Quantcast

Method and apparatus for processing substrates in a system having high and low pressure areas

Imported: 24 Feb '17 | Published: 06 Jan '04

Hougong Wang, Zheng Xu, Kenny King-Tai Ngan

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

A positive pressure gradient is maintained across an open access port of an interface chamber such as a load lock chamber which provides an interface between a low pressure chamber such as a transfer or buffer chamber, and a high pressure area such as a staging area or factory interface area. When the access port of the interface chamber is open to the high-pressure area, the positive pressure gradient may be used in some applications to inhibit the flow of gasses from the high-pressure area into the interior of the interface chamber.

Description

DRAWINGS

Embodiments of the invention are now described with reference to the appended drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a top schematic view of a first embodiment of a vacuum system in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side schematic view of the loadlock chamber of FIG.

1.

FIG. 3 is a top schematic view of the cooling plate and gas injector of FIG.

2.

FIGS. 4

a-

4

d depict a flow chart representing an example of a method of operating the system of FIG.

1.

FIGS. 5

a-

5

h are side schematic views of the loadlock chamber of FIG. 1 depicting corresponding steps of the process of FIG.

4.

Claims

1. A method of processing a semiconductor substrate in a heating chamber having a valve through which a substrate may be selectively loaded into and unloaded from said heating chamber, comprising:

2. The method of claim 1 wherein said purge gas admitting is controlled to be in a range of 20-4000 sccm.

3. The method of claim 2 wherein said purge gas admitting is controlled to be in a range of 100-2000 sccm.

4. The method of claim 1 wherein said purge gas is selected from the group consisting of argon, helium and nitrogen.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein said heating is initiated when said interior pressure is in a range of 10-760 Torr.

6. The method of claim 1 further comprising opening a second chamber valve and unloading said unprocessed substrate through said opened second valve after said unprocessed substrate is heated.

7. The method of claim 6 further comprising loading a processed substrate through said opened second valve and closing said second valve and repeating said pressurizing.

8. A method of processing a semiconductor substrate, comprising:

9. A system for processing a semiconductor substrate, comprising:

10. A load lock system for transferring a semiconductor substrate from ambient pressure to a vacuum pressure, said system for use with a purge gas source and a pump, comprising:

11. The load lock system of claim 10 wherein controller controls said inlet to admit said purge gas in a range of 20-4000 sccm.

12. The load lock system of claim 11 wherein controller controls said inlet to admit said purge gas in a range of 100-2000 sccm.

13. The load lock system of claim 10 wherein said purge gas is selected from the group consisting of argon, helium and nitrogen.

14. A system for processing a semiconductor substrate, comprising:

15. The system of claim 14 wherein said controller initiates said heating when said interior pressure is in a range of 10-760 Torr.

16. The system of claim 14 wherein said load lock chamber has a second slit valve through which a substrate may selectively loaded into and unloaded from said load lock chamber; said system further comprising a transfer chamber; and a second robot adapted to load and unload substrates through said second slit valve between said load lock chamber and said transfer, said controller being further adapted to open said second valve and unload said unprocessed substrate through said opened second valve after said unprocessed substrate is heated.

17. A system for processing a semiconductor substrate, comprising:

18. The system of claim 17 wherein said controller means initiates said heating when said interior pressure is in a range of 10-760 Torr.

19. The system of claim 17 wherein said load lock chamber has a second slit valve through which a substrate may selectively loaded into and unloaded from said load lock chamber; said system further comprising a transfer chamber; and a second robot adapted to load and unload substrates through said second slit valve between said load lock chamber and said transfer, said controller means further for controlling said second slit valve and said second robot to open said second valve and unload said unprocessed substrate through said opened second valve after said unprocessed substrate is heated.

20. The system of claim 17 wherein controller means controls said inlet to admit said purge gas in a range of 100-2000 sccm.