US Pat. No. 9,070,750

METHODS FOR REDUCING METAL OXIDE SURFACES TO MODIFIED METAL SURFACES USING A GASEOUS REDUCING ENVIRONMENT

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of preparing a substrate. with a metal seed layer for plating,the method comprising:
receiving a substrate having the metal seed layer on a plating surface of the substrate, wherein a portion of the metal seed
layer has been converted to an oxide of the metal; and

exposing at least the oxide of the metal to a radicalized reducing gas atmosphere, wherein the reducing gas atmosphere comprises
radicals of reducing gas species, and wherein exposure to the reducing gas atmosphere reduces the oxide of the metal to the
metal in the form of a film integrated with the seed layer;

cooling the substrate using an active cooling system during exposure to the radicalized reducing gas atmosphere to maintain
a substrate temperature below a temperature that produces agglomeration of the metal seed layer;

transferring the substrate to a plating bath containing a plating solution; and
plating metal onto the metal seed layer using the plating solution.

US Pat. No. 9,315,899

CONTOURED SHOWERHEAD FOR IMPROVED PLASMA SHAPING AND CONTROL

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method comprising:
obtaining first deposition rate data describing first deposition rates, each first deposition rate correlated with a gap distance
between a reference showerhead faceplate and a reference substrate during performance of a semiconductor manufacturing process
involving a capacitively-coupled plasma, wherein the gap distances correlated with at least two of the first deposition rates
are different;

obtaining second deposition rate data, the second deposition rate data describing second deposition rates when the reference
showerhead faceplate is in a fixed configuration with respect to the reference substrate during the semiconductor manufacturing
process involving the capacitively-coupled plasma, the second deposition rates associated with locations distributed across
one or more portions of the reference showerhead faceplate during performance of the semiconductor manufacturing process;
and

determining a contour profile for a contoured showerhead faceplate based on the first deposition rate data and the second
deposition rate data.

US Pat. No. 9,449,795

CERAMIC SHOWERHEAD WITH EMBEDDED RF ELECTRODE FOR CAPACITIVELY COUPLED PLASMA REACTOR

NOVELLUS SYSTEMS, INC., ...

1. A showerhead assembly for a substrate processing system, comprising:
back plate connected to a gas channel;
a face plate connected adjacent to a first surface of the back plate and including a gas diffusion surface;
one or more conductors; and
an electrode embedded within the back plate and connected to the one or more conductors,
wherein at least one of a bottom surface of the back plate and a top surface of the face plate includes a recess such that
a gas plenum (i) is defined in the recess between the back plate and the face plate below the electrode and (ii) is in fluid
communication with the gas channel, and

wherein the back plate and the face plate are made of a non-metallic material.

US Pat. No. 9,099,535

METHOD OF DEPOSITING A DIFFUSION BARRIER FOR COPPER INTERCONNECT APPLICATIONS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method for depositing a metal-containing material on a substrate, the method comprising:
(a) receiving a wafer substrate comprising at least one via comprising a bottom portion, at least one trench having a horizontal
surface, and a field, wherein the substrate comprises an exposed metal at the bottom portion of the at least one via;

(b) depositing a first portion of the metal-containing material at least over the bottom portion of the at least one via using
a metal from a deposition source;

(c) etching away the first portion of the metal-containing material at the bottom of the at least one via, such that an E/D
(etch rate to deposition rate) ratio is greater than 1 at the bottom of the at least one via, with energetic inert gas ions
without fully etching through to partially remove the first portion of the metal-containing material such that a part of the
first portion of the metal-containing material remains at the bottom of the at least one via and a part of the first portion
of the metal-containing material is removed from the bottom portion of the at least one via, such that the resistance of subsequently
formed interconnects is reduced relative to that of interconnects formed using the first portion of the metal-containing material
prior to etching, while simultaneously depositing a second portion of the metal-containing material in the trench and/or field
on the wafer substrate, comprising a PVD etch/deposition process in which the wafer substrate is biased with an RF frequency
source such that the etch rate at the bottom of the at least one via is greater than an etch rate on any associated horizontal
trench surfaces or the field.

US Pat. No. 9,484,233

CAROUSEL REACTOR FOR MULTI-STATION, SEQUENTIAL PROCESSING SYSTEMS

NOVELLUS SYSTEMS, INC., ...

1. A reactor for processing a plurality of substrates, comprising:
a chamber housing comprising an upper chamber housing and a lower chamber housing;
wherein the lower chamber housing has a pedestal carousel assembly disposed therein, and wherein the lower chamber housing
is configured to rotate about a vertical axis relative to the upper chamber housing;

wherein the upper chamber housing is arranged adjacent to the lower chamber housing and is rotationally fixed;
P processing station assemblies arranged symmetrically around the axis, where P is an integer greater than one, wherein the
P processing station assemblies are arranged within respective cavities defined between the upper chamber housing and the
lower chamber housing;

P pedestal assemblies arranged in the pedestal carousel assembly of the lower chamber housing symmetrically around the axis,
each of the P pedestal assemblies including a pedestal, wherein the P pedestal assemblies are arranged in respective portions
of the cavities in the lower housing chamber; and

a rotational actuator to rotate the lower chamber housing including the pedestal carousel assembly relative to the axis to
selectively index the P pedestal assemblies with the P processing station assemblies,

wherein each of the P processing station assemblies processes substrates arranged on corresponding ones of the P pedestal
assemblies at the same time.

US Pat. No. 9,373,497

METHODS FOR STRIPPING PHOTORESIST AND/OR CLEANING METAL REGIONS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method for removing material from a metal region overlying a semiconductor substrate, the method comprising:
forming a plasma from a gas comprising hydrogen and carbon dioxide; and
exposing the metal region to the plasma to thereby remove material from the metal region of the semiconductor substrate.

US Pat. No. 9,139,927

ELECTROLYTE LOOP WITH PRESSURE REGULATION FOR SEPARATED ANODE CHAMBER OF ELECTROPLATING SYSTEM

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of electroplating material onto a substrate surface, comprising:
(a) immersing the substrate surface in catholyte in a reaction vessel comprising:
(i) a separated anode chamber for containing anolyte and an anode;
(ii) a cathode chamber for receiving substrates and contacting them with catholyte; and
(iii) a separation structure positioned between the separated anode chamber and the cathode chamber, said separation structure
comprising a transport barrier which enables passage of ionic species across the transport barrier while maintaining different
electrolyte compositions in the anode chamber and the cathode chamber;

(b) circulating anolyte through an open loop recirculation system coupled to the separated anode chamber, wherein the circulating
comprises flowing the anolyte through a pressure regulating device that exposes the anolyte to atmospheric pressure and thereby
maintains the anolyte in the separated anode chamber at a substantially constant pressure, wherein the pressure regulating
device is in the recirculation system coupled to the separated anode chamber; and

(c) electroplating material onto the substrate surface.

US Pat. No. 9,050,623

PROGRESSIVE UV CURE

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of UV curing a dielectric film on a substrate, the method comprising:
(a) exposing the dielectric film on the substrate to first UV radiation having a first wavelength or first wavelength range,
said first wavelength or first wavelength range including only wavelengths longer than about 220 nm, until porogens in the
dielectric film are removed, thus reducing a dielectric constant of the dielectric film, and then further exposing the dielectric
film to the first UV radiation after the porogens are removed to further reduce the dielectric constant of the dielectric
film; and

(b) after (a) exposing the dielectric film to second UV radiation having a second wavelength or second wavelength range, said
second wavelength or second wavelength range including only wavelengths of 185 nm or longer, until a desired film material
property is reached, wherein the second wavelength or lowest wavelength of the second wavelength range is lower than the first
wavelength or lowest wavelength of the first wavelength range.

US Pat. No. 9,449,808

APPARATUS FOR ADVANCED PACKAGING APPLICATIONS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus for removing material from a substrate, comprising:
a removal cell comprising:
(a) a substrate holder configured to hold and rotate a disc-shaped substrate in a substrate plane,
(b) a base plate positioned substantially parallel to the substrate plane such that a gap is formed between the base plate
and the substrate when the substrate is present in the substrate holder, the base plate comprising a plurality of protuberances
that extend into the gap, wherein the distance between the base plate and the substrate in the substrate holder is between
about 2-10 mm, and

(c) a flow distributor positioned proximate a periphery of the gap and at least partially positioned between the baseplate
and substrate holder, comprising:

(i) an inlet side comprising an internal manifold spanning between about 90-180° of the flow distributor, wherein the internal
manifold is a cavity in the flow distributor through which fluid may flow,

(ii) one or more inlets for delivering fluid from a fluid supply line to the internal manifold, and
(iii) an outlet side comprising an outlet manifold spanning between about 90-180° of the flow distributor,
wherein the inlet side and outlet side of the flow distributor are positioned on azimuthally opposed perimeter locations of
the flow distributor, and wherein during operation fluid flows from the internal manifold at the inlet side of the flow distributor
to the outlet manifold on the outlet side of the flow distributor.

US Pat. No. 9,070,555

METHOD FOR DEPOSITING A CHLORINE-FREE CONFORMAL SIN FILM

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of forming a silicon nitride material on a substrate in a reaction chamber, comprising:
periodically exposing the substrate to a vapor phase flow of a halogen-free silicon-containing reactant wherein the silicon
containing reactant is adsorbed onto the surface of the substrate;

exposing the substrate to a vapor phase flow of a first nitrogen-containing reactant wherein the nitrogen-containing reactant
is adsorbed onto the surface of the substrate; and

periodically igniting a plasma in the reaction chamber when vapor phase nitrogen-containing reactant is present in the reaction
chamber and the vapor phase flow of the silicon-containing reactant has ceased, wherein the plasma is an RF plasma having
a power between 0.15 W/cm2 and 3 W/cm2;
wherein the pressure in the reaction chamber is cycled such that it is higher during the vapor phase flow of the silicon-containing
reactant than when the vapor phase flow of the silicon-containing reactant has ceased.

US Pat. No. 9,496,159

WAFER POSITION CORRECTION WITH A DUAL, SIDE-BY-SIDE WAFER TRANSFER ROBOT

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of placing wafers in adjacent stations of a multi-station location comprising:
picking first and second wafers from a first location with a dual end effector robot such that each end effector holds a wafer;
placing the first wafer at a first station of the multi-station location; and
placing the second wafer at a second station of the multi-station location, wherein each of the first and second stations
comprise a set of lift pins, wherein each set of lift pins has two masters such that the set is independently controllable
by a second controller and by the dual end effector robot and wherein placing each wafer at its station comprises raising
lift pins at the station to lift the wafer off the end effector.

US Pat. No. 9,343,296

APPARATUSES AND METHODS FOR DEPOSITING SIC/SICN FILMS VIA CROSS-METATHESIS REACTIONS WITH ORGANOMETALLIC CO-REACTANTS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of forming a SiC/SiCN film layer on a surface of a semiconductor substrate in a processing chamber, the method
comprising:
introducing a silicon-containing film-precursor into the processing chamber;
introducing an organometallic ligand transfer reagent into the processing chamber, wherein the organometallic ligand transfer
regent comprises zinc;

adsorbing the silicon-containing film-precursor, the organometallic ligand transfer reagent, or both onto the surface under
conditions whereby either or both form an adsorption-limited layer;

reacting the silicon-containing film-precursor with the organometallic ligand transfer reagent at a temperature of between
about 20 and 100° C., after either or both have formed the adsorption-limited layer, to form the film layer and a byproduct
which contains substantially all of the metal zinc of the organometallic ligand transfer reagent; and

removing the byproduct from the processing chamber.

US Pat. No. 9,147,589

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR AT LEAST PARTIALLY CONVERTING FILMS TO SILICON OXIDE AND/OR IMPROVING FILM QUALITY USING ULTRAVIOLET CURING IN STEAM AND DENSIFICATION OF FILMS USING UV CURING IN AMMONIA

NOVELLUS SYSTEMS, INC., ...

1. A processing system, comprising:
a chamber;
a steam source that supplies steam in the chamber; and
a UV source that directs UV light onto a previously deposited layer of a substrate in the presence of the steam from the steam
source, wherein the previously deposited layer includes a flowable oxide, a spin-on dielectric (SOD), a spin-on glass (SOG),
and/or a spin-on polymer (SOP), and wherein the UV source is configured to direct the UV light onto the previously deposited
layer in the presence of the steam for a predetermined conversion period to at least partially convert the previously deposited
layer from the flowable oxide, the SOD, the SOG, and/or the SOP into a silicon oxide.

US Pat. No. 9,240,320

METHODS OF DEPOSITING SMOOTH AND CONFORMAL ASHABLE HARD MASK FILMS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of forming an ashable hard mask on a substrate in a deposition chamber, comprising:
depositing an ashable hard mask bilayer comprising a first layer and a smoothing layer on at least a feature on the substrate,
wherein depositing the first layer comprises generating a plasma comprising activated hydrocarbon species in the deposition
chamber using dual source low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) radio frequency power to thereby deposit a first ashable
hard mask film on the feature by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition, and

wherein depositing the smoothing layer comprises generating a plasma comprising activated hydrocarbon species in the deposition
chamber using HF-only radio frequency power to thereby deposit a smoothing ashable hard mask film on the first ashable hard
mask film by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition.

US Pat. No. 9,337,067

HIGH TEMPERATURE ELECTROSTATIC CHUCK WITH RADIAL THERMAL CHOKES

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A wafer support assembly for use in semiconductor processing, the wafer support assembly comprising:
a substrate support, wherein the substrate support is substantially cylindrical and has a nominal outer diameter D, a top
side configured to support a semiconductor wafer, and a bottom side opposite the top side; and

a cooling plate, wherein:
the cooling plate is substantially radially symmetric,
the cooling plate contacts the bottom side of the substrate support across a first thermal contact patch with a first area,
the first thermal contact patch is substantially annular in shape, centered on the substrate support, and has a nominal inner
diameter and a nominal outer diameter defining an average nominal diameter of between 50% to 70% of D,

the cooling plate and the substrate support have substantially no contact with each other outside of the nominal outer diameter
of the first thermal contact area,

the cooling plate includes a first radial thermal choke in a region outside of the nominal outer diameter of the first thermal
contact area,

the cooling plate contacts the bottom side of the substrate support across a second thermal contact patch with a second area,
the second thermal contact patch is substantially circular in overall exterior shape, is centered on the substrate support,
and has a nominal outer diameter less than 20% of D, and

the cooling plate includes a second radial thermal choke in a region between the nominal outer diameter of the second thermal
contact patch and the nominal inner diameter of the first thermal contact patch.

US Pat. No. 9,064,684

FLOWABLE OXIDE DEPOSITION USING RAPID DELIVERY OF PROCESS GASES

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A semiconductor processing apparatus for forming a flowable silicon-containing film on a substrate, the apparatus comprising:
a processing chamber having a substrate support disposed therein;
one or more gas inlets to the processing chamber;
an accumulator connected to at least one of the one or more gas inlets; and
a controller comprising program instructions for:
maintaining the substrate support at a temperature between about ?20° C. and 100° C.;
introducing a first process gas into the processing chamber and maintaining the processing chamber at a processing chamber
pressure level;

accumulating a second process gas comprising a silicon-containing compound in the accumulator until the accumulator is at
an accumulator pressure level,

wherein the accumulator pressure level is substantially greater than the processing chamber pressure level; and
rapidly introducing the second process gas from the accumulator into the processing chamber such that an amount of the second
process gas is provided in the processing chamber during the introduction of the second process gas.

US Pat. No. 9,165,788

POST-DEPOSITION SOFT ANNEALING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of preparing a stack structure for an electronic device on a semiconductor substrate, the method comprising:
(a) depositing a stack of at least one repeating group, the group having two or more layers, wherein at least two layers in
the group comprise different materials, wherein the material of at least one of the layers in the group is unactivated silicon,
and wherein the stack comprises at least about four layers, each of substantially similar thickness;

(b) performing a soft anneal on the stack to reduce internal stress in the stack;
(c) after (b), patterning the stack by defining a pattern on the stack and vertically etching the stack to impart the pattern
to the stack;

(d) after (c), selectively etching the patterned stack to selectively remove portions of at least one of the different materials
in the stack; and

(e) after (d), activating the silicon in the at least one layer in the group to convert the silicon to a polycrystalline state,
wherein the soft anneal is performed under conditions that do not activate the silicon in the at least one layer in the group.

US Pat. No. 9,088,085

HIGH TEMPERATURE ELECTRODE CONNECTIONS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

21. A method of installing a high temperature electrode rod in a high temperature electrode connection assembly, the high
temperature electrode rod comprising a cup and a plate adapter portion with a circumferential groove, the method comprising:
mounting the cup of the high temperature electrode rod to a stud embedded in a wafer-processing pedestal;
positioning a floating plate to locate the high temperature electrode rod through an aperture of the floating plate, wherein
the floating plate is configured to contact an inner surface of the wafer-processing pedestal to resist lateral movement of
the electrode rod;

tightening the high temperature electrode rod to preload a washer between the cup and a shoulder of the stud in the wafer-processing
pedestal;

frictionally engaging an anti-rotation retainer ring in the circumferential groove around the high temperature electrode rod;
partially releasing the preload on the washer by loosening the high temperature electrode rod by a predefined number of degrees;
and

placing the anti-rotation retainer ring in contact with or in close proximity to an anti-rotation post affixed to the floating
plate such that the anti-rotation post and anti-rotational retainer ring are together configured to limit rotation of the
high temperature electrode rod with respect to the floating plate.

