CN110557953A - Device and vacuum system for alignment of a carrier in a vacuum chamber and method for aligning a carrier - Google Patents

Device and vacuum system for alignment of a carrier in a vacuum chamber and method for aligning a carrier Download PDF

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Publication number
CN110557953A
CN110557953A CN201880004216.1A CN201880004216A CN110557953A CN 110557953 A CN110557953 A CN 110557953A CN 201880004216 A CN201880004216 A CN 201880004216A CN 110557953 A CN110557953 A CN 110557953A
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China
Prior art keywords
carrier
alignment
direction
vacuum chamber
configured
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CN201880004216.1A
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Chinese (zh)
Inventor
马蒂亚斯·赫曼尼斯
托马索·维尔切斯
斯蒂芬·班格特
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应用材料公司
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Priority to PCT/EP2018/058469 priority Critical patent/WO2019192678A1/en
Publication of CN110557953A publication Critical patent/CN110557953A/en

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    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C23COATING METALLIC MATERIAL; COATING MATERIAL WITH METALLIC MATERIAL; CHEMICAL SURFACE TREATMENT; DIFFUSION TREATMENT OF METALLIC MATERIAL; COATING BY VACUUM EVAPORATION, BY SPUTTERING, BY ION IMPLANTATION OR BY CHEMICAL VAPOUR DEPOSITION, IN GENERAL; INHIBITING CORROSION OF METALLIC MATERIAL OR INCRUSTATION IN GENERAL
    • C23CCOATING METALLIC MATERIAL; COATING MATERIAL WITH METALLIC MATERIAL; SURFACE TREATMENT OF METALLIC MATERIAL BY DIFFUSION INTO THE SURFACE, BY CHEMICAL CONVERSION OR SUBSTITUTION; COATING BY VACUUM EVAPORATION, BY SPUTTERING, BY ION IMPLANTATION OR BY CHEMICAL VAPOUR DEPOSITION, IN GENERAL
    • C23C14/00Coating by vacuum evaporation, by sputtering or by ion implantation of the coating forming material
    • C23C14/04Coating on selected surface areas, e.g. using masks
    • C23C14/042Coating on selected surface areas, e.g. using masks using masks
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C23COATING METALLIC MATERIAL; COATING MATERIAL WITH METALLIC MATERIAL; CHEMICAL SURFACE TREATMENT; DIFFUSION TREATMENT OF METALLIC MATERIAL; COATING BY VACUUM EVAPORATION, BY SPUTTERING, BY ION IMPLANTATION OR BY CHEMICAL VAPOUR DEPOSITION, IN GENERAL; INHIBITING CORROSION OF METALLIC MATERIAL OR INCRUSTATION IN GENERAL
    • C23CCOATING METALLIC MATERIAL; COATING MATERIAL WITH METALLIC MATERIAL; SURFACE TREATMENT OF METALLIC MATERIAL BY DIFFUSION INTO THE SURFACE, BY CHEMICAL CONVERSION OR SUBSTITUTION; COATING BY VACUUM EVAPORATION, BY SPUTTERING, BY ION IMPLANTATION OR BY CHEMICAL VAPOUR DEPOSITION, IN GENERAL
    • C23C14/00Coating by vacuum evaporation, by sputtering or by ion implantation of the coating forming material
    • C23C14/22Coating by vacuum evaporation, by sputtering or by ion implantation of the coating forming material characterised by the process of coating
    • C23C14/56Apparatus specially adapted for continuous coating; Arrangements for maintaining the vacuum, e.g. vacuum locks
    • C23C14/564Means for minimising impurities in the coating chamber such as dust, moisture, residual gases
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C23COATING METALLIC MATERIAL; COATING MATERIAL WITH METALLIC MATERIAL; CHEMICAL SURFACE TREATMENT; DIFFUSION TREATMENT OF METALLIC MATERIAL; COATING BY VACUUM EVAPORATION, BY SPUTTERING, BY ION IMPLANTATION OR BY CHEMICAL VAPOUR DEPOSITION, IN GENERAL; INHIBITING CORROSION OF METALLIC MATERIAL OR INCRUSTATION IN GENERAL
    • C23CCOATING METALLIC MATERIAL; COATING MATERIAL WITH METALLIC MATERIAL; SURFACE TREATMENT OF METALLIC MATERIAL BY DIFFUSION INTO THE SURFACE, BY CHEMICAL CONVERSION OR SUBSTITUTION; COATING BY VACUUM EVAPORATION, BY SPUTTERING, BY ION IMPLANTATION OR BY CHEMICAL VAPOUR DEPOSITION, IN GENERAL
    • C23C14/00Coating by vacuum evaporation, by sputtering or by ion implantation of the coating forming material
    • C23C14/22Coating by vacuum evaporation, by sputtering or by ion implantation of the coating forming material characterised by the process of coating
    • C23C14/56Apparatus specially adapted for continuous coating; Arrangements for maintaining the vacuum, e.g. vacuum locks
    • C23C14/568Transferring the substrates through a series of coating stations
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L21/00Processes or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or solid state devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/67Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere
    • H01L21/677Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for conveying, e.g. between different workstations
    • H01L21/67703Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for conveying, e.g. between different workstations between different workstations
    • H01L21/67709Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for conveying, e.g. between different workstations between different workstations using magnetic elements
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L21/00Processes or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or solid state devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/67Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere
    • H01L21/677Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for conveying, e.g. between different workstations
    • H01L21/67703Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for conveying, e.g. between different workstations between different workstations
    • H01L21/67712Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for conveying, e.g. between different workstations between different workstations the substrate being handled substantially vertically
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L21/00Processes or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or solid state devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/67Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere
    • H01L21/68Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for positioning, orientation or alignment
    • H01L21/682Mask-wafer alignment

Abstract

An apparatus (100) for aligning a carrier in a vacuum chamber (101) is described. The apparatus comprises: a first carrier transport system (120), the first carrier transport system (120) being configured to transport a first carrier (10) along a first transport path in a first direction (X); and an alignment system (130). The alignment system includes: a first mount (152) for mounting the first carrier (10) to the alignment system (130); an alignment device (151) configured to move the first support (152) in at least one alignment direction; and a first displacement device (141) configured to move the alignment device (151) together with the first support (152) in a second direction (Z) transversal to the first direction (X). Furthermore, a vacuum system and a method for aligning a carrier are described.

Description

Device and vacuum system for alignment of a carrier in a vacuum chamber and method for aligning a carrier

Technical Field

embodiments of the present disclosure relate to an apparatus and a vacuum system for aligning a carrier in a vacuum chamber, and a method of aligning a carrier in a vacuum chamber. More specifically, a method of transporting, positioning and aligning a substrate carrier carrying substrates in a vacuum chamber is described. Embodiments of the present disclosure relate specifically to a vacuum deposition system for depositing material on a substrate carried by a carrier, wherein the substrate is aligned relative to a mask prior to deposition. The methods and apparatus described herein may be used to fabricate Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) devices.

