US Pat. No. 9,130,002

DEVICE FOR HOLDING WAFER SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. A device for holding a wafer-shaped article, comprising clamping elements adapted to contact a peripheral edge of a wafer-shaped
article, said clamping elements being biased toward a closed position by an actuating mechanism that engages said clamping
elements, and at least one damping mechanism configured to contact said actuating mechanism as said clamping elements are
moved toward said closed position, thereby to control a force with which said clamping elements impact the wafer edge when
moving to the closed position, and wherein the clamping elements are a series of pins that are conjointly movable from an
outer open position in which the pins do not contact a wafer-shaped article to said closed position.

US Pat. No. 9,147,593

APPARATUS FOR LIQUID TREATMENT OF WAFER SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. Apparatus for processing wafer-shaped articles, comprising a chuck adapted to hold a wafer-shaped article of a predetermined
diameter during a processing operation to be performed on the wafer-shaped article, said chuck comprising a chuck body having
an outer surface that faces a wafer-shaped article when positioned on the chuck, wherein said outer surface comprises a first
electrically conductive material and wherein said chuck body further comprises a first conductive pathway for grounding said
first conductive material.

US Pat. No. 9,287,228

METHOD FOR ETCHING SEMICONDUCTOR STRUCTURES AND ETCHING COMPOSITION FOR USE IN SUCH A METHOD

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. A method of etching a semiconductor structure, comprising:
contacting an under bump metallization (UBM) with an etching composition;
wherein the UBM includes an underlying layer comprising titanium and an overlying layer comprising a second metal; and
wherein the etching composition is a liquid comprising at least 0.1 wt % hydrofluoric acid and at least 0.1 wt % phosphoric
acid.

US Pat. No. 9,190,310

GROUNDED CHUCK

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. Device for processing wafer-shaped articles, comprising a chuck adapted to maintain a wafer-shaped article in a predetermined
orientation during a processing operation to be performed on the article, said chuck comprising a chuck body and a plurality
of pin assemblies adapted and positioned relative to the chuck body so as to support a wafer-shaped article to be processed,
wherein at least one of said pin assemblies is formed from a chemically inert material and includes an electrically conductive
inlay at one end, said inlay being received in a recess formed in said pin assembly and being adapted to physically and electrically
engage an electrically conductive needle bearing.

US Pat. No. 9,653,328

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR SURFACE TREATMENT USING INORGANIC ACID AND OZONE

Lam Research AG, Villach...

1. An apparatus for treating a surface of an article, comprising:
a chamber for receiving an article to be treated;
a dispenser for dispensing a treatment liquid including inorganic acid onto the article;
a tank for storing the treatment liquid;
an ozone generator in communication with a supply line entering or exiting the tank to mix ozone with the treatment liquid;
a cooler to cool the treatment liquid to a subambient temperature in a range of 3° C. to less than 20° C.; and
a heater for heating a surface of an article to be treated to a temperature at least 30° C. greater than a temperature of
the treatment liquid when applied to the article.

US Pat. No. 9,316,443

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR LIQUID TREATMENT OF WAFER SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. Apparatus for treating a wafer-shaped article, comprising:
a spin chuck for holding a wafer-shaped article in a predetermined orientation relative to an upper surface of the spin chuck;
and

a heating assembly comprising a housing containing at least one infrared heating element, said heating assembly being mounted
above said upper surface of said spin chuck and adjacent a wafer-shaped article when mounted on the spin chuck, wherein said
housing comprises a gas inlet connected to a gas supply, and at least one outlet for discharging gas from said housing;

wherein said heating assembly is mounted underlying a wafer-shaped article when mounted on the spin chuck, the heating assembly
being stationary in relation to rotation of said spin chuck.

US Pat. No. 9,633,890

DEVICE FOR TREATING SURFACES OF WAFER-SHAPED ARTICLES AND GRIPPING PIN FOR USE IN THE DEVICE

Lam Research AG, Villach...

1. A device for processing a wafer, the device comprising:
a rotary chuck; and
a series of pins disposed on the rotary chuck and adapted to hold the wafer on the rotary chuck,
wherein
each of the pins comprises
a body that is cylindrically-shaped, and
a gripping portion formed integrally with the body and formed of a ceramic material,
the gripping portion comprises a groove, a first section and a second section,
the groove is configured to receive an edge of the wafer,
the first section is at a distal most end of the pin and includes a first portion of the groove,
the second section is at a distal most end of the body and includes a second portion of the groove,
the gripping portion comprises a first surface having a common generatrix with a second surface of the body,
the second surface is cylindrically-shaped,
the groove comprises a first sloped region extending from a radially innermost portion of the groove to the second surface
of the body, and

each of the pins further includes a second sloped region distinct from the first sloped region and extending from the second
surface of the body to the first section of the gripping portion and the first sloped region.

