JP2009117571A - Substrate processing apparatus and coating apparatus and coating method - Google Patents

Substrate processing apparatus and coating apparatus and coating method Download PDF

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Publication number
JP2009117571A
JP2009117571A JP2007288238A JP2007288238A JP2009117571A JP 2009117571 A JP2009117571 A JP 2009117571A JP 2007288238 A JP2007288238 A JP 2007288238A JP 2007288238 A JP2007288238 A JP 2007288238A JP 2009117571 A JP2009117571 A JP 2009117571A
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Prior art keywords
substrate
unit
stage
position
coating
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JP2007288238A
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JP4495752B2 (en
Inventor
Daisuke Ikemoto
Yosuke Mine
Takashi Nakamitsu
Yoshitaka Otsuka
Masaya Shinozaki
陽介 三根
孝志 中満
慶崇 大塚
池本  大輔
賢哉 篠崎
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Tokyo Electron Ltd
東京エレクトロン株式会社
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B05SPRAYING OR ATOMISING IN GENERAL; APPLYING LIQUIDS OR OTHER FLUENT MATERIALS TO SURFACES, IN GENERAL
    • B05CAPPARATUS FOR APPLYING LIQUIDS OR OTHER FLUENT MATERIALS TO SURFACES, IN GENERAL
    • B05C13/00Means for manipulating or holding work, e.g. for separate articles
    • B05C13/02Means for manipulating or holding work, e.g. for separate articles for particular articles
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B05SPRAYING OR ATOMISING IN GENERAL; APPLYING LIQUIDS OR OTHER FLUENT MATERIALS TO SURFACES, IN GENERAL
    • B05CAPPARATUS FOR APPLYING LIQUIDS OR OTHER FLUENT MATERIALS TO SURFACES, IN GENERAL
    • B05C5/00Apparatus in which liquid or other fluent material is projected, poured or allowed to flow on to the surface of the work
    • B05C5/02Apparatus in which liquid or other fluent material is projected, poured or allowed to flow on to the surface of the work the liquid or other fluent material being discharged through an outlet orifice by pressure, e.g. from an outlet device in contact or almost in contact, with the work
    • GPHYSICS
    • G03PHOTOGRAPHY; CINEMATOGRAPHY; ANALOGOUS TECHNIQUES USING WAVES OTHER THAN OPTICAL WAVES; ELECTROGRAPHY; HOLOGRAPHY
    • G03FPHOTOMECHANICAL PRODUCTION OF TEXTURED OR PATTERNED SURFACES, e.g. FOR PRINTING, FOR PROCESSING OF SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; MATERIALS THEREFOR; ORIGINALS THEREFOR; APPARATUS SPECIALLY ADAPTED THEREFOR
    • G03F7/00Photomechanical, e.g. photolithographic, production of textured or patterned surfaces, e.g. printing surfaces; Materials therefor, e.g. comprising photoresists; Apparatus specially adapted therefor
    • G03F7/16Coating processes; Apparatus therefor
    • 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
    • H01L21/02Manufacture or treatment of semiconductor devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/027Making masks on semiconductor bodies for further photolithographic processing not provided for in group H01L21/18 or H01L21/34
    • 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
    • H01L21/683Apparatus 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 supporting or gripping

Abstract

<P>PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To stably float and convey a rectangular substrate to be processed on a flotation stage while holding the substrate in a fixed posture suitable for processing with simple constitution. <P>SOLUTION: First and second holding portions 106L and 106R of first (left-side) and second (right-side) conveyance portions 84L and 84R have two suction pads 108L and 108R coupled to rear surfaces (lower surfaces) of two left-side corners of the substrate and rear surfaces (lower surfaces) of two right-side corners with vacuum sucking force, a pair of pad support portions 110R etc., supporting the suction pads 108L and 108R at two places leaving a certain gap in a conveying direction (X direction) while restricting vertical displacement, and a pair of pad actuators 112R etc., elevating and moving or displacing the pair of pad support portions 110R etc., independently. <P>COPYRIGHT: (C)2009,JPO&INPIT

Description

  The present invention relates to a substrate processing apparatus of a levitation conveyance type, and more particularly to a coating apparatus and a coating method for applying a processing liquid onto a substrate while levitation and conveyance of a substrate to be processed on a stage.

  In a photolithography process in a manufacturing process of a flat panel display (FPD) such as an LCD, spinless coating is performed on a substrate to be processed by relatively scanning a long resist nozzle having a slit-like discharge port. The coating method is frequently used.

  As one type of such a spinless coating method, for example, as disclosed in Patent Document 1, a stage for supporting a rectangular substrate to be processed (for example, a glass substrate) for FPD is configured to be a floating type, and a floating stage The substrate is transported in one horizontal direction (stage longitudinal direction) while floating in the air above, and the resist is directed toward the substrate passing directly under the long resist nozzle installed above the floating stage at a predetermined position during transport. A levitation transport method is known in which a resist solution is applied from one end to the other end on a substrate by discharging the solution in a strip shape.

  In such a levitation conveyance method, for example, as disclosed in Patent Document 2, on the levitation stage, the first conveyance unit holds the left and right side edge portions of the substrate and changes the application position from the carry-in position. The substrate is transported to the first position set between the coating position and the unloading position, and the second transport unit holds the left and right side edges of the substrate and is set between the transport position. There is also known a spinless coating method for shortening the tact time by transporting the substrate from the second position to the unloading position through the coating position.

A conventional resist coating apparatus of this type includes a pair of guide rails disposed on both the left and right sides of the stage and a pair of left and right guides that move straight along the guide rails in order to float and convey the substrate on a floating stage. The left and right sides of the board are attached to the left and right sides of the board so that they can be detachably attached at regular intervals, and the left and right side of the suction pads are connected to the left and right sliders, respectively, and the flying height of the board is followed. And a connecting member such as a leaf spring that is displaced vertically.
JP-A-2005-244155 JP 2006-237482 A

  As described above, the conventional levitation transfer type resist coating method variably controls the flying height of the substrate by the pressure of the gas applied to the substrate from the levitation stage, and a row of suction pads or connecting members for holding the substrate are arranged on the substrate. It is designed to move up and down following the flying height. However, the suction pad that holds the substrate when the front end and rear end of the substrate flutter up and down during levitation conveyance or when the substrate bends in a mountain shape perpendicular to the conveyance direction. And the connecting member vibrate together with the substrate or move up and down, and the substrate cannot be held or corrected in a certain posture suitable for the coating process, and the film thickness of the resist coating film fluctuates. It was easy to occur.

  The present invention has been made in view of the above-mentioned problems of the prior art, and is stable by holding a rectangular substrate to be processed in a fixed posture suitable for processing with a simple configuration on a floating stage. It is an object of the present invention to provide a substrate processing apparatus that can be floated and conveyed.

  Another object of the present invention is to provide a floating conveyance type coating apparatus and coating method that improve a mechanism for holding a rectangular substrate to be processed and improve coating quality and tact time.

  In order to achieve the above object, a substrate processing apparatus of the present invention includes a stage that floats a rectangular substrate to be processed by gas pressure, and a holding unit that detachably holds the substrate that is floating on the stage. A transfer unit that moves the substrate in the transfer direction integrally with the holding unit to float and transfer the substrate in a predetermined transfer direction on the stage, and the holding unit A holding member that substantially does not bend locally holds the two corners on the left and right sides with respect to the transport direction, and an elevating unit for moving the holding member up and down or displacing the holding member.

  In the above configuration, the holding unit or holding member provided in the transfer unit holds the left and right corners of the substrate substantially without bending, so the transfer unit floats and conveys the rectangular substrate on the stage. In this case, even if the floating pressure received from the stage side fluctuates, it is possible to suppress fluttering of the front end portion or the rear end portion of the substrate by the rigid holding force or restraining force of the holding portion or holding member. Even in the case of bending in a mountain shape in a direction orthogonal to the transport direction, the substrate can be horizontally corrected in the same direction by the rigid holding force or restraining force of the holding portion.

  According to a preferred aspect of the present invention, the holding member includes two suction pads that can be sucked on the back surfaces of the left and right corners of the substrate, and two suction pads that are spaced apart from each other by a predetermined distance in the transport direction. And a pad support part that supports and supports the displacement in the vertical direction at each point. The elevating unit includes first and second actuators for independently elevating and driving the first and second pad support units, and elevating control for comprehensively controlling the driving operations of the first and second actuators. Part. In this case, in order to absorb the lifting error between the first and second pad support portions, both the first and second pad support portions can horizontally rotate the suction pad around the vertical plane in the vertical plane. A configuration having a rotation shaft and one of the first and second pad support portions having a linear motion shaft that allows the suction pad to be linearly displaced in the horizontal direction is preferable. Moreover, as a preferable aspect, the elevating unit generally controls the first and second actuators that drive the first and second pad support units up and down independently, and the driving operations of the first and second actuators. And a lift control unit for controlling. Here, the actuator may include a motor and a transmission mechanism that converts the rotational driving force of the motor into a linearly moving motion in the vertical direction of the pad support portion. The lifting control unit may include an encoder for detecting the rotation angle of the motor, and may control the rotation amount of the motor using the output signal of the encoder as a feedback signal in order to control the lifting / lowering movement distance of the pad support unit.

