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1. WO2020112997 - REDUCING OR ELIMINATING LIQUID DE-GASSING

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus to reduce de-gassing from a liquid precursor during

dispensing under vacuum, the apparatus comprising:

a liquid-flow controller configured to be coupled to a liquid-supply vessel containing the liquid precursor;

at least one valve hydraulically coupled downstream of and to the liquid-flow controller by a liquid line, the at least one valve configured to be opened and closed to maintain a minimum pressure that is sufficiently high enough to reduce de-gassing of the liquid precursor throughout the liquid line; and

an atomizer hydraulically coupled downstream of and to the at least one

valve, the atomizer configured to produce droplets of the liquid precursor and further to be coupled on a downstream side to a vacuum source.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a heat exchanger

hydraulically coupled downstream of the atomizer to vaporize the droplets of the liquid precursor.

3. The apparatus of daim 1, further comprising a deposition chamber coupled between the atomizer and the vacuum source, the deposition chamber configured to form films from the droplets of the liquid precursor onto a substrate in the deposition chamber.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, further comprising a carrier gas line to convey a push gas to transport vapor produced by a heat exchanger from the droplets of the liquid precursor into the deposition chamber.

5. The apparatus of daim 1, further comprising a liquid-flow controller coupled hydraulically between the liquid-supply vessel and the at least one valve, the liquid-flow controller configured to receive liquid from the liquid-supply vessel and control an amount of liquid from the liquid-supply vessel that is allowed to pass onto the at least one valve.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the liquid-flow controller is a mass-flow controller.

7. The apparatus of claim 5, further comprising a control system coupled to the liquid-flow controller and the at least one valve, the control system being configured to:

provide a flow set-point signal to the liquid-flow controller and receive a flow- feedback signal from the liquid-flow controller; and

open and dose the at least one valve to decrease and increase a pressure

level, respectively, within the liquid line.

8. The apparatus of daim 7, wherein the control system includes at least one controller selected from controllers including a programmable logic controller (PLC), a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller, a distributed control system (DCS), and a system-logic controller (SLC).

9. The apparatus of daim 1, further comprising a second valve hydraulically coupled between the at least one valve and the atomizer, the second valve to decrease and increase a pressure level within the liquid line.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the at least one valve and the second valve are configured to alternately be opened and closed to reduce the de-gassing of the liquid precursor in the liquid line.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one valve comprises a three-way valve to function as a purge-control valve for the atomizer, wherein a drain line coupled to the at least one valve is configured to purge liquids from the apparatus.

12. An apparatus to reduce de-gassing from a liquid precursor, the apparatus comprising:

a first valve hydraulically coupled downstream of and to a liquid-flow

controller by a liquid line, the liquid-flow controller coupled to a liquid supply vessel containing the liquid precursor, the first valve configured to maintain a pressure that is sufficiently high enough to reduce degassing of the liquid precursor throughout the liquid line; and an atomizer hydraulically coupled downstream of and to the first valve, the atomizer configured to produce droplets of the liquid precursor and further to be coupled on a downstream side to a vacuum source.

13. The apparatus of daim 12, further comprising a heat exchanger

hydraulically coupled downstream of the atomizer to vaporize the droplets of the liquid precursor.

14. The apparatus of daim 13, further comprising a deposition chamber

coupled between the atomizer and the vacuum source, the deposition chamber configured to form films from the droplets of the liquid precursor onto a substrate in the deposition chamber.

15. The apparatus of claim 12, further comprising a control system coupled to the first valve, the control system being configured to open and dose the first valve to decrease and increase a pressure level, respectively, within the liquid line.

16. The apparatus of claim 12, further comprising a second valve

hydraulically coupled between the first valve and the atomizer, the second valve to decrease and increase a pressure level within the liquid line.

17. The apparatus of daim 16, wherein the first valve and the second valve are configured to alternately be opened and closed to reduce the degassing of the liquid precursor in the liquid line.

18. An apparatus to reduce de-gassing from a liquid precursor, the apparatus comprising:

a first valve and a second valve hydraulically coupled to each other in series and further hydraulically coupled downstream of and to a liquid-flow controller by a liquid line, the liquid-flow controller coupled to a liquid supply vessel containing the liquid precursor, the first valve and the second valve configured to maintain a pressure that is sufficiently high enough to reduce de-gassing of the liquid precursor throughout the liquid line, the first valve and the second valve further being

configured to alternately be opened and closed to reduce the de-gassing of the liquid precursor in the liquid line; and

an atomizer hydraulically coupled downstream of and to the first valve, the atomizer configured to produce droplets of the liquid precursor and further to be coupled on a downstream side to a vacuum source.

19. The apparatus of claim 18, further comprising a heat exchanger

hydraulically coupled downstream of the atomizer to vaporize the droplets of the liquid precursor.

20. The apparatus of claim 18, further comprising a control system coupled to the first valve and to the second valve, the control system being configured to open and close the first valve and the second to decrease and increase a pressure level, respectively, within the liquid line.