US Pat. No. 9,390,909

SOFT LANDING NANOLAMINATES FOR ADVANCED PATTERNING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of processing a semiconductor substrate, the method comprising:
depositing a nanolaminate layer on the substrate; and
depositing a titanium oxide layer on the nanolaminate layer, the nanolaminate layer having a thickness of between about 15
Å and about 200 Å and a density lower than the density of the titanium oxide layer.

US Pat. No. 9,245,783

VACUUM ROBOT WITH LINEAR TRANSLATION CARRIAGE

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

19. A wafer handling robot apparatus comprising:
a carriage housing configured to translate linearly along a translation axis and within a linear translation range;
at least one robot arm mounted to the carriage housing; and
an umbilical arm having at least one elbow joint, wherein:
a first end of the umbilical arm is configured to rotate about a first rotation axis with respect to the translation axis,
the first rotation axis is fixed with respect to the linear translation range,
a second end of the umbilical arm opposite the first end is rotatably connected with the carriage housing so as to be rotatable
about a second rotation axis with respect to the carriage housing,

the first end of the umbilical arm is connected with an umbilical arm drive motor configured to rotate the first end of the
umbilical arm about the first rotation axis with respect to the translation axis, and

the wafer handling robot is configured such that rotation of the first end of the umbilical arm about the first rotation axis
with respect to the translation axis by the umbilical arm drive motor causes the second end of the umbilical arm, the carriage
housing, and the second rotation axis to translate in a direction parallel to the translation axis and the second end of the
umbilical arm to rotate about the second rotation axis with respect to the carriage housing.

US Pat. No. 9,045,841

CONTROL OF ELECTROLYTE COMPOSITION IN A COPPER ELECTROPLATING APPARATUS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of controlling the composition of an electrolyte bath for electroplating a metal onto a wafer, the method comprising:
providing one or more wafers sequentially to a catholyte portion of a plating cell having a separate anode chamber configured
for holding an anode and maintaining an anolyte in ionic communication with the catholyte via a cation exchange membrane on
the separate anode chamber;

recirculating the anolyte;
providing a diluent to the recirculating anolyte and providing a make-up solution to the recirculating anolyte, while separately
controlling delivery of the diluent and of the make up solution to the recirculating anolyte, wherein the dosing parameters
for the diluent and the make up solution are selected such as to minimize precipitation-induced passivation of the anode.

US Pat. No. 9,394,620

CONTROL OF ELECTROLYTE HYDRODYNAMICS FOR EFFICIENT MASS TRANSFER DURING ELECTROPLATING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An electroplating apparatus comprising:
(a) a plating chamber configured to contain an electrolyte and an anode while electroplating metal onto a substantially planar
substrate;

(b) a substrate holder configured to hold the substantially planar substrate such that a plating face of the substrate is
separated from the anode during electroplating; and

(c) a flow shaping element comprising a substrate-facing surface that is substantially parallel to and separated from the
plating face of the substrate during electroplating, the flow shaping element consisting of an ionically resistive material
with a plurality of channels made through the ionically resistive material, wherein said plurality of channels have openings
on the substrate-facing surface of the flow shaping element and allow for transport of the electrolyte through the flow shaping
element during electroplating, and wherein the channel openings are arranged in a concentric spiral pattern on the substrate-facing
surface of the flow shaping element such that a center of the concentric spiral pattern is offset from a center of the flow
shaping element.

US Pat. No. 9,591,738

PLASMA GENERATOR SYSTEMS AND METHODS OF FORMING PLASMA

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A remote plasma generator system comprising:
a container comprising a container inlet and a container outlet;
a gas flow distribution receptacle disposed at the container inlet, the gas flow distribution receptacle comprising a hemispherical
tip having a plurality of openings symmetrically distributed around the hemispherical tip;

a showerhead positioned at the container outlet; and
a continuous coil disposed around the container, the continuous coil having a first end configured to couple to an energy
source, a second end configured to couple to an electrical ground connection and a capacitor, a first winding, and a second
winding, wherein the first winding extends from the first end and the second winding is integral with the first winding and
extends to the second end, wherein each opening of the hemispherical tip is oriented at an acute angle relative to a longitudinal
axis that extends through the hemispherical tip, the openings being oriented at identical acute angles that direct gas flow
towards the first winding of the continuous coil to form a toroidally shaped region of higher gas density adjacent to sidewalls
of the container, wherein the second winding is disposed around the container between the first winding and the container
inlet and the first winding is disposed adjacent to the toroidally shaped region of higher gas density, wherein the toroidally
shaped region of higher gas density and the first winding are positioned to define a toroidally shaped plasma zone inside
the container having a maximum plasma density during operation of the remote plasma generator system.

US Pat. No. 9,447,499

DUAL PLENUM, AXI-SYMMETRIC SHOWERHEAD WITH EDGE-TO-CENTER GAS DELIVERY

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A faceplate for use in semiconductor processing showerhead, the faceplate comprising:
a volume with an outer surface, a top surface, a bottom surface, and a center axis, wherein the top surface and the bottom
surface:

partially bound the volume,
are substantially parallel to, and offset from, each other, and
are substantially centered on, and normal to, the center axis, and
wherein the outer surface at least partially bounds the volume in a radial direction with respect to the center axis;
a plurality of first channels within the volume extending from the outer surface towards the center axis, each first channel
having a first end closer to the center axis than a second end of that first channel;

a plurality of first gas distribution holes, each first gas distribution hole fluidly connected within the volume to one or
more of the first channels and extending through the bottom surface and not extending through the top surface;

a plurality of second gas distribution holes, each second gas distribution hole extending through the top surface and the
bottom surface and not fluidly connected within the volume to the first channels; and

one or more gas distribution channels fluidically connected with the second ends of the plurality of first channels, following
a path around substantially all of the second gas distribution holes and around all of the second ends of the first channels,
and configured to be fluidically connected with one or more gas feed inlets.

US Pat. No. 9,221,081

AUTOMATED CLEANING OF WAFER PLATING ASSEMBLY

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A cleaning disc for cleaning one or more elements of a semiconductor holding and processing apparatus, the disc comprising:
a substantially circular upper surface;
a substantially circular lower surface;
a substantially circular edge joining the upper and lower surfaces, the edge comprising:
an upper portion joined to the upper surface of the disc; and
a lower portion joined to the lower surface of the disc, the lower portion having a radius less than the radius of the upper
portion;

a plurality of pores opening in the lower portion of the edge and extending, radially inward and substantially parallel to
the upper and lower surfaces, into the interior of the disc, wherein the pores are dimensioned such that a cleaning agent
may be retained in the interior of the pores by an adhesive force between the cleaning agent and the interior surface of the
pores; and

a cleaning agent adsorbent element located within a chamber radially inward from the plurality of pores, the adsorbent element
configured to supply cleaning agent to the plurality of pores.

US Pat. No. 9,074,286

WET ETCHING METHODS FOR COPPER REMOVAL AND PLANARIZATION IN SEMICONDUCTOR PROCESSING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A concentrated solution for preparing a wet etching solution for copper etching, the concentrated solution consisting essentially
of:
(a) water;
(b) one or more polyamines selected from the group consisting of a bidentate diamine, a tridentate triamine and a quadridentate
tetramine, wherein the concentration of aminogroups derived from these polyamines is at least about 1.5 M; and

(c) one or more pH adjustors selected from the group consisting of sulfuric acid, an alkylsulphonic acid, a carboxylic acid,
and an aminoacid, wherein the concentrated solution has a pH of between about 8.5 and 11.5 at 21° C.

US Pat. No. 9,447,505

WET ETCHING METHODS FOR COPPER REMOVAL AND PLANARIZATION IN SEMICONDUCTOR PROCESSING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus for wet chemical etching comprising:
(a) a substrate holder configured to hold and rotate a semiconductor substrate;
(b) a first nozzle configured to apply a liquid etchant to a working surface of the semiconductor substrate, wherein the first
nozzle is configured to be radially movable during treatment of the semiconductor substrate;

(c) a second nozzle configured to apply a liquid quenchant to the surface of the semiconductor substrate, wherein the first
nozzle and the second nozzle are proximate to each other during treatment of the semiconductor substrate, wherein the second
nozzle is configured to be radially movable during treatment of the semiconductor substrate, and wherein the second nozzle
is configured to be positioned at a more radially outward location than the first nozzle during treatment of the semiconductor
substrate, and

(d) a chemical wet etch endpoint detector,wherein the apparatus is configured to establish a treating area said treating area less than the total area of the working
surface of the semiconductor substrate and comprising that portion of the semiconductor substrate contacted by the liquid
etchant but not also contacted by the liquid quenchant.

US Pat. No. 9,388,491

METHOD FOR DEPOSITION OF CONFORMAL FILMS WITH CATALYSIS ASSISTED LOW TEMPERATURE CVD

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method for depositing a conformal film in a substrate processing system, comprising:
a) arranging a substrate on a pedestal in a processing chamber;
b) heating the substrate to a temperature within a predetermined temperature range, wherein the predetermined temperature
range is between 500° C. and 630° C.; and

c) supplying a gas mixture to the processing chamber for a predetermined period to deposit the conformal film on the substrate,
wherein the gas mixture includes a first precursor gas, ammonia gas and diborane gas, wherein the first precursor gas has
a deposition temperature of approximately 650° C., wherein the gas mixture including the diborane gas has a deposition temperature
within the predetermined temperature range, and wherein a ratio of the first precursor gas to the diborane gas is between
1:0.01 and 1:0.025.

US Pat. No. 9,385,035

CURRENT RAMPING AND CURRENT PULSING ENTRY OF SUBSTRATES FOR ELECTROPLATING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

13. A method of electroplating metal onto a substrate, comprising:
positioning the substrate at an angle relative to a surface of electrolyte in an electroplating chamber;
selecting a set of immersion parameters that define how the substrate is to be immersed in electrolyte during electroplating;
determining an entry profile for the substrate at the set of immersion parameters, wherein the entry profile provides information
about how much substrate area is immersed at different points in time during immersion of the substrate in electrolyte, wherein
the entry profile is determined experimentally by:

providing a test substrate;
immersing the test substrate in electrolyte at the set of immersion parameters;
while immersing the test substrate, applying a series of current changes to thereby form disrupted plating boundaries on the
test substrate, where a time between subsequent current changes is known;

removing the test substrate from electrolyte;
analyzing the test substrate to identify positions of the disrupted plating boundaries;
determining the entry profile based on the positions of the disrupted plating boundaries and the known time between subsequent
current changes;

immersing the substrate in electrolyte in the electroplating chamber such that a leading edge of the substrate enters electrolyte
before a trailing edge of the substrate, where the leading and trailing edges of the substrate are positioned opposite one
another;

applying a current to the substrate as it is immersed, where a current profile applied to the substrate during immersion provides
increasing current that increases by an amount determined from an amount of substrate area immersed in electrolyte at a given
time; and

removing the substrate from the electrolyte.

US Pat. No. 9,299,559

FLOWABLE OXIDE FILM WITH TUNABLE WET ETCH RATE

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method comprising:
after performing one or more integration operations including at least one of a lithography process, an ion implantation process,
a photoresist strip process, a wet etch clean, and a dry etch process on a substrate including a flowable dielectric film,
treating the flowable dielectric film to modify a wet etch rate of the flowable dielectric film, wherein the one or more integration
operations are performed on a film other than the flowable dielectric film.

US Pat. No. 9,073,100

METHOD AND APPARATUSES FOR REDUCING POROGEN ACCUMULATION FROM A UV-CURE CHAMBER

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

13. A UV cure chamber, the chamber comprising one or more cure stations, each cure station comprising:
a. a window having a first side and a second side;
b. a UV light source mounted proximate to the first side of the window;
c. a wafer support exposed to the UV source disposed on the second side of the window, the wafer support providing a wafer
support plane;

d. an inlet for injecting a purge gas, the inlet positioned on the wafer support side of the window and configured to direct
the purge gas in a direction non-parallel to and toward the second side of the window; and

e. an outlet for exhausting the purge gas, the outlet positioned opposite the inlet on the wafer support side of the window,
wherein:

a major outlet area is a combined sectional surface area perpendicular to the wafer support plane of all features used for
exhausting gases,

a major inlet area is a combined inlet sectional surface area of all features that serve as final restrictions on the inlet
path of a gas,

a ratio of the major outlet area to the major inlet area is greater than 4 for at least one of the one or more cure stations,
and

a portion of the inlet unbroken by an outlet spans 75% or more of a perimeter around the wafer support.

US Pat. No. 9,464,361

CONTROL OF ELECTROLYTE HYDRODYNAMICS FOR EFFICIENT MASS TRANSFER DURING ELECTROPLATING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of electroplating on a substrate comprising features having a width and/or depth of at least about 2 micrometers,
the method comprising:
(a) providing the substrate to a plating chamber, wherein the plating chamber is configured to contain an electrolyte and
an anode during electroplating of metal onto the substrate, wherein the plating chamber comprises:

(i) a substrate holder holding the substrate such that a plating face of the substrate is separated from the anode during
electroplating,

(ii) a flow shaping element shaped and configured to be positioned between the substrate and the anode during electroplating,
the flow shaping element having a flat surface that is substantially parallel to and separated from the plating face of the
substrate by a distance of about 10 millimeters or less during electroplating, wherein the flow shaping element has a plurality
of holes; and

(iii) a flow diverter on the substrate-facing surface of the flow shaping element, the flow diverter comprising a wall structure
partially following the circumference of the flow shaping element, and a vent region comprising one or more gaps;

(b) electroplating a metal onto the substrate plating surface while rotating the substrate and while flowing the electrolyte
in the plating chamber in the direction of the substrate plating face and creating an impinging flow of the electrolyte in
a direction substantially perpendicular to the plating face of the substrate, wherein the impinging flow of the electrolyte
exits the holes of the flow shaping element and while applying a shearing force to the electrolyte flowing at the plating
face of the substrate to divert the impinging flow of the electrolyte in a direction that is substantially parallel to the
plating face of the substrate and to thereby create a transverse flow of the electrolyte across the center of the plating
face of the substrate, wherein the shearing force is applied using the flow diverter that is configured to divert the impinging
electrolyte flow into the transverse electrolyte flow flowing towards its vent region.

US Pat. No. 9,287,113

METHODS FOR DEPOSITING FILMS ON SENSITIVE SUBSTRATES

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of forming a silicon oxide material or silicon nitride material on an exposed surface of an oxidation-sensitive
and/or nitridation-sensitive substrate in a single-station or multi-station reaction chamber, the method comprising:
(a) periodically exposing the oxidation-sensitive and/or nitridation-sensitive substrate to a vapor phase flow of a silicon-containing
reactant in the reaction chamber;

(b) exposing the oxidation-sensitive and/or nitridation sensitive substrate to a vapor phase flow of an oxidizing reactant
or nitrogen-containing reactant in the reaction chamber; and

(c) periodically igniting a plasma in the reaction chamber using a high frequency radio frequency power between about 12.5
and about 125 Watts per station when the vapor phase flow of the silicon-containing reactant has ceased, wherein the plasma
forms between two electrodes, and wherein the oxidation-sensitive or nitridation-sensitive substrate is positioned between
the two electrodes.

US Pat. No. 9,275,884

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR INHIBITING OXIDE GROWTH IN SUBSTRATE HANDLER VACUUM CHAMBERS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A substrate handling robot, comprising:
an arm section;
a wrist portion connected to the arm section;
an end effector that is connected to the wrist portion and that is configured to support a substrate; and
a housing that is fixed to the end effector and that includes a gas outlet that directs an oxide inhibiting gas across an
exposed to surface of the substrate during transport,

wherein neither the housing nor the gas outlet extends over the exposed surface when viewed from above.

US Pat. No. 9,441,296

HYBRID CERAMIC SHOWERHEAD

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A gas distributor comprising:
a ceramic faceplate for a substrate processing showerhead of a processing chamber, the ceramic faceplate including a first
pattern of first through-holes;

an electrode including a second pattern of second through-holes; and
a contact ring having one or more standoffs, wherein the contact ring and the one or more standoffs are all electrically conductive
and electroconductively coupled with one another, wherein:

the electrode is embedded within the ceramic faceplate,
the second pattern matches the first pattern,
the first pattern includes all of the holes through which processing gases flow through the ceramic faceplate when the ceramic
faceplate is installed in the substrate processing showerhead of the processing chamber,

each second through-hole is larger in size than the corresponding first through-hole,
the contact ring encircles the first pattern of first through-holes,
the ceramic faceplate includes one or more blind standoff apertures that terminate at the electrode,
each standoff extends into a respective blind standoff aperture and is in electrically conductive contact with the electrode,
and

the electrode forms either an anode or a cathode of an RF plasma generation system when the ceramic faceplate is installed
in the substrate processing showerhead of the processing chamber.

