JP4245387B2 - Substrate transport apparatus and substrate processing apparatus - Google Patents

Substrate transport apparatus and substrate processing apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
JP4245387B2
JP4245387B2 JP2003076105A JP2003076105A JP4245387B2 JP 4245387 B2 JP4245387 B2 JP 4245387B2 JP 2003076105 A JP2003076105 A JP 2003076105A JP 2003076105 A JP2003076105 A JP 2003076105A JP 4245387 B2 JP4245387 B2 JP 4245387B2
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Japan
Prior art keywords
substrate
arm
substrate holding
swivel
pulley
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Expired - Fee Related
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JP2003076105A
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Japanese (ja)
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JP2004288720A (en
Inventor
浩 小泉
紀彦 網倉
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東京エレクトロン株式会社
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Priority to JP2003076105A priority Critical patent/JP4245387B2/en
Priority claimed from US10/712,043 external-priority patent/US6986261B2/en
Publication of JP2004288720A publication Critical patent/JP2004288720A/en
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Description

[0001]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a substrate transfer apparatus for transferring a substrate such as a semiconductor wafer (hereinafter referred to as a wafer) and a substrate processing apparatus in which a plurality of substrate processing chambers are hermetically connected to a transfer chamber provided with the substrate transfer apparatus.
[0002]
[Prior art]
Among semiconductor manufacturing apparatuses, there is a system called a cluster tool or a multi-chamber system in which a plurality of processing chambers (process chambers) are connected to a transfer chamber (transfer chamber) provided with a substrate transfer device. For example, this system can perform continuous processing without breaking the vacuum when the substrate is subjected to a plurality of vacuum processing, etc., and can keep the processing chamber away from the atmospheric atmosphere, resulting in higher throughput. There are advantages. In order to effectively use the cluster tool, it is important to efficiently transport the substrate, and there is an apparatus described in Patent Document 1 as an apparatus for the purpose of efficient transportation.
[0003]
As shown in FIG. 11, the cluster tool described here includes a chamber 92 in which a load lock chamber 91 is hermetically connected to one side of a square-shaped transfer chamber 90, and two sheets can be simultaneously processed on the other three sides. 93 and 94 are hermetically connected, and a wafer transfer device 95 for transferring a wafer W as a substrate is disposed in the transfer chamber 90. The wafer transfer device 95 is configured such that a blade assembly 95a capable of holding two wafers W side by side can be advanced and retracted by an arm assembly 95b and can be rotated by a rotation mechanism (not shown). According to this wafer transfer device 95, two wafers W can be simultaneously taken out from the load lock chamber 91 and loaded into the chambers 92 (93, 94) at the same time.
[0004]
[Patent Document 1]
15 and 16 of JP-A-10-275848
[0005]
[Problems to be solved by the invention]
However, since the transfer device 95 transfers two wafers W at the same time, when one of the two gate valves arranged on one side of the transfer chamber 90 remains closed, the transfer device 95 is arranged on one side. The wafer W cannot be transferred to the chamber 92 (93, 94). In addition, two processing areas are formed in one chamber. For example, in an apparatus in which two chambers are arranged side by side, one of the two chambers cannot be used due to trouble or the like. In this case, the other chamber cannot be used.
[0006]
Further, since the blade assembly 95a of the transfer device 95 transfers the two wafers W linearly in a state where they are arranged side by side, it can be applied to a configuration in which the two wafers W are processed in one side of the transfer chamber 90. However, when the chambers are arranged along a circle centered on the rotation center of the transfer device, the transfer chamber 90 is configured not only in a rectangular shape but in a pentagonal shape or more, and one chamber on each side. Therefore, the footprint of the apparatus (occupied area) becomes large.
[0007]
The present invention has been made under such a background, and an object thereof is to provide a substrate transfer apparatus capable of transferring a substrate with high transfer efficiency in a narrow transfer region. Another object of the present invention is to provide a substrate processing apparatus in which a plurality of substrate processing chambers are arranged around a transfer chamber provided with a substrate transfer apparatus, and the footprint of the apparatus can be reduced, and the apparatus can be efficiently operated with a large degree of freedom. An object of the present invention is to provide a substrate processing apparatus capable of transporting a substrate.
