US Pat. No. 9,099,282

FOCUSING A CHARGED PARTICLE IMAGING SYSTEM

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL,...

1. An apparatus comprising:
a charged particle beam generator configured to project simultaneously at least one non-astigmatic charged particle beam and
at least one astigmatic charged particle beam onto locations on a surface of a specimen, thereby causing released electrons
to be emitted from the locations;

an imaging detector configured to receive the released electrons from the locations and to form images of the locations from
the released electrons; and

a processor, coupled to the imaging detector, configured to analyze a subset of the images, the subset being produced by the
at least one astigmatic charged particle beam, and in response thereto to adjust a focus of the at least one non-astigmatic
charged particle beam.

US Pat. No. 9,111,971

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR TEMPERATURE CONTROL OF A SEMICONDUCTOR WAFER

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL,...

1. A method, comprising:
receiving a semiconductor wafer at a first chamber when the first chamber is at a first pressure level and the semiconductor
wafer is at a first temperature;

sensing a temperature of the semiconductor wafer, a wafer cassette or an ambient temperature with at least one temperature
sensor;

heating the semiconductor wafer, by one of a first or a second heating module, to a second temperature and reducing the pressure
level of the first chamber to a second pressure level; and

providing the semiconductor wafer to a supporting element of a second chamber, wherein the second chamber maintains a third
pressure level that is closer to the second pressure level than to the first pressure level and the supporting element is
at a third temperature that is closer to the second temperature than to the first temperature;

wherein the first heating module has a central aperture that surrounds a pre-aligner configured to align the wafer to a desired
location and/or orientation while in the first chamber; and

wherein a heating controller is coupled to the first and second heating modules and the at least one temperature sensor, wherein
the heating controller receives temperature readings of the at least one temperature sensor, determines a temperature difference
between the temperature readings and a second, predetermined temperature, and activates the first heating module if the temperature
difference is less than a predetermined value and alternatively activates the second heating module if the temperature difference
is greater than the predetermined value.

US Pat. No. 9,373,485

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR IMPROVED DARKSPACE GAP DESIGN IN RF SPUTTERING CHAMBER

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method for manufacturing a target assembly for use in an RF sputtering chamber comprising:
providing a backing plate having a back surface, a front peripheral face defining an inner peripheral edge and a recessed
area having a shape bounded by the inner peripheral edge;

providing a target having substantially the same shape as the recessed area, the target having an inner surface, a sputterable
target surface and an outer peripheral edge; and

joining the inner surface of the target to the inner peripheral face of the backing plate so that the sputterable target surface
is substantially coplanar with the outer peripheral face, and after joining a vertical darkspace gap comprising a vertical
space is formed between the outer peripheral edge of the target and the inner peripheral edge of the recessed area of the
backing plate.

US Pat. No. 9,056,383

PATH FOR PROBE OF SPECTROGRAPHIC METROLOGY SYSTEM

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of operating a polishing system, comprising:
polishing a substrate at a polishing station, the substrate held by a carrier head during polishing;
transporting the substrate to an in-sequence optical metrology system positioned between the polishing station and another
polishing station or a transfer station;

measuring a plurality of spectra reflected from the substrate with a probe of the optical metrology system while moving the
carrier head to cause the probe to traverse a path across the substrate and while the probe remains stationary, the path across
the substrate comprising either a plurality of concentric circles or a plurality of substantially radially aligned arcuate
segments; and

adjusting a polishing endpoint or a polishing parameter of the polishing system based on one or more characterizing values
generated based on at least some of the plurality of spectra.

US Pat. No. 9,144,147

SEMICONDUCTOR PROCESSING SYSTEM AND METHODS USING CAPACITIVELY COUPLED PLASMA

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A substrate processing system comprising:
a gas inlet for supplying a first gas to a processing chamber;
a remote plasma unit coupled with the gas inlet and configured to provide radical precursor species to the chamber;
a showerhead having a first plurality of openings, wherein each opening of the first plurality of openings is characterized
by a length extending through the showerhead, and wherein each opening of the first plurality of openings tapers in diameter
from the upper surface of the showerhead at least partially along the length of the respective opening;

an activation region inside the processing chamber to excite the first gas into an activated gas, wherein the activation region
is defined between:

an electrode comprising at least one opening; and
an ion suppressor plate located above the showerhead and comprising an electrically conductive plate having a second plurality
of openings to permit passage of the activated gas, wherein the ion suppressor plate divides the activation region into an
upper region and a lower region, wherein the lower region is defined between a lower surface of the ion suppressor plate and
an upper surface of the showerhead, wherein

each opening of the second plurality of openings is characterized by a length extending through the ion suppressor plate,
wherein each opening of the second plurality of openings tapers in diameter from the lower surface of the ion suppressor plate
at least partially along the length of the respective opening, and wherein the taper in diameter of each opening of the second
plurality of openings is characterized by a taper angle between about 15° and about 30° to at least partially prevent plasma
particles generated below the ion suppressor plate from flowing up through the second plurality of openings;

a reaction region defined between the showerhead and a substrate; and
an electrical power supply coupled with the ion suppressor and the showerhead, wherein the electrical power supply is configured
to produce a plasma in the lower region of the activation region.

US Pat. No. 9,390,914

WET OXIDATION PROCESS PERFORMED ON A DIELECTRIC MATERIAL FORMED FROM A FLOWABLE CVD PROCESS

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of forming an oxidized material on a substrate, comprising:
forming a silicon containing layer on a substrate by a flowable CVD process comprising exposing the substrate to trisilylamine
and ammonia;

removing moisture from the silicon containing layer disposed on the substrate;
subsequently immersing the silicon containing layer into a processing solution having an oxygen source, wherein the oxygen
source in the processing solution at least partially replaces silicon nitrogen or silicon hydrogen bonds in the silicon containing
layer with silicon oxygen bonds; and

forming an oxidized silicon containing layer on the substrate.

US Pat. No. 9,157,151

ELIMINATION OF FIRST WAFER EFFECT FOR PECVD FILMS

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

11. A method for depositing a film on a substrate in a chamber, the method is performed in a following sequence comprising:
seasoning a liquid flow meter by flowing a first precursor through the liquid flow meter with radio frequency power turned
off for a given period of time;

cleaning the chamber by delivering an active species to the chamber;
seasoning the chamber by delivering a first gas mixture comprising the first precursor to the chamber while applying radio
frequency power to the first gas mixture to deposit a seasoning layer on an interior surface of the chamber;

prior to introduction of the substrate, stabilizing at least a portion of a showerhead assembly within the chamber by delivering
a heating gas to at least the portion of the showerhead assembly while periodically turning on and off radio frequency power
applied to the heating gas; and

depositing a film on the substrate by delivering a second gas mixture comprising the first precursor to the chamber while
applying radio frequency power to the second gas mixture.

US Pat. No. 9,293,568

METHOD OF FIN PATTERNING

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A semiconductor patterning method comprising:
forming a fin on a substrate, wherein the fin comprises a sloped sidewall and is characterized by an initial height and a
first width measured proximate a midpoint of the initial height;

forming a masking layer above the fin;
removing a first portion of the masking layer; and
decreasing the first width of the fin while maintaining the initial height, wherein:
the substrate has a top surface adjacent to the fin, and
the top surface is substantially flat subsequent to decreasing the first width.

US Pat. No. 9,305,748

METHOD OF MATCHING TWO OR MORE PLASMA REACTORS

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of matching two plasma reactors, comprising:
for each one of said two plasma reactors:
(a) introducing a workpiece into a chamber of the plasma reactor, performing an etch process on the workpiece and measuring
etch rate distribution on the workpiece at an initial value of a tilt angle between a workpiece plane and a source power applicator
about a tilt axis,

(b) obtaining successive etch rate distributions relative to a workpiece plane at successive tilt angles ? between the workpiece
plane and said source power applicator, and determining successive variances ? of said successive etch rate distributions,

(c) generating a non-uniformity function ?(?) from said successive variances ? and from corresponding ones of said successive
tilt angles ?;

determining an offset in tilt angle ? between the non-uniformity functions ?(?) of said two plasma reactors; and
changing the tilt angle ? in one of said two plasma reactors by an amount corresponding to said offset in tilt angle.

US Pat. No. 9,293,523

METHOD OF FORMING III-V CHANNEL

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of forming a semiconductor device, comprising:
forming a first trench in a dielectric layer formed on a substrate to expose a surface of the substrate;
forming a multi-stack layer structure within the first trench, comprising:
forming a first semiconductor compound layer over the surface of the substrate;
forming a second semiconductor compound layer on the first semiconductor compound layer; and
forming a third semiconductor compound layer on the second semiconductor compound layer, wherein the second semiconductor
compound layer has an etching resistance against an etchant lower than that of the first and third semiconductor compound
layers;

forming a second trench in the dielectric layer to partially expose at least the second semiconductor compound layer and the
third semiconductor compound layer; and

selectively removing the second semiconductor compound layer so that the first semiconductor compound layer is isolated from
the third semiconductor compound layer by an air gap.

US Pat. No. 9,082,591

THREE-COIL INDUCTIVELY COUPLED PLASMA SOURCE WITH INDIVIDUALLY CONTROLLED COIL CURRENTS FROM A SINGLE RF POWER GENERATOR

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A plasma reactor for processing a workpiece, comprising:
an RF power generator and an impedance match coupled to said RF power generator;
three coil antennas having respective driven ends and return ends, said return ends being connected to a common potential;
three current divider branches coupled between said impedance match and the driven ends of respective ones of said coil antennas,
each one of a pair of said three current divider branches comprising a respective variable impedance element; and

a current apportionment controller controlling impedances of said variable impedance elements of said pair of current divider
branches in response to a user-specified apportionment of currents among said three coil antennas.

US Pat. No. 9,158,190

OPTICAL IMAGING WRITER SYSTEM

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. An imaging writer system, comprising:
a plurality of spatial light modulator (SLM) imaging units,
wherein each of the plurality of SLM imaging units includes one or more distinct illumination sources, one or more alignment
sources, one or more projection lenses, and a plurality of micro mirrors configured to project light from the one or more
distinct illumination sources to the corresponding one or more projection lens; and

a controller configured to control the plurality of SLM imaging units, wherein the controller tunes each of the SLM imaging
unit individually in writing a mask data to a substrate in a lithography manufacturing process.

US Pat. No. 9,130,001

EDGE RING FOR A THERMAL PROCESSING CHAMBER

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. An edge ring for supporting a substrate in a processing chamber, comprising:
a ring shaped body having an inner edge, an outer edge, an upper side and a lower side, wherein the inner edge and outer edge
are concentric about a central axis;

a lip extending radially inward from the inner edge of the ring shaped body, wherein an upper surface of the lip is substantially
planar and substantially parallel to a major plane that is perpendicular to the central axis; and

one or more surface area increasing structures extending from at least one of the upper side or lower side of the ring shaped
body, wherein the one or more surface area increasing structures has at least one sloped side relative to the ring shaped
body.

US Pat. No. 9,145,611

LOAD LOCK CHAMBER WITH SLIT VALVE DOORS

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. An apparatus for forming a device, comprising:
a first transfer chamber;
a first load lock chamber, comprising:
a chamber body enclosing a cavity, and having a first end adapted for coupling to a factory interface and a second end adapted
for coupling to the first transfer chamber;

a first slit valve door for sealing the first end, the first slit valve movable to seal the first end from outside of the
cavity; and

a second slit valve door for sealing the second end, the second slit valve movable to seal the second end from inside the
cavity; and

a plurality of processing chambers coupled to the first transfer chamber.

US Pat. No. 9,132,436

CHEMICAL CONTROL FEATURES IN WAFER PROCESS EQUIPMENT

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A gas distribution assembly, comprising:
an annular body comprising:
an inner annular wall located at an inner diameter, an outer annular wall located at an outer diameter, an upper surface,
and a lower surface;

a first upper recess formed in the upper surface;
a first lower recess formed in the lower surface at the inner annular wall;
a second lower recess formed in the lower surface below and radially outward of the first lower recess;
a first fluid channel defined in the upper surface that is located in the annular body radially inward of the first upper
recess;

an upper plate coupled with the annular body at the first upper recess and covering the first fluid channel, wherein the upper
plate defines a plurality of first apertures; and

a lower plate coupled with the annular body at the first lower recess, comprising:
a plurality of second apertures defined therein, wherein the second apertures align with the first apertures defined in the
upper plate;

a plurality of third apertures defined therein and located between the second apertures;
wherein the upper and lower plates are coupled with one another such that the first and second apertures are aligned to form
a channel through the upper and lower plates.

US Pat. No. 9,127,031

BISAMINEAZAALLYLIC LIGANDS AND THEIR USE IN ATOMIC LAYER DEPOSITION METHODS

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A metal complex having a formula

wherein M is a transition metal;
each R is independently H, halide, linear or branched C1-6 alkyl, acyl, aldehyde, keto, C2-4 alkenyl, or is absent thereby forming an adjacent double bond; and

L is an M-coordinating ligand selected from the group consisting of neutral ligands, anionic ligands and mixed ligands.

US Pat. No. 9,098,893

SYSTEM, METHOD AND COMPUTER PROGRAM PRODUCT FOR CLASSIFICATION WITHIN INSPECTION IMAGES

Applied Materials Israel,...

1. An analysis system for classifying possible defects identified within an inspection image of an inspected object, the system
comprising:
a storage device; and
a processor, coupled to the storage device, to:
match a template and a portion of the inspection image, thus giving rise to a matching portion of the inspection image, wherein
the inspection image is captured by an inspection tool;

determine, using a mask corresponding to the template and defining one or more segments within the matching portion of the
inspection image, a location of a potential defect with respect to the one or more segments, thus giving rise to a matching
segment of the inspection image, the matching segment corresponding to the location of the potential defect; and

classify the potential defect based on the matching segment, thereby considering the location of the potential defect with
regard to the respective segment defined within the inspection image,

wherein the processor is further to define the mask based on a reference image of an inspected-object reference area, to downsample
a part of the reference image, and to generate the template based on a result of the downsampling, the reference image and
the mask are characterized by a resolution exceeding a resolution of the inspection image.

US Pat. No. 9,130,056

BI-LAYER WAFER-LEVEL UNDERFILL MASK FOR WAFER DICING AND APPROACHES FOR PERFORMING WAFER DICING

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of dicing a semiconductor wafer having integrated circuits on a front side thereof, the method comprising:
laminating a pre-patterned bi-layer wafer-level underfill material stack on the integrated circuits of the semiconductor wafer,
the pre-patterned bi-layer wafer-level underfill material stack having regions corresponding to the integrated circuits and
gaps corresponding to dicing streets between the integrated circuits;

plasma etching to form trenches in the semiconductor wafer in alignment with the dicing streets to singulate the integrated
circuits, wherein an upper layer of the pre-patterned bi-layer wafer-level underfill material stack protects the integrated
circuits during the plasma etching; and

subsequent to the plasma etching, removing some but not all remaining portions of the upper layer of the pre-patterned bi-layer
wafer-level underfill material stack.

US Pat. No. 9,091,491

COOLING PLATES AND SEMICONDUCTOR APPARATUS THEREOF

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A cooling plate of a thermal processing apparatus comprising:
a base having an opening surrounding a center of the base, the opening having a central portion around the center and an elongated
portion protruding outward from the central portion, the central portion bounded by a circumferential edge and the elongated
portion bounded by substantially parallel sides and an end extending between the sides;

a channel disposed within the base to transmit a fluid through the base, the channel having first portions each disposed substantially
along a peripheral edge of the base, a second portion disposed substantially along the circumferential edge of the central
portion of the opening, and third portions each disposed along the sides of the elongated portion of the opening, each of
the third portions connecting one of the first portions to the second portion, the second portion having a length that is
at least about 35% as long as a combined length of the first portions, wherein the circumferential edge of the central portion
of the opening is substantially along an edge of the second portion of the channel, and an edge of each of the sides of the
elongated portion of the opening is substantially along an edge of one of the third portions of the channel; and

a lid disposed over the base, the opening, and the channel, wherein the lid provides support for a substrate.

US Pat. No. 9,153,442

PROCESSING SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR HALIDE SCAVENGING

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of processing a substrate, the method comprising:
transferring a substrate from a holding chamber to a loading chamber through a factory interface with a first transfer device;
evacuating the loading chamber such that the substrate is maintained in a vacuum environment;
transferring the substrate from the evacuated loading chamber to a process chamber with a second transfer device;
transferring the substrate from the process chamber to the loading chamber with the second transfer device;
removing the vacuum conditions from the loading chamber;
transferring the substrate to a wet etching station using the first transfer device, wherein the wet etching station is coupled
with the factory interface and is accessible by the first transfer device; and

transferring the substrate from the loading chamber to a storage chamber with the first transfer device.

US Pat. No. 9,064,812

ASPECT RATIO DEPENDENT ETCH (ARDE) LAG REDUCTION PROCESS BY SELECTIVE OXIDATION WITH INERT GAS SPUTTERING

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of etching a substrate having a low aspect ratio feature and a high aspect ratio feature disposed in the substrate,
comprising:
(a) exposing the substrate to a first plasma formed from an inert gas;
(b) subsequently exposing the substrate to a second plasma formed from a first process gas comprising an oxygen-containing
gas to form an oxide layer on a bottom and sides of the low aspect ratio feature and on a bottom and sides of the high aspect
ratio feature, wherein the oxide layer formed on the bottom of the low aspect ratio feature is thicker than the oxide layer
formed on the bottom of the high aspect ratio feature;

(c) etching the oxide layer from the bottom of the low aspect ratio feature and from the bottom of the high aspect ratio feature
with a third plasma formed from a second process gas to expose the bottom of the high aspect ratio feature while the bottom
of the low aspect ratio feature remains covered by the oxide layer; and

(d) exposing the substrate to a fourth plasma formed from a third process gas comprising a halogen-containing gas to etch
the bottom of the low aspect ratio feature and the bottom of the high aspect ratio feature.

US Pat. No. 9,299,558

RUN-TO-RUN STABILITY OF FILM DEPOSITION

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of depositing a silicon oxide film, the method comprising:
cleaning a processing chamber;
heterogeneously seasoning the processing chamber with a first material by forming a silicon nitride film on at least one chamber
component exposed to deposition precursors, wherein the heterogeneously seasoning further comprises flowing silane and ammonia
into the processing chamber;

positioning a substrate in the processing chamber; and
depositing a silicon oxide film on the substrate by flowing tetraethyl orthosilicate into the processing chamber.

US Pat. No. 9,305,780

SELF-LIMITING CHEMICAL VAPOR DEPOSITION AND ATOMIC LAYER DEPOSITION METHODS

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method for depositing silicon on a semiconductor or metallic surface, the method comprising:
cycling dosing of silane and chlorosilane precursors at a temperature between 50° C. and 300° C.;
continuing cycling until the deposition self-limits via termination of surface sites with Si—H groups; and
after self-termination, raising the temperature and depositing additional silicon.

US Pat. No. 9,157,730

PECVD PROCESS

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of determining thickness of a layer during deposition of the layer on a subjacent layer of a substrate, comprising:
reflecting a broad spectrum radiation from the substrate;
analyzing the spectrum of the reflected light using a spectrograph;
fitting a Fresnel model to the analyzed spectrum based on refractive index and extinction coefficient of the layer being deposited,
and based on thickness of the subjacent layer; and

determining optical properties of the subjacent layer and the layer thickness by minimizing the square of the difference between
the analyzed spectrum and the model.

