Workpiece Rack Patents (Class 204/297.06)
  • Patent number: 10442023
    Abstract: A simulation apparatus of a wire electric discharge machine that performs machining to cut out a core from a workpiece calculates a position and a length of a welding part used to weld the core to the workpiece, calculates an evaluation value of the position and the length, and performs machine learning of the adjustment of the position and the length. In the machine learning, the position and the length of the welding part and the evaluation value are acquired as state data, a reward is calculated based on the state data and calculated reward conditions, and the machine learning of the adjustment of the position and the length of the welding part is performed using the calculated reward.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: FANUC CORPORATION
    Inventor: Kenichiro Shirai
  • Patent number: 9938631
    Abstract: A device is for treating and packaging implants. The device includes a container including a chamber therein. The chamber is closed by a removable seal. The device also includes a carrier sized and shaped to be inserted into the chamber. The carrier includes a carrying structure configured to connect an implant thereto. A portion of the carrier may be formed of an electrically conductive material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2018
    Assignee: DEPUY SYNTHES PRODUCTS, INC.
    Inventor: Urs Hulliger
  • Patent number: 9708724
    Abstract: An anode unit capable of forming a metal film having a uniform thickness on a substrate is disclosed. The anode unit includes an anode, a first feeding portion connected to a central portion of the anode, a second feeding portion located on a central axis of the anode and located away from the anode, and arms extending radially from the second feeding portion. The arms are connected to a periphery of the anode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2017
    Assignee: Ebara Corporation
    Inventors: Junichiro Tsujino, Tsutomu Nakada, Yusuke Tamari, Mitsutoshi Yahagi, Akira Owatari
  • Patent number: 9222193
    Abstract: One embodiment relates to a substrate carrier for use in electroplating a plurality of substrates. The substrate carrier comprises a non-conductive carrier body on which the substrates are to be held. Electrically-conductive lines are embedded within the carrier body, and a plurality of contact clips are coupled to the electrically-conductive lines embedded within the carrier body. The contact clips hold the substrates in place and electrically couple the substrates to the electrically-conductive lines. The non-conductive carrier body is continuous so as to be impermeable to flow of electroplating solution through the non-conductive carrier body. Other embodiments, aspects and features are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2015
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Emmanuel Chua Abas, Chen-An Chen, Diana Xiaobing Ma, Kalyana Bhargava Ganti, Edmundo Anida Divino, Jake Randal G. Ermita, Jose Francisco S. Capulong, Arnold Villamor Castillo
  • Patent number: 9017532
    Abstract: An electroplating system and components thereof facilitate an efficient electroplating process which in part reduces or eliminates the number of clips used on electroplating racks. Some electroplating racks may use skewers on which multiple plastic pieces are typically mounted. The plastic pieces may also be configured to be joined to form an assembly which is mounted on an electroplating rack. The configurations help reduce the time spent loading and unloading pieces on the racks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Inventors: Bradley A. Wright, Rudy M. Koehler
  • Patent number: 8992746
    Abstract: An apparatus for anodizing substrates immersed in an electrolyte solution. A substrate holder mounted in a storage tank includes a first support unit having first support elements for supporting, in a liquid-tight condition, only lower circumferential portions of the substrates, and a second support unit attachable to and detachable from the first support unit and having second support elements for supporting, in a liquid-tight condition, remaining circumferential portions of the substrates. A drive mechanism separates the first support unit and the second support unit when loading and unloading the substrates, and for connecting the first support unit and the second support unit after the substrates are placed in the substrate holder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignees: Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd., Solexel, Inc.
    Inventors: Yasuyoshi Miyaji, Noriyuki Hayashi, Takamitsu Inahara, Takao Yonehara, Karl-Josef Kramer, Subramanian Tamilmani
  • Patent number: 8986521
    Abstract: Disclosed is a segmented contact bar for use boarding an electrolytic cell. The segmented contact bar has contact pieces made of electrically conductive material and being in spaced apart relation along the capping board, each of the contact pieces defining a segment for supporting and electrically connecting an anode and a cathode in the electrolytic cell. The segmented contact bar also has connection members including an insulating material and provided in between pairs of adjacent segments for providing insulating interconnection of the segments. There is also an electrolytic refining apparatus including adjacent electrolytic cells; a capping board positioned on the adjacent electrolytic cells; anodes and cathodes extending in spaced apart alternate positions into the each of the adjacent electrolytic cells along the capping boards; and a segmented contact bar.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: Pultrusion Technique Inc.
