Apparatus For Moving Material Between Zones Having Different Pressures And Inhibiting Change In Pressure Gradient Therebetween Patents (Class 414/217)
  • Patent number: 10269597
    Abstract: Disclosed is a manufacturing apparatus of a light-emitting element. The manufacturing apparatus includes: a main transporting route including a first transfer device and a second transfer device connected to each other through a first transporting chamber; a sub-transporting route extending in a direction intersecting the main transporting route, the sub-transporting route including: a second transporting chamber connected to the first transfer device or the second transfer device; and a delivery chamber connected to the second transporting chamber; and a plurality of treatment chambers connected to the delivery chamber. A region to which the first transfer device, the second transfer device, the first transporting chamber, and the second transporting chamber are connected is under a continuous vacuum environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Assignee: Japan Display Inc.
    Inventors: Takaaki Ishikawa, Takaaki Kamimura, Noriyuki Hirata
  • Patent number: 10256125
    Abstract: Various embodiments of wafer processing systems including batch load lock apparatus with temperature control capability are disclosed. The batch load lock apparatus includes a load lock body including first and second load lock openings, a lift assembly within the load lock body, the lift assembly including multiple wafer stations, each of the multiple wafer stations adapted to provide access to wafers through the first and second load lock openings, wherein the batch load lock apparatus includes temperature control capability (e.g., heating or cooling). Batch load lock apparatus is capable of transferring batches of wafers into and out of various processing chambers. Methods of operating the batch load lock apparatus are also provided, as are numerous other aspects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2019
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: William T. Weaver, Joseph Yudovsky, Jason M. Schaller, Jeffrey C. Blahnik, Robert B. Vopat, Malcolm N. Daniel, Jr., Robert Mitchell
  • Patent number: 10246255
    Abstract: A multi-dimensional automated storage and retrieval system is provided herein that enables the space-efficient storage of containers within a three-dimensional lattice structure. Each container includes one or more drivers to engage with rails of the three-dimensional lattice structure, enabling the container to slide along the rails based on a propulsion system. A control device is provided to selectively engage each container to a desired rail of the lattice structure, and to provide power to the propulsion system, thereby moving the container to a desired location within the lattice structure. Due to the high storage efficiency of the disclosed automated storage and retrieval system, the system may be utilized in space-sensitive applications, such as vending machines for physical goods or in cargo vehicles such as trailers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: Amazon Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher Vincent Kaukl, Xiaoshan Cai, Avinash Shripathy Bhat, Margaux Eng
  • Patent number: 10239707
    Abstract: A substrate processing system including at least two vertically stacked transport chambers, each of the vertically stacked transport chambers including a plurality of openings arranged to form vertical stacks of openings configured for coupling to vertically stacked process modules, at least one of the vertically stacked transport chambers includes at least one transport chamber module arranged for coupling to another transport chamber module to form a linear transport chamber and another of the at least two stacked transport chambers including at least one transport chamber module arranged for coupling to another transport chamber module to form another linear transport chamber, and a transport robot disposed in each of the transport chamber modules, where a joint of the transport robot is locationally fixed along a linear path formed by the respective linear transport chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc
    Inventor: Robert T. Caveney
  • Patent number: 10190994
    Abstract: An apparatus, a method and a computer program product for inspecting at least side faces of a semiconductor device are disclosed. A frame construction is provided, which holds a camera, defining an imaging beam path. The semiconductor device is inserted into a mirror block. The mirror block has a first mirror, a second mirror, a third mirror and a fourth mirror, wherein the mirrors are arranged such that they surround a free space in the form of a rectangle. The opposing first mirror and third mirror are fixedly mounted and the opposing second mirror and fourth mirror movably mounted. A tilted mirror directs an image of the side faces of the semiconductor substrate generated by the mirror block to the camera.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2019
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Corporation
    Inventor: Carl Truyens
  • Patent number: 10134623
    Abstract: Substrate processing apparatus including a wafer transport apparatus with a transport arm including an end effector, an arm pose deterministic feature integral to the substrate transport apparatus and disposed so that a static detection sensor of the substrate processing apparatus detects at least one edge of the at least one arm pose deterministic feature on the fly with radial motion of the transport arm, and a controller configured so that detection of the edge effects a determination of a proportion factor identifying at least a thermal expansion variance of the transport arm on the fly and includes a kinematic effects resolver configured to determine, from the detection of the edge on the fly, a discrete relation between the determined proportion factor and each different discrete variance respective to each different link of the transport arm determining at least the thermal expansion variance of the transport arm on the fly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2018
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Bing Yin, Jairo T. Moura, Vincent Tsang, Aaron Gawlik, Nathan Spiker
  • Patent number: 10115615