US Pat. No. 9,082,589

HYBRID IMPEDANCE MATCHING FOR INDUCTIVELY COUPLED PLASMA SYSTEM

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A system comprising:
a generator configured to generate a supply signal and to tune a frequency of the supply signal within a tuning range;
an auto-matching network configured to receive the supply signal and to generate an impedance-matched signal; and
a plasma system that receives the impedance-matched signal, the impedance-matched signal supplying power to the plasma system
for one or more plasma-facilitated processes, the impedance-matched signal being based on the supply signal as modified by
the impedance of the plasma system and the impedance of the auto-matching network;

wherein:
during a first stage of an impedance matching operation, the generator is configured to tune the frequency of the supply signal
until the generator identifies a frequency for which the reactance of the generator and the reactance of the load on the generator
are best matched for the tuning range; and

during a second stage of the impedance matching operation, the auto-matching network is configured to tune a tuning element
within the auto-matching network until the auto-matching network identifies a tuning of the tuning element for which the resistance
of the generator and the resistance of the load on the generator are best matched for the identified frequency.

US Pat. No. 9,109,295

ELECTROLYTE CONCENTRATION CONTROL SYSTEM FOR HIGH RATE ELECTROPLATING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An electroplating apparatus for depositing copper on a semiconductor substrate having one or more recessed features, the
apparatus comprising:
(a) an electrolyte concentrator module configured for concentrating an electrolyte comprising a dissolved copper salt by removing
water from the electrolyte using water evaporation, the electrolyte concentrator module comprising an inlet port configured
for receiving a non-concentrated electrolyte from a source of non-concentrated electrolyte, an outlet port configured for
delivering warm concentrated electrolyte to a concentrated electrolyte reservoir, a dry air port configured for introducing
dry air, a wet air port configured for removing wet air containing evaporated water, and a heater configured for maintaining
the electrolyte in the concentrator module at a temperature of at least about 40° C.;

(b) the concentrated electrolyte reservoir in fluidic communication with the concentrator module, wherein the reservoir is
configured for receiving the warm concentrated electrolyte from the concentrator module and for delivering the warm concentrated
electrolyte to an electroplating cell;

(c) the electroplating cell in fluidic communication with the concentrated electrolyte reservoir, wherein the electroplating
cell is configured for receiving the warm concentrated electrolyte from the concentrated electrolyte reservoir, and for bringing
the warm concentrated electrolyte in contact with the semiconductor substrate at the electrolyte temperature of at least about
40° C. ; and

(d) a controller comprising program instructions for
(i) providing dry air to the electrolyte concentrator module through dry air port; and
(ii) concentrating the electrolyte in the concentrated electrolyte would have formed a precipitate at 20 ° C.

US Pat. No. 9,111,733

PLASMA IGNITION PERFORMANCE FOR LOW PRESSURE PHYSICAL VAPOR DEPOSITION (PVD) PROCESSES

Novellus Systems Inc., S...

1. A plasma ignition system comprising:
a first voltage supply that selectively supplies a plasma ignition voltage and a plasma maintenance voltage across an adapter
ring and a cathode target of a physical vapor deposition (PVD) system;

a second voltage supply that selectively supplies an auxiliary plasma ignition voltage across the adapter ring and an anode
ring of the PVD system; and

a plasma ignition control module that ignites plasma using the plasma ignition voltage and the auxiliary plasma ignition voltage
and, after the plasma ignites, supplies the plasma maintenance voltage and ceases supplying the plasma ignition voltage and
the auxiliary plasma ignition voltage.

US Pat. No. 9,074,287

REDUCED ISOTROPIC ETCHANT MATERIAL CONSUMPTION AND WASTE GENERATION

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method for processing a work piece, comprising:
(a) etching copper from a surface of the work piece in a wet chemical etch chamber with a peroxide-based etchant having a
pH of approximately 7-11, wherein the etchant comprises an amine-based complexing agent for copper;

(b) electrowinning ions of copper from the used peroxide-based etchant after it exits the wet chemical etch chamber, in an
electrowinning module, wherein the electrowinning module is located downstream of the wet chemical etch chamber and comprises
an electrowinning cell comprising an anode and a cathode;

(c) regenerating the peroxide-based etchant by adding one or more reagents to the electrowinned peroxide-based etchant; and
(d) reusing the regenerated peroxide-based etchant for wet chemical etching.

US Pat. No. 9,257,302

CVD FLOWABLE GAP FILL

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of filling a gap on a substrate with a dielectric film comprising:
introducing process gases comprising a silicon-containing precursor, an oxidant and a catalyst-containing compound to a reaction
chamber housing the substrate;

exposing the substrate to the process gas under conditions such that a condensed flowable film forms and at least partially
fills the gap,

wherein the method comprises an acid-catalyzed condensation.

US Pat. No. 9,045,840

DYNAMIC CURRENT DISTRIBUTION CONTROL APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR WAFER ELECTROPLATING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus comprising:
(a) a plating chamber configured to contain an electrolyte while electroplating metal onto a substrate;
(b) a substrate holder configured to hold the substrate and having one or more electrical power contacts arranged to contact
an edge of the substrate and to provide electrical current to the substrate during electroplating;

(c) an ionically resistive ionically permeable element positioned between the substrate and an anode chamber during electroplating,
the ionically resistive ionically permeable element having a flat surface that is substantially parallel to and separated
from a plating face of the substrate; and

(d) the anode chamber housing an anode, the anode chamber being movable with respect to the ionically resistive ionically
permeable element to vary a distance between the anode chamber and the ionically resistive ionically permeable element during
electroplating, the anode chamber including an insulating shield oriented between the anode and the ionically resistive ionically
permeable element, wherein the insulating shield includes an outer perimeter and an inner perimeter, the inner perimeter of
the insulating shield defining an opening in a central region of the insulating shield, and wherein a surface of the insulating
shield includes a slope such that the outer perimeter is closer to the ionically resistive ionically permeable element than
the inner perimeter, wherein the anode chamber includes a cationic membrane in the opening of the insulating shield.

US Pat. No. 9,260,793

ELECTROPLATING APPARATUS FOR TAILORED UNIFORMITY PROFILE

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An electroplating apparatus comprising:
(a) a plating chamber configured to contain an electrolyte and an anode while electroplating metal onto a semiconductor substrate;
(b) a substrate holder configured to hold and rotate the semiconductor substrate;
(c) an ionically resistive ionically permeable element comprising a substrate-facing surface and an opposing surface, wherein
the ionically resistive ionically permeable element comprises a plurality of non-communicating channels; and

(d) a shield, configured for providing azimuthally asymmetric shielding, wherein the shield is positioned between the ionically
resistive ionically permeable element and the substrate holder, wherein the shield has variable thickness.

US Pat. No. 9,240,347

TUNGSTEN FEATURE FILL

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method comprising:
providing a substrate including a feature having sidewalls;
conformally depositing tungsten in the feature to fill the feature with a first bulk tungsten layer to cover the sidewalls;
etching a portion of the first bulk tungsten layer to leave an etched tungsten layer in the feature, including removing tungsten
from a portion of the sidewalls of the feature to expose the portion of the sidewalls; and

selectively depositing a second bulk tungsten layer on the etched tungsten layer.

US Pat. No. 9,138,784

DEIONIZED WATER CONDITIONING SYSTEM AND METHODS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A system for conditioning a deionized water flow for processing semiconductor wafers, comprising:
(a) a degassing station configured to remove dissolved gas from the deionized water flow;
(b) a heating station configured to heat the deionized water flow;
(c) multiple nozzles configured to deliver the heated and degassed deionized water to semiconductor wafers, wherein each of
said nozzles is positioned in a separate station that is downstream from the degassing station and the heating station;

(d) a first valve manifold configured to deliver the heated and degassed deionized water flow to each of said multiple nozzles
via a first plurality of valves; and

(e) a second valve manifold comprising a second plurality of valves configured to deliver the heated and degassed deionized
water flow to a return line for recirculation to an integrated circuit manufacturing facility when the first plurality of
valves are closed, wherein the second plurality of valves are configured to be closed when the first plurality of valves are
open.

US Pat. No. 9,121,097

VARIABLE SHOWERHEAD FLOW BY VARYING INTERNAL BAFFLE CONDUCTANCE

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A showerhead for use in a semiconductor processing tool, the showerhead comprising:
a faceplate, the faceplate including a faceplate bottom surface and a faceplate top surface opposite the faceplate bottom
surface, the faceplate top surface partially defining a lower plenum volume within the showerhead, wherein the showerhead
is configured to, when the showerhead is used in a semiconductor manufacturing process, orient the faceplate bottom surface
to face a semiconductor substrate subject to the semiconductor manufacturing process; and

a baffle, the baffle including:
a plate with a substantially axially-symmetric shape about a center axis substantially normal to the faceplate, the plate
having a baffle bottom surface facing the faceplate and a baffle top surface facing away from the baffle bottom surface, wherein:

the baffle bottom surface further defines the lower plenum volume and the baffle top surface partially defines a upper plenum
volume, and

a plurality of through-holes arranged in a radial array, the radial array centered on the center axis, wherein:
the radial array has a diameter of approximately half of the diameter of the plate, and
the baffle is configured such that substantially all gas flow through the showerhead flows through the radial array of through-holes.

US Pat. No. 9,404,194

ELECTROPLATING APPARATUS AND PROCESS FOR WAFER LEVEL PACKAGING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A continuous method of simultaneously plating a first metal and a second more noble metal onto a cathodic substrate, the
method comprising:
(a) providing an anolyte containing ions of the first metal but not the second metal in an anode chamber comprising an active
anode comprising the first metal;

(b) providing a catholyte containing ions of both the first metal and the second metal in a cathode chamber, wherein the anode
chamber and the cathode chamber are separated by a separation structure therebetween; and

(c) simultaneously plating the first and the second metal onto the substrate,
while substantially preventing ions of the second metal from entering the anode chamber,
while delivering an acid solution to the anode chamber from a source outside the anode chamber,
while delivering a solution comprising ions of the first metal to the anode chamber from a source outside the anode chamber,
while removing a portion of the catholyte to make room for a volume of fluid material that is transferring from the anode
chamber to the cathode chamber,

while delivering ions of the second metal to the cathode chamber,
while transporting water through the separation structure from the anolyte to the catholyte; and
while delivering anolyte from the anode chamber to the cathode chamber via a conduit other than the separation structure,
wherein the volume of fluid material that is transferring from the anode chamber to the cathode chamber comprises water volume
transported through the separation structure from the anolyte to the catholyte, and the anolyte volume delivered from the
anode chamber to the cathode chamber via the conduit other than the separation structure; and

wherein the catholyte and anolyte comprise acid and wherein the concentration of protons in the catholyte is maintained such
that it does not fluctuate by more than about 10% over the period of at least about 0.2 bath charge turnovers.

US Pat. No. 9,268,340

FLOW BALANCING IN GAS DISTRIBUTION NETWORKS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A flow distribution network for supplying a process gas to two or more destinations, the flow distribution network comprising:
an inlet for receiving the process gas;
a network of flow distribution lines for carrying the process gas comprising a branch point downstream from the inlet and
two or more branches downstream from the branch point, wherein each branch has an outlet for supplying process gas to a corresponding
destination;

a variable flow element in each branch having a Cv value that varies by at least about 2% from element to element across the
branches; and

a restrictive component downstream from the variable flow element in each branch, wherein the restrictive components are nominally
identical,

wherein the flow of the process gas produces a system pressure drop, from the inlet to the outlets, across the flow distribution
network is at least as great as the pressure at the outlets.

US Pat. No. 9,228,270

LIPSEALS AND CONTACT ELEMENTS FOR SEMICONDUCTOR ELECTROPLATING APPARATUSES

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A lipseal assembly for use in an electroplating clamshell for engaging and supplying electrical current to a semiconductor
substrate during electroplating, the lipseal assembly comprising:
an elastomeric lipseal for engaging the semiconductor substrate during electroplating, wherein upon engagement the elastomeric
lipseal substantially excludes plating solution from a peripheral region of the semiconductor substrate; and

one or more flexible contact elements for supplying electrical current to the semiconductor substrate during electroplating,
at least a portion of the one or more flexible contact elements positioned on an upper surface of the elastomeric lipseal
and configured to flex upon engagement with the semiconductor substrate so as to form a conformal non-planar electrical contact
interface with a non-planar surface of the semiconductor substrate.

US Pat. No. 9,194,045

CONTINUOUS PLASMA AND RF BIAS TO REGULATE DAMAGE IN A SUBSTRATE PROCESSING SYSTEM

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method for processing a substrate, comprising:
(a) supplying process gas to a processing chamber including a substrate arranged on a pedestal;
(b) supplying a first DC voltage bias across first and second components of the processing chamber to create plasma in the
processing chamber;

(c) supplying a radio frequency (RF) bias to the pedestal to provide a first etch to deposition (E/D) ratio, wherein the RF
bias has a first frequency and a first power level;

(d) performing a first substrate processing step;
(e) after the first substrate processing step, maintaining the plasma in the processing chamber and at least one of:
(e1) adjusting the first DC voltage bias to a second DC voltage bias that is different than the first DC voltage bias;
(e2) adjusting the first frequency of the RF bias to a second frequency that is different than the first frequency; or
(e3) adjusting the first power level of the RF bias to a second power level that is different than the first power level;
and

(f) performing a second substrate processing step without an interruption in the plasma between the first substrate processing
step and the second substrate processing step,

wherein the first and second substrate processing steps comprise ionized physical vapor deposition (iPVD), and
wherein the iPVD comprises copper ion reflow.

US Pat. No. 9,384,959

PURGING OF POROGEN FROM UV CURE CHAMBER

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A purge ring for providing a gas to a wafer processing chamber, the purge ring comprising:
an inlet ring wall defining a ring hole space, wherein an outer perimeter of the inlet ring wall is elliptical and an outer
perimeter of the ring hole space is circular, and wherein the inlet ring wall corresponds to a continuous structure surrounding
the ring hole space;

an inlet baffle formed within the inlet ring wall and surrounding at least 180 degrees of the outer perimeter of the ring
hole space;

an inlet plenum arranged in a first end of the inlet ring wall, the inlet plenum arranged to provide the gas received via
a gas inlet hole to the ring hole space through the inlet baffle;

an exhaust channel formed within the inlet ring wall in a second end of the inlet ring wall opposite the first end; and
an exhaust outlet hole arranged in the second end of the inlet ring wall to exhaust the gas out of the ring hole space via
the exhaust channel,

wherein the inlet baffle surrounds at least 270 degrees of the outer perimeter of the ring hole space.

US Pat. No. 9,117,668

PECVD DEPOSITION OF SMOOTH SILICON FILMS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method for forming a smooth silicon film on a semiconductor substrate in a plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition
(PECVD) apparatus comprising a PECVD process chamber, the method comprising:
supplying a process gas to the PECVD apparatus, wherein the process gas comprises a silicon-containing precursor, argon, and
helium, wherein the silicon-containing precursor is silane; and

depositing a smooth silicon film on the semiconductor substrate, the depositing comprising:
(a) flowing the process gas to the PECVD process chamber wherein the flow rate of silane is 0.05-12% of the total process
gas flow rate, the flow rate of argon is 16-84% of the total process gas flow rate, and the flow rate of helium is 25-83%
of the total process gas flow rate;

(b) forming a plasma using both high frequency (HF) and low frequency (LF) plasma generation, wherein the LF power is 17-80%
of the total (HF and LF) power; and

(c) maintaining a deposition temperature of 350-550° C. and maintaining a pressure of 2-6 Torr in the PECVD process chamber;
wherein the deposited smooth silicon film is characterized by roughness (Ra) of less than about 7 Å, and a compressive stress
of less than about 500 MPa in absolute value, or wherein the deposited smooth silicon film is tensile and is characterized
by Ra of less than about 7 Å.

US Pat. No. 9,076,843

METHOD FOR PRODUCING ULTRA-THIN TUNGSTEN LAYERS WITH IMPROVED STEP COVERAGE

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of forming a tungsten film on a surface of a semiconductor substrate, the method comprising:
positioning said semiconductor substrate within a deposition chamber;
prior to forming any tungsten on the substrate surface, performing an initiation soak, which comprises exposing the surface
to a boron-containing compound;

exposing the substrate to a tungsten-containing gas that is reduced to form a first portion of a tungsten nucleation layer
on the substrate;

after forming the first portion of the tungsten-nucleation later, flowing a silane into said deposition chamber; and
flowing a tungsten-containing gas into said deposition chamber and reducing the tungsten-containing gas to form another portion
of the tungsten nucleation layer, wherein said deposition chamber has multiple stations and

wherein one or more stations is used for pulsed nucleation to form the nucleation layer and the remainder of the stations
are used for CVD plugfill.