    Inventor: Robert P. Dufresne
  • Patent number: 8961755
    Abstract: A semiconductor wafer holder includes first and second holding members between which a semiconductor wafer is held. The second holding member includes a second conductive element placed in contact with a first conductive element of the first holding member and the semiconductor wafer. A ring clamp is used to press the second holding member against the first holding member for holding of the semiconductor wafer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Ebara Corporation
    Inventors: Junichiro Yoshioka, Yoshitaka Mukaiyama
  • Patent number: 8956514
    Abstract: Some embodiments relate to a rack for coating components. The rack includes a horizontal top bar and a horizontal bottom bar. A first side bar electrically connects the horizontal top bar with the horizontal bottom bar and a second side bar electrically connects the horizontal top bar with the horizontal bottom bar. The horizontal bottom bar and the horizontal top bar are configured to be connected to the components, and the horizontal bottom bar is configured to be electrically connected to the components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Kohler Co.
    Inventors: John Michael Hocevar, William J. Hanmann, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8911598
    Abstract: A production line includes a number of production units, production equipments and a sliding bracket. The sliding bracket slides between the production units. Each production unit includes at least one base unit which is made in series. The at least one base unit has an enclosure. The sliding bracket and the production equipment are received in the enclosure. The production units are arranged in a configuration such as straight line, U-shaped or rectangular.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2014
    Assignee: Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shun-Ho Chen, Dong-Sheng Lin
  • Patent number: 8882974
    Abstract: A support mechanism used in an electro plasma polishing process includes a support beam, a first electrically conducting assembly, and a second electrically conducting assembly. The first electrically conducting assembly and the second electrically conducting assembly are mounted on the support beam. The first electrically conducting assembly is electrically insulated from the second electrically conducting assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2014
    Assignees: Hong Fu Jin Precision Industry (ShenZhen) Co., Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tian-Feng Huang, Bo Li, Wen-Li Wang, Hao-Chung Lee
  • Patent number: 8656858
    Abstract: A device and a method for chemically or electrolytically treating work pieces (1) are proposed in an effort to avoid irregular contours of finest conductive structures, pads and lands as well as bridges (shorts) on the one side or breaks on printed circuit boards on the other side. The device comprises processing tanks (2) for the treating of work pieces and a conveyor system for the transport thereof. The conveyor system comprises at least one transport carriage (18), at least one holding element (14, 25) and at least one connection means (12, 13, 35) between the transport carriage(s) and the holding element(s). The processing tanks adjoined with a clean room zone (3). The work pieces are conveyed through the clean room zone using the conveyor system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Assignee: Atotech Deutschland GmbH
    Inventor: Reinhard Schneider
  • Publication number: 20140034488
    Abstract: One embodiment relates to a substrate carrier for use in electroplating a plurality of substrates. The substrate carrier comprises a non-conductive carrier body on which the substrates are to be held. Electrically-conductive lines are embedded within the carrier body, and a plurality of contact clips are coupled to the electrically-conductive lines embedded within the carrier body. The contact clips hold the substrates in place and electrically couple the substrates to the electrically-conductive lines. The non-conductive carrier body is continuous so as to be impermeable to flow of electroplating solution through the non-conductive carrier body. Other embodiments, aspects and features are also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 26, 2012
    Publication date: February 6, 2014
    Applicant: SUNPOWER CORPORATION
    Inventor: SunPower Corporation
