Wafer Cassette Transporting Patents (Class 414/940)
  • Patent number: 11869790
    Abstract: There is provided a technique that includes: at least one process chamber configured to be capable of processing a substrate; one or more supports configured to be capable of supporting the substrate; a transporter configured to be capable of transporting the one or more supports; a transfer chamber configured to be capable of transferring the substrate; a transport chamber that is adjacent to the transfer chamber and the at least one process chamber and is configured to be capable of moving the transporter; and a delivery chamber that is disposed in the transport chamber and is configured to be capable of delivering the one or more supports.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2022
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2024
    Assignee: KOKUSAI ELECTRIC CORPORATION
    Inventors: Yuji Takebayashi, Toshiro Koshimaki
  • Patent number: 11823897
    Abstract: There is provided a technique of forming an insulating film containing silicon oxide. A coating solution containing polysilazane is applied onto a wafer W, the solvent of the coating solution is volatilized, and the coating film is irradiated with ultraviolet rays in nitrogen atmosphere before performing a curing process. Dangling bonds are generated in silicon which is a pre-hydrolyzed site in polysilazane. Therefore, the energy for hydrolysis is reduced, and unhydrolyzed sites are reduced even when the temperature of the curing process is 350° C. Since efficient dehydration condensation occurs, the crosslinking rate is improved, and a dense (good-quality) insulation film is formed. By forming a protective film on the surface of the coating film to which ultraviolet rays irradiated, the reaction of dangling bonds prior to the curing process is suppressed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2022
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2023
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventors: Makoto Muramatsu, Hisashi Genjima
  • Patent number: 11794995
    Abstract: A method for retrieving an inventory item based on a handling robot, where the handling robot includes: a storage frame; and a material handling device installed on the storage frame, and including a telescopic arm and a manipulator installed to the telescopic arm; and the method for retrieving an inventory item includes: driving, by the telescopic arm, the manipulator to extend to a preset position of warehouse shelf along a preset horizontal reference line; loading, by the manipulator that is remained on the reference line, the inventory item located in the preset position; driving, by the telescopic arm, the manipulator loaded with the inventory item to move to the storage frame along the reference line; and unloading, by the manipulator that is remained on the reference line, the inventory item to the storage frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2022
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2023
    Assignee: HAI ROBOTICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Jui-chun Cheng, Shengdong Xu, Yuqi Chen
  • Patent number: 11798826
    Abstract: A wafer-measuring apparatus and a wafer-transferring method of the wafer-measuring apparatus. The wafer-measuring apparatus includes a body, a wafer-measuring unit, a wafer storage, and a robot. The robot is disposed on the body and configured to move a wafer from a first wafer container to the wafer-measuring unit. The first wafer container is disposed on a load port area. The robot moves the wafer from the wafer-measuring unit to the wafer storage after the wafer-measuring unit measures the wafer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2023
    Assignee: NANYA TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION
    Inventor: Jih-Cheng Huang
  • Patent number: 11715657
    Abstract: A substrate misalignment detection method includes: acquiring first image information or first position information of a substrate held to a stage by suction at a first height position; delivering the substrate from the stage to a holder in a state in which the suction of the substrate is released and causing the holder to hold the substrate at the first height position; acquiring second image information or second position information of the substrate held at the first height position; and detecting misalignment of the substrate by comparing the first image information with the second image information or by comparing the first position information with the second position information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2021
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2023
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventors: Shinjiro Watanabe, Koji Aramaki
  • Patent number: 11708216
    Abstract: The present application relates to a movable buffer, an automated material handling system and a corresponding overhead hoist transfer. The movable buffer includes: an inclined track including a first end and a second end opposite to each other, wherein the second end of the inclined track is higher than the first end of the inclined track; a storage tray connected to the inclined track, wherein the storage tray is provided with a space for accommodating a front opening unified pod, the storage tray is provided with at least one opening; and a transmission mechanism, wherein the upper surface of the transmission mechanism is connected to the lower surface of the overhead buffer, the lower surface of the transmission mechanism is connected to the inclined track, and the transmission mechanism is used for driving the storage tray to slide from the first end of the inclined track to the second end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2021
