For Carrying Standarized Mechanical Interface (smif) Type Patents (Class 414/217.1)
  • Patent number: 11834312
    Abstract: The system can include: a container no, a set of sensors 120, and a controller 130. The system can optionally include a robot 140. However, the system 100 can additionally or alternatively include any other suitable set of components. The system functions to monitor and/or maintain a fullness level of a container. The system can additionally or alternatively function to enable robotic picking out of the container (e.g., in a pick-and-place setting). The system can additionally function to maintain candidate objects within reach of the robot's end effector to increase robot uptime while minimizing the extent of the robot's required motion (e.g., in the z-axis).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2023
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2023
    Assignee: Intrinsic Innovation LLC
    Inventor: Lucas Whitaker
  • Patent number: 11804385
    Abstract: According to various aspects of the disclosure, a method may comprise: varying a drive force, by which a chamber valve of a vacuum chamber is held closed, when the vacuum chamber has been evacuated; and aerating the vacuum chamber after the variation of the drive force; transporting a substrate through the chamber valve when the chamber valve has been opened.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2023
    Assignee: VON ARDENNE ASSET GMBH & CO. KG
    Inventors: Mirko Loehnert, Christin Kretzschmar, Christoph Haeusler
  • Patent number: 11784070
    Abstract: A heat treatment apparatus includes: an inner tube having a cylindrical shape and configured to accommodate a substrate; an outer tube configured to cover an outside of the inner tube; a heater provided around the outer tube; a gas supply pipe that extends along a longitudinal direction in the inner tube; an opening formed in a side wall of the inner tube facing the gas supply pipe; a temperature sensor provided at a position shifted by a predetermined angle from the opening in a circumferential direction of the inner tube; and a controller that controls the heater based on a detected value of the temperature sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2023
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventors: Yasuaki Kikuchi, Tatsuya Yamaguchi, Kazuteru Obara, Ryuji Kusajima
  • Patent number: 11404299
    Abstract: In a substrate transfer mechanism, a moving body moves horizontally, and a support body is provided at the moving body to rotate about a vertical shaft. A first rotary shaft and a second rotary shaft are disposed vertically. A first arm forms a first substrate support region for supporting a first substrate, the first arm having a base portion connected to the first rotary shaft and a tip portion rotating at an outer side of the support body. A second arm forms a second substrate support region for supporting a second substrate, the second arm having a base portion connected to the second rotary shaft and a tip portion rotating the outer side of the support body. Further, an elevating mechanism is configured to raise and lower the second rotary shaft depending on a direction of the second arm with respect to the support body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2022
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventor: Shinji Wakabayashi
  • Patent number: 11383940
    Abstract: A robotic manipulator for handling a cassette and an automated cassette transport device are disclosed, the device including a mechanical arm (1), an end actuator (2) at an end of the mechanical arm (1) and a vision-based locating assembly (3) on the end actuator (2). On the one hand, the vision-based locating assembly (3) can determine the position of a flange of the cassette, thereby identifying the cassette. In other words, the cassette can be identified based on a feature of the cassette itself. This dispense with a separate locating marker while improving cassette measuring and handling accuracy. On the other hand, transportation of the cassette is allowed by complementary retention of its flange on a recessed surface of the end actuator (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2022
    Assignee: SHANGHAI MICRO ELECTRONICS EQUIPMENT (GROUP) CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Qixin Xu, Rong Du, Lingyu Li
  • Patent number: 11355384
    Abstract: A substrate processing system includes a substrate loading unit which loads a plurality of substrates, a substrate transfer unit which transfers N (where N is natural number) substrates at the same time from the substrate loading unit, and a substrate processing unit including a plurality of process chambers which receives the N substrates at the same time from the substrate transfer unit and processes the received substrates where each of the process chambers includes a stage on which the N substrates are disposed and an insulation layer disposed between the N substrates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2022
    Assignee: SAMSUNG DISPLAY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Dongseok Shin, Bongsub Song
  • Patent number: 11289350