[0008]
[Means for Solving the Problems]
The substrate transfer apparatus according to the present invention includes a first swivel arm that can swivel, a first substrate holding arm that forms a first substrate holding unit for holding the substrate, the first swivel arm, and the first swivel arm. A first articulated arm including a first middle arm provided between the substrate holding arms;
  A swivelable second swivel arm having a common swivel center with the first swivel arm, a second substrate holding arm forming a second substrate holding portion for holding the substrate, and the second swivel A second multi-joint arm including a second middle arm provided between the arm and the second substrate holding arm;
  The first and second substrate holding arms have a reference position positioned on the left and right across a horizontal straight line passing through the turning center and a substrate delivery position by extending and contracting the first and second articulated arms, respectively. Back and forth between
  The movement trajectory of the first substrate holding arm draws a curve in a direction away from the straight line to the left when the first substrate holding arm moves from the reference position to the substrate delivery position, and the second substrate The movement trajectory of the holding arm draws a curve in a direction away from the straight line to the right side when the second substrate holding arm moves from the reference position to the substrate transfer position, and these curves are arranged to the left and right with respect to the straight line. SymmetricIt is characterized by that.
[0009]
  According to this invention, since the turning centers of the first and second articulated arms are common, the movement trajectories of the first and second substrate holding arms are away from the horizontal straight line passing through the turning center, Both articulated arms can transfer the substrate without interfering with each other. And because it uses an articulated arm, the configuration is simple,And narrowThe substrate can be transferred with high transfer efficiency in the transfer region. Further, for example, even if the opening between two chambers where the substrate is transferred to and from the substrate holding arm is directed to the center of rotation, the first and second substrate holding arms can transfer the substrate simultaneously to the chambers. Can do.
[0010]
The substrate transfer apparatus of the present invention can be configured as follows, for example.
a. The first substrate holding arm and the second substrate holding arm advance or retract simultaneously.
b. The first and second swivel arms swivel in a state where the first and second substrate holding arms are placed at the reference positions arranged on the left and right sides of the swivel center.
c. The first articulated arm and the second articulated arm are driven independently.
d. Each of the first and second substrate holding arms has holding portions at both ends in the advancing and retreating direction so that two substrates can be held, and the front side and the rear side with respect to the reference position arranged side by side with the turning center in between. Move symmetrically to each other.
e. Each of the first multi-joint arm and the second multi-joint arm includes a turning arm, a substrate holding arm, and a middle arm provided between the turning arm and the substrate holding arm. Shorter than swivel arm.
f. At the reference positions of the first multi-joint arm and the second multi-joint arm, both middle arms are positioned in a straight line, and the substrate holding arm is orthogonal to the middle arm. g. A base pulley that is rotatable about the turning center of the turning arm, and independent of the turning arm;
A support pulley that is rotatably provided at a distal end portion of the swivel arm, is connected to the base pulley by a timing belt, and rotates integrally with the middle arm;
An intermediate pulley provided coaxially with the support pulley on the middle arm and fixed to the swivel arm;
A tip pulley that is rotatably provided at the tip of the middle arm and is connected to the intermediate pulley by a timing belt and rotates integrally with the substrate holding arm, and the movement trajectory of the substrate holding arm has a curve. It can be set as the structure by which the gear ratio of each pulley is adjusted so that it may draw. In this case, the gear ratio of the base pulley and the support pulley is A (A is a value greater than 2): 1, and the gear ratio of the intermediate pulley and the tip pulley is 1: 2. it can.
[0011]
  According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a substrate transfer apparatus, wherein the first and second swiveling portions are capable of swiveling around a common swiveling center,
  A first substrate holding portion provided in the first turning portion so as to be able to advance and retract between a reference position and a substrate transfer position;
A second substrate holding portion provided on the second swivel portion so as to be able to advance and retreat between a reference position and a substrate delivery position; and located on the same plane as the first substrate holding portion;,
  Holding the first and second substratesPartA first and a second advancing / retreating drive unit to be moved,
  The first and second substrate holders move back and forth between a reference position and a substrate delivery position that are symmetrically located across a horizontal straight line passing through the turning center,
  The movement path of the first substrate holding part curves in a direction away from the straight line to the left when the first substrate holding part moves from the reference position to the substrate transfer position, and the second substrate The movement trajectory of the holding portion draws a curve in a direction away from the straight line to the right side when the second substrate holding portion moves from the reference position to the substrate transfer position, and these curves are arranged to the left and right with respect to the straight line. SymmetricIt is characterized by that.