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2023
    Assignee: CHANGXIN MEMORY TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventor: Xiaofeng Qin
  • Patent number: 11699228
    Abstract: An arrangement detector for plate-shaped objects and a lord port including the same are provided. The arrangement detector for plate-shaped objects includes a judgement window setting means, a shape determination means for determining a shape matching rate by superimposing the judgement window on the image captured by the imaging means, and an object judgement means for judging the plate-shaped objects do not exist in the judgement window overlaid on the image captured by the imaging means, in case that the shape matching rate determined by the shape determination means is equal to or less than a predetermined value. A first reference line is a continuous straight line in the judgement window, and a second reference line is a collection of discontinuous line segments linearly arranged in the judgement window.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2021
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2023
    Assignee: TDK CORPORATION
    Inventors: Tomoshi Abe, Tadamasa Iwamoto, Takuya Kudo
  • Patent number: 11676841
    Abstract: Some implementations described herein provide a method that includes loading, from a load port and into a first buffer of a multiple-buffer overhead hoist transport (OHT) vehicle, a first transport carrier storing one or more processed wafers. The method includes unloading to the load port, while the first buffer retains the first transport carrier, and from a second buffer of the multiple-buffer OHT vehicle, a second transport carrier storing one or more wafers for processing. In other implementations, the method includes loading, into a first buffer of the multiple-buffer OHT vehicle, a first transport carrier storing one or more wafers for processing, while a semiconductor processing tool, associated with a load port, is processing one or more wafers associated with a second transport carrier. The method includes positioning the multiple-buffer OHT vehicle above the load port while the multiple-buffer OHT vehicle retains the first transport carrier in the first buffer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2021
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2023
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Chuan Wei Lin, Fu-Hsien Li, Chi-Feng Tung, Hsiang Yin Shen
  • Patent number: 11651984
    Abstract: A multiple transport carrier docking device may be capable of storing and/or staging a plurality of transport carriers in a chamber of the multiple transport carrier docking device, and may be capable of forming an air-tight seal around a transport carrier in the chamber. Semiconductor wafers in the transport carrier may be accessed by a wafer transport tool while the air-tight seal around the transport carrier prevents and/or reduces the likelihood that contaminants in the semiconductor fabrication facility will reach the semiconductor wafers. The air-tight seal around the transport carrier may reduce defects of the semiconductor wafers that might otherwise be caused by the contaminants, may increase manufacturing yield and quality in the semiconductor fabrication facility, and/or may permit the continued reduction in device and/or feature sizes of integrated circuits and/or semiconductor devices that are to be formed on semiconductor wafers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2022
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2023
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Chih-Hung Huang, Cheng-Lung Wu, Yang-Ann Chu, Hsuan Lee, Jiun-Rong Pai
  • Patent number: 11642782
    Abstract: A conveyance robot system according to the present disclosure includes a conveyance robot, and a robot control unit configured to control an operation of picking up an object performed by the conveyance robot, wherein the robot control unit determines that a movable range area, which is an area outside a safety cover where a robot arm is operated, satisfies a safety ensuring condition that can regard safety of the movable range area as equivalent to the safety inside the safety cover and allow the robot arm to perform a work while projecting toward the shelf.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2023
    Assignee: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Fuminori Saito, Atsunori Kobayashi, Akihiro Kimura, Hidenori Yabushita, Fukashi Andoh, Yoshihiro Okumatsu, Takeshi Nishida, Akihito Goto, Reoto Uetake
  • Patent number: 11637029
    Abstract: A load port of a factory interface of an electronic device manufacturing system can include a purge apparats, a docking tray configured to receive a substrate carrier including a substrate carrier door and a substrate carrier housing, a backplane located adjacent to the docking tray, and a carrier door configured to seal an opening in the backplane when the carrier door opener is closed. The carrier door opener can include an inlet gas line therethrough that is coupled to one or more components of the purge apparatus. The load port can also include a controller that is configured to detect that the substrate carrier is placed in a docking position on the docking tray. The substrate carrier placed in the docking position on the docking tray can form a gap between the substrate carrier housing and the backplane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2021
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2023
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventor: Paul B Reuter
  • Patent number: 11610797
