Applied Materials. has filed a patent for a method of cleaning a plasma chamber using a mixture of fluoride molecules and argon to remove deposited material. The process involves creating a plasma to bond fluorine ions to the material, allowing for efficient cleaning. The method can be used in plasma doping systems for semiconductor manufacturing. GlobalData’s report on Applied Materials gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Applied Materials, 3D memory devices was a key innovation area identified from patents. Applied Materials's grant share as of January 2024 was 42%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Plasma chamber cleaning method using fluoride and argon

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Applied Materials Inc

The patent application (Publication Number: US20240035154A1) describes a method for operating a plasma doping (PLAD) system. The method involves processing multiple workpieces in a plasma chamber using arsine to deposit arsenic on the chamber's interior surfaces. After processing, the arsenic is cleaned from the chamber using a cleaning plasma composed of fluorine molecules and inert species. The cleaning process can be monitored using optical emission spectroscopy (OES) to track the levels of fluorine, inert species, and arsenic during cleaning.

Additionally, the method includes specific parameters for the cleaning process, such as the termination of cleaning based on the number of workpieces processed, the threshold levels of fluorine molecules in the chamber, and the rate of increase of fluorine molecules. The cleaning can also be terminated based on the ratio of fluorine molecules to arsenic or inert species in the chamber, ensuring efficient and effective cleaning. Monitoring the amount of arsenic in the chamber is also crucial, with cleaning being terminated when the arsenic levels drop below a predetermined threshold. Overall, the method outlined in the patent application aims to optimize the cleaning process in a PLAD system, ensuring the chamber remains free of contaminants for subsequent workpiece processing.

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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.