  Thus, in the configuration in which each suction pad is supported or moved up and down by two axes and is suction-bonded to the two left and right corners of the substrate, the suction pad and thus the front end portion and the rear end portion of the substrate can be easily and stably placed in any inclined posture or Can be set or adjusted to level.

  As another preferred embodiment, the holding member supports two suction pads that can be sucked to the back surfaces of the two left and right corners of the substrate, and supports each suction pad by restricting the displacement in the vertical direction. It has a single pad support part, and a raising / lowering part may have an actuator which raises / lowers a pad support part, and a raising / lowering control part which controls the drive operation of an actuator. In this case, it is preferable that the holding unit includes a first pad posture adjusting unit for adjusting the angle of the suction pad with respect to the horizontal line in the transport direction. Thus, even when the suction pad is supported by the uniaxial (single) pad support portion, the same substrate holding function as in the case where the suction pad is supported by the pair (biaxial) pad support portion as described above, and A substrate posture correcting function can be provided.

  Further, as a more preferable aspect, a second pad posture adjusting unit for adjusting the angle of the suction surface of the suction pad with respect to a horizontal line orthogonal to the transport direction may be provided.

  In a preferred aspect of the present invention, a rotational displacement preventing means for preventing rotational displacement in a horizontal plane with respect to the holding portion of the substrate during levitation conveyance is provided. As such rotation variation preventing means, for example, protrusions that are integrally formed on the upper surface of the suction pad and that engage with both orthogonal side surfaces of the corner of the substrate at a position lower than the upper surface of the substrate are provided. Alternatively, as a preferred aspect, a locking member that locks to the front side surface in the substrate transport direction when the floating transport is decelerated to prevent rotational displacement forward of the substrate, or a substrate transport when the floating transport is accelerated. A locking member that locks to the rear side surface in the direction to prevent the rotational displacement of the substrate rearward is used. Alternatively, as another preferred embodiment, an intermediate pad member that is attracted to the back surface of the substrate side edge between two corners on one side of the substrate held by the holding member to prevent rotational displacement of the substrate is used.

  A coating apparatus according to the present invention includes a stage that floats a rectangular substrate to be processed with gas pressure, and a first holding unit that detachably holds right and left edges with respect to the transport direction of the substrate that floats on the stage. A first transport unit that moves the substrate in the transport direction integrally with the first holding unit to float and transport the substrate on the stage; and a transport direction of the substrate that floats on the stage A second holding portion that detachably holds the other left and right edge portions, and in order to float and convey the substrate on the stage, the substrate is integrated with the second holding portion in the conveyance direction. A second transport unit to be moved and a long nozzle disposed above the stage, and pass directly under the nozzle in the floating transport to form a coating film of the processing liquid on the substrate. Process from the nozzle toward the substrate A first holding member that substantially holds the two corners on the left and right sides with respect to the transport direction of the substrate. And a first elevating part for moving the first holding member up and down or displacing the first holding member, and the second holding part locally places the other two corners on the left and right sides with respect to the transport direction of the substrate. A second holding member that does not flex substantially and a second elevating part for moving the second holding member up and down or displacing the second holding member.

  Further, the coating method of the present invention sets a loading position, a coating start position, a coating end position, and a carry-out position in a line along the transport direction on the levitation stage, and performs rectangular processing by gas pressure on the levitation stage. The substrate is floated to a desired height, and on the levitation stage, in the first section from the carry-in position to the application start position, the left and right corners are substantially bent with respect to the substrate transport direction. In the second section from the application start position to the application end position, the substrate is locally held by an elevating holding member that does not substantially deflect the four corners of the substrate. In the third section from the coating end position to the unloading position, a holding member capable of moving up and down that does not substantially deflect the other two corners on the left and right sides with respect to the transport direction of the substrate is locally used. Hold and transfer the substrate Transported countercurrent, the substrate is coated with the treatment liquid on the upper surface of the substrate while moving the second section.

  In the coating apparatus or the coating method of the present invention, the first or second holding unit holds the two corners on the left and right sides in levitation conveyance other than the coating process, and performs uniaxial conveyance. The first and second holding units simultaneously hold the two corners on the left and right sides of the substrate to perform biaxial conveyance. In the case of single-axis transport, a rectangular substrate to be processed can be floated and transported while being held in a fixed posture on the surfacing stage in the same manner as the substrate processing apparatus of the present invention. Further, at the time of biaxial conveyance, the substrate can be floated and conveyed while being held or corrected in a posture (usually a horizontal posture) more suitable for the coating process. A section in which both the first and second transport units cooperate to perform biaxial transport is limited to the vicinity of the application position, and other than that, transport or movement operation in each share section (loading side section, unloading side section) Since the process is performed individually, the tact time can be shortened.

  According to the substrate processing apparatus of the present invention, with the above-described configuration and operation, a rectangular substrate to be processed can be stably floated and held on a floating stage with a simple configuration and in a fixed posture suitable for processing. be able to.

  Further, according to the coating apparatus and the coating method of the present invention, with the above-described configuration and operation, the mechanism for holding the rectangular substrate to be processed in the floating transport method is improved to improve the coating quality and the tact time. Can be planned.

  Hereinafter, preferred embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

  FIG. 1 shows a coating and developing treatment system as one configuration example to which the substrate processing apparatus, coating apparatus and coating method of the present invention can be applied. The coating and developing processing system 10 is installed in a clean room. For example, a rectangular glass substrate is used as a processing target G, and a series of cleaning, resist coating, pre-baking, developing, post-baking, and the like in a photolithography process in an LCD manufacturing process. The process is performed. The exposure process is performed by an external exposure apparatus 12 installed adjacent to this system.

  In the coating and developing system 10, a horizontally long process station (P / S) 16 is disposed at the center, and a cassette station (C / S) 14 and an interface station (I / F) are disposed at both ends in the longitudinal direction (X direction). ) 18.

  The cassette station (C / S) 14 is a cassette loading / unloading port of the system 10, and arranges up to four cassettes C that can accommodate a plurality of substrates C in a horizontal direction (Y direction) by stacking substrates G in multiple stages. A cassette stage 20 that can be placed, and a transport mechanism 22 that takes in and out the substrate G to and from the cassette C on the stage 20 are provided. The transport mechanism 22 has a transport arm 22a that can hold the substrate G in units of one or two, can operate on four axes of X, Y, Z, and θ, and is adjacent to a process station (P / S). The substrate G can be transferred to and from the 16 side.

  In the process station (P / S) 16, the processing units are arranged in the order of the process flow or the process on a pair of parallel and opposite lines A and B extending in the horizontal system longitudinal direction (X direction).

  More specifically, the upstream process line A from the cassette station (C / S) 14 side to the interface station (I / F) 18 side includes a carry-in unit (IN PASS) 24, a cleaning process unit 26, a first The thermal processing section 28, the coating process section 30, and the second thermal processing section 32 are arranged in a line in this order from the upstream side along the first flat flow path 34.

  More specifically, the carry-in unit (IN PASS) 24 receives the unprocessed substrates G from the transport mechanism 22 of the cassette station (C / S) 14 in units of one or two, and in a predetermined tact one by one. It is configured so as to be fed into one flat flow path 34. The cleaning process unit 24 includes an excimer UV irradiation unit (E-UV) 36 and a scrubber cleaning unit (SCR) 38 in order from the upstream side along the first flat flow path 34. The first thermal processing unit 28 includes an adhesion unit (AD) 40 and a cooling unit (COL) 42 in order from the upstream side.

  The coating process unit 30 includes a sorter unit (SORTER) 43, a resist coating unit (COT) 44, a sorter unit (SORTER) 45, and a vacuum drying unit (VD) 46 in order from the upstream side. The substrate G transported from the first thermal processing unit 28 in a flat flow is carried into a resist coating unit (COT) 44 through a sorter unit (SORTER) 43 in a flat flow. Then, the substrate G that has been subjected to the resist coating process by the resist coating unit (COT) 44 is fed through the sorter unit (SORTER) 45 and sent to the vacuum drying unit (VD) 46. The reduced-pressure drying unit (VD) 46 has a chamber in which the substrate G can be stored and depressurized, and a transfer mechanism that carries the substrate G in and out of the chamber in a flat flow.

  The second thermal processing unit 32 includes a pre-bake unit (PRE-BAKE) 48 and a cooling unit (COL) 50 in order from the upstream side. A pass unit (PASS) 52 is provided at the end point of the first flat flow conveyance path 34 located adjacent to the downstream side of the second thermal processing unit 32. The substrate G that has been transported in a flat flow on the first flat flow transport path 34 is transferred from the pass unit (PASS) 52 at the end point to the interface station (I / F) 18.