  • Publication number: 20130228460
    Abstract: A holder is devised for holding a workpiece to be electroplated. The holder includes a shell, a cover and a conducting element. The shell includes pins and least one holding region. The pins extend from the shell. The holding region includes upper and lower abutting elements for abutting upper and lower edges of the workpiece when the holding region receives the workpiece. The cover includes pin-receiving apertures and at least one pair of branch-receiving apertures. The pin-receiving apertures receive the pins to align the cover with the shell. The conducting element includes a stem and at least one pair of branches extending from the stem. The stem is attached to the cover. The pair of branches contacts the workpiece through the pair of branch-receiving apertures.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 18, 2013
    Publication date: September 5, 2013
    Inventor: HAN-YUN TSAI
  • Publication number: 20130075252
    Abstract: An electroplating system and components thereof facilitate an efficient electroplating process which in part reduces or eliminates the number of clips used on electroplating racks. Some electroplating racks may use skewers on which multiple plastic pieces are typically mounted. The plastic pieces may also be configured to be joined to form an assembly which is mounted on an electroplating rack. The configurations help reduce the time spent loading and unloading pieces on the racks.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 22, 2011
    Publication date: March 28, 2013
    Inventors: Bradley A. Wright, Rudy M. Koehler
  • Patent number: 8398831
    Abstract: Embodiments of a closed-contact electroplating cup assembly that may be rapidly cleaned while an electroplating system is on-line are disclosed. One disclosed embodiment comprises a cup assembly and a cone assembly, wherein the cup assembly comprises a cup bottom comprising an opening, a seal surrounding the opening, an electrical contact structure comprising a plurality of electrical contacts disposed around the opening, and an interior cup side that is tapered inwardly in along an axial direction of the cup from a cup top toward the cup bottom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: Novellus Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Shantinath Ghongadi, Robert Rash, Jeff Hawkins, Seshasayee Varadarajan, Tariq Majid, Kousik Ganesan, Bryan Buckalew, Brian Evans
  • Patent number: 8361290
    Abstract: A coupling which is rotatable about a vertical axis of rotation and intended for the mounting of a workpiece support which can be loaded, for example, with incorrectly coated or worn workpieces is arranged in a removable holder above a tank filled with an electrolyte. Said workpiece support is connected via the coupling to a current supply device, to the opposite pole of which an opposite electrode is connected. A heating and cooling device and an ultrasound generator are also arranged in the tank. By current supply and simultaneous rotation, the coating is removed from the workpiece support and/or from the workpieces. After incorrect coating, the workpieces together with the workpiece support and in certain circumstances with the holder can be taken over directly from a coating installation and, after coating removal, transferred to such a coating installation for recoating.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2013
    Assignee: Oerlikon Trading, AG, Trubbach
    Inventors: Hanspeter Baertsch, Sven Egger, Manfred Wurzer, Torsten Reyher, Kerstin Lasch, Udo Rauch
  • Publication number: 20130001073
    Abstract: A surface treatment system includes a surface treatment tank, a first guide rail and a second guide rail that extend at a position offset from a position over the upper opening of the surface treatment tank, and a plurality of transfer jigs that respectively hold a workpiece and are supported by the first guide rail and the second guide rail. The transfer jig includes a horizontal arm section, a first guide target section that is guided by the first guide rail, a second guide target section that is guided by the second guide rail, and a vertical arm section that is suspended from the horizontal arm section at a position between the first guide target section and the second guide target section, and holds the workpiece.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 29, 2012
    Publication date: January 3, 2013
    Applicant: ALMEX PE INC.