US Pat. No. 9,616,451

APPARATUS FOR PROCESSING WAFER-SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. An apparatus for processing a wafer-shaped article, comprising:
a holder for holding a wafer-shaped article in a predetermined orientation;
a dispense arm with a dispense nozzle for dispensing a fluid onto a wafer-shaped article held by the holder, the dispense
arm being movable between at least one dispensing position overlying a wafer-shaped article held by the holder and a standby
position; and

a blow-off block adjacent to the dispense nozzle when the dispense arm is in the standby position, the blow-off block comprising
at least one gas discharge opening directed toward an outer surface of the dispense nozzle when the dispense arm is in the
standby position, so as to blow off any accumulated liquid droplets from an outer surface of the dispense nozzle;

wherein said blow-off block is U-shaped and comprises a lateral opening that faces a central region of said holder so that
said dispense nozzle can be received within said blow-off block by being moved laterally into said standby position without
vertically moving said dispense nozzle.

US Pat. No. 9,305,770

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR LIQUID TREATMENT OF WAFER-SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. A process for treating a wafer-shaped article, comprising:
positioning a wafer-shaped article on a spin chuck in a predetermined orientation wherein a lower surface of the wafer-shaped
article is downwardly-facing and spaced a predetermined distance from an upper surface of the spin chuck thereby defining
a gap between the lower surface of the wafer-shaped article and the upper surface of the spin chuck;

dispensing an etching liquid onto the lower surface of the wafer-shaped article while rotating the wafer-shaped article, from
a nozzle positioned beneath a central region of the wafer-shaped article in a nozzle head that occupies a central opening
of the spin chuck; and

dispensing a gas at least to an annular region of the gap defined by the lower surface of the wafer-shaped article and the
upper surface of the spin chuck, from at least one gas nozzle that rotates with the spin chuck and is positioned radially
outwardly of the central opening of the spin chuck;

wherein the steps of dispensing an etching liquid and dispensing a gas are at least partly performed concurrently.

US Pat. No. 9,597,703

SLIT NOZZLE

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. A slit nozzle for dispensing liquid onto a surface of a wafer, comprising:
a nozzle body including a discharge opening whose length is in a range from 10-100 mm and whose width is in a range from 0.5-5
mm;

a dispensing chamber positioned upstream of the discharge opening and extending to the discharge opening; and
a liquid distribution chamber positioned upstream of the dispensing chamber,
wherein the dispensing chamber and the liquid distribution chamber are in fluid communication with one another and are separated
by a reduction section of the nozzle body whose cross-sectional area is at least 20% less than a cross-sectional area of each
of the discharge opening and the liquid distribution chamber.

US Pat. No. 9,589,818

APPARATUS FOR LIQUID TREATMENT OF WAFER SHAPED ARTICLES AND LIQUID CONTROL RING FOR USE IN SAME

Lam Research AG, Villach...

1. Apparatus for liquid treatment of a wafer-shaped article, comprising:
a rotary chuck configured to hold a wafer-shaped article of a predetermined diameter such that a surface of the wafer-shaped
article facing the rotary chuck is spaced from an upper surface of the rotary chuck;

a dispenser to dispense a treatment liquid onto the wafer-shaped article; and
a continuous ring mounted on the rotary chuck, the continuous ring comprising a first continuous upper surface overlapping
an outer peripheral edge of the wafer-shaped article when positioned on the rotary chuck and a second continuous upper surface
positioned radially inwardly of the first continuous upper surface,

wherein the second continuous upper surface is elevated relative to the first continuous upper surface, to define an annular
gap between the second continuous upper surface and the wafer-shaped article when positioned on the rotary chuck that is smaller
than a distance between the first continuous upper surface and the wafer-shaped article when positioned on the rotary chuck,
and

wherein the continuous ring comprises a lower surface that is spaced from and overlies a body of the rotary chuck, thereby
to define an annular gas channel between the lower surface of the continuous ring and the body of the rotary chuck.

US Pat. No. 9,484,229

DEVICE AND METHOD FOR PROCESSING WAFER-SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. Device for processing wafer-shaped articles, comprising:
a spin chuck for holding and rotating a wafer-shaped article about a rotation axis;
at least one dispenser for dispensing a liquid onto at least one surface of a wafer-shaped article;
a liquid collector surrounding said spin chuck for collecting liquid that is spun off a wafer-shaped article during rotation,
with at least two collector levels for separately collecting liquids in different collector levels;

at least one lifting device for moving said spin chuck relative to said liquid collector substantially along said rotation
axis;

at least two exhaust levels for collecting gas from an interior of the liquid collector, wherein each of said exhaust levels
is in communication with an exhaust through a conduit;

wherein each of said exhaust levels further comprises at least one opening communicating with an ambient exterior of said
liquid collector and a door that closes and opens said at least one opening;

wherein each said door on one of said at least two exhaust levels can be opened and closed separately from each said door
on another of said at least two exhaust levels.