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, there is provided a substrate processing apparatus including a processing unit and a manipulator. The processing unit processes a substrate. The manipulator is for maintenance. The manipulator is placed near the processing unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2018
    Assignee: TOSHIBA MEMORY CORPORATION
    Inventor: Hideo Eto
  • Patent number: 10096504
    Abstract: A method for managing an atmosphere in a storage container in a processing apparatus including a substrate transfer region and a container transfer region which are partitioned by a partition wall; a load port; a container keeping rack; and a cover opening/closing mechanism, includes substituting the internal atmosphere of the storage container that stores non-processed substrates with the inert gas for using the cover opening/closing mechanism; transferring the storage container of which the internal atmosphere has been substituted with the inert gas, to the container keeping rack and placing and keeping the storage container on the container keeping rack; and putting the storage container on standby on the container keeping rack while maintaining the atmosphere substituted with the inert gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2018
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Katsuhiko Oyama, Yasushi Takeuchi, Shinji Asari
  • Patent number: 10056281
    Abstract: A transport apparatus transports a container that includes a flow hole forming portion in which a flow hole through which gas can flow between the outside and the inside of the container is formed. A connecting portion that has a flow path through which gas can flow and a filling gas supply source that allows a filling gas to flow through the flow path are provided in the transport apparatus. The connecting portion is configured to be switchable between a non-connected state in which the connecting portion is retracted to the outside of a moving region of the container that moves along a transport path and a connected state in which the connecting portion enters the inside of the moving region and is connected to the flow hole forming portion of the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2018
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Daisuke Ogawa, Akihiro Iwanaga, Ayato Takada
  • Patent number: 10041735
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a baking device for liquid crystal alignment films, wherein the baking device includes a heating table with openings and lift pins extending and penetrating through the openings, and the lift pins can move between a retracting position and a stretching position to support a glass substrate coated with alignment films, wherein a blocking member is arranged on the lift pin in a surrounding manner to be tightly engaged thereon, so as to block the air stream flowing toward the glass substrate through the openings when the lift pins are situated in the retracting position. With the provision of the blocking members, the air streams flowing toward the glass substrate coated with alignment films can be resisted in the baking process, which prevents the air streams from affecting heat distribution and temperature distribution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2018
    Assignee: Shenzhen China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Wei Yu, Chang Chengmr Lo
  • Patent number: 10026619
    Abstract: The yield of a product is improved when a substrate held by a conveyance carrier is subjected to a plasma treatment. A plasma treatment method of the substrate held by the conveyance carrier includes preparing the conveyance carrier which includes a holding sheet and a frame disposed on the outer peripheral portion of the holding sheet; bonding the substrate to the holding sheet so that the substrate is held by the conveyance carrier; and increasing tensile strength of the holding sheet. The plasma treatment method further includes placing the conveyance carrier on the stage after the bonding of the substrate and bringing the substrate into contact with the stage through the holding sheet; and performing a plasma treatment on the substrate after the placing of the conveyance carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2018
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Shogo Okita, Atsushi Harikai
  • Patent number: 10020215
    Abstract: According to various embodiments, a frame cassette may include: a housing; a mounting structure inserted in the housing, the mounting structure including a plurality of tape-frame slots, wherein each tape-frame slot is configured to receive a tape-frame, wherein the housing includes an opening to introduce a tape-frame into a tape-frame slot of the plurality of tape-frame slots or to remove a tape-frame from a tape-frame slot of the plurality of tape-frame slots, and a door mounted at the housing, wherein the door is configured to close the opening of the housing to seal the interior of the housing from the exterior of the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2018
    Assignee: Infineon Technologies AG
    Inventors: Germar Schneider, Matthias Taubert, Michael Mitrach, Thomas Gadau, Markus Pfeifenberger, Walter Leitgeb, Frank Boenewitz
  • Patent number: 10011013
    Abstract: Example implementations may relate to a cloud service that stores a detection metric corresponding to a maintenance request for a particular component. In particular, the cloud may receive sensor data from various robotic systems each having the particular component. The cloud may then determine, based on the sensor data, performance data for the particular component over time at the various robotic systems. The cloud may also determine various maintenance events for the particular component. Based on the performance data, the cloud may determine that at least one maintenance event occurs at other metrics that are different from the detection metric. Responsively, the cloud may adjust the detection metric based on a difference between the detection metric and the other metrics. The cloud may then detect operation of a particular robotic system at the adjusted detection metric and may responsively request maintenance for the particular component at the particular robotic system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2018
    Assignee: X Development LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey Thomas Bingham, Robert Wilson