    Abstract: A wafer stocker is capable of further improving an environment around wafers. The wafer stocker includes a housing, a loading device provided on a front surface of the housing, a wafer cassette shelf arranged in the housing, a wafer transfer robot configured to move the wafers from a transfer container mounted on the loading device to a wafer cassette in the wafer cassette shelf, a wafer cassette delivery device configured to move the wafer cassette in the wafer cassette shelf to a stage having a different height, and a fan filter unit configured to generate a laminar flow in a wafer transfer space and in a wafer cassette transfer space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2023
    Assignee: Sinfonia Technology Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yasushi Taniyama, Toshihiro Kawai
  • Patent number: 11597607
    Abstract: An automated material handling system includes: at least one state detecting sensor disposed inside or outside the carrier to detect an internal state of the carrier including a degree of pollution in the carrier; a carrier interface to transmit a carrier state value; a carrier controller including a controller interface disposed on the plate to obtain a carrier state value by communicating with the carrier interface, and a carrier control unit configured to generate carrier management information including the carrier state value obtained through the controller interface and current location information of the carrier and output the carrier management information to a server; and a server configured to analyze an internal pollution state of the carrier based on the carrier management information provided by the carrier controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2023
    Assignee: CANTOPS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Hak Seo Oh, Sang Kyo Ahn, Jin Hwan Ko, Sang Gyu Han, Sung Ik Kim, Sung Hyuk Youn, Jung Kil Park, Kyung Min Lee, Se Hun Lee, Won Ho Kang, Eun Duk Kim
  • Patent number: 11590654
    Abstract: A conveyance robot system according to the present disclosure includes an intrusion detection sensor that detects an intrusion of an object into the arm opening, and a distance sensor that measures a clearance distance indicating a distance between an arm entry/exit surface and a shelf, the arm entry/exit surface being a surface of the conveyance robot in which the arm opening is provided from among surfaces of the conveyance robot 1 constituting the safety cover, and the object being stored in the shelf. The distance sensor is disposed at a fixed height of the shelf in a horizontal direction and at a height of the shelf corresponding to a part to be measured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2023
    Assignee: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Fuminori Saito, Atsunori Kobayashi, Akihiro Kimura, Hidenori Yabushita, Fukashi Andoh, Yoshihiro Okumatsu, Takeshi Nishida, Akihito Goto, Reoto Uetake
  • Patent number: 11548373
    Abstract: A chassis and skin of a delivery Autonomous Ground Vehicle include discrete upper and lower thermal management systems. The lower thermal management system is indirect, as is moves air through a closed duct that is in contact with high-heat dissipating components via heat sinks. The upper thermal management system is direct, as it moves air into the interior cavity of the AGV to cool sensors and other electronic equipment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2023
    Assignee: AMAZON TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventors: Nicolas Kurczewski, Ennio Claretti, Nicolas Hostein, Brett Skaloud, Andrew Stubbs, Kyle Washabaugh
  • Patent number: 11488853
    Abstract: A sheet affixing apparatus has a frame stocker for housing a plurality of annular frames stacked therein. The frame stocker includes a support stage for supporting the stack of annular frames placed thereon, a plurality of abutting members for positioning the annular frames in a predetermined position on the support stage, the abutting members being erected around the support stage, an openable and closable door for separating an area that houses the support stage and the abutting members therein, the openable and closable door being disposed laterally of the support stage, a sensor for detecting when the openable and closable door is closed, an entry member movable into and out of the recesses of the annular frames placed on the support stage, in ganged relation to opening and closing movement of the openable and closable door, and a control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2022
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2022
    Assignee: DISCO CORPORATION
    Inventor: Yoshinori Kakinuma
  • Patent number: 11469123
    Abstract: A method for detecting positions of replacement parts, wafers, or empty carriers for a replacement part stored at a replacement parts storage container is provided. A container is received at a at a load port of a factory interface of an electronics processing system. The container is configured to store replacement parts for a process chamber of the electronics processing system. A robot arm is moved according to a first mapping pattern to identify, using a detection system at a distal end of an end effector of the robot arm, positions of one or more replacement parts in the container. Regions of the container that do not contain replacement parts are determined. The robot arm is moved according to a second mapping pattern to identify, within the regions of the container that do not contain replacement parts, using the detection system, a position in the container of at least one of a wafer or an empty carrier for a replacement part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2022
    Assignee: APPLIED MATERIALS, INC.