Background

Techniques for layer deposition on a substrate include, for example, thermal evaporation, Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD), and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). Coated substrates can be used in several applications and in several technical fields. For example, the coated substrate may be used in the field of Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) devices. OLEDs may be used to manufacture television screens, computer monitors, mobile phones, other handheld devices, and the like, for example, for displaying information. OLED devices, such as OLED displays, may include one or more layers of organic material disposed between two electrodes, all deposited on a substrate.

During deposition of the coating material on the substrate, the substrate may be held by a substrate carrier and the mask may be held by a mask carrier in front of the substrate. A pattern of material, for example a plurality of pixels corresponding to the pattern of openings of the mask, may be deposited on the substrate, for example by evaporation.

The function of an OLED device is generally dependent on the accuracy of the coating pattern and the thickness of the organic material, which must be within a predetermined range. In order to obtain high resolution OLED devices, technical challenges regarding deposition of evaporated materials need to be mastered. In particular, accurate and smooth transport of the substrate carrier carrying the substrate and/or the mask carrier carrying the mask through the vacuum system is challenging. Furthermore, accurate alignment of the substrate with respect to the mask is crucial to obtaining high quality deposition results, e.g. for producing high resolution OLED devices. Furthermore, it is beneficial to utilize the coating material efficiently, and the idle time of the system should be kept as short as possible.

In view of the above, it would be beneficial to provide an apparatus, system and method for accurately and reliably transporting, positioning and/or aligning a carrier for carrying substrates and/or masks in a vacuum chamber.

Disclosure of Invention

In view of the above, an apparatus and a vacuum system for carrier alignment in a vacuum chamber, and a method of aligning a carrier in a vacuum chamber are provided. Other aspects, benefits and features of the disclosure are apparent from the claims, the description and the drawings.

According to one aspect of the present disclosure, an apparatus for carrier alignment in a vacuum chamber is provided. The apparatus comprises: a first carrier transport system configured to transport a first carrier along a first transport path in a first direction; and an alignment system. The alignment system includes: a first mount for mounting the first carrier to the alignment system; an alignment device configured to move the first support in at least one alignment direction; and a first displacement device configured to move the alignment device together with the first mount in a second direction transverse to the first direction.

In an embodiment, the first carrier is a substrate carrier configured to carry a substrate. In some embodiments, the alignment system is configured to align a first carrier, e.g., a substrate carrier, relative to a second carrier, e.g., a mask carrier, for depositing material on a substrate carried by the first carrier.

according to another aspect of the present disclosure, a vacuum system for carrier alignment in a vacuum chamber is provided. The vacuum system includes: a vacuum chamber having a sidewall; and an alignment system. The alignment system includes: a first mount for mounting a first carrier to the alignment system; an alignment device configured to move the first mount in at least one alignment direction; and a first displacement device configured to move the alignment device together with the first mount in a second direction transverse to the first direction. The alignment system extends through and is flexibly connected to the side wall, for example via at least one vibration damping or isolating element, in particular via an elastic or flexible sealing element, such as a bellows element, which may reduce or prevent a deformation of the side wall from being transmitted to the alignment system.

in some embodiments, the vacuum system is a vacuum deposition system including a deposition source for depositing material on a substrate carried by the first carrier in the vacuum chamber.

According to another aspect of the present disclosure, a method of aligning a carrier in a vacuum chamber is provided. The method comprises the following steps: transporting a first carrier along a first transport path in a first direction; and a first mount mounting the first carrier to an alignment system, the alignment system including an alignment device configured to move the first mount in at least one alignment direction; and a first displacement device configured to move the alignment device together with the first mount in a second direction transverse to the first direction. The method further comprises the following steps: moving the first carrier mounted to the first mount in the second direction with the first displacement device; and aligning the first carrier in at least one alignment direction with the alignment means.

In some embodiments, the first carrier is a substrate carrier that holds a substrate, and aligning the first carrier includes aligning the substrate carrier relative to a second carrier that holds a mask.

In some embodiments, the alignment system extends through and is flexibly connected to a sidewall of the vacuum chamber, for example via at least one vibration damping or isolating element. Thus, vibrations or other deformations of the sidewalls are not directly transferred to the alignment system. The alignment accuracy can be improved.

Embodiments are also directed to apparatuses for performing the disclosed methods and include apparatus parts for performing each of the described method aspects. These method aspects may be performed by hardware components, a computer programmed by appropriate software, by any combination of the two, or in any other manner. Furthermore, embodiments according to the present disclosure also relate to a method for operating the device. The method for operating the device includes method aspects for performing each function of the device.

Brief Description of Drawings

So that the manner in which the above recited features of the present disclosure can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the disclosure, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to embodiments. The accompanying drawings relate to embodiments of the present disclosure and are described below:

Fig. 1 shows a schematic cross-sectional view of an apparatus for aligning a carrier according to embodiments described herein; and

FIG. 2 shows a schematic cross-sectional view of a vacuum system for aligning a carrier according to embodiments described herein;

Fig. 3 shows a schematic cross-sectional view of an apparatus for aligning a carrier in a transport position according to embodiments described herein;

FIG. 4A shows the embodiment of FIG. 3 in a second position;

FIG. 4B shows the embodiment of FIG. 3 in a third position;

FIG. 5 shows an exploded view of an alignment system of a device according to embodiments described herein;

FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of the alignment system of FIG. 5;

fig. 7 is a flow chart illustrating a method of aligning a carrier in a vacuum chamber according to embodiments described herein.

Detailed Description

reference will now be made in detail to the various embodiments of the disclosure, one or more examples of which are illustrated in the figures. Within the following description of the figures, like reference numerals refer to like parts. Generally, only the differences with respect to a single embodiment are described. Each example is provided by way of explanation of the disclosure, and is not meant as a limitation of the disclosure.

in addition, features illustrated or described as part of one embodiment can be used on or in conjunction with other embodiments to yield yet a further embodiment. It is intended that the present specification include such modifications and variations.

Fig. 1 shows a schematic cross-sectional view of an apparatus 100 for aligning a first carrier 10 in a vacuum chamber 101 according to embodiments described herein. The term "aligned" refers to the carrier being accurately positioned in a predetermined position in the vacuum chamber, in particular with respect to the second carrier. The first carrier is aligned in at least one alignment direction, in particular in two or three alignment directions, which may be substantially perpendicular to each other.

in the following description, the term "first carrier" is used to denote a substrate carrier configured to carry a substrate 11, as schematically depicted in fig. 1. The term "second carrier" is used to denote a mask carrier configured to carry a mask 21 (see fig. 3). However, it is to be understood that the first carrier 10 may alternatively be a carrier configured to hold a different object, such as a mask or shield (shield).