US Pat. No. 9,129,911

BORON-DOPED CARBON-BASED HARDMASK ETCH PROCESSING

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of patterning a film, the method comprising:
etching a boron-doped amorphous carbon layer with a plasma based on a combination of CH4 and N2 and O2 and a flourine-rich source selected from the group consisting of CF4, SF6 and C2F6.

US Pat. No. 9,093,389

METHOD OF PATTERNING A SILICON NITRIDE DIELECTRIC FILM

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of isotropically etching a dielectric film, the method comprising:
isotropically partially modifying a continuous and non-masked silicon nitride layer with an oxygen-based plasma process to
provide a modified portion and an unmodified portion of the continuous and non-masked silicon nitride layer, the continuous
and non-masked silicon nitride layer conformal with an underlying non-planar topography and having the underlying non-planar
topography; and

removing the modified portion of the continuous and non-masked silicon nitride layer with a second, different, plasma process
selective to and without removing the unmodified portion of the continuous and non-masked silicon nitride layer.

US Pat. No. 9,530,661

METHOD OF MODIFYING EPITAXIAL GROWTH SHAPE ON SOURCE DRAIN AREA OF TRANSISTOR

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method for forming a semiconductor device, comprising:
forming an epitaxial film over a semiconductor fin, wherein the epitaxial film includes a top surface having a first facet
and a second facet;

depositing a cap layer non-conformally on the top surface; and
removing portions of the epitaxial film in a lateral direction.

US Pat. No. 9,224,576

PARTICLE-OPTICAL SYSTEMS AND ARRANGEMENTS AND PARTICLE-OPTICAL COMPONENTS FOR SUCH SYSTEMS AND ARRANGEMENTS

CARL ZEISS MICROSCOPY GMB...

1. A particle-optical arrangement comprising:
at least one charged-particle source for generating at least one beam of charged particles;
at least one multi-aperture plate arranged in a beam path of the at least one beam of charged particles, wherein the at least
one multi-aperture plate has a plurality of apertures formed therein in a predetermined first array pattern, wherein a plurality
of charged-particle beamlets is formed from the at least one beam of charged particles downstream of the multiaperture plate,
and wherein a plurality of beam spots is formed in an image plane of the particle-optical arrangement by the plurality of
charged-particle beamlets; and

wherein a shape of at least one group of the apertures is an elliptical shape.

US Pat. No. 9,160,025

FLOW BATTERY SYSTEMS

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A flow battery cell, comprising:
a cathodic half cell comprising a planar cathode, a catholyte, a catholyte inlet, a catholyte outlet, a catholyte pathway
extending between the catholyte inlet and outlet and within the cathodic half cell, and an open block flow screen within the
catholyte pathway, wherein the open block flow screen contains a plurality of blocks comprising an electrically insulating
material and a plurality of channels disposed throughout the electrically insulating material and between the blocks;

an anodic half cell comprising an anode in conductive contact with an anolyte;
an electrolyte membrane disposed between the cathodic half cell and the anodic half cell and in contact with the catholyte
and anolyte; and

a cathodic contact electrically connected with the cathode and disposed outside of the cathodic half cell.

US Pat. No. 9,099,297

ELECTROCHEMICAL PROCESSOR

APPLIED Materials, Inc., ...

1. An electro-chemical processor, comprising:
a vessel;
an anode assembly in the vessel, with the anode assembly including an inner anode in an inner anode chamber in the vessel,
and an outer anode in an outer anode chamber in the vessel, with the outer anode chamber surrounding the inner anode chamber;
and

a catholyte assembly attached to the anolyte assembly, with an inner catholyte chamber within the catholyte assembly aligned
over the inner anode chamber;

an outer catholyte chamber within the catholyte assembly aligned over the outer anode chamber and separated from the outer
anode chamber by an outer membrane;

an annular dielectric material in the vessel surrounding the inner catholyte chamber and having a curved upper surface with
a plurality of annular ring slots extending from the curved upper surface to the outer catholyte chamber, wherein the slots
are formed as discrete discontinuous segments, with segments having different radial positions, to reduce radial current density
variations; and

a thief electrode adjacent to an upper end of the vessel.

US Pat. No. 9,068,272

ELECTROPLATING PROCESSOR WITH THIN MEMBRANE SUPPORT

APPLIED Materials, Inc., ...

1. An electroplating processor comprising:
a bowl;
a membrane in the bowl;
an upper membrane support in the bowl above the membrane; and
a lower membrane support in the bowl below the membrane, with the lower membrane support comprising a flexible sheet having
a pattern of through openings.

US Pat. No. 9,109,754

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR PROVIDING UNIFORM FLOW OF GAS

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A gas distribution apparatus for controlling flow of gas into a process chamber, comprising:
a spiral delivery channel having an inlet end, an outlet end and a length, the delivery channel having a plurality of apertures
spaced along the length;

an inlet on the inlet end of the delivery channel, the inlet connectable to a gas source, wherein flow of the gas is controllable
by a gas valve in communication with the inlet; and

an outlet on the outlet end of the delivery channel, the outlet connectable to a vacuum source, wherein vacuum pressure through
the outlet is controllable by an outlet valve to provide a reduced pressure at the outlet; and

a controller to regulate the flow of the gas through the delivery channel and into the process chamber by opening and closing
the outlet valve during gas delivery and gas purging in the channel to control the flow of gas through the apertures along
the length of the channel.

US Pat. No. 9,089,007

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SUBSTRATE SUPPORT WITH MULTI-ZONE HEATING

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A substrate support assembly in a substrate process chamber, comprising:
a support member comprising a substrate support surface; and
a heating element comprising two or more heating element sections; wherein the heating element sections are connected together
in one electrical loop, and wherein each heating element section responds independently and differently to an input power
of a power source connected to the heating element.

US Pat. No. 9,281,226

ELECTROSTATIC CHUCK HAVING REDUCED POWER LOSS

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. An electrostatic chuck, comprising:
a conductive base; and
a ceramic body disposed on the conductive base, the ceramic body comprising an electrode embedded therein, wherein the ceramic
body comprises a dissipation factor of about 0.11 to about 0.16.

US Pat. No. 9,142,466

USING SPECTRA TO DETERMINE POLISHING ENDPOINTS

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method for determining outlier spectra, comprising:
while polishing a substrate, obtaining at least three spectra from a surface of the substrate during a scan of an optical
monitoring module across the substrate;

calculating a cumulative sum of differences for each spectrum of the at least three spectra from the scan to generate at least
three cumulative sums of differences, wherein calculating the cumulative sum of differences for the each spectrum includes
calculating a sum of differences between the each spectrum of the at least three spectra of the scan and each of all other
spectra of the at least three spectra of the scan to generate a plurality of sums of differences and summing the plurality
of sums of differences to generate the cumulative sum of differences;

selecting an outlier spectrum from the at least three spectra based on comparing the at least three cumulative sums of differences
to a threshold; and

discarding the outlier spectrum.

US Pat. No. 9,200,950

PULSED PLASMA MONITORING USING OPTICAL SENSOR AND A SIGNAL ANALYZER FORMING A MEAN WAVEFORM

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method comprising:
receiving light emitted by a pulsed plasma in a semiconductor plasma processing chamber;
sampling the received light at a sampling rate higher than a pulse rate of the pulsed plasma, wherein the sampled light has
a periodic amplitude waveform and the sampling rate is higher than the period of the amplitude waveform;

accumulating multiple sampled waveforms to form a mean waveform; and
transmitting characteristics of the mean waveform to a chamber control tool.

US Pat. No. 9,140,647

TEST APPARATUS FOR REFLECTIVE CAVITY CHARACTERIZATION

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. An apparatus for measuring reflectivity, comprising:
a body defining a volume, the body having an opening;
a stop disposed opposite the opening;
an energy transmitting element coupled to and extending from the stop, the energy transmitting element extending through the
body and through the opening;

a light emitting element coupled to the energy transmitting element, the light emitting element located outside the body;
a light sensor coupled to the body; and
one or more support elements coupled to and extending from the body.

US Pat. No. 9,299,560

METHODS FOR DEPOSITING GROUP III-V LAYERS ON SUBSTRATES

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of depositing a group III-V layer on a substrate, comprising:
etching a silicon-containing substrate, having a surface oriented in a direction other than a <111> direction, to etch out
a source/drain region in the silicon-containing substrate;

growing a silicon-containing surface oriented in the <111> direction in the etched out source/drain region atop a surface
oriented in a direction other than the <111> direction;

depositing a first layer comprising at least one of a first Group III element or a first Group V element on the silicon-containing
surface oriented in the <111> direction at a first temperature ranging from about 300 to about 400 degrees Celsius; and

depositing a second layer comprising a second Group III element and a second Group V element atop the first layer at a second
temperature ranging from about 300 to about 600 degrees Celsius.

US Pat. No. 9,138,860

CLOSED-LOOP CONTROL FOR IMPROVED POLISHING PAD PROFILES

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of conditioning a polishing pad positioned on a metallic platen assembly, comprising:
contacting a surface of the polishing pad with a conditioning disk housed in a conditioning head;
measuring a wear profile of a zone of the polishing pad while sweeping the conditioning disk across the surface of the polishing
pad;

comparing the measured wear profile of the zone of the polishing pad to a target wear profile, wherein the target wear profile
is non-planar; and

adjusting a dwell time of the conditioning disk in the zone based on the comparison of the measured wear profile of the polishing
pad to the target wear profile, wherein the wear profile of the polishing pad is measured using an inductive sensor coupled
with a conditioning arm, wherein the inductive sensor is positioned a fixed non-zero distance from the conditioning disk,
and wherein the conditioning arm has:

a distal end coupled with the conditioning head that houses the conditioning disk; and
a proximal end coupled with a support assembly.

US Pat. No. 9,120,075

UV ASSISTED POLYMER MODIFICATION AND IN SITU EXHAUST CLEANING

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. An apparatus, comprising:
a semiconductor process chamber for processing substrates; and
an exhaust apparatus coupled to the semiconductor process chamber, the exhaust apparatus comprising:
a housing defining an inner volume;
an inlet and an outlet formed in the housing to facilitate flow of an exhaust gas through the inner volume, wherein the inlet
is configured to be coupled to an exhaust outlet of a semiconductor process chamber to receive the exhaust gas therefrom,
and wherein the exhaust gas can flow through the inner volume substantially free from obstruction;

an ultraviolet light source disposed outside the housing to provide ultraviolet energy to the exhaust gas present in the inner
volume during use, wherein the ultraviolet light source provides sufficient energy to at least partially decompose the exhaust
gas; and

a conduit coupled to the outlet configured to receive the exhaust gas from the outlet and to allow ultraviolet energy provided
from the ultraviolet light source to travel directly along an axial length of the conduit to further decompose the exhaust
gas, wherein the axial length is between about 10 cm and about 100 cm and is selected to cool a temperature of the exhaust
gas to below 100 degrees Celsius to minimize polymerization of the exhaust gas.

US Pat. No. 9,112,225

PRECURSOR FORMULATION FOR BATTERY ACTIVE MATERIALS SYNTHESIS

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A chemical composition, comprising:
a water miscible solution comprising a first battery active metal cation, a second batter active metal cation, and reactive
anions, wherein the first battery active metal cation is lithium; and

a water miscible organic material selected from the group consisting of hexamethylene tetramine, carbohydrazide, oxalic acid
dihydrazide, malonic acid dihydrazide, maleic hydrazide, diformyl hydrazide, tetraformal trisazine, and combinations and derivatives
thereof, wherein the water miscible organic material is between about 0.1 weight percent and about 10 weight percent of the
chemical composition.

US Pat. No. 9,112,050

DICING TAPE THERMAL MANAGEMENT BY WAFER FRAME SUPPORT RING COOLING DURING PLASMA DICING

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of dicing a semiconductor wafer comprising a plurality of integrated circuits, the method comprising:
introducing a substrate supported by a substrate carrier into a plasma etch chamber, the substrate having a patterned mask
thereon covering integrated circuits and exposing streets of the substrate, and the substrate carrier having a backside, wherein
the substrate carrier comprises an outer tape frame and supporting dicing tape, and wherein the outer tape frame is thermally
conductive;

supporting at least a portion of the backside of the substrate carrier on a chuck of the plasma etch chamber;
cooling substantially all of the backside of the substrate carrier, the cooling comprising cooling at least a first portion
of the backside of the substrate carrier by the chuck, wherein cooling substantially all of the backside of the substrate
carrier comprises cooling the tape frame and the substrate; and

plasma etching the substrate through the streets to singulate the integrated circuits while performing the cooling substantially
all of the backside of the substrate carrier; and wherein cooling substantially all of the backside of the substrate carrier,
further comprises cooling the tape frame of the backside of the substrate carrier with a cooling concentric chuck ring surrounding
the chuck.

US Pat. No. 9,384,938

PARTICLE-OPTICAL SYSTEMS AND ARRANGEMENTS AND PARTICLE-OPTICAL COMPONENTS FOR SUCH SYSTEMS AND ARRANGEMENTS

CARL ZEISS MICROSCOPY GMB...

1. A charged-particle multi-beamlet system comprising:
a source of charged particles;
a multi-aperture plate having plural apertures disposed in a charged particle beam path of the system downstream of the source;
a multi-aperture selector plate having plural apertures arranged in a first multi-aperture array;
a carrier, wherein the multi-aperture selector plate is mounted on the carrier;
an actuator configured to move the carrier such that the first multi-aperture array is disposed in the charged particle beam
path of the system downstream of the source in a first mode of operation of the system, and such that the first multi-aperture
array is disposed outside of the charged particle beam path in a second mode of operation of the system;

an objective lens disposed in a beam path downstream of both the multi-aperture plate and the multi-aperture selector plate;
a stage for mounting an object in an object plane disposed downstream of the focusing lens; and
a field-separating electrode having an aperture disposed in the charged particle beam path downstream of the objective lens
and upstream of the object plane;

wherein the source, the multi-aperture plate and the carrier are arranged such that a first number of one or more charged
particle beamlets is generated at a position downstream of both the multi-aperture plate and the multi-aperture selector plate
in the first mode of operation, and that a second number of one or more charged particle beamlets is generated at the position
in the second mode of operation, wherein the first number of beamlets differs from the second number of beamlets;

wherein the aperture of the field-separating electrode has a diameter such that it is traversed by the first number of beamlets
in the first mode of operation and by the second number of beamlets in the second mode of operation; and

wherein the objective lens is configured to focus each charged particle beamlet traversing the aperture of the field separating
electrode in the object plane.

US Pat. No. 9,375,825

POLISHING PAD CONDITIONING SYSTEM INCLUDING SUCTION

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus for use in substrate polishing, comprising:
a conditioner system for conditioning a surface of a polishing pad, the conditioner system including a conditioner head constructed
to receive an abrasive conditioner component, a substantially straight arm that supports the conditioner head, and a base
that supports the arm, the conditioner head including a curved contour extending beyond the arm; and

a vacuum system having a vacuum port, the vacuum system being configured to apply suction through the vacuum port to the surface
of the polishing pad in a direction away from the surface to remove material on the surface, wherein the vacuum port includes
a first substantially straight section spaced apart from and extending parallel to the arm and a second curved section spaced
apart from and extending along the curved contour of the conditioner head.

US Pat. No. 9,287,147

SUBSTRATE SUPPORT WITH ADVANCED EDGE CONTROL PROVISIONS

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A substrate support, comprising:
a supporting body having an outer wall;
a ground path disposed against and bounding the outer wall of the supporting body;
a mounting plate coupled to a lower surface of the supporting body, wherein the mounting plate includes a lip extending outward
from the mounting plate defining an upper surface; and

a recess formed at a perimeter of the supporting body above the upper surface of the lip of the mounting plate, the recess
on the ground path extending at least partially to the mounting plate, wherein the supporting body comprises:

a substrate supporting plate;
a cooling plate coupled to the substrate supporting plate;
an inlet/outlet plate coupled to the cooling plate; and
a base plate coupled to the inlet and outlet plate.

US Pat. No. 9,222,165

COOLED PVD SHIELD

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A physical vapor deposition apparatus, comprising:
a chamber;
a shadow frame disposed within the chamber;
a top shield disposed within the chamber and which at least partially overlies the shadow frame;
a cooling manifold disposed within the chamber and coupled with the top shield, wherein the cooling manifold controls the
temperature of the top shield;

a manifold shelf coupled to the cooling manifold and the chamber;
a chamber shield coupled to the chamber and to the cooling manifold in a location between the cooling manifold and the top
shield; and

an under shield coupled to the cooling manifold, wherein the shadow frame is movable from a lowered position in contact with
the under shield to a processing position spaced from the under shield.

US Pat. No. 9,190,293

EVEN TUNGSTEN ETCH FOR HIGH ASPECT RATIO TRENCHES

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of etching tungsten, the method comprising:
transferring a patterned substrate into a substrate processing region, wherein the patterned substrate has a tungsten lining
layer coating a high aspect ratio trench having a depth more than five times a width of the high aspect ratio trench, wherein
the high aspect ratio trench is disposed between two adjacent stacks and one or both of the two adjacent stacks comprises
at least ten alternating layers of dielectric and tungsten;

flowing a first fluorine-containing precursor into the substrate processing region while applying a bias plasma power to bombard
the patterned substrate with fluorine-containing ions;

flowing a second fluorine-containing precursor into a remote plasma region fluidly coupled to a substrate processing region
via perforations in a perforated plate;

forming a remote plasma in the remote plasma region to produce plasma effluents from the second fluorine-containing precursor
and flowing the plasma effluents into the substrate processing region through the perforations; and

etching the tungsten lining layer, wherein, after etching the tungsten lining layer, a top sidewall thickness of the tungsten
lining layer measured on a sidewall of the high aspect ratio trench near the opening of the high aspect ratio trench is within
20% of a bottom sidewall thickness of the tungsten lining layer measured on the sidewall of the high aspect ratio trench near
the bottom of the high aspect ratio trench.

US Pat. No. 9,530,990

PLASMA CURING OF PECVD HMDSO FILM FOR OLED APPLICATIONS

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method for forming an organic light emitting diode (OLED) device, comprising:
depositing a first barrier layer on a region of a substrate having an OLED structure disposed thereon;
depositing a buffer layer on the first barrier layer;
curing the buffer layer with a fluorine-containing plasma; and
depositing a second barrier layer on the cured buffer layer.

US Pat. No. 9,420,639

SMART DEVICE FABRICATION VIA PRECISION PATTERNING

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of manufacturing a semiconductor processing tool component, the method comprising:
providing a substrate of the semiconductor processing tool component;
patterning the substrate to form a sensor directly on the substrate, wherein patterning the substrate comprises using metal
or ceramic features, and a precision plasma spray, wherein the precision plasma spray comprises:

supporting the substrate in a precision plasma spray cell;
introducing a powder into a plasma flame within the precision plasma spray cell, melting the powder;
directing the molten powder to impact the substrate in a pattern to form the sensor without significantly increasing temperature
of the substrate of the semiconductor processing tool component enabling patterning without deforming the pattern that forming
the sensor having a thickness in the range of 0.005 mm to 0.5 mm; and

depositing a top layer over the sensor.