    Inventors: Tomohiro NODA, Shigeyuki WATANABE, Katsumi ISHII
  • Patent number: 8337680
    Abstract: The present invention is to provide a substrate holder which can effect a more complete sealing with a sealing member and makes it possible to take a substrate out of the substrate holder easily and securely, and also a plating apparatus provided with the substrate holder. The substrate holder includes: a fixed holding member and a movable holding member for holding a substrate therebetween; a sealing member mounted to the fixed holding member or the movable holding member; and a suction pad for attracting a back surface of the substrate held between the fixed holding member and the movable holding member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Assignee: Ebara Corporation
    Inventors: Junichiro Yoshioka, Kuniaki Horie, Yugang Guo, Satoshi Morikami
  • Patent number: 8317987
    Abstract: One embodiment relates to a substrate carrier for use in electroplating a plurality of substrates. The substrate carrier comprises a non-conductive carrier body on which the substrates are to be held. Electrically-conductive lines are embedded within the carrier body, and a plurality of contact clips are coupled to the electrically-conductive lines embedded within the carrier body. The contact clips hold the substrates in place and electrically couple the substrates to the electrically-conductive lines. The non-conductive carrier body is continuous so as to be impermeable to flow of electroplating solution through the non-conductive carrier body. Other embodiments, aspects and features are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Emmanuel Chua Abas, Chen-An Chen, Diana Xiaobing Ma, Kalyana Bhargava Ganti
  • Patent number: 8303784
    Abstract: A bandoleer of article carriers includes a carrier band, and a plurality of carrier racks connected with a bottom edge of the carrier band each by means of a connecting plate and arranged at regular intervals. Each carrier rack shows a substantially inverted-V shape and has a pair of elastic arms extending downward from two ends of a bottom edge of the connecting plate and gradually inclined away from each other. Two distal ends of the elastic arms protrude oppositely to each other to form a pair of hook portions. Upper portions of two opposite side edges of the connecting plate oppositely protrude sideward to form two blocking portions. Lower portions of the two opposite side edges of the connecting plate oppositely protrude sideward and then are bent towards two opposite directions perpendicular to the plane of the connecting plate to form two lying-L shaped resisting portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignee: Cheng Uei Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Chih-Lin Yang
  • Patent number: 8293080
    Abstract: A conductive contact ring for an electroplating or electrodeposition process on a cylindrical surface includes a frame defining an opening through which the object can be passed and an array of electrically conductive fibers spanning the opening. The frame is electrically conductive and is connected to a DC power source in the process. Two or more contact rings can be used in a process to provide consistent electrical contact with the surface sliding therethrough. A single contact ring can have first and second groups of filaments spaced from each other along the axial length of the surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2012
    Assignee: Illinois Tool Works Inc.
    Inventors: Michael P. Barnard, Hieyoung W. Oh, Jeffrey W. Richardson
  • Patent number: 8277624
    Abstract: A workpiece holder for fluid processing a workpiece including a transportable frame, a flexible member connected to the frame and defining at least one retaining feature, and a ring comprising at least one engagement feature engageable with the at least one retaining feature of the flexible member, wherein the flexible member is flexed to provide a force to the at least one engagement feature to cause the ring to form a barrier to fluid entry with the workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2012
    Assignee: Tel Nexx, Inc.
    Inventors: Arthur Keigler, John Harrell, Zhenqiu Liu, Qunwei Wu
  • Patent number: 8252154
    Abstract: An electroplating apparatus includes an electroplating tank, a first supporting bar, a first holding element, two second supporting bars, a number of spaced crossbars, a number of second holding elements, and a power supply. The first holding element is suspended in the tank from the first supporting bar, and the first holding element is configured for holding a plate-shaped workpiece in a manner that the workpiece is oriented along the first supporting bar. The second holding elements are suspended from the corresponding crossbars, each of the second holding elements arranged between the first and one of the second supporting bars and configured for holding a metal block. The power supply includes a cathode for electrical connection to the workpiece through the first supporting bar and the first holding element and an anode for electrically connection to the metal blocks through the second supporting bars and the second holding elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2012
    Assignee: Zhen Ding Technology Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Chien-Pang Cheng
  • Patent number: 8236151
