Including Resilient Means (e.g., Spring, Etc.) Patents (Class 204/297.09)
  • Patent number: 10421686
    Abstract: This disclosure relates to an apparatus and a method for strengthening a glass cover, wherein the methods comprises the steps of providing baffles which are used to connect glass covers to be strengthened so as to constitute a annular structure; injecting a strengthening liquid into one side of the annular structure to form a strengthening liquid potential energy difference between two sides of the annular structure; and allowing the strengthening liquid to flow between two sides of the baffle so as to etch the glass covers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2019
    Assignees: BOE TECHNOLOGY GROUP CO., LTD., HEFEI BOE OPTOELECTRONICS TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Hu Li, Qing Zhang, Linfei Shao
  • Patent number: 10259063
    Abstract: A rotary table apparatus includes: a rotary table casing; a face plate which is pivotally supported by the rotary table casing and which can freely rotate; and a joint and a free tube into which a power cable is inserted, the power cable supplying power to rotate the face plate, and an adaptor whose mounting direction with respect to the rotary table casing can be changed and which can be attached to and detached from the rotary table casing is placed between the rotary table casing and the joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Assignee: FANUC CORPORATION
    Inventor: Mizuho Yamasaki
  • Publication number: 20130284603
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for plating parts like lug nuts or other metal parts that have both an easily plated outside surface as well as a recessed cavity. The invention works in combination with a standard multi-station plating process. The present invention drains and plates a part containing a cavity by moving the part from a position where the cavity is facing around 45 degrees down to a position where the cavity is facing around 45 degrees up and then back down at various times during the process. The moving is generally initiated when the rack moving along a track above the fluid tanks encounters a roller.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2012
    Publication date: October 31, 2013
    Inventors: George Koltse, Victor LaPorta
  • 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: 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: 8298384
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for plating parts like lug nuts or other metal parts that have both an easily plated outside surface as well as a recessed cavity. The invention works in combination with a standard multi-station plating process. Also, a method and apparatus for preventing areas of electrode contact on a part from being non-plated. The present invention drains and plates a part containing a cavity by moving the part from a position where the cavity is facing around 45 degrees down to a position where the cavity is facing around 45 degrees up and then back down at various times during the process. The moving is generally initiated when the rack moving along a track above the fluid tanks encounters a roller. The roller causes a depression bar to activate a mechanical mechanism that shifts the position of the part. Other embodiments of the present invention can also rotate the part on an electrode finger as a roller on the track is encountered by the rack to avoid non-plated regions on the part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignee: Century Plating Co.
    Inventors: George Koltse, Victor LaPorta
  • 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.
  • 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: 8172992
    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: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Assignee: Novellus Systems, Inc.
    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
  • Publication number: 20120103799
    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: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2011
    Publication date: May 3, 2012
    Applicant: Nexx Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Arthur Keigler, John Harrell, Zhenqiu Liu, Qunwei Wu
  • 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
  • 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: 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: 7935231
    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: October 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2011
    Assignee: Novellus Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Shantinath Ghongadi, Robert Rash, Jeff Hawkins, Seshasayee Varadarajan, Tariq Majid, Kousik Ganesan, Bryan Buckalew, Brian Evans
  • 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
  • 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: 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
  • Publication number: 20100000858
    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: Application
    Filed: September 4, 2009
    Publication date: January 7, 2010
    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: 7294243
    Abstract: Contact assemblies for electrochemical processing of microelectronic workpieces. The contact assembly (400) can comprise a support member (410) that includes an inner wall (412) which defines an opening (414) configured to receive the workpiece and a plurality of contacts (420). The individual contacts (420) include a conductor (440) and a cover (430). The conductor (440) can comprise a proximal section (435) projecting inwardly into the opening (414) relative to the support member (410), a distal section (436) extending from the proximal section (435), and an inert exterior (444) at least at the distal section (436). The cover (430) comprises a dielectric element that covers at least the proximal section of the conductor, but does not cover at least a portion of the distal section of the core. The exposed portion of the distal section of the core, accordingly, defines a conductive contact site for contacting a conductive layer (e.g., a seed layer) on the workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2007