    Abstract: There is provided a technique that includes (a) performing a heating process on a substrate in a process chamber, (b) transferring the substrate between the process chamber and a load lock chamber connected to a vacuum transfer chamber by a transfer robot installed in the vacuum transfer chamber connected to the process chamber, and (c) reading transfer information corresponding to process information applied to the substrate from a memory device in which plural pieces of the process information on a process content of the substrate and plural pieces of the transfer information of the transfer robot corresponding to the plural pieces of the process information are recorded, and controlling the transfer robot to transfer the substrate based on the read transfer information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2022
    Assignee: KOKUSAI ELECTRIC CORPORATION
    Inventors: Yukinori Aburatani, Takashi Yahata, Tadashi Takasaki, Naofumi Ohashi, Shun Matsui, Keita Ichimura
  • Patent number: 11283877
    Abstract: Various embodiments relate generally to autonomous vehicles and associated mechanical, electrical and electronic hardware, computer software and systems, and wired and wireless network communications to provide an autonomous vehicle fleet as a service. In particular, a method may include identifying a location of a user device associated with a user, transmitting a command to an autonomous vehicle system associated with an autonomous vehicle service to transit to the location, and providing information associated with the user device to the autonomous vehicle system, where the information includes configuration data to adapt one or more sub-systems of the autonomous vehicle. Sub-systems of the autonomous vehicle may include interior lighting, ambient sound, road handling, seating configuration, communication synchronization, and temperature control systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2022
    Assignee: Zoox, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy David Kentley-Klay, Rachad Youssef Gamara
  • Patent number: 11251060
    Abstract: A substrate treating apparatus, a carrier transporting method, and a carrier buffer device. A carrier transport mechanism transports a carrier between platforms of two openers and carrier storage shelves. The carrier storage shelves and the carrier transport mechanism are each mounted on a first treating block. Accordingly, the carrier storage shelves and the carrier transport mechanism are not extended horizontally from the indexer block, achieving a compact footprint of a substrate treating apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2022
    Inventor: Joji Kuwahara
  • Patent number: 11195689
    Abstract: A sample holder for electron microscopy of air-sensitive samples for use in electron microscopy incorporates a housing and a closure assembly. The closure assembly comprises a lid comprising at least one closure arm receiving portions recessed within a flat, planar upper surface thereof. The housing comprises one or more closure arm(s) corresponding to one or more closure arm receiving portion(s). In a fully closed position, the closure arm(s) share contact with the closure arm receiving portion(s). The lid is flexibly coupled to a motor cover plate which can be actuated by a motor assembly configured to open and close the lid. The sample holder also includes an elevator assembly with a vertically adjustable sample stage which sits below the lid. The sample stage is vertically adjusted by actuation of a bellows assembly which sits beneath the sample stage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2020
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2021
    Assignee: ZoNexus LLC
    Inventors: Alpesh Khushalchand Shukla, John Fischer, Alexander Park
  • Patent number: 11148864
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a storage container for electronic devices, especially for wafer frames. The storage container includes a body and a stop rod that is provided to open or close a pick-and-place path in the body. The pick-and-place path is open to allow the wafer frames placed in the body to be taken out when a recess of the stop rod is located in the pick-and-place path. On the contrary, the pick-and-place path is closed when a blocking part of the stop rod is located in the pick-and-place path so as to protect the wafer frames placed in the body from falling out from the storage container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2021
    Date of Patent: October 19, 2021
    Assignee: CHIPBOND TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Cheng-Hung Shih, Tsuo-Yun Chu
  • Patent number: 11121017
    Abstract: A substrate loading device having a frame, a cassette support, and a user interface. The frame is connected to a substrate processing apparatus. The frame has a transport opening through which substrates are transported between the device and processing apparatus. The cassette support is connected to the frame for holding at least one substrate holding cassette. The user interface is arranged for inputting information, and is mounted to the frame so that the user interface is integral with the frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2021
    Assignee: BROOKS AUTOMATION, INC.