US Pat. No. 9,147,592

LINKED VACUUM PROCESSING TOOLS AND METHODS OF USING THE SAME

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A linked processing tool system comprising:
a first processing tool having at least a first transfer chamber configured to couple to a plurality of processing chambers;
a second processing tool having at least a second transfer chamber configured to couple to a plurality of processing chambers;
a third transfer chamber coupled between the first and second processing tools and configured to transfer substrates between
the first and second processing tools;

a first via coupling the first transfer chamber of the first processing tool directly to the third transfer chamber;
a second via coupling the second transfer chamber of the second processing tool directly to the third transfer chamber;
a third via coupling the first transfer chamber of the first processing tool directly to the second transfer chamber of the
second processing tool, the via bypassing the third transfer chamber; and

a single sequencer that controls substrate transfer operations between the first processing tool, the second processing tool
and the third transfer chamber of the linked processing tool system.

US Pat. No. 9,123,532

LOW-K DIELECTRIC DAMAGE REPAIR BY VAPOR-PHASE CHEMICAL EXPOSURE

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of repairing a damaged low-k dielectric layer comprising;
exposing a porous low-k dielectric layer to an oxidizing compound;
exposing the porous low-k dielectric layer to a silylation agent; and
exposing the porous low-k dielectric layer to an ultraviolet (UV) cure process during the exposing the porous low-k dielectric
layer to the silylation agent.

US Pat. No. 9,117,661

METHOD OF IMPROVING OXIDE GROWTH RATE OF SELECTIVE OXIDATION PROCESSES

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of processing a substrate, having at least a silicon containing layer and a metal layer, in a chamber, the method
comprising:
(a) pressurizing the chamber to around 450 Torr;
(b) maintaining the temperature of the substrate at 700 degrees Celsius or higher;
(c) introducing a gas mixture to the chamber, the gas mixture comprising an oxygen containing gas and a hydrogen containing
gas, wherein the hydrogen containing gas is at least about 65% of the gas mixture;

(d) reacting the gas mixture inside the chamber to produce steam; and
(e) selectively oxidizing the silicon containing layer, wherein (c)-(e) are performed in sequence.

US Pat. No. 9,096,927

COOLING RING FOR PHYSICAL VAPOR DEPOSITION CHAMBER TARGET

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A cooling ring to cool a target in a physical vapor deposition chamber, comprising:
an annular body having a central opening and a first surface configured to be coupled to a target backing plate;
an inlet port coupled to the body;
an outlet port coupled to the body;
a coolant channel disposed in the body and having a first end coupled to the inlet port and a second end coupled to the outlet
port, wherein the coolant channel is configured to flow coolant through the coolant channel in an annular flow direction following
a shape of the cooling ring; and

a cap coupled to a second surface of the body and substantially spanning the central opening, wherein the cap includes a center
hole, wherein the second surface of the body opposes the first surface, and wherein the cap, the annular body, and the target
backing plate form a cavity when the cooling ring is coupled to the target backing plate.

US Pat. No. 9,530,888

MOCVD GROWTH OF HIGHLY MISMATCHED III-V CMOS CHANNEL MATERIALS ON SILICON SUBSTRATES

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

11. A semiconductor device, comprising:
a group III-V compound nucleation layer comprising GaAs deposited a silicon substrate at a first temperature of about 325
degrees Celsius to about 425 degrees Celsius, the group III-V compound nucleation layer having a first thickness of about
10-400 Å and a lattice mismatch between the group III-V compound nucleation layer and the silicon substrate is less than 5%;

a group III-V compound buffer layer comprising GaAs deposited on the group III-V compound nucleation layer at a second temperature
of about 500 degrees Celsius to about 700 degrees Celsius, the group III-V compound buffer layer having a second thickness
of about 500-10000 Å;

a group III-V compound insertion layer deposited on the group III-V compound buffer layer; and
an active layer deposited on the group III-V compound insertion layer, wherein the active layer comprises a plurality of alternating
group III-V semiconductor layers.

US Pat. No. 9,334,127

SYSTEMS, APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR TRANSPORTING SUBSTRATES IN ELECTRONIC DEVICE MANUFACTURING

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. An electronic device processing system, comprising:
a transfer chamber including facets;
a plurality of process chambers each including a single-entry coupled to the facets of the transfer chamber, at least some
of the process chambers comprising non-focalized process chambers;

at least one load lock chamber coupled to the transfer chamber; and
a robot apparatus positioned in the transfer chamber and adapted to transport substrates between the plurality of process
chambers and the at least one load lock chamber, the robot apparatus including:

an upper arm having a shoulder axis and an elbow axis, the upper arm adapted for independent rotation in an X-Y plane about
the shoulder axis,

a forearm coupled to the upper arm and adapted for independent rotation in an X-Y plane relative to the upper arm about the
elbow axis, the forearm including a wrist axis, and

a wrist member coupled to the forearm and adapted for independent rotation in an X-Y plane relative to the forearm about the
wrist axis, wherein the wrist member includes an end effector adapted to carry the substrate

a connector adapted to drive the wrist member including a first intermediate member and a second intermediate member, each
being mounted for rotation to the upper arm, a first belt connected between a wrist drive member and the first intermediate
member, a second belt connected between the first intermediate member and the second intermediate member at a level below
the first belt, and a third belt connected between the second intermediate member and a wrist driven member.

US Pat. No. 9,245,802

WAFER DICING USING FEMTOSECOND-BASED LASER AND PLASMA ETCH

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A system for dicing a semiconductor wafer comprising a plurality of integrated circuits, the system comprising:
a factory interface;
a laser scribe apparatus coupled with the factory interface; and
a cluster tool coupled with the factory interface, the cluster tool comprising a plasma etch chamber, wherein the laser scribe
apparatus is not included in the cluster tool.

US Pat. No. 9,129,794

TUBULAR LIGHT SOURCE HAVING OVERWIND

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A tubular lamp, comprising:
a tubular envelope having a first end and a second end;
a coiled filament having a first diameter, the coiled filament extending from the first end to the second end of the tubular
envelope, wherein the coiled filament has an overwind having a second diameter and a pitch ratio between about 1.1 and about
2.0, and wherein the coiled filament comprises a coiled coil; and

a ratio of the first diameter to the second diameter ranging from about 3:1 to about 15:1.

US Pat. No. 9,490,101

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR SCANNING AN OBJECT

Applied Materials Israel ...

1. A system for scanning an object, the system comprises:
charged particles optics configured to:
scan, with a charged particle beam, a first region of interest (ROI) of an area of the object at a first scan rate;
detect first particles that were generated as a result of the scanning of the first ROI;
scan, with the charged particle beam, a second ROI of the area of the object at a second scan rate lower than the first scan
rate, wherein the first ROI differs from the second ROI by at least one parameter, the at least one parameter being either
an electron yield, an expected electron yield or a signal to noise ratio; and

detect second particles that were generated as a result of the scanning of the second ROI; and
a processor that is configured to generate at least one image of the area in response to the first and second paricles;
wherein: (i) when the at least one parameter is an electron yield, an electron yield of the second ROI is lower than an electron
yield of the first ROI; (ii) when the at least one parameter is an expected electron yield, the expected electron yield of
the second ROI is lower than an expected electron yield of the first ROI; (iii) and when the at least one parameter is a signal
to noise ratio, the signal to noise ratio of the second ROI is lower than a signal to noise ratio of the first ROI.

US Pat. No. 9,222,172

SURFACE TREATED ALUMINUM NITRIDE BAFFLE

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A baffle for use in a semiconductor process chamber, comprising:
a body comprising aluminum nitride and a metal oxide binding agent, a center stem and an outer annulus coupled to and extending
radially outwards from a lower portion of the center stem, wherein a ratio of aluminum nitride to the metal oxide binding
agent on a surface of the body is greater than or equal to the ratio within the body;

a gas inlet disposed in an upper portion of the center stem; and
a plurality of gas outlets disposed in a lower portion of the center stem and fluidly coupled to the gas inlet.

US Pat. No. 9,190,247

MEASUREMENT OF PLURAL RF SENSOR DEVICES IN A PULSED RF PLASMA REACTOR

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. In a plasma processing system comprising plural RF power sources and respective RF sensor devices, each of said plural
RF sources having an RF frequency, a pulse frequency and a pulse duty cycle, a method of reporting of measurement values,
comprising:
repetitively obtaining individual measurement values from individual ones of said respective RF sensor devices in succession
and reporting the measurement values of non-zero amplitudes;

for each measurement value of zero amplitude obtained at a current time from a particular one of said RF sensor devices, reporting
a zero amplitude only if the previous measurement values from the one RF sensor device have been zero for at least a predetermined
wait time, and otherwise reporting a non-zero amplitude corresponding to an applicable one of (a) the previous measurement
value or (b) the most recent non-zero measurement value.

US Pat. No. 9,159,574

METHOD OF SILICON ETCH FOR TRENCH SIDEWALL SMOOTHING

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of smoothing a sidewall of a trench formed in a semiconductor wafer, the method comprising:
supporting the semiconductor wafer with a pedestal in a processing chamber, the semiconductor wafer comprising the trench;
introducing a fluorine containing gas into the processing chamber;
introducing a polymerization gas into the processing chamber concurrently with the fluorine containing gas;
delivering power to the processing chamber to generate plasma from the fluorine containing gas and the polymerization gas,
the plasma generated from the polymerization gas to form a polymer layer on the sidewall of the trench; and

directionally etching the semiconductor wafer with the plasma generated from the fluorine containing gas to smooth the sidewall
of the trench with the polymer layer.

US Pat. No. 9,378,941

INTERFACE TREATMENT OF SEMICONDUCTOR SURFACES WITH HIGH DENSITY LOW ENERGY PLASMA

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method for treating a semiconductor surface of a semiconductor workpiece, comprising:
directing an electron beam into a processing zone of a chamber containing said semiconductor workpiece, said electron beam
propagating through said processing zone;

introducing into said chamber a process gas comprising at least one of: (a) a cleaning species precursor, (b) a passivation
species precursor, (c) an oxide reduction species precursor, whereby to generate a plasma while directly exposing said semiconductor
surface to said plasma, and maintaining a plasma ion energy level of said plasma below a bonding energy of a material of said
surface;

forming in said surface at least one of: (a) N-MOS regions comprising group III-V compound semiconductor materials, (b) P-MOS
regions comprising Ge or Ge-containing materials, wherein said forming in said surface at least N-MOS regions comprises:

performing a first operation comprising epitaxially growing materials comprising Ge in said N-MOS regions in said surface;
performing a second operation comprising epitaxially growing materials comprising group III-V compounds in said N-MOS regions
in said surface;

successively repeating said first and second operations;
after each first operation of epitaxial growing material of Ge and prior to each second operation of epitaxial growing of
group III-V compound material, performing a soft plasma surface treatment process comprising:

(a) directing an electron beam into a processing zone of a chamber containing said semiconductor workpiece, said electron
beam propagating through said processing zone in a propagation direction generally parallel to a plane of said surface; and

(b) introducing into said chamber a process gas comprising a surface treatment precursor.

US Pat. No. 9,327,324

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR CLEANING A VACUUM CHAMBER

Applied Materials Israel ...

1. A method for use in cleaning of a vacuum chamber configured for operating at a micro-Torr pressure range, the method comprising:
connecting the vacuum chamber to a plasma generating unit via a plasma connection port and to a pumping unit via a pumping
port, and

controlling a flow conductance for charged particles and cleaning substances produced in the plasma generating unit through
the plasma connection port into the vacuum chamber, wherein said controlling comprises providing in said plasma connection
port a barrier plate having at least one aperture and maintaining a working pressure at a micro-Torr range inside the vacuum
chamber that is lower than a pressure in the plasma generating unit while cleaning the vacuum chamber by said cleaning substances,
and said maintaining comprises selecting a dimension of the at least one aperture.

US Pat. No. 9,093,371

PROCESSING SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR HALIDE SCAVENGING

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of removing contaminants on a substrate having an exposed silicon oxide region and an exposed non-oxide region,
the method comprising:
flowing a fluorine-containing precursor into a remote plasma region of a substrate processing chamber fluidly coupled with
a substrate processing region of the substrate processing chamber while forming a plasma in the remote plasma region to produce
fluorine-containing plasma effluents;

etching the exposed non-oxide region utilizing the plasma effluents, wherein residual fluorine species are incorporated within
the silicon oxide region;

flowing at least one treatment precursor into the substrate processing region, wherein flowing the at least one treatment
precursor comprises:

condensing water vapor on the surface of the silicon oxide region; and
flowing a nitrogen-containing precursor into the substrate processing region.

US Pat. No. 9,290,858

CRYSTALLIZATION PROCESSING FOR SEMICONDUCTOR APPLICATIONS

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of treating a substrate, comprising:
identifying a first treatment zone;
forming a molten area of the first treatment zone by exposing a surface of the first treatment zone to a first laser pulse,
wherein the first laser pulse has a non-uniformity of less than about 5 percent;

recrystallizing the molten area of the first treatment zone while exposing the first treatment zone to a first plurality of
laser pulses;

identifying a second treatment zone;
forming a molten area of the second treatment zone by exposing a surface of the second treatment zone to a second laser pulse,
wherein the second laser pulse has a non-uniformity of less than about 5 percent; and

recrystallizing the molten area of the second treatment zone while exposing the second treatment zone to a second plurality
of laser pulses.

US Pat. No. 9,221,147

ENDPOINTING WITH SELECTIVE SPECTRAL MONITORING

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of controlling polishing, comprising:
polishing a substrate;
monitoring the substrate during polishing with an in-situ spectrographic monitoring system to generate a sequence of measured
spectra;

for each measured spectrum in the sequence of measured spectra, determining whether to include the measured spectrum as a
selected spectrum based on at least one of

determining the presence or absence of a feature in the measured spectrum, or
determining a position of a feature in the measured spectrum relative to a prior measured spectrum from the sequence of measured
spectra,
such that less than all of the measured spectra are selected to generate a sequence of selected spectra;
generating a sequence of values from the sequence of selected spectra; and
determining at least one of a polishing endpoint or an adjustment for a polishing rate based on the sequence of values.

US Pat. No. 9,153,413

MULTI-BEAM SCANNING ELECTRON BEAM DEVICE AND METHODS OF USING THE SAME

Applied Materials Israel,...

1. A multi-beam scanning electron beam device having a column, comprising:
a multi-beam emitter for emitting a plurality of electron beams, wherein the multi-beam emitter is a spot grid array configured
to be used at one or more potentials so that the emission of one emitter appears to be generated by multiple sources;

at least one common electron beam optical element having a common opening for at least two of the plurality of electron beams
and being adapted for commonly influencing at least two of the plurality of electron beams;

at least one individual electron beam optical element for individually influencing the plurality of electron beams;
a common objective lens assembly for focusing the plurality of electron beams having a common excitation for focusing at least
two of the plurality of electron beams, and being adapted for focusing the plurality of electron beams onto a specimen for
generation of a plurality of signal beams, wherein the common objective lens assembly has at least two openings for passing
of the plurality of electron beams, wherein the common objective lens assembly acts commonly on two or more of the plurality
of electron beams and wherein the common objective lens assembly provides common objective lenses comprising magnetic lenses
having a common excitation coil with common pole pieces and an array of individual openings, or comprising common electrostatic
lenses having individual openings in a common lens plate adapted for being on one potential; and

a detection assembly for individually detecting each signal beam on a corresponding detection element, wherein the at least
one common electron beam optical element is a common beam separator with a common control for separating at least two of the
plurality of signal beams from the plurality of electron beams, and wherein the common beam separator is an achromatic beam
separator for the primary beam, wherein the device is adapted so that the beams entering the achromatic beam separator are
parallel to each other, and wherein the device is adapted for avoiding a cross-over in the column.

US Pat. No. 9,069,183

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR SPECKLE REDUCTION IN LASER PROCESSING EQUIPMENT

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. An apparatus for improving energy uniformity of coherent light, comprising:
a plurality of lenses positioned to produce a composite projection field; and
a refractive medium having one or more first surfaces and one or more second surfaces, wherein each second surface is located
at one or more distances from the one or more first surfaces, and the refractive medium is positioned to receive the composite
projection field at the one or more first surfaces and to transmit an energy field from the one or more second surfaces, or
the refractive medium is positioned to receive the composite projection field at the one or more second surfaces and to transmit
the energy field from the one or more first surfaces, wherein the refractive medium is a plurality of plates.

US Pat. No. 9,386,680

DETECTING PLASMA ARCS BY MONITORING RF REFLECTED POWER IN A PLASMA PROCESSING CHAMBER

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method for detecting unstable plasma in a substrate processing chamber, comprising:
providing a forward power from a power source to a plasma load through a detection device disposed between the power source
and the plasma load;

splitting the forward power passing through the detection device at a 50-to-50% split ratio to obtain a first value of the
power to the plasma load;

measuring a reflected power from the plasma load by the detection device at sampling time of about nanoseconds to about 0.5
second to obtain a second value of the power from the plasma load; and

directing the power source to turn off the forward power based on a predetermined condition.

US Pat. No. 9,142,467

ETCH RATE DETECTION FOR ANTI-REFLECTIVE COATING LAYER AND ABSORBER LAYER ETCHING

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of determining an etching endpoint of a tantalum containing layer disposed on a substrate during an etching process,
comprising:
performing an etching process on a tantalum and oxygen containing layer disposed on a first surface of a substrate through
a patterned mask layer in a plasma etch chamber;

directing a first radiation source having a first wavelength from about 200 nm and about 800 nm from the first surface of
the substrate to an area uncovered by the patterned mask layer;

collecting a first optical signal reflected from the area covered by the patterned mask layer to obtain a first waveform from
the reflected first optical signal;

analyzing a first waveform obtained the reflected first optical signal reflected from the first surface of the substrate from
a first time point to a second time point;

determining a first endpoint of the etching process when a slope of the waveform is changed about 5 percent or greater from
the first time point to the second time point;

continuing etching a tantalum containing and oxygen free layer disposed between the tantalum and oxygen containing layer and
substrate;

directing a second radiation source having a second wavelength from about 200 nm and about 800 nm from the first surface of
the substrate to an area uncovered by the patterned mask layer and the etched tantalum containing and oxygen free layer;

collecting a second optical signal reflected from the area covered by the patterned mask layer and the etched tantalum and
oxygen containing layer to obtain a second waveform from the reflected second optical signal;

analyzing a second waveform obtained the reflected second optical signal reflected from the first surface of the substrate
from a third time point to a fourth time point; and

determining a second endpoint of the etching process when a slope of the waveform is changed about 5 percent or greater from
the third time point to the fourth time point.