  • Patent number: 9991146
    Abstract: The present invention provides a detection device for a cassette comprising at least one supporting unit, each supporting unit comprising a plurality of supporting brackets which constitute a supporting plane, wherein the detection device comprises a sensing mechanism for detecting whether position of each of the supporting brackets in each supporting unit is within a predetermined range. In the present invention, through detecting positions of the supporting brackets in the cassette, and then judging whether the positions of the supporting brackets in each supporting unit are in a preset range, a supporting unit in which there is one or more bracket supporting brackets whose positions are not in the preset range can be maintained in time, and therefore, damage to the glass substrate due to large error in positions of the supporting brackets can be prevented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2018
    Assignees: BOE TECHNOLOGY GROUP CO., LTD., BEIJING BOE DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Zhongming He, Bin Cao, Sunggon Hong, Xiaogang Liu, Lingling Fan, Haisheng Liu, Jianye Song, Yan Zheng, Jinxing Wang
  • Patent number: 9982338
    Abstract: A system includes an implantation chamber; a warming chamber, wherein the warming chamber is outside of the implantation chamber and has a sidewall shared with the implantation chamber; a first robotic arm configured to move a first wafer from the implantation chamber into the warming chamber; and a second robotic arm configured to move a second wafer into the implantation chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2018
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Tsun-Jen Chan, Cheng-Hung Hu, Yi-Hann Chen, Kang Hua Chang, Ming-Te Chen
  • Patent number: 9966289
    Abstract: An apparatus and method capable of reducing the footprint of substrate processing system. An apparatus includes a housing chamber including a housing cabinet which houses housing containers for housing substrates, and a housing container carrying mechanism provided on the ceiling of the housing chamber and configured to carry the housing containers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2018
    Assignee: Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc.
    Inventors: Daigi Kamimura, Shigeru Odake, Tomoshi Taniyama, Takashi Nogami, Osamu Morita, Yasuaki Komae
  • Patent number: 9958424
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides a method of identifying an airborne molecular contamination (AMC) leaking source in a fab. The method includes distributing a sensor in the fab, executing a forward computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of an air flow in the fab, setting an inversed modeling of the forward CFD simulation of the air flow in the fab, building up a database of a spatial response probability distribution matrix of the sensor using an AMC measurement data in the fab, and identifying the AMC leaking source using the database of the spatial response probability distribution matrix of the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2018
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Tzu-Sou Chuang, Jeng-Jyi Hwang, Cheng-Lung Chou, Chi-Ming Yang, Chin-Hsiang Lin
  • Patent number: 9943969
    Abstract: A robot with improved cleanliness for use in a clean environment is disclosed, having a uniform flow through the open interface between the clean environment and the interior of the robot housing, passing the particle generation area to an exhaust port, keeping the particles from the clean environment. The uniform flow reduces or eliminates the back flow, and further allows the scalability of the open interface to prevent particles generated from moving mechanisms within the robot housing to contaminate the clean environment. The uniform flow can be established by designing the flow dynamic, centering the exhaust port, or by restricting the flow along the elongated slot, for example, by uniformly restricting the flow along the elongated slot, or by implementing a restrictor along the elongated slot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: Brooks Automation (Germany) GmbH
    Inventors: David Barker, Robert T. Lobianco, Bhavesh Amin
  • Patent number: 9931730
    Abstract: Automatic handling apparatus having a suction-head sucking and holding a workpiece, an arm is connected to and moves the suction-head, and a stage on which the workpiece to be carried to the carrier holding hole is mounted, the suction-head has a movable section which is movable within a parallel plane to the suction-head body, the movable section to suck and hold the workpiece, and has positioning pins stretched in vertically lower direction and, at loading time, the workpiece held by the movable section into the carrier holding hole, the positioning pins are appressed against tooth-bottoms of a gear on the carrier outer periphery and movable section moving within the parallel plane. The carrier is pushed against the sun gear side to fix the carrier position and direction, and the held workpiece is carried into the holding hole. Consequently, the automatic handling apparatus load the workpiece into the carrier holding hole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2018
    Assignee: SHIN-ETSU HANDOTAI CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Taichi Yasuda, Tatsuo Enomoto
  • Patent number: 9929034
    Abstract: A substrate transfer device includes a casing and a substrate conveying robot. A size of the casing in a second direction Y is more than a size of the casing in a first direction X. The casing includes walls forming a conveying chamber and at least one opening or provided at at least one side of the conveying chamber in the first direction X. The substrate conveying robot includes a base, a robot arm, a robot hand, and a controller. When a space in the conveying chamber except for a predetermined exclusive region is defined as an effective conveying chamber, an entire link length DL of a link is less than a conveying chamber size Dx, and an entire hand length Dh of the robot hand is not less than an effective conveying chamber size Dx?.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignees: KAWASAKI JUKOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA, KAWASAKI ROBOTICS (USA), INC.