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Nolan Zimmerman, Gregory J. Wilson, Steve L. Eudy
  • Patent number: 7214297
    Abstract: A contact ring for an electrochemical plating system is provided. The contact ring includes an annular substrate supporting member, a plurality of radially positioned conductive substrate contact pins extending from the substrate supporting member, an annular conductive thief element attached to the substrate supporting member, and at least one source of electrical power in electrical communication with the contact pins and the conductive thief element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2007
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: You Wang, Anzhong Chang, John O. Dukovic
  • Patent number: 7172184
    Abstract: A carrier for use in processing of a plurality of wafers or other substrates includes a support frame on which the wafers are mounted and in one embodiment at least one auxiliary frame for holding the substrates on the support frame. A plurality of clips extend from the auxiliary frame and engage the substrates in pressure engagement, and fasteners retain the auxiliary frame in position with respect to the support frame. In one embodiment two auxiliary frames can be employed for holding wafers on opposing surfaces of the support frame. The support frame has electrically non-conducting surfaces whereby the processing does not affect the support frame, and the auxiliary frame is made of electrically non-conductive material. The clips are electrically conductive and bridge current from the support frame to the wafers during plating operations. In another embodiment, auxiliary frame are not used and the wafer retention clips are mounted on the support frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2007
    Assignee: Sunpower Corporation
    Inventors: Luca Pavani, Neil Kaminar, Pongsthorn Uralwong, Thomas Phu, Douglas H. Rose, Thomas Pass
  • Patent number: 7138039
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention may further provide a contact ring for an electrochemical plating system. The contact generally includes a substrate receiving member having a substrate support surface formed thereon, a plurality of electrical contact pins extending from the substrate support surface, a first seal positioned on the substrate support surface radially inward of the plurality of electrical contacts, and a second seal positioned radially outward of the plurality of electrical contacts. Additionally, the contact ring generally includes a fluid inlet configured to supply a fluid to a volume between the first seal and the second seal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2006
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Vincent E. Burkhart, Harald Herchen, Joseph Yahalom
  • Patent number: 7097749
    Abstract: A processing rack, such as for electroplating, which minimizes shelf areas of an article during processing of the article and during removal of the article from a processing bath and which allows easy mounting of articles on the rack and demounting of articles from the rack includes a frame and a plurality of article mounting fixtures that are each pivotally mounted on the frame and independently pivotable from a first orientation that facilitates mounting and/or demounting of articles, to a second orientation that is most conducive to producing high quality, substantially defect-free plating.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2006
    Assignee: Lacks Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventors: Lawrence P. Donovan, III, David P. Hartrick, John A. Piselli, Brian Ellison
  • Patent number: 7067045
    Abstract: An apparatus for securing a substrate in an electrochemical deposition system is provided. The apparatus generally includes a substrate support member adapted to receive the substrate and a thrust plate assembly adapted to exert a downward force on the substrate. For some embodiments, a first sealing member adapted to engage a plating surface of the substrate may be attached to the substrate support member. The apparatus may also include a second sealing member adapted to engage a non-plating surface of the substrate or a surface of the substrate support member to prevent the flow of plating fluid to a non-plating surface of the substrate. The apparatus may also include electrical contacts to electrically contact the plating or non-plating surface of the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2006
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Arthur Keigler, Harald Herchen, Vincent E. Burkhart, Son N. Trinh
  • Patent number: 7025862
    Abstract: An apparatus for providing an electrical bias to a substrate in a processing system is described. The apparatus generally includes a conductive annular body defining a central opening. The conductive annular body may have a substrate seating surface adapted to receive the substrate and a plurality of scallops formed on a surface opposing the substrate seating surface. A plurality of electrical contacts may be formed on the substrate seating surface opposite the plurality of scallops. The electrical contacts may be adapted to engage a plating surface of the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2006
    Assignee: Applied Materials
    Inventors: Harald Herchen, Henan Hao, Celina M. Esteban, Timothy R. Webb, Son N. Trinh
  • Patent number: 7021476
