By Driven Device For Transporting Material To And/or Into, Or Into And Within, Chamber Patents (Class 414/172)
  • Patent number: 10325797
    Abstract: Containers are purged between overhead transfer vehicles and a container transfer location to or from which the containers are transferred. A travelling rail for a local vehicle is provided below a travelling rail for the overhead transfer vehicles and above the container transfer location, and a local vehicle travels along the travelling rail and includes a hoist that raises and lowers the containers. A purging table that supports the containers is provided below the travelling rail for the local vehicle so as not to block a portion over the container transfer location and a purging gas feeding device feeds a purging gas into the containers supported on the purging table.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2019
    Assignee: MURATA MACHINERY, LTD.
    Inventor: Junji Iwasaki
  • Patent number: 9524897
    Abstract: An end handler and method for processing a device are presented. The end handler includes a mating portion for mating with a tool and a support portion for supporting a film frame on a support surface. The support portion includes a support base section, extension sections extending from the support base section, and vacuum ports on the support surface for facilitating mating of the film frame on the support surface. Each of the vacuum port includes at least one reservoir having at least one vacuum opening in fluid communication with at least one vacuum source. The vacuum ports being configured to principally maintain a slimmest profile with strongest suction force possible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2016
    Assignee: SEMICONDUCTOR TECHNOLOGIES & INSTRUMENTS PTE LTD
    Inventors: Jian Ping Jin, Lee Kwang Heng
  • Patent number: 8972036
    Abstract: Only a wafer for QC check may be transferred and a production wafer may prevent from being transferred into an assigned process chamber whose QC check is not completed after a maintenance task, and the production wafer may be processed the assigned process chamber after the completion of the QC check. The wafer for QC check is transferred while inhibiting a transfer of the production wafer into the assigned process chamber, and the production wafer is transferred into each of the process chambers of the plurality except the assigned process chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2015
    Assignee: Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc.
    Inventor: Makoto Nomura
  • Publication number: 20140348617
    Abstract: Provided is a substrate processing apparatus.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 16, 2012
    Publication date: November 27, 2014
    Applicant: EUGENE TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Il-Kwang Yang, Sung-Tae Je, Byoung-Gyu Song, Yong-Ki Kim, Kyong-Hun Kim, Yang-Sik Shin
  • Patent number: 8827695
    Abstract: A semiconductor manufacturing system, an interface system, a carrier, and a method for providing an ambient controlled environment is disclosed. The semiconductor manufacturing system comprises a plurality of process chambers; at least one interface system, wherein the interface system includes a first ambient control element; at least one carrier, wherein the carrier comprises a second ambient control element; and a control module coupled to the plurality of process chambers, the at least one interface system, and the at least one carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Yi-Li Hsiao, Chen-Hua Yu, Jean Wang, Ming-che Ho, Chien-Ling Hwang, Jui-Pin Hung
  • Patent number: 8747052
    Abstract: An embodiment of the present invention is a technique to automate transfer of parts for high throughput. A boat transfer unit (BTU) arm carrying a boat containing a plurality of parts is rotated from an initial position to a first position that is below a process chamber. The BTU arm engages a boat support that supports the boat. The BTU arm is moved upward to a second position such that the boat partially enters the process chamber at a distance D with respect to an entrance opening of the process chamber. An elevator arm carrying a pedestal is engaged to lower side of the boat support. The BTU arm is moved away from the second position. The elevator arm is moved upward to fully insert the boat inside the process chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: Beijing Sevenstar Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Arsalan Alan Emami, Mitch Agamohamadi, Saeed Sedehi
  • Patent number: 8588950
    Abstract: Only a wafer for QC check may be transferred and a production wafer may prevent from being transferred into an assigned process chamber whose QC check is not completed after a maintenance task, and the production wafer may be processed the assigned process chamber after the completion of the QC check. The wafer for QC check is transferred while inhibiting a transfer of the production wafer into the assigned process chamber, and the production wafer is transferred into each of the process chambers of the plurality except the assigned process chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignee: Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc.
