Patent Number: 6,309,972

Title: Method of enhancing protection of dielectrics from plasma induced damages and equipment

Abstract: During critical plasma etching steps, the wafer's surface is illuminated with electromagnetic radiation in the visible and/or in the UV spectrum having an energy and power density sufficient to increase the reverse current through protective junctions on the wafer. These protective junctions provide electrical discharge paths for electrical charges picked up by exposed conductive parts of the wafer. The induced voltages are limited to values compatible with preserving the integrity of functional dielectric layers coupled to the exposed conductive parts and to the semiconductor substrate or to another conductive part.

Inventors: Pio; Federico (Brugherio, IT)

Assignee: STMicroelectronics S.r.L.

International Classification: H01L 21/02 (20060101); H01L 21/311 (20060101); H01L 21/3213 (20060101); C36C 016/00 ()

Expiration Date: 10/30/2018