US Pat. No. 9,355,883

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR LIQUID TREATMENT OF WAFER SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

11. A process for treating a wafer-shaped article, comprising:
positioning a wafer-shaped article on a spin chuck in a predetermined orientation wherein a first surface of the wafer-shaped
article faces downwardly and is spaced a predetermined distance from an upper surface of the spin chuck, wherein a heating
assembly is positioned between the wafer-shaped article and the upper surface of the spin chuck, and wherein the wafer-shaped
article is held by a peripheral series of gripping elements that extend upwardly from the upper surface of the spin chuck
to uppermost gripping portions positioned above the heating assembly;

dispensing a treatment fluid onto a second surface of the wafer-shaped article that faces upwardly, from at least one upper
nozzle while rotating the wafer-shaped article in the spin chuck; and

heating the wafer-shaped article with the heating assembly during said dispensing, wherein the heating assembly is maintained
stationary relative to rotation of the spin chuck and the wafer-shaped article.

US Pat. No. 9,090,854

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PROCESSING WAFER-SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. A method for treating a surface of an article, comprising:
rotating an article on a spin chuck about a rotation axis, wherein the article comprises a surface generally perpendicular
to said rotation axis that comprises structures including a material that comprises at least one metal selected from the group
consisting of cobalt, nickel, copper and platinum;

dispensing a rinse liquid onto said surface, said rinse liquid consisting essentially of an aqueous solution of a base of
the formula


in which R1, R2 and R3 are each independently selected from hydrogen and C1-4 alkyl, said base having a boiling point less than 100° C., said rinse liquid having a pH in the range of 8 to 10.

US Pat. No. 9,418,883

DEVICE FOR HOLDING WAFER SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. A device for holding a wafer-shaped article, comprising an annular chuck base body having a plurality of movable contact
elements for securing a wafer-shaped article to said annular chuck base body, and a gear mechanism driving the contact elements
in unison between a first position in which they contact a wafer-shaped article positioned on the device, and a second non-contact
position, wherein the annular chuck base body comprises a housing formed from a material that is resistant to attack by strong
inorganic acids, and wherein said annular chuck base body comprises a reinforcing ring fitted within said housing and formed
from a material whose coefficient of linear thermal expansion is substantially less than that of said housing material, said
reinforcing ring surrounding an inner edge of said housing.

US Pat. No. 9,136,155

METHOD AND DEVICE FOR PROCESSING WAFER SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. A method for treating a wafer-shaped article, comprising:
rotating a wafer shaped article on a spin chuck;
said spin chuck comprising a plurality of pins positioned at a periphery of the wafer shaped article, said plurality of pins
each comprising a head portion which, in a service position of said pins, extends radially inwardly of and above the wafer
shaped article;

supplying gas onto a surface of the wafer shaped article facing the spin chuck at a flow rate sufficient to displace the wafer
shaped article upwardly into contact with the head portions of the pins, whereby the wafer shaped article is clamped against
the head portions of the pins;

wherein the pins contact the wafer shaped article only on upwardly oriented wafer surfaces and wherein the wafer shaped article
is supported from below solely by said gas.

US Pat. No. 9,657,397

APPARATUS FOR TREATING SURFACES OF WAFER-SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. Apparatus for processing wafer-shaped articles, comprising:
a closed process chamber, said closed process chamber comprising a housing providing a gas-tight enclosure;
a rotary chuck located within said closed process chamber, said rotary chuck being adapted to hold a wafer shaped article
thereon; and

a lid secured to an upper part of said closed process chamber, said lid comprising an upper plate formed from a composite
fiber-reinforced material and a lower plate that faces into said process chamber and is formed from a chemically-resistant
plastic, wherein

said lower plate underlies a central region of said upper plate, and
an upper surface of said lower plate is adjacent to and in contact with a lower surface of said upper plate in said central
region of said upper plate.

US Pat. No. 9,597,701

APPARATUS FOR TREATING SURFACES OF WAFER-SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. Apparatus for processing wafer-shaped articles, comprising:
a closed process chamber, said closed process chamber comprising a housing providing a gas-tight enclosure;
a rotary chuck located within said closed process chamber, said rotary chuck being adapted to hold a wafer shaped article
thereon; and

a lid secured to an upper part of said closed process chamber, said lid comprising
an annular groove formed in an outer perimeter of the lid,
a ring fitted in the groove to form an annular chamber, wherein the annular chamber is defined by the groove and the ring,
openings communicating with said annular chamber and opening on a surface of the lid facing outwardly of the closed process
chamber, said openings configured to receive respective gas nozzles, and

gas outlets communicating with said groove and extending downward from said groove to open on a surface of the lid facing
inwardly of said closed process chamber, wherein said gas outlets traverse a lower wall of said lid and open into said process
chamber beneath said lid to provide fluid communication between said process chamber and said annular chamber defined by said
groove and said ring.

US Pat. No. 9,536,770

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR LIQUID TREATMENT OF WAFER SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. Apparatus for processing wafer-shaped articles, comprising a rotary chuck adapted to hold a wafer shaped article thereon,
the rotary chuck comprising a peripheral series of pins configured to contact an edge region of a wafer-shaped article, each
of said pins projecting upwardly from the rotary chuck, and each of said pins being individually secured to said rotary chuck
by a respective connecting mechanism, wherein any selected one of said pins is adapted to be removed from the rotary chuck
by disconnecting its corresponding connecting mechanism without removing any structure of the rotary chuck that surrounds
any others of said pins;
wherein each said connecting mechanism comprises an insert having an opening through which an upper part of a corresponding
pin is adapted to pass, each said pin comprising a base portion that is wider than the opening in its corresponding insert,
each said insert being received in a corresponding recess formed in an upper surface of said rotary chuck and being fastened
to said rotary chuck with the base portion of a corresponding pin captive within said rotary chuck beneath said insert.

