Abstract: An apparatus and method for growing semiconductor quality oxide thermal layers on semiconductor wafers fast enough to be economically feasible as a single wafer process system. Process speed is insured by high pressure and high temperature. For example, if the pressure is about 100 atmospheres (1,500 psi) and at a temperature of 900.degree. C., approximately 2.66 minutes are required to grow a 5,000.ANG. oxide layer in a steam environment. The system can reach these operating conditions from ambient in approximately 30 seconds and depressurization and cool down require approximately 60 to 90 seconds. The apparatus includes a processing chamber to be pressurized with an oxidant, such as high pressure steam. The process chamber is contained in a pressure vessel adapted to be pressurized with an inert gas, such as nitrogen, to a high pressure. A pressure equalizing scheme is used to keep the fluid pressure of the process chamber and the pressure of the fluid pressure vessel substantially the same.
Abstract: A device to load semiconductor wafers into a furnace when the wafers are contained in a boat, the device including a tower movable horizontally on rails and a ram mounted on the tower to be independently movable horizontally so that the joint movement of the ram and the tower provide a telescoping effect, the ram also being tiltable in a vertical plane to a position with its end higher than the portion attached to the tower whereby a boat carrier held on the end of the ram in its tilted position can be placed in the furnace, lowered into contact with the furnace floor by moving the ram to a horizontal position and then retracted without causing sliding of the boat carrier against the furnace floor.