US Pat. No. 9,255,329

MODULATED ION-INDUCED ATOMIC LAYER DEPOSITION (MII-ALD)

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method for depositing an elemental film onto a substrate in a chamber comprising:
introducing a reactant gas into the chamber, the reactant gas forming a layer of adsorbed reactant on the substrate;
introducing at least one ion generating feed gas into the chamber;
generating a plasma from the ion generating feed gas to form ions, wherein during generation of the plasma, a position of
the substrate and a position of the plasma do not change relative to one another;

exposing the substrate to the ions;
varying a bias applied to the substrate to modulate the ions between a low energy state and a high energy state, wherein ions
at the low energy state have insufficient energy to induce surface deposition reactions with the layer of adsorbed reactant
and wherein ions at the high energy state have sufficient energy to induce surface deposition reactions with the layer of
adsorbed reactant, wherein the bias applied to the substrate is varied to cause the depositing, while the plasma is generated
continuously and the substrate is continuously exposed to the ions; and

reacting the layer of adsorbed reactant with the ions at the high energy state to form the elemental film.

US Pat. No. 9,309,605

MONITORING LEVELER CONCENTRATIONS IN ELECTROPLATING SOLUTIONS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of determining leveler concentration in a test solution, comprising:
(a) providing an electrode having a metal surface;
(b) exposing the electrode to a pre-acceleration solution comprising at least one accelerator compound and allowing the surface
of the electrode to become substantially saturated with the at least one accelerator compound before removing the electrode
from the pre-acceleration solution;

(c) exposing the substantially saturated electrode to the test solution and measuring an electrochemical response while plating
the substantially saturated electrode in the test solution, the test solution having an unknown concentration of leveler;
and

(d) determining the concentration of leveler in the test solution by comparing the electrochemical response obtained in operation
(c) to a model relating leveler concentration to known electrochemical responses.

US Pat. No. 9,236,297

LOW TEMPATURE TUNGSTEN FILM DEPOSITION FOR SMALL CRITICAL DIMENSION CONTACTS AND INTERCONNECTS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of filling a recessed feature on a substrate, the method comprising:
providing a substrate having a field region and a first feature recessed from the field region, said recessed feature comprising
sidewalls, a bottom, an opening, corners, and a Ti/TiN liner layer;

depositing a tungsten nucleation layer on the sidewalls and bottom of the recessed feature; and
filling the feature with a low temperature CVD tungsten bulk layer via a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process; wherein
the substrate temperature during the CVD process is maintained at between 250° C. and 350° C.

US Pat. No. 9,209,000

GAS FLOW DISTRIBUTION RECEPTACLES, PLASMA GENERATOR SYSTEMS, AND METHODS FOR PERFORMING PLASMA STRIPPING PROCESSES

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

8. A gas flow distribution receptacle for providing gas to a plasma generation system for forming ionized gas, the receptacle
comprising:
an inner surface;
an outer surface;
a centerpoint; and
a rounded section comprising a first ring including a first plurality of openings configured to create a flow curtain that
pushes ionized gas away from the outer surface of the receptacle.

US Pat. No. 9,476,139

CLEANING ELECTROPLATING SUBSTRATE HOLDERS USING REVERSE CURRENT DEPLATING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of mitigating an electroplating deposit on a substrate holder that is configured to hold a wafer substrate in
an electroplating cell while applying a cathodic current to electroplate metal on the substrate, the method comprising:
when the electroplating cell is not being used for electroplating metal on a substrate, providing a deplating disk in the
substrate holder such that the deplating disk makes electrical contact with a plurality of electrical contacts in the substrate
holder;

immersing the deplating disk and substrate holder into an electroplating solution within the electroplating cell; and
applying an anodic potential to the deplating disk under conditions sufficient to remove, at least partially, the electroplating
deposit from the substrate holder,

wherein the deplating disk has a size and a shape matching those of a standard semiconductor wafer.

US Pat. No. 9,472,432

DEDICATED HOT AND COLD END EFFECTORS FOR IMPROVED THROUGHPUT

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A semiconductor substrate process system robot comprising:
at least two arms;
a first end effector for supporting a semiconductor substrate, said first end effector having a first top surface configured
to contact a semiconductor substrate during substrate transfer, wherein said first top surface comprises a first material
having a first coefficient of friction,

a second end effector for supporting a semiconductor substrate, said second end effector having a second top surface configured
to contact a semiconductor substrate during substrate transfer, wherein said second top surface comprises a second material
having a second coefficient of friction, wherein the first coefficient of friction and the second coefficient of friction
are different and wherein the first end effector is on a first arm of the at least two arms and the second end effector is
on a second arm of the at least two arms; and

a controller programmed to move the first arm at an acceleration of at least a first acceleration level during transfer of
a semiconductor substrate supported by the first end effector and programmed to limit an acceleration of the second arm to
no more than a second acceleration level during transfer of a semiconductor substrate supported by the second end effector,
wherein the first acceleration level is greater than the second acceleration level.

US Pat. No. 9,355,886

CONFORMAL FILM DEPOSITION FOR GAPFILL

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of conformally depositing a dielectric oxide in high aspect ratio gaps in a substrate, the method comprising:
(a) providing a substrate with one or more gaps into a reaction chamber, wherein each gap has a depth to width aspect ratio
of greater than about 5:1;

(b) depositing a first dielectric oxide layer in the one or more gaps via conformal film deposition (CFD), wherein depositing
the first dielectric oxide layer in the one or more gaps via CFD includes:

introducing a first reactant in vapor phase into the reaction chamber under conditions allowing the first reactant to adsorb
onto the substrate surface;

introducing a second reactant in vapor phase into the reaction chamber while the first reactant is adsorbed on the substrate
surface, wherein the second reactant is introduced without sweeping the first reactant out of the reaction chamber; and

exposing the substrate surface to plasma to drive a reaction between the first and the second reactants on the substrate surface
to form the first dielectric oxide layer;

(c) etching a portion of the first dielectric oxide layer using a plasma etch, wherein etching the portion of the first dielectric
oxide layer occurs at a faster rate near a top surface than near a bottom surface of each gap so that the first dielectric
oxide layer has a tapered profile from the top surface to the bottom surface of each gap; and

(d) depositing a second dielectric oxide layer in the one or more gaps over the first dielectric oxide layer via CFD.

US Pat. No. 9,234,276

METHOD TO OBTAIN SIC CLASS OF FILMS OF DESIRED COMPOSITION AND FILM PROPERTIES

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of depositing a silicon carbide film, the method comprising:
providing a substrate;
flowing a first organo-silicon precursor onto the substrate;
flowing a second organo-silicon precursor onto the substrate, wherein the first organo-silicon precursor is different from
the second organo-silicon precursor, and wherein the first organo-silicon precursor and the second organo-silicon precursor
are flowed together onto the substrate; and

introducing radicals from a source gas generated from a plasma source, wherein all or substantially all the radicals are in
a substantially low energy state to react with the first and the second organo-silicon precursors to deposit the silicon carbide
film on the substrate under conditions that break one or both of silicon-hydrogen bonds and silicon-silicon bonds but preserve
silicon-oxygen, silicon-nitrogen, and/or silicon-carbon bonds, the broken silicon-hydrogen bonds and broken silicon-silicon
bonds capable of cross-linking, the reaction occurring in a reaction space adjacent to the substrate and remote from the plasma
source, the source gas being selected from a group consisting of: hydrogen, ammonia, and amine.

US Pat. No. 9,117,884

CONFORMAL FILMS ON SEMICONDUCTOR SUBSTRATES

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus for depositing a layer of diffusion barrier or seed material on a semiconductor substrate, the apparatus comprising:
(a) a physical vapor deposition (PVD) process chamber having a target for sputtering a material onto the semiconductor substrate;
(b) a semiconductor substrate support in the PVD process chamber for holding the semiconductor substrate in position during
deposition of the material; and

(c) a controller comprising program instructions for:
(i) performing a first net deposition cycle including
depositing a first deposited layer of the diffusion barrier or seed material and
etching the first deposited layer to form a first etched layer having a first net deposited thickness; and
(ii) performing a second net deposition cycle including
depositing a second deposited layer of the diffusion barrier or seed material over the first etched layer and
etching the second deposited layer to form a second etched layer over the first etched layer, the second etched layer having
a second net deposited thickness, wherein the first net deposited thickness is greater than the second net deposited thickness
and wherein no etching bias is applied to the semiconductor substrate during etching of the first deposited layer and wherein
an etching bias is applied during etching of the second deposited layer.

US Pat. No. 9,404,183

DIAGNOSTIC AND CONTROL SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR SUBSTRATE PROCESSING SYSTEMS USING DC SELF-BIAS VOLTAGE

NOVELLUS SYSTEMS, INC., ...

1. A substrate processing system, comprising:
a processing chamber including a showerhead, a plasma power source and a pedestal spaced from the showerhead to support a
substrate;

a filter connected between the showerhead and the pedestal;
a variable bleed current circuit connected between the filter and the pedestal to vary a bleed current; and
a controller configured to adjust a value of the bleed current and configured to perform curve fitting based on the bleed
current and DC self-bias voltage to estimate at least one of electrode area ratio, Bohm current, and radio frequency (RF)
voltage at a powered electrode.

US Pat. No. 9,230,800

PLASMA ACTIVATED CONFORMAL FILM DEPOSITION

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of depositing a film on a substrate surface, the method comprising:
(a) providing a substrate in a reaction chamber;
(b) introducing a first reactant in vapor phase into the reaction chamber under conditions allowing the first reactant to
adsorb onto the substrate surface;

(c) introducing a second reactant in vapor phase into the reaction chamber while the first reactant is adsorbed on the substrate
surface, wherein the second reactant is introduced without first sweeping the first reactant out of the reaction chamber;

(d) exposing the substrate surface to plasma to drive a surface reaction between the first and second reactants on the substrate
surface to form the film; and

(e) introducing the first reactant in vapor phase and second reactant in vapor phase into the reaction chamber concurrently
to thereby deposit additional film by a chemical vapor deposition non-surface gas phase reaction directly on the film formed
in (d), wherein there is a transition phase between operations (d) and (e) in which the surface reaction between the first
and second reactants and the chemical vapor deposition non-surface gas phase reaction take place concurrently, and wherein
the substrate is exposed to plasma during the transition phase.

US Pat. No. 9,534,308

PROTECTING ANODES FROM PASSIVATION IN ALLOY PLATING SYSTEMS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus for simultaneously electroplating a first metal and a second, more noble metal onto a substrate, comprising:
(a) an anode chamber for containing anolyte and an active anode, said active anode comprising the first metal;
(b) a cathode chamber for containing catholyte and the substrate;
(c) a separation structure positioned between the anode chamber and the cathode chamber and permitting passage of ionic current
during electroplating; and

(d) a getter comprising a solid phase getter material that undergoes a metal-metal displacement reaction or a selective ion
exchange process when contacting ions of the second metal, wherein the getter is positioned to contact the anolyte but not
contact the catholyte during electroplating,

wherein the getter is positioned at a first distance from the cathode chamber and the active anode is positioned at a second
distance from the cathode chamber such that the first distance is greater than the second distance, and

wherein the getter is structurally distinct from the active anode.

US Pat. No. 9,388,494

SUPPRESSION OF PARASITIC DEPOSITION IN A SUBSTRATE PROCESSING SYSTEM BY SUPPRESSING PRECURSOR FLOW AND PLASMA OUTSIDE OF SUBSTRATE REGION

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A substrate processing system, comprising:
a showerhead that comprises a head portion and a stem portion and that delivers precursor gas to a chamber,
wherein the head portion includes an upper surface, a sidewall, a lower planar surface including a plurality of holes, and
a cylindrical cavity defined therebetween,

wherein the head portion extends radially outwardly from one end of the stem portion towards sidewalls of the chamber and
defines a cavity between the upper surface of the head portion and an upper surface of the chamber,

wherein the cylindrical cavity of the head portion receives process gas via the stem portion,
wherein the process gas in the cylindrical cavity flows though the plurality of holes in the lower planar surface and is distributed
into the chamber; and

a collar that connects the showerhead to the upper surface of the chamber adjacent to an opposite end of the stem portion,
wherein the collar includes a base portion, a stem portion and a plurality of slots, is arranged around the stem portion of
the showerhead, and directs purge gas through the plurality of slots into the cavity between the head portion of the showerhead
and the upper surface of the chamber and a first plate that includes an opening that receives the stem portion of the showerhead,

wherein the first plate is arranged between (i) a lower edge of the stem portion of the collar, below the plurality of slots
and (ii) the head portion of the showerhead.

US Pat. No. 9,309,604

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ELECTROPLATING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of plating a metal layer onto a substrate, the method comprising:
(a) holding a substrate, having a working surface comprising a conductive layer, in a substrate holder of an electroplating
apparatus, wherein the apparatus comprises a plating chamber, an anode, a first auxiliary cathode and a second auxiliary cathode;

(b) immersing the working surface of the substrate in an electrolyte solution and proximate an ionically resistive ionically
permeable element positioned between the working surface and the anode contained in the plating chamber, the ionically resistive
ionically permeable element having a flat surface that is parallel to the working surface of the substrate, wherein the ionically
resistive ionically permeable element has an ionically resistive body with a plurality of perforations made in the body such
that the perforations do not form communicating channels within the body and wherein said perforations allow for transport
of ions through the element;

(c) supplying current to the substrate with one or more electrical power contacts positioned around a substantially circular
perimeter to plate the metal layer onto the conductive layer of the substrate;

(d) supplying current to the first auxiliary cathode located between the anode and the ionically resistive ionically permeable
element, to thereby shape the current distribution from the anode; and

(e) supplying current to the second auxiliary cathode located between the ionically resistive ionically permeable element
and the substrate during electroplating to divert a portion of ionic current from an edge region of the substrate.

US Pat. No. 9,476,120

TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED SHOWERHEAD

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A temperature controlled, chandelier-type showerhead for chemical vapor deposition (CVD), the showerhead comprising:
(a) a stem comprising a convective cooling fluid passageway and configured for attachment to a chamber;
(b) a back plate thermally coupled to the stem; and
(c) a face plate thermally coupled to the back plate, wherein the convective cooling fluid passageway is configured such that
the temperature of cooling fluid exiting the convective cooling fluid passageway is the same as the temperature of the stem.

US Pat. No. 9,359,688

APPARATUSES AND METHODS FOR CONTROLLING PH IN ELECTROPLATING BATHS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of electroplating a metal onto a surface of a patterned semiconductor substrate in an electroplating bath and
adjusting the pH of the bath, the method comprising:
placing the substrate into an electroplating clamshell and exposing the substrate surface to the bath;
exposing a counter-electrode to the bath;
biasing the substrate surface sufficiently negative relative to the counterelectrode such that metal ions from the bath are
reduced and plated onto the substrate surface;

replacing the substrate with an acid generating disc having an acid generating surface in the electroplating clamshell and
exposing said surface to the bath; and

biasing the acid generating surface sufficiently positive relative to the counterelectrode such that hydrogen ions are generated
at the acid generating surface thereby decreasing the pH of the bath.

US Pat. No. 9,512,538

PLATING CUP WITH CONTOURED CUP BOTTOM

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A cup for engaging a wafer during electroplating in a clamshell assembly and supplying electrical current to the wafer
during electroplating, the cup comprising:
an elastomeric seal disposed on the cup and configured to engage the wafer at an inner edge of the elastomeric seal during
electroplating, wherein upon engagement the elastomeric seal substantially excludes plating solution from a peripheral region
of the wafer, wherein the elastomeric seal and the cup are annular in shape;

one or more contact elements configured to supply electrical current to the wafer during electroplating, the one or more contact
elements attached to and extending inwardly towards a center of the cup from a metal strip disposed over the elastomeric seal;
and

a protrusion extending from and attached to only a portion of a bottom surface of the cup below the inner edge of the elastomeric
seal, wherein the portion of the bottom surface of the cup is an angular portion aligned with a notch in the wafer during
electroplating, the protrusion being positioned to reduce electrical current drawn from the peripheral region of the wafer
during electroplating.

US Pat. No. 9,399,228

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PURGING AND PLASMA SUPPRESSION IN A PROCESS CHAMBER

NOVELLUS SYSTEMS, INC., ...

1. A substrate processing system, comprising:
a showerhead that comprises a head portion and a stem portion and that delivers precursor gas to a processing chamber;
a baffle that includes a base portion having an outer diameter that is greater than an outer diameter of the head portion
of the showerhead,

wherein the baffle comprises a dielectric material and is arranged (i) above the head portion of the showerhead, (ii) between
the head portion of the showerhead and an upper surface of the processing chamber,

wherein the baffle defines (i) a volume between the baffle and the upper surface of the processing chamber and (ii) a gap
between an outer edge of the baffle and sidewalls of the processing chamber,

wherein the gap between the outer edge of the baffle and the sidewalls of the processing chamber is smaller than a gap between
an outer edge of the showerhead and the sidewalls of the processing chamber,

wherein the gap between the outer edge of the baffle and the sidewalls of the processing chamber extends from the outer edge
of the baffle to the sidewalls, and wherein no structure is arranged in the gap between the outer edge of the baffle and the
sidewalls of the processing chamber, and

wherein no structure is arranged in the gap between the outer edge of the showerhead and the sidewalls of the processing chamber;
and

one or more purge gas inlets arranged in the upper surface of the processing chamber to supply purge gas downward into the
volume defined between the baffle and the upper surface of the processing chamber.