  On the other hand, in the downstream process line B from the interface station (I / F) 18 side to the cassette station (C / S) 14 side, a development unit (DEV) 54, a post-bake unit (POST-BAKE) 56, a cooling unit are provided. A unit (COL) 58, an inspection unit (AP) 60 and a carry-out unit (OUT-PASS) 62 are arranged in a line in this order from the upstream side along the second flat flow path 64. Here, the post-bake unit (POST-BAKE) 56 and the cooling unit (COL) 58 constitute a third thermal processing unit 66. The carry-out unit (OUT PASS) 62 receives the processed substrates G one by one from the second flat-carrying transport path 64 and supplies them to the transport mechanism 22 of the cassette station (C / S) 14 in units of one or two. Configured to pass in.

  An auxiliary transfer space 68 is provided between the process lines A and B. It should be noted that a shuttle (not shown) that can horizontally place the substrates G in units of one sheet may be moved in both directions in the process line direction (X direction) by a drive mechanism (not shown). .

  The interface station (I / F) 18 includes a transfer device 72 for exchanging the substrate G with the first and second flat flow transfer paths 34 and 64 and the adjacent exposure device 12. A rotary stage (R / S) 74 and a peripheral device 76 are arranged around the periphery. The rotary stage (R / S) 74 is a stage that rotates the substrate G in a horizontal plane, and is used to change the orientation of the rectangular substrate G when it is transferred to the exposure apparatus 12. In the peripheral device 76, for example, a titler (TITLER), a peripheral exposure device (EE), and the like are provided on a floor above the second flat flow path 64. Although not shown, a starting point pass unit (PASS) for receiving the substrate G from the transfer device 72 and placing it on the second flat flow transfer path 64 is provided below the peripheral device 76.

  FIG. 2 shows a processing procedure of all steps for one substrate G in this coating and developing processing system. First, in the cassette station (C / S) 14, the transport mechanism 22 takes out one or two substrates G from any one cassette C on the stage 20, and removes the removed substrates G from the process station (P / S). ) It is carried into the carry-in unit (IN PASS) 24 on the process line A side of 16 (step S1). From the carry-in unit (IN PASS) 24, the substrates G are transferred or loaded onto the first flat flow path 34 one by one with a predetermined tact.

  The substrate G put into the first flat transport path 34 is first subjected to an ultraviolet cleaning process and a scrubbing cleaning process by the excimer UV irradiation unit (E-UV) 36 and the scrubber cleaning unit (SCR) 38 in the cleaning process unit 26. Sequentially applied (steps S2, S3). The scrubber cleaning unit (SCR) 38 removes particulate contamination from the substrate surface by performing brushing cleaning and blow cleaning on the substrate G that moves horizontally on the flat flow path 32, and then rinses. Finally, the substrate G is dried using an air knife or the like. When a series of cleaning processes in the scrubber cleaning unit (SCR) 38 is completed, the substrate G passes through the first thermal processing section 28 as it is down the first flat flow path 34.

  In the first thermal processing unit 28, the substrate G is first subjected to an adhesion process using vapor HMDS in the adhesion unit (AD) 40, and the surface to be processed is hydrophobized (step S4). After the completion of this adhesion process, the substrate G is cooled to a predetermined substrate temperature by the cooling unit (COL) 42 (step S5). Thereafter, the substrate G is transported down the first flat flow transport path 34 to the coating process unit 30.

  When entering the coating process unit 30, the substrate G is transferred from the sorter unit (SORTER) 43 to the resist coating unit (COT) 44, and the substrate upper surface (surface to be processed) is formed by a spinless method of floating conveyance using a long slit nozzle. ) Is coated with a resist solution. Next, it is sent to a reduced pressure drying unit (VD) 46 through a sorter unit (SORTER) 45, where it is subjected to a normal temperature drying process under reduced pressure (step S6).

  The substrate G that has left the coating process unit 30 passes through the second thermal processing unit 32 through the first flat flow path 34. In the second thermal processing section 32, the substrate G is first pre-baked by the pre-bake unit (PRE-BAKE) 48 as a heat treatment after resist coating or a heat treatment before exposure (step S7). By this pre-baking, the solvent remaining in the resist film on the substrate G is evaporated and removed, and the adhesion of the resist film to the substrate is enhanced. Next, the substrate G is cooled to a predetermined substrate temperature by the cooling unit (COL) 50 (step S8). Thereafter, the substrate G is taken from the pass unit (PASS) 52 at the end point of the first flat flow transport path 34 to the transport device 72 of the interface station (I / F) 18.

  In the interface station (I / F) 18, the substrate G is subjected to, for example, a 90-degree direction change by the rotary stage 74 and then carried into the peripheral exposure device (EE) of the peripheral device 76, where it adheres to the peripheral portion of the substrate G. After receiving the exposure for removing the resist to be developed, the resist is sent to the adjacent exposure apparatus 12 (step S9).

  In the exposure apparatus 12, a predetermined circuit pattern is exposed to the resist on the substrate G. Then, when the substrate G that has undergone pattern exposure is returned from the exposure apparatus 12 to the interface station (I / F) 18 (step S9), it is first carried into a titler (TITLER) of the peripheral device 76, where there is a predetermined on the substrate. Predetermined information is written in the part (step S10). Thereafter, the substrate G is carried from the transfer device 72 to the start point path unit (PASS) of the second flat flow transfer path 64 laid on the process line B side of the process station (P / S) 16.

  In this way, the substrate G is transferred on the second flat flow transfer path 64 toward the downstream side of the process line B. In the first development unit (DEV) 54, the substrate G is subjected to a series of development processes of development, rinsing, and drying while being conveyed in a flat flow (step S11).

  The substrate G that has undergone a series of development processes in the development unit (DEV) 54 is sequentially passed through the third thermal processing unit 66 and the inspection unit (AP) 60 while being put on the second flat flow path 64 as it is. To do. In the third thermal processing section 66, the substrate G is first subjected to post-baking as post-development heat treatment in the post-bake unit (POST-BAKE) 56 (step S12). By this post-baking, the developing solution and the cleaning solution remaining in the resist film on the substrate G are removed by evaporation, and the adhesion of the resist pattern to the substrate is enhanced. Next, the substrate G is cooled to a predetermined substrate temperature by the cooling unit (COL) 58 (step S13). In the inspection unit (AP) 60, non-contact line width inspection, film quality / film thickness inspection, and the like are performed on the resist pattern on the substrate G (step S14).

  The carry-out unit (OUT PASS) 62 receives the substrates G that have been processed in all processes from the second flat-carrying transport path 64 one by one, and the cassette station (C / S) 14 in units of one or two. To the transport mechanism 22. On the cassette station (C / S) 14 side, the transport mechanism 22 receives either one (usually the original) processed substrate G received from the carry-out unit (OUT PASS) 62 in units of one or two. Housed in cassette C (step S1).

  In the coating and developing treatment system 10, the present invention can be applied to the resist coating unit (COT) 44 in the coating process unit 30. Hereinafter, an embodiment in which the present invention is applied to a resist coating unit (COT) 44 will be described in detail with reference to FIGS.

  3 to 5 show the overall configuration of the resist coating unit (COT) 44 in this embodiment, FIG. 3 is a schematic plan view, FIG. 4 is a perspective view, and FIG. 5 is a schematic front view.

As shown in FIG. 3, the resist coating unit (COT) 44 includes a stage 80 that extends long in the transport direction (X direction) of the first flat flow transport path 34 (FIG. 1). The substrate G to be subjected to the coating process is carried from the sorter unit (SORTER) 43 into the upstream area (loading area M 1 ) of the stage 80 as indicated by the arrow F A. Then, the substrate G that has been subjected to the spinless resist coating process by the floating conveyance as shown by the arrow F B on the stage 80 is indicated by the arrow F C from the conveyance downstream end area (unloading area M 3 ) of the stage 80. To the sorter unit (SORTER) 45. A long resist nozzle 82 for supplying a resist solution to the substrate G is disposed above the central region (application region M 3 ) of the stage 80 in the longitudinal direction.

Although the illustration of the sorter unit (SORTER) 43 on the carry-in side is omitted, a roller conveyance path laid in the conveyance direction (X direction) of the first flat flow conveyance path 34 (FIG. 1), and the roller conveyance path A plurality of suction pads that can be vacuum-sucked / removable at the edge of the back surface of the substrate, and a substrate feed mechanism that moves these suction pads in both directions parallel to the transport direction. When the substrate that has been thermally processed by the first thermal processing unit 28 on the upstream side is received on the roller conveyance path in a flat flow, the suction pad rises and is attracted to the rear edge of the substrate, and the substrate is attracted. The substrate feeding mechanism moves the substrate to the carry-in area M 1 of the stage 80 through the suction pad to be held. Then, after the substrate is carried into the carry-area M 1, the suction pad is separated from the substrate, then the substrate feed mechanism and the suction pad so that the return to the original position.