    Inventors: Daniel A. Hall, Glenn L. Sindledecker, Matthew W. Coady, Marcello Trolio, Michael Spinazola
  • Patent number: 11024619
    Abstract: A semiconductor manufacturing apparatus that sequentially stacks a plurality of semiconductor chips while aligning the plurality of semiconductor chips on a stage. A condition determinator determines whether an apparatus performing a mounting processing stops during a mounting processing of the plurality of semiconductor chips. An evacuation controller evacuates, when it is determined that the apparatus performing the mounting processing stops, a group of semiconductor chips that has been stacked before the determination. A resuming determinator determines whether to resume the mounting processing after it is determined that the predetermined condition is satisfied. A return controller returns the evacuated group of semiconductor chips to a position before the evacuation and continues the mounting processing when it is determined that the mounting processing is resumed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Assignee: TOSHIBA MEMORY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Toshihiko Ohda, Tetsuya Kurosawa, Masatoshi Fukuda
  • Patent number: 10978329
    Abstract: A method for wafer pod handling includes at least the following steps. A wafer pod is moved into a load chamber by conveying the wafer pod to the load chamber via one side of a track and removing a cover of the load chamber via an opposing side of the track. The wafer pod that is inside the load chamber is coupled to a port of a platform that is linked to the load chamber. A wafer to be processed is moved from the wafer pod and out of the load chamber to the platform for performing a semiconductor process. Other methods for wafer pod handling are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2021
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: You-Hua Chou, Chih-Wei Huang, Kuo-Sheng Chuang, Cheng-Chung Chien
  • Patent number: 10964572
    Abstract: A conveyance system for conveying a workpiece to each of a plurality of processing apparatuses includes a conveyance passage disposed in a space directly above one processing apparatus of the plurality of processing apparatuses, an automated conveying vehicle for traveling on the conveyance passage, the automated conveying vehicle including a workpiece storage member having a housing space for housing a workpiece therein, a traveling member having a storage space for storing the workpiece storage member therein, a traveling mechanism mounted on the traveling member, a lifting and lowering mechanism disposed in the traveling member for lifting and lowering the workpiece storage member while suspending the workpiece storage member from above, and a receiver for receiving control signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2021
    Assignee: DISCO CORPORATION
    Inventor: Kazuma Sekiya
  • Patent number: 10923372
    Abstract: There is provided a gas injection device configured to prevent entry of atmospheric air when charging gas into a FOUP. In order to realize such a gas injection device, the gas injection device is structured so as to include: a gas supply port 72 through which inert gas is supplied; a nozzle main body 71 including a gas passage 77 communicating with the gas supply port 72; an opening/closing mechanism 92 configured to close the gas supply port 72; and an opener 96 configured to cause the opening/closing mechanism 92 to open the gas supply port 72 closed by the opening/closing mechanism 92.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2021
    Assignee: SINFONIA TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Toshihiro Kawai, Yasushi Taniyama, Munekazu Komiya, Takashi Shigeta
  • Patent number: 10853524
    Abstract: The present disclosure discloses a security system for robots. The security system comprises a lock located on a platform, configured to restrict power supply to a plurality of actuators of a robotic arm, a key configured to release the lock for providing power supply to the plurality of actuators and a processing unit. The processing unit is configured to restrict power supply to the robotic arm by initiating the lock, relocate the lock to a random location on the platform, generate an encrypted code based on the random location of the lock and a time-stamp and provide the encrypted code to the control unit for decryption. Upon decryption, the control unit configures the lock to supply power to the plurality of actuators. The plurality of actuators operates the robotic arm to pick the key and release the lock for supplying power to the plurality of actuators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2020
    Assignee: Wipro Limited
    Inventors: Vijay Kumar, Thomas Chittakattu Ninan, Yateesh Kumar Shivarudraiah, Ramkumar Gandhinathan
  • Patent number: 10777445
    Abstract: Examples of a substrate processing apparatus includes a susceptor, a plurality of three or more susceptor pins configured to protrude from an upper surface of the susceptor or be positioned below the upper surface of the susceptor, a transfer arm configured to provide a substrate onto the susceptor or take out a substrate on the susceptor, a plurality of sensors configured to individually detect contact or non-contact of a substrate with the plurality of susceptor pins individually, and a control device configured to monitor a detection result of the plurality of sensors and determine abnormality when an order of variations in a contact state of the substrate with the plurality of susceptor pins is not a predetermined order or when a time difference between the variations in the contact state of the substrate with the plurality of susceptor pins is not within a predetermined time difference range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2020
    Assignee: ASM IP Holding B.V.