    Abstract: A carrier provides the ability to perform wet chemical processing on substrates using low cost equipment inspired by the electroplating methods typically utilized in leadframe-based semiconductor packaging or printed circuit board industries. Two frame pieces are mated together to form the carrier which enables transport of at least one substrate through wet chemical processing and includes a non-conductive frame with an exposed conductive flange to allow electrical coupling with processing equipment. Electrical contacts within the non-conductive frame make contact with the at least one substrate and are coupled to the conductive flange allowing an electrical potential to develop across the substrate while undergoing processing within the electroplating equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2012
    Assignee: Cypress Semiconductor Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy L. Olson, Kenneth Charles Blaisdell, William Walter Charles Koutny, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20120181170
    Abstract: Methods, apparatuses, and various apparatus components, such as base plates, lipseals, and contact ring assemblies are provided for reducing contamination of the contact area in the apparatuses. Contamination may happen during removal of semiconductor wafers from apparatuses after the electroplating process. In certain embodiments, a base plate with a hydrophobic coating, such as polyamide-imide (PAI) and sometimes polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), are used. Further, contact tips of the contact ring assembly may be positioned further away from the sealing lip of the lipseal. In certain embodiments, a portion of the contact ring assembly and/or the lipseal also include hydrophobic coatings.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 28, 2012
    Publication date: July 19, 2012
    Inventors: Vinay Prabhakar, Bryan L. Buckalew, Kousik Ganesan, Shantinath Ghongadi, Zhian He, Steven T. Mayer, Robert Rash, Jonathan D. Reid, Yuichi Takada, James R. Zibrida
  • Patent number: 8221600
    Abstract: One embodiment relates to a substrate carrier for use in electroplating a plurality of substrates. The substrate carrier includes a non-conductive carrier body on which the substrates are held, and conductive lines are embedded within the carrier body. A conductive bus bar is embedded into a top side of the carrier body and is conductively coupled to the conductive lines. A thermoplastic overmold covers a portion of the bus bar, and there is a plastic-to-plastic bond between the thermoplastic overmold and the non-conductive carrier body. Other embodiments, aspects and features are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventor: Kalyana Bhargava Ganti
  • Patent number: 8221601
    Abstract: One embodiment relates to a substrate carrier for use in electroplating a plurality of substrates. The carrier includes a non-conductive carrier body on which the substrates are placed and conductive lines embedded within the carrier body. A plurality of conductive clip attachment parts are attached in a permanent manner to the conductive lines embedded within the carrier body. A plurality of contact clips are attached in a removable manner to the clip attachment parts. The contact clips hold the substrates in place and conductively connecting the substrates with the conductive lines. Other embodiments, aspects and features are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Chen-An Chen, Emmanuel Chua Abas, Edmundo Anida Divino, Jake Randal G. Ermita, Jose Francisco S. Capulong, Arnold Villamor Castillo, Diana Xiaobing Ma
  • Patent number: 8168057
    Abstract: A method of fluid sealing a workpiece is provided. The method includes providing a force to cause a ring to form a barrier to fluid entry with the workpiece and preventing fluid from crossing the barrier to fluid entry by forming a pressure differential across the barrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: NEXX Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Arthur Keigler, Qunwei Wu, Zhenqiu Liu, John Harrell
  • Publication number: 20120073976
    Abstract: One embodiment relates to a substrate carrier for use in electroplating a plurality of substrates. The carrier includes a non-conductive carrier body on which the substrates are placed and conductive lines embedded within the carrier body. A plurality of conductive clip attachment parts are attached in a permanent manner to the conductive lines embedded within the carrier body. A plurality of contact clips are attached in a removable manner to the clip attachment parts. The contact clips hold the substrates in place and conductively connecting the substrates with the conductive lines. Other embodiments, aspects and features are also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 23, 2010
    Publication date: March 29, 2012
    Inventors: Chen-An CHEN, Emmanuel Chua ABAS, Edmundo Anida DIVINO, Jake Randal G. ERMITA, Jose Francisco S. CAPULONG, Arnold Villamor CASTILLO, Diana Xiaobing MA
  • Patent number: 8142627
    Abstract: A system to monitor, control and management of a plant where hydrometallurgical processes of electrowinning or electrorefining of non ferrous metals which enables measuring the process variables which comprises: at least one group of electrolytic cells, said cells having means for the collection and transmission of the variables of the process; a plurality of electrodes (5) installed in the interior of each electrolytic cell, making up, alternately, anodes and cathodes of basic cells; a plurality of electrode (5) hanger bars forming, alternately, hanger bars for electrical contact of anodes (20) and hanger bar for electrical contact of cathodes (18); a plurality of support electrical insulators (15) which are positioned in the upper portion of the lateral walls between two adjacent cells; a plurality of electrical bus bars (6) which are fitted on top of each support electrical insulator (15) and underneath the plurality of electrodes (5); a plurality of electrical spacer insulators (16) each spacer insulator
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2012
    Assignee: ANCOR TECMIN, S.A.
