Including Resilient Means (e.g., Spring, Etc.) Patents (Class 204/297.1)
  • Patent number: 8900425
    Abstract: An electro-processing apparatus includes a rotor in a head, and a contact ring assembly on the rotor. The contact ring assembly may have one or more strips of contact fingers on a ring base, with contact fingers clamped into position on the ring base. The strips may have spaced apart projection openings, with the projections on the ring base extending into or through the projection openings. A shield ring may be attached to the ring base, to clamp the contact fingers in place, and/or to provide an electric field shield over at least part of the contact fingers. The contact fingers may be provided as a plurality of adjoining forks, with substantially each fork including at least two contact fingers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Randy A. Harris, Paul R. McHugh, Gregory J. Wilson
  • Patent number: 8692119
    Abstract: An analysis device for analysis of a sample on a test element is provided that comprises at least one component configured to make electrical contact with at least one other component for electrical transmission therebetween. The at least one component generally comprises an injection-molded circuit mount, also called an MID, or molded interconnect device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2014
    Assignee: Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Stefan Riebel, Manfred Augstein, Gregor Bainczyk, Albert Grosser, Oliver Kube, Dieter Meinecke, Bruno Thoes, Herbert Wieder
  • Patent number: 8603306
    Abstract: A cleaning device includes a cleaning solution tank filled to a predetermined height with an electrolyte solution, a negative electrode provided inside the cleaning solution tank, a metal jig mounted with a metal mask used to manufacture an organic light emitting diode (OLED) display to one side for guiding the metal mask to be connected to the negative electrode, positive electrodes installed at predetermined intervals inside the cleaning solution tank with along with a metal mask, and a rectifying device electrically connected to the negative electrode and the positive electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2013
    Assignee: Samsung Display Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: In-Seok Hwang
  • 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: 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: 8330046
    Abstract: An analysis device for analysis of a sample on a test element is provided that comprises at least one component configured to make electrical contact with at least one other component for electrical transmission therebetween. The at least one component generally comprises an injection-molded circuit mount, also called an MID, or molded interconnect device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Stefan Riebel, Manfred Augstein, Gregor Bainczyk, Albert Grosser, Oliver Kube, Dieter Meinecke, Bruno Thös, Herbert Wieder
  • 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: 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
  • Publication number: 20120255869
    Abstract: A system and method for electrochemically processing non-flat samples and/or samples that can change shape during the electrochemical processing is disclosed. In one aspect, a system includes a sample holder for providing an electrical contact to the sample during electrochemical processing. The sample holder has a carrying element and a fixing element for clamping of the sample in between the fixing element and the carrying element, thus providing electrical contact to the sample while allowing the sample to change shape without interrupting the electrical contact.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 29, 2012
    Publication date: October 11, 2012
    Applicants: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, IMEC
    Inventors: Alex Masolin, Frédéric Dross
  • 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
  • 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: 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: 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: 8137158
    Abstract: An electrical contact method. An axle having an axis of rotation is provided. Cantilever arms are provided. Each cantilever arm has a first end and a second opposing end. The first end is connected to the axle. Each cantilever arm extends radially outward from the axle about perpendicular to the axis of rotation. At least two electrically conductive contacts is provided. At least one electrically conductive contact of the at least two electrically conductive contacts is disposed on the second end of each cantilever arm. A sample is supported on a support member. The electrically conductive contacts are pressed against a first surface of the sample. After the electrically conductive contacts are pressed, the electrically conductive contacts are revolved about the axis of rotation, wherein the at least one electrically conductive contact remains in electrical contact with the first surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2012
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Rui Fang, Deepak Kulkarni, David K. H. Watts
  • 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: 7985325
    Abstract: Embodiments of a closed-contact electroplating cup are disclosed. One embodiment comprises a cup bottom comprising an opening, and a seal disposed on the cup bottom around the opening. The seal comprises a wafer-contacting peak located substantially at an inner edge of the seal. The embodiment also comprises an electrical contact structure disposed over a portion of the seal, wherein the electrical contact structure comprises an outer ring and a plurality of contacts extending inwardly from the outer ring, and wherein each contact has a generally flat wafer-contacting surface. The embodiment further comprises a wafer-centering mechanism configured to center a wafer in the cup.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2011
    Assignee: Novellus Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert Rash, Shantinath Ghongadi, Kousik Ganesan, Zhian He, Tariq Majid, Jeff Hawkins, Seshasayee Varadarajan, Bryan Buckalew
  • Publication number: 20110127159
    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: January 31, 2011
    Publication date: June 2, 2011
    Inventors: Junichiro Yoshioka, Kuniaki Horie, Yugang Guo, Satoshi Morikami
  • 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: 7883395
    Abstract: Methods and structures. A planarization method includes: providing a contact structure, where the contact structure includes an axle configured to rotate about an axis of rotation, a plurality of cantilever arms, each arm having a first end connected to the axle, where each arm extends radially outward from the axle; and a plurality of electrically conductive spheres, where at least one sphere is disposed on a second end of each arm; placing a substrate in contact with the spheres, applying an electric voltage to the axle, where the voltage transfers to the substrate, where responsive to the transfer an electrochemical reaction occurs on the substrate; rotating the axle, wherein the spheres revolve about the axis, wherein at least one sphere remains in electrical contact with the substrate; and electrochemical-mechanically planarizing the substrate. Also included is a contact structure, an electrical contact, and an electrical contact method.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2011
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Rui Fang, Deepak Kulkarni, David K. Watts
  • Patent number: 7727365