US Pat. No. 9,255,326

SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR REMOTE PLASMA ATOMIC LAYER DEPOSITION

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method for depositing a film on a substrate, comprising:
introducing a precursor gas into a reaction volume of a processing chamber, wherein a substrate is arranged in the reaction
volume, and wherein the precursor gas is introduced to the reaction volume through first gas distribution holes of a first
plenum of a dual plenum showerhead arranged above the substrate,

wherein the first gas distribution holes and the first plenum are defined by an upper faceplate and a lower faceplate,
wherein a gas distribution channel around a perimeter of the first plenum is formed in a gap between the upper faceplate and
the lower faceplate, wherein the gap is defined by a first sidewall of the upper faceplate and a second sidewall of the lower
faceplate such that the gap is formed between the first sidewall and the second sidewall,

wherein the precursor gas is introduced into the gas distribution channel via gas feed inlets at the perimeter of the first
plenum and flows from the gas distribution channel through the first gas distribution holes and into the reaction volume;

after a predetermined soak period, purging the precursor gas from the reaction volume; and
exposing the substrate with plasma gas using a remote plasma source, wherein the plasma gas is provided to the reaction volume
through a second plenum of the dual plenum showerhead and through second gas distribution holes that pass through the first
plenum,

wherein the precursor gas is not provided through either of the second gas distribution holes or the second plenum,
and wherein the plasma gas is not provided through the first gas distribution holes of the first plenum.

US Pat. No. 9,508,593

METHOD OF DEPOSITING A DIFFUSION BARRIER FOR COPPER INTERCONNECT APPLICATIONS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus for depositing a metal-containing material on a wafer substrate, comprising:
a chamber adapted to receive a wafer substrate, wherein the wafer substrate comprises at least one via comprising a bottom
portion and at least one trench, and an exposed metal at the bottom portion of the at least one via;

a DC power source;
a deposition source adapted to supply metal-containing material upon application of DC power by said DC power source;
wherein the application of DC power to the deposition source results in deposition of a first portion of the metal-containing
material at least over the bottom portion of the at least one via;

an RF power source adapted to apply RF power to the wafer substrate;
wherein the application of DC power to the deposition source and RF power to the wafer substrate results in etching away the
first portion of the metal-containing material at the bottom portion of the at least one via with energetic gas ions such
that an E/D (etch rate to deposition rate) ratio is greater than 1 at the bottom of the at least one via without fully etching
through to partially remove the first portion of the metal-containing material such that a part of the first portion of the
metal-containing material is removed from the bottom portion of the at least one via, such that the resistance of subsequently
formed interconnects is reduced relative to that of interconnects formed using the first portion of the metal-containing material
prior to etching, while simultaneously depositing a second portion of the metal-containing material in the trench and/or field
on the wafer substrate.

US Pat. No. 9,340,893

FRONT REFERENCED ANODE

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A consumable anode for an electroplating apparatus, the consumable anode comprising:
a plurality of sections, wherein each section has a first surface and a second surface, substantially parallel to the first
surface, wherein both the first and the second surfaces have a shape of a sector of a circle, wherein each of the sections
has a plurality of through channels connecting the first and second surfaces, wherein one of the first and second surfaces
has at least one depression configured for registering with a protrusion on a component of an anode assembly, and wherein
the at least one depression surrounds at least one through channel of the plurality of the through channels.

US Pat. No. 9,455,139

METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR WETTING PRETREATMENT FOR THROUGH RESIST METAL PLATING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus comprising:
a degasser configured to remove one or more dissolved gasses from a pre-wetting fluid to produce a degassed pre-wetting fluid;
a process chamber including:
a wafer holder configured to hold a wafer substrate and configured to rotate the wafer substrate,
a vacuum port configured to allow formation of a subatmospheric pressure in the process chamber, and
a fluid inlet coupled to the degasser and configured to deliver the degassed pre-wetting fluid onto the wafer substrate, wherein
the fluid inlet includes a manifold including at least one nozzle configured to deliver the degassed pre-wetting fluid onto
the wafer substrate, and wherein the at least one nozzle is located over the wafer substrate; and

a controller programmed to:
rotate the wafer substrate at a first rotation rate, and
admit the degassed pre-wetting fluid through the fluid inlet at a flow rate of at least about 0.4 liters per minute, and deliver
the degassed pre-wetting fluid from the at least one nozzle onto the wafer substrate at a velocity of at least about 7 meters
per second to form a wetting layer on the wafer substrate at the sub-atmospheric pressure in the process chamber, wherein
the degassed pre-wetting fluid is in a liquid state and wherein the degassed pre-wetting fluid is delivered, while the wafer
substrate is rotated at the first rotation rate.

US Pat. No. 9,523,155

ENHANCEMENT OF ELECTROLYTE HYDRODYNAMICS FOR EFFICIENT MASS TRANSFER DURING ELECTROPLATING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An electroplating apparatus comprising:
(a) an electroplating chamber configured to contain an electrolyte and an anode while electroplating metal onto a substantially
planar substrate;

(b) a substrate holder configured to hold the substantially planar substrate such that a plating face of the substrate is
separated from the anode during electroplating;

(c) an ionically resistive element comprising:
(i) a plurality of channels extending through the ionically resistive element and adapted to provide ionic transport through
the ionically resistive element during electroplating;

(ii) a substrate-facing side that is substantially parallel to the plating face of the substrate and separated from the plating
face of the substrate by a gap; and

(iii) a plurality of protuberances positioned on the substrate-facing side of the ionically resistive element;
(d) an inlet to the gap for introducing cross flowing electrolyte to the gap; and
(e) an outlet to the gap for receiving cross flowing electrolyte flowing in the gap,wherein the inlet and outlet are positioned proximate azimuthally opposing perimeter locations on the plating face of the
substrate during electroplating.

US Pat. No. 9,412,713

TREATMENT METHOD OF ELECTRODEPOSITED COPPER FOR WAFER-LEVEL-PACKAGING PROCESS FLOW

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of treating a copper containing structure in an integrated circuit package, comprising: electrodepositing copper
on a substrate to form a copper containing structure, wherein the copper containing structure includes at least 90 weight
percent of copper, wherein the copper containing structure is configured to deliver current between one or more ports and
one or more solder structures in the integrated circuit package; annealing the copper containing structure prior to forming
an interface with the copper containing structure and one of the solder structures; and after annealing the copper containing
structure, forming the interface between the copper containing structure and one of the solder structures, wherein the interface
between the copper containing structure and the solder structure has improved resistance to interfacial voiding at the interface.

US Pat. No. 9,162,209

SEQUENTIAL CASCADING OF REACTION VOLUMES AS A CHEMICAL REUSE STRATEGY

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A substrate processing system comprising:
N processing chambers defining N reaction volumes, wherein N is an integer greater than one;
N-1 first valves arranged between the N reaction volumes, wherein a reaction volume refers to a volume in which a substrate
is exposed to a precursor gas;

a controller in communication with the N-1 first valves and configured to:
pressurize a first one of the N reaction volumes with the precursor gas to a first target pressure;
wait a first predetermined soak period;
evacuate a second one of the N reaction volumes to a second target pressure that is lower than the first target pressure;
open one of the N-1 first valves between the first one of the N reaction volumes and the second one of the N reaction volumes;
close the one of the N-1 first valves subsequent to the opening of the one of the N-1 first valves; and
introduce an additional amount of the precursor gas to the second one of the N reaction volumes to achieve a third target
pressure after the closing of the one of the N-1 first valves; and

N-1 compressors and N-1 second valves arranged between the N reaction volumes, wherein:
the controller is further in communication with the N-1 compressors and the N-1 second valves; and
the controller is configured to:
after evacuating the second one of the N reaction volumes to the second target pressure, open one of the N-1 second valves
between the first one of the N reaction volumes and the second one of the N reaction volumes; and

operate one of the N-1 compressors to drive the precursor gas from the first one of the N reaction volumes via one of the
N-1 first valves to the second one of the N reaction volumes via one of the N-1 second valves.

US Pat. No. 9,583,385

METHOD FOR PRODUCING ULTRA-THIN TUNGSTEN LAYERS WITH IMPROVED STEP COVERAGE

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of forming a tungsten nucleation layer a surface of a semiconductor substrate comprising the steps of:
positioning said semiconductor substrate at a deposition station within a deposition chamber;
performing an initiation soak step, comprising exposure of the substrate to a gas in a gaseous or plasma state;
after the initiation soak step, flowing a reducing gas into said deposition chamber whereby about one or more monolayers of
reducing gas are deposited onto said surface of said substrate;

purging the reducing gas from the deposition chamber; and
flowing a tungsten-containing gas into said deposition chamber, whereby deposited reducing gas is replaced by tungsten to
provide said nucleation layer in a surface controlled deposition process.

US Pat. No. 9,552,982

APPARATUSES AND METHODS FOR DEPOSITING SIC/SICN FILMS VIA CROSS-METATHESIS REACTIONS WITH ORGANOMETALLIC CO-REACTANTS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of forming a SiC/SiCN film layer on a surface of a semiconductor substrate in a processing chamber, the method
comprising:
introducing a halogen-free silicon-containing film-precursor into the processing chamber;
introducing an organometallic ligand transfer reagent into the processing chamber, wherein the organometallic ligand transfer
reagent comprises magnesium;

adsorbing the silicon-containing film-precursor, the organometallic ligand transfer reagent, or both onto the surface under
conditions whereby either or both form an adsorption-limited layer;

reacting the silicon-containing film-precursor with the organometallic ligand transfer reagent, after either or both have
formed the adsorption-limited layer, to form the film layer and a byproduct which contains substantially all of the magnesium
of the organometallic ligand transfer reagent; and

removing the byproduct from the processing chamber.

US Pat. No. 9,613,833

METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR WETTING PRETREATMENT FOR THROUGH RESIST METAL PLATING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A pre-wetting apparatus for pre-wetting a wafer substrate, the apparatus comprising:
(a) a degasser configured to remove one or more dissolved gasses from a pre-wetting liquid to produce a degassed pre-wetting
liquid; and

(b) a process chamber comprising:
an inlet coupled to the degasser and configured to admit the degassed pre-wetting liquid;
at least one nozzle coupled to the inlet and mounted to a moveable arm, wherein the moveable arm is configured to position
the nozzle directly above the substrate when the arm is in an active position, and away from the substrate when the arm is
in an inactive position, wherein the nozzle is configured to direct the pre-wetting liquid at a grazing angle of between about
5-45 degrees to the plane of the substrate, when the arm is in the active position;

a substrate holder configured to hold the wafer substrate in a face-up orientation, and
a vacuum inlet configured to allow formation of a vacuum in the process chamber.

US Pat. No. 9,589,835

METHOD FOR FORMING TUNGSTEN FILM HAVING LOW RESISTIVITY, LOW ROUGHNESS AND HIGH REFLECTIVITY

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

12. A method of forming a tungsten layer on a substrate surface, the method comprising:
receiving a substrate having a deposited tungsten layer on the substrate surface, wherein the deposited tungsten layer has
a thickness T1; and

removing a top portion of the deposited tungsten layer to form a tungsten bulk layer having thickness Td, wherein Td is less
than T1 and wherein no more than the top portion is removed, wherein the top portion is between about 5% and 25% of the thickness
T1 of the deposited tungsten layer, further comprising introducing a fluorine-containing compound to a remote plasma generator
upstream of a chamber that houses the substrate, generating atomic fluorine within the remote plasma generator, and flowing
atomic fluorine from the remote plasma generator to the chamber to remove the top portion of the deposited tungsten layer.

US Pat. No. 9,587,322

WETTING WAVE FRONT CONTROL FOR REDUCED AIR ENTRAPMENT DURING WAFER ENTRY INTO ELECTROPLATING BATH

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of immersing a wafer into a plating solution, the method comprising:
(a) contacting a leading edge of the wafer, while the wafer is tilted with respect to the horizontal, with the plating solution
at a first translational speed, followed by;

(b) slowing the wafer to a second translational speed while the wafer's plating surface is partially immersed in the plating
solution, wherein the second translational speed is greater than zero; and then

(c) speeding the wafer to a third translational speed before the wafer's plating surface is fully immersed in the plating
solution.

US Pat. No. 9,593,426

THROUGH SILICON VIA FILLING USING AN ELECTROLYTE WITH A DUAL STATE INHIBITOR

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An electroplating apparatus, comprising a controller with program instructions for electroplating metal in a recessed feature
on a semiconductor substrate, wherein the program instructions for electroplating metal comprise instructions for:
(a) contacting the semiconductor substrate with an electroplating solution comprising metal ions and an organic dual state
inhibitor (DSI) in an electroplating cell; and

(b) electrically biasing the semiconductor substrate under potential-controlled conditions and below a critical potential
of the DSI, while the semiconductor substrate is contacted with the electroplating solution to electrodeposit metal in the
recessed feature such that after filling the recessed feature, the ratio of the metal layer thickness deposited on the field
to the metal layer thickness deposited in the recessed feature is not greater than about 0.05, wherein the DSI is configured
for inhibiting metal deposition in a field region of the semiconductor substrate and is characterized by a cyclic voltammogram
having an inflection point between a first region exhibiting minimal current change with potential change and a second region
exhibiting a large current change with potential change, the inflection point corresponding to the critical potential.

US Pat. No. 9,564,344

ULTRA LOW SILICON LOSS HIGH DOSE IMPLANT STRIP

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of removing a resist from a work piece surface in a reaction chamber, the method comprising:
forming a first plasma from a process gas mixture comprising molecular hydrogen, a non-carbon-containing fluorine-containing
gas and a protectant compound, wherein said non-carbon-containing fluorine-containing gas and said protectant compound are
provided in a first volumetric flow ratio, wherein the volumetric ratio of the molecular hydrogen to the non-carbon-containing
fluorine-containing gas is at least 10:1;

exposing the work piece surface to the first plasma to thereby remove a first portion of the resist from the work piece surface;
changing the volumetric flow ratio of said non-carbon-containing fluorine-containing gas and said protectant compound to form
a second plasma; and

exposing the work piece surface to the second plasma to thereby remove a second portion of the resist from the work piece
surface.

US Pat. No. 9,570,274

PLASMA ACTIVATED CONFORMAL DIELECTRIC FILM DEPOSITION

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of depositing a film on a non-planar substrate surface in a reaction chamber, the method comprising:
introducing a first reactant into the reaction chamber under non-plasma conditions allowing the first reactant to adsorb onto
the non-planar substrate surface;

introducing a dopant containing material into the reaction chamber under non-plasma conditions; and
subsequently exposing the non-planar substrate surface to plasma to form a doped film conformal to the non-planar substrate
surface.

US Pat. No. 9,746,427

DETECTION OF PLATING ON WAFER HOLDING APPARATUS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

11. An apparatus for detecting the presence or absence of a metal deposit on a substrate holder of an electroplating apparatus,
comprising:
detection hardware positioned on mounting hardware,
wherein the mounting hardware comprises a swing arm that swings into place to bring the detection hardware proximate a detection
region on the substrate holder, the substrate holder comprising a bottom and an interior edge, wherein the detection region
on the substrate holder is on the bottom of the substrate holder extending about 5 mm or more from the interior edge of the
substrate holder, and

wherein the detection hardware is configured to detect the presence or absence of a metal deposit in the detection region
of the substrate holder.

US Pat. No. 9,613,825

PHOTORESIST STRIP PROCESSES FOR IMPROVED DEVICE INTEGRITY

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method comprising:
providing a substrate having an exposed silicon surface and an ion-implanted photoresist, the ion-implanted photoresist including
a bulk photoresist and a carbonized outer layer on the bulk photoresist, disposed thereon to reaction chamber;

exposing the substrate to a plasma generated from a process gas consisting essentially of nitrogen (N2) and hydrogen (H2), wherein the volumetric flow percentage of H2 in the process gas is between about 2% and 16% and the balance of the process gas is N2, to thereby remove photoresist from the substrate, wherein the substrate temperature is between about 200° C. and 285° C.
and the chamber pressure is between 600 mTorr and 2 Torr.

US Pat. No. 9,598,770

CONTOURED SHOWERHEAD FOR IMPROVED PLASMA SHAPING AND CONTROL

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A showerhead faceplate for use in a semiconductor manufacturing tool, the showerhead faceplate comprising:
a substantially circular structure having a bottom surface and a center axis, wherein, when the showerhead faceplate is used
in a semiconductor manufacturing process, the bottom surface faces a substrate that is subject to the semiconductor manufacturing
process, and wherein:

a plurality of gas distribution holes pass through the circular structure,
the bottom surface is contoured and has a radial profile that varies with respect to normal distance from a reference plane
perpendicular to the center axis, and

the radial profile includes:
a first linear segment that:
starts at the center axis,
radiates outwards from the center axis, and
is perpendicular to the center axis;
a second linear segment that:
starts and ends at locations further from the center axis than either end of the first linear segment,
radiates outwards from the center axis,
is perpendicular to the center axis, and
is offset from the first linear segment along the center axis; and
a first transition segment that connects the first linear segment with the second linear segment.