    Abstract: A jig (10) is provided for holding an elongate member (56) to be surface treated. The jig (10) comprises a beam (12) and a plurality of hangers 14 spaced apart along the beam (12). The hangers (14) have supports (90) with retaining springs (96) thereon which are arranged to support and grip the elongate member (56). The beam (12) has hook-like members (18) for engagement with a lifting bar (30) of a crane (28). The crane (28) is used to transport the jig (10) to an anodising station (60) and subsequently to transport the jig (10) still with the anodised elongate member (56) thereon to a painting station. In that way, an elongate member to be surface treated can be manually placed on the respective supports (90) and held in place by the retaining springs (96) without having to use other forms of clamps.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2006
    Assignee: Airbus UK Limited
    Inventors: Ian S Lloyd, Graham N Jones, Gordon Salt, Tony Sadler
  • Patent number: 6962649
    Abstract: Contact assemblies for electrochemical processing of microelectronic workpieces. The contact assemblies can comprise a support member that includes an inner wall which defines an opening configured to receive the workpiece and a plurality of contacts. The individual contacts include a conductor and a cover. The conductor can comprise a proximal section projecting inwardly into the opening relative to the support member, a distal section extending from the proximal section, and an inert exterior at least at the distal section. The cover comprises a dielectric element that covers at least the proximal section of the conductor, but does not cover at least a portion of the distal section of the core. The exposed portion of the distal section of the core, accordingly, defines a conductive contact site for contacting a conductive layer (e.g., a seed layer) on the workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2005
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory J. Wilson, John M. Pedersen, Steve L. Eudy
  • Patent number: 6939448
    Abstract: Contact assemblies, electroplating machines with contact assemblies, and methods for making contact assemblies that are used in the fabrication of microelectronic workpieces. The contact assemblies can be wet-contact assemblies or dry-contact assemblies. A contact assembly for use in an electroplating system can comprise a support member and a contact system coupled to the support member. The support member, for example, can be a ring or another structure that has an inner wall defining an opening configured to allow the workpiece to move through the support member along an access path. In one embodiment, the support member is a conductive ring having a plurality of posts depending from the ring that are spaced apart from one another by gaps. The contact system can be coupled to the posts of the support member. The contact system can have a plurality of contact members projecting inwardly into the opening relative to the support member and transversely with respect to the access path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2005
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert W. Batz, Jr., John M. Pedersen, John L. Klocke, LinLin Chen
  • Patent number: 6911127
    Abstract: Contact assemblies, electroplating machines with contact assemblies, and methods for making contact assemblies that are used in the fabrication of microelectronic workpieces. The contact assemblies can be wet-contact assemblies or dry-contact assemblies. A contact assembly for use in an electroplating system can comprise a support member and a contact system coupled to the support member. The support member, for example, can be a ring or another structure that has an inner wall defining an opening configured to allow the workpiece to move through the support member along an access path. In one embodiment, the support member is a conductive ring having a plurality of posts depending from the ring that are spaced apart from one another by gaps. The contact system can be coupled to the posts of the support member. The contact system can have a plurality of contact members projecting inwardly into the opening relative to the support member and transversely with respect to the access path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2005
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert W. Batz, Jr., John M. Pedersen, John L. Klocke, LinLin Chen
  • Patent number: 6869510
    Abstract: A reactor for plating a metal onto a surface of a workpiece is set forth. The reactor comprises a reactor bowl including an electroplating solution disposed therein and an anode disposed in the reactor bowl in contact with the electroplating solution. A contact assembly is spaced from the anode within the reactor bowl. The contact assembly includes a plurality of contacts disposed to contact a peripheral edge of the surface of the workpiece to provide electroplating power to the surface of the workpiece. The contacts execute a wiping action against the surface of the workpiece as the workpiece is brought into engagement therewith The contact assembly also including a barrier disposed interior of the plurality of contacts. The barrier includes a member disposed to engage the surface of the workpiece to assist in isolating the plurality of contacts from the electroplating solution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2005
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel J. Woodruff, Kyle M. Hanson, Thomas H. Oberlitner, LinLin Chen, John M. Pedersen, Vladimir Zila
  • Patent number: 6749728
    Abstract: A wafer chuck for holding a wafer during electropolishing and/or electroplating of the wafer includes a top section, a bottom section, and a spring member. In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, the top section and the bottom section are configured to receive the wafer for processing. The spring member is disposed on the bottom section and configured to apply an electric charge to the wafer. In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the spring member contacts a portion of the outer perimeter of the wafer. In one alternative configuration of the present invention, the wafer chuck further includes a seal member to seal the spring member from the electrolyte solution used in the electropolishing and/or electroplating process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Assignee: ACM Research, Inc.
