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Spatially Programmable Microelectronics Process Equipment using Segmented Gas Injection Showerhead with Exhaust Gas Recirculation

Abstract 

A multizone, segmented showerhead provides a gas impingement flux distribution which is controllable in two lateral dimensions to achieve programmable uniformity in chemical vapor deposition, in plasma deposition and etching and other processes. Recirculation (pumping) of exhaust gases back through the showerhead reduces intersegment mixing to achieve a high degree of spatial control of the process. This spatial control of the impinging gas flux distribution assures that uniformity can be achieved at process design points selected to optimize materials performance. Spatial control also permits rapid experimentation by enabling the introduction of intentional nonuniformities so that combinatorial data from across the wafer/substrate provides results of simultaneous experiments at different process design points. This ability is useful for process tuning and optimization in manufacturing or for rapid materials and process discovery and optimization in research and development.

Inventor(s)

John Kidder

Date Issued 

11/23/2004

Patent No. 

6,821,910