US Pat. No. 9,146,007

APPARATUS FOR LIQUID TREATMENT OF WORK PIECES AND FLOW CONTROL SYSTEM FOR USE IN SAME

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. Apparatus for treating a work piece, comprising:
a holder configured to hold the work piece in a predetermined orientation;
a liquid dispenser positioned relative to said holder so as to dispense a treatment liquid onto a surface of the work piece
when positioned on said holder; and

a flow control system that controls a flow rate of treatment liquid dispensed from said liquid dispenser, said flow control
system comprising a flow meter that measures a flow rate of liquid being supplied to said liquid dispenser, a controller that
receives signals indicative of a flow rate measured by said flow meter, a pressure regulator that regulates pressure of the
liquid supply downstream of the flow meter based on control signals from said controller, and a plurality of liquid supply
paths downstream of the pressure regulator and upstream of an outlet of said liquid dispenser, each of said plurality of liquid
supply paths being equipped with a respective shutoff valve, wherein the controller is configured to select an appropriate
one of shutoff valves with all of the remaining shutoff valves being kept closed to provide a respectively different pressure
drop to liquid when passing through a respective one of said plurality of liquid supply paths.

US Pat. No. 10,068,792

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR LIQUID TREATMENT OF WAFER SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

10. A pin assembly for use in an apparatus for processing wafer-shaped articles, comprising:a projecting portion having a gripping element at a distal end thereof; and
a proximal portion comprising a drive mechanism at a proximal end thereof by which said pin assembly can be rotated, wherein said projecting portion and said proximal portion comprise interengageable connectors configured to allow said projecting and proximal portions to be interconnected by pressing said projecting portion inwardly against said proximal portion and to be disconnected by pulling said projecting portion outwardly relative to said proximal portion,
wherein said interengageable connector of said projecting portion includes a pair of flanges that define a recess between said pair of flanges, wherein said recess is configured to receive said interengageable connector of said proximal portion, and wherein said interengageable connector of said proximal portion is elongated in a direction complementary to the recess and perpendicular to a vertical axis of said pin such that rotation of the projecting portion relative to the proximal portion is prevented.

US Pat. No. 9,960,057

DEVICE FOR MEASURING THE DISTRIBUTION OR IMPULSE OF A SERIES OF DROPLETS

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. An apparatus for wet treatment of wafer-shaped articles, comprising:a spin chuck adapted to hold a wafer-shaped article in a predetermined orientation;
a droplet generator configured to dispense liquid through at least one orifice as a spray of monodisperse liquid droplets, the droplet generator being movable between a rest position and a use range of motion;
a piezoelectric sensor positioned beneath the droplet generator in said rest position, such that each of a plurality of said droplets dispensed from the droplet generator in the rest position contacts said piezoelectric sensor in succession, thereby to generate an electrical signal; and
logic circuitry configured to calculate one or more frequencies and/or amplitudes for one or more predetermined frequencies from said electrical signal.

US Pat. No. 9,662,686

ULTRASONIC CLEANING METHOD AND APPARATUS

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. A device for treating a surface of an article with a fluid, comprising:
a holder configured to position an article in a predetermined orientation;
a source of ultrasonic or megasonic energy positioned so as to vibrate a fluid medium adjacent the article; and
a generator of treatment fluid configured to discharge adjacent said source of ultrasonic or megasonic energy a treatment
fluid after decreasing a pressure of said treatment fluid, such that gas previously dissolved in said liquid comes out of
solution in the form of bubbles;

wherein said source of ultrasonic or megasonic energy is configured to generate an interference pattern in said treatment
fluid comprising regions of pressure amplitude minima and maxima at an interface of said treatment fluid and said article;
and

wherein said generator of treatment fluid is further configured to inject said treatment fluid parallel to the regions of
pressure amplitude minima and maxima or at an angle thereto of up to 60 degrees.

US Pat. No. 9,355,836

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR LIQUID TREATMENT OF WAFER SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

8. Method for treating a wafer-shaped article, comprising:
positioning and rotating a wafer-shaped article on a spin chuck;
degasifying an organic liquid to reduce a dissolved gas content of the organic liquid to less than 20% of a saturation concentration
at a pressure of 1 bar, and to produce a degasified organic liquid;

dispensing the degasified organic liquid in liquid form onto a surface of the wafer-shaped article rotating on the spin chuck;
and

dispensing a second liquid, wherein the second liquid contains more than 90 wt.-% water, onto the surface of the wafer-shaped
article adjacent to the organic liquid, thereby to directly displace the second liquid with the organic liquid.

