JP4049751B2 - Coating film forming device - Google Patents

Coating film forming device Download PDF

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Publication number
JP4049751B2
JP4049751B2 JP2004029031A JP2004029031A JP4049751B2 JP 4049751 B2 JP4049751 B2 JP 4049751B2 JP 2004029031 A JP2004029031 A JP 2004029031A JP 2004029031 A JP2004029031 A JP 2004029031A JP 4049751 B2 JP4049751 B2 JP 4049751B2
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substrate
stage
lcd substrate
coating film
coating
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JP2005223119A (en
Inventor
一仁 宮崎
剛 山崎
清久 立山
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東京エレクトロン株式会社
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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B66HOISTING; LIFTING; HAULING
    • B66FHOISTING, LIFTING, HAULING OR PUSHING, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR, e.g. DEVICES WHICH APPLY A LIFTING OR PUSHING FORCE DIRECTLY TO THE SURFACE OF A LOAD
    • B66F17/00Safety devices, e.g. for limiting or indicating lifting force
    • B66F17/006Safety devices, e.g. for limiting or indicating lifting force for working platforms
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B66HOISTING; LIFTING; HAULING
    • B66FHOISTING, LIFTING, HAULING OR PUSHING, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR, e.g. DEVICES WHICH APPLY A LIFTING OR PUSHING FORCE DIRECTLY TO THE SURFACE OF A LOAD
    • B66F11/00Lifting devices specially adapted for particular uses not otherwise provided for
    • B66F11/04Lifting devices specially adapted for particular uses not otherwise provided for for movable platforms or cabins, e.g. on vehicles, permitting workmen to place themselves in any desired position for carrying out required operations
    • B66F11/044Working platforms suspended from booms

Description

The present invention relates to a substrate such as a glass substrate used for the liquid crystal display device (LCD) FPD (Flat Panel Display), relates to the coating film forming equipment for forming a coating film by supplying a coating solution.

  For example, in a manufacturing process of a liquid crystal display device (LCD), a predetermined circuit pattern is formed on a glass substrate by using a photolithography technique. That is, a resist solution is supplied to a glass substrate to form a coating film, which is dried and heat-treated, and then subjected to exposure processing and development processing sequentially.

  Here, as a device for forming a coating film by supplying a resist solution to a glass substrate, a mounting table that horizontally vacuum-sucks the glass substrate, and a resist supply nozzle that supplies the resist solution to the substrate held on the mounting table In addition, a coating film forming apparatus having a moving mechanism that relatively moves the mounting table and the resist supply nozzle in the horizontal direction is known (for example, see Patent Document 1).

However, since the glass substrate for LCD is thin, there is a problem that the suction holes provided in the mounting table are easily transferred to the surface of the glass substrate. There is also a problem that many particles adhere to the back surface of the substrate. Furthermore, since a predetermined time is required for detaching the substrate from the mounting table, the throughput is not necessarily good. Furthermore, due to the recent increase in the size of the glass substrate and the increase in the size of the mounting table and the resist supply nozzle, the structure of the moving mechanism for relatively moving them becomes large, so that the substrate has a structure as simple as possible. There is also a demand to move.
Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 10-156255

The present invention has been made in view of such circumstances, aims as well as prevent the occurrence of transfer marks on the substrate surface to provide a coating film forming equipment which prevent adhesion of particles to the substrate back surface And Further, the present invention is the structure of the mechanism for transporting the substrate is a simple, yet an object to provide a coating film forming equipment that is capable of forming a coating film with high throughput.

That is, according to the present invention, there is provided a coating film forming apparatus that forms a coating film by supplying a predetermined coating liquid to the substrate while transporting the substrate in one direction, and sprays a predetermined gas to a predetermined position on the surface. And a holding member that is disposed on both sides of the stage in a direction orthogonal to the one direction and sucks and holds both ends of the substrate in the direction orthogonal to the one direction. A first slide mechanism that is arranged side by side in a direction orthogonal to the one direction of the stage and moves one set of the two sets of holding members in the one direction, and the two sets of a second slide mechanism for moving the remaining pair of holding members in the one direction, and a substrate transport mechanism for transporting the substrate in the one direction on the stage, a predetermined surface of the substrate moving on the stage Supply coating liquid With a coating liquid supply nozzle that, the said substrate, said by gas injected from the gas injection port in a state of being floated from the surface of the stage in a substantially horizontal position, it is transported by the substrate transport mechanism, the first, A coating film forming apparatus is provided in which a second slide mechanism causes the two sets of holding members to alternately convey the substrate .
A coating film forming apparatus for forming a coating film by supplying a predetermined coating liquid to the substrate while conveying the substrate in one direction, wherein a plurality of gases for injecting a predetermined gas to a predetermined position on the surface A stage provided with an ejection port; and a first holding member that is disposed on one side of the stage in a direction orthogonal to the one direction and holds the substrate at one end in a direction orthogonal to the one direction; A second holding member that is disposed on the other side of the stage in a direction orthogonal to the one direction and that holds the substrate at one end in a direction orthogonal to the one direction; and is disposed on the one side of the stage, A first slide mechanism that moves the first holding member in the one direction; and a second slide mechanism that is arranged on the other one side and moves the second holding member in the one direction. Board in front on stage A substrate transport mechanism for transporting in one direction; and a coating liquid supply nozzle for supplying a predetermined coating liquid to the surface of the substrate moving on the stage, wherein the substrate is a gas ejected from the gas ejection port. The substrate is transported by the substrate transport mechanism while floating from the surface of the stage in a substantially horizontal posture, and the first and second slide mechanisms transport the substrate alternately to the first and second holding members. An apparatus for forming a coating film is provided.

  According to the present invention, since the substrate is transported in a state of floating from the stage, transfer of the surface of the stage does not occur, particle adhesion to the back surface of the substrate is suppressed, and the substrate can be transported with a small force. Further, since the entire substrate is supported by the gas injected from below, it is easy to keep the posture of the substrate horizontal, thereby suppressing the occurrence of uneven thickness in the coating film. be able to. Furthermore, since the substrate can be sequentially conveyed to perform the coating process, a high throughput can be obtained.