    Inventors: Hirohiko Goto, Ming Zeng, Avish Bharwani, Shigeki Ono
  • Patent number: 9916995
    Abstract: A substrate processing tool includes N substrate processing stations arranged in a first transfer plane around a central cavity, where N is an integer greater than one. At least one of the N substrate processing stations is configured to process the substrate. M substrate processing stations are arranged in a second transfer plane around the central cavity, where M is an integer greater than one. The second transfer plane is arranged parallel to and above the first transfer plane. An upper tool portion includes the M substrate processing stations and a first portion of the N substrate processing stations. A rotatable lower tool portion rotates relative to the upper tool portion. A second portion of the N substrate processing stations rotates with the rotatable lower tool portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2018
    Assignee: LAM RESEARCH CORPORATION
    Inventor: Karl Leeser
  • Patent number: 9899247
    Abstract: A storage portion includes a first support portion and a second support portion that support a container. The storage portion is configured to change between a first state and a second state due to the second support portion being raised or lowered. An inert gas supply apparatus includes a connection portion at a height at which the connection portion is connected to the container in the first state and the connection portion is located away from and below the container in the second state. A transport moving body includes a third support portion supporting the container and a protrusion/retraction driving portion that causes the third support portion to protrude and retract. The third support portion is inserted into a transfer space when moved so as to protrude or retract by the protrusion/retraction driving portion. Movement path of the third support portion overlaps with the connection portion in a vertical direction view.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Shinsuke Kawamura
  • Patent number: 9889558
    Abstract: A redundantable robotic mechanism is disclosed for improving reliability of tranport equipment. The redundantable robot assembly typically comprises independent robots with separate controls, motors, linkage arms, or power, thus providing the capability of operation even if parts of the assembly are not operational or when parts of the assembly are removed for repair. The redundantable robot assembly can be also designed to allow in-situ servicing, e.g. servicing one robot when the other is running. The disclosed redundantable robot assembly provides virtual uninterrupted process flow, and thus greatly increases the yield for the manufacturing facility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, GmbH
    Inventor: Lutz Rebstock
  • Patent number: 9875917
    Abstract: A semiconductor structure bonding apparatus is disclosed. The apparatus may include a leveling adjustment system configured to provide leveling adjustment of upper and lower block assemblies of the apparatus. In some cases, the leveling adjustment system may include a plurality of threaded posts, differentially threaded adjustment collars, and leveling sleeves. In some instances, the leveling adjustment system further may include a plurality of preload springs configured to provide a given preload capacity and range of adjustment. In some instances, the leveling adjustment system further may include a load cell through which one of the threaded posts may be inserted. In some embodiments, the upper block assembly further may include a reaction plate configured to reduce deformation of the upper block assembly. In some embodiments, the upper block assembly further may include a thermal isolation plate configured to provide compliance deflection and being of monolithic or polylithic construction, as desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 23, 2018
    Assignee: SUSS MicroTech Lithography GmbH
    Inventors: Gregory George, Hale Johnson
  • Patent number: 9870936
    Abstract: A wafer carrier purge apparatus, an automated mechanical handling system, and a method of handling a wafer carrier during integrated circuit fabrication are provided. The wafer carrier purge apparatus includes a purge plate adapted for insertion into a carrier storage position. The purge plate includes a gas port and a gas nozzle in fluid communication with the gas port. The gas port receives a gas flow. The gas nozzle is adapted to contact an inlet port of a wafer carrier. The purge plate further includes a vacuum port and a vacuum nozzle in fluid communication with the vacuum port, spaced from the gas nozzle. The vacuum nozzle is adapted to capture gas that escapes from the wafer carrier through an outlet port of the wafer carrier. The purge plate is separate and removable from the carrier storage position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 16, 2018
    Assignee: GLOBALFOUNDRIES, INC.