US Pat. No. 9,624,592

CROSS FLOW MANIFOLD FOR ELECTROPLATING APPARATUS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An electroplating apparatus comprising:
(a) an electroplating chamber configured to contain an electrolyte and an anode while electroplating metal onto a substrate,
the substrate being substantially planar;

(b) a substrate holder configured to hold the substrate such that a plating face of the substrate is separated from the anode
during electroplating;

(c) an ionically resistive element including a substrate-facing surface that is separated from the plating face of the substrate
by a gap of about 10 mm or less, wherein the ionically resistive element is at least coextensive with the plating face of
the substrate during electroplating, the ionically resistive element adapted to provide ionic transport through the element
during electroplating;

(d) a cross flow injection manifold at least partially defined by a cavity in the ionically resistive element, wherein the
cross flow injection manifold is arc-shaped and positioned proximate a periphery of the substrate;

(e) a cross flow confinement ring positioned proximate the periphery of the substrate and positioned at least partially between
the ionically resistive element and the substrate holder, wherein the cross flow confinement ring at least partially defines
a side of the gap;

(f) an inlet to the gap for introducing electrolyte to the gap, wherein the inlet receives electrolyte from the cross flow
injection manifold; and

(g) an outlet to the gap for receiving electrolyte flowing in the gap,wherein the inlet and outlet are positioned proximate azimuthally opposing perimeter locations on the plating face of the
substrate during electroplating, andwherein the inlet and outlet are adapted to generate cross-flowing electrolyte in the gap to create or maintain a shearing
force on the plating face of the substrate during electroplating.

US Pat. No. 9,852,913

WETTING PRETREATMENT FOR ENHANCED DAMASCENE METAL FILLING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of electroplating a layer of copper on a wafer substrate, the method comprising:
(a) providing the wafer substrate having an exposed metal layer on at least a portion of its surface to a pre-wetting process
chamber;

(b) contacting the wafer substrate with a pre-wetting fluid under subatmospheric pressure, the pre-wetting fluid comprising
water and copper ions, to form a layer of pre-wetting fluid on the wafer substrate;

(c) contacting the pre-wetted wafer substrate with a plating solution, the plating solution comprising copper ions, cathodically
biasing the wafer substrate and electroplating a layer of copper on the wafer substrate, wherein the concentration of copper
ions in the pre-wetting fluid is greater than the concentration of copper ions in the plating solution.

US Pat. No. 9,786,570

METHODS FOR DEPOSITING FILMS ON SENSITIVE SUBSTRATES

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of measuring an extent of damage to a substrate during deposition, the method comprising:
(a) depositing a plurality of film layers on the substrate by a cyclic deposition method in which each cycle deposits one
layer of film;

(b) measuring a first total thickness of the plurality of film layers deposited in (a);
(c) after (b), depositing one or more additional film layers on the substrate by the cyclic deposition method;
(d) after (c), measuring a second total thickness of the plurality of film layers deposited in (a) and the one or more additional
film layers deposited in (c);

(e) performing a linear regression between (i) a number of deposition cycles performed in (a) and a total number of deposition
cycles performed in (a) and (c) and iii) the first total thickness measured in (b) and the second total thickness measured
in (d) to form a regression model, respectively;

(f) using the regression model to evaluate a predicted thickness at about zero deposition cycles, wherein the predicted thickness
corresponds to the extent of damage to the substrate experienced during deposition in (a) and (c).

US Pat. No. 9,670,579

METHOD FOR DEPOSITING A CHLORINE-FREE CONFORMAL SIN FILM

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus for depositing a silicon nitride film on a semiconductor wafer, the apparatus comprising:
(a) a reaction chamber;
(b) a source of activation energy to form the silicon nitride film;
(c) a reactant inlet; and
(d) a controller comprising instructions for:
flowing a first nitrogen-containing reactant into the reaction chamber during a deposition cycle;
periodically flowing a silicon-containing reactant into the reaction chamber during the deposition cycle;
periodically igniting a plasma in the reaction chamber when the flow of the silicon-containing reactant has ceased and while
the first nitrogen-containing reactant is present in the vapor phase in the reaction chamber; and

cycling the pressure in the reaction chamber such that it is higher during the flow of the silicon-containing reactant than
when the flow of the silicon-containing reactant has ceased.

US Pat. No. 10,053,792

PLATING CUP WITH CONTOURED CUP BOTTOM

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A cup for engaging a wafer during electroplating in a clamshell assembly and supplying electrical current to the wafer during electroplating, the cup comprising:an elastomeric seal disposed on the cup and configured to engage the wafer at an inner edge of the elastomeric seal during electroplating, wherein upon engagement the elastomeric seal substantially excludes plating solution from a peripheral region of the wafer, wherein the elastomeric seal and the cup are annular in shape;
a plurality of contact elements for supplying electrical current to the wafer during electroplating, each of the contact elements attached to and extending inwardly towards a center of the cup from a metal strip disposed over the elastomeric seal; and
wherein each of the contact elements in a notch area of the cup is longer than each of the contact elements in a non-notch area of the cup by an amount so that a distance between a terminal end of the contact element and an inner edge of the elastomeric seal in the notch area is at least substantially the same as a distance between a terminal end of the contact element and an inner edge of the elastomeric seal in the non-notch area, wherein the notch area corresponds to an area of the cup in which the distance from the center of the wafer to the edge of the elastomeric seal is less than in non-notch areas of the cup.
US Pat. No. 9,659,769

TENSILE DIELECTRIC FILMS USING UV CURING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method, comprising:
providing a substrate including a layer of a silicide;
depositing a dielectric layer directly on the layer of silicide, wherein the dielectric layer is selected from the group consisting
of a silicon nitride, a silicon carbide, oxygen-doped silicon carbide, nitrogen-doped silicon carbide, silicon boron nitride,
silicon boron carbide, and silicon oxide; and

exposing the dielectric layer to ultraviolet radiation at a temperature of no more than 450° C.,
whereby stress is induced in the dielectric layer.

US Pat. No. 9,685,353

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR EDGE BEVEL REMOVAL OF COPPER FROM SILICON WAFERS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus for removing unwanted metal deposited on an edge bevel area of a semiconductor wafer, the apparatus comprising:
a process chamber;
a wafer chuck for supporting and rotating the wafer during removal of the unwanted metal from the edge bevel area;
a nozzle for delivering a prerinse liquid to the wafer;
a nozzle for delivering a liquid etchant to the wafer; and
a controller comprising:
program instructions for rotating the wafer;
program instructions for prerinsing the wafer using the prerinse liquid;
program instructions for thinning a layer of the prerinse liquid through increasing the rotational speed of the wafer without
drying the wafer; and

program instructions for delivering a stream of liquid etchant into the thinned layer of prerinse liquid near the edge bevel
area of the rotating wafer.

US Pat. No. 9,856,574

MONITORING LEVELER CONCENTRATIONS IN ELECTROPLATING SOLUTIONS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus for monitoring leveler concentrations in a test solution, the apparatus comprising:
an electrode having a metal surface;
one or more electrochemical cells configured to measure an electrochemical response of the electrode in the test solution
as cathodic current is supplied to the electrode; and

a controller configured to determine a concentration of leveler in the test solution based on a measured electrochemical response
of the electrode by:

(a) exposing the electrode to a pre-acceleration solution comprising at least one accelerator compound and allowing the surface
of the electrode to become substantially saturated with the at least one accelerator compound before removing the electrode
from the pre-acceleration solution;

(b) exposing the substantially saturated electrode to the test solution and measuring the electrochemical response while plating
the substantially saturated electrode in the test solution, the test solution having an unknown concentration of leveler;
and

(c) determining the concentration of leveler in the test solution by comparing the electrochemical response measured in (b)
to a model relating leveler concentration to known electrochemical responses.

US Pat. No. 9,673,146

LOW TEMPERATURE TUNGSTEN FILM DEPOSITION FOR SMALL CRITICAL DIMENSION CONTACTS AND INTERCONNECTS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of filling a recessed feature on a substrate, the method comprising:
providing a substrate having a field region and a first recessed feature, the first recessed feature being recessed from the
field region and comprising sidewalls, a bottom, an opening, and corners;

depositing a tungsten nucleation layer on the sidewalls and bottom of the first recessed feature; and
filling the first recessed feature with a low temperature CVD tungsten bulk layer via a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process;
wherein the substrate temperature during the CVD process is maintained at between about 250° C. and 350° C.

US Pat. No. 9,899,230

APPARATUS FOR ADVANCED PACKAGING APPLICATIONS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of removing material from a substrate, comprising:
(a) receiving a substrate having material for removal on a processing face of the substrate;
(b) positioning and sealing the substrate in a substrate holder such that the processing face of the substrate is exposed;
(c) positioning the substrate holder in a removal position, thereby forming a gap defined on one side by the processing face
of the substrate, defined on the opposite side by a base plate, and defined around the edges by a flow distributor,

wherein the gap has a dimension between about 2-10 mm as measured in a direction perpendicular to the processing face of the
substrate

wherein the flow distributor comprises:
(i) an inlet side comprising an internal manifold spanning between about 90-180° of the flow distributor, wherein the internal
manifold is a cavity in the flow distributor through which fluid may flow,

(ii) one or more inlets for delivering fluid from one or more fluid supply lines to the internal manifold, and
(iii) an outlet side comprising an outlet manifold spanning between about 90-180° of the flow distributor, wherein the inlet
side and outlet side of the flow distributor are positioned on azimuthally opposed perimeter locations of the flow distributor;

(d) rotating the substrate in the substrate holder; and
(e) flowing solution from the one or more inlets, through the internal manifold, into the gap and over the processing face
of the substrate, and out through the outlet manifold, in that order, to thereby remove from the substrate at least some of
the material for removal.

US Pat. No. 9,732,416

WAFER CHUCK WITH AERODYNAMIC DESIGN FOR TURBULENCE REDUCTION

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A rotatable aerodynamic wafer chuck for a module for processing semiconductor wafers in a manner where wafer holders do
not substantially affect the stream of fluid and thereby reduces process variations on a wafer, the rotatable aerodynamic
wafer chuck comprising:
a. a plurality of chuck arms extending radially about a center of the rotatable wafer chuck; and
b. a plurality of wafer holders, each attached to an end of a chuck arm of the plurality of chuck arms and configured to engage
a semiconductor wafer during rotation of the rotatable wafer chuck, wherein each wafer holder of the plurality of wafer holders
comprises:

i. a forward end and a rear end along a direction of rotation of the rotatable wafer chuck; and
ii. a turbulence reducing structure on the forward end or the rear end or both ends of each wafer holder, the turbulence reducing
structure comprising a curved or angled aerodynamically shaped surface,

wherein the turbulence reducing structure is oriented and configured such that, when rotating during post-electrofill wafer
processing using a stream of fluid on at least a portion of the wafer facing the turbulence reducing structure, the wafer
holders do not substantially affect the stream of fluid and thereby reduces process variations on the wafer.

US Pat. No. 9,611,544

PLASMA ACTIVATED CONFORMAL DIELECTRIC FILM DEPOSITION

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of depositing a nitrogen and/or carbon doped dielectric film stack on a substrate surface in a reaction chamber,
the method comprising:
depositing a first dielectric portion of the dielectric film stack by a process comprising two or more cycles of dielectric
deposition, each cycle comprising:

(a) introducing a dielectric film precursor into the reaction chamber under conditions allowing the precursor to adsorb onto
the substrate surface;

(b) thereafter purging at least some unadsorbed precursor from the reaction chamber while some precursor remains adsorbed
on the substrate surface;

(c) exposing the substrate surface to plasma to drive a reaction of the dielectric film precursor adsorbed on the substrate
surface to form a portion of the dielectric film stack;

forming a first nitrogen and/or carbon rich portion of the dielectric film stack after depositing the first dielectric portion,
by a process comprising:

(d) introducing a carbon and/or nitrogen-containing dopant species, not introduced during (a)-(c), into the reaction chamber
under conditions allowing the dopant species to contribute nitrogen and/or carbon to the partially-formed dielectric film
stack;

depositing a second dielectric portion of the dielectric film stack after forming the first nitrogen and/or carbon rich portion,
by a process comprising two or more cycles of dielectric deposition, each cycle comprising (a)-(c); and

forming a second nitrogen and/or carbon rich portion of the dielectric film stack after depositing the second dielectric portion,
by a process comprising (d);
wherein after deposition of the dielectric film stack, the nitrogen and/or carbon concentration in any of the first or second
nitrogen and/or carbon rich portions of the stack is greater than the nitrogen and/or carbon concentration in any of the first
or second dielectric portions of the stack and wherein nitrogen and/or carbon is present in each of the first and second dielectric
portions of the stack.

US Pat. No. 9,835,388

SYSTEMS FOR UNIFORM HEAT TRANSFER INCLUDING ADAPTIVE PORTIONS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An adaptive heat transfer system comprising:
an adaptive pedestal for receiving a workpiece in a semiconductor processing chamber, the adaptive pedestal comprising:
a first portion for receiving the workpiece, the first portion having a first workpiece-facing surface; and
a second portion having a second workpiece-facing surface,
wherein the first and second portions are configured to be independently movable in a direction substantially perpendicular
to a plane,

wherein the first and second portions are sector-shaped and their respective first and second workpiece-facing surfaces are
sectors, wherein each sector is bounded by two radii and an arc of a circle, wherein each of the two radii is a line segment
extending from the center of the circle to the circumference of the circle, and

wherein the first and second portions are located to one side of the workpiece when the workpiece is received by the adaptive
pedestal; and

a system controller configured to control movement of the first and second portions of the adaptive pedestal.

US Pat. No. 9,719,169

SYSTEM AND APPARATUS FOR FLOWABLE DEPOSITION IN SEMICONDUCTOR FABRICATION

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A wafer support apparatus comprising:
a chuck, wherein:
the chuck includes a top surface, a bottom surface, and an outer surface,
the top surface and the bottom surface are both substantially parallel to, and offset from, each other,
the outer surface is located between the top surface and the bottom surface, and
the top surface is configured to support a semiconductor wafer;
a housing; and
a dielectric break, wherein:
the housing includes an outer wall and a housing floor connected to the outer wall,
the housing floor includes a first thermal break region extending from the outer wall towards the center of the housing floor,
wherein the first thermal break region stops short of extending all the way towards the center of the housing floor,

the bottom surface of the chuck faces the housing floor,
the bottom surface and the outer surface of the chuck are substantially within a volume defined by the outer wall and the
housing floor,

the chuck and the housing are configured to move together as a single assembly within a semiconductor fabrication chamber,
there is no substantial thermal contact between the outer surface of the chuck and the outer wall of the housing,
there is no substantial thermal contact between the bottom surface and the housing floor across the first thermal break region,
the outer surface and the outer wall are substantially cylindrical,
the housing floor is substantially annular and has an inner perimeter,
the thermal break region does not extend to the inner perimeter,
the dielectric break includes an outer dielectric wall and a dielectric floor that meets the outer dielectric wall,
the dielectric floor includes a second thermal break region extending from the outer dielectric wall towards the center of
the dielectric floor,

the dielectric floor is interposed between the housing floor and the bottom surface,
the outer dielectric wall is interposed between the outer wall and the outer surface
there is no substantial thermal contact between the outer wall, the outer dielectric wall, and the outer surface,
there is no substantial thermal contact between the bottom surface and the dielectric floor across the second thermal break
region, and

there is no substantial thermal contact between the dielectric floor and the housing floor across the first thermal break
region.

US Pat. No. 10,043,655

PLASMA ACTIVATED CONFORMAL DIELECTRIC FILM DEPOSITION

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of depositing a film on a non-planar substrate surface in a reaction chamber, the method comprising:introducing a first reactant into the reaction chamber under non-plasma conditions allowing the first reactant to adsorb onto the non-planar substrate surface;
introducing a second reactant into the reaction chamber to react with the adsorbed first reactant;
introducing a dopant containing material into the reaction chamber; and
forming a doped film conformal to the non-planar substrate surface.

US Pat. No. 9,721,800

APPARATUS FOR WETTING PRETREATMENT FOR ENHANCED DAMASCENE METAL FILLING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A system comprising:
a degasser configured to remove one or more dissolved gasses from a pre-wetting fluid to produce a degassed pre-wetting fluid;
a process chamber including:
an inlet coupled to the degasser and configured to admit the degassed pre-wetting fluid,
a wafer holder configured to hold a wafer substrate, and
a vacuum inlet to allow formation of a subatmospheric pressure in the process chamber;
a plating chamber, different from the process chamber, the plating chamber configured to electrolytically process the wafer
substrate; and

a controller programmed to:
form the sub-atmospheric pressure in the process chamber;
admit through the inlet the degassed pre-wetting fluid to the process chamber, the degassed pre-wetting fluid being in a liquid
state;

contact the wafer substrate with the degassed pre-wetting fluid in the process chamber under subatmospheric pressure and thereby
form a wetting layer on the wafer substrate; and

transfer the wafer substrate to the plating chamber.

