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Integrated Sputter Etching and Vacuum Evaporation Apparatus

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000087247D
Original Publication Date: 1977-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-03
Document File: 4 page(s) / 59K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Budo, Y: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The figure illustrates an apparatus intended for molecular cleaning of semiconductor substrate surfaces prior to vacuum-evaporation deposition in a common automatically operated system. The apparatus has a large capacity, is highly efficient and has a low loss crucible source that largely eliminates the need for source replenishment mechanisms. The device has the capability, with multisource applications, to expose a substrate to one source at a time in multiple source sequences. The essential feature is to incorporate radio frequency (RF) sputter etching to operate in situ with an evaporation deposition system to insure that microscopically clean substrates will be provided prior to vacuum deposition.

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Integrated Sputter Etching and Vacuum Evaporation Apparatus

The figure illustrates an apparatus intended for molecular cleaning of semiconductor substrate surfaces prior to vacuum-evaporation deposition in a common automatically operated system. The apparatus has a large capacity, is highly efficient and has a low loss crucible source that largely eliminates the need for source replenishment mechanisms. The device has the capability, with multisource applications, to expose a substrate to one source at a time in multiple source sequences. The essential feature is to incorporate radio frequency (RF) sputter etching to operate in situ with an evaporation deposition system to insure that microscopically clean substrates will be provided prior to vacuum deposition.

In this sputter etch/evaporation deposition system, two separate vacuum chambers 1 and 2 are connected together via an isolation valve-gate system 3 to form a system for simultaneous sputter etching in one chamber and evaporation deposition in the other. Isolation valve 3 permits a high vacuum level to be achieved in the chamber 2 where the evaporation deposition is ongoing and another vacuum level in the sputter-etching environment which is backfilled with argon gas to a higher pressure level. A transport carrier 4, bearing a number of substrates for cleaning and deposition, will be inserted through the load door valve 5. The carrier 4 is designed so that the substrates may be picked up by the pickup mechanism 6 and loaded automatically into a holder which serves as the cathode for RF sputter etching. The substrates themselves become a sputter target and the transport carrier 4 becomes the sputter anode. The carriage has a removable liner in which the sputtered substrate material is collected.

To transfer the substrate carrier 4 from the outside environment to the sputter chamber 1 and from there to the evaporation chamber 2 and back again to the atmosphere, in one load transport carrier 4 and in one unload transport carrier 7, each carrier 4 and 7 is supported and guided on segmented tracks 8 within each chamber 1 and 2. Carriers 4 and 7 are powered by a rack-and-pinion mechanism driven by rotating feed-through shafts and drive motors 9 mounted external to the chambers. Each load or unload carrier 4 or 7, respectively, can be positioned in any of the atmosphere, load, unload, sputter or evaporation positions within the apparatus. The home position for each carrier is in the sputter and unload/idle chamber 1 and 10, respectively.

The evaporation source chamber 2 has in it an evaporation source element 11 which is designed to operate without breaking the vacuum in the chamber for a minimum of 24 hours. The source 11 is designed for use without recharging or maintenance service over long periods of time. The source 11 is a large diameter crucible with the wall length of the crucible nearly equal to the source-to- substrate distance during deposition. The intent of the design...