  Hereinafter, embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings. Here, the case where the present invention is applied to an apparatus and a method for forming a resist film on the surface of a glass substrate for LCD (hereinafter referred to as “LCD substrate”) will be described.

  FIG. 1 shows a schematic plan view of a resist coating / development processing system for forming a resist film on an LCD substrate and developing the resist film after exposure processing. This resist coating / development processing system 100 performs a series of processes including resist coating and development on the cassette station (loading / unloading unit) 1 on which a cassette C accommodating a plurality of LCD substrates G is placed. A processing station (processing unit) 2 having a plurality of processing units, and an interface station (interface unit) 3 for transferring the LCD substrate G to and from the exposure apparatus 4. The interface stations 3 are respectively disposed at both ends of the processing station 2. In FIG. 1, the longitudinal direction of the resist coating / development processing system 100 is the X direction, and the direction perpendicular to the X direction on the plane is the Y direction.

  The cassette station 1 includes a mounting table 9 on which the cassette C can be mounted in the Y direction, and a transfer device 11 for carrying the LCD substrate G in and out of the processing station 2. The cassette C is transported to the outside. The transfer device 11 has a transfer arm 11a, and can move on a transfer path 10 provided along the Y direction, which is the arrangement direction of the cassette C. The transfer arm 11a moves between the cassette C and the processing station 2. Loading and unloading of the LCD substrate G is performed.

  The processing station 2 basically has two parallel rows of transfer lines A and B for transferring the LCD substrate G extending in the X direction, and is directed from the cassette station 1 side to the interface station 3 along the transfer line A. A scrub cleaning unit (SCR) 21, a first thermal processing unit section 26, a resist processing unit 23, and a second thermal processing unit section 27 are arranged.

  Further, from the interface station 3 side toward the cassette station 1 along the transfer line B, the second thermal processing unit section 27, the development processing unit (DEV) 24, and the i-line UV irradiation unit (i-UV) 25 and a third thermal processing unit section 28 are arranged. An excimer UV irradiation unit (e-UV) 22 is provided on a part of the scrub cleaning unit (SCR) 21. An excimer UV irradiation unit (e-UV) 22 is provided to remove organic substances on the LCD substrate G prior to scrubber cleaning, and an i-line UV irradiation unit (i-UV) 25 performs a decoloring process for development. Provided.

  In the scrub cleaning unit (SCR) 21, the cleaning process and the drying process are performed while the LCD substrate G is conveyed in a substantially horizontal posture. In the development processing unit (DEV) 24, the developer coating, rinsing and drying processes are sequentially performed while the LCD substrate G is conveyed in a substantially horizontal posture. In the scrub cleaning processing unit (SCR) 21 and the development processing unit (DEV) 24, the LCD substrate G is transported by, for example, roller transport or belt transport, and the carry-in port and the carry-out port of the LCD substrate G are short sides opposite to each other. Is provided. Further, the conveyance of the LCD substrate G to the i-line UV irradiation unit (i-UV) 25 is continuously performed by a mechanism similar to the conveyance mechanism of the development processing unit (DEV) 24.

  As will be described in detail later, the resist processing unit 23 supplies a resist liquid while transporting the LCD substrate G in a substantially horizontal posture, and forms a coating film on the LCD in a reduced pressure atmosphere. A vacuum drying device (VD) 23b that evaporates volatile components contained in the coating film formed on the LCD substrate G by exposing the substrate G to dry the coating film.

  The first thermal processing unit section 26 includes two thermal processing unit blocks (TB) 31 and 32 configured by stacking thermal processing units that perform thermal processing on the LCD substrate G. The thermal processing unit block (TB) 31 is provided on the scrub cleaning processing unit (SCR) 21 side, and the thermal processing unit block (TB) 32 is provided on the resist processing unit 23 side. A first transport device 33 is provided between the two thermal processing unit blocks (TB) 31 and 32.

  As shown in the side view of the first thermal processing unit section 26 in FIG. 2, the thermal processing unit block (TB) 31 includes a pass unit (PASS) 61 for transferring the LCD substrate G in order from the bottom, and an LCD Two dehydration bake units (DHP) 62 and 63 for performing a dehydration bake process on the substrate G and an adhesion processing unit (AD) 64 for performing a hydrophobization process on the LCD substrate G are stacked in four stages. It has a configuration. The thermal processing unit block (TB) 32 includes a pass unit (PASS) 65 for transferring the LCD substrate G in order from the bottom, two cooling units (COL) 66 and 67 for cooling the LCD substrate G, an LCD An adhesion processing unit (AD) 68 that performs a hydrophobic treatment on the substrate G is stacked in four stages.

  The first transfer device 33 receives the LCD substrate G from the scrub cleaning processing unit (SCR) 21 via the pass unit (PASS) 61, carries in and out the LCD substrate G between the thermal processing units, and passes. The LCD substrate G is transferred to the resist processing unit 23 through the unit (PASS) 65.

  The first transport device 33 includes a guide rail 91 that extends vertically, a lifting member 92 that moves up and down along the guide rail 91, a base member 93 that can pivot on the lifting member 92, and a base member 93. It has a substrate holding arm 94 that is provided so as to be able to move forward and backward and holds the LCD substrate G. The elevating member 92 is moved up and down by the motor 95, the base member 93 is turned by the motor 96, and the substrate holding arm 94 is moved back and forth by the motor 97. Thus, the 1st conveyance apparatus 33 can be moved up and down, back and forth, and swiveled, and can access any unit of thermal processing unit block (TB) 31 * 32.