    Inventor: Kazuhiro Nishiwaki
  • Patent number: 10553467
    Abstract: A purge load port which is a load port devised with a purging plate and a purging module. The purging plate has inlet nozzles, outlet nozzles and recognizer; and the purging module has an inlet opening, an outlet opening, at least a temperature and humidity sensor, at least a flow meter and at least a pressure sensor. It makes the load port incapable of purging to provide the purging techniques after being devised with purging plate and purging modules, which solves the problem of controlling the cleanness by conventional load port, and thus effectively improves the yield of wafers in microchip fabrication.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2020
    Assignee: Brillian Network & Automation Integrated System Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jung-Hua Chen, Chen-Wei Ku, Hong-Wen Liao
  • Patent number: 10510572
    Abstract: A semiconductor processing station including a platform, a load port, and a carrier transport track is provided. The platform includes an intake/outtake port and a plurality of processing modules. The load port includes a load chamber, a movable cover, and a carrier transfer module. The load chamber communicates with the intake/outtake port and has a load opening at its top end for receiving a transport carrier within the load chamber. The movable cover is disposed at the load opening and configured to seal the load opening. The carrier transfer module is configured to transfer the transport carrier to the intake/outtake port. The carrier transport track has a bottom side configured to open the load chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: You-Hua Chou, Chih-Wei Huang, Kuo-Sheng Chuang, Cheng-Chung Chien
  • Patent number: 10446428
    Abstract: An electronic device manufacturing system may include a factory interface having a controlled environment. The electronic device manufacturing system may also include a load port coupled to the factory interface. The load port may be configured to receive a substrate carrier thereon and may include purge apparatus and a controller. The controller may be configured to operate the load port such that any air located around and between a substrate carrier door and the load port is at least partially or entirely purged, thus reducing or preventing contamination of the controlled environment upon the opening of the substrate carrier door by the load port. Methods of operating a factory interface load port are also provided, as are other aspects.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventor: Paul B. Reuter
  • Patent number: 10347516
    Abstract: Embodiments of substrate transfer chambers are provided herein. In some embodiments, a substrate transfer chamber includes a body having an interior volume, wherein a bottom portion of the body includes a first opening; an adapter plate coupled to the bottom portion of the body to couple the substrate transfer chamber to a load lock chamber of a substrate processing system; wherein the adapter plate includes a second opening aligned with the first opening to fluidly couple the interior volume with an inner volume of the load lock chamber; a cassette support disposed in the interior volume to support a substrate cassette; and a lift actuator coupled to the cassette support to lower or raise the substrate cassette into or out of the load lock chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2019
    Assignee: APPLIED MATERIALS, INC.
    Inventors: Sriskantharajah Thirunavukarasu, Eng Sheng Peh, Srinivas D. Nemani, Arvind Sundarrajan, Avinash Avula, Ellie Y. Yieh
  • Patent number: 10332769
    Abstract: A semiconductor processing station comprises a platform and a load port, wherein the platform includes an intake/outtake port and a plurality of processing modules. The load port includes a load chamber, a movable cover and a carrier transfer module. The load chamber communicates with the intake/outtake port and has a load opening at its top end for receiving a transport carrier within the load chamber. The movable cover is disposed at the load opening and is configured to seal the load opening. The carrier transfer module is configured to transfer the transport carrier to the intake/outtake port. A semiconductor process and a method of operating a semiconductor processing station are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2019
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: You-Hua Chou, Chih-Wei Huang, Kuo-Sheng Chuang, Cheng-Chung Chien
  • Patent number: 10203603
    Abstract: The present disclosure refers to a substrate supporting structure and an exposure machine. In one embodiment, the substrate supporting structure includes a plurality of lifting members and a first drive mechanism, top ends of the plurality of lifting members are in a same horizontal plane, and the first drive mechanism is capable of driving at least one of the lifting members to move horizontally. The substrate supporting structure according to the present disclosure is for supporting a substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2019
    Assignee: BOE TECHNOLOGY GROUP CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Liu Liu, Jinbao Peng, Pengcheng Shi
  • Patent number: 10177020
    Abstract: A buffer system for a semiconductor device fabrication tool includes one or more retractable shelves, one or more sliding assemblies positionable above the one or more load ports of the semiconductor device fabrication tool, and one or more lifting assemblies. The one or more retractable shelves are configured to support sealable containers. The one or more sliding assemblies are configured to receive the sealable containers and are further configured to transport the sealable containers to one or more positions beneath the one or more retractable shelves. The one or more lifting assemblies are configured to transport the sealable containers between any two of the group including one or more retractable shelves, the one or more sliding assemblies, and the one or more load ports.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2019