Similarly, the sorter unit (SORTER) 45 on the carry-out side is connected to the roller conveyance path laid in the conveyance direction (X direction) of the first flat flow conveyance path 34 (FIG. 1) and the substrate on the roller conveyance path. A plurality of suction pads that can be suctioned / removed in vacuum at the edge of the back surface of the substrate, and a substrate feed mechanism that moves these suction pads in both directions in parallel to the transport direction. When the resist-coated substrate on the stage 80 of the resist coating unit (COT) 44 arrives at the carry-out area M 3 , the suction pad rises and is sucked to the back surface edge of the substrate to suck and hold the substrate. A substrate feed mechanism feeds the substrate to the decompression unit (VD) 46 adjacent to the downstream side through the pad. And after delivering a board | substrate to the conveyance part in the decompression unit (VD) 46, a suction pad isolate | separates from a board | substrate, and a board | substrate feed mechanism and a suction pad return to an original position then.

  As shown in FIG. 4, the stage 80 is configured as a levitation stage that floats the substrate G in the air by the force of gas pressure, and has a number of jet outlets 84 for jetting a predetermined gas (usually air) on its upper surface. It is formed on one side. The first (left side) and second (right side) conveyance units 84L and 84R arranged on the left and right sides of the stage 80 are individually or in cooperation with each other on the stage 80. The floating substrate G is detachably held, and the substrate G is conveyed in the stage longitudinal direction (X direction). On the stage 80, the substrate G is floated and transported in a horizontal posture such that its pair of sides are parallel to the transport direction (X direction) and the other pair of sides are orthogonal to the transport direction.

The stage 80 is divided into a plurality of, for example, three regions M 1 , M 2 , and M 3 along the longitudinal direction (X direction) (FIG. 5). Area M 1 at one end is carrying area, a new substrate G to be subjected to the coating process as described above per FIG 3 is carried from sorter unit (SORTER) 43 to the loading area M 1 in a flat flow.

Loading area M 1 is also a region levitation transportation of the substrate G is started, blows compressed air pressure or positive pressure to float the substrate G on the stage upper surface of the region in flying height H a for carrying injection A number of outlets 84 are provided at a constant density. Here, the flying height H a of the substrate G in the carrying region M 1 does not require a particularly high accuracy, for example if kept in the range of 250~350Myuemu. Further, it is preferable that the size of the carry-in area M 1 exceeds the size of the substrate G in the transport direction (X direction). Further, the carrying-area M 1, the alignment unit 85 (FIG. 10) for aligning the substrate G on the stage 80 may be provided.

A region M 2 set at the center in the longitudinal direction of the stage 80 is a resist solution supply region or a coating region, and the substrate G is supplied with the resist solution R from the upper resist nozzle 82 when passing through the coating region M 2. receive. The substrate flying height Hb in the coating region M 2 defines a coating gap S (for example, 200 μm) between the lower end (discharge port) 82a of the resist nozzle 82 and the substrate upper surface (surface to be processed). The coating gap S is an important parameter that affects the film thickness of the resist coating film and the resist consumption, and must be kept constant with high accuracy. From this, on the upper surface of the stage in the coating region M 2 , a jet 84 for ejecting high-pressure or positive-pressure compressed air and a negative pressure in order to stably float the substrate G at a desired flying height H b in a predetermined arrangement pattern. And a suction port 88 for sucking air. Then, a vertical upward force by compressed air is applied from the jet outlet 84 to the portion located in the coating region M 2 of the substrate G, and at the same time, a vertical downward force by a negative pressure suction force is applied from the suction port 88. In addition, the flying height Hb for coating is maintained in the vicinity of a set value (for example, 30 to 50 μm) by controlling the balance of the opposing forces that oppose each other.

The size of the coating region M 2 in the transport direction (X direction) is sufficient if there is enough room to stably form the narrow coating gap S as described above immediately below the resist nozzle 82, and is usually larger than the size of the substrate G. It may be small, for example, about 1/3 to 1/4. In the illustrated example, the upper surface of the application region M 2 is one step higher than the upper surface of the other regions M 1 and M 3 by an amount corresponding to the difference in flying height (for example, 200 to 300 μm). Can pass through the three regions M 1 , M 2 , and M 3 in the transport direction while maintaining the horizontal posture.

A region M 3 at the other end of the stage 80 located on the downstream side of the coating region M 2 is a carry-out region. The substrate G that has been subjected to the coating process by the resist coating unit (COT) 44 is flushed from the carry-out area M 3 and passes through the sorter unit (SORTER) 45 to the downstream side vacuum drying unit (VD) 46 (FIG. 1). It is transferred to. In the carry-out area M 3 , a large number of jet outlets 84 with a constant density are provided on the upper surface of the stage for floating the substrate G at a floating height H c for carry-out (for example, 250 to 350 μm).

  The resist nozzle 82 has a slit-like discharge port 82a that can cover the substrate G on the stage 80 from one end to the other end in the longitudinal direction (Y direction), and a gate-shaped or inverted U-shaped frame 94 (FIG. 3). For example, it can be moved up and down by driving a nozzle elevating unit 95 (FIG. 10) having a ball screw mechanism, and is connected to a resist solution supply pipe 98 (FIG. 4) from a resist solution supply unit 96 (FIG. 10). Yes.

  As shown in FIGS. 3, 4, 6, and 7, the first (left side) and second (right side) transport units 84 </ b> L and 84 </ b> R are arranged in parallel on the left and right sides of the stage 80. Two guide rails 100L and 100R, first and second sliders 102L and 102R mounted on these guide rails 100L and 100R so as to be movable in the transport direction (X direction), and both guide rails 100L and 100R The first and second transport drive units 104L and 104R that move the sliders 102L and 102L straightly or individually, and the first slider mounted on the sliders 102L and 102 to detachably hold the substrate G. And second holding portions 106L and 106R, respectively. Each of the conveyance driving units 104L and 104R is configured by a linear drive mechanism such as a linear motor.

  As shown in FIGS. 3, 4, and 7 to 9, the first (left side) holding portion 106 </ b> L has two adsorptions that are coupled to the back surfaces (lower surfaces) of the left two corners of the substrate G by a vacuum adsorption force. The pad 108L, a pair of pad support portions 110L for supporting the suction pads 108L by restricting the displacement in the vertical direction at two places spaced apart in the transport direction (X direction), and the pair of pad support portions 110L And a pair of pad actuators 112L that can be moved up and down independently or displaced up and down independently.

  The second (right side) holding portion 106R includes two suction pads 108R that are respectively coupled to the back surfaces (lower surfaces) of the right two corners of the substrate G by a vacuum suction force, and each suction pad 108R in the transport direction (X direction). A pair of pad support portions 110R that support the displacement in the vertical direction at two positions spaced apart from each other, and a pair of pad actuators 112R that move the pair of pad support portions 110R up and down independently or move up and down independently. And have.

  As shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the suction pads 108 </ b> L and 108 </ b> R on both the left and right sides are provided with a plurality of suction ports 114 on the upper surface of a rectangular parallelepiped pad body made of, for example, stainless steel (SUS). Each suction port 114 of the left suction pad 108L is connected to the external left vacuum tube 116L via a vacuum passage in the pad body, and each suction port 114 of the right suction pad 108R is connected to the external right side via a vacuum passage in the pad body. Is connected to the vacuum pipe 116R (FIG. 7). The vacuum tubes 116L and 116R on both sides communicate with vacuum sources (not shown) of the first and second pad suction control units 118 (FIG. 10), respectively.

  Each pad support portion 110L (R) is an L-shaped rigid rod made of, for example, stainless steel (SUS), and its lower end portion (base end portion) extends in the vertical direction and is coupled to the pad actuator 112L (R). The upper end portion of the suction pad 108 </ b> L extends in the horizontal direction and is coupled to the suction pad 108 </ b> L (R).

  Here, the connection relationship between each suction pad 108L (R) and the pair of front and rear pad support portions 110L (R) that support the suction pad 108L (R) indicates that the lifting error between the two pad support portions 110L (R) is the suction pad 108L (R). The structure which can be absorbed on the () side is preferable. For this purpose, both of the pad support portions 110L (R) have a horizontal rotation shaft that enables the suction pad 108L (R) to be rotationally displaced in the vertical plane around the pad support portions 110L (R). It is preferable that one of the two has a linear motion shaft that allows the suction pad 108L (R) to be linearly displaced in the horizontal direction. In this embodiment, for example, as shown in FIG. 9, the front bearing 120L (R) is attached to the front portion of the suction pad 108L (R) via the joint portion 118L (R), and the suction pad 108L (R) A rear bearing 124L (R) is attached to the rear portion via a linear motion guide 122L (R) in the X direction, and the front and rear pad support portions 110L (R) are horizontally mounted on the front bearing 120L (R) and the rear bearing 124L (R). The upper end portions extending in the direction are coupled to each other.