    Inventor: Makoto Nomura
  • Patent number: 8545158
    Abstract: A loading unit avoiding the need to enhance the performance of a lifting elevator mechanism, thus preventing an increase in the cost of the lifting elevator mechanism. The loading unit is configured to vertically move a substrate holder, holding a plurality of substrates, into and out of a cylindrical processing container upon heat treatment of the substrates. The loading unit includes: a lifting elevator mechanism for holding and vertically moving the substrate holder and a cap; and a pressing mechanism, having a piezoelectric actuator, for upwardly pressing against the cap lying at a bottom opening of the processing container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventor: Hiroshi Kikuchi
  • Patent number: 8517657
    Abstract: A disk processing system with a corner chamber having a heater assembly and a carrier rotary assembly configured to rotate the heater assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2013
    Assignee: WD Media, LLC
    Inventors: Jinliang Chen, Noe D. Taburaza
  • Patent number: 8360709
    Abstract: A selective dispensing device (1) is disclosed for limestone in vats (5a, 5b) of a regenerating oven adapted to arrange limestone with greater sizes next to an external wall (7a, 7b) of the vats (5a, 5b) and limestone with smaller sizes next to an internal wall (8a, 8b) of the vats (5a, 5b), comprising at least one mobile bulkhead (11) connected to a drive shaft (13) rotating around a rotation axis (X), such rotation being driven by an actuator system and the mobile bulkhead (11) being able to rotate around the rotation axis X to be alternatively inclined by a first angle (?) and by a second angle (?) with respect to reference plane (Z).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2013
    Inventors: Eugen Dan Cristea, Oliviero Collarini
  • Publication number: 20120257949
    Abstract: A method and device position a deflectable material basket at a charging opening of a furnace. The method and device reliably prevent a swinging or oscillating movement of the deflectable material basket that is moved by a crane, when approaching the furnace and when discharging the material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 18, 2010
    Publication date: October 11, 2012
    Inventors: Michael Schmid, Ulrich Schmieder
  • Patent number: 8167521
    Abstract: The present invention restrains, during a transfer of a substrate, a central portion of the substrate from being warped by its own weight, which might be caused by a super-enlargement of a diameter of the substrate. A substrate transfer apparatus 18 includes: a support part 17 which is moved above a substrate w of a large diameter; and an upside grip mechanism 28 disposed on the support part 17, the upside grip mechanism 28 capable of supporting a peripheral portion of the substrate w from above. The support part 17 is provided with a non-contact sucking and holding part 30 having a suction hole 31 and a blow hole 32. The non-contact sucking and holding part 30 sucks and holds the substrate w in a non-contact manner, by blowing a gas onto the central portion of the upper surface of the substrate w and sucking the central portion to form an air layer 50 such that the central portion of the wafer w is not warped.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Ken Nakao, Hitoshi Kato, Junichi Hagihara
  • Patent number: 8109761
    Abstract: A cooling system for a dental porcelain furnace speeds up the cycle time for the furnace.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2012
    Assignee: Whip Mix Corporation
    Inventors: Mike Neal, David Hall, Jay Doucette, Chenxi Yang
  • Publication number: 20120003062
    Abstract: A disk processing system with a corner chamber having a heater assembly and a carrier rotary assembly configured to rotate the heater assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2010
    Publication date: January 5, 2012
    Applicant: WD MEDIA, INC.
    Inventors: Jinliang Chen, Noe D. Taburaza
  • Patent number: 8029224
    Abstract: A substrate transfer apparatus 100 includes a substrate transport means 4 having a transport base 5 and a plurality of retention arms 41a-41e for retaining substrates W, an optical sensor 62 that is used to define a horizontal optical axis L, an elevator means 52 for moving the transport base 5 up and down, and a height detection means 54 for detecting the height of the transport base 5 relative to the optical axis L. In accordance with a light-reception/no-light-reception detection result fed from the optical sensor 62 and the height of the transport base 5, a judgment means 72a of a control section 7 judges whether the postures of the retention arms 41a-41e relative to the horizontal plane are normal. When the judgment means 72a judges that the postures of the retention arms 41a-41e relative to the horizontal plane are abnormal, the control section 7 exercises control to stop the substrate transport means 4.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2011
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Yo Abe, Mitsuru Obara, Takahiro Abe
  • Publication number: 20110182699
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention provide a transfer robot having a cooling plate attached thereto for cooling a substrate during transfer between a processing chamber and a load lock chamber. In one embodiment, the cooling plate is a single, large area cooling plate attached to the transfer robot beneath the substrate being transferred. In another embodiment, the cooling plate is an array of substrates attached to the transfer robot beneath the substrate being transferred. The cooling plate may include a conduit path for circulating a cooling fluid throughout the cooling plate. The cooling plate may have an upper surface with a high emissivity coating applied thereto.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 14, 2011
    Publication date: July 28, 2011
    Applicant: APPLIED MATERIALS, INC.