  The second thermal processing unit section 27 includes two thermal processing unit blocks (TB) 34 and 35 configured by stacking thermal processing units for performing thermal processing on the LCD substrate G. The thermal processing unit block (TB) 34 is provided on the resist processing unit 23 side, and the thermal processing unit block (TB) 35 is provided on the development processing unit (DEV) 24 side. A second transport device 36 is provided between the two thermal processing unit blocks (TB) 34 and 35.

  As shown in the side view of the second thermal processing unit section 27 in FIG. 3, the thermal processing unit block (TB) 34 includes a pass unit (PASS) 69 and an LCD substrate for transferring the LCD substrate G in order from the bottom. Three pre-bake units (PREBAKE) 70, 71 and 72 for performing pre-bake processing on G are stacked in four stages. In addition, the thermal processing unit block (TB) 35 includes a pass unit (PASS) 73 for transferring the LCD substrate G in order from the bottom, a cooling unit (COL) 74 for cooling the LCD substrate G, and the LCD substrate G. Thus, two pre-baking units (PREBAKE) 75 and 76 for performing pre-baking are stacked in four stages.

  The second transfer device 36 receives the LCD substrate G from the resist processing unit 23 through the pass unit (PASS) 69, carries in and out the LCD substrate G between the thermal processing units, and passes the pass unit (PASS) 73. Passing the LCD substrate G to the development processing unit (DEV) 24 via the interface, and transferring and receiving the LCD substrate G to an extension / cooling stage (EXT / COL) 44 which is a substrate transfer portion of the interface station 3 to be described later, I do. The second transfer device 36 has the same structure as the first transfer device 33, and can access any unit of the thermal processing unit blocks (TB) 34 and 35.

  The third thermal processing unit section 28 includes two thermal processing unit blocks (TB) 37 and 38 configured by stacking thermal processing units for performing thermal processing on the LCD substrate G. The thermal processing unit block (TB) 37 is provided on the development processing unit (DEV) 24 side, and the thermal processing unit block (TB) 38 is provided on the cassette station 1 side. A third transfer device 39 is provided between the two thermal processing unit blocks (TB) 37 and 38.

  As shown in the side view of the third thermal processing unit section 28 in FIG. 4, the thermal processing unit block (TB) 37 includes, in order from the bottom, a pass unit (PASS) 77 that delivers the LCD substrate G, and Three post-baking units (POBAKE) 78, 79, and 80 for performing post-baking processing on the LCD substrate G are stacked in four stages. The thermal processing unit block (TB) 38 includes a post-bake unit (POBAKE) 81, a pass / cooling unit (PASS / COL) 82 for transferring and cooling the LCD substrate G, and an LCD substrate G in order from the bottom. , Two post-bake units (POBAKE) 83 and 84 for performing post-bake processing are stacked in four stages.

  The third transport device 39 receives the LCD substrate G from the i-ray UV irradiation unit (i-UV) 25 via the pass unit (PASS) 77, and carries the LCD substrate G in and out of the thermal processing unit. Then, the LCD substrate G is transferred to the cassette station 1 through the pass / cooling unit (PASS / COL) 82. The third transfer device 39 has the same structure as the first transfer device 33, and can access any unit of the thermal processing unit blocks (TB) 37 and 38.

  In the processing station 2, the processing units and the transport devices are arranged so as to form the transport lines A and B in two rows as described above and basically in the order of processing. A space 40 is provided between B. A shuttle (substrate mounting member) 41 is provided so as to be able to reciprocate in the space 40. The shuttle 41 is configured to be able to hold the LCD substrate G, and the LCD substrate G is transferred between the transport lines A and B via the shuttle 41. The delivery of the LCD substrate G to the shuttle 41 is performed by the first to third transfer devices 33, 36, and 39.

  The interface station 3 includes a transfer device 42 that loads and unloads the LCD substrate G between the processing station 2 and the exposure device 4, a buffer stage (BUF) 43 that arranges a buffer cassette, and a substrate transfer unit that has a cooling function. And an external device block 45 in which a titler (TITLER) and a peripheral exposure device (EE) are vertically stacked are provided adjacent to the transport device 42. It has been. The transfer device 42 includes a transfer arm 42 a, and the LCD substrate G is carried in and out between the processing station 2 and the exposure device 4 by the transfer arm 42 a.

  In the resist coating / development processing system 100 configured as described above, first, the LCD substrate G in the cassette C arranged on the mounting table 9 of the cassette station 1 is transferred to the excimer UV irradiation unit of the processing station 2 by the transport device 11. (E-UV) 22 is directly carried in and scrub pretreatment is performed. Next, the LCD substrate G is carried into the scrub cleaning unit (SCR) 21 by the transfer device 11 and scrubbed. After the scrub cleaning process, the LCD substrate G is carried out to the pass unit (PASS) 61 of the thermal processing unit block (TB) 31 belonging to the first thermal processing unit section 26 by, for example, roller conveyance.

  The LCD substrate G placed in the pass unit (PASS) 61 is first transported to one of the dehydration bake units (DHP) 62 and 63 of the thermal processing unit block (TB) 31 and subjected to heat treatment, and then heated. Adhesion processing unit of thermal processing unit block (TB) 31 in order to improve the fixability of the resist after being transferred to one of cooling units (COL) 66 and 67 of static processing unit block (TB) 32 and cooled. (AD) 64 and the thermal processing unit block (TB) 32 are transported to one of the adhesion processing units (AD) 68, where they are subjected to adhesion processing (hydrophobization processing) by HMDS. Thereafter, the LCD substrate G is transferred to one of the cooling units (COL) 66 and 67 to be cooled, and further transferred to the pass unit (PASS) 65 of the thermal processing unit block (TB) 32. All the transfer processes of the LCD substrate G when performing such a series of processes are performed by the first transfer device 33.

