Wafer Cassette Transporting Patents (Class 414/940)
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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
  • Patent number: 8702365
    Abstract: A substrate processing apparatus includes a main load unit, a buffer load unit, and a transfer unit. Containers each accommodating substrates are placed on the main load unit and the buffer load unit. The buffer load unit is disposed above the main load unit and movable into and outward from a process module. Therefore, more containers can be placed in the substrate processing apparatus without increasing the footprint of the substrate processing apparatus, and thus it is possible to reduce equipment idle time during which standby substrates wait before being processed, thereby improving productivity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: Semes Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Sun Yong Park, Choon Sik Kim, Jeong Yong Bae
  • Patent number: 8702370
    Abstract: A substrate transfer method for transferring target substrates proceeds in a substrate processing system for performing processes including a photolithography sequence on the target substrates. The system includes a first automated substrate transfer line configured to transfer the target substrates among a plurality of process sections for respectively performing processes on the target substrates, and a second automated substrate transfer line of a cyclical type dedicated to a plurality of process apparatuses of a photolithography process section, which are configured to perform a series of processes in the photolithography sequence, the second automated substrate transfer line being located relative to the first automated substrate transfer line so as for the target substrates to be transferred therebetween.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Yuichi Yamamoto, Tadayuki Yamaguchi, Yasuhito Saiga, Yoshiaki Yamada
  • Patent number: 8690509
    Abstract: An article storage facility includes a storage rack that includes a plurality of storage units that store articles; a first article transport that includes a first vertically movable body guided by a first vertical guide and a first transit body configured to move along a path defined along the storage rack, the first vertical guide being provided in the first article transport so as to be positioned on one side of a lateral direction of the path; and a second article transport that includes a second vertically movable body guided by a second vertical guide and a second transit body configured to move along the path, the second vertical guide being provided in the second article transport so as to be positioned on the other lateral side of the path. The first transit body and the second transit body are configured so as to be able to pass each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2014
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazushi Tsujimoto, Yuichi Ueda, Takashi Fujita
  • Patent number: 8678734
    Abstract: A substrate processing apparatus is provided. The apparatus has a casing, a low port interface and a carrier holding station. The casing has processing devices within for processing substrates. The load port interface is connected to the casing for loading substrates into the processing device. The carrier holding station is connected to the casing. The carrier holding station is adapted for holding at least one substrate transport carrier so the at least one substrate transport carrier is capable of being coupled to the load port interface without lifting the at least one substrate transport carrier off the carrier holding station. The carrier holding station is arranged to provide a substantially simultaneous swap section for substantially simultaneous replacement of the substrate transport carrier from the carrier holding station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerald M. Friedman, Michael L. Bufano, Christopher Hofmeister, Ulysses Gilchrist, William Fosnight
  • Patent number: 8663489
    Abstract: A method for replacing plural substrates to be processed by a substrate processing apparatus which includes a substrate processing chamber, a load lock chamber, and a conveying apparatus including first and second conveying members for conveying the plural substrates into and out from the substrate processing chamber and the load lock chamber. The method includes the steps of a) conveying a first substrate out from the substrate processing chamber with the first conveying member, b) conveying a second substrate into the substrate processing chamber with the second conveying member, c) conveying the second substrate out from the load lock chamber with the second conveying member, and d) conveying the first substrate into the load lock chamber with the first conveying member. The steps c) and d) are performed between step a) and step b).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Shigeru Ishizawa, Hiroshi Koizumi, Tatsuya Ogi
  • Patent number: 8651790
    Abstract: A system and method for the safe storage of items wherein a storage structure is provided having a first section in which storage units are stored in vertically oriented cells with each storage unit being stacked one upon another and wherein at least one transfer vehicle is provided for selectively engaging and conveying the storage units along an overhead grid track system between the first section and a second section wherein the at least one transfer vehicle may be used to either lift or lower a storage unit and move the storage unit to and from a storage position in one of the vertical storage cells of the first section of the storage structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Inventors: Charles E. Benedict, Brian G. Pfeifer, Christian A. Yates, Scott K. Bladen, Richard E. Lackinger, James R. Dobbs