US Pat. No. 9,968,970

SPIN CHUCK WITH IN SITU CLEANING CAPABILITY

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. An apparatus for processing a wafer-shaped article, the apparatus comprising:a process chamber;
a spin chuck positioned inside the process chamber, wherein the spin chuck is configured to hold the wafer-shaped article at a predetermined process position;
a cover covering the spin chuck and affixed to the spin chuck, wherein the cover rotates with the spin chuck and has a central opening;
a stationary nozzle assembly that extends into the process chamber, such that a discharge end of the stationary nozzle assembly passes through the central opening of the cover, wherein the stationary nozzle assembly comprises a rinse nozzle, and wherein the rinse nozzle is configured to direct a rinse liquid radially outwardly of the stationary nozzle assembly onto a downwardly-facing surface of the cover; and
an annular lid disposed around the stationary nozzle assembly and configured to close off the process chamber, wherein the annular lid is stationary with the stationary nozzle assembly,
wherein
the cover extends radially outward from an area between a portion of the annular lid and a portion of the stationary nozzle assembly to the spin chuck,
an annular center portion of the cover splits gas received from an annular nozzle of the stationary nozzle assembly, where a first portion of the gas is provided to a second area between the annular lid and the cover and a second portion of the gas is provided to a third area, and
the third area is on an opposite side of the cover as the second area.

US Pat. No. 9,698,029

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PROCESSING WAFER-SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. Device for processing wafer-shaped articles, comprising:
a spin chuck for holding and rotating a wafer-shaped article about a rotation axis;
at least one dispenser for dispensing a liquid onto at least one surface of a wafer-shaped article; and
a collector surrounding the spin chuck for collecting process liquids, with at least two collector levels for separately collecting
liquids in different collector levels;

wherein each of the at least two collector levels comprises an exhaust gas collecting chamber and an exhaust gas conduit;
wherein at least one of the exhaust gas conduits comprises a valve mechanism to selectively (i) fluidly connect a chamber
side of the at least one of the exhaust gas conduits to an exhaust unit side of the at least one of the exhaust gas conduits,
and (ii) restrict the chamber side of the at least one of the exhaust gas conduits and fluidly connect an ambient environment
to the exhaust unit side of the at least one of the exhaust gas conduits; and

wherein one of the exhaust gas conduits comprises a bypass valve operable to route exhaust gas from the one of the exhaust
pas conduits to another one of the exhaust gas conduits.

US Pat. No. 9,500,405

CONVECTIVE WAFER HEATING BY IMPINGEMENT WITH HOT GAS

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. Apparatus for processing wafer-shaped articles, comprising a rotary chuck adapted to hold a wafer shaped article of a predetermined
diameter in a predetermined orientation, and a heater comprising a plurality of gas nozzles directed toward a surface of a
wafer shaped article when held by said chuck, said heater comprising a gas inlet and at least one heating element for heating
gas to be discharged through said plurality of gas nozzles, said heater being configured to heat a wafer shaped article principally
by convective heat transfer from heated gas discharged through said plurality of gas nozzles; wherein said plurality of nozzles
are positioned from 0.5-10 mm from a wafer shaped article when held by said chuck.

US Pat. No. 9,245,777

APPARATUS FOR LIQUID TREATMENT OF WAFER SHAPED ARTICLES AND HEATING SYSTEM FOR USE IN SUCH APPARATUS

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. Apparatus for treating a wafer-shaped article, comprising:
a spin chuck for holding a wafer-shaped article in a predetermined orientation wherein a lower surface of the wafer-shaped
article is spaced a predetermined distance from an upper surface of the spin chuck;

at least one infrared heater mounted above said upper surface of said spin chuck and underlying a wafer-shaped article when
mounted on the spin chuck, said at least one infrared heater being stationary in relation to rotation of said spin chuck;
and

a plate that is transparent to infrared radiation emitted by said at least one infrared heater, said plate being mounted for
rotation with said spin chuck and being positioned between said at least one infrared heater and a wafer-shaped article when
positioned on said spin chuck.

US Pat. No. 9,044,794

ULTRASONIC CLEANING FLUID, METHOD AND APPARATUS

LAM Research AG, Villach...

1. A device for treating a surface of an article with a fluid, comprising:
a holder configured to position an article in a predetermined orientation;
a source of ultrasonic or megasonic energy positioned so as to vibrate a fluid medium adjacent the article at a selected wave-length;
and

a generator of treatment fluid configured to receive a liquid at a first pressure having dissolved gas therein and to discharge
adjacent said source of ultrasonic or megasonic energy a treatment fluid at a second pressure lower than said first pressure,
such that gas previously dissolved in said liquid comes out of solution in the form of bubbles;

wherein said generator of treatment fluid is separate from said source of ultrasonic or megasonic energy and comprises a plurality
of injection orifices positioned a predetermined distance from said source of ultrasonic or megasonic energy, wherein the
injection orifices have a diameter from about 50 ?m to about 500 ?m.