  The LCD substrate G disposed in the pass unit (PASS) 65 is carried into the resist processing unit 23 by a substrate transport mechanism such as a roller transport mechanism provided in the pass unit (PASS) 65. As will be described in detail later, in the resist coating apparatus (CT) 23a, a resist solution is supplied while the LCD substrate G is conveyed in a horizontal posture to form a coating film, and then, the resist coating apparatus (CT) 23a is supplied to the vacuum drying apparatus (VD) 23b. Then, the coating film is subjected to a vacuum drying treatment. Thereafter, the LCD substrate G is passed from the resist processing unit 23 to the thermal processing unit block (TB) 34 belonging to the second thermal processing unit section 27 by the substrate transfer arm provided in the vacuum drying apparatus (VD) 23b. (PASS) 69.

  The LCD substrate G placed in the pass unit (PASS) 69 is pre-baked by the second transfer device 36 and the pre-bake units (PREBAKE) 70, 71, 72 of the thermal processing unit block (TB) 34 and the thermal processing unit block ( TB) is transferred to one of the pre-baking units (PREBAKE) 75 and 76 of 35 and pre-baked, and then transferred to the cooling unit (COL) 74 of the thermal processing unit block (TB) 35 to be cooled to a predetermined temperature. . Then, it is further transported by the second transport device 36 to the pass unit (PASS) 73 of the thermal processing unit block (TB) 35.

  Thereafter, the LCD substrate G is transported to the extension / cooling stage (EXT / COL) 44 of the interface station 3 by the second transport device 36 and, if necessary, the peripheral of the external device block 45 by the transport device 42 of the interface station 3. It is conveyed to an exposure apparatus (EE), where exposure for removing the outer peripheral portion (unnecessary portion) of the resist film is performed. Next, the LCD substrate G is transported to the exposure device 4 by the transport device 42, where the resist film on the LCD substrate G is subjected to exposure processing in a predetermined pattern. Note that the LCD substrate G may be temporarily stored in a buffer cassette on the buffer stage (BUF) 43 and then transferred to the exposure apparatus 4.

  After the exposure is finished, the LCD substrate G is carried into the upper titler (TITLER) of the external device block 45 by the transfer device 42 of the interface station 3 and predetermined information is written on the LCD substrate G, and then the extension cooling stage (EXT) • COL) 44. The LCD substrate G is passed from the extension / cooling stage (EXT / COL) 44 to the thermal processing unit block (TB) 35 pass unit (PASS) of the second thermal processing unit section 27 by the second transfer device 36. 73.

  The LCD substrate G is transferred from the pass unit (PASS) 73 to the development processing unit (DEV) 24 by, for example, a roller transport mechanism extending from the pass unit (PASS) 73 to the development processing unit (DEV) 24. The In the development processing unit (DEV) 24, for example, the developer is deposited on the LCD substrate G while the substrate is conveyed in a horizontal posture, and then the conveyance of the LCD substrate G is temporarily stopped and the LCD substrate is tilted by a predetermined angle. As a result, the developer on the LCD substrate is poured off, and in this state, a rinse solution is supplied to the LCD substrate G to wash away the developer. After that, the LCD substrate G is returned to the horizontal posture, and the conveyance is started again, and the nitrogen substrate for drying or air is blown onto the LCD substrate G to dry the LCD substrate.

  After completion of the development processing, the LCD substrate G is conveyed from the development processing unit (DEV) 24 to the i-line UV irradiation unit (i-UV) 25 by a continuous conveyance mechanism, for example, roller conveyance, and the LCD substrate G is subjected to decoloring processing. Applied. After that, the LCD substrate G is passed through a pass unit (PASS) 77 of the thermal processing unit block (TB) 37 belonging to the third thermal processing unit section 28 by a roller transport mechanism in the i-line UV irradiation unit (i-UV) 25. It is carried out to.

  The LCD substrate G arranged in the pass unit (PASS) 77 is transferred to the post processing unit block (POBAKE) 78, 79, 80 of the thermal processing unit block (TB) 37 and the thermal processing unit block ( TB) It is transported to one of the post-baking units (POBAKE) 81, 83, 84 of 38 and post-baked, and then transported to the pass / cooling unit (PASS / COL) 82 of the thermal processing unit block (TB) 38. After being cooled to a predetermined temperature, it is accommodated in a predetermined cassette C disposed in the cassette station 1 by the transfer device 11 of the cassette station 1.

Next, the resist processing unit 23 will be described in detail. FIG. 5 is a schematic plan view of the resist processing unit 23.
The resist coating apparatus (CT) 23a includes a stage 12 provided with a plurality of gas injection ports 16a for injecting a predetermined gas at a predetermined position on the surface, and a substrate transport mechanism 13 for transporting the stage 12 in the X direction. And a resist supply nozzle 14 for supplying a resist solution to the surface of the LCD substrate G moving on the stage 12. The reduced pressure drying device (VD) 23 b includes a mounting table 17 for mounting the LCD substrate G, and a chamber 18 for storing the mounting substrate 17 and the LCD substrate G mounted on the mounting table 17. Yes. Further, the resist processing unit 23 includes a pass unit provided in the thermal processing unit block (TB) 34 from the resist coating device (CT) 23a to the vacuum drying device (VD) 23b and from the vacuum drying device (VD) 23b. A substrate transfer arm 19 for transferring the LCD substrate G to the (PASS) 69 is provided.

  FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view showing a schematic configuration of the substrate transport mechanism 13. The substrate transport mechanism 13 includes holding members 15a and 15b that hold a part of the Y-direction end of the LCD substrate G, and linear guides 51a and 51b that are disposed on the side surfaces of the stage 12 in the Y direction so as to extend in the X direction. The connecting member 50 holds the holding members 15a and 15b and is fitted to the linear guides 51a and 51b, and the X-axis drive mechanism 53 that reciprocates the connecting member 50 in the X direction.

