Patent Number: 7,709,378

Title: Method and apparatus for processing thin metal layers

Abstract: A method and apparatus for processing a thin metal layer on a substrate to control the grain size, grain shape, and grain boundary location and orientation in the metal layer by irradiating the metal layer with a first excimer laser pulse having an intensity pattern defined by a mask to have shadow regions and beamlets. Each region of the metal layer overlapped by a beamlet is melted throughout its entire thickness, and each region of the metal layer overlapped by a shadow region remains at least partially unmelted. After completion of resolidification of the melted regions following irradiation by the first excimer laser pulse, the metal layer is irradiated by a second excimer laser pulse having a shifted intensity pattern so that the shadow regions overlap regions of the metal layer having fewer and larger grains.

Inventors: Im; James S. (New York, NY)

Assignee: The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York

International Classification: H01L 21/44 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 5/04/12018