    Assignee: KLA-Tencor Corporation
    Inventor: Michael D. Brain
  • Patent number: 10153282
    Abstract: An apparatus for transporting or storing at least one semiconductor wafer in an ultra-high vacuum is provided. A portable vacuum transfer pod is provided comprising an internal wafer storage chamber for storing one or more wafers and a wafer support for supporting at least one wafer within the internal wafer storage chamber. A passively capable vacuum pump capable of passive vacuum pumping is in fluid connection with the internal wafer storage chamber and is mechanically connected to the portable vacuum transfer pod. A shut off valve for opening and closing the fluid connection is between the passively capable vacuum pump and the internal wafer storage chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2018
    Assignee: Lam Research Corporation
    Inventors: Theodoros Panagopoulos, Richard Gould, Edmundo Reyes, John Boniface, Ivan Berry, Alexander Dulkin, Bart van Schravendijk
  • Patent number: 10134619
    Abstract: A connecting mechanism includes a mounting unit, a substrate transfer port, a door closing or opening the substrate transfer port, a coupling mechanism coupling a cover of the substrate container mounted on the mounting unit with the door, and a gas exhaust/purge unit. First, second and third seal members respectively seal a first space between a peripheral portion of the substrate transfer port and the door, a second space between the door and the cover of the substrate container, and a space between the peripheral portion of the substrate transfer port and the main body. The gas exhaust unit exhausts the first space and a second space. The purge gas, which has been supplied into the substrate container by the gas exhaust/purge unit, is supplied into the first and the second space by allowing the gas exhaust unit to exhaust the first and the second space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2018
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Keisuke Kondoh, Norihiko Tsuji
  • Patent number: 10043689
    Abstract: A chamber apparatus according to the present invention including a chamber main body including an opening portion in an upper surface; a door that opens/closes the opening portion; and a guide mechanism that slides the door with respect to the chamber main body. The door includes a movable member slidably supported by the guide mechanism; a first support provided on the movable member in a fixed manner; a door main body that opens/closes the opening portion; a second support provided on the door main body in a fixed manner; and a floating mechanism that connects the first support and the second support immovably in a horizontal direction and support the second support displaceably in a vertical direction with respect to the first support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2018
    Assignee: HIRATA CORPORATION
    Inventor: Jyunichi Hirakida
  • Patent number: 9805961
    Abstract: In a transfer system, at least one of a plurality of process apparatuses is connected to a station as a connected process apparatus. A station control unit controls a transfer device provided in the station through a communication with a process apparatus control unit to load the processing object to the connected process apparatus from the station and to unload the processing object from the connected process apparatus to the station. The station control unit controls the transfer device to begin unloading of the processing object from the connected process apparatus to the station after receiving a signal indicative of a presence of the processing object to be unloaded from the process apparatus control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignees: DENSO CORPORATION, MURATA MACHINERY, LTD.
    Inventors: Masaaki Kuroyanagi, Toshihiro Okumura, Keisuke Yoshida, Kenji Ota
  • Patent number: 9786535
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a wafer transport system and a method of operating the same. The wafer transport system comprises at least one semiconductor apparatus, a track, a transfer device, a positioning device, a carrier and a cleaning device. The wafer transport system transports wafers along the at least one semiconductor apparatus via the carrier riding on the track. The transfer device transfers the wafers from the carrier to the at least one semiconductor apparatus. The positioning device identifies and controls the position of the carrier on the track. The cleaning device maintains the cleanliness of the wafers. The present invention provides advantages for improving the yield rate of a wafer, shortening the fabrication time of a wafer, and offering the flexibility and the extendibility to a wafer transport system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2017
    Assignee: GUDENG PRECISION INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Hui-Ming Pao, Cheng-Hsin Chen, Po-Ting Lee, Ming-Chien Chiu, Tien-Jui Lin
  • Patent number: 9486989
    Abstract: A bonding method includes: holding a substrate to be processed by a first holding unit; holding a glass substrate by a second holding unit in a first holding state of seating the glass substrate thereon or in a second holding state of electrostatically attracting the glass substrate; depressurizing the interior of a chamber; and bringing the substrate to be processed and the glass substrate into contact with each other and pressing them. Holding a glass substrate includes: switching from the first holding state to the second holding state during at least one predetermined period of time selected from a plurality of predetermined periods of time, the plurality of predetermined periods of time including a pressure change timing in depressurizing the interior of a chamber and a pressing timing in bonding the substrate to be processed and the glass substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2016