[0012]
The substrate processing apparatus of the present invention uses the above-described substrate transfer apparatus, and
A transfer chamber having an airtight structure provided with a substrate transfer device, and a plurality of substrate processing chambers disposed around the transfer chamber along a circle centered on the turning center and connected to the transfer chamber in an airtight manner. And the substrate is carried in and out by the first substrate holding arm and the second substrate holding arm, respectively, with respect to the substrate processing chambers adjacent to each other. Further, for example, around the transfer chamber, first and second load lock chambers in which the substrate is transferred by the first substrate holding arm and the second substrate holding arm are airtightly connected to the transfer chamber. The substrate processing apparatus and the transfer chamber are, for example, a vacuum atmosphere or an inert gas atmosphere.
According to such an invention, since the substrate can be transported with high efficiency, the throughput is high. The substrate processing chamber can be arranged along a circle centering on the center of rotation of the substrate transfer apparatus in the transfer chamber, and the transfer chamber can be formed in a polygonal shape, so that the footprint (occupied area) of the apparatus can be reduced. can do. In this case, since the substrate can be transferred to and from any two adjacent substrate processing chambers by the first and second substrate holding arms, efficient transfer can be performed and the degree of freedom can be increased. Can be carried.
[0013]
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
1 and 2 are views showing an embodiment of a substrate processing apparatus of the present invention. The substrate processing apparatus includes, for example, two airtight cassette chambers 11 and 12 into which cassettes (transfer containers) C for storing a plurality of wafers as substrates are carried. Each of the cassette chambers 11 and 12 is provided with a gate door GD on the atmosphere side, and the gate door GD is hermetically partitioned from the atmosphere. In the cassette chambers 11 and 12, as shown in FIG. 2, there is an elevating unit 11b for elevating and lowering the cassette mounting table 11a and sequentially positioning the wafer holding grooves in the cassette C at the access level of the first transfer device described later. Is provided.
[0014]
Inside the cassette chambers 11 and 12, a first transfer chamber 13 having an airtight structure is connected in an airtight manner. The first transfer chamber 13 includes two load lock chambers (standby chambers) arranged side by side. A second transfer chamber 16 that is in a vacuum atmosphere is hermetically connected via the preliminary vacuum chambers 14 and 15. In the figure, reference numeral 10 denotes a panel constituting the wall surface. In the first transfer chamber 13, there are alignment stages 17 and 18 for rotating the wafer W and aligning the orientation thereof, cassette chambers 11 and 12, preliminary vacuum chambers 14 and 15, and alignment stages 17 and 18. And a first substrate transfer device 2 for transferring the wafer W between them. The cassette chambers 11 and 12 and the first transfer chamber 13 are, for example, an inert gas atmosphere, but may be a vacuum atmosphere.
[0015]
The second transfer chamber 16 is formed in a polygonal shape, for example, an octagonal shape, in which the second substrate transfer device 3 is provided. Vacuum chambers 4 (4A to 4F), which are substrate processing chambers, are hermetically connected to six sides of the octagonal sides of the second transfer chamber 16, and preliminary vacuum chambers are connected to the remaining two sides. 14 and 15 are connected. In FIG. 1, the vacuum chamber 4 is described as a simple circle for convenience of illustration. However, when a circular chamber is actually used, a member that forms a transfer port that connects the chamber and the second transfer chamber 16 is interposed. To do.
[0016]
The vacuum chamber 4 may be a square chamber, for example. Examples of the vacuum processing performed in the vacuum chamber 4 include etching using an etching gas, film forming processing using a film forming gas, and ashing using an ashing gas. In the vacuum chamber 4, as shown in FIG. 2, a mounting table 41 for mounting the wafer W, a gas supply unit 42 for supplying processing gas, and the like are provided, and on the mounting table 41 in each vacuum chamber 4. The center portion of the wafer W placed on the center of the wafer is on a circle centered on the center of the second transfer chamber 16.
