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Patexia Contest

CONTEST

Competed
Prize
$10,000
DEADLINE
This contest is closed.
Winner

Seth W Perry

technology
Winner

Rucapillan IP

technology
Runner Up

Sub poena

technology
Runner Up

Amit Aswal

technology
Runner Up

Ajinder Kaur

technology
Runner Up

Charu S

technology
Runner Up

Roopa V

technology
Runner Up

Milind Singhal

technology
Runner Up
Runner Up

Yogesh Bansal

technology
Runner Up

Krish Dev

technology
Runner Up

Saurabh Sharma

technology

Problem

Patexia seeks prior art for US Patents 6,853,142 (‘142), and 7,604,716 (‘716), allegedly describing an apparatus and a method for strongly-ionized plasma generation in a magnetron sputtering machine. The process involves a chamber with an anode, a cathode made of material to be sputtered, a gas line and a power supply. Initially, a weakly ionized plasma is generated by ionizing the feed gas.  After the weakly ionized plasma has been generated, a multi-step ionization process is used to produce additional ions, thus increasing the density of the plasma and forming a strongly-ionized plasma.

In the multi-step ionization process, additional ions are produced by (a) producing excited feed gas atoms (i.e., neutral, non-ionized, atoms that are at a higher energy state than the ground state) and then (b) ionizing the excited atoms.  The power supply achieves the multi-step ionization process by applying pulses between the anode and cathode using the right magnitude and rise-time to generate excited atoms.

An ideal reference will describe a multi-step ionization process as applied to a magnetron sputtering device.


Figure 2.  Apparatus for generating a strongly-ionized plasma (see US Patent 7,147,759)

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Questions

#QuestionValue
1Was the source filed or published before November 4th, 2001? 30
2If the source was not published before November 4th, 2001 was the source published before November 4th, 2002? 10
3Does the source describe an apparatus for generating a strongly-ionized plasma which has an anode, a cathode made of material to be sputtered, a power supply, and a gas line? 10
4Does the source describe a multi-step ionization process for generating a strongly-ionized plasma (i.e., a process that generates ions by: (a) producing excited atoms from ground state atoms and (b) then ionizing the excited atoms)? 10
5Does the multi-step ionization process begin with ionizing a feed gas in a chamber to form a weakly-ionized plasma to substantially eliminate the probability of developing an arc in the chamber? 10
6Is an electrical pulse (with the right magnitude and rise-time) applied between the anode and the cathode to the weakly ionized plasma to excite atoms and then ionize those excited atoms to generate a strongly-ionized plasma? 10
7Does the electrical pulse have a rise-time of between 0.1 microseconds - 10 seconds? 5
8Is the peak plasma density of the weakly-ionized plasma less than 10^12 cm^−3? 5
9Is the peak plasma density of the strongly-ionized plasma greater than 10^12 cm^−3? 5
10Can the dimension of the gap between the anode and the cathode be chosen in such a way to increase the production of excited atoms? 5

Additional Notes

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