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventor: Satoshi Ookawa
  • Patent number: 9406537
    Abstract: Provided is a cover opening/closing apparatus which includes: a wafer conveyance port having an opening edge and configured to be opened/closed by an opening/closing door; and a cover removal apparatus installed on the opening/closing door and configured to remove a cover of a FOUP which is formed with a substrate outlet having a opening edge. When the cover removal apparatus removes the cover of the FOUP, the opening edge of the substrate outlet is closely contacted with the opening edge of the wafer conveyance port. The cover removal apparatus includes: a latch key which is engaged with the cover of the FOUP, a driving unit configured to drive the latch key, and an accommodation unit configured to accommodate the driving unit. The cover opening/closing apparatus further includes an exhaust system configured to exhaust a space within the accommodation unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2016
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Katsuhiko Oyama, Yasushi Takeuchi
  • Patent number: 9337014
    Abstract: A substrate processing system architecture includes an MOCVD reactor processing module coupled to a single three-level load lock chamber. The load lock has a heater at a first stationary location, a cold plate at a second secondary location, and a three-level transport system between the heater and cold plate. The transport system has two-position carrier transfer assembly with upper and lower stages, where the upper stage may move between an intermediate transfer level and an upper level proximate to the heater while the lower stage moves between a lower level proximate to the cold plate and the transfer level. The choreography of substrate transport between external loader, load lock and reactor allows substrates to be processed in the reactor while other substrates are post-process cooled, unloaded, and a new substrate loaded and preheated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2016
    Assignee: Alta Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Vladimir Galburt, Alexander Lerner, Brian Brown
  • Patent number: 9159592
    Abstract: The present invention provides methods and apparatus capable of routine placement and replacement of fabricator tools in a designated tool location. The tool location can be selected from multiple tool locations arranged in a matrix with horizontal and vertical designations. The operation may be fully automated. In another aspect, the invention describes Cleanspace fabricators which use devices to routinely remove and place tooling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2015
    Assignee: Futrfab, Inc.
    Inventor: Frederick A. Flitsch
  • Patent number: 9153467
    Abstract: A substrate processing apparatus includes a control unit performing loading substrates into a second unit block when a trouble occurs in a module of a first unit block; determining whether it is before a leading substrate of a next lot of the lot where a standby substrate positioned in upper stream side than the troubled module belongs is loaded into the module in the uppermost stage of the second unit block; loading the standby substrate into the module in the uppermost stage of the second unit block when determined it is before the loading of the leading substrate and loading the standby substrate into the module in the uppermost stage of the second unit block after a rearmost substrate of the next lot is loaded into the module in the uppermost stage of the second unit block when determined otherwise; and performing a series of processing on the standby substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2015
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventor: Kenichirou Matsuyama
  • Patent number: 9064921
    Abstract: An inactive gas introducing facility includes an introducing device for introducing inactive gas to the inside of a container stored in a storage section of a storage shelf with discharging gas present inside the container to the inside of a storage space partitioned from the outside and a controller for controlling operation of the introducing device. In a normal stop mode, the controller controls the operation of the introducing device to stop feeding of inactive gas to the container in response to detection of an opened state of an inspection door. And, in a stop nullification mode, the controller controls the operation of the introducing device to continue feeding of inactive gas to the container even in response to detection of the opened state of the inspection door.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2015
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takeshi Shin, Masahiro Takahara, Toshihito Ueda
  • Patent number: 9054144
    Abstract: An improved system and method for purging a microenvironment to desired levels of relative humidity, oxygen, or particulates through the implementation of a purge gas delivery apparatus and method that provides even distribution of the purging gas within the microenvironment. A substrate container has a tower therein with a fluid flow passageway extending the length of the tower. Apertures with porous media between the aperture and fluid flow passageway regulate the volume and pressure of air discharging at each aperture. Alternatively, the tower may be formed of a porous tubular polymeric material. A sleeve may direct the discharge purge gas in the interior.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2015
    Assignee: Entegris, Inc.