    Inventors: Nicholas Michael Bergantz, Jeffrey Hudgens, Doug McAllister, Helder Lee
  • Patent number: 11443968
    Abstract: A substrate treating apparatus and a substrate transporting method. A platform is placed on a first ID block, and a platform is placed on a second ID block. A currently-used carrier platform is provided only on the first ID block. A substrate is transported in both a forward path and a return path between the first ID block and an IF block. The substrate is sent in the return path from the IF block to the second ID block disposed between a coating block and a developing block without being transported from the IF block to the first ID block. Consequently, transportation process in the return path by the coating block disposed between the first ID block and the second ID block is reduced. As a result, an entire throughput of a substrate treating apparatus can be enhanced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2022
    Inventor: Joji Kuwahara
  • Patent number: 11430678
    Abstract: An improved particle beam inspection apparatus, and more particularly, a particle beam inspection apparatus including an improved load lock unit is disclosed. An improved load lock system may comprise a plurality of supporting structures configured to support a wafer and a conditioning plate including a heat transfer element configured to adjust a temperature of the wafer. The load lock system may further comprise a gas vent configured to provide a gas between the conditioning plate and the wafer and a controller configured to assist with the control of the heat transfer element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2022
    Assignee: ASML Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Jeroen Gerard Gosen, Te-Yu Chen, Dennis Herman Caspar Van Banning, Edwin Cornelis Kadijk, Martijn Petrus Christianus Van Heumen, Erheng Wang, Johannes Andreas Henricus Maria Jacobs
  • Patent number: 10900142
    Abstract: An apparatus includes a deposition chamber housing that accommodates a growth substrate, a supply nozzle to supply a deposition gas for forming a target large-size substrate on the growth substrate into the deposition chamber housing, a susceptor to support the growth substrate and expose a rear surface of the growth substrate to an etch gas, and an inner liner connected to the susceptor. The inner liner is to isolate the etch gas from the deposition gas and guide the etch gas toward the rear surface of the growth substrate. The susceptor includes a center hole that exposes the rear surface of the growth substrate and a support protrusion supporting the growth substrate, the support protrusion protruding toward the center of the center hole from an inner sidewall of the susceptor defining the center hole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2021
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Sam-mook Kang, Jun-youn Kim, Young-jo Tak, Mi-hyun Kim, Young-soo Park
  • Patent number: 10037907
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a frame unit transfer system for transferring a frame unit formed by supporting a workpiece through an adhesive tape to an annular frame, the frame unit being stored in a tray during transfer. The tray includes a bottom portion having a mounting surface for mounting the frame unit thereon during transfer, a side wall standing from the outer edge of the bottom portion, an inlet/outlet opening formed through the side wall so as to allow the pass of the frame unit, an abutting member provided on the bottom portion at the inlet/outlet opening for preventing the frame unit mounted on the mounting surface of the bottom portion from undesirably projecting from the inlet/outlet opening during transfer, and a plurality of openings formed at predetermined target positions in the bottom portion in relation to the frame unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2018
    Assignee: DISCO CORPORATION
    Inventor: Kazuma Sekiya
  • Patent number: 10014199
    Abstract: There is provided a wafer boat support table that supports a wafer boat having a plurality of posts from below, the plurality of posts being configured to arrange and support a plurality of wafers at intervals in a vertical direction, the wafer boat support table including: a plurality of support points installed on each of linear lines defined by connecting a center of the wafer boat and the plurality of posts and configured to support a bottom surface of the wafer boat while being brought into contact with the bottom surface of the wafer boat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2018
    Assignee: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED
    Inventors: Tomoyuki Nagata, Tomoya Hasegawa
  • Patent number: 9938621
    Abstract: Methods are provided for treating wafers using a wafer carrier rotated about an axis. The wafer carrier is provided with a ring which surrounds the wafer carrier during operation. Treatment gasses directed onto a top surface of the carrier flow outwardly away from the axis over the carrier and over the ring, and pass downstream outside of the ring. The outwardly flowing gasses form a boundary over the carrier and ring. The ring helps to maintain a boundary layer of substantially uniform thickness over the carrier, which promotes uniform treatment of the wafers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2018
    Assignee: Veeco Instruments Inc.