    Inventor: Victor Vidaurre Heiremans
  • Patent number: 8123917
    Abstract: Disclosed is a contact bar for use on a capping board of a given length in order to electrically connect a plurality of anodes and cathodes extending in spaced apart, alternate positions in adjacent electrolytic cells all along the capping board. The contact bar extends over the length of the capping board and is of a given average cross-section. This contact bar comprises a central core that is made of an insulating material and extends all over its length. This contact bar also comprises a plurality of contact pieces that are made of an electrically conductive material and are positioned in spaced apart positions all along the core, each of the pieces defining a segment on which only a short number of the anodes and cathodes are connected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2012
    Assignee: Pultrusion Technique Inc.
    Inventor: Robert P Dufresne
  • Patent number: 8066856
    Abstract: A tending module for a series of electrolysis cells designed for the manufacture of aluminum by igneous electrolysis, each cell including a series of anodes provided with a metal rod designed to fix and electrically connect the anodes to a metal anode frame. The tending module includes a frame to be fixed to a mobile component, and at least one anode handling unit connected to the frame. The module also includes, integral with the anode handling unit, an activator that can exert at least one force or impulse on the anode rod, with a force such that, although the stem is firmly maintained in contact against the anode frame, the contact surfaces are moved in relation to each other by an amount sufficient for electrical contact to be improved. Advantageously, the activator is a jack or an impulse generator integral with the anode clamp.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2011
    Assignee: E.C.L.
    Inventor: Alain Van Acker
  • Patent number: 8038856
    Abstract: A method of fluid sealing a workpiece is provided. The method includes placing a workpiece on a ring, engaging at least one engagement feature of the ring with at least one retaining feature defined by the member and flexing the member to provide a force to the at least one engagement feature to cause the ring to form a barrier to fluid entry with the workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2011
    Assignee: NEXX Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Arthur Keigler, John Harrell, Zhenqiu Liu, Qunwei Wu
  • Patent number: 8038797
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for manufacturing a magnetic recording medium uses a small-diameter insulating substrate. The apparatus includes a carrier for a special size of 3.5 inches for receiving a plurality of small-diameter insulating substrates. Seed layers are deposited on the substrates, then each substrate is rotated to shift the position of the substrate so that the movable claw contacts the deposited seed layer. A bias voltage is applied via the movable claw for subsequent deposition layers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2011
    Assignee: Fuji Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takahiro Shimizu, Akihide Hara
  • Patent number: 7938942
    Abstract: A centrifugal workpiece processor for processing semiconductor wafers and similar workpieces includes a head which holds and spins the workpiece. The head includes a rotor having a gas system. Gas is sprayed or jetted from inlets in the rotor to create a rotational gas flow. The rotational gas flow causes pressure conditions which hold the edges of a first side of the workpiece against contact pins or surfaces on the rotor. The rotor and the workpiece rotate together. Guide pins adjacent to a perimeter may help to align the workpiece with the rotor. An angled surface helps to deflect spent process liquid away from the workpiece. The head is moveable into multiple different engagement positions with a bowl. Spray nozzles in the bowl spray a process liquid onto the second side of the workpiece, as the workpiece is spinning, to process the workpiece. A moving end point detector may be used to detect an end point of processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2011
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Jason A. Rye, Kyle M. Hanson
  • Patent number: 7905994
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a substrate holder comprises a base supporting a substrate that includes a surface having a peripheral region. A cover may be assembled with the base and includes at least one opening exposing only a portion of the surface therethrough. A seal assembly substantially seals a region between the cover and base and further adjacent to the peripheral region of the substrate. An electrode includes at least one contact portion positioned within the region and extending over at least a portion of the peripheral region of the substrate. A compliant member comprises a polymeric material and may be positioned within the region between the at least one contact portion and either the peripheral region of the substrate or the cover. In other embodiments, an electroplating system is disclosed that may employ such a substrate holder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2011
    Assignee: Moses Lake Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Valery M. Dubin, James D. Blanchard
  • Patent number: 7901550