    Inventor: Hui Wang
  • Patent number: 6579430
    Abstract: A cathode assembly for semiconductor wafer plating employs a polymer coating on a metal structural ring to provide a low-profile seal to the perimeter of the wafer surface to be plated. The polymer coating also electrically insulates the metal so that it can be used in contact with the plating solution and still be part of the electrical contact system, eliminating the need for a protective plastic housing. This invention permits the dimensions of the cathode assembly to be minimized. A compact cathode assembly with minimum protrusion above the wafer plated surface enables modifications to the plating cell and agitation system providing more uniform copper deposits across the wafer surface and facilitating automation of the wafer plating process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: Innovative Technology Licensing, LLC
    Inventors: Greg Davis, Alex Moffatt, D. Morgan Tench, John T. White
  • Patent number: 6571968
    Abstract: A rack for hanging workpieces in industrial coating systems having a horizontal bar or beam with a first flange, a second flange, and a web joining those flanges, wherein the first flange has a hook receiving aperture and the second flange has a hook receiving slot. The aperture and the slot are aligned to receive a hook from which a workpiece may be hung. The hook is bent to form a spring having a terminal leg and a depending leg. The terminal leg extends into the aperture in the first flange and the depending leg extends through the slot in the second flange, behind a detent. The web is formed so as to providee a fulcrum against which the spring bears, biasing the depending leg against release from behind the detent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2003
    Assignee: Mighty Hook, Inc.
    Inventor: Lawrence E. Cullen
  • Patent number: 6565983
    Abstract: An electrical contact element for electrically connecting an electric device and providing current transmission in an electric device wherein the electrical contact element comprises a metallic body, and wherein at least one contact surface, present on the body, is completely or partially coated with a friction-reducing layer. The friction-reducing layer comprises a metal salt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2003
    Assignee: ABB AB
    Inventors: Sylva Arnell, Bengt Stridh
  • Patent number: 6527926
    Abstract: An apparatus for electroplating a workpiece is disclosed in which the apparatus includes a workpiece holding structure. The workpiece holding structure includes a workpiece support having at least one surface that is disposed to engage a front side of the workpiece and at least one electrical contact disposed for contact with at least one corresponding electrical contact on a back-side of the workpiece. The workpiece includes one or more electrically conductive paths between the at least one corresponding electrical contact and a front-side of the workpiece to facilitate electroplating of the front-side surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2003
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel J. Woodruff, Kyle M. Hanson, Robert W. Batz, Jr., James T. Kuechmann
  • Patent number: 6521103
    Abstract: A plating clamp assembly for use with a plating system including a plating bath and an article transport assembly to selectively engage an article to be plated as the article is moved through the plating bath by the article transport assembly to coat at least a selected portion of the surface of the article with material without creating faults on the selected portion of the surface of the article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2003
    Assignee: Surface Finishing Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: John Scott Harris, Kam Sourivongs, Dale Jackson
  • Patent number: 6500320
    Abstract: A fastening apparatus is provided, in particular, for work-pieces in the form of plates for use in electrochemical baths. The fastening apparatus ensures that the contact quality is achieved irrespective of the thickness of the work-piece. The fastening apparatus has limbs that are connected to one another via a multi-jointed connection, and that contact surfaces of contacts are aligned parallel to one another in every opening position of the limbs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2002
    Inventor: Ferdinand Glöckner
  • Patent number: 6495007
    Abstract: A wafer chuck for holding a wafer during electropolishing and/or electroplating of the wafer includes a top section, a bottom section, and a spring member. In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, the top section and the bottom section are configured to receive the wafer for processing. The spring member is disposed on the bottom section and configured to apply an electric charge to the wafer. In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the spring member contacts a portion of the outer perimeter of the wafer. In one alternative configuration of the present invention, the wafer chuck further includes a seal member to seal the spring member from the electrolyte solution used in the electropolishing and/or electroplating process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2002
    Assignee: ACM Research, Inc.