    Inventors: SHINICHI KURITA, MAKOTO INAGAWA, TAKAYUKI MATSUMOTO
  • Publication number: 20110027049
    Abstract: A transfer device includes a base; and a substrate supporter for supporting one or more target substrates to be processed. The substrate supporter is forwardly and backwardly moved to transfer the target substrates. The transfer device further includes reflecting bodies provided at least above and below the substrate supporter, the reflecting bodies serving to reflect heats radiated from the target substrates supported by the substrate supporter.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 30, 2010
    Publication date: February 3, 2011
    Applicant: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventor: Youhei Yamada
  • Publication number: 20100070108
    Abstract: For realizing short loading periods with a flexible transfer means (10) for a freeze drying plant comprising at least one freeze drying station (12) and at least one loading station (14,16), wherein said the transfer means (10) comprises at least one supporting frame (18) having a loading area (22) and an electrically operated laminar flow means (28) for producing a laminar air flow (30) in the loading area (22), said the transfer means (10) comprises a lifting carriage (16) which is adapted to be mechanically connected with said the supporting frame (18) for lifting and moving said the supporting frame (18) and comprises a drive motor and a steering means.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 16, 2009
    Publication date: March 18, 2010
    Inventors: Hubert Kluetsch, Johannes Selch
  • Publication number: 20090067954
    Abstract: Automated systems and methods for adapting semiconductor fabrication tools to process wafers of different diameters are described. In one embodiment, a method comprises providing a semiconductor fabrication tool, placing an adapter ring on a plurality of ring holders via a robotic arm, the plurality of ring holders being operable to support the adapter ring at a vertical distance from a stage heater and the stage heater being movable in a vertical direction, placing a first semiconductor wafer on the stage heater via the robotic arm, the first semiconductor wafer having a first diameter, and moving the stage heater upward to receive the adapter ring from the plurality of ring holders and to cover a portion of the stage heater during processing of the first semiconductor wafer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 7, 2007
    Publication date: March 12, 2009
    Inventors: Khamsidi Lanee, Gerry Moore
  • Publication number: 20080298933
    Abstract: An apparatus includes a first enclosure, a first door, at least one first valve, at least one inlet diffuser and at least one substrate holder. The first enclosure has a first opening. The first door is configured to seal the first opening. The first valve is coupled to the first enclosure. The inlet diffuser is coupled to the first valve and configured to provide a first gas with a temperature substantially higher than a temperature of an environment around the first enclosure. Each substrate holder disposed within the first enclosure supports at least one substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 29, 2007
    Publication date: December 4, 2008
    Applicant: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yi-Li Hsiao, Chen-Hua Yu, Jean Wang, Fu-Kang Tien, Jui-Pin Hung
  • Publication number: 20080226428
    Abstract: An apparatus for processing substrates may include a substrate handling chamber having a substrate load port on a side wall, and a movable platform movably engaged with the handling chamber between a first position and a second position. The first position is such that a substrate carrier on the movable platform is inaccessible by a substrate handling robot inside the chamber. The second position is near to the load port such that a substrate carrier on the movable platform is accessible by a substrate handling robot inside the handling chamber. The movable platform is configured to rotate about a generally vertical axis between the first and second positions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 16, 2007
    Publication date: September 18, 2008
    Inventors: Ravinder Aggarwal, Jeroen Stoutjesdijk
  • Publication number: 20080044257
    Abstract: Techniques for temperature-controlled ion implantation are disclosed. In one particular exemplary embodiment, the techniques may be realized as an apparatus for temperature-controlled ion implantation. The apparatus may comprise a platen to hold a wafer in a single-wafer process chamber during ion implantation, the platen including: a wafer clamping mechanism to secure the wafer onto the platen and to provide a predetermined thermal contact between the wafer and the platen, and one or more heating elements to pre-heat and maintain the platen in a predetermined temperature range above room temperature. The apparatus may also comprise a post-cooling station to cool down the wafer after ion implantation. The apparatus may further comprise a wafer handling assembly to load the wafer onto the pre-heated platen and to remove the wafer from the platen to the post-cooling station.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 28, 2007
    Publication date: February 21, 2008
    Applicant: Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, Inc.
