Ultratech Patent Grants

Masking methods for ALD processes for electrode-based devices

Granted: April 25, 2017
Patent Number: 9633850
Masking methods for atomic-layer-deposition processes for electrode-based devices are disclosed, wherein solder is used as a masking material. The methods include exposing electrical contact members of an electrical device having an active device region and a barrier layer formed by atomic layer deposition. This includes depositing solder elements on the electrical contact members, then forming the barrier layer using atomic layer deposition, wherein the barrier layer covers the active…

High-efficiency line-forming optical systems and methods for defect annealing and dopant activation

Granted: April 4, 2017
Patent Number: 9613815
High-efficiency line-forming optical systems and methods for defect annealing and dopant activation are disclosed. The system includes a CO2-based line-forming system configured to form at a wafer surface a first line image having between 2000 W and 3000 W of optical power. The line image is scanned over the wafer surface to locally raise the temperature up to a defect anneal temperature. The system can include a visible-wavelength diode-based line-forming system that forms a second line…

Method of laser annealing a semiconductor wafer with localized control of ambient oxygen

Granted: April 4, 2017
Patent Number: 9613828
Laser annealing of a semiconductor wafers using a forming gas for localized control of ambient oxygen gas to reduce the amount of oxidization during laser annealing is disclosed. The forming gas includes hydrogen gas and an inert buffer gas such as nitrogen gas. The localized heating of the oxygen gas and the forming gas in the vicinity of the annealing location on the surface of the semiconductor wafer creates a localized region within which combustion of oxygen gas and hydrogen gas…

Storm water catch basin hazardous liquid valve

Granted: March 28, 2017
Patent Number: 9605422
A storm water catch basin hazardous liquid valve that is automatically responsive to the presence of hazardous liquids in storm water run-off, the valve utilizing a hydrophobic barrier member to separate hazardous liquids from water. Collection of a sufficient amount of hazardous liquids across the hydrophobic barrier member initiates a float release member to seal off the catch basin. In the neutral or non-activated status, the storm water run-off enters the catch basin, passes through…

Oxygen radical enhanced atomic-layer deposition using ozone plasma

Granted: February 28, 2017
Patent Number: 9583337
A method of performing an oxygen radical enhanced atomic-layer deposition process on a surface of a substrate that resides within an interior of a reactor chamber is disclosed. The method includes forming an ozone plasma to generate oxygen radicals O*. The method also includes feeding the oxygen radicals and a precursor gas sequentially into the interior of the reactor chamber to form an oxide film on the substrate surface. A system for performing the oxygen radical enhanced atomic-layer…

Method for high-velocity and atmospheric-pressure atomic layer deposition with substrate and coating head separation distance in the millimeter range

Granted: February 14, 2017
Patent Number: 9567670
An ALD coating method to provide a coating surface on a substrate is provided. The ALD coating method comprises: providing a deposition heading including a unit cell having a first precursor nozzle assembly and a second precursor nozzle assembly; emitting a first precursor from the first precursor nozzle assembly into chamber under atmospheric conditions in a direction substantially normal to the coating surface; emitting a second precursor from the first precursor nozzle assembly into…

Vapor deposition systems and methods

Granted: January 31, 2017
Patent Number: 9556519
Vapor deposition systems and methods associated with the same are provided. The systems may be designed to include features that can promote high quality deposition; simplify manufacture, modification and use; as well as, reduce the footprint of the system, amongst other advantages.

Laser annealing systems and methods with ultra-short dwell times

Granted: January 31, 2017
Patent Number: 9558973
Laser annealing systems and methods for annealing a semiconductor wafer with ultra-short dwell times are disclosed. The laser annealing systems can include one or two laser beams that at least partially overlap. One of the laser beams is a pre-heat laser beam and the other laser beam is the annealing laser beam. The annealing laser beam scans sufficiently fast so that the dwell time is in the range from about 1 ?s to about 100 ?s. These ultra-short dwell times are useful for annealing…

Systems and methods for reducing beam instability in laser annealing

Granted: January 31, 2017
Patent Number: 9559023
Systems and methods for reducing beam instability in laser annealing are disclosed. The method includes: directing a conditioned laser beam through an opening in an aperture using a beam-redirecting element; forming a line image on the surface of the semiconductor wafer by imaging the aperture onto the surface, thereby locally heating the surface to form an annealing temperature distribution; detecting a thermal emission from the locally heated wafer surface; determining the annealing…

Wynne-Dyson optical system with variable magnification

Granted: November 8, 2016
Patent Number: 9488811
A 1× Wynne-Dyson optical system for microlithography having a variable magnification is disclosed. The 1× Wynne-Dyson optical system has first and second prisms, and a positive lens group that includes a split lens having first and second split lens elements that reside adjacent the first and second prisms, respectively. The first and second split lens elements are axially movable to change the magnification by up to about 500 parts per million. An adjustable positive lens group for a…