    Inventors: John Burns, Mark V. Smith, Matthew A. Fuller
  • Publication number: 20150125238
    Abstract: A conveyance device, which conveys wafers in a casing 30, includes a primary blowing fan 17 that generates airflow within the casing 30 in a first direction; a discharge opening 26 that is located at a downstream side of the airflow generated by the primary blowing fan 17, is interconnected with the interior of the casing 30, and discharges gases at the interior of the casing 30 outside of the casing 30; a base 18d that is supported by a gate-shaped conveyance arm 22 disposed within the casing 30 and moves within the casing 30 at the upstream side of the discharge opening 26 and at the downstream side of the primary blowing fan 17; an end effector 21 that is located at the base 18d and that carries wafers; and a blowing fan 19 that is located at the base and that generates airflow in the first direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 28, 2012
    Publication date: May 7, 2015
    Inventors: Tsutomu Hiroki, Ikuo Sawada, Kazuyoshi Matsuzaki, Yoshiki Fukuhara
  • Publication number: 20150117986
    Abstract: Embodiments of mechanisms for charging a gas into a cassette pod are provided. A method for charging a gas into a cassette pod includes loading at least one semiconductor wafer into a housing of the cassette pod after the at least one semiconductor wafer is processed by a processing apparatus. The method also includes removing the cassette pod from the processing apparatus by a transporting apparatus to a predetermined destination. The method further includes charging a gas into an enclosure in the housing of the cassette pod from a gas supply assembly disposed on the housing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2013
    Publication date: April 30, 2015
    Applicant: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Wei-Yu LAI, Hung-Wen CHEN
  • Patent number: 9010384
    Abstract: A load part has a nozzle unit having outlets for generating outflow and/or inflow of gas used for replacing the atmosphere of a wafer storage container, in a direction approximately parallel to spaces between adjacent wafers being stored, are a driving unit for extending the nozzle unit to a door opening portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Right Mfg. Co. Ltd.
    Inventors: Takehiko Yoshimura, Tatsuhiko Nagata, Masaru Seki, Yoshinori Cho
  • Patent number: 8978718
    Abstract: To generate a gas-curtain for a load-port-apparatus and to supply a purge-gas into a pod by a single gas source, provided is a gas purge device including: purge nozzles extending along an outer side of side edges of the opening portion; a curtain nozzle arranged above an upper edge of the opening portion; a gas supply pipe arranged in parallel to each purge nozzle, for supplying an inert gas to the purge nozzle and the curtain nozzle, the gas being supplied from the gas supply pipe to the purge nozzle in a direction orthogonal to an extending direction of the gas supply pipe; and a conductance adjusting unit arranged at an end portion of the gas supply pipe, for generating a pressure loss in a gas flow in a configuration in which the gas is supplied to the curtain nozzle at the end portion of the gas supply pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: TDK Corporation
    Inventors: Jun Emoto, Tadamasa Iwamoto, Toshihiko Miyajima
  • Publication number: 20150071739
    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: Application
    Filed: September 8, 2014
    Publication date: March 12, 2015
    Applicant: SINFONIA TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Hiroaki Nakamura, Toshiyuki Takaoka, Yoshikatsu Takemoto
  • Publication number: 20150030416
    Abstract: Provided is a wafer stocker that can prevent the inflow of an external atmosphere, maintain a wafer storage space at a desired atmosphere with a relatively small amount of gas, and prevent dust from being attached to a wafer surface. A shutter portion, including multiple shield plates having the same height as an interval between shelf plates disposed in a storage container, is disposed with a slight space from a body portion, and by supplying clean gas into the storage container, a clean atmosphere of a higher pressure than an external environment is maintained, and a shutter portion is opened and closed by moving up and down the shield plate independently from the shelf plate that supports a wafer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 14, 2014
    Publication date: January 29, 2015
    Inventors: Fumio SAKIYA, Katsunori SAKATA
  • Patent number: 8936050
    Abstract: A lid opening and closing device for a semiconductor manufacturing apparatus having a partition wall configured to divide a carrier conveying region and a substrate conveying region, the partition wall having a conveying gateway with an edge portion, includes an exhaust port configured to discharge therethrough an atmospheric gas from a closed space formed between a carrier making contact with the edge portion of the conveying gateway and an opening/closing door, and a purge gas injecting part provided in the opening/closing door. The purge gas injecting part is configured to enter the internal space of a carrier lid through an opening formed on the front surface of the carrier lid, to inject a purge gas into the internal space of the carrier lid and to discharge an atmospheric gas existing in the internal space of the carrier lid into the closed space through another opening of the carrier lid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2015
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventor: Yudo Sugawara
  • Publication number: 20140369791