    Inventor: Hui Wang
  • Patent number: 6478937
    Abstract: An apparatus and associated method that removes electrolyte solution from a substrate, the apparatus comprises a thrust plate and a substrate extension unit. The thrust plate at least partially defines a spin recess. The substrate extension unit can be displaced between a retracted position and an extended position relative to the spin recess. The substrate extension unit is disposed within the spin recess when positioned in the retracted position. The substrate extension unit at least partially extends from within the spin recess when positioned in the extended position. The substrate is processed by immersing at least a portion of the substrate in a wet solution. The substrate is removed from the wet solution. The substrate extension unit extends into its extended position, and the substrate is spun. Extending the substrate extension unit limits the formation of fluid traps within the substrate holder assembly or between the substrate and the substrate holder assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2002
    Assignee: Applied Material, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald J. K. Olgado, Jayant Lakshmikanthan
  • Patent number: 6413391
    Abstract: Apparatus for metal plating an article comprising a frame having a plurality of sealing members positioned thereon, the frame being capable of conducting an electrical current between sealing members, each sealing member being adapted to be in close contact with part of an article to be located thereon, and to thereby substantially prevent fluid from touching that part of the article or entering into a bore or recess of the article, each sealing member further being adapted to conduct current between the frame and the article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2002
    Assignee: BAE Systems plc
    Inventors: Stephen A Wilson, John A Billington, Peter May
  • Publication number: 20020074224
    Abstract: This device for lifting the anode frame of an electrolysis cell for the production of aluminium comprises:
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 28, 2001
    Publication date: June 20, 2002
    Applicant: REEL SA Parc d' Activite
    Inventors: Gerard Piron, Serge Huon
  • Patent number: 6406542
    Abstract: In equipment for powder-coating, workpieces such as escalator steps are subjected to a current treatment in an anodizing unit. A conveying means advancing carriers for the workpieces is lowered over a tank so that the workpieces in transit are immersed in and continue transit within a bath and after a specific dwell time are lifted back out of the bath at the end of the tank. Arranged in the tank region is a current feed, such as a bus bar, which extends parallel to the travel path of the conveying means. Each carrier is provided with a current take-off which connects the carrier with the current feed. The current connection is produced on lowering the carrier into the bath and interrupted on raising the carrier from the bath.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2002
    Assignee: Inventio AG
    Inventor: Helmut Stepancik
  • Patent number: 6365020
    Abstract: The present invention is to provide a wafer plating jig for a plating apparatus having a simple construction and capable of sealing conducting pins from the plating solution completely. The wafer plating jig for gripping a wafer, comprises a main jig body (11) having a plurality of gripping mechanisms (13) and a plurality of conducting pins disposed thereon. A seal packing (20) is provided to surround each of the conducting pins. When the wafer is gripped by the gripping mechanisms (13), each end of the conducting pins individually contacts conductive film formed on the wafer and being sealed by the seal packing (20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Assignee: Ebara Corporation
    Inventors: Junichiro Yoshioka, Kenya Tomioka, Satoshi Sendai, Atsushi Chono, Naomitsu Ozawa