    Inventors: Bojan Mitrovic, Guanghua Wei, Eric A. Armour, Ajit Paranjpe
  • Patent number: 9709335
    Abstract: A dispatch control method for a furnace process including the following steps is provided. Before a plurality of lots of wafers is loaded into a furnace, the characteristic variation value of each of the plurality of lots of wafers is calculated. The plurality of lots of wafers is ordered according to the size of the characteristic variation values. The plurality of lots of wafers is placed in the furnace in a descending order of the characteristic variation values corresponding to a plurality of locations in the furnace causing the characteristic variation values to change from smaller to larger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2017
    Assignee: Powerchip Technology Corporation
    Inventors: Jyun-Da Wu, Shih-Tsung Hsiao, Chien-Chung Chen
  • Patent number: 9558978
    Abstract: An apparatus includes a dedicated material handling module having a dedicated automated material handling system (AMHS) defines a transport route between a first tool and a second tool selected from a plurality of tools in a fabrication facility. The dedicated AMHS is configured to transport wafer carriers between the first tool and the second tool or vice versa independent of a fabrication facility AMHS that is configured to transport wafer carriers among the plurality of tools.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2017
    Assignee: KLA-TENCOR CORPORATION
    Inventors: Amir Widmann, Michael Adel, Pati Sekula
  • Patent number: 9218994
    Abstract: By providing a space-efficient transfer buffer system in a manufacturing environment, which may act as a local interface between an automated transport system and the load port assembly of a process tool under consideration, the I/O capability of the process tool may be significantly enhanced, while not unduly contributing to the overall width of the process tools. In particular embodiments, an array-like arrangement of respective buffer places is used, wherein each buffer place is accessible by the transport system and may also interact with each of the load ports of the process tool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 22, 2015
    Assignee: GLOBALFOUNDRIES Inc.
    Inventors: Olaf Zimmerhackl, Alfred Honold
  • Patent number: 9033638
    Abstract: A storage system for items such as substrate carriers includes at least one stocker including a plurality of storage areas each adapted to store at least one storage device. At least one movable support is arranged on the at least one stocker. A control controls movement of the at least one movable support at least between a first position wherein the at least one movable support receives the at least one storage device outside one of the storage areas and a second position wherein the at least one movable support is arranged substantially within the one of the storage areas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2015
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Jeffrey P Gifford, David J. Pinckney, Peter J. Shaffer, Uldis A. Ziemins
  • Patent number: 9027735
    Abstract: A transport device includes a traveling holding member which can travel while holding a storage container, and a move out prevention mechanism which prevents substrates from moving out of an opening of the storage container. The move out prevention mechanism is configured to include a contacting member which can be moved between a contact position at which the contacting member is in contact with side faces of the substrates, and a spaced apart position at which the contacting member is spaced apart from the side faces of the substrates. The contact position is set such that the contacting member is located between an opening side end portion and a central portion of the substrates in a direction along which the substrates are inserted and removed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Masayuki Nakagawa
  • Patent number: 9011068
    Abstract: Articles are stored while preventing disruption of the flow of clean air from an upper region to a lower region to alleviate degradation of clean air with an article supported by an article support. The article support (28) is provided with a movable body (30) which is supported to a fixed frame (29) to be movable in a far-near direction with respect to a travel path and which is formed to extend downwardly from the fixed frame (29), and a support member (31) formed to extend in the far-near direction from a lower end portion of the movable body (30).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshitaka Inui, Mitsuru Yoshida
  • Patent number: 8992746
    Abstract: An apparatus for anodizing substrates immersed in an electrolyte solution. A substrate holder mounted in a storage tank includes a first support unit having first support elements for supporting, in a liquid-tight condition, only lower circumferential portions of the substrates, and a second support unit attachable to and detachable from the first support unit and having second support elements for supporting, in a liquid-tight condition, remaining circumferential portions of the substrates. A drive mechanism separates the first support unit and the second support unit when loading and unloading the substrates, and for connecting the first support unit and the second support unit after the substrates are placed in the substrate holder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignees: Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co., Ltd., Solexel, Inc.