[0017]
Next, the 2nd board | substrate conveyance apparatus 3 which is embodiment of the board | substrate conveyance apparatus of this invention is explained in full detail. 3 and 4 are views showing an overview of the second substrate transfer device 3 and a transmission system, respectively. In this example, the substrate transfer device 3 includes a first articulated arm 3A that forms a first transfer unit and a second multi-joint arm 3B that forms a second transfer unit. 3A includes a swivel arm 51 that constitutes a first swivel section that has the center of the second transfer chamber 16 as a swivel center, and a middle arm 52 that is provided at the tip of the swivel arm 51 so as to be pivotable in the horizontal direction. And a substrate holding arm 53 that constitutes a first substrate holding portion that is rotatably provided in the horizontal direction at the tip of the middle arm 52. The middle arm 52 is configured to be shorter than the swing arm 51 and is set to 1 / 1.65 of the length of the swing arm 51, for example.
[0018]
The second articulated arm 3B has a turning center common to the turning center 100 of the turning arm 51, and a turning arm 61 constituting a second turning portion provided on the lower side of the turning arm 51, and the turning A middle stage arm 62 provided on the arm 61 and a substrate holding arm 63 constituting a second substrate holding part provided on the middle stage arm 62 are provided. The structure of the second articulated arm 3B is substantially the same as the structure of the first articulated arm 3A, but the height position of the substrate holding arm 63 is the same as the substrate holding arm 53 of the first articulated arm 3A. In other words, the length of the rotation axis of the substrate holding arm 63 is different because the substrate holding arms 53 and 63 are configured to convey on the same plane.
[0019]
The first multi-joint arm 3A and the second multi-joint arm 3B are arranged so that the swivel arms 51 and 61 are in a straight line at the reference position, and the middle arms 52 and 62 overlap the swivel arms 51 and 61, respectively. It is set to be on a straight line. At this time, the substrate holding arms 53 and 63 are set to be orthogonal to the middle arms 52 and 62, respectively. The substrate holding arm 53 (63) is pivotally supported by the middle arm 52 (62) at the middle position in the length direction, and both of the wafer holding arms 53 (63) are provided at both ends in the advancing and retreating directions so as to hold two substrates. In order to hold W, holding portions 54 and 55 (64, 65) formed in a fork shape are provided.
[0020]
The transmission system of the first and second multi-joint arms 3A and 3B will be described with reference to FIG. 4. The swivel arm 51 of the first multi-joint arm 3A has a cylindrical swivel axis with the swivel center 100 as the rotation center. It is comprised so that it may turn by 70. On the base end side of the swivel arm 51, a base end pulley 72 that is rotatable independently of the swivel arm 51 by a rotation shaft 71 provided in a cylindrical swivel shaft 70 with the swivel center 100 as a rotation center. Is provided. A support pulley 73 that supports the middle stage arm 52 and rotates integrally with the middle stage arm 52 is rotatably provided at the distal end portion of the turning arm 51. They are connected by a belt 74.
[0021]
A middle arm 52 is fixed to an upper end portion of a hollow rotary shaft 75 provided on the upper side of the support pulley 73. An intermediate pulley 76 having the same diameter, for example, having the same number of teeth is provided coaxially with the support pulley 73 at the proximal end portion of the intermediate arm 52, while a distal pulley 77 is rotatable at the distal end portion of the intermediate arm 52. The leading pulley 77 is connected to the intermediate pulley 76 by a timing belt 78. The intermediate pulley 76 is fixed to a shaft portion 76 a that passes through the hollow rotary shaft 75 and is fixed to the turning arm 51. A substrate holding arm 53 is fixed to the upper end portion of the rotary shaft 79 provided on the upper side of the front end pulley 77.
[0022]
By the way, in a normal articulated arm, the tooth number ratio between the proximal pulley 72 and the support pulley 73 is set to 2: 1, and the tooth number ratio between the intermediate pulley 76 and the distal pulley 77 is set to 1: 2. Although the substrate holding arm is configured to linearly move, in the multi-joint arm 3A of this embodiment, the ratio of the number of teeth between the base pulley 72 and the support pulley 73 is a value larger than 2, for example 2.67. Is set to 1 and the gear ratio between the intermediate pulley 76 and the tip pulley 77 is set to 1: 2. For this reason, the substrate holding arm 53 takes a locus for drawing a curve as will be described later.