  Each of the holding members 15b and 15b has a structure in which at least one suction pad 48 for sucking and holding the LCD substrate G is provided on the pedestal portion 49. The suction pad 48 includes a pressure reducing mechanism 52 such as a vacuum pump. By operating, the LCD substrate G can be sucked and held. The suction pad 48 holds the LCD substrate G on the back surface side of the LCD substrate G where the resist solution is not applied, that is, on the peripheral edge of the back surface of the LCD substrate G. Examples of the X-axis drive mechanism 53 include a belt drive mechanism, a ball screw, an air slider, and an electric slider.

  The stage 12 is divided into an introduction stage portion 12a, a coating stage portion 12b, and a carry-out stage portion 12c from the upstream side to the downstream side in the transport direction of the LCD substrate G. The introduction stage unit 12a is an area for transporting the LCD substrate G from the pass unit (PASS) 65 of the thermal processing unit block (TB) 32 to the coating stage unit 12b. A resist supply nozzle 14 is disposed in the coating stage portion 12b, where a coating liquid is supplied to the LCD substrate G to form a coating film. The carry-out stage unit 12c is an area for carrying the LCD substrate G on which the coating film is formed to the reduced pressure drying device (VD) 23b.

  FIGS. 7A to 7C are explanatory views schematically showing how the LCD substrate G is transferred in the introduction stage portion 12a, the coating stage portion 12b, and the carry-out stage portion 12c.

  As shown in FIG. 5 and FIG. 7A, a gas injection port 16a for injecting a gas such as nitrogen gas or air upward from the surface of the introduction stage portion 12a is injected from the gas injection port 16a. The LCD substrate G is provided at a predetermined position so that the LCD substrate G is held in a substantially horizontal posture from the introduction stage portion 12a by the gas. In order to increase the flatness of the LCD substrate G, it is preferable to reduce the diameter of the gas injection ports 16a and increase the number of gas injection ports 16a.

  As shown in FIGS. 5 and 7B, in addition to the gas injection port 16a, the coating stage unit 12b is provided with an intake port 16b at a predetermined position on the surface thereof. In the application stage unit 12b, the flying height of the LCD substrate G is adjusted more than that of the introduction stage unit 12a and the carry-out stage unit 12c by adjusting the gas injection amount from the gas injection port 16a and the gas intake amount from the intake port 16b. It can be adjusted with high accuracy.

  As shown in FIGS. 5 and 7C, in addition to the gas injection port 16a for floating the LCD substrate G, the LCD substrate G that has been transported to the carry-out stage portion 12c is added to the carry-out stage portion 12c. In order to deliver to the substrate transfer arm 19, lift pins 47 for lifting the LCD substrate G are provided.

  Thus, in the resist coating apparatus (CT) 23a, the LCD substrate G can be held in a state of being lifted from the stage 12 by a predetermined distance. Therefore, a large force is not required to move the connecting member 50 while holding the LCD substrate G on the holding members 15a and 15b. That is, the X-axis drive mechanism 53 does not require a large torque, and thus the substrate transport mechanism 13 can be reduced in size.

  FIG. 8 is a schematic perspective view of the resist supply nozzle 14. The resist supply nozzle 14 has a structure in which a slit-like resist discharge port 14b for discharging a resist solution in a substantially strip shape is provided in a long box body 14a that is long in one direction. The resist supply nozzle 14 can be moved up and down by a nozzle lifting mechanism 30 on a nozzle holding member 20 disposed substantially at the center of the coating stage 12b with the longitudinal direction of the box 14a aligned with the Y direction. It is attached.

  A sensor 29 for measuring the distance between the resist discharge port 14b and the LCD substrate G is attached to the resist supply nozzle 14, and the nozzle lifting mechanism 30 determines the position of the resist supply nozzle 14 based on the measured value of the sensor 29. Control. The length of the resist supply nozzle 14 is shorter than the width of the LCD substrate G (the length in the Y direction), and a coating film is not formed in a certain region on the periphery of the LCD substrate G.

  Proximity pins (not shown) for supporting the LCD substrate G are provided at predetermined positions on the surface of the mounting table 17 provided in the vacuum drying apparatus (VD) 23b. The chamber 18 has a vertically divided structure composed of a fixed lower container and an upper lid that can be raised and lowered. The substrate transfer arm 19 is movable in the X direction, the Y direction, and the Z direction (vertical direction).

  Next, a process for processing the LCD substrate G in the resist processing unit 23 configured as described above will be described. It should be noted that the LCD substrate G was transported from the pass unit (PASS) 65 of the thermal processing unit block (TB) 32 to the resist processing unit 23 using rotation of a roller 46 provided in the pass unit (PASS) 65. It is assumed that this is performed by a roller transport mechanism.

  First, the holding members 15a and 15b are made to stand by on the thermal processing unit block (TB) 32 side, and the stage 12 is in a state where the LCD substrate G can be floated to a predetermined height at each part. Next, the LCD substrate G is caused to enter the introduction stage portion 12a from the pass unit (PASS) 65 of the thermal processing unit block (TB) 32 by the roller transport mechanism, and a part of the LCD substrate G is still supported by the rollers 46. In this state, the Y direction end of the LCD substrate G is held by the holding members 15a and 15b. Subsequently, the LCD substrate G is carried into the introduction stage portion 12 a of the stage 12 in accordance with the conveyance speed of the roller 46 and the movement speed of the holding members 15 a and 15 b. In the introduction stage unit 12a, the LCD substrate G is transported, for example, in a state where it floats 150 μm from the surface thereof.

  The LCD substrate G is carried into the coating stage 12b as the holding members 15a and 15b are moved in the X direction by driving the substrate transport mechanism 13. In the application stage portion 12b, by performing the gas injection from the gas injection port 16a and the intake from the intake port 16b, for example, the flying height of the LCD substrate G can be set to about 40 μm from the surface.

  When the LCD substrate G passes under the resist supply nozzle 14, the resist solution is discharged from the resist supply nozzle 14 to the LCD substrate G, and a coating film is formed. For example, the substrate conveyance speed in the coating stage unit 12b can be set to 150 mm / second. Thus, since the flatness of the LCD substrate G can be further increased by reducing the flying height of the LCD substrate G, a coating film having a uniform thickness can be formed.

