Patents by Inventor Raymon F. Thompson

Raymon F. Thompson has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20150014175
    Abstract: An electroplating apparatus for plating a metal onto a surface of a wafer is disclosed. The apparatus comprises a wafer support configured to support a wafer and a processing base. The processing base has a scroll pump oriented to pump a plating solution in a substantially perpendicular direction with respect to the surface of the wafer. Further, the scroll pump includes a first scroll and a second scroll, at least one of which is configured as an anode. In one embodiment, the processing base includes an anolyte chamber including the scroll pump, a catholyte chamber, and a membrane separating the anolyte chamber from the catholyte chamber.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 9, 2013
    Publication date: January 15, 2015
    Inventor: Raymon F. Thompson
  • Publication number: 20150017805
    Abstract: An apparatus for processing a wafer is disclosed that includes a wafer support and a processing base. The wafer support is configured to support a wafer in a processing position, and to rotate the wafer about a first substantially vertical axis while in the processing position. The processing base includes a shallow dish configured to receive processing chemistry. The wafer support places the wafer in contact with the processing chemistry while in the processing position. The shallow dish is rotatable about a second substantially vertical axis when the wafer support is in the processing position. The rotation of the wafer is independent of the rotation of the shallow dish. Further, the processing base may include a heating element, such as an infrared heating element, that is disposed to locally elevate the temperature of of the shallow dish and chemistry contained in it.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 9, 2013
    Publication date: January 15, 2015
    Inventor: Raymon F. Thompson
  • Publication number: 20150014176
    Abstract: A wafer processing apparatus is disclosed that includes a wafer support and a processing base. The wafer support is configured to support a wafer at a processing position with respect to a processing base. The processing base includes a scroll pump oriented to pump a processing fluid in a substantially perpendicular direction with respect to the surface of the wafer when the wafer contacts the processing fluid while in the processing position. While in contact with the processing fluid, the wafer support may rotate the wafer in the processing fluid. In one embodiment, the diameter of the scroll pump is substantially the same as or greater than the diameter of the surface of the wafer being processed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 9, 2013
    Publication date: January 15, 2015
    Inventor: Raymon F. Thompson
  • Patent number: 8028978
    Abstract: A semiconductor wafer processing system has a carrier including wafer slots. A process robot engages the carrier and installs the carrier into a rotor within a process chamber. The rotor has a tapered or stepped inside surface matching a tapered or stepped outside surface of the carrier. Wafer retainers on the carrier pivot to better secure wafers within the carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2011
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Gordon R. Nelson, Jeffry A. Davis, Raymon F. Thompson, Eric J. Bergman
  • Patent number: 7898089
    Abstract: The present invention provides an apparatus and method for use in processing semiconductor workpieces. The new apparatus and method allows for the production of thinner workpieces that at the same time remain strong. Particularly, a chuck is provided that includes a body, a retainer removeably attached to the body and a seal forming member. When a workpiece is placed on the chuck body and the retainer is engaged to the body, a peripheral portion of the back side of the workpiece is covered by the retainer while an interior region of the back side of the workpiece is exposed. The exposed back side of the workpiece is then subjected to a wet chemical etching process to thin the workpiece and form a relatively thick rim comprised of semiconductor material at the periphery of the workpiece. The thick rim or hoop imparts strength to the otherwise fragile, thinned semiconductor workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2011
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Kert L. Dolechek, Raymon F. Thompson
  • Patent number: 7625821
    Abstract: The present invention provides system and apparatus for use in processing wafers. The new system and apparatus allows for the production of thinner wafers that at same time remain strong. As a result, the wafers produced by the present process are less susceptible to breaking. The unique system also offers an improved structure for handling thinned wafers and reduces the number of processing steps. This results in improved yields and improved process efficiency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2009
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Kert L. Dolechek, Raymon F. Thompson
  • Patent number: 7354649
    Abstract: The present invention provides an apparatus and method for use in processing semiconductor workpieces. The new apparatus and method allows for the production of thinner workpieces that at the same time remain strong. Particularly, a chuck is provided that includes a body, a retainer removeably attached to the body and a seal forming member. When a workpiece is placed on the chuck body and the retainer is engaged to the body, a peripheral portion of the back side of the workpiece is covered by the retainer while an interior region of the back side of the workpiece is exposed. The exposed back side of the workpiece is then subjected to a wet chemical etching process to thin the workpiece and form a relatively thick rim comprised of semiconductor material at the periphery of the workpiece. The thick rim or hoop imparts strength to the otherwise fragile, thinned semiconductor workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2008