    Inventors: William J. Fosnight, Stephanie Waite, Stephen B. Miner, John Robinson
  • Patent number: 9863906
    Abstract: An apparatus for automatically conditioning a patch plate and a plenum of an electrophysiology measurement system is provided. An arm is linearly movable between a non-operative position and an operative position. An end effector mounted to one side of the arm is configured to condition the patch plate. Another end effector mounted to an opposite side of the arm is configured to condition the plenum. A linear actuator is coupled to the arm and is configured to drive movement of the arm between the operative position and the non-operative position. When the arm is positioned in the operative position, the arm is situated between the patch plate and the plenum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: MOLECULAR DEVICES, LLC
    Inventors: Lawrence Lee, Windsor Owens
  • Patent number: 9864822
    Abstract: A method for the determination of workplace transport trajectories in a multiple station press, comprises the steps of providing a set of constraints for the workplace transport trajectories, the constraints comprising at least pickup and deposit positions for a workplace in a plurality of stations of the multiple station press, providing machine properties of the plurality of stations and of at least one transfer device for transporting the workplace from a first of the plurality of stations to a second of the plurality of stations, providing information on a candidate workplace transport trajectory, simulating the plurality of stations and the at least one transfer device based on the provided information for determining whether the candidate workplace transport trajectory conforms with the provided machine parameters, and displaying the result of the determination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: GUEDEL GROUP AG
    Inventor: Dominique Schaer
  • Patent number: 9862554
    Abstract: A substrate processing system including at least two vertically stacked transport chambers, each of the vertically stacked transport chambers including a plurality of openings arranged to form vertical stacks of openings configured for coupling to vertically stacked process modules, at least one of the vertically stacked transport chambers includes at least one transport chamber module arranged for coupling to another transport chamber module to form a linear transport chamber and another of the at least two stacked transport chambers including at least one transport chamber module arranged for coupling to another transport chamber module to form another linear transport chamber, and a transport robot disposed in each of the transport chamber modules, where a joint of the transport robot is locationally fixed along a linear path formed by the respective linear transport chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert T. Caveney
  • Patent number: 9852932
    Abstract: A semiconductor processing station is provided. The semiconductor processing station includes a first platform, a second platform and a vacuum tunnel, wherein the first platform has a first load lock and a first plurality of chambers, and the second platform has a second load lock and a second plurality of chambers, and the vacuum tunnel connects the first and the second load locks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2017
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Mao-Lin Kao, Hsu-Shui Liu, Jiun-Rong Pai, Li-Jen Ko, Hsiang-Yin Shen, Tien-Chen Hu
  • Patent number: 9834378
    Abstract: A system comprising a load port and a transfer module. In one embodiment, the load port includes a plate having a first opening and a second opening, a first workpiece access port, a second workpiece access port and at least one storage location. The storage location(s) may be located either beneath the second workpiece access port or above the first workpiece access port. The transfer mosule, which is located adjacent the load port, includes a load arm for moving the workpiece containers between the first workpiece access port, the second workpiece access port, any of the storage shelves and a material transport system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Anthony C. Bonora, Roger G. Hine, Theodore W. Rogers
  • Patent number: 9812343
    Abstract: A substrate loading station including a frame forming a chamber configured to hold a controlled environment, a transfer robot connected to the frame and one or more substrate cassette holding locations each capable of having a substrate cassette holder disposed within the frame. Each of the one or more substrate cassette holding locations being configured to removably support a respective substrate cassette in a predetermined position for communication with the transfer robot to effect substrate transfer between a respective cassette and the transfer robot where the one or more substrate cassette holding locations are configured to effect the interchangeability of one or more substrate cassette holders with other substrate cassette holders for changing a substrate cassette holding capacity of the substrate loading station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Leigh F. Sharrock, Tsepa Bayul, Christopher J. Dancewicz, Wayne A. Lasante
  • Patent number: 9796528
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method of optimizing delivery of trays and a system using the method. The method includes: (a) determining a list of delivery of trays; (b) loading a delivery-required tray in the delivery list on the crane in accordance with a loading priority order; (c) loading, on the crane, another tray that can be simultaneously delivered along with the tray that has been loaded on the crane at (b), if requirement for delivery of the tray that can be simultaneously delivered is within a delivery stand-by limit time; and (d) transferring the trays loaded on the crane at (b) or (c).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: LG CHEM, LTD.