  The height of the resist supply nozzle 14 may be adjusted for each LCD substrate G on the basis of the measurement signal from the sensor 29. However, since the transport states of the plurality of LCD substrates G are usually the same, first, If the height of the resist supply nozzle 14 is adjusted on the LCD substrate G or the dummy substrate to be processed, then there is almost no need to adjust the height of the resist supply nozzle 14. Further, the timing of the start and end of the discharge of the resist solution from the resist supply nozzle 14 may be determined using the measurement signal of the sensor 29, or a sensor for detecting the position of the LCD substrate G is provided separately. You may determine based on the signal from a sensor.

  The LCD substrate G on which the coating film is formed by passing through the coating stage portion 12b is transported to the carry-out stage portion 12c according to the movement of the holding members 15a and 15b. In the carry-out stage unit 12c, the LCD substrate G is in a state of being lifted by 150 μm from the surface, for example. When the entire LCD substrate G reaches the carry-out stage portion 12c, the suction holding by the holding members 15a and 15b is released, and the lift pins 47 are raised to lift the LCD substrate G to a predetermined height.

  Subsequently, the substrate transfer arm 19 accesses the LCD substrate G lifted by the lift pins 47. When the substrate transfer arm 19 grips the LCD substrate G at the Y-direction end of the LCD substrate G, the lift pins 47 are lowered. The substrate transfer arm 19 places the gripped LCD substrate G on the placement table 17 of the reduced pressure drying apparatus (VD) 23b. Thereafter, the chamber 18 is sealed and the inside thereof is decompressed to dry the coating film under reduced pressure.

  When the processing in the vacuum drying apparatus (VD) 23b of the LCD substrate G is completed, the chamber 18 is opened, the substrate transfer arm 19 is accessed to the LCD substrate G placed on the mounting table 18, and the LCD substrate G is gripped. The substrate G is transferred to the pass unit (PASS) 69 of the thermal processing unit block (TB) 34. On the other hand, the holding members 15a and 15b after the LCD substrate G is transferred to the lift pins 47 are returned to the thermal processing unit block (TB) 32 side in order to convey the LCD substrate G to be processed next, and thereafter The processing process is repeated.

  In such a coating film forming method, the LCD substrate G is transported in a state of being always floated from the stage 12, so that the transfer of the surface of the stage 12 does not occur and the adhesion of particles to the back surface of the LCD substrate G is suppressed. Moreover, since the tact time for applying the resist solution to the LCD substrate G can be shortened, high throughput can be obtained.

  Now, in such a method of transporting the LCD substrate G in the resist coating apparatus (CT) 23a, the holding members 15a and 15b deliver the LCD substrate G to the lift pins 47 in the carry-out stage portion 12c, and the thermal processing unit block (TB) 32. Until returning to the side, the LCD substrate G to be processed next cannot be carried into the introduction stage section 12a. Therefore, a substrate transport mechanism that is more preferably installed in the resist coating apparatus (CT) 23a will be described below.

  FIG. 9 shows a plan view (FIG. 9A) and a cross-sectional view (FIG. 9B) showing a schematic structure of another substrate transport mechanism provided in the resist coating apparatus (CT) 23a. The substrate transport mechanism 55 is fitted to and held by holding members 85a and 85b for holding the Y-direction end of the LCD substrate G and linear guides 51a and 51b (same as those of the substrate transport mechanism 13 described above). The movable bodies 86a and 86b hold the members 85a and 85b slidably in the Y direction, respectively, and the X-axis drive mechanisms 53a and 53b move the movable bodies 86a and 86b in the X direction separately.

  Each of the holding members 85a and 85b has a shape that is long in the X direction, and includes a plurality of suction pads 48 so that the Y direction end of the LCD substrate G can be held in a wide range in the X direction. Thereby, even if the holding members 85a and 85b hold the LCD substrate G independently and the holding members 85a and 85b are moved in the X direction, the LCD substrate G can be prevented from shaking in the Y direction. The conveyance posture of the substrate G can be stabilized. Each of the holding members 85a and 85b is slidable in the Y direction by a Y direction sliding mechanism (not shown).

  FIG. 10 is an explanatory view schematically showing a mode of transporting the LCD substrate G by the substrate transport mechanism 55. First, the holding member 85b is disposed at a position away from the Y direction so as not to contact the LCD substrate G carried into the introduction stage portion 12a, while the Y direction end of the LCD substrate G is held at the introduction stage portion 12a. The holding member 85a is arranged at a position where it can be held, and the LCD substrate G carried into the introduction stage portion 12a is held by the holding member 85a (FIG. 10A).

  Next, the holding member 85a is moved in the X direction, and the LCD substrate G is carried into the coating stage 12b, where a coating film is formed. Further, when the entire LCD substrate G is carried into the application stage unit 12b, the introduction stage unit 12a is ready to carry in the LCD substrate G to be processed next. It moves to the position which can hold | maintain the Y direction end (FIG.10 (b)).

  Subsequently, the holding member 85b holds the LCD substrate G ′ newly carried into the introduction stage unit 12a, and starts conveyance to the coating stage unit 12b. On the other hand, the holding member 85a conveys the LCD substrate on which the coating film is formed to the carry-out stage unit 12c, and transfers it to the lift pins 47 (FIG. 10C). Thereafter, the holding member 85a is returned to the introduction stage portion 12a side in a state of being away from the stage 12 so as not to collide with the LCD substrate G transported by the holding member 85b (FIG. 10D). Next, when the entire LCD substrate G held by the holding member 85b is carried into the coating stage portion 12b, the holding member 85a is attached to the Y of the LCD substrate G in preparation for carrying in a new LCD substrate G into the introduction stage portion 12a. Move to the position where the direction end can be held. Thereafter, the holding members 85a and 85b repeat the same movement as the above-described holding member 85a.