US Pat. No. 10,043,686

APPARATUS FOR TREATING SURFACES OF WAFER-SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. An apparatus for processing a wafer, the apparatus comprising:a closed process chamber comprising a housing, wherein the housing provides a gas-tight enclosure;
a rotary chuck located within the closed process chamber and adapted to hold the wafer; and
a lid secured to an upper part of the closed process chamber, wherein the lid comprises
at least one plate comprising a chemically-resistant plastic and having a lower surface facing inward and at the wafer, wherein the at least one plate comprises an upper plate and a lower plate, and
at least one heating element for heating the lower surface of the at least one plate to a predetermined temperature, wherein the at least one heating element is disposed between the upper plate and the lower plate, and
wherein the rotary chuck is disposed adjacent the lid and between the lid and the wafer.

US Pat. No. 9,799,539

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR LIQUID TREATMENT OF WAFER SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. Apparatus for treating a wafer-shaped article, comprising:
a spin chuck for holding and rotating a wafer-shaped article;
a liquid dispenser connected to a supply of a process liquid and positioned or positionable so as to dispense the process
liquid onto a surface of a wafer-shaped article when positioned on the spin chuck;

wherein the liquid dispenser comprises a check valve positioned so as to prevent process liquid from dripping out of a discharge
nozzle of the liquid dispenser, a valve seat of said check valve being at a distance in a range of 20 mm to 100 mm from an
outlet opening of said discharge nozzle, wherein said check valve and said valve seat comprise a chemically inert plastic
material; and

a control valve for turning on and off the supply of process liquid to the liquid dispenser, the control valve being positioned
upstream of the check valve.

US Pat. No. 10,167,552

SPIN CHUCK WITH ROTATING GAS SHOWERHEAD

LAM RESEARCH AG, (AT)

1. An apparatus for processing wafer-shaped articles, comprising:a closed process chamber;
a spin chuck for holding a wafer-shaped article in a predetermined orientation, said spin chuck including a plurality of downwardly-depending gripping pins arranged in a circular series and disposed within the closed process chamber,
a rotating shower head included within an upper dispense unit for supplying process gas to a first surface of a wafer-shaped article when held by said plurality of downwardly-depending gripping pins, said rotating shower head comprising an outlet plate having a plurality of openings formed in each of a central and a peripheral region thereof,
a process gas feed for supplying process gas to a gas distribution chamber defined within the closed process chamber, said gas distribution chamber being in fluid communication with said plurality of openings formed in said rotating shower head, and
a blocking gas feed for supplying blocking gas to a gap defined between an inner surface of said closed process chamber and an outer periphery of said spin chuck to confine process gas within said gas distribution chamber,
wherein each of said plurality of downwardly-depending gripping pins is configured to retain said wafer-shaped article such that a second surface of said wafer-shaped article is oriented with respect to a lower dispense unit.

US Pat. No. 9,748,120

APPARATUS FOR LIQUID TREATMENT OF DISC-SHAPED ARTICLES AND HEATING SYSTEM FOR USE IN SUCH APPARATUS

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. Apparatus for treating a disc-shaped article, comprising:
a spin chuck for holding the disc-shaped article in a predetermined orientation relative to an upper surface of the spin chuck;
and

at least three individually-controllable heating elements mounted above the upper surface of the spin chuck and below the
disc-shaped article when mounted on the spin chuck, wherein the at least three individually-controllable heating elements
are mounted in a stationary manner with respect to rotation of the spin chuck,

wherein the at least three individually-controllable heating elements are arranged in a nested configuration so as to define
individually-controllable inner, middle and outer heating zones adjacent to the disc-shaped article when positioned on the
spin chuck.

US Pat. No. 9,685,358

APPARATUS FOR LIQUID TREATMENT OF WAFER SHAPED ARTICLES AND HEATING SYSTEM FOR USE IN SUCH APPARATUS

Lam Research AG, Villach...

1. Apparatus for treating a wafer-shaped article, comprising:
a spin chuck for holding a wafer-shaped article in a predetermined orientation wherein a lower surface of the wafer-shaped
article is spaced a predetermined distance from an upper surface of the spin chuck;

at least one heater mounted above said upper surface of said spin chuck and underlying a wafer-shaped article when mounted
on the spin chuck, said at least one heater being stationary in relation to rotation of said spin chuck; and

a plate that is transparent to radiation emitted by said at least one heater, said plate being mounted for rotation with said
spin chuck and being positioned between said at least one heater and a wafer-shaped article when positioned on said spin chuck.

US Pat. No. 9,093,482

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR LIQUID TREATMENT OF WAFER SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. Apparatus for treating a wafer-shaped article, comprising:
a spin chuck for holding a wafer-shaped article in a predetermined orientation relative to an upper surface of the spin chuck;
and

a heating assembly comprising a housing containing at least one infrared heating element, said heating assembly being mounted
above said upper surface of said spin chuck and adjacent a wafer-shaped article when mounted on the spin chuck, wherein said
housing also contains a conduit having an inlet connected to a source of cooling fluid and an outlet returning cooling fluid
to the source of cooling fluid;

wherein said housing comprises a cover having at least one opening through which passes a nozzle for dispensing a fluid onto
an underside of a wafer-shaped article when mounted on said spin chuck.