    Abstract: A plating apparatus can form a plated film having a uniform thickness over the entire surface of a substrate without a change of members. The plating apparatus includes a substrate holder, a cathode contact for contacting a conductive film formed on the substrate so that the conductive film serves as a cathode, a ring-shaped seal member for covering the cathode contact and bringing its inner circumferential portion into contact with the peripheral portion of the substrate to seal the peripheral portion of the substrate, an anode disposed so as to face the conductive film formed on the substrate, and an auxiliary cathode disposed with respect to the seal member such that at least part of the auxiliary cathode is exposed on a surface of the seal member. Plating is carried out by bringing the conductive film, the anode and the auxiliary cathode into contact with a plating solution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2011
    Assignee: Ebara Corporation
    Inventors: Natsuki Makino, Keisuke Namiki, Kunihito Ide, Junji Kunisawa, Katsuyuki Musaka
  • Patent number: 7901551
    Abstract: The present invention is to provide a substrate holder which can effect a more complete sealing with a sealing member and makes it possible to take a substrate out of the substrate holder easily and securely, and also a plating apparatus provided with the substrate holder. The substrate holder includes: a fixed holding member and a movable holding member for holding a substrate therebetween; a sealing member mounted to the fixed holding member or the movable holding member; and a suction pad for attracting a back surface of the substrate held between the fixed holding member and the movable holding member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2011
    Assignee: Ebara Corporation
    Inventors: Junichiro Yoshioka, Kuniaki Horie, Yugang Guo, Satoshi Morikami
  • Patent number: 7850830
    Abstract: A process employing a rack having an article carrier that is movably supported on a frame and mechanically coupled for translating movement from a motor to the article carrier to effect movement of an article during processing to provide more uniform surface treatment, reducing or eliminating the need for shielding.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2010
    Assignee: Lacks Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Trevor W. Richardson, John A. Piselli
  • Publication number: 20100307926
    Abstract: Method and device for supplying electrical power to a wafer that is at least partially submerged in a liquid. The device comprises: —a container filled with the liquid; —a transportation device comprising a wafer carrier device for transporting the wafer at least partially submerged through the liquid; —a power supply device for supplying electrical power to the wafer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 9, 2008
    Publication date: December 9, 2010
    Applicant: Renewable Energy Corporation ASA
    Inventors: Erik Sauar, Robertus Antonius Steeman, Karl Ivar Lundahl
  • Patent number: 7798340
    Abstract: A rack apparatus (100) includes a frame (10), a plurality of supporting members (106), and a plurality of retaining members (12). The supporting members are arranged/mounted on/to the frame. The retaining members are mounted on the supporting members. Each retaining member includes a fixing piece (120) and two supporting pieces (122, 124). The fixing piece has a notched mounting portion. The two supporting pieces are respectively positioned at an opposite side of the fixing piece. Each supporting piece forms a retaining portion (i.e., a through hole therein). The notched mounting portion and the retaining portions together help retain a workpiece within a given retaining member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2010
    Assignees: Shenzhen Futaihong Precision Industry Co., Ltd., FIH (Hong Kong) Limited
    Inventors: Chih-Pen Lin, Hung-Chang Lee, Yu-Chuan Chen, Yong Zhang, Xiao-Lin Wu, Zhan-Gang Zhu
  • Patent number: 7780825
    Abstract: A substrate holding and transporting assembly is disclosed. The substrate holding and transporting assembly includes a base plate and a pair of clamps connected to the base plate in a spaced apart orientation, the spaced apart orientation of the pair of clamps enable support of a substrate with at least two independent points. The substrate holding and transporting assembly also includes an electrode assembly connected to the base plate at a location that is substantially between the pair of clamps. The electrode assembly defined to impart an electrical contact to the substrate when present and held by the pair of clamps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2010
    Assignee: Lam Research Corporation
    Inventors: Aleksander Owczarz, Robert Knop, Mike Ravkin, Carl A. Woods
  • Patent number: 7727366
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for fluid sealing a workpiece retained by a workpiece holder are described. A pressure differential can be formed across a fluid seal to counteract fluid attempting to penetrate the fluid seal, which can contaminate the underside of the workpiece. The apparatus can include a ring forming a barrier to fluid entry with the workpiece and a source providing pressure to form the pressure differential. The pressure or the pressure differential can counteract hydroscopic fluid pressure or hydrostatic fluid pressure that is acting to force fluid through the barrier between the ring and the workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2010
