fill techniques can include selective deposition on etched tungsten layers in features. Conformal and non-conformal etch techniques can be used according to various implementations. The methods described herein can be used to fill vertical features, such as in tungsten vias, and horizontal…

Cross flow manifold for electroplating apparatus

Granted: April 18, 2017
Patent Number: 9624592
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…

Plasma activated conformal dielectric film deposition

Granted: April 4, 2017
Patent Number: 9611544
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.

Photoresist strip processes for improved device integrity

Granted: April 4, 2017
Patent Number: 9613825
Provided herein are methods and apparatus of hydrogen-based photoresist strip operations that reduce dislocations in a silicon wafer or other substrate. According to various embodiments, the hydrogen-based photoresist strip methods can employ one or more of the following techniques: 1) minimization of hydrogen budget by using short processes with minimal overstrip duration, 2) providing dilute hydrogen, e.g., 2%-16% hydrogen concentration, 3) minimization of material loss by controlling…

Methods and apparatus for wetting pretreatment for through resist metal plating

Granted: April 4, 2017
Patent Number: 9613833
Disclosed are pre-wetting apparatus designs and methods for cleaning solid contaminants from substrates prior to through resist deposition of metal. In some embodiments, a pre-wetting apparatus includes a process chamber having a substrate holder, and at least one nozzle located directly above the wafer substrate and configured to deliver pre-wetting liquid (e.g., degassed deionized water) onto the substrate at a grazing angle of between about 5 and 45 degrees. In some embodiments the…

Contoured showerhead for improved plasma shaping and control

Granted: March 21, 2017
Patent Number: 9598770
Semiconductor processing chamber showerheads with contoured faceplates, as well as techniques for producing such faceplates, are provided. Data describing deposition rate as a function of gap distance between a reference showerhead faceplate and a reference substrate may be obtained, as well as data describing deposition rate as a function of location on the substrate when the reference showerhead and the reference substrate are in a fixed arrangement with respect to each other. The two…

Through silicon via filling using an electrolyte with a dual state inhibitor

Granted: March 14, 2017
Patent Number: 9593426
A method for electrofilling large, high aspect ratio recessed features with copper without depositing substantial amounts of copper in the field region is provided. The method allows completely filling recessed features having aspect ratios of at least about 5:1 such as at least about 10:1, and widths of at least about 1 ?m in a substantially void-free manner without depositing more than 5% of copper in the field region (relative to the thickness deposited in the recessed feature). The…

Wetting wave front control for reduced air entrapment during wafer entry into electroplating bath

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9587322
Methods described herein manage wafer entry into an electrolyte so that air entrapment due to initial impact of the wafer and/or wafer holder with the electrolyte is reduced and the wafer is moved in such a way that an electrolyte wetting wave front is maintained throughout immersion of the wafer also minimizing air entrapment.

Method for forming tungsten film having low resistivity, low roughness and high reflectivity

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9589835
Top-down methods of increasing reflectivity of tungsten films to form films having high reflectivity, low resistivity and low roughness are provided. The methods involve bulk deposition of tungsten followed by a removing a top portion of the deposited tungsten. In particular embodiments, removing a top portion of the deposited tungsten involve exposing it to a fluorine-containing plasma. The methods produce low resistivity tungsten bulk layers having lower roughness and higher…

Plasma generator systems and methods of forming plasma

Granted: March 7, 2017
Patent Number: 9591738
Systems and methods of forming plasma are provided. In an embodiment, a plasma generator system is provided including a container, a single coil disposed around the container, the single coil being a single member and having a first end, a second end, a first winding, and a second winding, wherein the first winding extends from the first end, and the second winding is integrally formed as part of the first winding and extends to the second end, an energy source electrically coupled…

Method for producing ultra-thin tungsten layers with improved step coverage

Granted: February 28, 2017
Patent Number: 9583385
A tungsten nucleation film is formed on a surface of a semiconductor substrate by alternatively providing to that surface, reducing gases and tungsten-containing gases. Each cycle of the method provides for one or more monolayers of the tungsten film. The film is conformal and has improved step coverage, even for a high aspect ratio contact hole.

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…