    Inventors: Kyuhwang Lee, Hokyung Lee, Juseok Lee, Jayoung Hur
  • Patent number: 9786534
    Abstract: An EFEM 1 includes a wafer transfer chamber 3 having an interior space in which a wafer transfer robot 5 is disposed and load ports 2 disposed adjacent to a front surface 32 of the wafer transfer chamber 3, and semiconductor processing equipment M can be disposed adjacent to a rear surface 33 of the wafer transfer chamber 3. The EFEM 1 has a configuration in which two buffer stations 4 capable of temporarily storing wafers W are disposed next to each other in the front-rear direction A on a side surface 31 of the wafer transfer chamber 3. The EFEM 1 thus configured adapts to an increase in wafer diameter and is capable of handling many wafers while preventing or minimizing an increase in the stroke distance in the height direction of the wafer transfer robot 5 and an increase in the footprint of the entire EFEM 1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2017
    Assignee: SINFONIA TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Hiroaki Nakamura, Toshiyuki Takaoka, Yoshikatsu Takemoto
  • Patent number: 9772563
    Abstract: At least a first reticle is stored in a housing of a stocker. A first gas is delivered to the housing. At least one reticle pod having an additional reticle is delivered into a enclosure within the housing of the stocker. A second gas different from the first gas is delivered to the enclosure. The reticle pod is automatically retrieved from the enclosure. The delivery and retrieval of the reticle pod and delivery of the first gas and the second gas are automatically controlled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2017
    Assignee: Taiwan Semicondutor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yung-Ho Chen, Wen-Chieh Tsou, Chih-Wei Huang, Wei-Cheng Wang
  • Patent number: 9757790
    Abstract: A vacuum port assembly is provided for a press system including a die assembly and a transfer assembly. The transfer assembly includes a conveyor belt, a vacuum manifold coupled to the die assembly, and an airflow generator. The conveyor belt includes a plurality of holes for receiving and moving shells in a plane with respect to the die assembly. The vacuum port assembly includes at least one port member including inlet and outlet ends. The inlet end has amounting portion for removably coupling the port member to the vacuum manifold. The outlet end is in fluid communication with the airflow generator, thereby establishing fluid communication between the airflow generator and the vacuum manifold. The inlet end extends outwardly from the vacuum manifold generally perpendicular with respect to the plane of the conveyor belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Assignee: Stolle Machinery Company, LLC
    Inventors: Patrick K. McCarty, Aaron E. Carstens
  • Patent number: 9754813
    Abstract: A bonding chuck is discussed with methods of using the bonding chuck and tools including the bonding chuck. A method includes loading a first wafer on first surface of a first bonding chuck, loading a second wafer on a second bonding chuck, and bonding the first wafer to the second wafer. The first surface is defined at least in part by a first portion of a first spherical surface and a second portion of a second spherical surface. The first spherical surface has a first radius, and the second spherical surface has a second radius. The first radius is less than the second radius.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2017
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Chih-Hui Huang, Yen-Chang Chu, Kuan-Liang Liu, Ping-Yin Liu, Cheng-Yuan Tsai, Yeur-Luen Tu, Chia-Shiung Tsai, Ru-Liang Lee
  • Patent number: 9748283
    Abstract: In a method of manufacturing a thin film transistor substrate, a first metal layer is formed on a first surface of a base substrate. The base substrate is cooled by contacting the first metal layer with a first cooling plate and by contacting a second surface of the base substrate with a second cooling plate. The first and second surfaces of the base substrate face opposite directions. A gate electrode is formed by patterning the first metal layer. A source electrode and a drain electrode are formed. The source electrode is spaced apart from the drain electrode. The source and drain electrodes partially overlap the gate electrode. A pixel electrode electrically connected to the drain electrode is formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2017
    Assignee: Samsung Display Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Su-Kyoung Yang, Sang-Won Shin, Hyun-Eok Shin, Chan-Woo Yang, Dong-Min Lee
  • Patent number: 9698036
    Abstract: A substrate cassette loading system for docking substrate cassettes to a substrate processing system is provided. A plurality of ports passes substrates into the substrate processing system, wherein a first port of the plurality of ports is vertically above a second port of the plurality of ports. A plurality of cassette loaders provides substrate cassettes to the plurality of ports.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Assignee: Lam Research Corporation