A "substrate carrier" relates to a carrier device configured to carry a substrate 11 along a first transport path in a vacuum chamber 101. The substrate carrier may hold the substrate 11 during deposition of the coating material on the substrate 11. In some embodiments. The substrate 11 may be held on the substrate carrier in a non-horizontal orientation, in particular in a substantially vertical orientation, for example during transport, alignment and/or deposition. In the embodiment shown in fig. 1, the substrate 11 is held in a substantially vertical orientation on the first carrier 10. For example, the angle between the substrate surface and the gravity vector may be less than 10 °, in particular less than 5 °.

For example, the substrate 11 may be held at the holding surface of the first carrier 10 during transport through the vacuum chamber 101, during alignment in the vacuum chamber 101, and/or during deposition of the coating material on the substrate. In particular, the substrate 11 may be held on the first carrier 10 by a suction device, for example by an electrostatic chuck (ESC) or a magnetic chuck. The adsorption means may be integrated in the first carrier 10, for example in an atmospheric housing provided in the first carrier.

The first carrier 10 may comprise a carrier body having a holding surface configured to hold the substrate 11, in particular in a non-horizontal orientation, more in particular in a substantially vertical orientation. The first carrier may be movable along a first transport path by a first carrier transport system 120. In some embodiments, the first carrier 10 may be held in non-contact during transport, for example by a magnetic levitation system. In particular, the first carrier transport system 120 may be a magnetic levitation system configured for non-contact transport of the first carrier 10 along the first transport path in the vacuum chamber. The first carrier transport system 120 may be configured to transport the first carrier into a deposition area of the vacuum chamber in which the alignment system and the deposition source are disposed.

As used herein, "mask carrier" refers to a carrier device configured to carry a mask for transporting the mask along a mask transport path in a vacuum chamber. The mask carrier may carry the mask during transport, during alignment and/or during deposition on the substrate through the mask. In some embodiments, the mask may be held on the mask carrier in a non-horizontal orientation, in particular in a substantially vertical orientation during transport and/or alignment. The mask may be held on the mask carrier by a suction device, for example a mechanical chuck, such as a clamp, an electrostatic chuck or a magnetic chuck. Other types of suction devices that may be attached to or integrated in the mask carrier may be used.

For example, the mask may be an edge exclusion mask or a shadow mask. An edge exclusion mask is a mask configured to mask one or more edge regions of a substrate such that no material is deposited on the one or more edge regions during coating of the substrate. A shadow mask is a mask configured for masking a plurality of features to be deposited on a substrate. For example, the shadow mask can include a plurality of small openings, such as an opening pattern having 10,000 or more openings, particularly 1,000,000 or more openings.

As used herein, "substantially vertical orientation" is understood to mean an orientation which deviates from vertical, i.e. the gravity vector, by 10 ° or less, in particular by 5 ° or less. For example, the angle between the main surface of the substrate (or mask) and the gravity vector may be between +10 ° and-10 °, in particular between 0 ° and-5 °. In some embodiments, the orientation of the substrate (or mask) may not be strictly vertical during transport and/or during deposition, but slightly inclined with respect to the vertical axis, for example with an inclination angle between 0 ° and-5 °, in particular between-1 ° and-5 °. A negative angle refers to a substrate (or mask) orientation in which the substrate (or mask) is tilted downward. Deviations of the substrate orientation from the gravity vector during deposition may be beneficial and may result in a more stable deposition process, or a face down orientation may be suitable for reducing particles on the substrate during deposition. However, a strictly vertical orientation (+/-1 °) during transport and/or during deposition is also possible. In other embodiments, the substrate and mask may be transported in a non-vertical orientation, and/or the substrate may be coated in a non-vertical orientation (e.g., a substantially horizontal orientation).

The apparatus 100 according to embodiments described herein comprises a first carrier transport system 120, in particular a magnetic levitation system, the first carrier transport system 120 being configured to transport the first carrier 10 along a first transport path in a first direction X. The first direction X may be a substantially horizontal direction. In fig. 1, the first direction X is perpendicular to the plane of the paper.

The apparatus 100 further comprises an alignment system 130, the alignment system 130 being configured to align the first carrier 10 in the vacuum chamber 101. The alignment system 130 may be configured to accurately position the first carrier 10 in the vacuum chamber. In some embodiments, the deposition source 105 is disposed within the vacuum chamber 101. The deposition source 105 is configured for depositing a coating material on the substrate 11 held by the first carrier 10.

The alignment system 130 comprises a first mount 152 for mounting the first carrier 10 to the alignment system 130, and an alignment device 151 configured to move the first mount 152 in at least one alignment direction. The alignment system 130 further comprises a first displacement device 141 configured to move the alignment device 151 together with the first support 152 in a second direction Z transverse to the first direction X, in particular substantially perpendicular to the first direction.

thus, the first mount 152 may be moved in the second direction Z by the first displacement means 141, for example for performing a coarse positioning of a first carrier mounted to the first mount, and the first mount 152 may additionally be moved by the alignment means 151, for example for performing a fine positioning of a first carrier mounted to the first mount.

The second direction Z may be a substantially horizontal direction. The second direction Z may be substantially perpendicular to the first direction X in which the first carrier is transported by the first carrier transport system 120. After the first carrier is transported in the first direction X, the first carrier may be mounted to the first support 152 and moved in the second direction Z away from the first transport path, e.g. towards the deposition source 105 or towards the second carrier carrying the mask.

In some embodiments, the at least one alignment direction may substantially correspond to the second direction Z. Thus, the first carrier can be moved in the second direction Z by the first displacement means 141 and by the alignment means 151. The first displacement means 141 may be configured to perform a displacement of the first carrier in the second direction Z, and the alignment means 151 may be configured to perform a fine alignment of the first carrier in at least one of the first direction X, the second direction Z, and a third direction Y, which may be a substantially vertical direction.

In some embodiments, the alignment device 151 is configured to move the first support 152 in the second direction Z, and optionally in at least one of the first direction X and a third direction Y transverse to the first and second directions. The third direction Y may be a substantially vertical direction. Thus, the first carrier may be accurately positioned in the first direction X, the second direction Z and/or the third direction Y by the alignment means 151. In other embodiments, the alignment device 151 may move the first mount in only two directions, for example, in the second direction Z and the third direction Y. In further embodiments, the alignment device 151 may move the first mount in only one direction, in particular in the second direction Z.

The alignment device 151 and the first mount 152 may be fixed to the driven portion 143 of the first displacement device 141 such that the alignment device 151 and the first mount 152 may be moved in the second direction Z by the first displacement device 141. In some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the first displacement device 141 comprises a driving unit 142 and a driven portion 143, which is movable in the second direction Z by the driving unit 142. The alignment device 151 may be provided at the driven portion 143 together with the first support 152. For example, at the front end of the driven portion 143, such as movable in the second direction Z together with the driven portion 143. The driven portion 143 may comprise a linearly extending rod or arm extending from outside the vacuum chamber into the vacuum chamber in the second direction Z and may be moved by the driving unit 142.