    Assignee: NEXX Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Arthur Keigler, Qunwei Wu, Zhenqiu Liu, John Harrell
  • Patent number: 7722747
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for retaining a workpiece against a workpiece holder are described. A flexible member can be used to provide a substantially uniform force to securely retain the workpiece, which can allow the workpiece to be consistently positioned in a process module. In one detailed embodiment, a barrier to fluid entry is formed between the workpiece and a ring for retaining the workpiece against a workpiece holder. This provides a reliable seal during fluid processing to prevent fluid from reaching the underside of a workpiece. In various embodiments, the workpiece holder can be used to align a workpiece in a process module or to hold one or more workpieces in a configuration that allows for higher throughput.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2010
    Assignee: NEXX Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Arthur Keigler, John Harrell, Zhenqiu Liu, Qunwei Wu
  • Patent number: 7608173
    Abstract: A retaining ring for electrochemical mechanical processing is described. The ring has a conductive portion having an upper surface and a lower surface and an insulating portion. The insulating portion has one or more openings extending therethrough, exposing the lower surface of the conductive portion. An upper surface of the insulating portion contacts the lower surface of the conductive portion. In an electrochemical mechanical polishing process, the retaining ring can be biased separately from a substrate being polished.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2009
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Antoine P. Manens, Feng Q Liu, Paul D. Butterfield, Alain Duboust, Rashid Mavliev
  • Patent number: 7601248
    Abstract: The present invention is to provide a substrate holder which can effect a more complete sealing with a sealing member and makes it possible to take a substrate out of the substrate holder easily and securely, and also a plating apparatus provided with the substrate holder. The substrate holder includes: a fixed holding member and a movable holding member for holding a substrate therebetween; a sealing member mounted to the fixed holding member or the movable holding member; and a suction pad for attracting a back surface of the substrate held between the fixed holding member and the movable holding member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2009
    Assignee: Ebara Corporation
    Inventors: Junichiro Yoshioka, Kuniaki Horie, Yugang Guo, Satoshi Morikami
  • Patent number: 7566390
    Abstract: A multi-layered wafer support apparatus is provided for performing an electroplating process on a semiconductor wafer (“wafer”). The multi-layered wafer support apparatus includes a bottom film layer and a top film layer. The bottom film layer includes a wafer placement area and a sacrificial anode surrounding the wafer placement area. The top film layer is defined to be placed over the bottom film layer. The top film layer includes an open region to be positioned over a surface of the wafer to be processed, i.e., electroplated. The top film layer provides a liquid seal between the top film layer and the wafer, about a periphery of the open region. The top film layer further includes first and second electrical circuits that are each defined to electrically contact a peripheral top surface of the wafer at diametrically opposed locations about the wafer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2009
    Assignee: Lam Research Corporation
    Inventor: Carl Woods
  • Patent number: 7534329
    Abstract: A frame for holding sheet material taut comprises a support as well as two legs which extend essentially parallel to one another transversely from the support, on which legs fixing elements are provided for fixing, in each case, one of the opposing edges of a piece of sheet material thereto. At least one of the legs can be moved along the support towards and away from the other leg. Furthermore compensation elements are provided for compensating for stretch and/or shrinkage of the piece of sheet material fixed between the legs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2009
    Assignee: Stork Fokker AESP B.V.
    Inventor: Pieter Maarten Van Gent
  • Patent number: RE46088
    Abstract: One embodiment relates to a substrate carrier for use in electroplating a plurality of substrates. The carrier includes a non-conductive carrier body on which the substrates are placed and conductive lines embedded within the carrier body. A plurality of conductive clip attachment parts are attached in a permanent manner to the conductive lines embedded within the carrier body. A plurality of contact clips are attached in a removable manner to the clip attachment parts. The contact clips hold the substrates in place and conductively connecting the substrates with the conductive lines. Other embodiments, aspects and features are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2016
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Chen-An Chen, Emmanuel Chua Abas, Edmundo Anida Divino, Jake Randal G. Ermita, Jose Francisco S. Capulong, Arnold Villamor Castillo, Diana Xiaobing Ma