    Abstract: A suction pad used for use in a substrate treatment apparatus which treats a substrate by immersing the substrate in a solution while the pad attaches to the substrate, including: a main face for attaching to the substrate; an outer face disposed along the outer periphery of the substrate; and a suction opening formed in the main face. In a cross-sectional shape including the main face and the outer face, the angle formed between a line corresponding to the main face and a line corresponding to the outer face is an acute angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2010
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Shigeru Kido
  • 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: 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: 7384522
    Abstract: A loading apparatus for use in electroplating processes includes a container designed to sealingly receive a plurality of airfoil blades fitted with gaskets. Each fitted airfoil blade is disposed in contact with a plurality of electrical contact assemblies having a spring-like design which ensures an adequate connection is made and complete plating of the airfoil blades occurs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2008
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Dean N. Marszal, Kevin J. Castonguay
  • 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: 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: 7112268
    Abstract: A plating device and a plating method are provided that are capable of enhancing uniformity in plating on a treatment surface of an object to be treated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2006
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Wataru Okase, Takenobu Matsuo
  • Patent number: 7087144
    Abstract: A contact assembly for supporting a substrate in an electrochemical plating system, wherein that contact assembly includes a contact ring and a thrust plate assembly. The contact ring includes an annular ring member having an upper surface and a lower surface, an annular bump member positioned on the upper surface, and a plurality of flexible and conductive substrate contact fingers extending radially inward from the lower surface. The thrust plate includes an annular plate member sized to be received within the annular ring member, and a seal member extending radially outward from the plate member, the seal member being configured to engage the annular bump member for form a fluid seal therewith.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2006
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventor: Harald Herchen
  • 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: 6926813
    Abstract: To electrically contact and electrolytically treat, more specifically to electroplate, very thin, electrically conductive layers, especially with a high electrolytic current, a device comprising contact carriers, more specifically clamps, clips and like, with contact elements for supplying the current to the work is utilized, and at least the contact areas of the contact elements that may be brought to contact the work are made from an elastic, electrically conductive material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2005
    Assignee: Atotech Deuschland GmbH
    Inventor: Egon Hubel
  • 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: 6899800
    Abstract: A polymeric material such as PDMS is molded into an electrode structure containing a micron-size aperture for receiving and forming a giga-ohm seal with a biological membrane. One end of a tube is filled with uncured polymeric material and pressed against a support surface to prevent drainage. A conventional micropipette having a size suitable for sliding through the tube is introduced, tip first, into the tube and is allowed to fall through the polymeric material and rest against the support surface. The assembly is heated to cure the polymer and the micropipette is removed from the tube, thereby leaving a polymeric plug at the end of the tube with an aperture suitable in shape and size for patch-clamp giga-ohm seal electrode applications. A multi-well tray with a polymeric electrode plug in each well is constructed using the same approach.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2005
    Assignee: Axon Instruments, Inc.
    Inventors: Yuri Osipchuk, Alexei Savtchenko, Alexander A. Dromaretsky
  • Patent number: 6830667
    Abstract: To provide a cathode cartridge, which comprises a tabular cathode conductor 5, which has an open hole having a same shape to that of plated pats 2a of a plated base 2 as a negative plate, which has a plurality of a protruding portion that presses contact to a peripheral part 2d around the plated parts 2a, a first elastic thin board 3, which covers a rear side of the plated base 2 and has a recess 3a, a tabular rear wall insulator 6, which covers both a back side of the cathode conductor 5 and a back side of the first elastic thin board 3, and has a recess 6b, a tabular front side insulator 7, which has an aperture having the same shape to that of the plated parts 2a, which covers a front side of the cathode conductor 5, and has a recess 7b, into which the cathode conductor 5 gets just, and a second elastic thin board 4, which has an aperture (open hole) having the same shape to that of the plated parts 2a, which is sandwiched between the cathode conductor 5 to provide a cathode cartridge of testing device for
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2004
    Assignee: Yamamoto-MS Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Wataru Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 6805778
    Abstract: Methods used in semiconductor electroplating systems, such as for plating copper, onto a semiconductor wafer or other semiconductor workpiece. The methods apply to patterned metal layers plated onto a seed layer which is partially protected by an overlying photoresist or other coating. The methods employ an electrode assembly which has a boot which seals about a contact face of the electrode. The sealing is performed by engaging the seal against photoresist to prevent corrosion of the seal layer. The area enclosed by the sealing includes a via which is surrounded by the seal. The electrode contact extends through the via to provide electrical contact with the metallic seed layer. Plating of copper or other metal proceeds at exposed seed layer areas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2004
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert W. Batz, Jr., Kenneth C. Haugan, Harry J. Geyer, Robert W. Berner
  • 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
  • Publication number: 20040007460
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are provided in which a clamping device for holding a work-piece comprises at least two clamping arms and at least one of the arms has a pin including a conical or pointed tip that at least partially penetrates a surface of the work-piece while in a clamped configuration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 15, 2002
    Publication date: January 15, 2004
    Inventor: Karl Sagedahl
  • Patent number: 6673218
    Abstract: A cathode cartridge (N) for an electroplating tester includes a cathode conductor (10) that conducts electricity to a surface (Wa) to be plated of a silicon wafer (W) as an object to be plated, a first insulator (20) that covers a front side of the silicon wafer (W) and holds the cathode conductor (10), and a second insulator (30) that covers a back side of the silicon wafer (W) and holds the silicon wafer (W). Negative portions other than the surface (Wa) to be plated of the silicon wafer (W) are insulated from plating solution with a first O-ring (22) fitted in the first insulator (20) and a second O-ring (32) fitted in the second insulator (30).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2004
    Assignee: Yamamoto-MS Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Wataru Yamamoto