Lam Research Patent Grants

Method for treating a nonhomogenous surface

Granted: September 19, 2017
Patent Number: 9766063
A method for treating a nonhomogeneous material surface of an object is provided. A plurality of test patches of the surface is treated for different amounts of time wherein the plurality of test patches have a total surface area. A property of each test patch is measured. A calibration curve of the property is generated with respect to time. The calibration curve and a target property are used to obtain a target time. A surface of the object with a surface area, which is greater than…

Methods and systems for independent control of radical density, ion density, and ion energy in pulsed plasma semiconductor device fabrication

Granted: September 19, 2017
Patent Number: 9767991
For a first period of time, a higher radiofrequency power is applied to generate a plasma in exposure to a substrate, while applying low bias voltage at the substrate level. For a second period of time, a lower radiofrequency power is applied to generate the plasma, while applying high bias voltage at the substrate level. The first and second periods of time are repeated in an alternating and successive manner for an overall period of time necessary to produce a desired effect on the…

Application of powered electrostatic faraday shield to recondition dielectric window in ICP plasmas

Granted: September 19, 2017
Patent Number: 9767996
Disclosed herein are various embodiments, including an electrostatic screen for use in a plasma processing chamber with a plurality of electrical leads. A plurality of petal groups is provided with each petal group comprising a substantially-flat structure, wherein each petal group is electrically connected to at least one electrical lead of the plurality of electrical leads and wherein each petal group is insulated from any other petal group, wherein the plurality of petal groups form a…

Dual damascene fill

Granted: September 19, 2017
Patent Number: 9768063
A method for filling vias formed in a dielectric layer with a metal or metal alloy that has a low solubility with copper over copper containing interconnects, wherein the vias are part of a dual damascene structure with trenches and vias is provided. A sealing layer of a first metal or metal alloy that has a low solubility with copper is selectively deposited directly on the copper containing interconnects in at bottoms of the vias, wherein sidewalls of the dielectric layer forming the…

Plasma suppression behind a showerhead through the use of increased pressure

Granted: September 12, 2017
Patent Number: 9758868
A substrate processing system includes a showerhead including a stem portion and a head portion. The stem portion is in fluid communication with a process gas source, and the head portion is arranged to provide process gases from the process gas source to a reaction volume of a processing chamber below the showerhead to generate plasma in the reaction volume. A suppressor is arranged above the head portion of the showerhead, extends from the stem portion toward sidewalls of the…

Uniformity control circuit for use within an impedance matching circuit

Granted: September 12, 2017
Patent Number: 9761414
An impedance matching circuit (IMC) is described. The IMC includes a first circuit that includes a first plurality of tuning elements defined along a path. The first circuit has an input coupled to a kilohertz (kHz) radio frequency (RF) generator. The first circuit is coupled to an output. The IMC further includes a second circuit having a second plurality of tuning elements. The second circuit has an input coupled to a megahertz (MHz) RF generator and is coupled to the output. The IMC…

Systems and methods for reverse pulsing

Granted: September 12, 2017
Patent Number: 9761459
Systems and methods for reverse pulsing are described. One of the methods includes receiving a digital signal having a first state and a second state. The method further includes generating a transformer coupled plasma (TCP) radio frequency (RF) pulsed signal having a high state when the digital signal is in the first state and having a low state when the digital signal is in the second state. The method includes providing the TCP RF pulsed signal to one or more coils of a plasma…

Metallization of the wafer edge for optimized electroplating performance on resistive substrates

Granted: September 12, 2017
Patent Number: 9761524
A system for electroless deposition on a substrate is provided, including the following: a chamber; a substrate support configured to receive a substrate having a conductive layer disposed on a top surface of the substrate, the top surface of the substrate having an edge exclusion region and a process region, wherein the substrate support is configured to rotate the substrate; a solution container configured to hold an electroless deposition solution; a dispenser configured to provide a…

Apparatus for electroless metal deposition having filter system and associated oxygen source

Granted: September 5, 2017
Patent Number: 9752231
One or more aspects of this invention pertain to fabrication of electronic devices. One aspect of the present invention is a system for electroless deposition of metal on a substrate. According to one or more embodiments of the present invention, the system comprises a main subsystem in combination with one or more subsystems for electroless deposition on a substrate. Another aspect of the present invention is a method of making an electronic device. According to one or more embodiments…

Methods and apparatuses for dynamically tunable wafer-edge electroplating

Granted: September 5, 2017
Patent Number: 9752248
Disclosed herein are methods of electroplating which may include placing a substrate, an anode, and an electroplating solution in an electroplating cell such that the substrate and the anode are located on opposite sides of a fluidically-permeable plate, setting the configuration of one or more seals which, when in their sealing configuration, substantially seal pores of the fluidically-permeable plate, and applying an electrical potential between the anode and the first substrate…

