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Patent Issued for Plasma Monitoring Device Using a Cylindrical Hollow Electrode

July 16, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (KR) has been issued patent number 8767203, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventors are Kim, Se-Yeon (Hwaseong-si, KR); Yi, Hun Jung (Suwon-si, KR); Jeon, Sangpyoung (Suwon-si, KR); Yun, Hyojin (Suwon-si, KR).

This patent was filed on August 25, 2011 and was published online on July 1, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "The inventive concept described herein relates to a process monitoring device for monitoring a semiconductor device manufacturing process, a semiconductor process apparatus including the same, and a process monitoring method using the same.

"Semiconductor devices are generally manufactured using a fabrication (FAB) process, an electrical die sorting (EDS) process, and a package assembly process. In the FAB process, chemical vapor deposition (CVD), physical vapor deposition (PVD), thermal oxidation, ion implantation, ion diffusion and the like may be performed to form various layers on a substrate. These layers may be etched to form patterns having electrical characteristics.

"In the FAB process, a device for monitoring a gas exhausted from a process chamber is typically used to monitor whether a process is performed as expected or whether the process chamber leaks and to determine an endpoint of the process."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Some embodiments provide a plasma generating unit for a process monitoring device including a hollow first electrode extending in a length direction and a second electrode extending in the length direction and positioned within and displaced from the first electrode with a distance therebetween. The first electrode has an inner diameter and the second electrode has an outer diameter selected to vary the distance between the electrodes in the length direction so that the plasma generating unit generates a plasma by ionizing a gas flowing between the electrodes at a different position in the length direction based on a pressure of the gas. The electrodes may each extend around substantially an entire circumference of the electrodes and the plasma generating unit may be configured to generate the plasma to have a donut-shaped three-dimensional space distribution.

"In other embodiments, the first and second electrode are coaxially aligned in the length direction and the distance between the electrodes is substantially the same around the entire circumference of the electrodes. The inner diameter of the first electrode may vary substantially uniformly in the length direction. The outer diameter of the second electrode may be substantially unchanged in the length direction.

"In further embodiments, the outer diameter of the second electrode varies substantially uniformly in the length direction and decreases as the inner diameter of the first electrode increases. The outer diameter of the second electrode may vary substantially uniformly in the length direction and the inner diameter of the first electrode may be substantially unchanged in the length direction.

"In other embodiments, the inner diameter of the first electrode is stepped in the length direction. The inner diameter of the second electrode may be stepped in the length direction and decrease as the inner diameter of the first electrode increases.

"In further embodiments, a process monitoring device includes the plasma generating unit of Claim 1 and also includes an optical emission spectroscopy unit and a power supply. The optical emission spectroscopy unit is positioned proximate the plasma generating unit and is configured to analyze light emitted from the plasma generated by the plasma unit. The power supply is coupled to the first and second electrodes configured to power the electrodes to ionize the gas flowing therebetween.

"In yet other embodiments, a process monitoring device includes a plasma generating unit and an optical emission spectroscopy unit positioned proximate the plasma generating unit that is configured to analyze light emitted from the plasma generated by the plasma unit. A power supply is coupled to the first and second electrodes that is configured to power the electrodes to ionize the gas flowing therebetween. The plasma generating unit includes a hollow cylindrical first electrode having a length extending in a length direction and a second electrode having a length extending in the length direction and positioned within and displaced from the first electrode. The length of the second electrode is the same as the length of the first electrode. The power supply may be configured to supply an alternating voltage to one of the electrodes and to ground the other of the electrodes.

"In further embodiments, the first electrode has an inner diameter and the second electrode has an outer diameter selected to vary a distance between the electrodes in a length direction so that the plasma generating unit generates a plasma by ionizing a gas flowing between the electrodes at a different position in the length direction based on a pressure of the gas. The electrodes may have a distance therebetween around substantially an entire circumference of the electrodes and the plasma generating unit may be configured to generate the plasma to have a donut-shaped three-dimensional space distribution. The first and second electrode may be coaxially aligned in the length direction and a distance between the electrodes may be substantially the same around the entire circumference of the electrodes.

"In other embodiments, the process monitoring device further includes a housing including an inflow port configured to be coupled to an exhaust line of a process chamber of a semiconductor manufacturing process. A partition divides the housing into a first area, with the inflow port positioned on a first side of the first area and a window in the partition opposite the inflow port, and a second area. The plasma generating unit is positioned in the first area extending in the length direction from proximate the inflow port to proximate the window and the optical spectroscopy unit is positioned in the second area to detect the light emitted from the plasma.

"In yet further embodiments, a semiconductor process apparatus includes a process monitoring device as described above and further includes the process chamber configured to execute a semiconductor manufacturing process and having the exhaust line extending therefrom.

"In other embodiments, a semiconductor process apparatus includes a process chamber configured to execute a semiconductor manufacturing process and having an exhaust line extending therefrom. A housing includes an inflow port connected to the exhaust line of the process chamber and a partition dividing an inner space thereof into a first area and a second area. The partition includes a window therein between the first and second area. A plasma unit is positioned in first area of the housing and configured to generate plasma by ionizing an exhaust gas flowing from the process chamber into the housing through the inflow port. An optical emission spectroscopy unit is positioned in the second area of the housing and configured to analyzing light emitted from the plasma. The plasma unit includes an open ended hollow cylindrical first electrode extending in a length direction from proximate the inflow port to proximate the window in the partition and a second electrode positioned within and displaced from the first electrode with a distance therebetween and extending in the length direction from proximate the inflow port to proximate the window in the partition. The first electrode has an inner diameter and the second electrode has an outer diameter selected to vary the distance between the electrodes in the length direction so that the plasma generating unit generates a plasma by ionizing the exhaust gas flowing between the electrodes at a different position in the length direction based on a pressure of the exhaust gas. A power supply is coupled to the first and second electrodes that is configured to power the electrodes to ionize the gas flowing therebetween."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Kim, Se-Yeon; Yi, Hun Jung; Jeon, Sangpyoung; Yun, Hyojin. Plasma Monitoring Device Using a Cylindrical Hollow Electrode. U.S. Patent Number 8767203, filed August 25, 2011, and published online on July 1, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8767203.PN.&OS=PN/8767203RS=PN/8767203

Keywords for this news article include: Semiconductor, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd..

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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