    Inventors: Jonathan Gerald ENGLAND, Richard Stephen Muka, Edwin A. Arevalo, Ziwei Fang, Vikram Singh
  • Patent number: 7208047
    Abstract: An apparatus through which a substrate may be transferred between a first chamber and a second chamber in which the first chamber is maintained at a high temperature relative to the ambient temperature of the second chamber. The apparatus comprises a passageway for receiving the substrate and a thermally isolating interface. The thermally isolating interface reduces heat transfer from the first chamber to the second chamber and allows for transfer of the substrate between the apparatus and the second chamber. The thermally isolating interface includes a hole having dimensions such that the substrate is transferrable through the thermally isolating interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2007
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Emanuel Beer, Kenneth E. Baumel
  • Patent number: 6916146
    Abstract: A device for distributing materials in bulk includes a suspension rotor and a chute located below the suspension rotor. The chute is provided with two lateral suspension arms which are connected to the suspension rotor. A driving mechanism produces a pivoting torque capable of pivoting the chute, while a cylindrical suspension pin is associated with each suspension arm for pivotably connecting it to the suspension rotor. A control lever is connected to the suspension rotor, the driving mechanism being connected to the control lever so as to transmit to the latter the pivoting torque. A stop on the control lever and a counterstop on a suspension arm engage with each other to transmit the pivoting torque to the suspension arm. The stop and the counterstop are disengagable by a translation movement of the two suspension arms after withdrawal of the cylindrical suspension pins for removal of the chute.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2005
    Assignee: Paul Wurth S.A.
    Inventors: Emile Lonardi, Giovanni Cimenti, Jean-Jacques Venturini
  • Patent number: 6808592
    Abstract: A system for the plasma treatment of parts. The system includes a chamber base sealingly engageable with a reaction chamber to form a treatment chamber and a lifting device operable to lift the reaction chamber from the chamber base. A transfer mechanism is operable to transfer parts along a guide to multiple treatment positions within the treatment chamber when the reaction chamber is disengaged from the chamber base. An electronic control system controls the transfer mechanism for transferring the plurality of parts to the treatment positions. The parts are treated with a plasma produced within the treatment chamber by a plasma-generating device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2004
    Assignee: Nordson Corporation
    Inventors: Louis A. Rigali, David E. Hoffman, Keda Wang, William F. Smith, III
  • Publication number: 20040191026
    Abstract: A method for conveying stacks of metallic sheets, in particular stacks of metallic cathodes, into a melting furnace. The stack of metallic sheets (1) is gripped by a grapple element (10), such as a lifting grapple, which is arranged on a transfer device, and the stack of metallic sheets (1) is transferred into the melting furnace (2) chamber (14), and that at a predetermined height inside the furnace chamber, preferably relatively near the bottom of the furnace and/or melt, the metallic stack (1) is released.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 1, 2003
    Publication date: September 30, 2004
    Inventors: Tero Raitanen, Jukka Saamanen, Tom Marttila
  • Publication number: 20040191027
    Abstract: Device for automatically loading and unloading a feed to be treated in a heat treatment unit (1) such as a diffusion oven, comprising at least a cantilever (2) designed to receive the whole feed and to introduce the feed in the oven. The feed can consist of silicon wafers (4) arranged in quartz boats. The device comprises a multiple-basket automatic transfer equipment receiving on a reception zone, the whole feed, and transferring, from the reception zone to the cantilever, the whole feed and optionally dummy feeds, shielding feeds and control elements and vice-versa after the heat treatment, transferring the whole treated feed to the reception zone and transferring, from the cantilever to their original locations, the shielding feeds and the control elements, the various operations being carried out according to a predetermined scenario.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 19, 2004
    Publication date: September 30, 2004
    Inventors: Yvon Pellegrin, Claude Giral
  • Patent number: 6786974
    Abstract: Both of a first insulating film and a second insulating film are formed by a spin coating method. Accordingly, the formation of the first insulating film and the second insulating film can be performed in the same SOD processing system. Moreover, the aforesaid formation of both of the first insulating film and the second insulating film by the spin coating method can provide favorable low dielectric constant properties and good adhesion of the first insulating film and the second insulating film.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2004
