Novellus Systems Patent Grants

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…

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…