  Each pad actuator 112L (R) converts, for example, a servo motor 126L (R) and the rotational driving force of the servo motor 126L (R) into a linear motion in the vertical direction of the front pad support 110L (R). And a transmission mechanism 128L (R) including a ball screw mechanism integrated with a linear motion guide. Each servomotor 126L (R) is attached with a rotary encoder (not shown) for detecting the respective rotation angle. By controlling the amount of rotation of both servo motors 126L (R) using the output signals of these rotary encoders as feedback signals, the vertical movement distances of the front and rear pad support portions 110L (R) can be made to match substantially accurately. Can do.

  Furthermore, in this embodiment, in order to further increase the accuracy of the above-described up-and-down movement control with respect to each pad support portion 110L (R), as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, each pad support portion 110L (R) A linear scale 130L (R) is provided for feedback by actually measuring the lift position or lift movement distance. Each linear scale 130L (R) includes a scale portion 132L (R) attached to the slider 102L (R) and extending in the Z direction, and each pad support portion for optically reading the scale of the scale portion 132L (R). And a scale reading unit 134L (R) attached to 110L (R).

  As described above, the holding portion 106L (R) of this embodiment has a pair of front and rear via a pair of rigid front and rear pad support portions 110L (R) that do not substantially deflect each suction pad 108L (R). Since the pad actuator 112L (R) is driven up and down by two axes, each suction pad 108L (R) can be moved up and down stably while maintaining a fixed posture (horizontal posture or inclined posture).

  It should be noted that in the transport sections 84L and 84R, all of the electrical wiring, piping, etc. that connect each section mounted on the movable sliders 102L and 102R to the stationary control section and utility power source are flexible cable bearers (not shown). ).

Although not illustrated in detail, a large number of jets 84 formed on the upper surface of the stage 80, a compressed air supply mechanism (not shown) for supplying compressed air for generating levitation force to them, and further the stage 80 In the loading area M 1 and the unloading area M 3 , there are a large number of suction ports 88 formed in the coating area M 2 and mixed with the jet outlets 84 and a vacuum mechanism (not shown) for supplying vacuum pressure to them. A stage substrate for floating the substrate G with flying heights H a and H c suitable for loading / unloading and high-speed conveyance, and for floating the substrate G with a set flying height H b suitable for stable and accurate resist coating scanning in the coating region M 2. A floating portion 136 (FIG. 10) is formed.

  FIG. 10 shows the configuration of the control system in the resist coating unit (COT) 44 of this embodiment. The controller 138 is composed of a microcomputer, and each part in the unit, in particular, the stage substrate floating portion 136, the resist solution supply unit 96, the nozzle lifting / lowering unit 95, the first (left side) transport unit 84L (the first transport drive unit 104L, the first transport unit). 1 pad suction control unit 118L, first pad actuator 112L), second (right side) transport unit 84R (second transport drive unit 104R, second pad suction control unit 118R, second pad actuator 112R), etc. And the overall operation (sequence) are controlled.

  Next, the coating processing operation in the resist coating unit (COT) 44 of this embodiment will be described with reference to FIGS. 11 and 12A to 12I. FIG. 11 is a timing chart showing the position or state of each part in the unit (COT) 44 in one cycle of the coating treatment operation. 12A to 12I are schematic plan views showing positions or states of main movable parts at each time point in one cycle.

  The controller 138 fetches and executes a resist coating processing program stored in a storage medium such as an optical disk in the main memory, and controls a series of programmed coating processing operations.

Figure 12A corresponds to the time point t 0 of FIG. 11 shows a state immediately after the sorter units (SORTER) 43 new substrate G i (FIG. 1) than the untreated is carried into the carry-area M 1 stage 80 . At this time, the conveyance portion 84L of the first (left) has just returned to the conveyance start position P a corresponding slider 102L to the carrying position in the loading area M 1. The pad suction control unit 118L starts supplying vacuum to the suction pad 108L at this time. However, the pad actuator 112L lowers the suction pad 108L to the original position (retracted position). On the other hand, the second (right side) transport unit 84R has just delivered the previous substrate G i-1 that has undergone the coating process on the stage 76 to the carry - out region M 3 . The slider 102R is arrived at the transport end position P b corresponding to the unloading position in the unloading area M 3, the pad suction control unit 118R is released a vacuum suction force from the suction pads 108R.

Next, the alignment unit 85 operates in the carry-in area M 1 , and presses a pressing member (not shown) from four directions to the floating substrate G i as indicated by the arrow J to align the substrate G i on the stage 80. (FIG. 12B, time point t 1 in FIG. 11). The second conveying unit 84R, the substrate G after the i-1 was delivered to the sorter unit (SORTER) 45, high speed V 1 of the slider 102R from the conveying end position P b to the conveyance stop position P c corresponding to an application start position Let me return. The sorter unit (SORTER) 45 unloads the received substrate G i-1 from the unload area M 3 of the stage 80 in a flat flow (time t 1 in FIGS. 12B and 11). The application start position is set between the carry-in position in the carry-in area M 1 and the position immediately below the resist nozzle 82, that is, the resist solution supply position P s .

The alignment of the substrate G i is completed in carrying area M 1, the pad activator eta 112L in the first conveying portion 84L is operated immediately after, the forward position the suction pad 108L from the original position (retracted position) (binding position) Ascend (UP). Suction pad 108L is turned on the vacuum from the previous binds with and whether or vacuum suction force in contact with the two corners of the left and right side (left side) of the substrate G i of floating state (FIG. 12C, the time of FIG. 11 t 2 ). The second conveying unit 84R is while waiting for slider 102R in the conveyance stop position P c, to start the supply of vacuum to the suction pads 108R (FIG. 12C, the time of FIG. 11 t 2).

Next, the first transport portion 84L is relatively fast constant speed V slider 102L while maintaining the left two corners of the substrate G i at the holder 106L from the conveyance start position P a to the substrate transporting direction (X direction) It moved straight in 2, Once in feeding-stop position P c on the upstream side corresponding to the coating start position on the stage 80, where it is paused (Figure 12D, the time t 3 in Figure 11). The coating start position, the front end of the resist coating area on the substrate G i (coating start line) is located directly below the resist nozzle 82. Incidentally, in the substrate transfer from the transport start position P a to the upstream side conveyance stop position P c, the right edge of the substrate G i (in particular the right two corners) but has a free end, flying by the stage substrate floating unit 136 It is constrained to a height position by the force, to move at approximately the same height as the left two corners of the substrate G i attached to the holding portion 106L of the first conveying portion 84L. However, the right edge is the left edge and the height of the substrate G i of the substrate G i is also slightly different, so levitation transportation before the coating treatment, no particular trouble.

When the slider 102L of the first conveying portion 84L as described above arrives at the upstream transport stop position P c, where the second conveyor part 84R in the pad activator mediator 112R on standby is activated, the suction pads 108R It is raised (UP) from the original position (retracted position) to the forward movement position (coupled position). Suction pads 108R, since the vacuum is turned on to bind in two corners in contact or not and the vacuum suction force of the other of the left and right (right side) of the substrate G i. Thus, the transport stop position P c corresponding to the coating start position on the stage 80, first and second conveying portions 84L, 84R are facing each other across the substrate G i of floating state, two left and right corners of the substrate G i (A total of four corners) are held (time t 4 in FIG. 12E and FIG. 11). Meanwhile, although not shown, down to the resist nozzle 82 nozzle vertical movement unit 95 is actuated, adjust the gap S between the outlets 82a and the substrate G i of the resist nozzle 82 to the set value (e.g., 200 [mu] m).

Next, the first and second conveying portions 84L, 84R causes the relatively straight movement at a slower constant speed V 3 slider 102L, 102R from the conveyance stop position P c in the substrate conveyance direction (X direction) at the same time (Fig. 11 time t 5 ). On the other hand, the resist solution supply unit 95 starts to discharge the resist solution R from the resist nozzle 82. Thus, towards the resist solution supply position P s immediately below the resist nozzle 82 on the upper surface of the substrate G i to pass at a constant speed V 2 in the X direction, the strip of the resist solution R from long resist nozzle 82 extending in the Y-direction by ejected at a constant flow rate, toward the rear end from the front end of the substrate G i will be coating film RM of the resist solution is formed (time t 6 in FIG. 12F, FIG. 11).

When the rear end portion of the substrate G i (coating end line) arrives at the resist solution supply position P s immediately below the resist nozzle 82, the timing in the coating process is completed, the resist solution in the resist solution supply unit 96 from the resist nozzle 82 at the same time to end the discharge of the R, stops simultaneously in the first and second conveying portions 84L, 84R are each slider 102L, the position of the front of the 102R to transport end position P b (downstream transport stop position) P d (FIG. 12G, time point t 7 in FIG. 11).