US Pat. No. 9,530,674

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR THREE-DIMENSIONAL (3D) STRUCTURE FILL

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of filling a trench in a semiconductor wafer, the method comprising:
performing a first directional plasma treatment with a first ion beam at a first angle with respect to a sidewall of the trench
to form a treated portion of the sidewall and an untreated bottom of the trench;

depositing a material in the trench directly on the treated portion of the sidewall and the untreated bottom of the trench,
wherein a deposition rate of the material on the treated portion of the sidewall is different than a second deposition rate
on the untreated bottom of the trench, and wherein the material is deposited using a technique selected from the group consisting
of chemical vapor deposition (CVD), physical vapor deposition (PVD), plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), and
atomic layer deposition (ALD); and

performing a second directional plasma treatment with a second ion beam at a second angle with respect to a sidewall of the
trench to perform an angled ion beam etching upon the deposited material.

US Pat. No. 9,530,613

FOCUSING A CHARGED PARTICLE SYSTEM

Applied Materials Israel,...

8. A beam source for an imaging system, comprising:
a charged particle source; and
a multi-aperture array coupled to the charged particle source and positioned to receive a plurality of charged particle beams
produced by the charged particle source to simultaneously produce at least one non-astigmatic charged particle beam and at
least one astigmatic charged particle beam, the at least one non-astigmatic charged particle beam forming a corresponding
set of images of a surface and the at least one astigmatic charged particle beam forming a corresponding set of images of
the surface, wherein the imaging system is configured so that the set of images that correspond to the at least one astigmatic
charged particle beam is used to focus the at least one non-astigmatic charged particle beam.

US Pat. No. 9,209,084

MASKLESS HYBRID LASER SCRIBING AND PLASMA ETCHING WAFER DICING PROCESS

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of dicing a silicon wafer comprising a front surface having a plurality of DRAM circuits thereon and having a
polyimide layer disposed between and covering metal pillar/solder bump pairs of the DRAM circuits, the method comprising:
laser scribing, without the use of a mask layer, the polyimide layer to provide scribe lines exposing the silicon wafer, the
laser scribing performed through a layer of low K material and a layer of copper both disposed between the polyimide layer
and the silicon substrate, the laser scribing comprising a femto-second-based laser scribing process;

plasma etching the silicon wafer through the scribe lines to singulate the DRAM circuits, wherein the polyimide layer protects
the DRAM circuits during at least a portion of the plasma etching; and

plasma ashing the polyimide layer to thin the polyimide layer, partially exposing the metal pillar/solder bump pairs of the
DRAM circuits.

US Pat. No. 9,105,710

WAFER DICING METHOD FOR IMPROVING DIE PACKAGING QUALITY

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of dicing a semiconductor wafer comprising a plurality of integrated circuits (ICs), the method comprising:
forming a mask over the semiconductor wafer covering the plurality of ICs, the plurality of ICs including metal bumps or pads
with an oxidation layer;

patterning the mask with a laser scribing process to provide a patterned mask with gaps, removing non-silicon materials and
exposing a silicon substrate of the semiconductor wafer between the ICs; and

plasma etching the semiconductor wafer through the gaps in the patterned mask to singulate the plurality of ICs and remove
the oxidation layer from the metal bumps or pads.

US Pat. No. 9,397,380

GUIDED WAVE APPLICATOR WITH NON-GASEOUS DIELECTRIC FOR PLASMA CHAMBER

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method for coupling electrical power to a plasma, comprising the steps of:
providing a plasma chamber having an interior;
providing first and second waveguide walls, wherein each waveguide wall is electrically conductive;
providing within the interior of the plasma chamber a waveguide dielectric whose volume is composed of non-gaseous dielectric
material, wherein the waveguide dielectric includes:

(i) first and second longitudinal ends, and
(ii) first, second, third and fourth sides that extend longitudinally between the two longitudinal ends; and
coupling electrical power from an electrical generator to at least one of the longitudinal ends of the waveguide dielectric;
wherein:
the waveguide dielectric is positioned between the two waveguide walls;
the first waveguide wall is positioned so that it covers the first side of the waveguide dielectric;
the second waveguide wall is positioned so that it covers the second side of the waveguide dielectric; and
a portion of each of the third and fourth sides of the waveguide dielectric is not covered by the waveguide walls and is exposed
to the interior of the plasma chamber.

US Pat. No. 9,138,858

THIN POLISHING PAD WITH WINDOW AND MOLDING PROCESS

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A polishing pad, comprising:
a polishing layer having a polishing surface, an aperture extending entirely through the polishing layer, and a plurality
of grooves in the polishing surface that extend partially but not entirely through the polishing layer, the plurality of grooves
forming a uniform pattern on the polishing surface, wherein the aperture has edges where side walls of the aperture intersect
the polishing surface, wherein the plurality of grooves forming the uniform pattern includes grooves that intersect the aperture
and grooves that do not intersect the aperture, and wherein the plurality of grooves are narrower than the aperture; and

a solid light-transmitting window filling the aperture and molded to the polishing layer, the window having a top surface
coplanar with the polishing surface, and wherein a portion of the window projects laterally past the edges of the aperture
into the grooves that intersect the aperture and is molded to the grooves that intersect the aperture.

US Pat. No. 9,530,627

METHOD FOR CLEANING TITANIUM ALLOY DEPOSITION

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method for cleaning N-Metal film deposits in a processing chamber, the method comprising:
positioning a dummy substrate on a substrate support in the processing chamber;
heating the processing chamber to over at least 50 degrees Celsius and less than 500 degrees Celsius;
flowing chlorine gas into the processing chamber to remove the N-metal film deposits from the processing chamber; and
evacuating the chlorine gas from the processing chamber.

US Pat. No. 9,530,638

METHOD TO GROW THIN EPITAXIAL FILMS AT LOW TEMPERATURE

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of processing a substrate in a processing chamber, comprising:
forming an epitaxial film over a semiconductor fin formed on the substrate, wherein the epitaxial film includes a top surface
having a first facet and a second facet; and

forming an epitaxial layer on at least the top surface of the epitaxial film by alternatingly exposing the top surface to
a first precursor gas comprising one or more silanes and a second precursor gas comprising one or more chlorinated silanes
at a temperature of about 550° C. or less and a chamber pressure of about 5 Torr to about 20 Torr.

US Pat. No. 9,336,981

CHARGED PARTICLE DETECTION SYSTEM AND MULTI-BEAMLET INSPECTION SYSTEM

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

1. A charged particle detection system, comprising:
a first detector having an array of plural detection elements for detecting charged particles;
a first aperture plate having a first array of plural apertures to be traversed by charged particles and disposed at a first
distance from the first detector;

a second aperture plate having a second array of plural apertures to be traversed by charged particles and disposed at a second
distance from the first detector, the second distance being greater than the first distance; and

a voltage supply configured to supply a first electric potential to the first detector, to supply a second electric potential
to the first aperture plate, and to supply a third electric potential to the second aperture plate;

wherein the apertures of the first aperture plate, the apertures of the second aperture plate and the detection elements of
the first detector are substantially aligned relative to each other such that plural beamlets of charged particles can each
traverse an aperture of the first aperture plate and an aperture of the second aperture plate to be incident on a detection
element of the first detector; and

wherein the first electric potential, the second electric potential and the third electric potential are selected so that
charged particles of the beamlets having a kinetic energy below a threshold energy cannot traverse the first array of plural
apertures of the first aperture plate and are prevented from being incident on the detection elements.

US Pat. No. 9,244,290

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR COHERENCE REDUCTION

Applied Materials Israel ...

1. A method for coherence reduction, the method comprising:
receiving, by an asymmetrical pulse stretcher, a first light pulse; wherein the asymmetrical pulse stretcher comprises multiple
reflective components which define corners of an optical path forming a loop; wherein at least two reflective components of
the multiple reflective components are positioned in a symmetrical manner in relation to each other with regard to at least
one of orientation relative to the optical path or position relative to the optical path, and at least two reflective components
of the multiple reflective components are positioned in an asymmetrical manner in relation to each other with regard to at
least one of orientation relative to the optical path or position relative to the optical path;

generating a sequence of multiple pulses, by the pulse stretcher, during a pulse sequence generation period and in response
to the first light pulse;

wherein the multiple reflective components introduce a coherence-related difference between at least two pulses of the multiple
pulses;

wherein the pulse sequence generation period does not exceed a response period of a detector;
illuminating an area of an object by the multiple pulses; and
detecting light from the area by the detector.

US Pat. No. 9,165,376

SYSTEM, METHOD AND COMPUTER READABLE MEDIUM FOR DETECTING EDGES OF A PATTERN

Applied Materials Israel ...

1. A method for detecting a parameter of a pattern, the method comprising:
obtaining an image of the pattern; wherein the image is generated by scanning the pattern with a charged particle beam;
processing the image to provide an edge enhanced image; wherein the processing comprises computing an aggregate energy of
first n spectral components of the image by applying spectral functions on the image, wherein n exceeds two and the spectral
functions are selected according to a distribution of charged particles of the charged particle beam; and

further processing the edge enhanced image and determining a parameter of the pattern.

US Pat. No. 9,576,810

PROCESS FOR ETCHING METAL USING A COMBINATION OF PLASMA AND SOLID STATE SOURCES

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of etching a substrate having a layer of a metal formed thereon, the method comprising:
positioning the substrate in a substrate processing chamber; and
while the substrate is in the chamber, exposing the layer of copper to a plasma of an etchant gas at a temperature less than
250 degrees centigrade thereby forming one or more metal byproducts, and exposing the one or more copper byproducts to radiation
from a solid state source having a wavelength between 10-2000 nm to desorb at least one of the one or more metal byproducts,

wherein the metal is one of copper or cobalt; and
wherein the etchant gas includes at least one of a hydride compound, H2, or an oxidizer including an oxygen atom.

US Pat. No. 9,358,658

POLISHING SYSTEM WITH FRONT SIDE PRESSURE CONTROL

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A polishing apparatus, comprising:
a platen rotatable about an axis of rotation, the platen including a first surface to support a polishing pad, a second surface
on a side of the platen opposite the first surface, and a plurality of through-holes defined in the platen extending from
the first surface to the second surface, the through-holes having input ends at the second surface and output ends at the
first surface;

a carrier head to hold a substrate against the polishing pad; and
a pad pressure control assembly including a body positioned on the side of the platen opposite the carrier head and having
a third surface adjacent and parallel to the second surface, the pad pressure control assembly further including a plurality
of channels through the body, the plurality of channels connected to a fluid source and having outlets on the third surface
of the body, the body of the pad pressure control assembly laterally movable relative to the axis of rotation of the platen
such that the outlets on the third surface move laterally relative to the through-holes in the platen, and wherein the third
surface is positioned relative to the second surface such that in operation the outlets of the channels in the body are fluidically
coupled to the input ends of the through-holes in the platen and a through-hole to which a particular outlet is fluidically
coupled changes as the body moves laterally relative to the platen.

US Pat. No. 9,354,212

INSPECTION HAVING A SEGMENTED PUPIL

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

12. A method for obtaining information about a surface of a sample, the method comprises:
illuminating, by optics, a surface of a sample;
collecting, by the optics, radiation from the surface of the sample wherein the optics comprises:
a pupil that comprises multiple pupil segments that correspond to different angular regions of collection or illumination;
and

optical components configured to direct radiation from or to different pupil segments to different directions;
receiving, by a detection module, the radiation from or to the different pupil segments;
generating, by the detection module, an image of the sample for each corresponding pupil segment;
obtaining, by an image processor, a difference image by subtracting a first image corresponding to a first pupil segment from
a second image corresponding to a second pupil segment to provide gradient of phase information associated with the surface
of the sample; and

integrating, by the image processor, the difference image to provide a phase map of the surface of the sample.

US Pat. No. 9,395,266

ON-TOOL WAVEFRONT ABERRATIONS MEASUREMENT SYSTEM AND METHOD

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

1. An on-tool measurement system for measuring wavefront (WF) aberrations of an optical setup, the system comprising:
an optical setup comprising a moveable deflection element further comprising a highly transparent region, the deflection element
comprises a first surface configured to project a first image of at least one object onto a sensor and the highly transparent
region comprises a second surface configured to project a second image of the at least one object onto the sensor;

a sensor configured to capture the first and second images of the at least one object; and
a controller configured to measure differential displacements between the first and second images at each moveable deflection
element position, and to calculate local WF gradients that depend on the differential displacements.

US Pat. No. 9,095,952

REFLECTIVITY MEASUREMENTS DURING POLISHING USING A CAMERA

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A substrate polishing system, comprising:
a platen to support a polishing surface;
a carrier head configured to hold a substrate against the polishing surface during polishing;
a light source configured to direct a light beam onto a surface of the substrate;
a detector including an array of detection elements, wherein the detector is configured to detect reflections of the light
beam from an area of the surface of the substrate with different detection elements receiving light from different portions
of the area, and wherein the detector is configured to generate an image of the area of the substrate having pixels representing
different regions on the substrate; and

a controller configured to receive the image, to generate a histogram of population of intensity values of the pixels of the
image, and to detect clearance of a metal layer from an underlying layer on the substrate based on a change in the histogram.

US Pat. No. 9,530,637

FIN STRUCTURE FORMATION BY SELECTIVE ETCHING

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of forming a semiconductor device, comprising:
patterning and etching a substrate to form one or more first mandrel structures;
conformally depositing a first material layer on the substrate and the first mandrel structures;
conformally depositing a second material layer on the first material layer;
conformally depositing a third material layer on the second material layer, wherein the third material layer is the same material
as the first material layer;

conformally depositing a fourth material layer on the third material layer, wherein the fourth material layer is the same
material as the second material layer

removing a portion of the first mandrel structures and the second material layer to form a plurality of second mandrel structures;
and

conformally depositing a III-V material layer on the plurality of second mandrel structures.

US Pat. No. 9,286,675

ITERATIVE DEFECT FILTERING PROCESS

Applied Materials Israel ...

1. A method for classifying defects of a wafer, the method is executed by a computerized system, the method comprises:
obtaining defect candidate information about a group of defect candidates, wherein the defect candidate information comprises
values of attributes per each defect candidate of the group;

selecting, by a processor of the computerized system, a selected sub-group of defect candidates in response to values of attributes
of defect candidates that belong to at least the selected sub-group;

classifying defect candidates of the selected sub-group to provide selected sub-group classification results;
repeating, until fulfilling a stop condition:
selecting an additional selected sub-group of defect candidates in response to (a) values of attributes of defect candidates
that belong to at least the additional selected sub-group; and (b) classification results obtained from classifying at least
one other selected sub-group; and

classifying defect candidates of the additional selected sub-group to provide additional selected sub-group classification
results.

US Pat. No. 9,530,623

PROCESS CHAMBER APPARATUS, SYSTEMS, AND METHODS FOR CONTROLLING A GAS FLOW PATTERN

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of adjusting a flow of a process gas within a process chamber, comprising:
providing a process chamber having a process gas inlet, an exhaust port, and a side opening adapted to allow a substrate to
be provided to and withdrawn from the process chamber;

providing a valve configured to seal the exhaust port and configured to move in the X, Y, and Z directions relative to the
exhaust port; and

adjusting a gas flow pattern in the process chamber by moving the valve in one or more of the X, Y, and Z directions.

US Pat. No. 9,530,898

SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES SUITABLE FOR NARROW PITCH APPLICATIONS AND METHODS OF FABRICATION THEREOF

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A semiconductor device, comprising:
a substrate comprising a semiconductive material; and
a floating gate disposed above the substrate and having a first width proximate a base of the floating gate that is greater
than a second width proximate a top of the floating gate, wherein a width of the floating gate decreases non-linearly from
the first width to the second width, and wherein a bottom-most portion of a sidewall of the floating gate is substantially
vertical.

US Pat. No. 9,528,183

COBALT REMOVAL FOR CHAMBER CLEAN OR PRE-CLEAN PROCESS

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method for removing cobalt or cobalt containing deposits from one or more interior surfaces of a substrate processing
chamber after processing a substrate disposed in the substrate processing chamber, the method comprising:
depositing a cobalt or cobalt containing layer on the one or more interior surfaces and a substrate disposed in the substrate
processing chamber;

transferring the substrate out of the substrate processing chamber;
flowing argon gas into a remote plasma source fluidly coupled with the substrate processing chamber at a first flow rate;
flowing a fluorine containing cleaning gas mixture into the remote plasma source while reducing a flow rate of the argon gas
from the first flow rate to a second flow rate, forming reactive species from the fluorine containing cleaning gas mixture
and transporting the reactive species into the substrate processing chamber;

permitting the reactive species to react with the cobalt and/or the cobalt containing deposits on the one or more interior
surfaces to form cobalt fluoride in a gaseous state; and

purging the cobalt fluoride in gaseous state out of the substrate processing chamber.

US Pat. No. 9,448,253

DETERMINING A STATE OF A HIGH ASPECT RATIO HOLE USING MEASUREMENT RESULTS FROM AN ELECTROSTATIC MEASUREMENT DEVICE

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

1. A method for evaluating a high aspect ratio (HAR) hole having a nanometric scale width and formed in a substrate, the method
comprises:
obtaining, during an illumination period, multiple measurement results by an electrostatic measurement device that comprises
a probe tip that is placed in proximity to the HAR hole; wherein multiple locations within the HAR hole are illuminated with
a beam of charged particles during the illumination period; and

processing, by a processor, the multiple measurement results to determine a state of the HAR hole based upon calculating a
change of a potential offset over time.

US Pat. No. 9,606,519

MATCHING PROCESS CONTROLLERS FOR IMPROVED MATCHING OF PROCESS

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A computer-implemented method, comprising:
receiving a first chamber recipe advice for a first chamber of a plurality of chambers, the first chamber recipe advice describing
a set of tunable inputs and a set of outputs for a process, wherein the first chamber recipe advice comprises a set of first
chamber input parameters to tune the set of tunable inputs and a set of first chamber output parameters for the set of outputs;

receiving a second chamber recipe advice for a second chamber of the plurality of chambers, the second chamber recipe advice
describing the set of tunable inputs and the set of outputs for the process, wherein the second chamber recipe advice comprises
a set of second chamber input parameters to tune the set of tunable inputs and a set of second chamber output parameters for
the set of outputs;

adjusting at least one of the set of first chamber input parameters or the set of second chamber input parameters and at least
one of the set of first chamber output parameters or the set of second chamber output parameters to substantially match the
first chamber recipe advice and the second chamber recipe advice; and

generating, by a processing device, a composite chamber recipe advice based on the first and the second chamber recipe advices,
the composite chamber recipe advice describing the set of tunable inputs and the set of outputs for the process, wherein the
composite chamber recipe advice comprises a set of composite input parameters to tune the set of tunable inputs and a set
of composite output parameters for the set of outputs.

US Pat. No. 9,488,924

CLEANING AN OBJECT WITHIN A NON-VACUUMED ENVIRONMENT

Applied Materials Israel ...

1. A system, comprising:
a structural support element arranged to support at least a part of an optical bench comprising an optical evaluation module;
a mechanical stage configured to support an object being evaluated by the optical evaluation module and configured to move
the object along a predetermined path in relation to the optical evaluation module; and

a gas flow module positioned below the optical bench in a fixed relationship with the structural support and positioned between
the structural support and the mechanical stage, the gas flow module including an aperture through which the optical module
can illuminate the object and a plurality of gas flow openings surrounding the aperture and defining a coverage area that
is larger than the object, wherein the gas flow module is configured to direct clean gas in the coverage area towards the
object while the object is illuminated by the optical module;

wherein the mechanical stage is further configured to move the object along a predetermined path in relation to the aperture
and wherein the coverage area is positioned directly above at least a majority of the object at all times regardless of where
the object is positioned along the predetermined path.