[0023]
In the second articulated arm 3B, 80 is a cylindrical turning shaft, 81 is a cylindrical rotating shaft, 82 is a proximal pulley, 83 is a support pulley, 84 is a timing belt, 85 is a rotating shaft, and 86 is an intermediate pulley. 86a is a shaft portion, 87 is a tip pulley, 88 is a timing belt, and 89 is a rotating shaft. The rotation shaft 81 of the proximal pulley 82 is provided so as to surround the turning shaft 70 of the first articulated arm 3A, and the rotation shaft 89 of the substrate holding arm 63 is the substrate holding arm of the first articulated arm 3A. The second multi-joint arm 3B is different from the first multi-joint arm 3A in that it is longer than the rotation shaft 79 of 53, but the configuration for determining the transfer function is exactly the same as that of the first multi-joint arm 3A. It is. Therefore, the rotation center of the turning shaft 80 and the rotating shaft 81 is the turning center 100, and the middle stage arm 62 is set to 1 / 1.65 of the length of the turning arm 61, and the base pulley 82, the support pulley 83, The tooth number ratio is set to 2.67: 1, and the tooth number ratio between the intermediate pulley 86 and the tip pulley 87 is set to 1: 2.
[0024]
In FIG. 4, 56 and 57 are the drive part of the turning shaft 70 and the drive part of the rotating shaft 71 in the first multi-joint arm 3A, respectively, and 66 and 67 are the drives of the turning shaft 80 in the second multi-joint arm 3B, respectively. And a drive unit for the rotating shaft 81. These driving units 56, 57, 66, and 67 correspond to a mechanism including a motor, a pulley, a belt, and the like. The pulleys such as the rotation shaft drive unit 57 and the base end pulley 72 described above, the timing belt, the rotation shaft, and the like serve as a first advance / retreat drive unit for driving the substrate holding unit of the first articulated arm 3A to advance / retreat. Correspondingly, the pulleys such as the rotary shaft drive unit 67 and the base end pulley 82 described above, the timing belt, the rotary shaft, and the like are second advanced / retracted to drive the substrate holding unit of the second articulated arm 3B forward / backward It corresponds to the drive unit.
[0025]
FIG. 5 shows an example of a specific structure of the pivot shafts 70 and 80 and the rotary shafts 71 and 81 and the parts related to them in the first and second articulated arms 3A and 3B. In FIG. 5, 56a and 57a are pulleys for rotating the turning shaft 70 and the rotating shaft 71, respectively, and are driven by the motor M1 and the motor M2 hidden behind the motor M1 and invisible. 66a is a pulley that rotates the turning shaft 80, and is driven by a motor M3 via a drive pulley 66c and a belt 66b. 67a is a pulley that rotates the rotating shaft 81, and is driven by a motor M4 via a driving pulley 67c and a belt 67b. The motors M <b> 1 to M <b> 4 are fixed to a base BE that forms the bottom surface of the transfer chamber 3.
[0026]
Next, the operation of the above embodiment will be described. In the first articulated arm 3A, when the drive unit 56 (see FIG. 4) of the turning shaft 70 is stopped and the drive unit 57 of the rotating shaft 71 is operated to rotate the proximal pulley 72, the middle stage arm The rotating shaft 75 supporting 52 is going to rotate. At this time, the turning shaft 70 is not applied with a rotational force from the drive unit 56 but is in a free state (a rotatable state). Therefore, when the proximal pulley 72 rotates clockwise as shown in FIG. Since the arm 52 tries to open with respect to the revolving arm 51, the arm 52 rotates clockwise and the revolving arm 51 also rotates counterclockwise.