    Inventors: Silvia R. Aguilar, Scott Wong, Derek J. Witkowicki, Richard H. Gould, Candi Kristoffersen, Brandon Senn
  • Patent number: 9695814
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for reducing undesirable noise generated by a vacuum pumping system. The vacuum system operates to reduce the pressure in a chamber to a first pressure value. The system then detects that the pressure at the vacuum pump system's inlet is about to change to a second higher pressure and, in response, the speed of a booster pump in the vacuum pump system is reduced below the rated speed for the pump. When the pressure at the vacuum pump's inlet is above the second pressure, the speed of the booster pump is increased to the rated speed. Thus, the booster pump is slowed down prior the pump system becoming exposed to a rapid increase in inlet pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Assignee: Edwards Limited
    Inventors: Philip John Stephens, Michael Geoffrey Thompson
  • Patent number: 9696262
    Abstract: A substrate processing apparatus includes: a load port into which the transport container is carried; a detecting unit that detects storage condition of the substrates which are contained in the transport container, which has been carried into the load port and the lid of which has been removed; a processing unit that processes the substrates removed from the transport container having been carried into the load port; and a control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Katsuhiro Morikawa, Ikuo Sunaka
  • Patent number: 9670010
    Abstract: A substrate processing apparatus having a station for loading and unloading substrates from the apparatus is provided. The station has a loading and unloading aperture, a magazine door drive for opening a substrate magazine by removing a door of a substrate magazine through the loading and unloading aperture, and a substrate magazine transport having a magazine support, the substrate magazine transport being configured to move the substrate magazine horizontally between a first position and a second position. When in the first position the substrate magazine is seated on the magazine support and communicates with the aperture and when moved to the second position the substrate magazine is offset from the first position, where the substrate magazine remains seated on the magazine support during horizontal transfer between the first and second positions and another substrate magazine is capable of being located at the first position in communication with the aperture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2017
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Ulysses Gilchrist, David R. Beaulieu, Peter F. Van der Meulen
  • Patent number: 9663854
    Abstract: A high throughput system for warming a wafer to a desired temperature after undergoing a low-temperature implantation process includes an implantation chamber, a wafer warming chamber configured to uniformly warm a single wafer, and a plurality of robotic arms to transfer wafers throughout the system. At each stage in the fabrication process, the robotic arms simultaneously work with multiple wafers and, therefore, the system provides a high throughput process. Also, the warming chamber may be a vacuum environment, thus eliminating the mist-condensation problem that results in wafer spotting.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2017
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Tsun-Jen Chan, Cheng-Hung Hu, Yi-Hann Chen, Kang Hua Chang, Ming-Te Chen
  • Patent number: 9637817
    Abstract: A process roller for receiving and guiding substrates in strip form in vacuum coating installations. The process roller comprises a heater located inside the process roller, in the form of an elongated radiant heater, and also a cylindrical lateral surface for receiving a substrate in strip form, the process roller being mounted rotatably about an axis of rotation in a vacuum process chamber. A particularly uniform temperature distribution can be achieved on the process roller's lateral surface by the process roller (2) being configured in a vacuum-tight manner, by the lateral surface (3) of the process roller (2) being connected in a vacuum-tight manner to two end caps (4, 5), which have a flattened, outwardly curved hemispherical form, by the interior space of the process roller (2) being connected to a vacuum connection (6), and by the radiant heater (8) extending into the region of the end caps (4, 5).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: FHR Anlagenbau GmbH
    Inventors: Lutz Köhler, Daniel Michel, Anthony Nobel, Marco Grafe
  • Patent number: 9633880
    Abstract: Disclosed is a substrate processing system with a magnetic conduit configuration to improve the movement of a substrate carrier within the system. The configuration specifically provides for safe, secure movement of a carrier between multiple levels of a substrate processing system by using magnetic conduits to redirect magnetic forces created by a linear motor, permitting the linear motor to be positioned outside of the system and in a location that will not interfere with the movement of the carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: INTEVAC, INC.