Apparatus with a spectral reflectometer for processing substrates

Granted: September 5, 2017
Patent Number: 9752981
A spectral reflectometer system for measuring a substrate is provided. A light source is provided. At least one optical detector is provided. An optical cable comprises a plurality of optical fibers, wherein the plurality of optical fibers comprises a first plurality of optical fibers, which are transmission optical fibers which extend from the light source to an optical path, and a second plurality of optical fibers, which are reflection optical fibers which extend from the optical path…

Metrology methods to detect plasma in wafer cavity and use of the metrology for station-to-station and tool-to-tool matching

Granted: September 5, 2017
Patent Number: 9754769
A process chamber for detecting formation of plasma during a semiconductor wafer processing, includes an upper electrode, for providing a gas chemistry to the process chamber. The upper electrode is connected to a radio frequency (RF) power source through a match network to provide RF power to the wafer cavity to generate a plasma. The process chamber also includes a lower electrode for receiving and supporting the semiconductor wafer during the deposition process. The lower electrode is…

Tungsten films having low fluorine content

Granted: September 5, 2017
Patent Number: 9754824
Aspects of the methods and apparatus described herein relate to deposition of tungsten nucleation layers and other tungsten-containing films. Various embodiments of the methods involve exposing a substrate to alternating pulses of a tungsten precursor and a reducing agent at low chamber pressure to thereby deposit a tungsten-containing layer on the surface of the substrate. According to various embodiments, chamber pressure may be maintained at or below 10 Torr. In some embodiments,…

Chamber undercoat preparation method for low temperature ALD films

Granted: August 29, 2017
Patent Number: 9745658
Methods and apparatus disclosed herein relate to the formation and use of undercoats on the interior surfaces of reaction chambers used to deposit films on substrates. The undercoats are deposited through atomic layer deposition methods. For example, the undercoat may be formed by flowing a first reactant into the reaction chamber, flowing a second reactant into the reaction chamber while the first reactant is adsorbed on interior surfaces of the reaction chamber, and exposing the…

Dual phase cleaning chambers and assemblies comprising the same

Granted: August 29, 2017
Patent Number: 9748078
In one embodiment, a dual phase cleaning chamber may include a turbulent mixing chamber, a fluid diffuser, an isostatic pressure chamber and a rupture mitigating nozzle. The turbulent mixing chamber may be in fluid communication with a first fluid inlet and a second fluid inlet. The fluid diffuser may be in fluid communication with the turbulent mixing chamber. The rupture mitigating nozzle may include a first fluid collecting offset, a second fluid collecting offset, and a displacement…

Apparatus for liquid treatment of disc-shaped articles and heating system for use in such apparatus

Granted: August 29, 2017
Patent Number: 9748120
An apparatus for treating a disc-shaped article comprises a spin chuck and at least three individually controllable infrared heating elements. The infrared heating elements are mounted in a stationary manner with respect to rotation of said spin chuck. The infrared heating elements are arranged in a nested configuration so as to define individually controllable inner, middle and outer heating zones adjacent a disc-shaped article when positioned on the spin chuck.

Method for void-free cobalt gap fill

Granted: August 29, 2017
Patent Number: 9748137
Provided herein are methods of depositing void-free cobalt into features with high aspect ratios. Methods involve (a) partially filling a feature with cobalt, (b) exposing the feature to a plasma generated from nitrogen-containing gas to selectively inhibit cobalt nucleation on surfaces near or at the top of the feature, optionally repeating (a) and (b), and depositing bulk cobalt into the feature by chemical vapor deposition. Methods may also involve exposing a feature including a…

Tandem source activation for CVD of films

Granted: August 22, 2017
Patent Number: 9738972
A method for processing a substrate in a substrate processing system includes flowing reactant gases into a process chamber including a substrate, supplying a first power level sufficient to promote rearrangement of molecules on a surface of the substrate, waiting a first predetermined period, and, after the first predetermined period, performing plasma-enhanced, pulsed chemical vapor deposition of film on the substrate by supplying one or more precursors while supplying a second power…

Substrate pedestal module including backside gas delivery tube and method of making

Granted: August 22, 2017
Patent Number: 9738975
A semiconductor substrate processing apparatus includes a vacuum chamber having a processing zone in which a semiconductor substrate may be processed, a process gas source in fluid communication with the vacuum chamber for supplying a process gas into the vacuum chamber, a showerhead module through which process gas from the process gas source is supplied to the processing zone of the vacuum chamber, and a substrate pedestal module. The substrate pedestal module includes a platen made of…

Showerhead curtain gas method and system for film profile modulation

Granted: August 22, 2017
Patent Number: 9738977
Disclosed are methods of and systems for depositing a film. The methods may include: (a) determining process conditions, including a flow condition of a curtain gas that flows around the periphery of each station in the chamber, for performing film deposition in the chamber, (b) flowing the curtain gas to each station in the chamber during film deposition according to the process conditions determined in (a), (c) determining, during or after (b), an adjusted flow condition of the curtain…