Non-melt thin-wafer laser thermal annealing methods

Granted: November 8, 2016
Patent Number: 9490128
Methods of annealing a thin semiconductor wafer are disclosed. The methods allow for high-temperature annealing of one side of a thin semiconductor wafer without damaging or overheating heat-sensitive electronic device features that are either on the other side of the wafer or embedded within the wafer. The annealing is performed at a temperature below the melting point of the wafer so that no significant dopant redistribution occurs during the annealing process. The methods can be…

Dual-loop control for laser annealing of semiconductor wafers

Granted: October 25, 2016
Patent Number: 9475150
Systems and methods for performing semiconductor laser annealing using dual loop control are disclosed. The first control loop operates at a first frequency and controls the output of the laser and controls the 1/f laser noise. The second control loop also controls the amount of output power in the laser and operates at second frequency lower than the first frequency. The second control loop measures the thermal emission of the wafer over an area the size of one or more die so that…

Silicon germanium heterojunction bipolar transistor structure and method

Granted: September 20, 2016
Patent Number: 9450069
Disclosed is an improved semiconductor structure (e.g., a silicon germanium (SiGe) hetero-junction bipolar transistor) having a narrow essentially interstitial-free SIC pedestal with minimal overlap of the extrinsic base. Also, disclosed is a method of forming the transistor which uses laser annealing, as opposed to rapid thermal annealing, of the SIC pedestal to produce both a narrow SIC pedestal and an essentially interstitial-free collector. Thus, the resulting SiGe HBT transistor can…

Wynne-Dyson projection lens with reduced susceptibility to UV damage

Granted: September 6, 2016
Patent Number: 9436103
A Wynne-Dyson projection lens for use in an ultraviolet optical lithography system is disclosed, wherein the projection lens is configured to have reduced susceptibility to damage from ultraviolet radiation. The projection lens utilizes lens elements that are made of optical glasses that are resistant to damage from ultraviolet radiation, but that also provide sufficient degrees of freedom to correct aberrations. The glass types used for the lens elements are selected from the group of…

High-efficiency line-forming optical systems and methods

Granted: August 9, 2016
Patent Number: 9411163
A line-forming optical system and method are disclosed that form a line image with high-efficiency. A method includes forming a laser beam having a first intensity profile with a Gaussian distribution in at least a first direction and passing at least 50% of the laser beam in the first direction to form a first transmitted light. The method also includes: focusing the first transmitted light at an intermediate image plane to define a second intensity profile having a central peak and…

Substrate processing with reduced warpage and/or controlled strain

Granted: July 26, 2016
Patent Number: 9401277
Provided are systems and methods for processing the surface of substrates that scan a laser beam at one or more selected orientation angles. The orientation angle or angles may be selected to reduce substrate warpage. When the substrates are semiconductor wafers having microelectronic devices, the orientation angles may be selected to produce controlled strain and to improve electronic performance of the devices.

Apparatus and methods for improving the intensity profile of a beam image used to process a substrate

Granted: July 26, 2016
Patent Number: 9401278
Methods and apparatuses are provided for improving the intensity profile of a beam image used to process a semiconductor substrate. At least one photonic beam may be generated and manipulated to form an image having an intensity profile with an extended uniform region useful for thermally processing the surface of the substrate. The image may be scanned across the surface to heat at least a portion of the substrate surface to achieve a desired temperature within a predetermined dwell…

Wynn-dyson imaging system with reduced thermal distortion

Granted: May 17, 2016
Patent Number: 9341951
A Wynn-Dyson imaging system with reduced thermal distortion is disclosed, wherein the reticle and wafer prisms are made of glass material having a coefficient of thermal expansion of no greater than about 100 ppb/° C. The system also includes a first IR-blocking window disposed between the reticle and the reticle prism, and a second matching window disposed between the wafer and the wafer prism to maintain imaging symmetry. The IR-blocking window substantially blocks convective and…

Laser spike annealing using fiber lasers

Granted: May 17, 2016
Patent Number: 9343307
The disclosure is directed to laser spike annealing using fiber lasers. The method includes performing laser spike annealing of a surface of a wafer by: generating with a plurality of fiber laser systems respective CW output radiation beams that partially overlap at the wafer surface to form an elongate annealing image having a long axis and a length LA along the long axis; heating at least a region of the wafer to a pre-anneal temperature TPA; and scanning the elongate annealing image…

System and method for thin film deposition

Granted: May 3, 2016
Patent Number: 9328417
A reaction chamber assembly suitable for forming thin film deposition layers onto solid substrates includes a reaction chamber and an input plenum for receiving source material from gas source containers and delivering a flow of source material into the reaction chamber uniformly distributed across a substrate support width. An output plenum connected between the reaction chamber and a vacuum pump uniformly removes an outflow of material from the reaction chamber across the substrate…