US Pat. No. 9,728,401

METHODS FOR CONFORMAL TREATMENT OF DIELECTRIC FILMS WITH LOW THERMAL BUDGET

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of treating a dielectric layer disposed on a substrate supported in a process chamber, comprising:
(a) exposing the dielectric layer to an active radical species formed in a plasma for a first period of time while the substrate
is maintained at a substrate temperature of less than about 800 degrees Celsius, wherein exposing the dielectric layer to
the active radical species formed in the plasma further comprises forming the plasma from a process gas using a remote plasma
source and providing the plasma to the process chamber, wherein the process gas comprises a mixture of about 20 percent nitrogen
with the balance being oxygen;

(b) heating the dielectric layer to a peak temperature of about 900 degrees Celsius to about 1200 degrees Celsius; and
(c) maintaining the peak temperature for a second period of time of about 1 second to about 20 seconds.

US Pat. No. 9,383,196

SYSTEM, METHOD AND COMPUTED READABLE MEDIUM FOR EVALUATING A PARAMETER OF A FEATURE HAVING NANO-METRIC DIMENSIONS

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

1. A method for evaluating a parameter of a real feature having nano-metric dimensions, the method comprising:
obtaining, by an image obtaining module of an electronic microscope, an image of a measurement site that includes the real
feature;

processing, by an image processor, the image of the measurement site to provide an artificial image of a continuous undivided
artificial feature, the artificial feature representing an unknown dimension and from the real feature in shape;

measuring a parameter of the artificial feature to provide a measurement result by applying a measurement algorithm that is
inadequate for directly measuring the parameter of the real feature; and

determining a value of the parameter of the real feature in response to the measurement result.

US Pat. No. 9,470,751

DETECTING OPEN AND SHORT OF CONDUCTORS

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

1. A method for evaluating a conductor during a fabrication of an electrical circuit, the method comprising:
simultaneously illuminating a first area of the conductor with a first electron beam thereby charging the first area, and
illuminating a second area of the conductor with a second electron beam, the second area spaced apart from the first area,
where an aggregate size of the first and second areas is a fraction of an overall size of the conductor;

detecting electrons emitted from the first and second areas with one or more detectors and generating detection signals indicative
of the detected emitted electrons; and

processing, by a processor, the detection signals to provide information about a conductivity of the conductor between the
first area and the second area,

wherein the first electron beam and the second electron beam charge the conductor by at least one of different charging rates
or opposite polarities such that the charging of the conductor by each of the first electron beam and the second electron
beam can be differentiated for determining whether the second area is charged as a result of the charging of the first area.

US Pat. No. 9,666,412

METHOD FOR CHARGING AND IMAGING AN OBJECT

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

1. A method for charge control and for imaging an object, the method comprises: charging, with a charged particle beam, a
slice of the object, starting at a beginning of the slice and ending at an end of the slice; wherein the charging of the slice
comprises: introducing, by a first mechanical stage, a first movement along a first direction, between the object and charged
particle beam optics; scanning the slice with the charged particle beam thereby causing the slice to be charged; wherein the
scanning of the slice comprises performing, by the charged particle optics, a first counter-movement deflection of the charged
particle beam to at least partially counter the first movement; introducing, by a second mechanical stage, a second movement
along a second direction, between the object and the charged particle beam optics; wherein the second direction is substantially
perpendicular to the first direction; wherein the first mechanical stage is heavier than the second mechanical stage; wherein
a maximal velocity of the second mechanical stage exceeds a maximal velocity of the first mechanical stage; upon a completion
of the charging of the slice, performing by the second mechanical stage a first flyback operation that counters the second
movement thereby positioning the beginning of the slice within a field of view of the charged particle beam optics; imaging
the slice; wherein the imaging of the slice comprises: introducing, by the first mechanical stage, a third movement along
the first direction, between the object and charged particle beam optics; performing, by the charged particle beam optics,
a second counter movement deflection of the charged particle beam to at least partially counter the third movement; introducing,
by the second mechanical stage, a fourth movement along the second direction, between the object and the charged particle
beam optics; and upon a completion of the imaging of the slice performing, by the second mechanical stage, a second flyback
operation that counters the fourth movement.

US Pat. No. 9,299,872

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR REDUCING DARK CURRENT DRIFT IN A PHOTODIODE BASED ELECTRON DETECTOR

Applied Materials Israel,...

1. A sensing element, comprising:
a PIN diode having an anode coupled to an anode contact, a cathode coupled to a cathode contact, a semiconductor portion that
has a sensing region, and an insulator positioned between the cathode contact and the anode contact; and

a shielding element comprising an anode conductor coupled to the anode contact and a cathode conductor coupled to the cathode
contact, the anode conductor separated from the cathode conductor by an insulating element, wherein at least one of the anode
conductor or the cathode conductor has a cross section with a substantially C-shape where a portion extends under a bottom
of the insulating element, a portion extends along a side of the insulating element, and a portion extends over a top of the
insulating element, and at least one of the portions is exposed along an exterior surface of the shielding element;

wherein the insulator, the cathode contact and the anode contact are positioned between the shielding element and the semiconductor
portion, and the shielding element is shaped and positioned to facilitate radiation to impinge onto the sensing region of
the semiconductor portion while at least partially shielding the insulator from electrons that are emitted from the sensing
region.

US Pat. No. 9,159,621

DICING TAPE PROTECTION FOR WAFER DICING USING LASER SCRIBE PROCESS

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of scribing a semiconductor wafer comprising a plurality of integrated circuits, the method comprising:
adhering a backside of a semiconductor wafer to an inner portion of a carrier tape of a substrate carrier comprising a tape
frame mounted above the carrier tape;

overlaying a protective frame above a front side of the semiconductor wafer and above an exposed outer portion of the carrier
tape, the protective frame comprising an opening exposing an inner region of the front side of the semiconductor wafer; and

with the protective frame in place, laser scribing the front side of the semiconductor wafer; and
subsequent to the laser scribing, removing the protective frame and plasma etching the semiconductor wafer to singulate the
integrated circuits.

US Pat. No. 9,704,723

PROCESSING SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR HALIDE SCAVENGING

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of removing contaminants from a processed substrate having exposed silicon and silicon oxide surfaces, the method
comprising:
etching the substrate in an etching process, wherein the etching process is selective to silicon over silicon oxide, wherein
the etching process produces radical species, and wherein residual species from the radical species are incorporated within
the silicon oxide layer during the etching and remain in the silicon oxide layer subsequent the etching process; and

treating the substrate to remove at least a portion of the residual species from the silicon oxide layer wherein treating
the substrate comprises:

delivering ammonia to a remote plasma region to produce plasma effluents;
contacting the silicon oxide region with the plasma effluents, wherein the plasma effluents are configured to interact with
the residual species from the radical species, and wherein the plasma effluents are further configured to withdraw the residual
species from the radical species from the silicon oxide layer.

US Pat. No. 9,470,637

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR USE OF BINARY SPATIAL FILTERS

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL,...

1. An aerial inspection system, comprising:
an input module configured and operable for receiving intensity data indicative of an intensity distribution map corresponding
to a desired exposure condition to be emulated by the aerial inspection system;

a processing utility configured and operable for processing the intensity data and generating filter data indicative of a
binary spatial filter corresponding to the intensity distribution map;

a filter implementation unit configured and operable for receiving the filter data and generating the binary spatial filter
using the filter data, the binary spatial filter comprising a plurality of static filters; and

an filter carrier module for interacting the binary spatial filter with a light beam of the aerial inspection system to generate
structured light approximating the desired exposure condition.

US Pat. No. 9,466,462

INSPECTION OF REGIONS OF INTEREST USING AN ELECTRON BEAM SYSTEM

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

1. A system for scanning a plurality of regions of interest of a substrate using one or more charged particle beams, the system
comprising:
an irradiation module having charged particle optics;
a stage for introducing a relative movement between the substrate and the charged particle optics; and
an imaging module for collecting electrons emanating from the substrate in response to a scanning of regions of interest by
a charged particle beam;

wherein the charged particle optics are arranged to perform counter movements of the charged particle beam in a direction
of the stage movement during the scanning of the regions of interest thereby countering relative movements introduced between
the substrate and the charged particle optics during the scanning of the regions of interest;

wherein at least some regions of interest have an area that is less than one percent of a field of view of the charged particle
optics.

US Pat. No. 9,750,091

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR HEAT TREATMENT OF COATINGS ON SUBSTRATES

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. An apparatus for thermal treatment of coatings on substrates for electronics applications, comprising:
a microwave applicator cavity;
a microwave power supply to deliver power to said microwave applicator cavity;
a thermally insulated microwave-transparent compartment within said microwave applicator cavity, said compartment being large
enough to contain said coated substrate while occupying no more than 50% of the total volume of said microwave applicator
cavity, wherein said microwave applicator cavity further comprises slots on opposite sides to allow said coated substrate
to pass through said microwave applicator cavity;

a means of supporting said coated substrate within said compartment;
an adjustable IR heating source contained within said compartment and facing said coated substrate so that a selected amount
of IR heating may be applied to said coated substrate; wherein the adjustable IR heating source operates independently of
said microwave power supply and further comprises a means of adjusting the distance between said coated substrate and said
IR heating source according to at least one of a process recipe or a feedback system; and,

a non-contacting temperature measurement device to measure the temperature of said coating on said coated substrate.

US Pat. No. 9,535,014

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR INSPECTING AN OBJECT

Applied Materials Israel ...

1. A system for inspecting an object, the system comprising:
an illumination module that comprises (a) a first traveling lens acousto-optic device that is configured to generate a first
traveling lens that propagates through an active region of the first traveling lens acousto-optic device; (b) a light source
that is configured to illuminate the first traveling lens to provide an input beam that propagates along a first direction;
(c) illumination optics that are configured to receive the input beam and to output, in response to the input beam, an output
beam that scans the object along a second direction;

a detection unit; and
a collection module that is configured to (a) collect a collected beam from the object, wherein the collected beam propagates
along a third direction; and (b) optically manipulate the collected beam to provide a counter-scan beam that is directed towards
the detection unit and has a focal point that is positioned at a same location regardless of the propagation of the collected
beam along the third direction.

US Pat. No. 9,324,537

CHARGED PARTICLE INSPECTION METHOD AND CHARGED PARTICLE SYSTEM

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL,...

1. A charged particle system comprising:
at least one charged particle source;
a first multi aperture plate disposed downstream of the at least one charged particle source, the first multi aperture plate
comprising a plurality of apertures;

a second multi aperture plate disposed downstream of the first multi aperture plate, the second multi aperture plate comprising
a plurality of apertures;

a controller configured to selectively apply at least first and second voltage differences between the first and second multi
aperture plates;

wherein the at least one charged particle source and the first and second multi aperture plates are arranged such that each
of a plurality of charged particle beamlets traverses an aperture pair and exits the second multi aperture plate in a direction
different from a direction at which it enters the first multi aperture plate, said aperture pair comprising one aperture of
the first multi aperture plate and one aperture of the second multi aperture plate, wherein plural aperture pairs are arranged
such that a center of the aperture in the second multi aperture plate is arranged at a distance from a straight line coinciding
with a charged particle ray path upstream of the first multi aperture plate and traversing a center of the aperture of the
first multi aperture plate.

US Pat. No. 9,297,692

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR INSPECTING A SAMPLE USING LANDING LENS

Applied Materials Israel,...

1. An evaluation system, comprising:
a support structure;
a stage coupled to the support structure, the stage configured to support a sample and move the sample in X, Y and Z dimensions;
an imaging module mechanically coupled to the support structure, the imaging module including a sensor and a sensor lens positioned
between the stage and the sensor; and

a miniature module configured to be placed upon and supported by the sample, the miniature module including a miniature objective
lens and a miniature supporting module that positions the miniature objective lens at a working distance from the sample to
gather radiation from an area of the sample when the miniature module is placed upon the sample;

wherein, when the miniature module is placed upon the sample, the miniature objective lens and the sensor lens form a collimated
beam zone in an imaging path between the sensor and the sample, the collimated beam zone mechanically separating the imaging
module and the miniature objective lens to optically isolate induced shifts between the imaging module and the miniature objective
lens, and the sensor detects the radiation gathered by the miniature objective lens to provide detection signals indicative
of the area of the sample.

US Pat. No. 9,530,199

TECHNIQUE FOR MEASURING OVERLAY BETWEEN LAYERS OF A MULTILAYER STRUCTURE

Applied Materials Israel ...

1. A method for determining overlay between layers of a multilayer structure, the method comprising:
obtaining a given image representing the multilayer structure;
obtaining expected images of layers of the multilayer structure;
generating a combined expected image of the multilayer structure as a combination of the expected images of said layers;
performing registration of the given image against the combined expected image;
providing segmentation of the given image to produce a segmented image and maps of the layers of said multilayer structure;
and

determining, by a computer processor, an overlay measurement between any two selected layers of the multilayer structure by
processing the maps of the two selected layers with the corresponding expected images of said two selected layers.

US Pat. No. 9,291,825

CALIBRATABLE BEAM SHAPING SYSTEM AND METHOD

Applied Materials Israel,...

1. A beam shaping module comprising:
a first and second optical modules accommodated in a spaced-apart relationship in an optical path of light propagating through
the beam shaping module and sequentially applying beam shaping to light incident thereon;

a first and second alignment modules respectively carrying said first and second optical modules each of the first and second
alignment modules are configured and operable for laterally positioning a respective optical module carried thereby with respect
to said optical path; and

a calibration module connectable to said first and second alignment modules and configured and operable to sequentially calibrate
respective lateral positions of said first and second optical modules and align their respective lateral positions with respect
to the optical path and enable shaping of an incoming light beam of given predetermined wave-front and lateral intensity distribution
to form an output light beam having desired wave-front and desired lateral intensity distribution.

US Pat. No. 9,263,233

CHARGED PARTICLE MULTI-BEAM INSPECTION SYSTEM AND METHOD OF OPERATING THE SAME

CARL ZEISS MICROSCOPY GMB...

1. A charged particle multi-beam inspection system, comprising:
a beam generator configured to generate a plurality of primary charged particle beams and to direct the plurality of primary
charged particle beams onto an object plane such that an array of beam spots is produced on the object plane;

an array of a first number of detection elements configured to generate detection signals upon incidence of electrons on the
detection elements;

charged particle imaging optics configured to image the array of beam spots onto the array of detection elements such that
electrons generated by the primary charged particle beams at each beam spot are directed onto a corresponding detection element;

wherein the beam generator includes a multi-aperture plate having an array of a second number of apertures;
wherein the second number is greater than the first number;
wherein the beam generator is configured such that the apertures of a group of apertures are each traversed by one primary
charged particle beam producing a beam spot which is imaged onto one of the detection elements, wherein a number of the apertures
of the group of apertures is equal to the first number;

wherein the beam generator includes a selector having plural different states, wherein, in each of the plural different states,
the apertures of a different group of apertures are each traversed by one primary charged particle beam producing a beam spot
which is imaged onto one of the detection elements, wherein a number of the apertures of the different group of apertures
is equal to the first number.

US Pat. No. 9,070,014

SYSTEM, METHOD AND COMPUTER PROGRAM PRODUCT FOR DEFECT DETECTION BASED ON MULTIPLE REFERENCES

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL,...

1. A defect detection system for computerized detection of defects in an inspected object based on processing of an inspection
image, the system comprising:
an interface for receiving inspection image data including information of an analyzed pixel and of a plurality of reference
pixels;

a memory; and
a processor operatively coupled to the interface and the memory to:
identify an analyzed pixel from a first cell of the inspection image of the inspected object;
identify a plurality of reference pixels from a plurality of cells of the inspection image of the inspected object, the plurality
of cells being other cells in the inspection image than the first cell of the inspection image;

obtain an inspected value representative of the analyzed pixel of the first cell of the inspected image, and a plurality of
reference values of the plurality of cells of the inspection image, wherein each of the plurality of reference values is representative
of a reference pixel among the plurality of reference pixels from the plurality of cells other than the first cell;

for each of the plurality of reference pixels, calculate a difference between the reference value of a respective reference
pixel and the inspected value of the analyzed pixel of the first cell;

compute a representative difference value based on a plurality of the differences; and
determine a presence of a defect in the analyzed pixel based on the representative difference value.

US Pat. No. 9,366,954

INSPECTION OF A LITHOGRAPHIC MASK THAT IS PROTECTED BY A PELLICLE

Applied Materials Israel ...

7. A method for evaluating a lithography mask, the method comprises:
directing, by electron optics, primary electrons towards a pellicle that is positioned between the electron optics and the
lithography mask;

wherein the primary electrons exhibit an energy level that allows the primary electrons to pass through the pellicle and to
impinge on the lithography mask;

detecting, by at least one detector, detected emitted electrons and generating detection signals;
wherein detected emitted electrons are backscattered electrons generated as a result of an impingement of the primary electrons
on the lithography mask;

masking, by a filter, secondary electrons from detection by the at least one detector, the secondary electrons emitted from
the pellicle due to an interaction of the primary electrons with the pellicle; and

processing, by a processor, the detection signals to provide information about the lithography mask; and
masking secondary electrons emitted from the pellicle due to an interaction of the backscattered electrons with the pellicle.

US Pat. No. 9,281,253

DETERMINATION OF GAIN FOR EDDY CURRENT SENSOR

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A computer program product, tangibly encoded on a non-transitory computer readable media, including instructions to cause
a data processing apparatus to:
cause a first polishing station to polish a substrate;
receive a first signal from a first eddy current monitoring system during polishing of the substrate at the first polishing
station;

determine an ending value of the first signal for an end of polishing of the substrate at the first polishing station;
determine a first temperature at the first polishing station;
after polishing the substrate at the first polishing station, cause a second polishing station to polish the substrate;
receive a second signal from a second eddy current monitoring system during polishing of the substrate at the second polishing
station;

determine a starting value of the second signal for a start of polishing of the substrate at the second polishing station;
determine a gain for the second polishing station based on the ending value, the starting value and the first temperature;
for at least a portion of the second signal collected during polishing of at least one substrate at the second polishing station,
calculate a third signal based on the second signal and the gain; and

determine at least one of a polishing endpoint or an adjustment to a polishing parameter for the at least one substrate based
on the third signal.

US Pat. No. 9,333,525

SUBSTRATE SPREADING DEVICE FOR VACUUM PROCESSING APPARATUS, VACUUM PROCESSING APPARATUS WITH SUBSTRATE SPREADING DEVICE AND METHOD FOR OPERATING SAME

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A processing apparatus for processing a flexible substrate, comprising:
a vacuum chamber;
a processing drum within the vacuum chamber, wherein the processing drum is configured to rotate around an axis extending
in a first direction;

a deposition or etch station adjacent the processing drum;
a heating device adjacent to the processing drum, wherein the heating device is configured for spreading the substrate in
the first direction or for maintaining a spread of the substrate in the first direction, and wherein the heating device has
a dimension in a direction parallel to a substrate transport direction of at least 20 mm; and

a substrate transport arrangement including one or more rollers, wherein the heating device is positioned between the processing
drum and a roller of the one or more rollers, wherein the roller is a first roller to touch the substrate upstream or downstream
of the processing drum.

