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Browse Prior Art Database

Combination Reactive Ion Plasma Etch System With Batch Capability and Individual Wafer Treatment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000052335D
Original Publication Date: 1981-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-11
Document File: 3 page(s) / 103K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hassan, JK: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A plasma reactor is provided which exhibits the ability to stop a plasma process (e.g., etching or deposition) on individual wafers of a multi-wafer batch upon receipt of a signal from a process monitor. In addition, the reactor has the ability to operate in both reactive ion etch (RIE) and plasma etch operating modes with the capability of continuous transition between the two modes.

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Combination Reactive Ion Plasma Etch System With Batch Capability and Individual Wafer Treatment

A plasma reactor is provided which exhibits the ability to stop a plasma process (e.g., etching or deposition) on individual wafers of a multi-wafer batch upon receipt of a signal from a process monitor. In addition, the reactor has the ability to operate in both reactive ion etch (RIE) and plasma etch operating modes with the capability of continuous transition between the two modes.

Fig. 1 shows a cross section of the process chamber, while Fig. 2 shows a horizontal section through the chamber at the wafer level. As shown in Fig. 1, the process vacuum chamber 1 has mounted thereupon process monitors 3 at each wafer position. Also included are etch end-point detectors 5 for each wafer position. Gas enters the vacuum chamber via symmetric gas nozzle arrangement 7 (shower head array), as received through gas inlet 13, as shown in Fig. 1. A cooling fluid flows through coolant passages, as shown by 9, the coolant acting to maintain the upper RF electrode 11 sufficiently cooled for processing purposes.

As shown in the lower portion of Fig. 1, a rotatable wafer carrier 15 acts to move the wafers in response to actuation from drive mechanism 17. The lower RF electrode 19 is cooled via fluid in a manner akin to that shown with regard to upper RF electrode 11. Paddle 21 operates in response to motor means 23 to provide an etch-stop mechanism for individual wafers. In addition, a wafer lift- type etch-stop mechanism is provided at 25, and a variable ion bombardment etch-stop mechanism is provided at 27.

In a typical etch-stop mode, the vacuum chamber is evacuated, the process gas introduced and a plasma established. As the process is continuing, the wafers, one of which is shown by 33 in Fig. 2, are continuously monitored by monitors 3. Typically, this may be achieved via a monochromatic interferometer, but it is clear that alternate arrangements, such as spectrometric devices, may as readily be employed. If an interferometer is used to monitor the etching process, an end-of-etch point (a breakthrough to a film of a different material) would be indicated by discontinuity in the signal output of the monitor. This event would typically be detected by support circuitry and used to generate an output to activate the appropriate etch-stop mechanism, such as the mechanisms shown in Fig. 1. Since end-of-etch point occurs at different times on each wafer due to non-uniformity...