In some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the driving unit 142 of the first displacement device 141 may comprise a linear actuator configured to move the driven portion 143 in the second direction Z by a distance of 10mm or more, in particular 20mm or more, more in particular 30mm or more. For example, the driving unit 142 may include a mechanical actuator, an electromechanical actuator, e.g., a stepping motor, an electric motor, a hydraulic actuator, and/or a pneumatic actuator, configured to move the driven portion 143 by a distance of 10mm or more in the second direction Z.

In some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the alignment device 151 can include at least one precision actuator, such as at least one piezoelectric actuator, configured to move the first support in at least one alignment direction. In particular, the alignment device 151 comprises two or three piezoelectric actuators configured to move the first support in two or three alignment directions. The piezoelectric actuator of the alignment device 151 may be configured to move the first mount 152 in the second direction Z and optionally in the first direction X and/or the third direction Y. The alignment device 151 may be configured for fine positioning (or fine alignment) of a first support 152 on which a first carrier is mounted in at least one alignment direction. For example, the alignment means may be configured for positioning the first carrier with an accuracy below 5 μm, in particular with sub- μm accuracy. Thus, by having the alignment means 151 together with the first abutment 152 provided at the driven portion 143 of the first displacing means, a coarse positioning of the first abutment can be performed by the first displacing means 141 and a fine positioning of the first abutment can be provided by the alignment means 151.

In some embodiments, which may be combined with other embodiments described herein, the first mount 152 comprises a magnetic chuck configured to magnetically hold the first carrier 10 at the first mount 152. For example, the first mount 152 may include an electropermanent magnet arrangement configured to magnetically hold the first carrier at the first mount. The electropermanent magnet device may be switched between the hold state and the release state by applying an electrical pulse to a coil of the electropermanent magnet device. In particular, the magnetization of at least one magnet of the electropermanent magnet arrangement may be changed by applying an electrical pulse.

The method of aligning the first carrier 10 in the vacuum chamber may comprise: (i) the first carrier 10 is transported in a first direction X along a first transport path to a deposition area of the vacuum chamber 101. The first carrier 10 can be transported contactlessly by a first carrier transport system 120, in particular by a magnetic levitation system having at least one magnet unit 121. The at least one magnet unit 121 may be an actively controlled magnet unit configured to hold the first carrier 10 on the guide rail in a non-contact manner. (ii) The first carrier is mounted to the first support 152 of the alignment system 130 in the deposition area. The alignment system 130 includes: an alignment device 151 configured to move the first support in at least one alignment direction; and a first displacement device 141 configured to move the alignment device together with the first mount in the second direction Z. Mounting the first carrier to the first mount 152 may include moving the first mount 152 toward the first carrier 10 positioned on the first transport path until the first mount 152 contacts and attaches to the first carrier. For example, the first mount 152 is magnetically attached to the first carrier.

(iii) The first carrier is moved together with the alignment means 151 in the second direction Z with the first displacement means 141. For example, the driven portion 143 of the first displacement device 141 may move the first carrier 10 in the second direction Z towards the deposition source 105 or towards the second carrier by a distance of 10mm or more. (iv) The first carrier is aligned in at least one alignment direction with the alignment means 151. Aligning the first carrier 10 may comprise fine positioning of the first carrier 10 in the second direction Z and optionally in at least one of the first direction X and the third direction Y, in particular via at least one piezoelectric actuator provided at the driven portion 143 of the first displacement device 141 within the vacuum chamber 101. Thus, an accurate alignment of the first carrier 10 may be provided with the apparatus 100 described herein.

Fig. 2 shows in a schematic cross-sectional view an apparatus 200 for carrier alignment in a vacuum chamber 101 according to some embodiments described herein. The device 200 is similar to the device 100 shown in fig. 1, so that reference can be made to the above description, which is not repeated here.

The apparatus 200 comprises a first carrier transport system 120 configured to transport a first carrier 10 in a first direction X. The first carrier transport system 120 may comprise a magnetic levitation system with at least one magnet unit 121, in particular with at least one actively controlled magnet unit 121 configured to hold the first carrier 10 at the guiding structure in a non-contact manner.

The apparatus 200 further comprises an alignment system 130 having a first mount 152 configured to mount the first carrier 10 to the alignment system 130, an alignment device 151 configured to move the first mount 152 in at least one alignment direction, and a first displacement device 141 configured to move the alignment device together with the first mount in a second direction Z, which may be substantially perpendicular to the first direction X.

The first displacement device 141 comprises a driving unit 142 and a driven part 143, which can be moved in the second direction Z by the driving unit 142. The alignment device 151 and the first support 152 are provided at the driven portion 143 of the first displacement device 141 to be movable together with the driven portion 143.

In some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the drive unit 142 of the first displacement device 141 is provided to be arranged outside the vacuum chamber 101, and/or the drive 143 is provided to extend 142 from the drive unit into the vacuum chamber 101, in particular through an opening in the side wall 102 of the vacuum chamber 101.

When the drive unit 142 is arranged outside the vacuum chamber, i.e. at atmospheric pressure, a non-vacuum compatible drive unit may be used, which is generally more cost-effective and easier to operate than a vacuum compatible drive unit. Furthermore, any type of drive unit 142 may be provided, including, for example, an electric motor or a stepper motor. The generation of particles in the vacuum chamber by the drive unit, which may comprise mechanical bearings, may be avoided. For example, a linear Z actuator may be used. Maintenance of the drive unit can be facilitated.

In some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the apparatus 200 further comprises a vibration damping element 103 or a vibration isolation element for providing vibration damping or vibration isolation between the alignment system and the wall of the vacuum chamber, in particular the side wall 102. For example, the alignment system 130 may extend through the wall of the vacuum chamber 101 and may be flexibly connected to the wall via the vibration damping element 103. The term "flexible connection" as used herein relates to a connection between the alignment system 130 and the sidewall 102 of the vacuum chamber 101 that allows relative movement, such as deformation or vibration, between the sidewall 102 and the alignment system 130. In other words, the entire alignment system (including the drive unit arranged outside the vacuum chamber) is movably mounted with respect to the sidewall such that vibrations and other deformations of the sidewall are not substantially transmitted from the sidewall to the alignment system. This is in contrast to conventional bellows seal motion feedthroughs, which allow the positioner to move within the vacuum chamber while having the positioner's drive unit fixed to the side wall of the vacuum chamber. Thus, conventional motion feedthroughs are rigidly fixed to the side wall of the vacuum chamber, extend through the side wall, and are not vibration damped relative to the side wall.

The vibration damping element 103 may seal an opening in the sidewall of the vacuum chamber through which the alignment system 130 extends in a vacuum-tight manner.

The vibration damping element 103 or vibration isolation element may comprise at least one flexible or elastic element, in particular at least one expandable element, for example an axially expandable element, such as a bellows element. For example, the vibration damping element 103 may include an elastic and vacuum seal that acts between the sidewall 102 of the vacuum chamber and the alignment system 130. In some embodiments, the longitudinal axis of the axially expandable member may extend in the second direction. For example, a resilient and/or expandable element, such as a bellows element, may connect the alignment system 130 with the sidewall 102 of the vacuum chamber such that the opening in the sidewall 102 through which the alignment system 130 extends is closed in a vacuum-tight manner. Thus, vibrations and other deformations of sidewall 102 are not directly transferred to alignment system 130 because the vibration damping elements allow relative motion between sidewall 102 and alignment system 130. In particular, the (stationary) body 131 of the alignment system 130 extends through the side wall and is movably mounted relative to the side wall via the vibration damping element 103.