    Inventors: Yasuyoshi Miyaji, Noriyuki Hayashi, Takamitsu Inahara, Takao Yonehara, Karl-Josef Kramer, Subramanian Tamilmani
  • Patent number: 8992154
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a storage system for glass substrate and also a method for storing a glass substrate. The storage system includes a rail system, a plurality of stockers, and a trolley. The rail system is configured with first and second interconnected loops of monorails. And a plurality of stockers is arranged adjacent to the rail system. A trolley is moveably arranged to travel along the first and second monorails of the rail system for transporting glass substrates between the stockers. Accordingly, the yield of the liquid crystal display panel can be increased, while the maintenance costs of the overhead shuttle can be lowered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Shenzhen China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Zenghong Chen, Chunhao Wu, Kunhsien Lin, Xiande Li, Yongqiang Wang, Weibing Yang, Minghu Qi, Zhenhua Guo, Yunshao Jiang
  • Patent number: 8992153
    Abstract: Introduction of substrates into vacuum environment is accomplish by gradually reducing the number of substrates being transferred simultaneously as the clean and evacuated environment is progressed. Cassettes are maintained in clean atmospheric environment and do not enter the vacuum environment. Several vacuum locks are linearly staggered so as to introduce progressively higher level of vacuum environment. The number of substrates transported through this arrangement is a portion of the number of substrates present in each cassette. The staggered vacuum locks lead to a series of processing chambers, wherein a yet smaller number of substrates, e.g., one or two, are transported.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Intevac, Inc.
    Inventors: Stuart Scollay, Terry Bluck, Xiang Chen
  • Patent number: 8985937
    Abstract: A stocker apparatus and method have openers for receiving FOUPs acting as containers each for storing a plurality of substrates, to feed and collect the substrates to/from a substrate treating apparatus main body, a transport mechanism for holding and transporting the FOUPs, and racks arranged above the openers for receiving the FOUPs. The racks include an incoming rack for receiving the FOUPs from an external transport device, an outgoing rack for delivering the FOUPs to the external transport device, and a mid-treatment storage rack for keeping an empty FOUP after the substrates are fed therefrom. The openers include a feed-only opener for feeding the substrates, and a collect-only opener for collecting the substrates.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: SCREEN Semiconductor Solutions Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshiteru Fukutomi, Hideyuki Iwata
  • Patent number: 8979469
    Abstract: A heat treatment apparatus includes a vessel loading unit on which a substrate vessel configured to accommodate a plurality of substrates at a first interval is loaded, a substrate holder configured to hold the plurality of substrates at a second interval which is smaller than the first interval, a substrate transfer unit capable of supporting the substrates and configured to transfer the plurality of substrates between the substrate holder and the substrate vessel and includes at least two substrate supporting parts stacked with the first interval therebetween and configured to be simultaneously advanced and retreated relative to the substrate vessel and individually advanced and retreated relative to the substrate holder, and a control unit configured to control an upper one of the at least two substrate supporting parts to be in an inoperative state when a lower one is supporting the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Kiichi Takahashi, Terumi Kamada, Ittetsu Oikawa
  • Patent number: 8974167
    Abstract: The front automatic storage system includes a plurality of shelves, a transferring apparatus, and a moveable frame. The shelves are arranged facing a semiconductor processing apparatus and at least one of the shelves is positioned above a transfer port of the semiconductor processing apparatus. The transferring apparatus is contrived to move among the shelves and transfer cassettes C between any shelf and the transfer port. The frame is contrived such that it can move the transferring apparatus and the at least one shelf positioned above the transfer port. The frame is also contrived such that it can move in a first horizontal direction toward and away from a first position where the at least one shelf is arranged above the transfer section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventor: Yasuhisa Ito
  • Patent number: 8915368
    Abstract: A liquid crystal display (LCD) glass substrate storage tray includes a frame. Each surface of the frame is configured with a plate, the frame and the plates enclose to form a closed box, and the plate on surface of the frame where an opening for the LCD glass substrate to be selected and placed is located forms a box door that is installable or removable from the frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Inventor: Rui Fang