US Pat. No. 10,056,287

APPARATUS FOR TREATING SURFACES OF WAFER-SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

11. A device for processing wafer-shaped articles, comprising:an upper chamber structure that surrounds and supports a rotary chuck, said rotary chuck being adapted to hold a wafer shaped article thereon; and
a cover disposed beneath said upper chamber structure and said rotary chuck, said cover comprising at least one drainage channel and a liquid outlet communicating with said at least one drainage channel,
said cover being mounted for movement between:
a first position in which said cover does not seal against a facing surface of said upper chamber structure adjacent said rotary chuck, and
a second position in which said cover seals against an inner surface of said upper chamber structure adjacent said rotary chuck to define a gas-tight process chamber.

US Pat. No. 9,911,630

APPARATUS FOR TREATING SURFACES OF WAFER-SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. A device for processing wafer-shaped articles, comprising:
a closed process chamber providing a gas-tight enclosure;
a rotary chuck located within said closed process chamber, said rotary chuck being adapted to hold a wafer shaped article
of a predetermined diameter thereon, wherein said rotary chuck being a magnetic ring rotor positioned inside said closed process
chamber and surrounded by a stator positioned outside said closed process chamber;

said closed process chamber comprising an annular duct of length X and width Y surrounding said rotary chuck and extending
along a first direction radially outwardly of said rotary chuck and obliquely to a rotary axis of said rotary chuck, from
an inlet end that communicates with said rotary chuck to an outlet end that communicates with an exhaust duct, where X is
greater than or equal to 2Y; and

a plate positioned parallel to said rotary chuck at a distance of at least 0.75Y from said rotary chuck, wherein said plate
comprises a heater.

US Pat. No. 9,779,979

APPARATUS FOR LIQUID TREATMENT OF WAFER SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. An apparatus for processing a wafer of a predetermined diameter, the apparatus comprising:
a spin chuck adapted to hold and spin the wafer during a processing operation to be performed on the wafer; and
a liquid collector surrounding the spin chuck,
wherein
the liquid collector comprises
a deflector comprising an inner conductive ring and a plurality of conductive elements extending radially from the inner conductive
ring to an outer peripheral edge of the deflector, and

a first conductive element connected to the plurality of conductive elements and configured to ground the inner conductive
ring,

the plurality of conductive elements do not include the first conductive element, and
the liquid collector does not contact the wafer.

US Pat. No. 9,997,379

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR WAFER WET PROCESSING

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. A method for processing wafer shaped articles, comprising:positioning a wafer-shaped article on a holder;
positioning a gas dispenser above the wafer-shaped article at a defined operating distance;
dispensing an inert gas above the wafer-shaped article;
dispensing an etching liquid onto the wafer-shaped article simultaneously with said dispensing an inert gas above the wafer-shaped article; and
moving the gas dispenser laterally relative to the wafer-shaped article while dispensing said inert gas;
wherein the etching liquid is dispensed from a nozzle carried by the gas dispenser.

US Pat. No. 9,972,514

APPARATUS FOR LIQUID TREATMENT OF WAFER SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, (AT)

1. An apparatus for treating a wafer-shaped article, comprising:a spin chuck configured to hold a wafer-shaped article of a predetermined diameter in a position wherein a lower surface of the wafer-shaped article is spaced a predetermined distance from an upper surface of the spin chuck; and
a treatment assembly mounted above said upper surface of said spin chuck and underlying a the wafer-shaped article when mounted on the spin chuck, the treatment assembly extending parallel to said upper surface from an axis of rotation of said spin chuck radially to a distance that is at least half said predetermined diameter;
said spin chuck comprising upwardly projecting gripping pins configured to hold a the wafer-shaped article in said position, wherein said gripping pins do not pass through said treatment assembly,
wherein said gripping pins are mounted for pivotal movement relative to said spin chuck about respective vertical axes, at least one of said vertical axes intersecting said treatment assembly.

US Pat. No. 9,870,933

PROCESS AND APPARATUS FOR TREATING SURFACES OF WAFER-SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. An apparatus for processing a wafer, the apparatus comprising:
a rotary chuck adapted to hold and rotate the wafer about an axis of rotation;
first and second liquid-dispensing nozzles mounted at a fixed distance from one another, wherein the first liquid-dispensing
nozzle is positioned closer to the axis of rotation than the second liquid-dispensing nozzle;

a liquid supply system configured to supply a same process liquid via a same inlet conduit to the first liquid-dispensing
nozzle and the second liquid-dispensing nozzle,

wherein
the liquid supply system comprises one or more heaters, and
the one or more heaters are configured to heat at least one of
a first portion of the process liquid dispensed from the first liquid-dispensing nozzle to a first temperature, or
a second portion of the process liquid dispensed from the second liquid-dispensing nozzle to a second temperature, and
a difference between the first temperature and the second temperature is within a predetermined range; and
a manifold,
wherein
the one or more heaters include a single heater,
the single heater is disposed within the manifold and extends from a first end of the manifold and across the first liquid-dispensing
nozzle and the second liquid dispensing nozzle,

the process liquid enters the manifold at a second end of the manifold, passes across the single heater and to the first liquid-dispensing
nozzle and the second liquid-dispensing nozzle,

the second end is opposite the first end,
the first liquid-dispensing nozzle is closer to the second end than the second liquid-dispensing nozzle, and
the single heater heats the first portion of the process liquid more than the second portion of the process liquid.