The side walls 102 of the vacuum chamber 101 through which the alignment system 130 extends may be different walls, e.g. substantially vertically extending side walls, than the top and bottom walls of the vacuum chamber 101. The side walls 102 of the vacuum chamber are generally less stable than the top wall, which may be stabilized by stabilizing elements such as reinforcing beams or ribs. Thus, the sidewall 102 may at least partially deform or vibrate, for example, when the pressure within the vacuum chamber changes. Therefore, it is advantageous to mechanically isolate the alignment system 130 from the sidewall 102 so that deformation and other motion of the sidewall is not (directly) transferred to the alignment system. Rather, the alignment system 130 may be rigidly secured to a separate support 110, and the separate support 110 may be secured to the top wall of the vacuum chamber. Accordingly, even if the sidewall 102 moves during pressure changes within the vacuum chamber, alignment accuracy may be improved and the position of the alignment system 130 may be maintained.

In some embodiments, at least one further flexible element 104, for example an axially expandable element such as a bellows element, may flexibly connect the body 131 of the alignment system 130 with the driven portion 143 of the first displacement device 141. While the drive unit 142 may be placed outside the vacuum chamber 101, the further flexible element 104 may allow the driven portion 143 to move in the second direction Z within the vacuum chamber 101. For example, the drive unit 142 may be (rigidly) fixed to the body 131 of the alignment system 130 outside the vacuum chamber. The further flexible element 104 may separate the vacuum environment surrounding the further flexible element from the atmospheric environment within the further flexible element. The movable rod or arm of the driven portion 143 may extend axially through the further flexible element.

According to embodiments described herein, the first support 152 can be moved by the first displacement means 141 in the second direction Z together with the alignment means 151. In particular, the first mount 152 may be moved by the first displacement device 141 towards the first carrier 10 positioned on the first transport path until the first mount 152 is in contact with the first carrier 10 and attached to the first carrier 10. Then, the first support with the first carrier mounted thereon may be moved by the first moving device 141 in the second direction Z towards the deposition source 105 or towards the second carrier. Thereafter, a fine alignment of the first carrier via the alignment means 151 may follow.

The drive unit 142 (provided as a linear Z actuator, for example) of the first displacement device 141 may be arranged outside the vacuum chamber 101. The front part of the driven portion 143 of the first displacing means 141 carrying the aligning means 151 and the first holder 152 may be arranged within the vacuum chamber. Since the alignment system 130 is connected to the side wall via the vibration damping element 103, the movement of the side wall 102 of the vacuum chamber 101 is not transferred to the alignment system 130, the driven portion 143 extending through said side wall 102. Accurate and reproducible alignment of the first carrier can be provided even if the pressure in the vacuum chamber changes or if the vacuum chamber is submerged and/or evacuated.

Fig. 2 illustrates a vacuum system for carrier alignment in a vacuum chamber according to embodiments described herein. The vacuum system comprises a vacuum chamber 101 having a sidewall 102, wherein the sidewall may extend in a substantially vertical direction (+/-20 °). An alignment system 130 as described herein extends through the sidewall 102 and is flexibly connected to the sidewall 102 via the vibration damping element 103, in particular by a flexible and/or expandable element such as a bellows element. The driving unit 142 of the alignment system 130 may be disposed outside the vacuum chamber, and the alignment device 151 of the alignment system 130, which is movable by the driving unit 142, may be disposed inside the vacuum chamber. The first mount 152 of the alignment system 130 is movable by the alignment device 151 and is configured for attaching the first carrier 10.

The alignment system 130 may be (rigidly) fixed to a support 110 provided in the vacuum chamber, e.g. attached to a top wall of the vacuum chamber. In some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the support 110 extends in the first direction X and carries or supports at least one magnet unit 121 of the first carrier transport system 120. Thus, both the at least one magnet unit 121 and the alignment system 130 are fixed to the same mechanical support within the vacuum chamber, so that vibrations or other movements of the vacuum chamber are transferred to the alignment system 130 and the levitation magnets of the magnetic levitation system to the same extent. The alignment accuracy can be further improved and carrier transport can be facilitated.

The vacuum system may be a vacuum deposition system configured to deposit one or more materials on a substrate carried by the first carrier 10. A deposition source 105, particularly a vapor source configured to vaporize organic material, may be disposed in the vacuum chamber. The deposition source 105 may be arranged such that material may be directed from the deposition source 105 towards a first carrier mounted to a first support 152 of the alignment system.

The deposition source 105 may be a movable deposition source. In particular, the deposition source 105 may be moved in a first direction X past a substrate carried by a first carrier. A drive may be provided to provide translational movement of the deposition source 105 in the first direction X.

Alternatively or additionally, the deposition source may comprise a rotatable distribution pipe provided with a vapour outlet. The distribution pipe may extend substantially in a vertical direction and may be rotatable around a substantially vertical rotation axis. The deposition material may be evaporated in a crucible of an evaporation source and may be directed towards the substrate through a vapor outlet provided in the distribution pipe.

in particular, the deposition source 105 may be provided as a line source extending in a substantially vertical direction. The height of the deposition source 105 in the vertical direction may be adapted to the height of the vertically oriented substrate, such that the substrate may be coated by moving the deposition source 105 in the first direction X over the substrate.

In some embodiments, the first carrier transport system 120 can be configured to transport the first carrier 10 into a deposition area in the vacuum chamber 101 with the substrate 11 facing the deposition source 105 so that the coating material can be deposited on the substrate. After depositing the coating material on the substrate, the first carrier transport system 120 may transport the first carrier 10 out of the deposition area, for example for unloading the coated substrate from the vacuum chamber or for depositing additional coating material on the substrate in an additional deposition area.

The deposition source 105 may include a distribution tube having a plurality of vapor openings or nozzles for directing the coating material into the deposition area. Further, the deposition source may include a crucible configured to heat and evaporate the coating material. The crucible may be connected to the distribution tube so as to be in fluid communication with the distribution tube.

in some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the deposition source can be rotatable. For example, the deposition source may be rotatable from a first orientation in which the vapor openings of the deposition source are directed toward the deposition region to a second orientation in which the vapor openings are directed toward the second deposition region. The deposition area and the second deposition area may be located on opposite sides of the deposition source, and the deposition source may be rotatable at an angle of about 180 ° between the deposition area and the second deposition area.

the first carrier transport system 120 can be configured for non-contact transport of the first carrier 10 in the vacuum chamber 101. For example, the first carrier transport system 120 may hold and transport the first carrier 10 by magnetic force. In particular, the first carrier transport system 120 may comprise a magnetic levitation system.