[0027]
In FIG. 6, L1 is an axis line of the turning arm 51 (line connecting the turning center and the rotation center of the support pulley 73) when the first joint arm 3A is at the reference position, and L2 is an axis line of the middle arm 52 (intermediate) L3 is a line connecting the center of the pulley 76 and the center of the tip pulley 77), L3 is an axis of the substrate holding arm 53 when the first joint arm 3A is at the reference position (the center of the tip pulley 77 and the substrate holding arm 53 are the wafer) L4 is a line connecting the center of the wafer W when W is held, and the center line in the width direction of the substrate holding arm 53), and L4 is an axis of the substrate holding arm 53 when the turning arm 51 is rotated α degrees. In FIG. 6, the other holding portion 55 is omitted.
[0028]
Here, since the gear ratio of the base pulley 72 and the support pulley 73 is 2.67: 1, when the turning arm 51 rotates by α degrees from the reference position, the middle arm 52 rotates by −2.67 α degrees. When the middle arm 52 rotates in the clockwise direction, the intermediate pulley 76 rotates counterclockwise relative to the middle arm 52, so that the substrate holding arm 53 rotates in the counterclockwise direction, and the intermediate pulley 76 and the leading pulley. Since the number ratio of teeth to 77 is 1: 2, the substrate holding arm 53 rotates 1.335α degrees. Therefore, when the first multi-joint arm 3A is extended from the reference position and the substrate holding arm 53 is advanced as shown in FIG. 7, the center position of the wafer W held by the substrate holding arm 53, specifically, the substrate holding arm 53, is obtained. Is drawn in a direction away from the horizontal straight line L0 passing through the turning center 100 and orthogonal to the straight line L1.
[0029]
When the gear ratio of the base pulley 72 and the support pulley 73 is A: 1 and the gear ratio of the intermediate pulley 76 and the tip pulley 77 is 1: 2, the first articulated arm 3A is fully extended. Assuming that the axis L4 of the substrate holding arm 53 is at an angle of θ / 2 with respect to the straight line L0, there is a relationship of A = 360 / (180−θ). In this example, since A is 2.67, θ is 45 and θ / 2 is 22.5. The second multi-joint arm 3B performs the same movement, and the movement locus of the substrate holding arm 63 is symmetric with the movement locus of the substrate holding arm 53 with respect to the straight line L0. The axis L4 of the substrate holding arm 63 when the arm 3B is fully extended forms an angle of θ / 2 with respect to the straight line L0, which is 22.5 in this example. In other words, when the first multi-joint arm 3A and the second multi-joint arm 3B are simultaneously extended, the substrate transfer device 3 is configured to hold the substrate holding arms 53 and 63 (more specifically, holding portions 54 and 64). ) Move while drawing curves symmetrically in directions away from each other, and the opening angle (narrow angle) when fully extended is θ represented by A = 360 / (180−θ), which is 45 degrees in this example. .
[0030]
The reason why the opening angle is set to 45 degrees is that the second transfer chamber 16 is octagonal as shown in FIG. 1, and the vacuum chamber 4 or the preliminary vacuum chambers 14 and 15 connected to the transfer chamber 16 side are Radiation angle from the center of the transfer chamber 16 toward the center of the adjacent entrance (in other words, the angle formed by the centers of the wafers W in the vacuum chamber 4 or the preliminary vacuum chambers 14 and 15 adjacent to each other is the center of the transfer chamber 16). Is 45 degrees. In addition, when the base pulleys 72 and 82 are reversed in FIG. 7 (when rotated counterclockwise), the substrate holding arms 53 and 63 move while drawing a locus that is symmetrical to the forward locus. .
[0031]
Then, with respect to the first articulated arm 3A, the drive units 56 and 57 are simultaneously operated while being in the reference position to rotate the proximal pulley 72 and the pivot 70 in the counterclockwise direction, and the second articulated arm 3B. When the driving units 66 and 67 are simultaneously operated in the state of the reference position to rotate the proximal pulley 82 and the pivot shaft 80 counterclockwise, the first and second multi-joint arms 3A and 3B are as shown in FIG. Rotate counterclockwise while staying at the reference position indicated by the solid line.
[0032]
Since the second substrate transfer device 3 operates as described above, for example, the following transfer is performed when the substrate processing apparatus is operated. Referring to FIG. 1, an unprocessed wafer W is held in a cassette C and loaded into the cassette chamber 11 or 12 from the outside, and the gate door GD is closed to form an airtight space. The Then, the gate valve G inside the cassette chambers 11 and 12 is opened, and the cassette C and the cassette chamber in the cassette chamber 11 are formed by the first substrate transfer device 2 in the first transfer chamber 13 in an inert gas atmosphere. At the same time, the wafer W is taken out from the cassette C in 12 and transferred to the alignment stages 17 and 18. The first substrate transfer device 2 also includes two articulated arms and is configured to transfer two wafers W at the same time.