    Inventor: Stuart Scollay
  • Patent number: 9633881
    Abstract: A buffer station for automatic material handling system can provide throughput improvement. Further, by storing to-be-accessed workpieces in the buffer stations of an equipment, the operation of the facility is not interrupted when the equipment is down. The buffer station can be incorporated in a stocker, such as bare wafer stocker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventor: Lutz Rebstock
  • Patent number: 9595462
    Abstract: Disclosed is a peeling system which includes a peeling device, a plurality of first cleaning devices, an inversion device, a second cleaning device, and first to third conveyance devices. The peeling device is configured to separate a superimposed substrate into a first substrate and a second substrate. The plurality of first cleaning devices is configured to clean a bonded surface of the first substrate. The inversion device configured to invert front and rear surfaces of the first substrate. The second cleaning device is configured to clean a non-bonded surface of the first substrate. Delivery positions of the first substrate in the plurality of first cleaning devices are arranged in a region where an operation range of the first conveyance device and an operation range of the second conveyance device overlap each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2017
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Takeshi Tamura, Akira Fukutomi, Yasuharu Iwashita, Masaaki Umitsuki
  • Patent number: 9589795
    Abstract: In a method of forming an epitaxial layer, an etching gas may be decomposed to form decomposed etching gases. A source gas may be decomposed to form decomposed source gases. The decomposed source gases may be applied to a substrate to form the epitaxial layer on the substrate. A portion of the epitaxial layer on a specific region of the substrate may be etched using the decomposed etching gases. Before the etching gas is introduced into the reaction chamber, the etching gas may be previously decomposed. The decomposed etching gases may then be introduced into the reaction chamber to etch the epitaxial layer on the substrate. As a result, the epitaxial layer on the substrate may have a uniform distribution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2017
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Sung-Ho Kang, Bong-Jin Kuh, Yong-Kyu Joo, Sung-Ho Heo, Hee-Seok Kim, Yong-Sung Park
  • Patent number: 9583352
    Abstract: A method of operating a wafer processing system includes etching a batch of wafers. The method also includes transferring at least a portion of the batch of wafers to a first front opening universal pod (FOUP). The method further includes purging an interior of the first FOUP with an inert gas. The method additionally includes transporting the first FOUP from a first loading port to a second loading port. The method also includes monitoring an elapsed time from the purging. The method further includes performing a second purging of the interior of the first FOUP if the elapsed time exceeds a threshold time. The method additionally includes cleaning the batch of wafers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, LTD.
    Inventors: Wen-Chang Tsai, Shao-Yen Ku, Hsieh-Ching Wei, Yuan Chih Chiang, Jui-Chuan Chang, Yung-Li Tsai
  • Patent number: 9576825
    Abstract: Device and method for alignment of a first contact surface of a first substrate with a second contact surface of a second substrate which can be held on a second platform. The device includes first X-Y positions of first alignment keys located along the first contact surface, and second X-Y positions of second alignment keys which correspond to the first alignment keys and which are located along the second contact surface, wherein the first contact surface can be aligned based on the first X-Y positions in the first alignment position and the second contact surface can be aligned based on the second X-Y positions in the second alignment position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2017
    Assignee: EV Group E. Thallner GmbH
    Inventor: Daniel Figura
  • Patent number: 9576824
    Abstract: In an apparatus for etching a semiconductor wafer or sample (101), the semiconductor wafer or sample is placed on a sample holder (104) disposed in a first chamber (103). The combination of the semiconductor wafer or sample and the sample holder is enclosed within a second chamber (130) inside the first chamber. Gas is evacuated from the second chamber and an etching gas is introduced into the second chamber, but not into the first chamber, to etch the semiconductor wafer or sample.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2017
    Assignee: SPTS Technologies Limited
    Inventors: Kyle S. Lebouitz, Edward F. Hinds