  Next, another substrate transport mechanism will be described. FIG. 11 is a sectional view showing a schematic structure of still another substrate transport mechanism provided in the resist coating apparatus (CT) 23a. The substrate transport mechanism 56 includes two linear guides 51a to 51d arranged on the side surface in the Y direction of the stage 12, moving bodies 88a to 88d fitted to the linear guides 51a to 51d, and moving bodies 88a and 88b. Elevating mechanisms 89a and 89b, holding members 15a and 15b respectively held by the elevating mechanisms 89a and 89b, holding members 15c and 15d respectively provided on the moving bodies 88c and 88d, and holding members 15c and Y-axis drive mechanisms 89c and 89d for sliding 15d in the Y-axis direction, and X-axis drive mechanisms 53a to 53d for sliding the moving bodies 88a to 88d in the X direction, respectively.

  FIG. 11A shows a state in which the holding members 15a and 15b are set as one set to hold the LCD substrate G, and FIG. 11B shows that the holding members 15c and 15d are set as one set. A state in which the LCD substrate G is held is shown. Similarly, when the holding members 15a and 15b transport the LCD substrate G, the X-axis drive is similarly performed so that the movements of the holding members 15a and 15b are about the vertical plane S (see FIG. 11A). The driving of the mechanisms 53a and 53b and the lifting mechanisms 89a and 89b is controlled. When the holding members 15c and 15d transport the LCD substrate G, the X-axis drive mechanisms 53c and 53d and the Y-axis drive mechanisms 89c and 89d are similarly controlled.

  FIG. 12 is an explanatory view showing the movement of the holding members 15a to 15d. First, when the LCD substrate G transported from the pass unit (PASS) 65 of the thermal processing unit block (TB) 32 to the introduction stage unit 12a is held by the holding members 15a and 15b, the holding members 15c and 15c are The stage 12 is moved away from the stage 12 in the Y direction (FIG. 12A).

  When the holding members 15a and 15b hold the LCD substrate G, the holding members 15a and 15b are moved to the coating stage portion 12b side, and a resist solution is applied to the LCD substrate G. On the other hand, the holding members 15c and 15d are brought close to the stage 12 so that the holding members 15c and 15d can receive the LCD substrate G conveyed next from the pass unit (PASS) 65 (FIG. 12B).

  The holding members 15a and 15b holding the LCD substrate G on which the coating film is formed move to the carry-out stage portion 12c, and then transfer the held LCD substrate G to the lift pins 47 (not shown in FIG. 12). On the other hand, the holding members 15c and 15d grip the LCD substrate G ′ conveyed from the pass unit (PASS) 65 of the thermal processing unit block (TB) 32 to the introduction stage unit 12a, and move toward the coating stage unit 12b. Starts moving (FIG. 12C).

  Next, after lowering the holding members 15a and 15b to a position lower than the holding members 15c and 15d, the holding members 15a and 15b are returned to the introduction stage portion 12a side in that state (see FIG. 11B), and thereafter the holding members 15a and 15b The height position of 15b is adjusted so that a new LCD substrate can be held. On the other hand, the holding members 15c and 15d convey the LCD substrate G ′ to the coating stage portion 12b side, and a coating film is formed on the LCD substrate G ′ (FIG. 12D).

  The holding members 15c and 15d that have reached the carry-out stage unit 12c deliver the held LCD substrate G ′ to the lift pins 47 (not shown in FIG. 12) by the carry-out stage unit 12c. The holding members 15a and 15b hold the LCD substrate G ″ transported from the pass unit (PASS) 65 of the thermal processing unit block (TB) 32 to the introduction stage unit 12a and move toward the coating stage unit 12b. Starts moving (FIG. 12E).

  Next, the holding members 15c and 15d are moved away from the stage 12 and returned to the introduction stage portion 12a side in that state (FIG. 12 (f)). Thereafter, the holding members 15a to 15d sequentially carry the LCD substrate G by repeating the above-described procedure. When such substrate transport mechanisms 55 and 56 are used, the LCD substrate can be continuously transported to perform the coating film forming process, and therefore high throughput can be obtained.

  As mentioned above, although embodiment of this invention has been described, this invention is not limited to such a form. For example, when the LCD substrate is transferred from the pass unit (PASS) 65 of the thermal processing unit block (TB) 32 to the resist coating apparatus (CT) 23a, the substrate transfer arm is provided in the pass unit (PASS) 65 and introduced. A lift pin is provided on the stage portion 12a, the LCD substrate held by the substrate transfer arm is transferred to the lift pin, and the lift pin is lowered to hold the LCD substrate G by the holding members 15a and 15b in the vicinity of the surface of the introduction stage portion 12a. You may make it make it.

  Further, the holding members 15a and 15b have shown the form in which the LCD substrate G is held at the leading portion in the carrying direction and the LCD substrate G is pulled and carried, but the holding members 15a and 15b are arranged to pull the LCD substrate G in the carrying direction. The LCD substrate G may be conveyed by being held at the rear and pushing the LCD substrate G. Further, in the substrate transport mechanism 56, the holding members 15c and 15d are slidable in the Y direction. However, the holding members 15c and 15d have a height for transporting the LCD substrate G and a position higher than a height for transporting the LCD substrate G. It is good also as a structure which can raise / lower between. Accordingly, the LCD substrate G can be alternately conveyed to the holding members 15a and 15b and the holding members 15c and 15d without colliding with each other. In the above description, the resist film is taken up as the coating film, but the coating film is not limited to this, and may be an antireflection film, an insulating film having no photosensitivity, or the like.

  The present invention is suitable for a resist film forming apparatus and a resist film forming method for forming a resist film on a large substrate such as an LCD substrate.