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Kert L. Dolechek, Raymon F. Thompson
  • Patent number: 7288489
    Abstract: The present invention provides an apparatus and method for use in processing semiconductor workpieces. The new apparatus and method allows for the production of thinner workpieces that at the same time remain strong. Particularly, a chuck is provided that includes a body, a retainer removeably attached to the body and a seal forming member. When a workpiece is placed on the chuck body and the retainer is engaged to the body, a peripheral portion of the back side of the workpiece is covered by the retainer while an interior region of the back side of the workpiece is exposed. The exposed back side of the workpiece is then subjected to a wet chemical etching process to thin the workpiece and form a relatively thick rim comprised of semiconductor material at the periphery of the workpiece. The thick rim or hoop imparts strength to the otherwise fragile, thinned semiconductor workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2007
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Kert L. Dolechek, Raymon F. Thompson
  • Patent number: 7193295
    Abstract: The present invention provides system and apparatus for use in processing wafers. The new system and apparatus allows for the production of thinner wafers that at same time remain strong. As a result, the wafers produced by the present process are less susceptible to breaking. The unique system also offers an improved structure for handling thinned wafers and reduces the number of processing steps. This results in improved yields and improved process efficiency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2007
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Kert L. Dolechek, Raymon F. Thompson
  • Patent number: 7138016
    Abstract: A semiconductor processor for spray coating wafers or other semiconductor articles. The processor has a compartment in which are mounted a wafer transfer, coating station and thermal treatment station. The coating station has a spray processing vessel in which a movable spray-head and rotatable wafer holder. The spray station has coating viscosity control features. An ultrasonic resonating spray-head is precisely supplied with coating from a metering pump. The heat treatment station heat cures the coating and then cools the wafer. The system allows coatings to be applied in relatively uniform conformational layers upon irregular surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2006
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy J. Reardon, Thomas H. Oberlitner, Craig P. Meuchel, Aleksander Owczarz, Raymon F. Thompson
  • Patent number: 7094291
    Abstract: A semiconductor processor for spray coating wafers or other semiconductor articles. The processor has a compartment in which are mounted a wafer transfer, coating station and thermal treatment station. The coating station has a spray processing vessel in which a movable spray-head and rotatable wafer holder. The spray station has coating viscosity control features. An ultrasonic resonating spray-head is precisely supplied with coating from a metering pump. The heat treatment station heat cures the coating and then cools the wafer. The system allows coatings to be applied in relatively uniform conformational layers upon irregular surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2006
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy J. Reardon, Craig P. Meuchel, Thomas H. Oberlitner, Aleksander Owczarz, Raymon F. Thompson
  • Patent number: 6997988
    Abstract: An apparatus for processing a workpiece in a micro-environment includes a workpiece housing connected to be rotated by a motor. The workpiece housing forms a substantially closed processing chamber where one or more processing fluids are distributed across at least one face of the workpiece by centrifugal force generated during rotation of the housing. A sump is connected to an inlet and an outlet in the chamber. Rotation of the workpiece housing recirculates fluid into the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2006
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Gary L. Curtis, Raymon F. Thompson
  • Patent number: 6960257
    Abstract: A processor for processing integrated circuit wafers, semiconductor substrates, data disks and similar units requiring very low contamination levels. The processor has an interface section which receives wafers in standard wafer carriers. The interface section transfers the wafers from carriers onto novel trays for improved processing. The interface unit can hold multiple groups of multiple trays. A conveyor having an automated arm assembly moves wafers supported on a tray. The conveyor moves the trays from the interface along a track to several processing stations. The processing stations are accessed from an enclosed area adjoining the interface section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2005
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Raymon F. Thompson, Robert W. Berner, Gary L. Curtis, Stephen P. Culliton, Blaine G. Wright, Darryl S. Byle
  • Patent number: 6900132
