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Patent Issued for Substrate Processing Method and Substrate Processing System for Performing the Same

August 20, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- According to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews journalists, a patent by the inventors Cho, Yong-Jhin (Suwon-si, KR); Lee, Kun-Tack (Suwon-si, KR); Lee, Hyo-San (Suwon-si, KR); Kim, Young-Hoo (Hwaseong-si, KR); Lee, Jung-Won (Gunpo-si, KR); Bae, Sang-Won (Incheon, KR); Oh, Jung-Min (Incheon, KR), filed on December 8, 2011, was published online on August 5, 2014.

The assignee for this patent, patent number 8795541, is Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Suwon-Si, Gyeonggi-Do, KR).

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present disclosure relates to a substrate processing method and a substrate processing system for performing the same, and more particularly to a method of processing a substrate using a supercritical fluid and a substrate processing system for performing the same.

"In the field of integrated semiconductor device manufacture, a supercritical fluid may be used to physically and chemically process fine semiconductor patterns.

"A supercritical fluid is any substance at a temperature and pressure above its critical point, where distinct liquid and gas phases do not exist. The supercritical fluid may have unique properties as compared to a gas and a liquid, including low surface tension, low viscosity, high solvency, and high diffusion coefficient with applications in the field of integrated semiconductor device manufacture."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "According to an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure, in a supercritical fluid method a supercritical fluid is supplied into a process chamber. The supercritical fluid is discharged from the process chamber as a supercritical fluid process proceeds. A concentration of a target material included in the supercritical fluid discharged from the process chamber is detected during the supercritical fluid process.

"In an exemplary embodiment, an end point of the supercritical fluid process is determined based on a detected concentration of the target material.

"In an exemplary embodiment, detecting the concentration of the target material may include heating the supercritical fluid discharged from the process chamber to maintain the supercritical fluid in a gas phase and detecting the concentration of the target material in the gas phase included in the supercritical fluid discharged from the process chamber.

"In an exemplary embodiment, detecting the concentration of the target material may include condensing the supercritical fluid discharged from the process chamber to liquid phase and detecting the concentration of the target material in the liquid phase included in the supercritical fluid discharged from the process chamber.

"In an exemplary embodiment, detecting the concentration of the target material in the liquid phase may include mixing the target material in the liquid phase with a reference liquid and detecting a relative concentration of the target material in the liquid phase with respect to the reference liquid.

"In an exemplary embodiment, the method may further include controlling a system including the process chamber to complete the supercritical fluid process after determining the end point of the supercritical fluid process.

"In an exemplary embodiment, the method may further include loading a substrate into the process chamber.

"In an exemplary embodiment, the method may further include controlling a flow rate of the supercritical fluid to a detection unit detecting the concentration of the target material.

"In an exemplary embodiment, the method may further include detecting a concentration of the target material in the process chamber during the supercritical fluid process.

"According to an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure, a processing system includes a process chamber, a supply unit configured to supply a supercritical fluid to the process chamber, a discharge unit configured to discharge the supercritical fluid from the process chamber, and a detection unit provided in the discharge unit, and configured to detect a concentration of a target material included in the supercritical fluid discharged from the process chamber during a supercritical fluid process.

"In an exemplary embodiment, the detection unit is configured to determine an end point of the supercritical fluid process based on a detected concentration of the target material.

"In an exemplary embodiment, the detection unit may include a heater for heating the supercritical fluid discharged from the process chamber to maintain in a gas phase and a detector for detecting the concentration of the target material in the gas phase included in the supercritical fluid discharged from the process chamber.

"In an exemplary embodiment, the detection unit may include a condenser for condensing the supercritical fluid discharged from the process chamber to a liquid phase and a detector for detecting the concentration of the target material in the liquid phase included in the supercritical fluid discharged from the process chamber.

"In an exemplary embodiment, the detection unit may further include a mixer for mixing the supercritical fluid discharged from the process chamber with a reference liquid, and the detector may detect a relative concentration of the target material in the liquid phase with respect to the reference liquid.

"In an exemplary embodiment, the processing system may further include a control unit connected to the process chamber, the supply unit and the discharge unit, to determine the end point of the supercritical fluid process and control operations of the processing system.

"In an exemplary embodiment, the processing system may further include a valve to control a flow rate of the supercritical fluid to the detection unit.

"In an exemplary embodiment, the processing system may further include a chamber detector to detect a concentration of the target material in the process chamber.

"In an exemplary embodiment, wherein the discharge unit further comprises at least two discharge pipes, wherein at least one of the two discharge pipes is connected to the detection unit.

"Accordingly, a concentration of a target material in the discharged fluid may be detected and analyzed to check the progress of the process and determine the end point of the supercritical fluid process. After determining the end point of the supercritical fluid process, a system including the process chamber may be controlled to complete the supercritical fluid process."

For more information, see this patent: Cho, Yong-Jhin; Lee, Kun-Tack; Lee, Hyo-San; Kim, Young-Hoo; Lee, Jung-Won; Bae, Sang-Won; Oh, Jung-Min. Substrate Processing Method and Substrate Processing System for Performing the Same. U.S. Patent Number 8795541, filed December 8, 2011, and published online on August 5, 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=8795541.PN.&OS=PN/8795541RS=PN/8795541

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

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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