    Abstract: A substrate processing device contains a substrate loading/unloading area for loading/unloading of substrates. The substrate processing device further has a process chamber, a carrier device with which the substrates are transported by a carrier transport device to the process chamber, and a gas-tight closing device between the process chamber and the carrier transport area as well as a gas-tight closing device between the substrate loading/unloading area and the carrier transport area. The substrate processing device allows substrate processing at a high quality with high process purity, thereby being suitable for mass production. The object is achieved by the substrate loading/unloading area being coupled with the carrier transport area by a substrate transfer area with a substrate transfer device for transferring the substrates from a substrate cassette provided in the substrate loading/unloading area and in which substrates can be arranged in different horizontal cassette levels of the substrate cassette.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 17, 2013
    Publication date: December 18, 2014
    Inventors: Joachim Mai, Mirko Kehr
  • Patent number: 8888433
    Abstract: A substrate transport apparatus is provided. The apparatus has a casing and a door. The casing is adapted to form a controlled environment therein. The casing has supports therein for holding at least one substrate in the casing. The casing defines a substrate transfer opening through which a substrate transport system accesses the substrate in the casing. The door is connected to the casing for closing the substrate transfer opening in the casing. The casing has structure forming a fast swap element allowing replacement of the substrate from the apparatus with another substrate without retraction of the substrate transport system and independent of substrate loading in the casing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Ulysses Gilchrist, William Fosnight, Christopher Hofmeister, Gerald M. Friedman, Michael L. Bufano
  • Patent number: 8869967
    Abstract: A dynamic load lock chamber that includes a plurality of actuators positioned along its length to achieve a desired pressure gradient from an atmospheric pressure side to a processing pressure side of the chamber is provided. The chamber includes a transport belt continuously running through the chamber to transport substrates from the atmospheric pressure side to the processing pressure side of the chamber, if situated on an inlet side of a production line, and from the processing pressure side to the atmospheric pressure side of the chamber, if positioned on an outlet side of the production line. Separation mechanisms may be attached to the belt to separate discrete regions within the chamber into a plurality of discrete volumes. Substrates may be disposed between the separation mechanisms, such that separation between adjacent pressure regions within the chamber is maintained as the substrates are transported through the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2014
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Wolfgang Buschbeck, Juergen Henrich, Andreas Lopp, Susanne Schlaefer
  • Patent number: 8851820
    Abstract: A storage system and methods for operating a storage system are disclosed. The storage system includes a storage system assembly positioned at a height that is greater than a height of a tool used for loading and unloading substrates to be processed. The storage system locally stores one or more containers of substrates. The storage system assembly includes a plurality of storage shelves, and each of the plurality of storage shelves have shelf plates with shelf features for supporting a container. Each of the plurality of storage shelves are coupled to a chain to enable horizontal movement and each is further coupled to a rail to enable guiding to one or more positions. A motor is coupled to a drive sprocket for moving the chain, such that each of the plurality of storage shelves move together along the rail to the one or more positions. The rail has at least some sections that are linear and some sections that are nonlinear and the sections are arranged in a loop.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Anthony C. Bonora, Richard H. Gould, Michael Krolak
  • Publication number: 20140286733
    Abstract: There is provided a device capable of effectively increasing the number of wafers that is conveyed inside a wafer transport chamber and capable of improving the wafer conveyance processing capacity if an EFEM is used, without leading to a marked increase in installation area. A load port includes: a plurality of levels of loading tables are provided in the height direction; and wafers housed inside FOUP on top of each loading table is inserted into and removed from inside wafer transport chambers, in a state wherein each loading table is arranged at a wafer insertion/removal position on the front surface of the wafer transport chambers. The loading tables includes a transport mechanism that moves wafers forward and back in the front/rear direction, between a FOUP passing/receiving position at which the FOUP are handed over to a FOUP transport device and the wafer insertion/removal position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 8, 2012
    Publication date: September 25, 2014
    Applicant: SINFONIA TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Gengoro Ogura, Takaichi Hatano
  • Patent number: 8839959
    Abstract: A component sorting and wasting device is provided with a plurality of waste boxes having respective IDs and arranged at predetermined locations for receiving components to be wasted therein and a component mounting mechanism being capable of picking up components from a component supply device in mounting the picked-up components on circuit boards and of sorting and wasting each of components which are recognized as being unable to be mounted on the circuit boards, in one of the waste boxes selected for the component to be wasted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Assignee: Fuji Machine Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Seiichi Teraoka, Takehiro Ido