    Abstract: A system for processing semiconductor wafers has process units on a deck of a frame. The process units and the deck have precision locating features, such as tapered pins, for precisely positioning the process units on the deck. Process units can be removed and replacement process units installed on the deck, without the need for recalibrating the load/unload robot. This reduces the time needed to replace process units and restart processing operations. Liquid chemical consumption during processing is reduced by drawing unused liquid out of supply lines and pumping it back to storage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2005
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Raymon F. Thompson, Jeffry A. Davis, Randy Harris, Dana R. Scranton, Ryan Pfeifle, Steven A. Peace, Brian Aegerter
  • Patent number: 6881309
    Abstract: In an electroplating reactor for plating a spinning wafer, a diffusion plate is supported above an anode located within a cup filled with process fluid within the reactor. The diffusion plate includes a plurality of openings which are arranged in a spiral pattern. The openings allow for an improved plating thickness distribution on the wafer surface. The openings can be elongated slots curved along the direction of the spiral path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2005
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Kyle M. Hanson, Robert A. Weaver, Jerry Simchuk, Raymon F. Thompson
  • Patent number: 6794291
    Abstract: An apparatus for processing a semiconductor wafer or similar article includes a reactor having a processing chamber formed by upper and lower rotors. The wafer is supported between the rotors. The rotors are rotated by a spin motor. A processing fluid is introduced onto the top or bottom surface of the wafer, or onto both surfaces, at a central location. The fluid flows outwardly uniformly and in all directions. A wafer support automatically lifts the wafer, so that it can be removed from the reactor by a robot, when the rotors separate from each other after processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2004
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven L. Peace, Gary L. Curtis, Raymon F. Thompson, Brian Aegerter, Curt T. Dundas
  • Publication number: 20040112738
    Abstract: A system for processing semiconductor wafers has process units on a deck of a frame. The process units and the deck have precision locating features, such as tapered pins, for precisely positioning the process units on the deck. Process units can be removed and replacement process units installed on the deck, without the need for recalibrating the load/unload robot. This reduces the time needed to replace process units and restart processing operations. Liquid chemical consumption during processing is reduced by drawing unused liquid out of supply lines and pumping it back to storage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 22, 2003
    Publication date: June 17, 2004
    Inventors: Raymon F. Thompson, Jeffry A. Davis, Randy Harris, Dana R. Scranton, Ryan Pfeifle, Steven L. Peace, Brian Aegerter
  • Patent number: 6695914
    Abstract: An apparatus for processing a workpiece in a micro-environment includes a workpiece housing connected to a motor for rotation. The workpiece housing forms a processing chamber where one or more processing fluids are distributed across at least one face of the workpiece by centrifugal force generated during rotation of the housing. An array of workpiece housings are contained within an enclosure. A robot moves workpieces into and out of the workpiece housings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2004
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Gary L Curtis, Raymon F. Thompson
  • Patent number: 6692613
    Abstract: A method for processing a semiconductor wafer or similar article includes the step of spinning the wafer and applying a fluid to a first side of the wafer, while it is spinning. The fluid flows radially outwardly in all directions, over the first side of the wafer, via centrifugal force. As the fluid flows off of the circumferential edge of the wafer, it is contained in an annular reservoir, so that the fluid also flows onto an outer annular area of the second side of the wafer. An opening allows fluid to flow out of the reservoir. The opening defines the location of a parting line beyond which the fluid will not travel on the second side of the wafer. An apparatus for processing a semiconductor wafer or similar article includes a reactor having a processing chamber formed by upper and lower rotors. The wafer is supported between the rotors. The rotors are rotated by a spin motor. A processing fluid is introduced onto the top or bottom surface of the wafer, or onto both surfaces, at a central location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2004
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven L. Peace, Gary L. Curtis, Raymon F. Thompson, Brian Aegerter, Curt T. Dundas
  • Patent number: 6666922
    Abstract: An apparatus for processing a workpiece in a micro-environment includes a workpiece housing connected to a motor for rotation. The workpiece housing forms a substantially closed processing chamber where one or more processing fluids are distributed across at least one face of the workpiece by centrifugal force generated during rotation of the housing. Multiple housings may be vertically stacked and rotated about a common rotation axis to simultaneously process multiple workpieces in a small space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2003
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Gary L Curtis, Raymon F. Thompson