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Takayuki Komiya, Shinji Nagashima, Shigeyoshi Kojima
  • Publication number: 20040028508
    Abstract: A device for loading firing, sintering or drying material onto, and unloading it from, the shelving frame (8) of a furnace waggon (4) comprises two lifting devices (2, 3) which are disposed at a distance from one another in such a way that the shelving frame (8) with the furnace waggon (4) is accommodated between them. The first lifting device (3) has a lifting cradle (43) which, for its part, carries a shifting cradle (45) which is capable of horizontal travel. Located on the said shifting cradle is a conveyer system (44). The second lifting device (2) likewise possesses a lifting cradle (15) which, however, has no shifting cradle capable of horizontal travel and directly carries, instead of the latter, a conveyer system (26). For the purpose of loading the shelving frame (8), the material is deposited onto the conveyer system (26) of the second lifting cradle (2). The lifting cradles (15, 43) of the two lifting devices (2, 3) now travel to a height underneath the shelving plane which is to be loaded.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 6, 2002
    Publication date: February 12, 2004
    Inventors: Herbert Maser, Reiner Starz
  • Patent number: 6676355
    Abstract: An apparatus and method whereby precise furnace cage positioning may be effectuated. The apparatus of the instant invention is embodied as a uniquely structured multi-plane positioning device which comprises the positional attachment of a drop furnace cage to a drop furnace quench tank via a combination of connecting structures attached to one or more positioning bars which limit the furnace cage's forward, backward and lateral movement as well as a pair of drop cage retrieval hooks directed for attachment to retrieval bars located between pairs of retrieving structures to accurately position the drop furnace cage for vertical retrieval into the furnace.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2004
    Assignee: American Airlines, Inc.
    Inventor: Raleigh F. Peyton
  • Publication number: 20030180125
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for batch processing of semiconductor wafers in a furnace advantageously allow for wafers to be supported for processing at very high temperatures (e.g., about 1350° C.). Each wafer is supported during processing by a wafer support with full perimeter support, such as a ring or plate. The wafers, on their supports, are removable and vertically spaced apart in a wafer support holder. A transfer station is provided wherein, during loading, a wafer is placed on a wafer support and, during unloading, the wafer is separated from the wafer support. A FOUP (Front Opening Unified Pod) is adapted to accommodate a plurality of wafer supports and to accommodate the transfer station. The wafer support, with a wafer supported on it, is transferred from the transfer station to a wafer support holder for processing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 13, 2003
    Publication date: September 25, 2003
    Inventors: Jannes Remco van den Berg, Edwin den Hartog
  • Patent number: 6413481
    Abstract: A sterilization tunnel for pharmaceutical containers such as vials has an inlet zone, a sterilization zone, and a cooling zone. A conveyor belt for the vials is disposed inside the sterilization tunnel. An emptying device that can be raised and lowered is disposed in the vicinity of the cooling zone. In order to empty the sterilization tunnel, the frame-shaped emptying device is lowered onto the conveyor belt and then pushes an emptying slider, which is being moved through the sterilization tunnel together with the last vials disposed on the conveyor belt, out from the sterilization tunnel. The emptying device permits a particularly simple operation of the sterilization tunnel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2002
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Ingbert Pennekamp, Manfred Windsheimer
  • Patent number: 6390753
    Abstract: In a system for loading, processing and unloading substrates, a carrier has a bottom and a plurality of slots to receive a plurality of substrates for processing in a reactor. The reactor is tubular and has an inlet opening to receive the carrier loaded with substrates. A handling robot loads and unloads the substrates to and from the carrier when the carrier is located outside the reactor. A rotatable base plate supports the carrier and moves the carrier between a first position in proximity of the handling robot and a second position in proximity of the reactor. A lifting device introduces and removes the carrier in and from the reactor by lifting and lowering the carrier from and to the base plate when the carrier is in the second position. A door plate is coupled to the lifting device and to the bottom of the carrier. The door plate closes the inlet opening of the reactor when the carrier is introduced in the reactor and seals the reactor during processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2002
    Assignee: ASM International N.V.