In the exemplary embodiment of fig. 2, the first carrier transport system 120 comprises at least one magnet unit 121, the at least one magnet unit 121 being arranged at least partially above the first carrier 10 and configured to carry at least a part of the weight of the first carrier 10. The at least one magnet unit 121 may comprise an actively controlled magnet unit configured to hold the first carrier 10 in a non-contact manner. The first carrier transport system 120 may further comprise a drive device configured to contactlessly move the first carrier 10 in the first direction X. In some embodiments, the drive means may be arranged at least partially below the first carrier 10. The driving means may comprise a drive, such as a linear motor, configured to move the first carrier by exerting a magnetic force on the first carrier (not shown).

Fig. 3 shows an apparatus 300 for carrier alignment in a vacuum chamber 101 according to embodiments described herein. The device 300 is similar to the device 200 depicted in fig. 2, so that reference can be made to the above description, which is not repeated here.

The alignment system 130 of the apparatus 300 comprises a first mount 152 for mounting the first carrier 10 to the alignment system, a second mount 153 for mounting the second carrier 20 to the alignment system, a first displacement device 141 configured to move the first mount together with the alignment device 151 in the second direction Z, and a second displacement device 144 configured to move the second mount in the second direction Z.

The first carrier 10 is typically a substrate carrier carrying the substrate 11 to be coated and the second carrier 20 is typically a mask carrier carrying a mask 21 to be arranged in front of the substrate 11 during deposition. The first carrier 10 and the second carrier 20 may be aligned with respect to each other with the alignment system 130 such that the evaporated material may be accurately deposited in a predetermined pattern on the substrate defined by the mask.

In particular, the second carrier 20 mounted to the second mount 153 can be moved in the second direction Z to a predetermined position with the second displacement device 144. The first carrier 10 can be moved in the second direction Z with the second displacement device 144 to a predetermined position adjacent to the second carrier. The first carrier 10 can then be aligned with the alignment device 151 in an alignment direction, in particular in the second direction Z and/or optionally in one or more further alignment directions.

In some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the alignment system 130 extends through the sidewall 102 of the vacuum chamber 101 and is flexibly connected to the sidewall 102, e.g., via at least one vibration damping element 103 or vibration isolation element. The vibration damping element may be an axially expandable element, such as a bellows element. The vibration damping element may be a flexible or resilient sealing element that reduces the transmission of sidewall deformation to the alignment system. A flexible or resilient sealing element may be used as a vacuum seal between the sidewall and the alignment system. Reference is made to the above description, which is not repeated herein.

in some embodiments, the second displacement device 144 includes a second driving unit 145, e.g., a linear actuator or motor, and a second driven portion 146 moved in the second direction Z by the second driving unit 145. The second holder 153 is provided on the second driven portion 146 to be movable together with the second driven portion 146.

the second drive unit 145 may be arranged outside the vacuum chamber 101 and the second driven portion 146 may extend into the vacuum chamber 101, in particular through an opening provided in the side wall 102 of the vacuum chamber. The second holder 153 is provided at the front end of the second driven portion 146 within the vacuum chamber 101. Thus, the second carrier 20 may be mounted to the second mount 153 disposed within the vacuum chamber. Furthermore, the second carrier 20 can be moved in the second direction Z within the vacuum chamber 101 by a second displacement device 144, the second displacement device 144 having a second drive unit 145 arranged outside the vacuum chamber.

In some embodiments, alignment system 130 includes a body 131, body 131 secured to support 110 disposed within a vacuum chamber. The driving unit 142 of the first displacement device 141 and the second driving unit 145 of the second displacement device 144 may be fixed to the body 131 of the alignment system 130. The body 131 of the alignment system 130 may provide a feed through for the driven portion 143 of the first displacement device and the second driven portion 146 of the second displacement device through the sidewall 102. The body 131 of the alignment system 130 may be flexibly connected to the sidewall 102 of the vacuum chamber 101 via the vibration damping element 103.

The body 131 of the alignment system 130 may be fixed to the support 110. The support 110 may be fixed (directly or indirectly) to a top wall of the vacuum chamber and/or may be provided as a support rail or support beam extendable in the first direction X. The top wall of the vacuum chamber is typically stronger and less mobile than the vertically extending side walls.

In some embodiments, which may be combined with other embodiments described herein, a first carrier transport system 120 may be provided for transporting first carriers along a first transport path in a first direction X, and a second carrier transport system 122 may be provided for transporting second carriers 20 along a second transport path parallel to the first transport path in the first direction X. The first carrier transport system 120 and/or the second carrier transport system 122 may be configured as a magnetic levitation system for contactless carrier transport. In particular, the first carrier transport system 120 may comprise at least one magnet unit 121, in particular an actively controlled magnet unit, for contactless holding of the first carrier 10. The second carrier transport system 122 may comprise at least one second magnet unit 123, in particular an actively controlled magnet unit, for contactless holding of the second carrier 20. In general, each magnetic levitation system may comprise a plurality of actively controlled magnet units, which may be arranged at substantially equal intervals along the first direction X. For example, an actively controlled magnet unit may be fixed to the support 110.

In the schematic cross-sectional view of fig. 3, the first carrier 10 and the second carrier 20 are held in a non-contact manner by actively controlled magnet units of a first carrier transport system 120 and a second carrier transport system 122. The first pedestal 152 is disposed at a distance from the first carrier 10 in the second direction Z, and the second pedestal 153 is disposed at a distance from the second carrier 20 in the second direction Z.

Fig. 4A shows the device 300 of fig. 3 in a second position. The second carrier 20 has been mounted to the second mount 153 by moving the second mount to the second carrier 20 in the second direction Z and magnetically connecting the second carrier 20 to the second mount 153. Then, the second carrier 20 is moved by the second displacement device 144 to a predetermined position, for example, a distance of 20mm or more, in the second direction Z. In particular, the mask 21 carried by the second carrier 20 is located at a predetermined position facing the deposition source 105.

As further depicted in fig. 4A, the first carrier 10 carrying the substrate 11 is transported to the deposition area by the first carrier transport system 120, and the first pedestal 152 is mounted to the first carrier by moving the first pedestal 152 to the first carrier 10 with the first displacement device 141.

as schematically depicted in fig. 4B, the first carrier 10 is then moved in the second direction Z towards the second carrier 20 by the first displacement means 141 until the substrate 11 is positioned close to the mask 21. Subsequently, the first carrier 10 is aligned in at least one alignment direction, in particular in the second direction Z, with the alignment device 151. The first carrier 10 may be accurately positioned in a predetermined position by the alignment means 151, and the alignment means 151 may comprise one or more piezo-electric actuators.

One or more materials may be deposited on the substrate 11 by the deposition source 105 through the openings of the mask 21. An accurate pattern of material can be deposited on the substrate.