1 is a schematic plan view of a resist coating / development processing system including a resist coating apparatus that is an embodiment of a coating film forming apparatus of the present invention. FIG. 2 is a side view showing a first thermal processing unit section of the resist coating / development processing system shown in FIG. 1. The side view which shows the 2nd thermal processing unit section of the resist application | coating / development processing system shown in FIG. The side view which shows the 3rd thermal processing unit section of the resist application | coating / development processing system shown in FIG. The schematic plan view of a resist processing unit. Sectional drawing which shows schematic structure of a board | substrate conveyance mechanism. Explanatory drawing which shows typically the conveyance form of the LCD substrate in each of an introductory stage part, a coating stage part, and an unloading stage part. The schematic perspective view of a resist supply nozzle. The top view and sectional drawing which show schematic structure of another board | substrate conveyance mechanism provided in a resist coating device. Explanatory drawing which shows typically the conveyance form of the LCD substrate by the board | substrate conveyance mechanism shown in FIG. Sectional drawing which shows schematic structure of another board | substrate conveyance mechanism provided in a resist coating apparatus. Explanatory drawing which shows typically the conveyance form of the LCD substrate by the board | substrate conveyance mechanism shown in FIG.

Explanation of symbols

DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 1; Cassette station 2; Processing station 3; Interface station 12; Stage 12a; Introducing stage part 12b; Application | coating stage part 12c; Unloading stage part 13; Substrate conveyance mechanism 14; Resist supply nozzle 15a-15d; Inlet 16b; inlet 23; resist processing unit 23a; resist coating device 23b; vacuum drying device 100; resist coating / development processing system G; LCD substrate

Claims (7)

  1. A coating film forming apparatus for forming a coating film by supplying a predetermined coating liquid to the substrate while conveying the substrate in one direction,
    A stage provided with a plurality of gas injection ports for injecting a predetermined gas at a predetermined position on the surface;
    Two stages of holding members that are disposed on both sides of the stage in a direction orthogonal to the one direction and that hold both ends of the substrate in a direction orthogonal to the one direction, and that are orthogonal to the one direction of the stage And a first slide mechanism that moves one set of the two sets of holding members in the one direction, and a second slide mechanism that moves the remaining one set of the two sets of holding members in the one direction. having a second slide mechanism, and a substrate transport mechanism for transporting the substrate in the one direction on the stage,
    A coating liquid supply nozzle for supplying a predetermined coating liquid to the surface of the substrate moving on the stage;
    With
    The substrate is transported by the substrate transport mechanism in a state of being floated from the surface of the stage in a substantially horizontal posture by the gas ejected from the gas ejection port ,
    The coating film forming apparatus , wherein the first and second slide mechanisms alternately convey the substrate to the two sets of holding members .
  2. A coating film forming apparatus for forming a coating film by supplying a predetermined coating liquid to the substrate while conveying the substrate in one direction,
    A stage provided with a plurality of gas injection ports for injecting a predetermined gas at a predetermined position on the surface;
    A first holding member disposed on one side of the stage in a direction orthogonal to the one direction and holding the substrate at one end in a direction orthogonal to the one direction; and orthogonal to the one direction of the stage A second holding member that is disposed on the other side of the direction and holds the substrate at one end in a direction perpendicular to the one direction; and a second holding member that is disposed on the one side of the direction, and the first holding member is disposed in the one direction. And a second slide mechanism that is disposed on the other side and moves the second holding member in the one direction. The substrate is moved in the one direction on the stage. A substrate transfer mechanism for transferring;
    A coating liquid supply nozzle for supplying a predetermined coating liquid to the surface of the substrate moving on the stage;
    With
    The substrate is transported by the substrate transport mechanism in a state of being floated from the surface of the stage in a substantially horizontal posture by the gas ejected from the gas ejection port,
    The coating film forming apparatus, wherein the first and second slide mechanisms alternately convey the substrate to the first and second holding members.
  3. The coating film forming apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the first and second holding members have a plurality of suction pads that are long in the one direction and suck and hold the substrate.
  4. The stage is
    A coating stage part to which a coating liquid is supplied from the coating liquid supply nozzle;
    An introduction stage unit for carrying the substrate into the coating stage unit;
    An unloading stage for unloading the substrate from the coating stage;
    With
    The application stage unit further includes an intake port at a predetermined position on the surface thereof,
    2. The flying height of a substrate to be transferred is adjusted in the coating stage unit by adjusting a gas injection amount from the gas injection port and a gas intake amount from the intake port. The coating film forming apparatus according to claim 3 .
  5. A reduced-pressure drying apparatus that is provided on the downstream side of the stage in the substrate transport direction and depressurizes and dries the coating film formed on the substrate;
    Another substrate transport mechanism for receiving the substrate transported to the unloading stage unit from the holding member and transporting the substrate to the reduced pressure drying device;
    Further coating film forming apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to claim 4, characterized in that it comprises.
  6. The said coating liquid supply nozzle is extended in the direction orthogonal to a board | substrate conveyance direction, and has a slit-shaped coating liquid discharge port which discharges a coating liquid in strip | belt shape, It is any one of Claim 1 thru | or 5 characterized by the above-mentioned. The coating film forming apparatus as described.
  7. A sensor that measures the distance between the surface of the substrate that moves directly under the coating liquid supply nozzle and the coating liquid discharge port of the coating liquid supply nozzle;
    A nozzle raising / lowering mechanism for raising and lowering the coating liquid supply nozzle based on the measured value of the sensor, so that the coating liquid supply nozzle is disposed at a predetermined height position;
    The coating film forming apparatus according to claim 6 , further comprising:
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TW093141371A TWI268533B (en) 2004-02-05 2004-12-30 Coating film forming apparatus and coating film forming method
KR1020050009075A KR101061707B1 (en) 2004-02-05 2005-02-01 Coating film forming apparatus and coating film forming method
CNB2005100016570A CN1318151C (en) 2004-02-05 2005-02-03 Device and method for forming coating film

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CN1318151C (en) 2007-05-30
CN1651155A (en) 2005-08-10
TW200527493A (en) 2005-08-16
KR20050079637A (en) 2005-08-10

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