  • Patent number: 8915690
    Abstract: A transport system includes a first track that passes above loading ports of the processing devices, and an overhead travelling vehicle that travels along the first track and includes a hoist. A second track is below the first track, passes above the loading ports, and is disposed in parallel or substantially in parallel with the first track. A buffer is provided below the second track at a position higher than the loading ports, and is arranged such that the articles can pass in a vertical direction over the loading ports. The buffer is disposed such that the articles can pass through the height position of the buffer in a vertical direction over the loading ports. A local vehicle travels along the second track and includes a hoist to perform delivery and receipt of the articles between the buffer and the loading ports.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventor: Tatsuji Ota
  • Patent number: 8894344
    Abstract: A wafer buffering system is provided herein. In some embodiments, a wafer buffering system may include a frame having a vertical shaft disposed therethrough; two storage platforms, coupled to the frame on either side thereof, each to receive a wafer carrier thereon; and a transfer mechanism coupled to the vertical shaft and capable of vertical movement therealong and lateral movement along an x-axis extending in either direction from the frame at least sufficient to move over the two storage platforms. The transfer mechanism may further include a telescoping fork arm capable of laterally extending in a first direction and in a second direction corresponding to lateral positions of the two storage platforms on either side of the frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Nir Merry, Jacob Newman
  • Patent number: 8882433
    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: November 11, 2014
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Anthony C. Bonora, Richard H. Gould, Michael Krolak
  • Patent number: 8851819
    Abstract: A substrate processing apparatus, which utilizes a first transfer apparatus and a second transfer apparatus which are configured to transfer a transfer container containing a plurality of substrates, along a first transfer path and a second transfer path whose lateral positions differ from each other, respectively, including a first load port where the transfer container is loaded and unloaded by the first transfer apparatus, and a second load port that is arranged stepwise with respect to the first load port, with the transfer container being loaded to and unloaded from the second load port by the second transfer apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Yuji Kamikawa, Takafumi Tsuchiya, Koji Egashira
  • 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
  • Patent number: 8827621
    Abstract: In a substrate processing apparatus, a storage device, an indexer block, a processing block and an interface block are arranged to line up in this order. The storage device includes a plurality of openers on which a carrier storing a plurality of substrates can be placed. The carrier is carried in the storage device. In the storage device, the carrier is transported among the plurality of openers by a transport device. The transport device includes first and second hands configured to be able to hold the carrier and move in a horizontal direction and a vertical direction. The second hand is provided below the first hand.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Sokudo Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yukihiko Inagaki, Kensaku Onishi, Jun Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 8827618
    Abstract: A semiconductor workpiece processing system including at least one substrate processing tool that has a common housing with a first side having a first substrate holding container interface and a second side having a second substrate holding container interface having a different orientation than the first substrate holding container interface, a first transport section disposed corresponding to the first side of the tool, a second transport section being separate and distinct from the first transport section and interfacing with the first transport section and being configured to transport the substrate holding container between the first transport section and the tool and between the first side and the second side of the tool, the second transport section including at least one overhead gantry disposed above the tool, where the second transfer section is capable of interfacing with at least the second substrate holding container interface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel Babbs, Robert C. May
  • Patent number: 8821099
    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: July 11, 2005
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel A. Hall, Glenn L. Sindledecker, Matthew W. Coady, Marcello Trolio, Michael Spinazola
  • Patent number: 8777540