    Inventor: Christianus Gerardus Maria De Ridder
  • Patent number: 6355577
    Abstract: The invention provides a method for depositing a film on a surface of a semiconductor wafer while preventing formation of defects on the surface of the wafer. The method includes selecting a quartz wafer carrier for holding the semiconductor wafer during the depositing of the film, where the wafer carrier has quartz rods with fire-polished slots for receiving an edge of the semiconductor wafer. The semiconductor wafer is placed into the quartz wafer carrier with the edge of the wafer disposed within the fire-polished slots, and the wafer carrier and wafer are loaded into a deposition chamber. Air is evacuated from the deposition chamber, the temperature in the chamber is raised to a deposition temperature, the pressure within the deposition chamber is adjusted to a deposition pressure, and process gases are introduced to the deposition chamber. By reaction of the process gases, the film is deposited on the surface of the wafer and on the wafer carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: LSI Logice Corporation
    Inventors: Steven E. Reder, Ynhi T. Le
  • Patent number: 6318944
    Abstract: A semiconductor fabricating apparatus having a vertical reaction furnace, a boat for holding plural wafers in a multi-layered fashion and being loaded into the vertical reaction furnace, a storage disposed at a location corresponding to the boat for storing at least one of the wafer cassettes, a wafer transfer device for transferring the wafer between the storage and the boat, a cassette transfer unit for transferring the wafer cassettes between the apparatus and outside thereof, a cassette transfer device for effecting the transfer of the wafer cassettes between the cassette transfer unit and the storage, and a plurality of cassette shelves disposed within a range allowing transfer of the wafer cassettes from the cassette transfer device for receiving the wafer cassettes in upwardly-oriented positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2001
    Assignee: Kokusai Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazuhiro Shimeno, Kouji Tometsuka, Shigeo Ohba
  • Patent number: 6257819
    Abstract: A device for hooking, picking up and unloading flexible printed circuits to be introduced into a kiln, comprising one or more jaws to grip the circuit and to rotate freely around a horizontal axis—to supports which slide along vertical guides; handling systems adapted to move the supports along the vertical guides so as to move the jaws from the circuit feed position to the position in which the circuits are inserted into the kiln; systems designed to impose a slight rotation on the supports in at least one direction around the horizontal axis; and systems designed to activate the rotating pistons only at the circuit unloading stage after the treatment cycle in the kiln, so as to place the circuits in a slightly tilted position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2001
    Inventor: Alessandro Garioni
  • Patent number: 6223975
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for the temperature regulation of components such as semiconductor circuits, printed circuit boards and the like. The components are conveyed on carriers through an inlet slot into a temperature regulating housing provided with temperature regulating members and are convey out through an outlet slot opposite the inlet slot. In the housing, the carriers are loaded on a magazine provided with adjacently arranged holders. After the first holder is loaded in the starting position, the magazine is displaced progressively in one direction into successive positions in which the remaining holders of the magazine are loaded one after the other. Once all the holders are loaded, the magazine is filled and in an end position. Thereupon the magazine is displaced back to its starting position in a fast reverse run in the opposite direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2001
    Assignee: SEHO Systemtechnik GmbH
    Inventors: Johann Alfred Blohmann, Rolf Diehm, Rudolf Ullrich
  • Patent number: 6210156
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for sequentially heat treating small parts processes the parts individually through a heat treatment process at a predetermined rate, so that each part is heat treated for a predetermined time and all parts are heat treated equally. A plurality of parts on pallets are arranged in a vertical stack in a heat treatment furnace, and parts are sequentially removed and inserted at the ends of the stack at predetermined intervals so that each part progresses from one end of the stack to the other. A vertical guide holds a plurality of parts in a vertical stack. The parts are sequentially removed and inserted at the ends of the stack so that each part progresses from one end of the stack to the other. The stack is lifted to facilitate removing and inserting parts by a slide having movable jaws for gripping and releasing a pallet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2001
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Joseph Paul Horvath, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6036424
    Abstract: A cart for unloading and transporting chain is provided. The cart includes a frame with a number of tracks of a predetermined configuration which are superimposed over one another. Long segments of chain are routed from an oven onto a transfer rail assembly which, in turn, routes the segment of chain to a given track mounted in the cart. Subsequent segments are similarly routed to other tracks in the cart after the cart is elevated to register the empty track to be loaded with the corresponding transfer rail. As a result, the unloading and transporting chain for rebuild and repair is significantly simplified while reducing the overall time and burden associated therewith.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2000
    Assignee: Toray Plastics (America), Inc.