In the first transport portion 84L, the slider 102L arrives at the feeding-stop position P d as soon as the stopping the supply of vacuum pad adsorption control unit 118L is with respect to the suction pads 108L, and at the same time pad activator eta 112L is a suction pad 108L forward down position from the (binding position) to the original position (retracted position), to separate the suction pad 108L from the left edge of the substrate G i (FIG. 12H, the time t 8 in FIG. 11). At this time, the pad suction control unit 118L supplies a positive pressure (compressed air) to the suction pad 108L, accelerate separation from the substrate G i. Then, the slider 102L is moved at a high velocity V 5 in the direction opposite to the direction of substrate conveyance, thereby turning back to the conveyance start position P a (time t 9 in FIG. 12H, FIG. 11).

On the other hand, in the second conveying unit 84R, a constant velocity V relatively fast slider 102R while maintaining the right two corners from the downstream side substrate stop position P d to the transfer end position P b of the substrate G i at the holding portion 106R 4 , the substrate is moved in the substrate transport direction (X direction) (FIG. 12H, time point t 9 in FIG. 11). At this time, the left edge of the substrate G i (especially, the two left corners) is a free end, but the height position is still constrained by the flying force of the stage substrate floating portion 136, and the right two corners of the substrate G i Move at almost the same height. However, the left edge is the right edge and the height of the substrate G i of the substrate G i is also slightly different, so levitation transportation after the coating treatment, no particular trouble.

Then, as soon as the slider 102R arrives at the conveying end position P b, stopping the supply of vacuum pad adsorption control unit 118R is with respect to the suction pads 108R, and at the same time the forward movement position of the pad activator eta 112R suction pads 108R (bonding position) down from the original position (retracted position), to separate the suction pad 108R from the right side two corners of the substrate G i. At this time, the pad suction control unit 118B supplies a positive pressure (compressed air) to the suction pad 108R, accelerate separation from the substrate G i (FIG. 12H, FIG. 12I, the time t 10 in FIG. 11).

Note that the end or edge of the substrate G may protrude beyond the stage on the stage 80. In particular, in the carry-in area M 1 , the carry-in sorter unit (SORTER) 43 keeps the suction pad adsorbed to the back surface of the rear end portion of the substrate G, that is, the rear end portion of the substrate G protrudes outside the stage. In this state, the substrate G may be carried onto the stage 80. Further, in the carry-out area M 3 , the substrate G is in a state where the front end of the substrate G protrudes outside the stage, that is, in a state in which the carry-out sorter unit (SORTER) 45 easily adsorbs the suction pad to the back surface of the front end of the substrate G. G may be delivered from the stage 80 to the sorter unit (SORTER) 45.

As described above, in this embodiment, the carry-in area M 1 , the coating area M 2 , and the carry-out area M 3 are separately provided on the stage 80, and the substrate is sequentially transferred to each of these areas to carry out the substrate carry-in operation, resist The liquid supply operation and the substrate carry-out operation are performed independently or in parallel in each region. By such a pipeline system, a time (T IN ) required for the operation of loading a single substrate G onto the stage 80 and a time required for transferring from the loading area M 1 to the unloading area M 3 on the stage 80. The tact time is significantly shorter than the time required for one cycle of coating treatment (T C + T IN + T OUT ), which is the sum of (T C ) and the time required for unloading from the unloading area M 3 (T OUT ). can do.

Then, in order to transfer the substrate G i on the stage 80, first and second conveying portions 84L disposed on the left and right sides of the stage 80, either 84R is the left two corners and right two corners of the substrate, respectively It moves in the substrate transport direction while holding. Here, the first conveying unit 84L is set between the loading position in the loading area M 1 and the coating position through a coating position directly below the long resist nozzle 82 and unloading position in the unloading area M 3 The substrate floating on the stage 80 is held and transported to the coating end position. On the other hand, the second transport unit 84R holds and transports the substrate floating on the stage 80 from the coating start position set between the carry-in position and the coating position through the coating position to the carry-out position.

The section in which the first and second transport portions 84L and 84R hold and transport the substrate together is not the entire transport section from the carry-in position to the carry-out position, but an intermediate section from the coating start position to the coating end position. . When the first transport unit 84L transports the substrate G i to the coating end position, the first transport unit 84L finishes the role of transport to the substrate G i and immediately returns to the transport position to start transporting the subsequent new substrate G i + 1. . On the other hand, the second conveying unit 84R carries alone substrate G i to carry-out position from the coating end position, then turned back from the load position to the application start position of the front, the first conveying unit 84L is next to that position It is only necessary to wait for the substrate G i + 1 to be carried alone.

  Further, in this embodiment, in the first and second transport units 84L and 84R, the left two corners or the right two corners of the substrate G in a state of floating on the stage 80 are locally provided by two suction pads 108L (R). Each suction pad 108L (R) is supported by a rigid pad support portion 110L (R) that does not flex substantially, and a desired height is achieved by the lifting / lowering driving force of the pad actuator 112L (R). It is configured to be moved up and down or displaced up and down. In addition, each suction pad 108L (R) is moved in the transport direction (X) by being driven up and down by two axes by each pair of pad support portions 110L (R) and each pair of pad actuators 112L (R) and controlled by servo. It is possible to stably move up and down or move up and down while maintaining a certain posture or angle with respect to the horizontal line of (direction).

  According to such a configuration of the transfer units 84L and 84R, while the substrate G is levitated and transferred on the stage 80, the front end of the substrate G is in each row on the upper surface of the stage or each individual jet port 84 or suction port. Even if the flying pressure received from the stage 80 side changes abruptly at the moment of almost completely covering 88, or at the moment when the rear end of the substrate G opens each row or each individual jet port 84 or suction port 88 to the atmosphere. The flapping of the front end portion or the rear end portion of the substrate G can be suppressed by the rigid holding force or restraining force of the holding portions 106L and 106R.

  Further, depending on the floating characteristics of the stage 80, the size and thickness of the substrate G, etc., the substrate G that is levitated and conveyed on the stage 80 (particularly its front end or rear end) is shown in a direction (Y direction) perpendicular to the conveying direction. As shown in FIG. When the substrate G passes through the position immediately below the resist nozzle 82 in such an angle-curved posture, the film thickness of the resist coating film formed on the substrate G varies in a profile according to the curved shape.

  In order to solve such a problem, it is effective to slightly incline the suction pads 108L and 108R with respect to the horizontal line in the transport direction (X direction) as shown in FIGS. It becomes law. That is, the front suction pads 108L and 108R face the front in the transport direction (X direction) and take an upward inclined posture at a predetermined angle, and the rear suction pads 108L and 108R have the transport direction (X direction). Turn to the rear and take an upward inclined posture at a predetermined angle. Then, the front end portion and the rear end portion of the substrate G also take an inclined posture at the same angle in the transport direction (X direction) following the tilt posture of the suction pads 108L and 108R, and a mountain shape in a direction orthogonal to the transport direction (Y direction). The bend is removed and corrected horizontally. As a result, the substrate G passes through just below the line-shaped or slit-shaped discharge port 82a of the resist nozzle 82 while maintaining a state parallel to the end of the substrate, and is perpendicular to the transport direction (Y Direction), a resist coating film having a uniform film thickness is formed on the substrate G.

  On the other hand, in the transport direction (X direction), the film thickness of the resist coating film varies at the front end portion and the rear end portion of the substrate G with the inclination posture of the suction pads 108L and 108R. Therefore, the quality of the coating process (thickness uniformity in the product area) is not affected.

  In this embodiment, since each suction pad 108L (R) is supported and moved up and down by the biaxial pad support portion 110L (R) and the pad actuator 112L (R) in each holding portion 106L (R), as described above. In addition, it is possible to easily realize the posture in which each suction pad 108L (R) is inclined at an arbitrary angle with respect to the horizontal line in the transport direction (X direction).

  As a modification, as shown in FIG. 16, each suction pad 108 </ b> L (R) in each holding portion 106 </ b> L (R) is uniaxial (single) pad support 110 </ b> L (R) and pad actuator 112 </ b> L (R). It is also possible to adopt a configuration in which the suction pad 108L (R) is inclined at an arbitrary angle with respect to a horizontal line in the transport direction (X direction).

  The configuration example of FIG. 16 includes an upper support block 140 with a suction pad 108L (R) attached to the upper surface, and a base block 142 that is horizontally fixed to the upper end of the pad support portion 110L (R). The upper support block 140 is rotatably coupled to the base block 142 via the shaft 144 at one end in the X direction), and is connected to the base block 142 via the compression coil spring 146 and the differential screw 148 at the other end. The inclination angle of the upper support block 140 can be adjusted.

