Ultratech Patent Grants

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…

Radical-enhanced atomic layer deposition using CFto enhance oxygen radical generation

Granted: April 19, 2016
Patent Number: 9318319
A method of performing a 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 plasma from a gas mixture consisting of CF4 and O2, wherein the CF4 is present in a concentration in the range from 0.1 vol % to 10 vol %. The plasma formed from the gas mixture generates oxygen radicals O* faster than if there were no CF4 present in the gas mixture. The method also includes…

Ultrafast laser annealing with reduced pattern density effects in integrated circuit fabrication

Granted: April 5, 2016
Patent Number: 9302348
Systems and methods for performing ultrafast laser annealing in a manner that reduces pattern density effects in integrated circuit manufacturing are disclosed. The method includes scanning at least one first laser beam over the patterned surface of a substrate. The at least one first laser beam is configured to heat the patterned surface to a non-melt temperature Tnonmelt that is within about 400° C. of the melt temperature Tmelt. The method also includes scanning at least one second…

Betavoltaic power sources for transportation applications

Granted: February 23, 2016
Patent Number: 9266437
A betavoltaic power source for transportation devices and applications is disclosed, wherein the device having a stacked configuration of isotope layers and energy conversion layers. The isotope layers have a half-life of between about 0.5 years and about 5 years and generate radiation with energy in the range from about 15 keV to about 200 keV. The betavoltaic power source is configured to provide sufficient power to operate the transportation device over its useful lifetime.

Laser annealing of GaN LEDs with reduced pattern effects

Granted: November 17, 2015
Patent Number: 9190570
The disclosure is directed to laser annealing of GaN light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with reduced pattern effects. A method includes forming elongate conductive structures atop either an n-GaN layer or a p-GaN layer of a GaN LED structure, the elongate conductive structures having long and short dimensions, and being spaced apart and substantially aligned in the long dimensions. The method also includes generating a P-polarized anneal laser beam that has an anneal wavelength that is greater…

Reaction chamber with removable liner

Granted: November 3, 2015
Patent Number: 9175388
A reaction chamber assembly for thin film deposition processes or the like includes an outer wall assembly for enclosing an outer volume and a removable liner installed into the outer volume through an outer aperture for preventing precursors or reactants from coming into contact with internal surfaces of the outer wall assembly and forming thin film layers thereon. The removable liner encloses a reaction chamber and includes substrate support trays or the like for supporting substrates…

Movable microchamber system with gas curtain

Granted: May 12, 2015
Patent Number: 9029809
A movable microchamber system with a gas curtain is disclosed. The microchamber system has a top member with a light-access feature and a stage assembly that supports a substrate to be processed. The stage assembly is disposed relative to the top member to define a microchamber and a peripheral microchamber gap. An inert gas is flowed into the peripheral microchamber gap to form the gas curtain just outside of the microchamber. The gas curtain substantially prevents reactive gas in the…

Methods of laser processing photoresist in a gaseous environment

Granted: March 24, 2015
Patent Number: 8986562
Methods of laser processing photoresist in a gaseous environment to improve at least one of etch resistance and line-edge roughness are disclosed. The methods include sequentially introducing first and second molecular gases to the photoresist surface and performing respective first and second laser scanning of the surface for each molecular gas. The first molecular gas can be trimethyl aluminum, titanium tetrachloride or diethyl zinc, and the second molecular gas comprises water vapor.…

Systems and methods for measuring high-intensity light beams

Granted: March 24, 2015
Patent Number: 8988674
Systems and methods for measuring an intensity characteristic of a light beam are disclosed. The methods include directing the light beam into a prism assembly that includes a thin prism sandwiched by two transparent plates, and reflecting a portion of the light beam by total-internal-reflection surface to an integrating sphere while transmitting the remaining portion of the light beam through the two transparent plates to a beam dump. The method also includes detecting light captured by…

Two-beam laser annealing with improved temperature performance

Granted: December 9, 2014
Patent Number: 8906742
Systems and methods are disclosed for performing laser annealing in a manner that reduces or minimizes wafer surface temperature variations during the laser annealing process. The systems and methods include annealing the wafer surface with first and second laser beams that represent preheat and anneal laser beams having respective first and second intensities. The preheat laser beam brings the wafer surface temperate close to the annealing temperature and the anneal laser beam brings…