    Abstract: An apparatus for storing contamination-sensitive flat articles, in particular for storing semiconductor wafers, comprises a plurality of box-like compartments stationary arranged on a fixed mounting rack. The compartments are open on a front side and are arranged in rows and columns side by side and one above the other on the fixed mounting rack. The compartments each have a plurality of slotted holders for receiving the flat articles, and they surround a first handling unit configured for automatically inserting and removing the flat articles into and out of the slotted holders. A closed housing forms a clean room where both the plurality of compartments and the first handling unit are arranged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Dynamic Microsystems Semiconductor Equipment GmbH
    Inventors: Lutz Rebstock, Michael Meichsner
  • Patent number: 8776841
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method, system, and components for protecting reticles and specifically for minimizing haze formation on reticles during storage and use. By substantially continually maintaining a purge in a storage housing having a reduced humidity level on reticles or by temporarily storing the reticle in a container in proximity to a desiccant or getter when not being purged, haze formation can be eliminated, minimized, or sufficiently controlled. Moreover, a filter media in the container may be positioned to be “recharged” during the substantially continual purging of the reticle, a reduced desirable humidity level can be readily maintained in the reticle container when the container is not currently being purged. Additionally, the system of the invention can comprise an ionizer associated with the purge system. For example, the ionizer can be associated with at least one of the plurality of purge lines of the purge system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2014
    Assignee: Entegris, Inc.
    Inventors: Oleg P. Kishkovich, Xavier Gabarre, William M. Goodwin, James Lo, Troy Scoggins
  • Patent number: 8764370
    Abstract: Scalable storage can be achieved with linear array storage of wafers, comprising two linear arrays of storage compartments on opposite walls, with a middle transfer mechanism. Together with a buffer station for automatic material handling system, a scalable bare wafer stocker can provide flexible and uninterrupted services to a fabrication facility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Assignee: Dynamic Micro Systems, Semiconductor Equipment GmbH
    Inventor: Lutz Rebstock
  • Patent number: 8761923
    Abstract: A system for managing the entry of a wafer carrier into a stocker in a semiconductor manufacturing operation is disclosed. The system comprises a stocker that accepts wafer carriers via one or more input ports. The present invention provides a means for detecting the presence of a wafer carrier at the input port, means for identifying the type of the wafer carrier, and means for executing an action sequence if the stocker is not compatible with those wafer carriers. Upon detecting an erroneous condition, an action sequence is executed which may include prevention entry of the wafer carrier, and notifying an operator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2014
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Clayton D. Menser, Jr., Louise C. Courtois
  • Patent number: 8753061
    Abstract: A transport system having multilayer tracks is presented. The system has a bottom track and at least one top track disposed above on the bottom track. Shuttle carriages are moving along the top and bottom tracks. The shuttle body of each shuttle carriage has a first locking portion on the top end thereof, and has a second locking portion on the bottom end thereof. The second locking portion of the shuttle carriage on the top track can be locked with the first locking portion of the shuttle carriage on the bottom track. Therefore, the two transports on different tracks are locked so that the object can be transported between the top and bottom tracks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2014
    Assignee: Inotera Memories, Inc.
    Inventors: Chao-Hsiang Tseng, Huei-Lan Kuo
  • Patent number: 8731701
    Abstract: After a cassette is mounted on a cassette mounting part, a control unit instructs a substrate treatment apparatus to start treatment on substrates in the cassette. Thereafter, the control unit indicates, to the substrate treatment apparatus, a cassette on the cassette mounting part to which a substrate is transferred at completion of the treatment. If the transfer destination cassette for the substrate at the completion of treatment has not been indicated when a number of remaining treatment steps for the substrate reaches a predetermined set number, an alarm is given from the substrate treatment apparatus. This alarm is sent from the substrate treatment apparatus to the control unit, and the control unit indicates a transfer destination cassette for the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Wataru Tsukinoki, Yuichi Yamamoto