Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment has been granted a patent for a radio-frequency power supply system and plasma processor. The system includes a frequency-tuning matching method that partitions the low frequency radio-frequency power output period into impedance matching segments, allowing for effective application of radio-frequency power into the reaction chamber and reducing reflected power. GlobalData’s report on Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment, 3D memory devices was a key innovation area identified from patents. Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment's grant share as of June 2023 was 1%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

A patent granted for a plasma processor with frequency-tuning power supply

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11682541B2) describes a plasma processor that includes a reaction chamber, a source radio-frequency power supply, a bias radio-frequency power supply, and a controller. The source radio-frequency power supply applies a first radio-frequency periodic signal into the reaction chamber to ignite and maintain plasma. The frequency of the first radio-frequency periodic signal is tunable within a preset range. The bias radio-frequency power supply applies a second radio-frequency periodic signal to the base of the reaction chamber, with each cycle of the second signal including multiple impedance matching segments. The output voltage of the bias radio-frequency power supply varies between these segments. The controller is responsible for controlling the source radio-frequency power supply to output a segment matching frequency during each impedance matching segment, ensuring effective application of radio-frequency power into the reaction chamber and reducing reflected power.

The patent also describes a frequency-tuning matching method for the plasma processor. This method involves tuning the output frequency of the source radio-frequency power supply during each impedance matching segment and detecting the reflected power value or plasma processor impedance value corresponding to each output frequency. If the reflected power value or impedance value is lower than a predetermined threshold, the output frequency is determined as the segment matching frequency for that impedance matching segment. The controller may have a database storing bias radio-frequency power supply output voltages and corresponding matching frequencies, allowing it to obtain segment matching frequencies based on the learned segment matching frequency and the database. The method also includes a determining module that determines the currently located impedance matching segment based on the second radio-frequency periodic signal, allowing the controller to selectively output the segment matching frequency for the determined impedance matching segment.

Overall, this patent presents a plasma processor and a frequency-tuning matching method that aim to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of plasma processing by reducing reflected power. The use of tunable radio-frequency signals and impedance matching segments, along with the controller's ability to learn and store segment matching frequencies, allows for optimized power output and reduced power loss in the reaction chamber.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.