Lam Research : Patent Issued for Method of Determining Thermal Stability of a Substrate Support Assembly (USPTO 9716022)
The patent's assignee for patent number 9716022 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Integrated circuits are formed from a substrate or semiconductor substrate over which are formed patterned microelectronics layers. In the processing of the substrate, plasma is often employed to deposit films on the substrate or to etch intended portions of the films. Shrinking feature sizes and implementation of new materials in next generation microelectronics layers have put new requirements on plasma processing equipment. During plasma processing, hundreds of substrates may be processed. However, not all processed substrates are of acceptable quality standard. The smaller features, larger substrate sizes, and new processing techniques require improvement in plasma processing apparatuses to control the conditions of the plasma processing, and among other things, this calls for plasma processing apparatuses with improved uniformity, consistency, and self-diagnostics. Therefore, to identify the substrates that may not be of acceptable quality standard, fault detection may be implemented. As discussed herein, fault detection refers to the process of identifying potential problematic substrates."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Disclosed herein is a method of determining thermal stability of an upper surface of a substrate support assembly in a plasma processing apparatus wherein the substrate support assembly includes an array of thermal control elements, wherein one or more thermal control elements of the array of thermal control elements form independently controllable heater zones of the substrate support assembly, and wherein the array of thermal control elements are operable to control the spatial and temporal temperature of the upper surface of the substrate support assembly. The method comprises recording time resolved pre-process temperature data of the substrate support assembly before performing a plasma processing process while powering the array of thermal control elements to achieve a desired spatial and temporal temperature of the upper surface of the substrate support assembly. A substrate or a batch of substrates are processed in the plasma processing apparatus while powering the array of thermal control elements to achieve a desired spatial and temporal temperature of the upper surface of the substrate support assembly, and time resolved post-process temperature data of the substrate support assembly is recorded after processing the substrate or the batch of substrates, wherein the post-process temperature data is recorded while powering the array of thermal control elements to achieve a desired spatial and temporal temperature of the upper surface of the substrate support assembly. The post-process temperature data is compared to the pre-process temperature data, and it is determined whether the post-process temperature data is within a desired tolerance range of the pre-process temperature data."
For additional information on this patent, see: Waldmann, Ole; Pape, Eric A.; Leal-Verdugo, Carlos; Gaff,
Keywords for this news article include: Microelectronics,
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