Fig. 5 is an exploded view of alignment system 130 of an apparatus according to embodiments described herein. The alignment system 130 is similar to that of the device shown in fig. 3, so that reference is made to the above description and will not be repeated here.

The alignment system 130 comprises a body 131, the body 131 being flexibly connected to the side wall 102 of the vacuum chamber 101 (not shown in fig. 5) via the vibration damping element 103 (e.g. via a bellows element). A drive unit 142 (e.g., a first Z actuator) and a second drive unit 145 (e.g., a second Z actuator) are fixed to the body 131 outside the vacuum chamber 101. In some embodiments, the body 131 is rigidly fixed to a support (not shown in fig. 5) within the vacuum chamber and flexibly connected to the sidewall 102, for example via screws or bolts 108.

The driving unit 142 is configured to move the delay through the body 131 into the first driven part 143 in the vacuum chamber in the second direction Z, and the second driving unit 145 is configured to move the second driven part 146 extending through the body 131 into the vacuum chamber in the second direction Z. A first mount 152 for mounting a first carrier to the alignment system is provided at the front end of the first driven portion 143, and a second mount 153 for mounting a second carrier to the alignment system is provided at the front end of the second driven portion 146. Thus, the first 152 and second 153 supports can be moved independently of each other in the second direction Z by respective displacement means in order to position the first carrier and the second carrier at respective predetermined positions in the second direction Z.

the second driven portion 146 protrudes further into the vacuum chamber than the first driven portion 143 so that the first and second carriers can be held adjacent to each other at the second and first seats provided at the front end of the driven member.

The first support 152 is connected to the first driven part 143 via an alignment device 151, in particular comprising at least one piezoelectric actuator. Accordingly, by accurately positioning the first support 152 at a predetermined position with the alignment device 151, fine positioning (or fine alignment) of the first carrier with respect to the second carrier can be performed.

Fig. 6 shows a perspective view of the alignment system 130 of fig. 5. A small gap is provided between the body 131 of the alignment system 130 and the sidewall 102 of the vacuum chamber so that the body 131 does not move with the sidewall 102, for example, when the sidewall vibrates or when the sidewall moves due to pressure changes within the vacuum chamber.

In some embodiments, the apparatus comprises two or more alignment systems in the deposition area, the two or more alignment systems being spaced apart from each other in the first direction X. Each alignment system may be configured according to alignment system 130 according to embodiments described herein. For example, the first mount of the first alignment system may be configured to hold an upper front portion of the first carrier, and the first mount of the second alignment system may be configured to hold an upper rear portion of the first carrier. Each alignment system may extend through the sidewall 102 of the vacuum chamber such that the respective drive unit of the respective displacement device is positioned outside the vacuum chamber. Furthermore, each alignment system may be flexibly connected to a sidewall of the vacuum system via a respective vibration isolation element. In some embodiments, each alignment system is mechanically fixed to the same support provided within the vacuum chamber, for example to a top wall of the vacuum chamber.

The alignment means of the first alignment system may be configured to align the first carrier in the first direction X, the second direction Z and the third direction Y, and the alignment means of the second alignment system may be configured to align the first carrier in the first direction Z and in the third direction Y. Further alignment systems with further alignment means may be provided. Thus, the first carrier, being a three-dimensional object, can be accurately positioned and rotated with respect to the second carrier to a predetermined translational and rotational position in the deposition area.

In some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the driven portion 143 of the first displacement device is configured to feed a supply element, such as a cable, to a component arranged within the vacuum chamber 101. In particular, the driven portion 143 comprises a hollow tube element configured as a cable channel for a cable, which extends from outside the vacuum chamber to a component arranged at the front end of the driven portion 143 within the vacuum chamber 101. For example, at least one cable connected to at least one of the alignment device 151 and the first support 152 may extend through a hollow tubular member of the driven portion 143. Thus, power can be supplied to the component moving in the second direction Z within the vacuum chamber. For example, the piezoelectric actuator of the alignment device 151 and/or the magnetic chuck of the first pedestal 152 may be supplied with power from outside the vacuum chamber through the driven portion 143.

In some embodiments, the second driven portion 145 of the second displacement device is further configured to feed a supply element, such as a cable, to a component arranged within the vacuum chamber, for example a component disposed within the vacuum chamber at a front end of the second driven portion 145. For example, power may be supplied to the second support 153 from outside the vacuum chamber through the driven part 145.

Fig. 7 is a flow chart illustrating a method of aligning a first carrier in a vacuum chamber according to embodiments described herein.

In block 830, a first carrier, which may carry a substrate to be coated, is transported in a vacuum chamber 101 along a first transport path in a first direction X. The first carrier may be transported into a deposition area where the deposition source 105 and the alignment system 130 are arranged. In some embodiments, the first carrier 10 is transported contactlessly by a magnetic levitation system comprising a plurality of actively controlled magnet units.

In block 840, a first carrier is mounted to a first mount of the alignment system 130. The alignment system includes: an alignment device configured to move the first support in at least one alignment direction; and a first displacement device configured to move the alignment device together with the first mount in a second direction transverse to the first direction. The second direction may be a horizontal direction substantially perpendicular to the first direction.

In block 850, the first carrier is moved (together with the alignment means) in a second direction by the first displacement means, in particular towards a previously positioned mask carried by the second carrier.

In block 860, the first carrier is aligned with the alignment means in at least one alignment direction, in particular in the second direction and optionally in at least one of the first direction and the third direction. In particular, the substrate carried by the first carrier 10 is moved into contact with the mask carried by the second carrier.

In optional block 870, a material is deposited on a substrate carried by a first carrier. In particular, the vaporized organic material is deposited on the substrate by a vapor source that is movable across the substrate.

in an embodiment which may be combined with other embodiments described herein, the first carrier is a substrate carrier carrying a substrate, and aligning the first carrier comprises aligning the first carrier relative to a second carrier mounted to a second mount of the alignment system. In particular, the second carrier is a mask carrier carrying a mask.

In an optional block 810, the second carrier 20 carrying the mask 21 is transported along a second transport path extending parallel to the first transport path in the first direction X into the deposition area. The second carrier 20 may be transported contactlessly by a magnetic levitation system comprising a plurality of actively controlled magnet units.

In optional block 820, the second carrier 20 is mounted to a second support of the alignment system 130 and the second support is moved in the second direction Z, in particular towards the deposition source, by a second displacement device of the alignment system 130. Then. The method may proceed to block 830.

the apparatus described herein may be configured for evaporating organic materials, for example for use in the manufacture of OLED devices. For example, the deposition source can be an evaporation source, particularly an evaporation source for depositing one or more organic materials on a substrate to form an OLED device layer.