US Pat. No. 9,302,358

CHAMBER ELEMENTS AND A METHOD FOR PLACING A CHAMBER AT A LOAD POSITION

Applied Materials Israel,...

1. Chamber elements defining a chamber to be utilized during a stage selected from a group consisting of a manufacturing stage
of a device and an inspection stage of the device, the chamber elements comprising:
a first element having a first surface;
a second element having an outer floating element that comprises a second surface about a periphery of said chamber, and further
having an inner floating element;

a first dynamic seal arranged to maintain predefined conditions in said chamber during relative movement between said first
element and said second element when said chamber is closed; and

a load mechanism, arranged to position the chamber in a load position in which the inner floating element is moved from the
outer floating element until a gap exists between an upper surface of the inner floating element and a bottom surface of the
outer floating element, the gap allowing loading of the device to the chamber or unloading of the device from the chamber,
and arranged to close the chamber, the second surface and the first surface being maintained proximate to each other when
the chamber is in the load position and when the chamber is closed;

wherein the chamber elements are operable to partially surround a first portion of a movement system, said movement system
arranged to generate said relative movement between said first element and said second element.

US Pat. No. 9,401,013

METHOD OF DESIGN-BASED DEFECT CLASSIFICATION AND SYSTEM THEREOF

Applied Materials Israel,...

1. A computer-implemented method for classifying defects detected on a production layer of a specimen, the method comprising:
obtaining input data related to the detected defects;
processing the input data using a decision algorithm associated with the production layer and specifying two or more classification
operations and a sequence thereof;

sorting processed defects in accordance with predefined bins, wherein each bin is associated with at least one classification
operation specified by the decision algorithm, wherein the at least one classification operation specified by the decision
algorithm sorts at least part of the processed defects to one or more classification bins to yield finally classified defects,
and wherein each given classification operation specified by the decision algorithm, excluding the last classification operation
in the sequence specified by the decision algorithm, sorts at least part of the processed defects to be processed by one or
more of the classification operations following the given classification operation in the sequence specified by the decision
algorithm; and

storing at least finally classified defects in a storage medium.

US Pat. No. 9,613,255

SYSTEMS, METHODS AND COMPUTER PROGRAM PRODUCTS FOR SIGNATURE DETECTION

Applied Materials Israel ...

1. A system for signature detection, comprising:
a memory; and
a processor, coupled to the memory, to:
acquire an article defect density map comprising a plurality of sections corresponding to a first resolution level which is
indicative of defect numbers for the sections, and to determine a distribution representative of the defect numbers or function
thereof;

determine a threshold in accordance with said distribution, and to identify sections, out of said plurality of sections in
the article defect density map, with defect numbers or function thereof above the threshold; and

cluster at least part of adjoining identified sections, into one or more signatures, and thus configured to detect said one
or more signatures.

US Pat. No. 9,046,475

HIGH ELECTRON ENERGY BASED OVERLAY ERROR MEASUREMENT METHODS AND SYSTEMS

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL,...

1. A method for evaluating overlay between a first three dimensional feature formed in a first layer of an inspected object
by a first lithographic process and a second feature three dimensional formed in a second layer of the inspected object buried
under the first layer and formed by a second lithographic process prior to the first lithographic process, the method comprising:
obtaining or receiving first area information representative of a characteristic of the first feature formed in the first
layer;

performing a multi-step imaging sequence to generate an image of at least a portion of the first and second features, the
multi-step imaging sequence including: (i) directing electrons of a primary electron beam to interact with the first feature
during a first imaging step; and (ii) directing electrons of the primary electron beam to interact with the second feature
during a second imaging step;

generating detection signals responsive to electrons that were scattered or reflected from each of the first and second features;
and

determining at least one spatial relationship in the X or Y dimensions between at least one edge of the first feature and
at least one edge of the second feature based on the detection signals and on the first area information representative of
the characteristic of the first feature formed in the first layer to enable differentiation between overlay errors that otherwise
cannot be distinguished based on edge detection.

US Pat. No. 9,267,739

PEDESTAL WITH MULTI-ZONE TEMPERATURE CONTROL AND MULTIPLE PURGE CAPABILITIES

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A substrate support assembly comprising:
a pedestal having a substrate support surface configured to support a substrate during a substrate processing operation; a
stem attached to the pedestal opposite the substrate support surface, the stem having a first pair of stem internal channels
configured to deliver and receive a first temperature controlled fluid to the pedestal and a second pair of stem internal
channels configured to deliver and receive a second temperature controlled fluid to the pedestal;

a first fluid channel within a first region of the pedestal to provide substantially uniform temperature control within the
first region, the first fluid channel coupled at a first inlet to receive the first temperature controlled fluid from one
of the first pair of stem internal channels, coupled at a first outlet to deliver the first temperature controlled fluid to
the other of the first pair of stem internal channels, and including a first portion and a second portion between the inlet
and the outlet, wherein the second portion is disposed vertically from and arranged in a parallel-reverse pattern with the
first portion such that fluid received at the first inlet flows outwardly through the first portion prior to flowing to an
outward section of the second portion and through the second portion inwards to the first outlet; and a second fluid channel
within a second region of the pedestal to provide substantially uniform temperature control within the second region, the
second fluid channel coupled at a second inlet to receive the second temperature controlled fluid from one of the second pair
of stem internal channels, coupled at a second outlet to deliver the second temperature controlled fluid to the other of the
second pair of stem internal channels, and including a third portion and a fourth portion between the inlet and the outlet,
wherein the third portion is disposed vertically from and arranged in a parallel-reverse pattern with the fourth portion such
that fluid received at the second inlet flows outwardly towards an outward section of the third portion prior to flowing to
an outward section of the fourth portion and through the fourth portion inwards to the second outlet.

US Pat. No. 9,235,885

SYSTEM, A METHOD AND A COMPUTER PROGRAM PRODUCT FOR PATCH-BASED DEFECT DETECTION

Applied Materials Israel ...

1. A computerized method for inspecting an article for defects based on processing of inspection images generated by collecting
signals arriving from the article, the method comprising:
obtaining a candidate pixel of the inspection image, the candidate pixel being representative of a candidate article defect
location;

in a reference image, defining a source patch associated with a reference source pixel of the reference image which corresponds
to the candidate pixel;

in the reference image, based on the source patch and a predefined patch-similarity criterion, determining a similarity level
with respect to each of a plurality of reference patches, each of which is associated with a reference image pixel;

in the inspection image, rating each inspected pixel out of multiple inspected pixels with a representative score which is
based on the similarity level of a reference patch associated with a reference pixel corresponding to the inspected pixel;

in the inspection image, selecting multiple selected inspected pixels based on the representative scores of the multiple inspected
pixels;

determining a presence of a defect in the candidate pixel based on an inspected value of the candidate pixel and inspected
values of the selected inspected pixels; and

in each image of a plurality of images which includes the reference image:
(a) defining multiple source patches of different shapes, wherein each of the multiple source patches is associated with a
reference source pixel of the image; and

(b) for each of the source patches of the image: based on the source patch and a respective patch-similarity criterion, determining
a similarity level with respect to each of a plurality of reference patches, each of which is associated with a pixel of the
image;

thereby for each of a plurality of pixels of the image, determining a plurality of similarity levels that are determined for
multiple reference patches of different shapes which are associated with the respective pixel of the image;

wherein the rating comprises rating each inspected pixel out of at least one of the multiple inspected pixels with a representative
score which is based on multiple similarity levels of reference patches associated with pixels of the plurality of images
which correspond to the inspected pixel.

US Pat. No. 9,141,730

METHOD OF GENERATING A RECIPE FOR A MANUFACTURING TOOL AND SYSTEM THEREOF

Applied Materials Israel,...

1. A computer-implemented method of creating a recipe for inspecting a specimen, the method comprising:
directly deriving, from design data library usable for manufacturing the specimen, data informative of basic elements and
hierarchical levels thereof, the derived data representing design data;

upon selecting among the basic elements one or more basic element of interest, identifying therebetween at least one basic
element that cannot be decomposed in any other basic elements among the selected basic elements, thus giving rise to at least
one basic cell characterized by respective hierarchical level;

processing the design data to extract location information and periodicity values characterizing one or more areas being,
in coordinates of a top hierarchical level, periodical with respect to the at least one basic cell, wherein extracting the
periodicity values is provided with no need in obtaining data from an image of the specimen; and

processing the location information and the extracted periodicity values to generate real-size parameters for cell-to-cell
inspection, thereby enabling automated creation of recipe for inspecting the specimen.

US Pat. No. 9,048,190

METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR PROCESSING SUBSTRATES USING AN ION SHIELD

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of processing a substrate having a first layer disposed thereon that is part of a 3D device disposed on or being
fabricated on the substrate, the method comprising:
disposing a substrate atop a substrate support disposed in a lower processing volume of a process chamber beneath an ion shield
having a bias power applied thereto, wherein the ion shield comprises a substantially flat member supported parallel to the
substrate support, and a plurality of apertures formed through the flat member, and wherein the ratio of the diameter of the
apertures to the thickness of the flat member has a range of about 10:1 to about 1:10;

flowing a process gas into an upper processing volume above the ion shield;
forming a plasma from the process gas within the upper processing volume;
treating the first layer with neutral radicals that pass through the ion shield; and
heating the substrate to a temperature of up to about 550 degrees Celsius while treating the first layer.

US Pat. No. 9,583,307

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR CONTROLLING SPECIMEN OUTGASSING

Applied Materials Israel ...

1. A system comprising:
a specimen chamber,
an exchange chamber,
a pressure monitor; and
a controller;
wherein the exchange chamber is configured to (i) receive a specimen when an exchange chamber pressure maintained within the
exchange chamber is at a first pressure level, (ii) reduce the exchange chamber pressure to be lower than a specimen vapor
pressure;

wherein the pressure monitor is configured to perform, during a measurement period, at least one measurement of the exchange
chamber pressure; and

wherein the exchange chamber is configured to stop a reduction of the exchange chamber pressure during the measurement period.

US Pat. No. 9,047,532

SYSTEM, METHOD AND COMPUTER PROGRAM PRODUCT FOR EVALUATING AN ACTUAL STRUCTURAL ELEMENT OF AN ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL,...

1. A method of evaluating a structural element of an electrical circuit fabricated in a lithography process using a simulated
contour of an element obtained by simulating a lithographic process that is responsive to a design contour corresponding to
the structural element, the method comprising:
scanning the electrical circuit with a scanning electon microscope (SEM) to obtain an SEM image of the actual structural element;
identifying a robust portion of the simulated contour;
processing the SEM image to detect a contour of the actual structural element of the electrical circuit;
determining at least one spatial relationship between the robust portion of the simulated contour and a corresponding portion
of the detected actual structural element contour;

aligning, with a processor, the detected actual structural element contour with the simulated contour using the at least one
spatial relationship to provide an aligned actual structural element contour; and

comparing the aligned actual structural element contour with reference information.

US Pat. No. 9,355,443

SYSTEM, A METHOD AND A COMPUTER PROGRAM PRODUCT FOR CAD-BASED REGISTRATION

Applied Materials Israel,...

1. A system for inspecting a wafer using a reference wafer area, the system comprising:
a first input interface to obtain: calibration information including respective reference displacements of multiple frames
comprised in the reference wafer area, and a target database including, for each out of at least part of multiple targets
in each of at least part of the multiple frames, location information determined in design data coordinates with respect to
a frame in which a given target is included, wherein an inspected wafer area and the reference wafer area are characterized
by substantially similar content;

a second input interface to obtain a scanned image of the inspected wafer area;
a correlator to:
calculate, for each out of the at least part of multiple targets, a run-time target displacement in the design data coordinates;
and

determine, for each of at least part of multiple run-time frames, a run-time frame displacement in the inspected wafer area,
the determining based on run-time target displacements calculated for multiple targets in a respective run-time frame; and

a processor to:
generate, in accordance with determined run-time frame displacements, inspection data for the inspected wafer area, thereby
positioning inspection data in the design data coordinates independently for each frame; and

modify, in accordance with run-time frame displacements, a comparison scheme usable for defects detection, wherein modifying
the comparison scheme comprises at least one of modifying defect detection instructions pertaining to different regions within
the inspected area and modifying definitions of regions to which such instructions apply.

US Pat. No. 9,576,809

ETCH SUPPRESSION WITH GERMANIUM

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of etching silicon, the method comprising:
flowing a fluorine-containing precursor and an hydrogen-containing precursor into a remote plasma region fluidly coupled to
a substrate processing region via through-holes in a showerhead;

forming a remote plasma in the remote plasma region to produce plasma effluents from the fluorine-containing precursor and
the hydrogen-containing precursor; and

etching the silicon from a substrate disposed within the substrate processing region by flowing the plasma effluents into
the substrate processing region through the through-holes in the showerhead, wherein the substrate is a patterned substrate
which further comprises an exposed region of silicon germanium and the silicon is etched faster than the exposed region of
silicon germanium.

US Pat. No. 9,289,875

FEED FORWARD AND FEED-BACK TECHNIQUES FOR IN-SITU PROCESS CONTROL

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

13. A computer program product for controlling chemical mechanical polishing, the computer program product tangible embodied
in a non-transitory computer readable medium and comprising instructions to:
during polishing of a first substrate at a first platen using a first set of polishing parameters and prior to a first time,
receive a first sequence of values for a first zone of the first substrate from an in-situ monitoring system;

fit a first function to a portion of the first sequence of values obtained prior to the first time to generate a first fitted
function;

during polishing of the first substrate at the first platen and prior to the first time, receive a second sequence of values
for a different second zone of the first substrate from the in-situ monitoring system;

fit a second function to a portion of the second sequence of values obtained prior to the first time to generate a second
fitted function;

at the first time, adjust at least one polishing parameter of the first set of polishing parameters based on the first fitted
function and the second fitted function so as to reduce an expected difference between the first zone and the second zone
at an expected endpoint time;

calculate an adjusted polishing parameter based on the first fitted function and the second fitted function;
cause a second substrate to be polished on the first platen using the adjusted polishing parameter;
after the first time, continue to receive the first sequence of values with the in-situ monitoring system and fit the first
function to a portion of the first sequence of values at least including values obtained after the first time to generate
a third fitted function; and

determine when to halt polishing of the first substrate at the first platen based on the third fitted function.

US Pat. No. 9,285,595

MULTIPLE BEAM COMBINER FOR LASER PROCESSING APPARATUS

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A beam combiner for combining a plurality of coherent beams into a single beam, comprising:
a plurality of coherent radiation sources;
a collimating optic positioned to receive a plurality of coherent beams from the plurality of coherent radiation sources,
each coherent beam being received at the same angle of incidence with respect to an optical axis of the collimating optic;

a collecting optic positioned to direct the plurality of coherent beams to the collimating optic; and
a mode scrambler.

US Pat. No. 9,070,180

METHOD, SYSTEM, AND COMPUTER PROGRAM PRODUCT FOR DETECTION OF DEFECTS BASED ON MULTIPLE REFERENCES

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL,...

1. A defect detection system for computerized detection of defects in an inspected object based on processing of an inspection
image of the inspected object, the system comprising:
a memory; and
a processor operatively coupled to the memory to:
identify an analyzed pixel from a first cell of the inspection image of the inspected object;
identify a plurality of reference pixels from a plurality of cells of the inspection image of the inspected object, the plurality
of cells being other cells in the inspection image than the first cell of the inspection image;

obtain an inspected noise-indicative value representative of the analyzed pixel of the first cell of the inspected image,
and a plurality of reference noise-indicative values representative of the plurality of reference pixels from the plurality
of cells other than the first cell of the inspection image;

compute a representative noise-indicative value based on a plurality of noise-indicative values which comprises the inspected
noise-indicative value and the plurality of reference noise-indicative values;

calculate a defect-indicative value based on an inspected value representative of the analyzed pixel; and
determine a presence of a defect in the analyzed pixel based on the representative noise-indicative value and the defect-indicative
value.

US Pat. No. 9,299,135

DETECTION OF WEAK POINTS OF A MASK

Applied Materials Israel,...

1. An inspection system, comprising:
an image obtaining module that is arranged to obtain an aerial image of an area of a mask using a lithography tool, wherein
the aerial image represents an expected image to be formed on a photoresist of an object during a lithography process that
involves illuminating the area of the mask;

wherein the photoresist has a printability threshold, and elements of the expected image that have an intensity that is located
at one side of the printability threshold result in a development of the photoresist and elements of the expected image that
have an intensity that is located at a second side of the printability threshold do not result in a development of the photoresist;

wherein the lithography process exhibits a process window of allowable lithography process conditions; wherein different allowable
lithography process conditions introduce allowable changes at pixels of the expected image, the allowable changes do not exceed
an intensity threshold; and

an image processor that is arranged to search for at least one weak point at the area of the mask that is a local extremum
point of the aerial image and is spaced apart from the printability threshold by a distance that does not exceed the intensity
threshold.

US Pat. No. 9,558,548

METHOD, SYSTEM, AND COMPUTER PROGRAM PRODUCT FOR DETECTION OF DEFECTS BASED ON MULTIPLE REFERENCES

Applied Materials Israel ...

1. A system comprising:
a memory; and
a processor device operatively coupled to the memory to:
obtain an inspected noise-indicative value representative of an analyzed pixel of an inspected image of an inspected object,
and a reference noise-indicative value representative for each of a plurality of reference pixels of the inspected image;

compute a representative noise-indicative value based on the inspected noise-indicative value and a plurality of reference
noise-indicative values;

calculate a defect-indicative value based on an inspected value representative of the analyzed pixel; and
determine a presence of a defect in the analyzed pixel based on the representative noise-indicative value and the defect-indicative
value.

US Pat. No. 9,653,254

PARTICLE-OPTICAL SYSTEMS AND ARRANGEMENTS AND PARTICLE-OPTICAL COMPONENTS FOR SUCH SYSTEMS AND ARRANGEMENTS

CARL ZEISS MICROSCOPY GMB...

1. A charged-particle multi-beamlet system comprising:
a source of charged particles;
a multi-aperture plate disposed in a charged particle beam path of the system downstream of the source, wherein the multi-aperture
plate comprises plural apertures forming a first multi-aperture array with apertures arranged at positions of a basic pattern;

a multi-aperture selector plate having a main face and plural apertures forming plural multi-aperture arrays comprising at
least a second and a third multi-aperture array, wherein apertures of the second and the third multi-aperture array are arranged
at positions of the basic pattern;

a carrier, wherein the multi-aperture selector plate is mounted on the carrier;
an actuator configured to move the carrier such that the multi-aperture selector plate is disposed in the charged particle
beam path of the system downstream of the source and can be displaced in a direction parallel to its main face;

wherein the source, the first multi-aperture plate and the carrier are arranged such that a first number of charged particle
beamlets is generated at a position downstream of both the first multi-aperture plate and the multi-aperture selector plate;
and

wherein the apertures of the multi-aperture selector plate have diameters, and wherein the diameters of the apertures of the
third multi-aperture array are greater than the diameters of the apertures of the second multi-aperture array.