  • Patent number: 8622682
    Abstract: A storage (10) unloads and loads a load (3) with a transporting carriage (2). The storage is provided with a port capable of transferring said load from or to said transporting carriage; a plurality of rack portions (15) capable of accommodating or putting said load thereon; a driving device (19) capable of moving said load between said port and said plurality of rack portions, and mutually between said plurality of rack portions; and a controlling device (20) for controlling said driving device to (i) firstly move said load to an temporary rack portion for unloading, which is one of said plurality of rack portions, and (ii), after once accommodating or putting said load on said temporary rack portion, move said load to said port from said temporary rack portion, in case of moving said load from said plurality of rack portions to said port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventors: Masanao Murata, Takashi Yamaji
  • Patent number: 8591163
    Abstract: To ensure that an abnormality in a closed state of a FOUP door serving as a lid of a FOUP can be detected quickly and reliably, a FOUP opener includes a port door attached detachably to an opening window in a port plate for separating the interior and exterior of a semiconductor processing device, and a dock unit for positioning the FOUP in a FOUP door attachment/detachment position. A suction disc mechanism and a lock mechanism for fixing the FOUP door to a FOUP main body and releasing the FOUP door are disposed on the port door. A FOUP door detection sensor for determining whether or not the FOUP door fixed to the FOUP main body, which is positioned in the FOUP door attachment/detachment position on the dock unit, is attached correctly to an opening portion of the FOUP main body is disposed on the port plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: Hirata Corporation
    Inventors: Noriyoshi Toyoda, Hirofumi Nakamura
  • Patent number: 8554358
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device for storing platelike substrates, particularly wafers or test wafers, like those, in particular, used for manufacturing electronic components. The aim of the invention is to make a reliable access to the substrates possible even when storage elements, which can be separated from one another, of the device are affected by manufacturing mistakes. For such a device that, for each substrate, has a number of storage elements, which follow one another in a direction of stacking and which can move relative to one another, in which the storage elements have a stacking area, which is provided for placing the respective storage element inside a stack of storage elements, compensating means are therefore provided in order to compensate for stacking errors in the direction of stacking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: TEC-SEM AG
    Inventors: Christian Balg, Doris Jäger
  • Patent number: 8486222
    Abstract: A substrate processing apparatus includes a processing chamber configured to process a substrate, a substrate support member provided within the processing chamber to support the substrate, a microwave generator provided outside the processing chamber, a waveguide launch port configured to supply a microwave generated by the microwave generator into the processing chamber, wherein the central position of the waveguide launch port is deviated from the central position of the substrate supported on the substrate support member and the waveguide launch port faces a portion of a front surface of the substrate supported on the substrate support member, and a control unit configured to change a relative position of the substrate support member in a horizontal direction with respect to the waveguide launch port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2013
    Assignee: Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc.
    Inventors: Tokunobu Akao, Unryu Ogawa, Masahisa Okuno, Shinji Yashima, Atsushi Umekawa, Kaichiro Minami
  • Patent number: 8469650
    Abstract: A wafer transfer system, and method of controlling pressure in the system, includes a loadport for receiving a wafer container, a housing operably connected to the loadport, a wafer transfer mechanism for transferring a wafer between the wafer container and the housing, a wafer container sensor for detecting a presence of the wafer container on the loadport, a variable speed fan disposed in a first portion of the housing, a variable exhaust unit disposed in a second portion of the housing facing the first portion, the variable exhaust unit being capable of varying an exhaust rate of air from the housing, and a controller for variably operating the variable speed fan and the variable exhaust unit in response to a signal from the wafer container sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2013
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Soo-woong Lee, Hyung-seok Choi, Jung-sung Hwang, Sung-hwan Choi
  • Patent number: 8454293
    Abstract: A substrate processing apparatus having a station for loading and unloading substrates from the apparatus, includes an aperture closure for sealing a loading and unloading aperture of the station, a fluidic magazine door drive for removing a door of a substrate magazine and thus opening the substrate magazine and for operating the aperture closure to open the aperture, and sensor for mapping vertical locations of substrates mounted to the magazine door of the drive. The fluidic magazine door drive may include an encoder different from the sensor, the encoder being configured for determining the vertical location of the sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Assignee: Brooks Automation, Inc.