  The differential screw 148 has a relatively large lead P2 fixed to the base block 142 inside a large-diameter cylindrical screw 150 having a relatively large lead P1 screwed into the screw hole of the upper support block 140. A small diameter screw 152 is screwed together. When the large-diameter screw 150 is turned, the large-diameter screw 150 moves (displaces) in the vertical direction integrally with the upper support block 140 via the fixing nut 154 at the lead corresponding to the difference between the two leads (P1-P2). The inclination angle or level of the suction pad 108L (R) can be adjusted. The compression coil spring 146 serves to prevent the backlash of the differential screw 148.

  FIG. 17 shows another modified example related to the suction pad 108L (R). In this configuration example, the suction pad 108L (R) is integrally provided at the X-axis tip portion of the L-shaped block 160 having an L-shape in the XY plane (horizontal plane), and the X-axis extension of the L-shaped block. Split grooves 166 and 168 are formed at intermediate portions of the portion 162 and the Y-axis extension 164, and the widths of the split grooves 166 and 168 are independently varied by the X-axis differential screw 170 and the Y-axis differential shaft 172. Thus, the inclination angle or the level of the suction pad 108L (R) with respect to the X-axis and Y-axis horizontal lines can be arbitrarily adjusted.

  18 to 23, in this embodiment, when the first and second transfer units 84L and 84R independently transfer the substrate G (single-axis transfer), the substrate G is attracted to the suction pad 108L (R) by the force of moment. A mechanism for fully preventing misalignment (rotational displacement in a horizontal plane) is shown.

  The rotational displacement prevention means shown in FIG. 18 is provided with an L-shaped protrusion or step 174 on the upper surface of the suction pad 108L (R). The L-shaped protrusions 174 engage the opposite sides of the corner of the substrate G held on the upper surface of the suction pad 108L (R), thereby preventing rotational displacement of the substrate G due to moment. be able to. However, it is necessary that the upper surface of the L-shaped protrusion 174 does not exceed the upper surface of the substrate G so that the L-shaped protrusion 174 does not contact or slide against the lower end of the resist nozzle 82 during the coating process. .

Rotational displacement preventing means shown in FIG. 19, the locking member 176 to prevent rotation displacement of the time of acceleration of the levitation transportation engages the rear side G B in the transport direction of the substrate G (X direction) to the rear of the substrate G It is set as the structure provided with. The locking member 176 is formed, for example, as a cone that is rotatably attached to one end of a bar-like support 178 extending in the horizontal direction via a vertical support shaft 180. The other end of the horizontal support 178 is coupled to a direct acting actuator 184 via a vertical support shaft 182. The actuator 184 is attached to the slider 102L (R).

When accelerating the substrate G in levitation transportation is just before, actuator 184 is moved forward, the rear side G B of the substrate G, as shown the locking member 176 from the retracted position of the lower (backward position) Raise to the height position (forward movement position) to be locked. For example, in uniaxial conveyance by the second (right side) conveyance unit 84R, when the substrate G is accelerated, a counterclockwise (counterclockwise) moment is applied to the substrate G as viewed from above, and the moment force causes the substrate G Tends to rotate backward against the suction force of the suction pads 108R of the holding portions 106R at the two corners. However, since the locking member 176 to prevent rotational displacement of the rearward substrate G engaged with the rear side surface G B of the substrate G, the substrate G is conveyed direction without destroying the orientation in the X-Y plane (X Direction). Note that the locking member 176 may be quickly retracted to the backward movement position after the acceleration motion is completed.

Such a locking-type rotational displacement preventing means can be modified as shown in FIGS. Rotational displacement preventing means of FIG. 20, the base end portion of the rod-shaped locking member 186 attached to the rotary actuator 188 such as a motor, the tip portion of the engaging member 186 is engaged with the rear side surface G B of the substrate G The locking member 186 is configured to rotate between the forward movement position and the backward movement position retracted far below the substrate G. The actuator 188 may be attached to the slider 102L (R). Rotational displacement prevention means of FIG. 21, the forward position with the direct-acting actuator 190, the tip portion of the engaging member 186 is engaged with the rear side surface G B of the substrate G in the conveying direction (X direction), the substrate The rod-like locking member 186 is configured to linearly move between a position (reverse movement position) that is retracted far behind G.

Any rotational displacement prevention means 19 to 21, engagement locks to prevent rotational displacement of the rearward of the substrate G at the rear side G B in the transport direction of the substrate G at the time of acceleration of the levitation transportation (X direction) Is. Although not shown in the drawings, the rotational displacement prevention means for preventing the rotational displacement of the substrate G forward by locking with the side surface of the front portion in the transport direction (X direction) of the substrate G when the floating transportation is decelerated is also as described above. It can be configured similarly.

  The rotational displacement prevention means 192 shown in FIG. 22 is attracted to the back surface of the side edge of the substrate G in the middle of the two holding portions 106L (R) that hold the two corners on one side of the substrate G to locally hold the substrate G. An intermediate suction pad 194 is provided. In the configuration example of FIG. 22, an intermediate suction pad 194 is integrally formed or attached to one end of a horizontal support member 200 that is rotatably attached to a vertical support member 196 via a shaft 198. By rotating the horizontal support member 196 using the pair of linear actuators 202 and 204, the forward movement position where the suction port 206 of the intermediate suction pad 194 adheres to the back surface of the side edge of the substrate G, and the intermediate suction pad The intermediate suction pad 194 can be moved between the suction port 206 of 194 and a backward movement position where the suction port 206 is retracted downward from the rear surface of the side edge of the substrate G.

  As shown in FIG. 23, for example, in uniaxial conveyance by the second (right) conveyance unit 84R, when the substrate G is accelerated, it is counterclockwise (counterclockwise) as indicated by a dotted arrow J when viewed from above. A moment is applied to the substrate G, and the moment force causes the substrate G to rotate and displace rearward against the suction force of the suction pads 108R of the holding portions 106R at the two corners. However, since the intermediate suction pad material 194 of the rotational displacement prevention means 192 is attracted to the back surface of the side edge of the substrate G and stops the rotational displacement of the substrate G to the rear, the substrate G does not lose its posture in the XY plane. Can be moved in the transport direction (X direction). In addition, when the substrate G is decelerated, a clockwise (clockwise) moment is applied to the substrate G as indicated by a one-dot chain line arrow K as viewed from above, and the substrate G is attracted to the holding portions 106R at the two corners by the moment force. Attempts to rotationally move forward against the suction force of the pad 108R. However, in this case as well, the intermediate suction pad material 194 of the rotational displacement prevention means 192 is attracted to the back surface of the side edge of the substrate G and stops forward rotational displacement of the substrate G, so that the substrate G is within the XY plane. It is possible to move in the transport direction (X direction) without breaking the posture.

  Note that the intermediate suction pad material 194 of the rotational displacement prevention means 192 is sufficiently separated from the suction pad 108R (L) of the holding portion 106R (L), and therefore, for example, the holding portion 106R (as shown in FIGS. 14 and 15). L) The influence (interference) that impairs the substrate posture correcting function is not exerted.

  The preferred embodiment of the present invention has been described above, but the present invention is not limited to the above embodiment, and various modifications can be made within the scope of the technical idea.

  Although the above-described embodiment relates to a resist coating apparatus and a resist coating method in a coating and developing processing system for LCD manufacturing, the present invention can be applied to any substrate processing apparatus or application as long as it is a floating conveyance method using a floating stage. Is possible. In addition to the resist solution, for example, a coating solution such as an interlayer insulating material, a dielectric material, and a wiring material can be used as the processing solution in the present invention, and a developing solution, a rinsing solution, and the like are also possible. The substrate to be processed in the present invention is not limited to an LCD substrate, and other flat panel display substrates, semiconductor wafers, CD substrates, glass substrates, photomasks, printed substrates, and the like are also possible.