US Pat. No. 9,405,203

PIXEL BLENDING FOR MULTIPLE CHARGED-PARTICLE BEAM LITHOGRAPHY

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method for processing image data in a lithography manufacturing process, comprising:
providing a parallel imaging writer system, wherein the parallel imaging writer system includes a plurality of multiple charged-particle
beam (MCB) imaging units arranged in one or more parallel arrays;

receiving a mask data pattern to be written to a substrate;
processing the mask data pattern to form a plurality of partitioned mask data patterns corresponding to different areas of
the substrate;

identifying one or more objects in an area of the substrate to be imaged by corresponding MCB imaging units; and
performing multiple exposures to image the one or more objects in the area of the substrate by controlling the plurality of
MCB imaging units to write the plurality of partitioned mask data patterns in parallel, wherein performing multiple exposures
to image the one or more objects further comprises:

selectively exposing a first set of pixel locations using a first dose having a first electron energy level; and
selectively exposing a second set of pixel locations using a second dose having a second electron energy level wherein
the first set of pixel locations are exposed in a first scan direction;
the second set of pixel locations are exposed in a second scan direction;
wherein the first scan direction is different from the second scan direction; and
wherein the first electron energy level is different from the second electron energy level.

US Pat. No. 9,299,538

RADIAL WAVEGUIDE SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR POST-MATCH CONTROL OF MICROWAVES

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A system that provides post-match control of microwaves in a radial waveguide, comprising:
the radial waveguide;
a signal generator that provides a first microwave signal and a second microwave signal, the first and second microwave signals
having a common frequency, wherein the signal generator adjusts a phase offset between the first and second microwave signals
in response to a digital correction signal;

a first electronics set and a second electronics set, wherein each of the first and second electronics sets:
amplifies a respective one of the first and second microwave signals to provide respective first and second amplified microwave
signals,

transmits the respective one of the first and second amplified microwave signals into the radial waveguide, and
matches an impedance of the respective one of the first and second amplified microwave signals to an impedance presented by
the radial waveguide;

at least two monitoring antennas disposed within the radial waveguide; and
a signal controller that:
receives analog signals from the at least two monitoring antennas;
determines the digital correction signal based at least on the analog signals from the at least two monitoring antennas; and
transmits the digital correction signal to the signal generator.

US Pat. No. 9,287,124

METHOD OF ETCHING A BORON DOPED CARBON HARDMASK

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method for etching a boron doped amorphous carbon hardmask layer, comprising:
flowing a process gas comprising Cl2, CH4, SF6, and O2 into a processing chamber;

forming a plasma in the processing chamber from the process gas;
etching the boron doped amorphous carbon hardmask layer in the presence of the plasma; and
forming a polymer coating on sidewalls of a feature etched into the boron doped amorphous carbon hardmask layer with the process
gas.

US Pat. No. 9,165,812

COOLED TAPE FRAME LIFT AND LOW CONTACT SHADOW RING FOR PLASMA HEAT ISOLATION

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A shadow ring assembly for a plasma processing chamber, the shadow ring assembly comprising:
a shadow ring having an annular body and an inner opening for accommodating an etch cathode; and
a tape frame lift assembly disposed below the shadow ring, the tape frame lift assembly comprising:
a capture single ring having an upper surface for supporting a tape frame of a substrate support and for cooling the tape
frame, wherein the capture single ring is an annular ring with an inner opening for accommodating the etch cathode, wherein
during processing both the capture single ring and the shadow ring contact the tape frame of the substrate support, and wherein
the upper surface of the capture single ring of the tape frame assembly comprises a plurality of channels for flowing a cooling
fluid, the plurality of channels comprising one or more radial channels and one or more circumferential channels;

one or more capture lift arms for moving the capture single ring to and from transfer and processing positions; and
one or more captured lift plate portions, one captured lift plate portion corresponding to one capture lift arm, the one or
more captured lift plate portions for coupling the one or more capture lift arms to the capture single ring.

US Pat. No. 9,412,619

METHOD OF OUTGASSING A MASK MATERIAL DEPOSITED OVER A WORKPIECE IN A PROCESS TOOL

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method for outgassing a workpiece, comprising:
transferring a workpiece having a mask to an outgassing station having one or more heating elements;
heating the workpiece to an outgassing temperature that causes moisture from the mask layer to be outgassed; and
transferring the workpiece to a plasma processing chamber after the mask layer has been outgassed, wherein the outgassing
station is within a transfer chamber that is coupled to the plasma processing chamber.

US Pat. No. 9,117,868

BIPOLAR ELECTROSTATIC CHUCK FOR DICING TAPE THERMAL MANAGEMENT DURING PLASMA DICING

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A plasma etch chamber, comprising:
a plasma source disposed in an upper region of the plasma etch chamber;
a bipolar electrostatic chuck disposed below the plasma source, the bipolar electrostatic chuck sized to support a substrate
carrier having a tape and tape frame, wherein the bipolar electrostatic chuck is configured to control a backside temperature
of the substrate carrier prior to and during plasma processing, wherein the bipolar electrostatic chuck has one or more cooling
channels disposed therein for transporting a cooling liquid to reduce the backside temperature of the substrate carrier; and

a shadow ring disposed between the plasma source and the bipolar electrostatic chuck, the shadow ring for covering the tape
frame and an outermost portion of a substrate processing region of the substrate carrier, wherein the shadow ring has one
or more cooling channels disposed therein for transporting a cooling liquid to reduce a front side temperature of the substrate
carrier during plasma processing, and wherein the one or more cooling channels of the bipolar electrostatic chuck are in series
with the one or more cooling channels of the shadow ring.

US Pat. No. 9,805,911

INSPECTION OF REGIONS OF INTEREST USING AN ELECTRON BEAM SYSTEM

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

1. A system for scanning a plurality of regions of interest of a substrate using one or more charged particle beams, the system
comprising:
an irradiation module having charged particle optics;
a stage for introducing a relative movement between the substrate and the charged particle optics;
an imaging module for collecting electrons emanating from the substrate in response to multiple scans of a same region of
interest by the one or more charged particle beams, wherein at least two scans of the multiple scans differ from each other
by at least one image acquisition condition; and

wherein the charged particle optics is arranged to perform countermovements of the charged particle beam during the scanning
of the regions of interest thereby countering the relative movement introduced between the substrate and the charged particle
optics during the scanning of the regions of interest, and wherein image acquisition occurs during introduction of the relative
movement.

US Pat. No. 9,607,233

CLASSIFIER READINESS AND MAINTENANCE IN AUTOMATIC DEFECT CLASSIFICATION

Applied Materials Israel ...

1. A method for classification, comprising:
receiving, by a computer system, inspection data associated with a plurality of defects found in one or more samples;
receiving, by the computer system, one or more benchmark classification results comprising a class for each of the plurality
of defects;

evaluating, by the computer system, a readiness criterion for one or more of the classes based on the one or more benchmark
classification results, wherein the readiness criterion for a given class is indicative of a suitability of the inspection
data for training an automatic defect classifier for the given class, wherein the suitability of the inspection data for training
the automatic defect classifier for the given class is indicated when the readiness criterion is satisfied, wherein the readiness
criterion for the given class is satisfied when: an entire number of defects that have been classified in the benchmark classification
results into borders of the given class is above a threshold number, and a ratio of a number of defects that have been classified
into the borders of the given class with no overlapping with a classification associated with borders from another class to
the entire number of defects that have been classified into the borders of the given class matches a predefined criterion;

selecting a portion of the inspection data corresponding to one or more defects associated with one or more classes that satisfy
the readiness criterion; and

training one or more automatic classifiers for the one or more classes that satisfy the readiness criterion using the selected
portion of the inspection data.

US Pat. No. 9,281,244

HYBRID WAFER DICING APPROACH USING AN ADAPTIVE OPTICS-CONTROLLED LASER SCRIBING PROCESS AND PLASMA ETCH PROCESS

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of dicing a semiconductor wafer comprising a plurality of integrated circuits, the method comprising:
forming a mask above the semiconductor wafer, the mask comprising a layer covering and protecting the integrated circuits;
patterning the mask with an adaptive optics-controlled laser scribing process to provide a patterned mask with gaps, exposing
regions of the semiconductor wafer between the integrated circuits;

subsequent to patterning the mask with the adaptive optics-controlled laser scribing process, cleaning the exposed regions
of the semiconductor wafer with a plasma process; and

subsequent to cleaning the exposed regions of the semiconductor wafer with the plasma process, plasma etching the semiconductor
wafer through the gaps in the patterned mask to singulate the integrated circuits.

US Pat. No. 9,177,783

SUBSTITUTED SILACYCLOPROPANE PRECURSORS AND THEIR USE FOR THE DEPOSITION OF SILICON-CONTAINING FILMS

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of depositing a silicon-containing film, the method comprising:
a. exposing a substrate surface to a silicon precursor having a structure represented by:

 wherein each R, R1 and R2 are independently a negatively charged group or a saturated or unsaturated, linear or branched or cyclic group with 1-8 atoms
selected from carbon and nitrogen, R3-6 are each independently a saturated or unsaturated, linear or branched or cyclic group with 1-8 atoms selected from carbon
and nitrogen and n ranges from 0 to 6; and

b. exposing the substrate surface to a co-reactant to provide a silicon-containing film.

US Pat. No. 9,673,024

PARTICLE-OPTICAL SYSTEMS AND ARRANGEMENTS AND PARTICLE-OPTICAL COMPONENTS FOR SUCH SYSTEMS AND ARRANGEMENTS

Applied Materials Israel,...

1. A particle-optical arrangement, comprising:
at least one charged-particle source for generating at least one beam of charged particles;
at least one multi-aperture plate having a plurality of apertures formed in the multi-aperture plate, wherein the plurality
of apertures being arranged in a first pattern, wherein a plurality of charged-particle beamlets is formed from the beam of
charged particles downstream of the multi-aperture aperture plate;

a first focusing lens providing a focusing field in a first region between the charged-particle source and the multi-aperture
plate; and

a decelerating electrode providing a decelerating field in a second region in between the first focusing lens and the multi-aperture
plate, such that a kinetic energy of the charged particles passing the first focusing lens is higher than a kinetic energy
of the charged particles passing the multi-aperture plate.

US Pat. No. 9,291,275

REMOVABLE ISOLATION VALVE SHIELD INSERT ASSEMBLY

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. An isolation valve comprising:
a valve housing having an aperture and a closure member movably disposed therein;
a first shield insert assembly coupled to a first side of the housing, the first shield insert assembly having a first shield
support coupled to the housing and a first shield insert removably coupled to an aperture of the first shield support, the
first shield insert having an elongated aperture;

a second shield insert assembly coupled to a second side of the housing, the second shield insert assembly having a second
shield support coupled to the housing and a second shield insert removably coupled to an aperture of the second shield support,
the second shield insert having an elongated aperture aligning with the elongated aperture of the first shield insert, the
second shield insert sized to fit through the aperture of the first shield support; and

the closure member disposed in the housing and movable between positions closing and clear of the elongated apertures.

US Pat. No. 9,159,624

VACUUM LAMINATION OF POLYMERIC DRY FILMS FOR WAFER DICING USING HYBRID LASER SCRIBING AND PLASMA ETCH APPROACH

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of dicing a semiconductor wafer comprising a plurality of integrated circuits, the method comprising:
placing the semiconductor wafer on a substrate carrier;
subsequent to placing the semiconductor wafer on a substrate carrier, laminating a polymeric mask layer onto a front side
of the semiconductor wafer and onto an exposed portion of the substrate carrier by dry film vacuum lamination, the polymeric
mask layer covering and protecting the integrated circuits;

patterning the polymeric mask layer with a laser scribing process to provide gaps in the polymeric mask layer, the gaps exposing
regions of the semiconductor wafer between the integrated circuits;

plasma etching the semiconductor wafer through the gaps in the polymeric mask layer to singulate the integrated circuits;
and

subsequent to plasma etching the semiconductor wafer, removing the polymeric mask layer.

US Pat. No. 9,673,022

REVIEW OF SUSPECTED DEFECTS USING ONE OR MORE REFERENCE DIES

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

1. A system for reviewing a wafer, the system comprising:
a memory unit configured to store information about locations of a set of suspected defects that are located at multiple dice
of the wafer;

electron optics configured to obtain images of reference elements located within a first reference die of the wafer;
a processor configured to:
compare a first sub-set of suspected defects to a first sub-set of reference elements to provide a first evaluation result;
and

select, in response to the first evaluation result, a source of a second sub-set of reference elements;
wherein the electron optics are further configured to obtain images of a second sub-set of reference elements that are located
within a second reference die of the wafer when it is determined that the second reference die is the source of the second
sub-set of reference elements; and

wherein the processor is further configured to compare a second sub-set of suspected defects to the second sub-set of reference
elements to provide a second evaluation result.

US Pat. No. 9,664,907

OPTICAL ELEMENT FOR SPATIAL BEAM SHAPING

Applied Materials Israel ...

1. An optical detection unit for use in an imaging system, the optical detection unit comprising two detector arrays each
in the form of an array of spaced-apart light sensitive regions; and a spatial beam shaper structure accommodated in an optical
path of light propagating towards the detector arrays, wherein
the detector arrays are arranged such that light sensitive regions of one detector array are aligned with spaces between the
light sensitive regions of the other detector array with certain overlap regions between corresponding light sensitive regions
of the two detector arrays,

the spatial beam shaper structure comprises a light collecting surface having a pattern in the form of multiple surface regions
comprising regions of at least two different optical properties arranged in an alternating fashion and is configured for affecting
light impinging thereon to provide a substantially smooth light profile of at least one optical property, and an interface
region between each two locally adjacent regions of the different optical properties having said at least two different optical
properties to provide substantially smooth transition of said different optical properties within the interface region; and

said spatial beam shaper is configured for directing first light components, collected by the regions of one optical property,
to the light sensitive regions of one detector array, and directing second light components, collected by the regions of the
other optical property, to the light sensitive regions of the other detector array, said interface region being configured
as an image of the overlap region in the detector arrays.

US Pat. No. 9,805,909

METHOD FOR DETECTING VOIDS IN INTERCONNECTS AND AN INSPECTION SYSTEM

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

1. A method for detecting voids in an interconnect, the method comprises:
generating or receiving information about a group of points of an upper surface of an object, where points of the group of
points are spaced apart from each other and the group of points belong to a group of interaction volumes that comprise a group
of interconnects, wherein the interaction volumes of the group of interaction volumes are ideally identical to each other;

irradiating the group of points with a charged particle beam thereby causing the group of interaction volumes to interact
with charged particles of the charged particle beam;

detecting particles resulting from the irradiating of the group of points; wherein the particles are at least one out of (a)
X-ray photons emitted from the group of interaction volumes and (b) backscattered electrons emitted from the group of interaction
volumes;

generating detection signals that are indicative of the particles; and
processing the detection signals to provide an estimate about a presence of at least one void within at least one of the interconnects
of the group of interconnects.

US Pat. No. 9,299,581

METHODS OF DRY STRIPPING BORON-CARBON FILMS

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

6. A method for stripping a film comprising boron and carbon from a substrate, comprising:
positioning the substrate having the film thereon in a chamber;
exposing the film to a plasma comprising oxygen ions or radicals and hydrogen ions or radicals, wherein the plasma is formed
from a compound comprising HxOy, where x and y are integers or non-integers greater than 1;

reacting the hydrogen radicals or ions with the boron to form a volatile boron species and reacting the oxygen radicals or
ions with the carbon to form a volatile carbon species by contacting the film with the plasma; and

exhausting the volatile boron species and the volatile carbon species from the chamber.

US Pat. No. 9,784,689

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR INSPECTING AN OBJECT WITH AN ARRAY OF BEAMS

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

1. A system for inspecting an object, the system comprising:
a traveling lens acousto-optic device that is configured to generate a sequence of traveling lenses that propagates through
an active region of the traveling lens acousto-optic device;

an illumination unit that is configured to illuminate the sequence of traveling lenses to provide a sequence of input beams;
a first beam splitter that is configured to split the sequence of input beams to an intermediate array of intermediate beams,
the intermediate array comprises multiple sequences of intermediate beams, wherein the intermediate beams in each sequence
of intermediate beams are spaced apart from each other, and the multiple sequences of intermediate beams are spaced apart
from each other;

a masking unit having regions for blocking some of the intermediate beams in each sequence of intermediate beams and apertures
for allowing some of the intermediate beams in each sequence to pass through, each aperture being shaped and sized to be wider
than a width of an intermediate beam to allow the intermediate beam to follow a predefined scan pattern and propagate from
one side of the aperture to another side of the aperture without being blocked, the masking unit configured to mask first
beams of the intermediate array and unmask output beams of the intermediate array in an alternating manner according to a
masking pattern, so that for each sequence of intermediate beams, the masking pattern does not mask adjacent intermediate
beams in the sequence or unmask adjacent output beams in the sequence, and wherein for adjacent sequences of the intermediate
beams, the masking pattern does not mask adjacent intermediate beams in the adjacent sequences or unmask adjacent output beams
in the adjacent sequences;

a plurality of detectors; and
optics that are configured to receive the output beams, direct the output beams towards multiple areas of the object, receive
collected beams from the multiple areas of the object, and direct the collected beams towards the plurality of detectors;

wherein each detector in the plurality of detectors is associated with an area of the multiple areas.

US Pat. No. 9,690,105

CALIBRATABLE BEAM SHAPING SYSTEM AND METHOD

Applied Materials Israel ...

1. A method calibrating a beam shaping module including a first and a second optical modules sequentially interacting with
a light beam; the method comprising carrying out the following steps:
i. measuring a first intensity distribution of said light beam after its interaction with said first optical module, at a
certain optical distance downstream from said first optical module, and utilizing said first intensity distribution to determine
a lateral misalignment of said first optical module, thereby enabling calibration of a lateral position of the first optical
module; and

ii. when said first optical module is in said lateral aligned position, measuring a second intensity distribution of said
light beam at a certain location downstream from said second optical module, and utilizing said second intensity distribution
to determine a lateral misalignment of said second optical module, thereby enabling calibration of a lateral position of the
second optical module.

US Pat. No. 9,299,580

HIGH ASPECT RATIO PLASMA ETCH FOR 3D NAND SEMICONDUCTOR APPLICATIONS

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of etching a material layer disposed on a substrate using synchronized RF pulses comprising:
providing an etching gas mixture into a processing chamber having a film stack disposed on a substrate;
synchronously pulsing a RF source power and a RF bias power into the etching gas mixture, wherein an energy ratio of the RF
source power to the RF bias power is about less than 0.5; and

etching the film stack disposed on the substrate.

US Pat. No. 9,673,023

SYSTEM FOR DISCHARGING AN AREA THAT IS SCANNED BY AN ELECTRON BEAM

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

1. A system for imaging an object, the system comprising:
electron optics configured to scan a first area of the object with at least one electron beam; wherein the electron optics
comprise a first electrode;

a metal mirror coupled to the first electrode; and
light optics configured to illuminate at least the metal mirror with a beam of light, the metal mirror arranged to direct
the beam of light towards the object, thereby causing an emission of electrons between the first electrode and the object.