    Inventors: Ulysses Gilchrist, David R. Beaulieu, Peter F. Van der Meulen
  • Patent number: 8408158
    Abstract: A coating/developing device includes a processing block having a plurality of coating unit blocks stacked and a developing unit block stacked on the coating unit blocks. Each of the unit blocks is provided with a liquid processing unit for coating a liquid chemical on a substrate, a heating unit for heating the substrate, a cooling unit for cooling the substrate and a transfer unit for transferring the substrate between the units. The liquid processing unit is provided with a coating unit for coating a resist liquid on the substrate, a first bottom antireflection coating (BARC) forming unit for coating a liquid chemical for a BARC on the substrate before the resist liquid is coated thereon, and a second BARC forming unit for coating a liquid chemical for the BARC on the substrate after the resist liquid is coated thereon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2013
    Assignee: Tokyo Electron Limited
    Inventors: Masami Akimoto, Shinichi Hayashi, Yasushi Hayashida, Nobuaki Matsuoka, Yoshio Kimura, Issei Ueda, Hikaru Ito
  • Patent number: 8388296
    Abstract: An inner wall surrounding an inner space for vertically circulating a rack, and an outer wall surrounding the inner wall are provided. Then, a rack is disposed in the inner space. A pair of extensions are provided at diagonal positions of the rack. The extensions are attached to an endless drive member in a manner that the extensions protrude toward an outer space between the inner wall and the outer wall through slits of the inner wall, and, a drive mechanism for a drive member is provided in the outer space. Further, a tunnel passing through the outer space to connect the inner space and an area outside of the vertical carousel is provided for transportation of an article into, and out of the tunnel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: Murata Machinery, Ltd.
    Inventors: Toru Suzuki, Takanori Izumi
  • Patent number: 8356968
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided. The invention includes performing a handshake directly between a load port associated with process equipment and material handling equipment; and transferring a carrier between the material handling equipment and the load port based on the handshake. Numerous other aspects are provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2013
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Vinay K. Shah, Sushant S. Koshti
  • Patent number: 8348583
    Abstract: A loader is provided, which is disposed in a low cleanliness room along a border between the low cleanliness room and a high cleanliness room, for transporting a dust free article between an inside of a container receiving the dust free article and the high cleanliness room, comprising a movable stage for mounting the container; an opening portion through which the dust free article is transported between the container and the high cleanliness room; a door for opening and closing the opening portion; a unifying means for unifying a cover of the container and the door when the container approaches the door; and a driving apparatus for moving the cover and the door unified within the loader to open and close the opening portion and the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Assignee: Rorze Corporation
    Inventors: Toshiaki Fujii, Osamu Horita, Koji Ohyama, Toshiya Nakayama, Fumio Sakiya, Mineo Kinpara
  • Patent number: 8348584
    Abstract: An OHT conveyer vehicle places a FOUP on first and second on platforms. A third platform can move to a position overlapping with the first and second platform by a moving device, and then to a position at which an upper surface of the third platform is above upper surfaces of the first and second platforms by an elevation device. Therefore, the FOUP is placed on the third platform. Subsequently, the third platform can move to a position overlapping with fourth and fifth platforms by the moving device, and then to a position at which the third platform is lower than the fourth and fifth platforms by the elevation device. Therefore, the FOUP is placed on the fourth and fifth platforms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Assignee: Sinfonia Technology Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takumi Mizokawa, Mitsutoshi Ochiai
  • Patent number: 8348588
    Abstract: An article transport facility includes an article transporting mobile body configured to move along a path and having an article holder; an article support for storing an article, the article support is configured to be moved between an article transfer position and an article storage position; a lock device provided on the article support to be switchable between a locking state for locking the article support in the article storage position, and an unlocking position for releasing the locking state; and an operating device provided on the mobile body for moving the article support and switching the lock device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 8, 2013
    Assignee: Daifuku Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Mitsuru Yoshida, Yoshitaka Inui
  • Patent number: 8308418
    Abstract: A high-efficiency buffer stocker is disclosed. The buffer stocker includes an overhead transport track for supporting overhead transport vehicles carrying wafer containers and at least one conveyor system or conveyor belt provided beneath the overhead transport track for receiving the wafer containers from the overhead transport vehicles on the overhead transport track. The buffer stocker is capable of absorbing the excessive flow of wafer containers between a processing tool and a stocker, for example, to facilitate the orderly and efficient flow of wafers between sequential process tools in a semiconductor fabrication facility, for example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2012
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Veen Ma, Chih-Hung Huang, Wen-Chung Chiang, Goldie Hsieh, Fiona Lee