US Pat. No. 9,816,196

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR ELECTROPLATING SEMICONDUCTOR WAFER WHEN CONTROLLING CATIONS IN ELECTROLYTE

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus for electroplating a metal onto a substrate, the apparatus comprising:
(a) an electroplating cell comprising:
a cathode chamber for containing catholyte during electroplating;
a cathode electrical connection in the cathode chamber, the cathode electrical connection being able to connect to the substrate
and apply a potential allowing the substrate to become a cathode;

an anode chamber for containing anolyte during electroplating;
an anode electrical connection in the anode chamber, the anode electrical connection being able to connect to an electroplating
anode and apply a potential to the electroplating anode; and

a porous transport barrier placed between the anode chamber and the cathode chamber, which transport barrier enables migration
of ionic species in an electrolyte, including metal cations, across the transport barrier while substantially preventing organic
additives from passing across the transport barrier;

(b) at least one oxygenation device (OGD) configured to oxidize cations of the metal to be electroplated onto the substrate,
which cations are present in the anolyte during electroplating; and

(c) an oxygen concentration meter configured to measure oxygen concentration in the anolyte.

US Pat. No. 9,728,380

DUAL-PLENUM SHOWERHEAD WITH INTERLEAVED PLENUM SUB-VOLUMES

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus comprising:
an outer wall, the outer wall substantially axially symmetric about a first axis;
a first inlet;
a second inlet; and
a dual plenum volume substantially defined by the outer wall, the dual plenum volume divided into an even number of sub-volumes
by radial barriers substantially extending from locations proximate to the first axis to the outer wall, wherein:

the sub-volumes include a set of first sub-volumes and a set of second sub-volumes,
each first sub-volume is interposed between neighboring second sub-volumes of the set of second sub-volumes,
each second sub-volume is interposed between neighboring first sub-volumes of the set of first sub-volumes,
each sub-volume has a plurality of plenum gas distribution holes passing through a bottom portion of the outer wall,
the first sub-volumes form a first plenum volume,
the second sub-volumes form a second plenum volume,
the first inlet is configured to supply a first process gas to the first sub-volumes,
the second inlet is configured to supply a second process gas to the second sub-volumes,
the first plenum volume is fluidically isolated from the second plenum volume between the plenum gas distribution holes and
the first inlet, and

the second plenum volume is fluidically isolated from the first plenum volume between the plenum gas distribution holes and
the second inlet.

US Pat. No. 9,982,357

ELECTROPLATING APPARATUS AND PROCESS FOR WAFER LEVEL PACKAGING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A continuous method of simultaneously plating a first metal and a second more noble metal onto a substrate, the method comprising:(a) providing an anolyte containing ions of the first metal but not the second metal in an anode chamber comprising an active anode comprising the first metal;
(b) providing a catholyte containing ions of both the first metal and the second metal in a cathode chamber, wherein the anode chamber and the cathode chamber are separated by a separation structure therebetween; and
(c) simultaneously plating the first and the second metal onto the substrate,
while substantially preventing ions of the second metal from entering the anode chamber,
while delivering an acid solution to the anode chamber from a source outside the anode chamber,
while removing a portion of the catholyte to make room for a volume of fluid material that is transferring from the anode chamber to the cathode chamber,
while delivering ions of the second metal to the cathode chamber,
while transporting water through the separation structure from the anolyte to the catholyte; and
while delivering anolyte from the anode chamber to the cathode chamber via a conduit other than the separation structure, wherein the volume of fluid material that is transferring from the anode chamber to the cathode chamber comprises water volume transported through the separation structure from the anolyte to the catholyte, and the anolyte volume delivered from the anode chamber to the cathode chamber via the conduit other than the separation structure; and
wherein the catholyte and anolyte comprise acid and wherein the concentration of protons in the catholyte is maintained such that it does not fluctuate by more than about 10% over the period of at least about 0.2 bath charge turnovers.

US Pat. No. 9,834,852

ENHANCEMENT OF ELECTROLYTE HYDRODYNAMICS FOR EFFICIENT MASS TRANSFER DURING ELECTROPLATING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An electroplating apparatus comprising:
(a) an electroplating chamber configured to contain an electrolyte and an anode while electroplating metal onto a substrate,
the substrate being substantially planar;

(b) a substrate holder configured to hold the substrate such that a plating face of the substrate is separated from the anode
during electroplating;

(c) an ionically resistive element comprising:
(i) a plurality of channels extending through the ionically resistive element and adapted to provide ionic transport through
the ionically resistive element during electroplating;

(ii) a substrate-facing side that is substantially parallel to the plating face of the substrate and separated from the plating
face of the substrate by a gap, the gap forming a cross flow manifold between the ionically resistive element and the substrate;
and

(iii) a step positioned on the substrate-facing side of the ionically resistive element, wherein the step has a height and
a diameter, wherein the diameter of the step is substantially coextensive with the plating face of the wafer, and wherein
the height and diameter of the step are sufficiently small to allow electrolyte to flow under the substrate holder, over the
step and into the cross flow manifold during plating;

(d) an inlet to the cross flow manifold for introducing electrolyte to the cross flow manifold; and
(e) an outlet to the cross flow manifold for receiving electrolyte flowing in the cross flow manifold,wherein the inlet and outlet are adapted to generate cross flowing electrolyte in the cross flow manifold to create or maintain
a shearing force on the plating face of the substrate during electroplating.

US Pat. No. 9,816,193

CONFIGURATION AND METHOD OF OPERATION OF AN ELECTRODEPOSITION SYSTEM FOR IMPROVED PROCESS STABILITY AND PERFORMANCE

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of electroplating a substrate using a controller, the controller having a processor and a memory, the memory containing
machine-readable instructions executable by the processor for controlling the level of active oxygenation of a plating solution,
the method comprising:
(a) reducing an oxygen concentration of a plating solution, wherein the plating solution includes about 100 parts per million
or less of an accelerator;

(b) after operation (a), contacting, in a plating cell, a wafer substrate with the plating solution, wherein the oxygen concentration
of the plating solution in the plating cell is about 1 part per million or less;

(c) electroplating a metal with the plating solution onto the wafer substrate in the plating cell, wherein the electroplating
causes a net conversion of the accelerator to a less-oxidized accelerator species within the plating cell; and

(d) after operation (c), using the controller to increase an oxidizing strength of the plating solution outside the plating
cell by controlling the level of active oxygenation of the plating solution, wherein the increased oxidizing strength causes
a net re-conversion of the less-oxidized accelerator species back to the accelerator outside the plating cell.

US Pat. No. 9,873,946

MULTI-STATION SEQUENTIAL CURING OF DIELECTRIC FILMS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A chamber for processing semiconductor wafers, comprising:
a plurality of processing stations, each processing station having a wafer support and one or more radiation sources configured
to provide ultraviolet radiation at that processing station; and

a mechanism to transfer a wafer to each processing station, wherein the processing stations are operable to provide wafer
exposure characteristics that vary in at least one of radiation intensity, radiation wavelength, spectral distribution, and
wafer temperature for at least two of the plurality of processing stations.

US Pat. No. 9,828,688

METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR WETTING PRETREATMENT FOR THROUGH RESIST METAL PLATING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus comprising:
a degasser configured to remove one or more dissolved gasses from a pre-wetting fluid to produce a degassed pre-wetting fluid;
a process chamber including:
a wafer holder configured to hold a wafer substrate,
a vacuum port configured to allow formation of a subatmospheric pressure in the process chamber, and
a fluid inlet coupled to the degasser and configured to deliver the degassed pre-wetting fluid onto the wafer substrate, wherein
the fluid inlet includes at least one nozzle configured to deliver the degassed pre-wetting fluid onto the wafer substrate;
and

a controller programmed to:
admit the degassed pre-wetting fluid through the fluid inlet at a flow rate of at least about 0.4 liters per minute, and deliver
the degassed pre-wetting fluid from the at least one nozzle onto the wafer substrate at a velocity of at least about 7 meters
per second to form a wetting layer on the wafer substrate at the sub-atmospheric pressure in the process chamber, wherein
the degassed pre-wetting fluid is in a liquid state.

US Pat. No. 9,941,108

HIGH DOSE IMPLANTATION STRIP (HDIS) IN H2 BASE CHEMISTRY

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of removing material from a work piece surface in a reaction chamber, the method comprising:introducing a gas comprising hydrogen (H2), a weak oxidizing agent, and a fluorine-containing gas into a plasma source;
generating a plasma from the gas introduced into the plasma source; and
exposing the material to the plasma to remove the material from the work piece.

US Pat. No. 9,905,423

SOFT LANDING NANOLAMINATES FOR ADVANCED PATTERNING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of processing a substrate, the method comprising:
depositing a core layer;
depositing a nanolaminate layer on the core layer; and
depositing a metal nitride or metal oxide layer on the nanolaminate layer, wherein the nanolaminate layer comprises silicon
oxide or titanium oxide.

US Pat. No. 9,822,461

DYNAMIC CURRENT DISTRIBUTION CONTROL APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR WAFER ELECTROPLATING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus comprising:
(a) a plating chamber configured to contain an electrolyte and an anode while electroplating metal onto a substrate;
(b) a substrate holder configured to hold the substrate such that a plating face of the substrate is positioned at a distance
from the anode during electroplating, the substrate holder having one or more electrical power contacts arranged to contact
an edge of the substrate and to provide electrical current to the substrate during electroplating;

(c) an ionically resistive ionically permeable element positioned between the substrate and the anode, the ionically resistive
ionically permeable element having a flat surface that is substantially parallel to and separated from the plating face of
the substrate;

(d) a shield positioned between the ionically resistive ionically permeable element and the anode, the shield including an
opening in the central region of the shield, wherein the shield includes an outer perimeter and an inner perimeter, the inner
perimeter of the shield defining the opening, and wherein a surface of the shield includes a slope such that the outer perimeter
is closer to the ionically resistive ionically permeable element than the inner perimeter; and

(e) an auxiliary cathode located between the anode and the ionically resistive ionically permeable element, and peripherally
oriented to shape the current distribution from the anode, while the auxiliary cathode is supplied with current during electroplating.

US Pat. No. 10,037,905

UV AND REDUCING TREATMENT FOR K RECOVERY AND SURFACE CLEAN IN SEMICONDUCTOR PROCESSING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of forming a semiconductor device, comprising:receiving in a processing chamber a semiconductor device substrate comprising conductive features and a dielectric layer having formed therein a feature; and
exposing the semiconductor device substrate to a reducing agent and UV radiation, without exposing the device substrate to a plasma, wherein the reducing agent is a reducing gas selected from the group consisting of NH3, NH2D, NHD2, ND3, H2, N2H4, and combinations of these with one another and/or inert gases, such that oxide on the conductive features is removed in a UV-mediated plasma-free process including exposure to a non-oxidizing reducing environment, wherein the UV and reducing agent exposure reduces oxide created in a via silicide.

US Pat. No. 10,023,970

DYNAMIC CURRENT DISTRIBUTION CONTROL APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR WAFER ELECTROPLATING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method comprising:(a) holding a substrate having a conductive seed and/or barrier layer disposed on its surface in a substrate holder of an apparatus, the apparatus including a plating chamber, a shield, and an anode chamber housing an anode, the plating chamber containing the anode chamber, the shield oriented between the anode and an ionically resistive ionically permeable element, wherein the shield comprises an opening in a central region of the shield, wherein the shield includes an outer perimeter and an inner perimeter, the inner perimeter of the shield defining the opening, and wherein a surface of the shield includes a slope such that the outer perimeter is closer to the ionically resistive ionically permeable element than the inner perimeter;
(b) immersing the surface of the substrate in an electrolyte solution and proximate the ionically resistive ionically permeable element positioned between the surface and the anode chamber, the ionically resistive ionically permeable element having a flat surface that is parallel to and separated from the surface of the substrate;
(c) supplying current to the substrate to plate a metal layer onto the seed and/or barrier layer; and
(d) supplying current to an auxiliary cathode located between the anode and the ionically resistive ionically permeable element to thereby shape a current distribution from the anode.

US Pat. No. 10,017,869

ELECTROPLATING APPARATUS FOR TAILORED UNIFORMITY PROFILE

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of electroplating a metal on a cathodically biased substrate while controlling azimuthal uniformity, the method comprising:(a) providing the substrate into an electroplating apparatus configured for rotating the substrate during electroplating, wherein the apparatus comprises an anode and a stationary auxiliary azimuthally asymmetric cathode; and
(b) electroplating the metal on the substrate while rotating the substrate, and while providing power to the auxiliary azimuthally asymmetric cathode in correlation with the rotation of the substrate, such that the auxiliary azimuthally asymmetric cathode diverts plating current from a first portion of the substrate at a selected azimuthal position of the substrate differently than from a second portion of the substrate having the same average arc length and the same average radial position and residing at a different azimuthal angular position.

US Pat. No. 10,020,197

METHOD FOR REDUCING POROGEN ACCUMULATION FROM A UV-CURE CHAMBER

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method to remove outgassed porogens from a UV chamber, the method comprising:providing a purge ring having an inlet portion and an outlet portion;
heating the outlet portion; and
flowing an inert gas from the inlet portion across an underside of a window to the heated outlet portion.

US Pat. No. 10,006,144

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FILLING INTERCONNECT STRUCTURES

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus comprising:a plating chamber configured to hold an electrolyte;
a wafer substrate holder configured to hold a wafer substrate in the plating chamber, the wafer substrate including a surface having edge regions, field regions, and a feature; and
a controller including program instructions comprising:
(a) instructions for electroplating a copper layer onto the surface of the wafer substrate using the plating chamber, wherein the electroplating is performed in an electroplating solution having a resistivity higher than about 200 ohm-cm;
(b) instructions for annealing the copper layer, wherein the annealing reflows the copper in the copper layer and causes redistribution of the copper from the field regions of the wafer substrate to the feature; and
(c) instructions for repeating instructions (a) and (b) at least two times until an aspect ratio of the feature is reduced to less than a predetermined value.

US Pat. No. 10,008,428

METHODS FOR DEPOSITING FILMS ON SENSITIVE SUBSTRATES

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of determining a minimum effective thickness of a protective film layer deposited on a substrate, comprising:(a) providing a plurality of individual substrates having differing thicknesses of protective films deposited thereon;
(b) measuring a pre-plasma thickness of each of the protective films on the individual substrates;
(c) after (b), exposing the individual substrates to a plurality of plasma exposure cycles, wherein substantially no material is deposited during the plasma exposure cycles;
(d) after (c), measuring a post-plasma thickness of the protective films on the individual substrates;
(e) calculating a thickness difference for each individual substrate, the thickness difference corresponding to the pre-plasma thickness minus the post-plasma thickness; and
(f) determining the minimum effective thickness of the protective film layer by evaluating the protective film thickness at which the thickness difference becomes substantially stable.

US Pat. No. 10,087,545

AUTOMATED CLEANING OF WAFER PLATING ASSEMBLY

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of cleaning one or more elements of a semiconductor holding and processing apparatus, the method comprising:loading a cleaning agent into a cleaning disc by receiving the cleaning agent into a plurality of pores opening in one or more edges of the disc, said pores extending into interior surfaces of the disc;
retaining the cleaning agent inside the plurality of pores;
positioning the cleaning disc within the semiconductor holding and processing apparatus such that the plurality of pores are adjacent to the one or more elements of the apparatus to be cleaned, the one or more elements to be cleaned normally being adjacent to a semiconductor wafer when a wafer is held in the processing apparatus for processing; and
cleaning the one or more elements of the semiconductor holding and processing apparatus by releasing the cleaning agent from the plurality of pores such that the one or more elements of the apparatus to be cleaned are contacted by the released cleaning agent.