It is a top view which shows the structure of the application | coating development processing system which can apply this invention. It is a flowchart which shows the procedure of the process in the application | coating development processing system of embodiment. It is a schematic plan view which shows the whole structure of the resist application unit in the embodiment. It is a perspective view which shows the whole structure of the resist coating unit in embodiment. It is a schematic front view which shows the whole structure of the resist coating unit in embodiment. It is a partial cross section schematic side view which shows the structure of the conveyance part in the resist application unit of embodiment. It is an expanded sectional view showing an example of composition of a holding part in a resist application unit of an embodiment. It is a perspective view which shows the structural example of the holding | maintenance part in the resist application unit of embodiment. It is a perspective view which shows one suitable structural example in which the pad support part supports a suction pad in the said holding | maintenance part. It is a block diagram which shows the structure of the control system in the resist coating unit of embodiment. It is a timing chart for demonstrating the application | coating process operation | movement in the resist application | coating unit of embodiment. It is a schematic plan view showing one stage of the coating treatment operation in the resist coating unit of the embodiment. It is a schematic plan view showing one stage of the coating treatment operation in the resist coating unit of the embodiment. It is a schematic plan view showing one stage of the coating treatment operation in the resist coating unit of the embodiment. It is a schematic plan view showing one stage of the coating treatment operation in the resist coating unit of the embodiment. It is a schematic plan view showing one stage of the coating treatment operation in the resist coating unit of the embodiment. It is a schematic plan view showing one stage of the coating treatment operation in the resist coating unit of the embodiment. It is a schematic plan view showing one stage of the coating treatment operation in the resist coating unit of the embodiment. It is a schematic plan view showing one stage of the coating treatment operation in the resist coating unit of the embodiment. It is a schematic plan view showing one stage of the coating treatment operation in the resist coating unit of the embodiment. It is a schematic perspective view which shows the case where the board | substrate in levitation conveyance is bent to a curve. It is a schematic side view which shows the structure and method for correcting the curvature bending of a board | substrate horizontally in embodiment. It is a schematic perspective view which shows the structure and method for correcting the curvature bending of a board | substrate horizontally in embodiment. It is a side view which shows the structure of the modification of the holding | maintenance part in embodiment. It is a perspective view which shows the structure of another modification of the holding | maintenance part in embodiment. It is a perspective view which shows one structural example of the rotation displacement prevention means in embodiment. It is a perspective view which shows another structural example of the rotational displacement prevention means in embodiment. It is a perspective view which shows another structural example of the rotational displacement prevention means in embodiment. It is a perspective view which shows another structural example of the rotational displacement prevention means in embodiment. It is a perspective view which shows another structural example of the rotational displacement prevention means in embodiment. It is a schematic plan view for demonstrating an effect | action of the rotation displacement prevention means of FIG.

Explanation of symbols

40 resist coating unit (COT)
47 Conveying device 80 Stage 82 Registration nozzle 84L First (left side) conveying unit 84R Second (right side) conveying unit 84 Spout port 88 Suction port 100L, 100R First and second guide rails 102L, 102R First and second Second slider 104L, 104R First and second transport drive units 106L, 106R First and second holding units 108L, 108R First and second suction pads 110L, 110R First and second pad support units 112L , 112R first and second pads activator eta 118L, 118R first and second pad suction control unit 136 stage substrate floating unit 138 controller M 1 carrying area M 2 coating area M 3 out region 174 L-shaped projections 176, 186 Locking member 184, 188, 190 Actuator 192 Change of rotation Preventing means 194 intermediate the suction pad

Claims (15)

  1. A stage for floating a rectangular substrate to be processed by gas pressure;
    A holding unit that detachably holds the substrate in a floating state on the stage, and the substrate is transported integrally with the holding unit to float and transport the substrate in a predetermined transport direction on the stage. And a transport unit that moves in the direction,
    A holding member that holds the two corners on the left and right sides locally with respect to the transport direction of the substrate; and a lifting unit for moving the holding member up and down or displacing the holding member. A substrate processing apparatus.
  2. The holding member has two suction pads that can be sucked on the back surfaces of the two left and right corners of the substrate, and each of the suction pads is displaced in the vertical direction at a predetermined interval in the transport direction. A pad support part that regulates and supports
    The elevating unit controls the first and second actuators for independently elevating and driving the first and second pad support units, and elevating control for comprehensively controlling the driving operations of the first and second actuators. The substrate processing apparatus of Claim 1 which has a part.
  3.   Both the first and second pad support portions have a horizontal rotation shaft that allows the suction pad to be rotationally displaced in a vertical plane around the suction pad, and one of the first and second pad support portions is the The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 2, further comprising a linear motion shaft that enables the suction pad to be linearly displaced in the horizontal direction.
  4. The holding member has two suction pads that can be sucked to the back surfaces of two corners on the left and right sides of the substrate, and a single pad support portion that supports each of the suction pads while restricting displacement in the vertical direction. Have
    The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the elevating unit includes an actuator that drives the pad support unit to move up and down, and an elevating control unit that controls a driving operation of the actuator.
  5.   The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 4, wherein the holding unit includes a first pad posture adjustment unit for adjusting an angle of the suction surface of the suction pad with respect to a horizontal line in the transport direction.
  6.   The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the holding unit includes a second pad posture adjusting unit for adjusting an angle of the suction surface of the suction pad with respect to a horizontal line orthogonal to the transport direction. .
  7. The actuator includes a motor, and a transmission mechanism that converts the rotational driving force of the motor into a linear movement in the vertical direction of the pad support portion,
    The elevating control unit includes an encoder for detecting the rotation angle of the motor, and controls the rotation amount of the motor using an output signal of the encoder as a feedback signal in order to control the elevating movement distance of the pad support unit. The substrate processing apparatus as described in any one of Claims 2-6.
  8.   The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the holding unit includes a rotation displacement preventing unit for preventing a rotational displacement of the substrate in a horizontal plane with respect to the holding unit during the floating conveyance.
  9.   9. The rotational displacement prevention means has protrusions that are integrally formed on the upper surface of the suction pad and that engage with both side surfaces orthogonal to each other at corners of the substrate at a position lower than the upper surface of the substrate. Substrate processing equipment.
  10.   9. The substrate according to claim 8, wherein the rotational displacement prevention means includes a locking member that is locked to a front side surface in the transport direction of the substrate when the floating transport is decelerated to prevent the rotational displacement of the substrate forward. Processing equipment.
  11.   The said rotation displacement prevention means has the latching member which latches to the side surface of the rear part in the conveyance direction of the said board | substrate at the time of acceleration of floating conveyance, and prevents the rotational displacement to the back of the said board | substrate. The substrate processing apparatus as described.
  12.   The said rotation displacement prevention means has an intermediate | middle pad member which adsorb | sucks to the back surface of a board | substrate side edge part between the one side two corners of the said board | substrate hold | maintained by the said holding member, and prevents the rotation displacement of the said board | substrate. The substrate processing apparatus as described.
  13. A stage for floating a rectangular substrate to be processed by gas pressure;
    A first holding unit that detachably holds one of the left and right edges of the substrate floating on the stage, the substrate being lifted and conveyed on the stage; A first transport unit that moves in the transport direction integrally with one holding unit;
    A second holding part that detachably holds the other right and left edges with respect to the transfer direction of the substrate that floats on the stage, and the substrate is moved to float and transport the substrate on the stage; A second transport unit that moves in the transport direction integrally with the two holding units;
    An elongated nozzle disposed above the stage, and from the nozzle toward the substrate that passes directly under the nozzle in the levitation conveyance to form a coating film of a processing solution on the substrate; A treatment liquid supply section for discharging the treatment liquid,
    The first holding unit is configured to move up and down the first holding member that holds the two left and right corners locally with respect to the transport direction of the substrate and that does not substantially bend. Or a first lifting part for displacing,
    The second holding part locally holds the other two corners on the left and right sides with respect to the transport direction of the substrate, and the second holding member that does not flex substantially moves up and down the second holding member. Or the coating device which has a 2nd raising / lowering part for making it displace.
  14. A carry-in part for carrying the substrate into a carry-in position provided at one end of the stage; and a carry-out part for carrying out the substrate from a carry-out position provided at the other end of the stage;
    The first transport unit floats and transports the substrate on the stage from the carry-in position to the first position set between the application position and the carry-out position through the application position,
    The said 2nd conveyance part floats and conveys the said board | substrate on the said stage from the 2nd position set between the said carrying in position and the said coating position to the said carrying out position through the said coating position. The coating apparatus as described in.
  15. Set the loading position, coating start position, coating end position and unloading position in a line along the transport direction on the levitation stage,
    A rectangular target substrate is floated to a desired height by gas pressure on the levitation stage,
    On the levitation stage, in a first section from the carry-in position to the coating start position, a holding member capable of moving up and down that does not substantially bend at the two left and right corners with respect to the transport direction of the substrate is locally used. In the second section from the application start position to the application end position, the four corners of the substrate are locally held by a liftable lifting member that does not substantially bend, and the application end position In the third section from the unloading position to the unloading position, the substrate is transported by holding the substrate locally by a liftable holding member that does not substantially bend the other two corners on the left and right sides with respect to the transport direction of the substrate. Transport in the direction,
    A coating method in which a treatment liquid is coated on an upper surface of the substrate while the substrate moves in the second section.
JP2007288238A 2007-11-06 2007-11-06 Substrate processing apparatus and coating apparatus Active JP4495752B2 (en)

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TW097138433A TWI385712B (en) 2007-11-06 2008-10-06 Substrate processing apparatus, coating apparatus and coating method
KR1020080109151A KR101351155B1 (en) 2007-11-06 2008-11-05 Substrate processing apparatus, coating apparatus and coating method
CN2008101747863A CN101431008B (en) 2007-11-06 2008-11-05 Substrate treatment device, coating device and coating method

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KR20090046719A (en) 2009-05-11
KR101351155B1 (en) 2014-01-27
TW200942973A (en) 2009-10-16
TWI385712B (en) 2013-02-11
JP4495752B2 (en) 2010-07-07
CN101431008B (en) 2010-10-13

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