[0033]
After these two wafers W are aligned in a predetermined direction, they are loaded into the preliminary vacuum chambers 14 and 15 by the first substrate transfer device 2 so that the preliminary vacuum chambers 14 and 15 have a predetermined vacuum atmosphere. After that, it is simultaneously carried into a predetermined vacuum chamber 4 by the second transfer device 3.
[0034]
In FIG. 8A, for example, the vacuum processing of the wafers W1 and W2 is completed in the vacuum chambers 4C and 4D, respectively, and the wafers W3 and W4 to be processed next are waiting in the preliminary vacuum chambers 14 and 15, respectively. Indicates the state. In this state, for example, the substrate holding arms 53 and 63 of the second substrate transfer apparatus 3 enter the preliminary vacuum chambers 14 and 15, respectively, and receive the wafers W3 and W4 by the holding portions 65 and 55, respectively (FIG. 8B). reference). Next, the substrate holding arms 53 and 63 enter the vacuum chambers 4C and 4D, respectively, and receive the wafers W1 and W2 by the holding portions 64 and 54, respectively (see FIG. 9A). Thereafter, as shown in FIG. 9B, the second substrate transfer device 3 turns 180 degrees (specifically, the above-described turning arms 51 and 61 turn 180 degrees), and shown in FIG. As shown in FIG. 10B, the wafers W1 and W2 held in the substrate holding portions 64 and 54 are loaded into the preliminary vacuum chambers 14 and 15 and held in the substrate holding portions 65 and 55, respectively. Wafers W3 and W4 are loaded into the vacuum chambers 4C and 4D. The wafers W1 and W2 respectively loaded into the preliminary vacuum chambers 14 and 15 are simultaneously returned into the cassette C of the cassette chambers 11 and 12 by the first substrate transfer device 2, for example. The description so far has focused on the vacuum chambers 4C and 4D. For example, when the vacuum processing of the wafers is completed in the vacuum chambers 4A and 4B, the wafers are similarly replaced.
[0035]
Further, for example, when the vacuum chambers 4A and 4F are not used in FIG. 1, the other four vacuum chambers 4B to 4E arranged in succession are used, and each set of the vacuum chambers (4B, 4C) and (4D, 4E) is used. Alternatively, the wafer W may be transferred simultaneously by the substrate holding arms 53 and 63. Furthermore, since the first articulated arm 3A and the second articulated arm 3B can be driven independently, for example, when the vacuum chamber 4B is not used, the vacuum chambers (4C, 4D) and (4E, 4F) are used. ), The wafer W is simultaneously transferred by the substrate holding arms 53 and 63, and one of the substrate holding arms 53 and 63 is used for the vacuum chamber 4A. You may perform the operation which uses properly the mode which drives and the mode which drives only one side.
[0036]
According to the above-described embodiment, the substrate holding arm 53 (first substrate holding portion) of the first articulated arm 3A and the substrate holding arm 63 (second substrate holding portion) of the second articulated arm 3B. Are moved symmetrically away from each other from the horizontal straight line passing through the turning center, so that the wafer W can be transferred without interference between the two articulated arms 3A and 3B. Then, the substrate holding arms 53 and 63 advance in a curve so as to open each other, and the substrate holding arms 53 and 63 can be simultaneously rotated with the substrate holding arms 53 and 63 placed at the reference position. For example, an octagonal second transfer chamber The wafer W can be simultaneously delivered to an arbitrary set of the vacuum chambers 4 or the preliminary vacuum chambers 14 and 15 provided on each side of the vacuum chamber 4 and adjacent to each other, and the operation can be performed with a high degree of freedom. In addition, since the turning radius is small, the wafer W can be transferred with high efficiency while being a narrow transfer area.