US Pat. No. 9,887,120

APPARATUS FOR TREATING SURFACES OF WAFER-SHAPED ARTICLES

Lam Research AG, Villach...

1. A rotary chuck for processing wafer-shaped articles, comprising:
a chuck body having a series of gripping pins, each gripping pin received by a respective obliquely-oriented extending slot
defined within said chuck body, each gripping pin movable by sliding horizontally and in unison relative to said chuck body
from a first position in which said gripping pins are relatively more retracted into said chuck body to a second position
in which said gripping pins are relatively more extended from said chuck body and in which said gripping pins are positioned
so as to support a wafer-shaped article of a predetermined diameter, wherein said chuck body is ring-shaped and adapted to
be rotated about a central axis of rotation; and

a drive ring mounted coaxially within said chuck body for limited rotation relative thereto, said drive ring comprising a
series of cam surfaces each of which engages a respective one of said series of gripping pins during relative rotation between
said drive ring and said chuck body and moves said series of gripping pins from said second position to said first position,
wherein said drive ring comprises at least one permanent magnet affixed thereto to permit said drive ring to be held stationary
in relation to rotation of said chuck body to move said series of gripping pins from said second position to said first position.

US Pat. No. 9,887,122

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PROCESSING WAFER-SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. Apparatus for treating a wafer-shaped article, comprising:
a spin chuck configured to hold a wafer-shaped article of a predetermined diameter in a predetermined horizontal position;
a non-rotating plate positioned relative to said spin chuck such that said non-rotating plate is beneath and parallel to the
wafer-shaped article when positioned on said spin chuck in said predetermined horizontal position; and

a fluid dispensing nozzle passing through said non-rotating plate and terminating in a discharge end positioned above and
adjacent to said non-rotating plate;

said discharge end comprising a horizontal gas discharge nozzle configured to distribute gas radially outwardly across an
upper surface of said non-rotating plate,

wherein said horizontal gas discharge nozzle comprises an annular gas dispensing orifice that opens adjacent to said non-rotating
plate, whereby gas ejected from said annular gas dispensing orifice is directed radially outwardly, and

wherein said horizontal gas discharge nozzle further comprises a radially-outwardly extending annular shoulder that overlies
said annular gas dispensing orifice, whereby gas elected from said annular qas dispensing orifice is deflected horizontally
and radially outwardly by said radially-outwardly extending annular shoulder.

US Pat. No. 10,134,611

COLLECTOR FOR USE WITH AN APPARATUS FOR TREATING WAFER-SHAPED ARTICLES

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. A collector assembly for use with a spin chuck, said collector assembly comprising a base component, a top component and a first intermediate component configured to be fitted between said base component and said top component, wherein said base component, top component and first intermediate component are configured so as to be interconnectable to form a process enclosure and so as to be separable from one another, said base component and said first intermediate component each comprising collector wall segments such that when said base component, top component and first intermediate component are interfitted, said collector wall segments together define an outer side wall of said collector assembly, and said process enclosure is open to a central area surrounded by said collector assembly.

US Pat. No. 10,106,737

LIQUID MIXTURE AND METHOD FOR SELECTIVELY WET ETCHING SILICON GERMANIUM

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. A liquid mixture for etching a substrate, comprising:a first liquid comprising carboxylic acid comprising 3 to 12 mol/L of the liquid mixture and hydrogen peroxide comprising 1.5 to 7 mol/L of the liquid mixture;
sulfuric acid comprising 0.5 to 5 mol/L of the liquid mixture;
hydrofluoric acid comprising 0.1 to 1 mol/L of the liquid mixture; and
water comprising 4 to 40 mol/L of the liquid mixture.

US Pat. No. 10,249,521

WET-DRY INTEGRATED WAFER PROCESSING SYSTEM

LAM RESEARCH AG, Villach...

1. An apparatus for processing wafer-shaped articles, comprising:a vacuum transfer module;
an atmospheric transfer module;
a first airlock interconnecting said vacuum transfer module and said atmospheric transfer module;
an atmospheric process module connected to said atmospheric transfer module; and
a gas supply system configured to supply gas separately and at different controlled flows to each of said atmospheric transfer module, said first airlock and said atmospheric process module, so as to cause:
(i) a flow of gas from said first airlock to said atmospheric transfer module when said first airlock and said atmospheric transfer module are open to one another, and
(ii) a flow of gas from said atmospheric transfer module to said atmospheric process module when said atmospheric transfer module and said atmospheric process module are open to one another,
wherein the gas supply system includes
a first gas showerhead positioned in an upper region of said first airlock and configured to dispense gas downwardly within said first airlock,
a second gas showerhead positioned in an upper region of said atmospheric transfer module and configured to dispense gas downwardly within said atmospheric transfer module, and
a third gas showerhead positioned in an upper region of said atmospheric process module and configured to dispense gas downwardly within said atmospheric process module, and
wherein the gas supply system is configured to separately control respective flows of the first gas showerhead, the second gas showerhead, and the third gas showerhead.