Tokyo Electron has patented a plasma processing apparatus with a unique power source system that applies varying bias voltages to draw ions from a plasma into a substrate. The system outputs pulses at specific frequencies and voltage levels, enhancing substrate processing efficiency. GlobalData’s report on Tokyo Electron gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Tokyo Electron, 3D memory devices was a key innovation area identified from patents. Tokyo Electron's grant share as of January 2024 was 44%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Plasma processing apparatus with periodic pulse bias voltage control

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Tokyo Electron Ltd

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11887817B2) discloses a plasma processing apparatus designed to enhance substrate processing efficiency. The apparatus includes a chamber, a substrate support with an electrode to hold the substrate, and a DC power source system connected to the electrode to apply a bias voltage. The unique feature of this apparatus lies in its ability to output pulses of negative voltage at specific frequencies during different periods, with varying voltage levels for each pulse. Additionally, a controller controls the power source system to output a single pulse of positive voltage before the start of the first period in a cycle, optimizing the processing of substrates in the chamber.

Furthermore, the patent details a plasma processing method using the described apparatus. The method involves preparing a substrate on the support within the chamber and then applying the bias voltage through the DC power source system. By outputting specific pulses of negative voltage at defined frequencies during different periods, ions from the plasma are drawn into the substrate efficiently. The method also includes the strategic use of a single pulse of positive voltage before the first period in a cycle, ensuring effective substrate processing. This innovative approach aims to improve the overall performance and effectiveness of plasma processing for various applications, including etching silicon oxide and silicon nitride films in multilayer structures, as well as general substrate film etching processes.

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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.