Embodiments described herein may be used for evaporation on large area substrates, e.g. for OLED display manufacturing, in particular, the substrates providing the structures and methods according to embodiments described herein are large area substrates, e.g. having a surface area of 0.5m 2 or more, in particular 1m 2 or more, for example, the large area substrate or carrier may be a generation 4.5 (corresponding to a surface area of about 0.67m 2 substrate (0.73 × 0.92 m)), a generation 5 (corresponding to a surface area of about 1.4m 2 substrate (1.1m × 1.3 m)), a generation 7.5 (corresponding to a surface area of about 4.29m 2 substrate (1.95m × 2.2 m)), a generation 8.5 (corresponding to a surface area of about 5.7m 2 substrate (2.2m × 2.5 m)), or even a generation 10 (corresponding to a surface area of about 8.7m 2 substrate (2.85m × 3.05m), or even more, such as generation 12, and even half of the generation of OLEDs may be provided in the manufacturing.

According to some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the substrate thickness can be 0.1mm to 1.8 mm. The substrate thickness may be about 0.9mm or less, such as 0.5 mm. The term "substrate" as used herein shall in particular cover substantially inflexible substrates, such as wafers, slices of transparent crystals (such as sapphire or the like) or glass plates. However, the present disclosure is not so limited, and the term "substrate" may also encompass flexible substrates, such as webs (web) or foils. The term "substantially inflexible" is understood to be distinguished from "flexible". In particular, the substantially inflexible substrate may have a certain degree of flexibility, for example a glass plate having a thickness of 0.9mm or less, such as 0.5mm or less, wherein the substantially inflexible substrate is less flexible than the flexible substrate.

According to embodiments described herein, the substrate may be made of any material suitable for material deposition. For example, the substrate may be made of a material selected from the group consisting of: glass (e.g., soda lime glass, borosilicate glass, and the like), metal, polymer, ceramic, a composite material, a carbon fiber material, or any other material or combination of materials that can be coated by a deposition process.

According to embodiments described herein, methods for transport and alignment of substrate carriers and mask carriers in a vacuum chamber may be performed using computer programs, software, computer software products, and associated controllers that may have a CPU, memory, a user interface, and input and output devices in communication with corresponding components of the apparatus.

The present disclosure provides a first carrier transport system for a first carrier and a second carrier transport system for a second carrier, both of which may be the same size in at least one dimension. In other words, the second carrier may be fitted into the first carrier transport system, and the first carrier may be fitted into the second carrier transport system. The first carrier transport system and the second carrier transport system can be flexibly used while providing accurate and smooth transport of the carriers through the vacuum system. The alignment system allows for accurate alignment of the substrate relative to the mask and vice versa. High quality processing results can be achieved, for example for high resolution OLED device production.

In other embodiments, the mask carrier and the substrate carrier may have different sizes. For example, the mask carrier may be larger than the substrate carrier, in particular in the vertical direction, as schematically depicted in fig. 3.

while the foregoing is directed to embodiments of the present disclosure, other and further embodiments of the disclosure may be devised without departing from the basic scope thereof, and the scope thereof is determined by the claims that follow.

Claims (16)

1. An apparatus for carrier alignment in a vacuum chamber (101), comprising:
A first carrier transport system (120), the first carrier transport system (120) being configured to transport a first carrier (10) along a first transport path in a first direction (X); and
An alignment system (130), comprising:
A first mount (152) for mounting the first carrier (10) to the alignment system (130);
an alignment device (151) configured to move the first support (152) in at least one alignment direction; and
A first displacement device (141) configured to move the alignment device (151) together with the first support (152) in a second direction (Z) transversal to the first direction (X).
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first displacement device (141) comprises a drive unit (142) and a driven portion (143), wherein the alignment device (151) and the first support (152) are provided at the driven portion (143) to be movable therewith.
3. the device according to claim 2, wherein the drive unit (142) comprises a linear actuator configured to move the driven portion (143) in the second direction (Z) by a distance of 10mm or more, in particular 20mm or more, more in particular 30mm or more.
4. Apparatus according to claim 2 or 3, wherein the drive unit (142) is arranged outside the vacuum chamber (101) and the driven portion (143) extends from outside the vacuum chamber into the vacuum chamber.
5. The apparatus according to any one of claims 2 to 4, wherein the driven component (143) comprises a hollow tube element configured to feed a cable to a component arranged within the vacuum chamber (101), in particular at least one of the alignment means (151) and the first seat (152).
6. The apparatus of any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the alignment system (130) extends through a wall of the vacuum chamber and is flexibly connected to the wall via at least one vibration damping element (103).
7. the device according to claim 6, wherein the vibration damping element (103) comprises at least one flexible and/or elastic sealing element, in particular a bellows element, configured to reduce or prevent the transfer of the wall movement to the alignment system.
8. the apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the alignment means (151) comprises at least one piezoelectric actuator.
9. Apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein said alignment device (151) is configured to move said first support (152) in said second direction (Z) and optionally in said first direction (X) and/or in a third direction (Y) transversal to said first and second directions.
10. The device according to any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the first mount (152) comprises a magnetic chuck configured to magnetically hold the first carrier at the first mount, the magnetic chuck comprising in particular an electropermanent magnet arrangement.
11. The apparatus of any of claims 1 to 10, the alignment system (130) further comprising:
A second mount (153) for mounting the second carrier to the alignment system (130); and
A second displacement device (144) configured to move the second support (153) in the second direction (Z).
12. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the second displacement device (144) comprises a second drive unit (145) and a second driven portion (146), the second mount being provided at the driven portion in the vacuum chamber.
13. The apparatus of one of claims 1 to 12, wherein the first carrier transport system (120) is a magnetic levitation system configured for contactless transport of the first carrier (10) in the first direction (X) and comprising a plurality of actively controlled magnet units.
14. A vacuum system for carrier alignment in a vacuum chamber, comprising:
A vacuum chamber (101) having a sidewall (102); and
An alignment system (130), comprising:
A first mount (152) for mounting the first carrier (10) to the alignment system (130);
An alignment device (151) configured to move the first support (152) in at least one alignment direction; and
A first displacement device (141) configured to move the alignment device (151) together with the first support (152) in a second direction (Z) transversal to the first direction (X),
The alignment system (130) extends through the sidewall (102) and is flexibly connected to the sidewall (102).
15. A method of aligning a carrier in a vacuum chamber, comprising:
-transporting a first carrier (10) along a first transport path in a first direction (X);
Mounting the first carrier to a first mount (152) of an alignment system (130), the alignment system comprising an alignment device (151) configured to move the first mount in at least one alignment direction, and a first displacement device (141) configured to move the alignment device together with the first mount in a second direction (Z) transverse to the first direction;
-moving said first carrier in said second direction (Z) with said first displacement means (141); and
Aligning the first carrier in at least one alignment direction with the alignment device (151).
16. the method of claim 15, wherein the first carrier (10) is a substrate carrier carrying a substrate (11) and aligning the first carrier comprises aligning the first carrier relative to a second carrier (20) mounted to a second mount of the alignment system, in particular wherein the second carrier is a mask carrier carrying a mask (21).
CN201880004216.1A 2018-04-03 2018-04-03 Device and vacuum system for alignment of a carrier in a vacuum chamber and method for aligning a carrier CN110557953A (en)

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