    Inventors: Scott J. Santangelo, Trung D. Nguyen, John H Klose
  • Patent number: 6030208
    Abstract: A thermal processor for treating a plurality of semiconductor articles introduced into the processor and pods includes a work-in-process stocker and furnace combination. The stocker includes a loading port, shelves for storing pods and a loadport. The loadport includes a pod opener and is positioned at a port through to the furnace housing. The pod opener may be an indexer for an SMIF pod or a FOUP loadport for handling a 300 mm. wafer pod. A manipulator within the stocker operates to receive and output pods from the processor, present pods to the loadport for loading and unloading and warehousing pods between such operations. In one embodiment, the manipulator operates in an X-axis, Y-axis horizontal plane as well as in a Z-axis direction and rotation about the Z-axis. In the other, the Y-axis degree of freedom is eliminated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 29, 2000
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Victor J. Williams, Robert A. Weaver, Coby S. Grove
  • Patent number: 5981966
    Abstract: A detecting apparatus for performing an auto-teaching operation is used in a vertical heat treatment system to cause a controller for controlling movement of a wafer transfer arm to learn a unit of positional information about a wafer boat placed on a transfer station. The detecting apparatus has a base frame having a shape similar to a wafer and detachably mounted on a wafer holding place of the boat. On the base frame are a Z-sensor formed of an optical sensor of a reflection type, a pair of .theta.-sensors, and an X-sensor. The auto-teaching operation is performed by observing the transfer arm by the detecting apparatus while the detecting apparatus is placed on the wafer holding place of the boat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1999
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventor: Manabu Honma
  • Patent number: 5549473
    Abstract: The loader device comprises a cartridge-carrying carousel provided with a set of cartridge-holders in which sealed closed cartridges are mounted in removable manner, each cartridge being designed to contain a sample for processing in a space furnace, the device further comprising a control mechanism for imparting indexed rotary drive to the cartridge-holders. The carousel is mounted to one side of the furnace in such a manner that its axis of rotation is parallel to longitudinal axis of the furnace. Each cartridge-holder of the carousel co-operates with a transfer mechanism that includes a translation arm extending perpendicularly to the axis of rotation of the carousel to enable each cartridge to be brought successively into a working position in which the axis of the cartridge is in alignment with the longitudinal axis of the furnace. The control mechanism for imparting rotary drive to the cartridge-holders and the transfer mechanism are activated alternately by a single electric motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 27, 1996
    Assignee: Societe Europeenne de Propulsion
    Inventor: Dominique Valentian
  • Patent number: 5464313
    Abstract: A heat treatment apparatus for semiconductor wafers is provided with a number, such as two, of heat treatment units which are arranged horizontally and which load wafer boats containing wafers from below. A wafer delivery section is provided to correspond to each of the two heat treatment units, and wafers are conveyed by a wafer transfer mechanism between the wafer delivery section and the heat treatment units. Carrier accommodation racks are provided in upper and lower positions across the two heat treatment units in such a manner that they can be used in common for both wafer delivery sections. The carrier transfer mechanism is provided in front of the two carrier accommodation racks in order to convey carriers containing wafers between carrier stages at front portions of the wafer heat treatment apparatus, the two carrier accommodation racks, and the two wafer delivery sections.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 1994
    Date of Patent: November 7, 1995
    Assignees: Tokyo Electron Kabushiki Kaisha, Tokyo Electron Tohoku Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Tetsu Ohsawa
  • Patent number: 5446263
    Abstract: Device for setting the temperature of a sample selectively to different ves comprising a sample holder block having good thermal conductivity properties and at least one recess (14) for receiving a sample whose temperature is to be adjusted, and a device for adjusting the temperature of a sample holder block, wherein the device for adjusting the temperature of the sample holder block (12) comprises at least two bodies (18, 20) whose temperatures can be controlled via separate thermostats and whose temperatures can be adjusted to different values and wherein a transporter (30, 32, 34) is provided by a way in which the sample holder block (12) can be brought into thermal contact with one of the bodies (18, 20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 29, 1995
    Assignee: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Wissenschaften e.V.