US Pat. No. 9,817,208

INTEGRATED CHUCK

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

1. A chuck interface, comprising:
a mirror;
an inner surface that is shaped and sized to match a portion of a sidewall of a chuck; wherein the inner surface is mechanically
coupled to the mirror; and

at least one interfacing element for assisting in attaching the chuck to the mirror; and
wherein a difference between a thermal expansion coefficient of the chuck and a thermal expansion coefficient of the mirror
does not exceed 0.5 micron*Kelvin per Meter.

US Pat. No. 9,881,805

SILICON SELECTIVE REMOVAL

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of etching a patterned substrate, the method comprising:
placing the patterned substrate in a substrate processing region of a substrate processing chamber, wherein the patterned
substrate comprises an exposed silicon portion and a second exposed portion and wherein the second exposed portion comprises
at least one element other than silicon;

producing plasma effluents by flowing a fluorine-containing precursor into a remote plasma region fluidly coupled to the substrate
processing region while forming a remote plasma in the remote plasma region;

flowing a hydrogen-containing precursor into the substrate processing region without first passing the hydrogen-containing
precursor through the remote plasma region; and

etching the exposed silicon portion by flowing the plasma effluents into the substrate processing region, wherein the exposed
silicon portion etches at a first etch rate and the second exposed portion etches at a second etch rate which is lower than
the first etch rate.

US Pat. No. 9,702,983

MULTI-SPOT COLLECTION OPTICS

Applied Materials Israel,...

1. An apparatus for detecting optical radiation emitted from an array of spots on an object resulting from multiple excitation
beams incident on the object, the apparatus comprising:
a plurality of light guides having respective input ends and output ends, with the input ends ordered in a geometrical arrangement
corresponding to the array of spots;

relay optics, configured to collect and focus the optical radiation from the array of spots on the object onto the input ends
such that each input end receives the optical radiation from a corresponding one of the spots;

multiple detectors, each detector coupled to receive the optical radiation from a respective output end of a respective one
of the light guides; and

an alignment unit configured to monitor changes in pitch and rotation angle of the array of spots resulting from changes in
energy of the multiple excitation beams, wherein the changes in rotation angle occur about an axis normal to the surface of
the object, wherein the alignment unit is further configured to, in response to detecting the changes, generate signals indicative
of an alignment of the plurality of light guides with the array of spots.

US Pat. No. 9,595,091

DEFECT CLASSIFICATION USING TOPOGRAPHICAL ATTRIBUTES

Applied Materials Israel,...

1. A method for classification, comprising:
receiving, by a processing device, a three-dimensional (3D) map of an area of a semiconductor wafer containing a location
of interest;

generating a 3D shape corresponding to the location of interest based on a fitting of the 3D shape using a polynomial equation
to the location of interest, and wherein the 3D shape that is fitted using the polynomial equation expresses a plane component
that is used to measure a slope of a topographical surface of the 3D shape in a first direction and another slope of the topographical
surface of the 3D shape in a second direction;

computing, by the processing device, a value for an attribute of the location of interest based on the topographical surface
of the 3D shape that is fitted to the location of interest; and

classifying a defect corresponding to the location of interest on the semiconductor wafer based on the value that is computed
based on the topographical surface of the 3D shape that is fitted to the location of interest.

US Pat. No. 9,406,486

ELECTRON BEAM PLASMA SOURCE WITH SEGMENTED SUPPRESSION ELECTRODE FOR UNIFORM PLASMA GENERATION

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A plasma reactor for processing a workpiece, comprising:
a workpiece processing chamber;
an electron beam source chamber comprising an electron beam source enclosure having a beam opening communicating with said
workpiece processing chamber;

an extraction electrode between said beam opening and said workpiece processing chamber and an acceleration electrode between
said extraction electrode and said workpiece processing chamber and insulated from said extraction electrode;

a suppression electrode between said extraction electrode and said acceleration electrode, said suppression electrode comprising
plural segments insulated from one another, and respective bias sources coupled to respective ones of said plural segments.

US Pat. No. 9,257,265

METHODS FOR REDUCING ETCH NONUNIFORMITY IN THE PRESENCE OF A WEAK MAGNETIC FIELD IN AN INDUCTIVELY COUPLED PLASMA REACTOR

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of processing a substrate in a process chamber having a plurality of electromagnets disposed about the process
chamber to form a magnetic field within the process chamber at least at a substrate level, the method comprising:
determining a first direction of an external magnetic field present within the process chamber while providing no current
to the plurality of electromagnets;

sequentially providing a range of currents to the plurality of electromagnets to create a plurality of magnetic fields within
the process chamber, each having a second direction;

determining a first magnetic field having a desired magnitude in the second direction of the plurality of magnetic fields
over the range of currents; and

processing a substrate in the process chamber using a plasma while statically providing the first magnetic field at the desired
magnitude.

US Pat. No. 9,835,563

EVALUATION SYSTEM AND A METHOD FOR EVALUATING A SUBSTRATE

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

1. An evaluation system, comprising:
a solid immersion lens;
a plurality of spatial sensors, each spatial sensor in the plurality of spatial sensors being arranged to generate spatial
relationship information indicative of a spatial relationship between a respective location of a plurality of locations on
the solid immersion lens and a substrate, wherein the plurality of spatial sensors comprises multiple atomic force microscopes
(AFMs);

at least one location correction element;
a controller arranged to receive the spatial relationship information and to send correction signals to the at least one location
correction element for introducing a desired spatial relationship between the plurality of locations on the solid immersion
lens and the substrate; and

a supporting structure coupled to the spatial sensors, the solid immersion lens and the at least one location correction element.

US Pat. No. 9,715,724

REGISTRATION OF CAD DATA WITH SEM IMAGES

Applied Materials Israel ...

1. A method for image processing, comprising:
providing a microscopic image of a structure fabricated on a substrate and computer-aided design (CAD) data used in fabricating
the structure;

generating, by a computer, a first directionality map for the microscopic image, the first directionality map comprising,
for a matrix of points in the microscopic image, respective directionality vectors corresponding to magnitudes and directions
of edges at the points irrespective of a sign of the magnitudes;

producing a simulated image based on the CAD data;
generating, by the computer, a second directionality map based on the simulated image;
generating, based on the microscopic image, a first height map indicative of a three-dimensional (3D) shape of the structure;
generating a second height map of the structure based on the CAD data; and
registering the microscopic image with the CAD data based on a combination of a first comparison of the first and second directionality
maps with a second comparison of the first and second height maps.

US Pat. No. 9,378,923

THREE-DIMENSIONAL MAPPING USING SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPE IMAGES

Applied Materials Israel,...

8. A system comprising:
a memory; and
a processing device operatively coupled with the memory to:
receive information corresponding to a detection of electrons emitted from an irradiated surface of a sample comprising a
plurality of types of materials;

compute calibration factors to compensate for a variation in a yield of the electrons emitted among the plurality of types
of materials of the sample; and

calculate a three-dimensional (3D) model of the surface of the sample based on the received information corresponding to the
detection of electrons emitted from the irradiated surface of the sample and the calibration factors to compensate for the
variation in the yield of the electrons emitted among the plurality of types of materials of the sample.

US Pat. No. 9,378,928

APPARATUS FOR TREATING A GAS IN A CONDUIT

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. An apparatus for treating a gas in a conduit of a substrate processing system, comprising:
a dielectric tube to be coupled to a conduit of a substrate processing system to allow a flow of gases through the dielectric
tube, wherein the dielectric tube has a conical sidewall; and

an RF coil wound about an outer surface of the conical sidewall of the dielectric tube, the RF coil having a first end to
provide an RF input to the RF coil, the first end of the RF coil disposed proximate a first end of the dielectric tube and
a second end disposed proximate a second end of the dielectric tube.

US Pat. No. 9,283,653

DYNAMICALLY TRACKING SPECTRUM FEATURES FOR ENDPOINT DETECTION

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

11. A chemical mechanical polishing system, comprising:
a platen to hold a polishing pad;
a carrier head to hold a substrate in contact with the polishing pad;
an in-situ optical monitoring system configured to measure a sequence of spectra of light from the substrate while the substrate
is being polished; and

a controller configured to
receive an identification of a selected spectral feature, a wavelength range having a width, and a characteristic of the selected
spectral feature to monitor during polishing,

receive the sequence of spectra of light from the in-situ optical monitoring system,
generate a sequence of values of the characteristic of the selected spectral feature from the sequence of spectra, wherein
the controller is configured to generate the sequence of values by, for at least some spectra from the sequence of spectra,
generating a modified wavelength range based on a position of the spectral feature within a previous wavelength range used
for a previous spectrum in the sequence of spectra, searching the modified wavelength range for the selected spectral feature,
and determining a value of the characteristic of the selected spectral feature, and

determine at least one of a polishing endpoint or an adjustment for a polishing rate based on the sequence of values.

US Pat. No. 9,219,044

PATTERNED PHOTORESIST TO ATTACH A CARRIER WAFER TO A SILICON DEVICE WAFER

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method comprising:
patterning a silicon wafer for a plurality of contact bumps by applying a photoresist over a front side surface of the wafer
and removing the photoresist in locations at which the contact bumps are to be formed;

forming the contact bumps in the locations at which the contact bumps are to be formed after the photoresist is removed in
the locations;

attaching a temporary carrier directly to the surface of the photoresist on the front side of the wafer over the wafer after
forming the contact bumps;

processing the back side of the wafer opposite the contact bumps while handling the wafer using the temporary carrier;
removing the temporary carrier; and
removing the photoresist on the front side of the wafer that was not removed during patterning the silicon wafer with the
contact bumps after removing the temporary carrier.

US Pat. No. 9,080,576

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CONTROLLING A PROCESSING SYSTEM

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of controlling a processing system, comprising:
determining a first baseline pump idle pressure in a process chamber while a valve separating the process chamber from an
exhaust line coupled to a vacuum pump is open;

determining a first baseline pump idle speed, wherein the first baseline pump idle speed is equal to a lowest pump speed of
the vacuum pump sufficient to maintain the first baseline pump idle pressure;

operating a vacuum pump coupled to a process chamber at a first baseline pump idle speed selected to maintain the process
chamber at a pressure equal to a first baseline pump idle pressure;

monitoring the pressure in the process chamber while operating the vacuum pump at the first baseline pump idle speed;
upon monitoring a pressure in the process chamber that is different from the first baseline pump idle pressure, adjusting
the pump speed of the vacuum pump to a second baseline pump idle speed to maintain the process chamber at the first baseline
pump idle pressure, wherein the second baseline pump idle speed of the vacuum pump maintains the exhaust line between the
valve and the vacuum pump at a pressure equal to a second baseline pump idle pressure when the valve separating the process
chamber and the exhaust line is closed; and

determining whether the second pump idle speed is within a predetermined tolerance of the first baseline pump idle speed.

US Pat. No. 9,767,537

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR INSPECTION USING PROGRAMMABLE FILTERS

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

1. An inspection system, comprising:
a memory module that is adapted to store: (a) first noise power spectrum information about noises associated with an acquisition
of an image of a first area of an inspected object, (b) first signal power spectrum information about first area signals that
are associated with the acquisition of the image of the first area, (c) second noise power spectrum information about noises
associated with an acquisition of an image of a second area of the inspected object, wherein the second area differs from
the first area, and (d) second signal power spectrum information about second area signals that are associated with the acquisition
of the image of the second area;

a configurable acquisition channel;
a controller that is adapted to: (a) determine, in response to a first frequency wise relationship between the first noise
power spectrum and the first signal power spectrum, a first configuration of the configurable acquisition channel; and (b)
determine, in response to a second frequency wise relationship between the second noise power spectrum and the second signal
power spectrum, a second configuration of the configurable acquisition channel; and

wherein the configurable acquisition channel is adapted to: (a) acquire the image of the first area of the inspected object
while being configured according to the first configuration, and (b) acquire the image of the second area while being configured
according to the second configuration.

US Pat. No. 9,096,926

ADJUSTABLE PROCESS SPACING, CENTERING, AND IMPROVED GAS CONDUCTANCE

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A cover ring, comprising:
an annular wedge, comprising:
an inclined top surface having an inner periphery and an outer periphery;
a footing extending downward from the inclined top surface; and
a projecting brim about the inner periphery of the inclined top surface;
an inner cylindrical band extending upward and downward from the annular wedge wherein a majority of the inner cylindrical
band is disposed above the annular wedge;

a bridge coupled to an upper end of the inner cylindrical band; and
an outer cylindrical band having an upper end coupled to the bridge and extending downward from the bridge, wherein the outer
cylindrical band has a height smaller than a height of the inner cylindrical band, wherein the inner cylindrical band and
the outer cylindrical band are substantially parallel, and wherein a bottom surface of the bridge is disposed above the annular
wedge.

US Pat. No. 9,279,604

COMPACT AMPOULE THERMAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. An apparatus for thermal management of a precursor for use in substrate processing, comprising:
a body having an opening sized to receive a storage container having a liquid or solid precursor disposed therein, the body
fabricated from thermally conductive material, wherein the body comprises two separable parts, and wherein the opening is
at least partially formed in each of the two separable parts;

one or more thermoelectric devices coupled to the body proximate the opening;
a heat sink coupled to the one or more thermoelectric devices; and
a fan disposed proximate to a back side of the heat sink to provide a flow of air to the heat sink.

US Pat. No. 9,224,582

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR DEPOSITING ELECTRICALLY CONDUCTIVE PASTING MATERIAL

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A pasting disk for use in a plasma processing chamber, comprising:
a pasting disk configured to be disposed in a plasma processing chamber while performing an interior chamber component pasting
process in the plasma processing chamber comprising:

a disk-shaped base comprising a high resistivity material and having a top surface; and
a pasting material layer having a continuous surface continuously disposed on the top surface, wherein a ratio of a diameter
of the pasting material layer to a diameter of the disk-shaped base ranges from about 0.4 to about 0.7, and wherein the base
and pasting material layer together form a pasting disk sized for transporting to and from the plasma processing chamber with
a substrate handling robot.

US Pat. No. 9,129,945

FORMATION OF LINER AND BARRIER FOR TUNGSTEN AS GATE ELECTRODE AND AS CONTACT PLUG TO REDUCE RESISTANCE AND ENHANCE DEVICE PERFORMANCE

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC., ...

1. A method of forming a film stack on a substrate, comprising:
depositing a tungsten nitride layer over the substrate;
subjecting the tungsten nitride layer to a nitridation treatment using active nitrogen species from a remote plasma;
depositing a tungsten-containing layer on a surface of the tungsten nitride layer after the nitridation treatment, wherein
the tungsten-containing layer is a tungsten rich tungsten nitride WN(Wrich) layer; and

depositing a tungsten bulk layer directly on a surface of the tungsten-containing layer.

US Pat. No. 9,818,577

MULTI MODE SYSTEM WITH A DISPERSION X-RAY DETECTOR

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

1. A method for evaluating a specimen, comprising:
positioning an energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) detector at a first position, the EDX detector including an EDX detector amplifier
and an EDX detector conduit, the EDX detector conduit surrounding an EDX detector conductor that is coupled between an x-ray
sensitive element of the EDX detector and the EDX detector amplifier, wherein the EDX detector conduit comprises an upper
horizontal portion, a lower horizontal portion, and a sloped intermediate portion that is coupled between the upper horizontal
portion and the lower horizontal portion, and with the EDX detector at the first position:

scanning a flat surface of the specimen by a charged particle beam that exits from a charged particle beam optics tip and
propagates through an aperture located at a tip of the EDX detector; and

detecting, by the x-ray sensitive element of the EDX detector, x-ray photons emitted from the flat surface as a result of
scanning the flat surface with the charged particle beam;

thereafter, positioning the EDX detector at a second position in which a distance between the tip of the EDX detector and
a plane of the flat surface exceeds a distance between the plane of the flat surface and the charged particle beam optics
tip; and

wherein a projection of the tip of the EDX detector on the plane of the flat surface virtually falls on the flat surface when
the EDX detector is positioned at the first position and when the EDX detector is positioned at the second position.

US Pat. No. 9,805,964

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR MULTI-LOCATION ZAPPING

APPLIED MATERIALS ISRAEL ...

1. A system for zapping a wafer, the system comprising:
a pulse generation unit that is configured to generate (a) first zapping pulses for causing a breakdown in a first location
of a backside insulating layer of a wafer, and (b) second zapping pulses for causing a breakdown in a second location of the
backside insulating layer of the wafer different than the first location;

a first conductive interface that is configured to convey the first zapping pulses to the first location, while contacting
the first location;

a second conductive interface that is configured to convey the second zapping pulses to the second location, while contacting
the second location; and

a controller that is configured to control at least one out of an intensity of the zapping pulses, duration of the zapping
pulses and an interval between adjacent zapping pulses.

US Pat. No. 9,490,186

LIMITING ADJUSTMENT OF POLISHING RATES DURING SUBSTRATE POLISHING

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A computer program product residing on a computer readable medium, the computer program product comprising instructions
for causing a processor to:
receive from an in-situ monitoring system a sequence of characterizing values for a region of a substrate during polishing
of the substrate, the characterizing values depending on a thickness of a layer undergoing polishing in the region of the
substrate;

for each adjustment time of a plurality of adjustment times during polishing at which a polishing rate is adjusted prior to
a polishing endpoint time at which polishing is halted, determine a polishing rate adjustment for the region of the substrate
based on the sequence of characterizing values, wherein the plurality of adjustment times include a first adjustment time
and an immediately subsequent second adjustment time separated by a first time period, wherein the first time period spans
a plurality of scans of a sensor of the in-situ monitoring system of the substrate, wherein for each of at least some respective
adjustment times of the plurality of adjustment times and including the first adjustment time determining the polishing rate
adjustment comprises calculating a desired polishing rate to bring a projected characterizing value to a desired value at
a projected time, wherein for each respective adjustment time the projected time is a point in time that occurs at a second
time period after the respective adjustment time, wherein the polishing rate adjustment is calculated from the first polishing
rate and the desired polishing rate, and wherein the second time period is greater than the first time period between the
first adjustment time and the second adjustment time and the projected time is before the polishing endpoint time; and

adjust a polishing parameter to polish the substrate at a second polishing rate, the second polishing rate being the first
polishing rate as adjusted by the polishing rate adjustment.

US Pat. No. 9,299,582

SELECTIVE ETCH FOR METAL-CONTAINING MATERIALS

Applied Materials, Inc., ...

1. A method of etching aluminum oxide, the method comprising:
flowing a gas-phase oxygen-hydrogen-containing precursor into the substrate processing region, wherein the gas-phase oxygen-and-hydrogen-containing
precursor comprises an OH group;

flowing a halogen-containing precursor into a remote plasma region fluidly coupled to the substrate processing region while
forming a remote plasma in the remote plasma region to produce plasma effluents, wherein the halogen-containing precursor
comprises one or more precursors selected from the group consisting of atomic chlorine, atomic bromine, molecular bromine
(Br2), molecular chlorine (Cl2), hydrogen chloride (HCl), hydrogen bromide (HBr), boron tribromide (BBr3), and boron trichloride (BCl3); and

etching the aluminum oxide from a substrate by flowing the plasma effluents into the substrate processing region through through-holes
in a showerhead, wherein the showerhead is disposed between the remote plasma region and the substrate processing chamber.