US Pat. No. 10,115,608

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR RAPID PUMP-DOWN OF A HIGH-VACUUM LOADLOCK

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus configured to be installed as part of a semiconductor processing tool, the semiconductor processing tool selected from the group consisting of: a semiconductor processing tool having one or more process chambers and a loadlock with a loadlock volume, and a semiconductor processing tool having one or more process chambers, a loadlock with a loadlock volume, and one or more transfer chambers, the apparatus comprising:a housing having internal surfaces defining a gas expansion volume, wherein the gas expansion volume is at least one and a half times larger than the loadlock volume;
a gas expansion volume valve, wherein:
the housing is configured to connect with the loadlock such that the gas expansion volume valve is interposed between the loadlock volume and the gas expansion volume when so connected,
the gas expansion volume is configured to be separate from the one or more process chambers and separate from any transfer chamber of the semiconductor processing tool,
the gas expansion volume valve is configured to be movable between an open state and a closed state,
the gas expansion volume valve permits fluidic communication between the loadlock volume and the gas expansion volume when in the open state and when the apparatus is connected with the loadlock, and
the gas expansion volume valve prevents fluidic communication between the loadlock volume and the gas expansion volume when in the closed state and when the apparatus is connected with the loadlock;
a first mechanism that comprises a high-vacuum pump configured to evacuate gas from the housing regardless of whether the gas expansion volume valve is in the open state or the closed state; and
a controller with at least one processor and a memory, the memory storing computer-executable instructions for controlling the at least one processor to:
a) control the gas expansion volume valve to enter the closed state;
b) cause the loadlock to be fluidically isolated from the one or more process chambers;
c) control a roughing pump to, after (a) and (b), evacuate gas from within the loadlock volume to reach a first lower-than-atmospheric pressure when the gas expansion volume valve is in the closed state;
d) control, after (a), the high-vacuum pump to evacuate gas from within the housing to reach a second lower-than-atmospheric pressure, wherein the second lower-than-atmospheric pressure is lower than the first lower-than-atmospheric pressure; and
e) control, after (c) and (d), the gas expansion valve to enter the open state thereby allowing gas in the gas expansion volume to mix with gas from the loadlock volume and reach equilibrium, wherein:
the first mechanism is fluidically connected with the gas expansion volume,
the first mechanism is configured to control gas pressure within the housing and to cause the pressure in the housing to be reducible to lower than 10E-3 Torr, and
the first mechanism is fluidically isolated from the loadlock volume when the gas expansion volume valve is in the closed state and when the apparatus is connected with the loadlock.

US Pat. No. 10,121,682

PURGING OF POROGEN FROM UV CURE CHAMBER

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method for removing chemical species from a substrate, comprising:arranging a purge ring in a chamber above (i) a pedestal and (ii) a purge space defined above the pedestal, the purge ring including
an inlet ring wall defining a ring hole space above the purge space, wherein the inlet ring wall corresponds to a continuous structure surrounding the ring hole space, and
an inlet baffle formed within the inlet ring wall and surrounding at least 180 degrees of an outer perimeter of the ring hole space;
supplying gas, received via a gas inlet hole, to an inlet plenum, wherein the inlet plenum is arranged in a first end of the inlet ring wall, the inlet plenum arranged to provide the gas to the ring hole space through the inlet baffle surrounding at least 180 degrees of the outer perimeter of the ring hole space;
conveying the gas from the inlet plenum into the ring hole space using the inlet baffle surrounding at least 180 degrees of the outer perimeter of the ring hole space;
exhausting the gas and other matter out of the ring hole space using an exhaust channel formed within a second end of the inlet ring wall and an exhaust outlet hole arranged in the second end of the inlet ring wall; and
inhibiting deposition of material evolved from the substrate during curing using the purge ring.

US Pat. No. 10,092,933

METHODS AND APPARATUSES FOR CLEANING ELECTROPLATING SUBSTRATE HOLDERS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of cleaning a lipseal and/or cup bottom of an electroplating device by removing metal deposits accumulated on an inner circular edge of the lipseal and/or cup bottom in prior electroplating operations, the method comprising:orienting a first nozzle relative to the lipseal and/or cup bottom such that the first nozzle is pointed substantially at the inner circular edge of the lipseal and/or cup bottom, wherein the first nozzle is a jet nozzle having a base and a tip, the jet nozzle having a larger interior diameter at the base than at the tip, wherein the interior diameter of the jet nozzle tapers from the base to the tip, wherein the inner circular edge is the innermost surface of the lipseal and/or cup bottom that is exposed to an electrolyte during electroplating of a wafer;
rotating the lipseal and cup bottom in a first rotational direction; and
dispensing a stream of the cleaning solution having a fluid velocity between about 5 and 40 meters/second from the first nozzle such that the stream of the cleaning solution contacts the inner circular edge of the lipseal and/or cup bottom while they are rotating in the first rotational direction, removing metal deposits from the lipseal and/or cup bottom, wherein the dispensed stream of the cleaning solution has a velocity component opposing the first rotational direction.

US Pat. No. 10,214,816

PECVD APPARATUS FOR IN-SITU DEPOSITION OF FILM STACKS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition apparatus configured to deposit a plurality of film layers on a substrate without exposing the substrate to a vacuum break between film deposition phases, the apparatus comprising:(a) a process station;
(b) one or more reactant feeds fluidly coupled to the process station, the one or more reactant feeds configured to supply to the process station a first reactant gas mixture during a first film deposition phase, a purging gas during purging of the process station, and a second reactant gas mixture during a second film deposition phase;
(c) a plasma source configured to generate a plasma for the process station, wherein the plasma source comprises a low-frequency plasma source and a high-frequency plasma source; and
(d) a controller having program instructions on a non-transitory computer machine-readable medium for:
(i) causing a generation of reactant radicals using the first reactant gas mixture and causing a deposition of a first material during the first film deposition phase, while causing a generation of the plasma using the low-frequency plasma source and the high-frequency plasma source,
(ii) causing the purging of the process station with the purging gas after the first film deposition phase,
(iii) causing the plasma to be sustained during the purging included in a transition from the first reactant gas mixture supplied during the first film deposition phase to the second qualitatively different reactant gas mixture supplied during the second film deposition phase, wherein the second film deposition phase deposits a second material onto the first material, the second material having a different set of chemical elements than the first material, wherein the first reactant gas mixture supplies chemical elements for the first material, and the second qualitatively different reactant gas mixture supplies chemical elements for the second material deposited in the second film deposition phase; and
(iv) causing a low-frequency plasma source power to decrease from a higher power used during the first film deposition phase to a lower power or to zero power used during the transition.

US Pat. No. 10,214,826

LOW COPPER ELECTROPLATING SOLUTIONS FOR FILL AND DEFECT CONTROL

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of plating copper into damascene features, comprising:receiving a substrate having a seed layer with an average thickness of about 200 nanometers or less;
electrically biasing the substrate while immersing the substrate in an aqueous low copper acid-containing electrolyte consisting essentially of:
(i) water,
(ii) a copper salt providing between about 4-10 grams per liter copper cations,
(iii) acid at a concentration of between about 2-15 grams per liter,
(iv) a source of halide ions,
(v) at least one suppressor compound, and
(vi) at least one accelerator compound,whereby the aqueous low copper acid-containing electrolyte induces a cathodic overpotential on the seed layer sufficient to protect the seed layer from dissolution by acid in the electrolyte during immersion;electroplating copper in the aqueous low copper acid-containing electrolyte, the electroplating process comprising:
(a) a first plating phase to fill the features with copper, wherein a first current density during the first plating phase is between about 0.5-5 mA/cm2, and
(b) a second plating phase to deposit an overburden layer of copper on the substrate, wherein a second current density during the second plating phase is between about 10-15 mA/cm2, and wherein the first and second plating phases are part of a single electroplating process; and
removing the substrate from the electrolyte.

US Pat. No. 10,211,310

REMOTE PLASMA BASED DEPOSITION OF SIOC CLASS OF FILMS

NOVELLUS SYSTEMS, INC., ...

1. A method of depositing oxygen doped silicon carbide, the method comprising:providing a substrate;
flowing one or more silicon-containing precursors onto the substrate, wherein each of the one or more silicon-containing precursors have (i) one or more silicon-hydrogen bonds and/or silicon-silicon bonds and (ii) one or more silicon-oxygen bonds and one or more silicon-carbon bonds;
flowing a source gas into a plasma source;
generating, from the source gas, radicals of hydrogen in the plasma source; and
introducing the radicals of hydrogen onto the substrate, wherein at least 90% of the radicals are radicals of hydrogen in the ground state that react with the one or more silicon-containing precursors to form oxygen doped silicon carbide on the substrate under conditions that selectively break one or both of silicon-hydrogen bonds and silicon-silicon bonds but preserve the silicon-oxygen bonds and the silicon-carbon bonds, wherein a ratio of oxygen to carbon concentration in the oxygen doped silicon carbide is between 0.5:1 and 3:1.

US Pat. No. 10,190,230

CROSS FLOW MANIFOLD FOR ELECTROPLATING APPARATUS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method for electroplating a substrate, the method comprising:(a) receiving the substrate in a substrate holder, the substrate being substantially planar, wherein a plating face of the substrate is exposed, and wherein the substrate holder is configured to hold the substrate such that the plating face of the substrate is separated from an anode during electroplating;
(b) immersing the substrate in electrolyte, wherein a gap of about 10 mm or less is formed between the plating face of the substrate and an upper surface of an ionically resistive element, wherein the ionically resistive element is at least coextensive with the plating face of the substrate, and wherein the ionically resistive element is adapted to provide ionic transport through the ionically resistive element during electroplating;
(c) flowing electrolyte in contact with the substrate in the substrate holder from a side inlet, into the gap, and out a side outlet, wherein the side inlet and side outlet are positioned proximate azimuthally opposed perimeter locations on the plating face of the substrate, and wherein the side inlet and side outlet are designed or configured to generate cross-flowing electrolyte in the gap during electroplating;
(d) rotating the substrate holder; and
(e) electroplating material onto the plating face of the substrate while flowing the electrolyte as in (c).

US Pat. No. 10,128,102

METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR WETTING PRETREATMENT FOR THROUGH RESIST METAL PLATING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of pre-wetting a wafer substrate, the method comprising:(a) degassing a pre-wetting liquid;
(b) placing the wafer substrate into a pre-wetting process chamber, and forming subatmospheric pressure in the pre-wetting process chamber;
(c) moving a moveable arm having one or more nozzles from an inactive position to an active position in the process chamber; and
(d) delivering the degassed pre-wetting liquid from the one or more nozzles onto the wafer substrate at the subatmospheric pressure, wherein the pre-wetting liquid impacts the wafer substrate at a grazing angle of between about 5-45 degrees to the plane of the substrate.

US Pat. No. 10,106,907

PROTECTING ANODES FROM PASSIVATION IN ALLOY PLATING SYSTEMS

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of simultaneous electroplating of a first metal and of a second, more noble metal on a substrate, the method comprising:(a) flowing anolyte through an anode chamber containing an active anode, the active anode comprising the first metal;
(b) flowing catholyte through a cathode chamber containing the substrate, wherein the anode chamber is separated from the cathode chamber by a separation structure that permits passage of ionic current during electroplating; and
(c) contacting the anolyte with a getter comprising a solid phase getter material that undergoes a metal-metal displacement reaction or a selective ion exchange process when contacting ions of the second metal, wherein the getter is positioned to contact the anolyte but not contact the catholyte during electroplating,
wherein the getter is positioned at a first distance from the cathode chamber and the active anode is positioned at a second distance from the cathode chamber, such that the first distance is greater than the second distance, and
wherein the getter is structurally distinct from the active anode.

US Pat. No. 10,103,058

TUNGSTEN FEATURE FILL

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method comprising:introducing an inhibition chemistry to a processing chamber, the processing chamber housing a substrate having a feature to be filled, the feature having a surface and a feature opening and a feature bottom; and
treating the surface of the feature with the inhibition chemistry in a mass-transport limited regime such the concentration of the inhibition chemistry and the inhibition rate are higher at the feature opening than inside the feature, wherein the treatment inhibits tungsten nucleation on the surface and wherein the inhibition is greater near the feature opening than inside the feature, and wherein there is no net etch during the treatment.

US Pat. No. 10,192,742

SOFT LANDING NANOLAMINATES FOR ADVANCED PATTERNING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of processing a substrate, the method comprising:depositing a core layer;
depositing a nanolaminate layer on the core layer; and
depositing a metal nitride or metal oxide layer on the nanolaminate layer,
wherein the nanolaminate layer comprises a stack comprising two or more sublayers, and
wherein the nanolaminate layer comprises silicon oxide or titanium oxide.

US Pat. No. 10,301,738

METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR WETTING PRETREATMENT FOR THROUGH RESIST METAL PLATING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method comprising:(a) providing a wafer substrate having an exposed metal layer on at least a portion of a surface of the wafer substrate to a process chamber, wherein the process chamber comprises a liquid inlet, the liquid inlet including at least one nozzle configured to deliver a pre-wetting liquid onto the wafer substrate;
(b) reducing pressure in the process chamber to a subatmospheric pressure using a vacuum port in the process chamber;
(c) degassing the pre-wetting liquid to remove one or more dissolved gasses from the pre-wetting liquid using a degasser coupled to the liquid inlet;
(d) contacting the wafer substrate with the degassed pre-wetting liquid at the subatmospheric pressure in the process chamber and thereby forming a wetting layer on the wafer substrate, held by a wafer holder in the process chamber, wherein the degassed pre-wetting liquid is delivered from the one or more nozzles onto the wafer substrate at a velocity of at least about 7 meters per second and is admitted through the liquid inlet to the process chamber at a flow rate of at least about 0.4 liters per minute.

US Pat. No. 10,256,142

TUNGSTEN FEATURE FILL WITH NUCLEATION INHIBITION

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method comprising:providing a substrate including a feature having a feature opening, a closed end, and a feature interior,
selectively inhibiting tungsten nucleation in the feature such that there is a differential inhibition profile along a feature axis wherein the differential inhibition profile is such that the inhibition at the closed end feature surface is less than at the feature opening; and
selectively depositing tungsten in the feature in accordance with the differential inhibition profile.

US Pat. No. 10,309,024

ELECTROPLATING APPARATUS AND PROCESS FOR WAFER LEVEL PACKAGING

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. An apparatus for simultaneous electroplating of a first metal and of a second, more noble metal on a cathodically biased substrate, comprising:(a) a cathode chamber for housing the cathodically biased substrate and a catholyte during electroplating, wherein the cathode chamber comprises an inlet and an outlet;
(b) an anode chamber for housing an active anode and an anolyte, wherein the anode chamber comprises an inlet and an outlet;
(c) a separation structure between the cathode chamber and the anode chamber, wherein the separation structure is permeable to water and protons but is configured to substantially prevent ions of the second metal from passing through the separation structure from the cathode chamber to the anode chamber during electroplating;
(d) a fluidic conduit, other than the separation structure, between the anode chamber and the cathode chamber and
(e) a controller programmed for simultaneous electroplating of the first and second metals on the cathodically biased substrate, the controller including program instructions for causing:
(i) a cathodic bias at the substrate that is sufficient to cause electrodeposition of the first and second metal on the biased substrate from the catholyte containing ions of the first and second metal, and is also sufficient to cause transfer of water through the separation structure from the anode chamber to the cathode chamber during electroplating;
(ii) delivery of an acid solution to the anode chamber via the inlet in the anode chamber, from a source outside the anode chamber;
(iii) removal of a portion of catholyte from the catholyte chamber via the outlet in the cathode chamber to make room for a volume of fluid that is transferring from the anode chamber to the cathode chamber;
(iv) delivery of ions of the second metal to the cathode chamber;
(v) delivery of the anolyte from the anode chamber to the cathode chamber via the fluidic conduit, wherein the volume of fluid that is transferring from the anode chamber to the cathode chamber comprises a volume of water that is transported from the anode chamber to the cathode chamber through the separation structure and a volume of anolyte that is delivered from the anode chamber to the cathode chamber through the fluidic conduit,
wherein the program instructions cause maintenance of proton concentration in the catholyte such that it does not fluctuate by more than about 10% over the period of at least about 0.2 bath charge turnovers.

US Pat. No. 10,283,615

ULTRAHIGH SELECTIVE POLYSILICON ETCH WITH HIGH THROUGHPUT

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A method of removing a polysilicon layer from a wafer, the method comprising:providing a wafer having a polysilicon layer;
flowing an etchant including a hydrogen-based species and a fluorine-based species into a remote plasma source, wherein a concentration of the hydrogen-based species is greater than a concentration of the fluorine-based species;
generating a remote plasma in the remote plasma source, wherein the remote plasma includes radicals of the hydrogen-based species and the fluorine-based species; and
exposing the wafer to the remote plasma to remove the polysilicon layer, wherein the wafer is maintained within a temperature range that is less than about 60° C. so that the wafer is substantially free of solid byproduct residue during exposure to the remote plasma and during removal of the polysilicon layer.

US Pat. No. 9,472,432

DEDICATED HOT AND COLD END EFFECTORS FOR IMPROVED THROUGHPUT

Novellus Systems, Inc., ...

1. A semiconductor substrate process system robot comprising:
at least two arms;
a first end effector for supporting a semiconductor substrate, said first end effector having a first top surface configured
to contact a semiconductor substrate during substrate transfer, wherein said first top surface comprises a first material
having a first coefficient of friction,

a second end effector for supporting a semiconductor substrate, said second end effector having a second top surface configured
to contact a semiconductor substrate during substrate transfer, wherein said second top surface comprises a second material
having a second coefficient of friction, wherein the first coefficient of friction and the second coefficient of friction
are different and wherein the first end effector is on a first arm of the at least two arms and the second end effector is
on a second arm of the at least two arms; and

a controller programmed to move the first arm at an acceleration of at least a first acceleration level during transfer of
a semiconductor substrate supported by the first end effector and programmed to limit an acceleration of the second arm to
no more than a second acceleration level during transfer of a semiconductor substrate supported by the second end effector,
wherein the first acceleration level is greater than the second acceleration level.