    Inventors: Manfred Eigen, Hajo Otten
  • Patent number: 5382884
    Abstract: The present invention includes a crucible which holds volatile material to be tested. The crucible is lowered into an oven apparatus and removed from the oven apparatus by equipment programmed in a predetermined manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 17, 1995
    Assignee: Texaco Inc.
    Inventor: Imran S. Hussami
  • Patent number: 5380137
    Abstract: A wafer transfer device is intended to transfer wafers between a wafer boat in which a plurality of wafer support plates are vertically arranged at regular intervals and a cassette in which a plurality of wafer-mounted levels are vertically arranged at regular intervals. Each of the wafer support plates is ring-shaped having an opening in the center thereof and a passage is defined by openings of the wafer support plates, extending vertically in the boat. The wafer is horizontally transferred into and out of the wafer boat between the wafer support plates by a fork. The fork can be moved in vertical and horizontal directions and it can also be swung. A wafer push-up disk is arranged movable up and down through the passage in the boat. Three wafer supports are projected from the top of the push-up disk. These projections on the push-up disk are arranged contactable with the underside of the wafer without interfering with the fork.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 10, 1995
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Sagami Ltd.
    Inventor: Athushi Wada
  • Patent number: 5356261
    Abstract: A wafer boat rotating apparatus is disclosed, which includes a boat holding portion for holding both ends of the wafer boat, a vertical rotation drive mechanism for rotating the boat holding portion on a vertical plane, and a horizontal rotation drive mechanism for rotating the boat holding portion on a horizontal plane. A wafer holding member is disposed on the boat holding portion and adapted to keep the wafers held in the wafer boat apart from a bottom portion of the wafer boat by a small distance. Thus, compensation for the difference of coefficients of thermal expansion between the wafers and wafer boat during heat treatment can be made easily.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 18, 1994
    Assignees: Tokyo Electron Kabushiki Kaisha, Tokyo Electron Tohoku Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hironobu Nishi
  • Patent number: 5338144
    Abstract: A batched materials transferring apparatus includes an elongated drum, a bucket disposed in the drum, and a drive arrangement operable to move the bucket relative to the drum. The drum defines an interior chamber having a longitudinal axis. The drum has a top (or side) opening formed in a first end portion thereof and a bottom opening formed in a second end portion thereof with the top (or side) opening being axially displaced from the bottom opening. The bucket has a side opening formed therein and is slidably movable relative to the drum along the longitudinal axis between the first and second end portions. The drive arrangement is mounted adjacent to the drum and connected to the bucket through one end of the drum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 16, 1994
    Inventor: Roger D. Eshleman
  • Patent number: 5217340
    Abstract: A wafer transfer method and mechanism in a vertical CVD diffusion apparatus and a control device for the method and mechanism. The vertical-type CVD diffusion apparatus has a boat containing many wafers in a horizontal orientation, stacked vertically. Product wafers are transferred to the boat five by five, dummy wafers are transferred five by five or a fraction less than five, and monitor wafers are inserted one by one between a block of the product wafers and another block of the product wafers, or a block of the dummy wafers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 8, 1993
    Assignee: Kokusai Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yasuhiro Harada, Toshikazu Karino, Ryoji Saito, Koji Tometsuka, Shoichiro Izumi
  • Patent number: 5178639
    Abstract: A vertical heat-treating apparatus which is effective for preventing dust or fine particles from being attached to a wafer during the loading/unloading or transport of the wafer thereby to manufacture a high-quality wafers. This apparatus comprises a carrier stocker storing a plurality of wafer carriers, a loading/unloading mechanism for transferring the wafers between the wafer carriers and a heat-treating vessel, a plurality of heat-treating furnaces for heat-treating the wafers, a transport mechanism for transporting the heat-treating vessel to and from the vertical heat-treating furnace, and gas supply means for forming a clear gas stream passing exclusively through the loading/unloading mechanism and/or the transport mechanism.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1993
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Sagami Limited
    Inventor: Hironobu Nishi