[0037]
Furthermore, since the first and second articulated arms 3A and 3B can be driven independently, an operation with a higher degree of freedom can be performed by adding a mode in which only one of them is driven. Even when some of them cannot be used, it is possible to perform operations such as utilizing all the remaining vacuum chambers 4. Furthermore, the substrate holding arms 53 and 63, which are substrate holding portions, are provided with holding portions (54, 55) and (64, 65) at both ends, respectively, and can hold the wafers W by two. As can be seen from the above description of the action, the frequency of the turning motion can be reduced, and also in this respect, the transport can be performed with high efficiency.
[0038]
Since the vacuum chamber 4 can be arranged along a circle centering on the turning center of the substrate transfer apparatus 3 in the second transfer chamber 16, the second transfer chamber 16 can be polygonal. The footprint (occupied area) of the apparatus can be reduced.
[0039]
In the above-described embodiment, the swivel axes of the first multi-joint arm 3A and the second multi-joint arm 3B can be driven independently of each other. However, even if the drive sources of both swivel axes are made common. Good. In this case, the two pivot axes are independent from each other, but may be either the case where the drive source is common or the case where the pivot axes are common. However, some errors may occur on the layout when the apparatus is assembled, such as when each vacuum chamber 4 is connected to the transfer chamber 16, so if the swivel axes can be driven independently of each other, Since the above-described error can be absorbed by finely adjusting the position in the rotational direction of each swivel axis, it is preferable that the swivel axes be configured to be driven independently of each other.
[0040]
In the present invention, the chambers provided around the transfer chamber provided with the substrate transfer apparatus are all substrate processing chambers. For example, wafers are loaded into the transfer chamber from two of the substrate processing chambers, and another two chambers are provided. The present invention can also be applied to an apparatus in which wafers are unloaded from the substrate processing chamber. The substrate processing chamber is not limited to a single-wafer type vacuum processing chamber. For example, a vertical batch furnace for performing heat treatment in a batch type, and loading of, for example, an inert gas atmosphere for loading a substrate into the batch furnace. And a partitioned space including an area.
[0041]
【The invention's effect】
According to the substrate transfer apparatus of the present invention, both the multi-joint arms 3A and 3B can transfer the wafer W without interfering with each other, so that efficient transfer can be performed. In addition, the first and second substrate holders are configured to move in a curved manner while opening to the left and right with respect to a horizontal straight line passing through the turning center, so that the opening between each of the two chambers is not straight. Even if it faces inward, the first and second substrate holders can transfer the substrate to these chambers, and can be efficiently transferred in a narrow transfer region. Further, according to the substrate processing apparatus of the present invention, the substrate processing chamber can be arranged along a circle centered on the turning center of the substrate transfer apparatus in the transfer chamber, and the transfer chamber can be formed in a polygonal shape. The footprint (occupied area) of the apparatus can be reduced, and efficient conveyance can be performed.
[Brief description of the drawings]
FIG. 1 is an overall plan view showing an embodiment of a substrate processing apparatus according to the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a schematic longitudinal sectional view showing an outline of the substrate processing apparatus.
FIG. 3 is a schematic view showing an embodiment of a substrate transfer apparatus according to the present invention.
FIG. 4 is an explanatory diagram showing a transmission system of the substrate transfer apparatus.
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view illustrating a specific configuration example of a part of the substrate transfer apparatus.
FIG. 6 is an explanatory diagram showing an operation principle of the substrate transfer apparatus.
FIG. 7 is an explanatory diagram showing an operation of the substrate transfer apparatus. .
FIG. 8 is an explanatory diagram showing how a wafer is transferred in the substrate processing apparatus.
FIG. 9 is an explanatory diagram showing how a wafer is transferred in the substrate processing apparatus.
.
FIG. 10 is an explanatory diagram showing a state of wafer transfer in the substrate processing apparatus.
.
FIG. 11 is a plan view showing a conventional substrate processing apparatus.
[Explanation of symbols]
W Semiconductor wafer
11, 12 Cassette room
13 First transfer chamber
14, 15 Preliminary vacuum chamber
16 Second transfer chamber
2 First substrate transfer device
3 Second substrate transfer device
4 (4A-4F) Vacuum chamber
3A First articulated arm
3B second articulated arm
51, 61 Swivel arm
52, 62 Middle arm
53, 63 Substrate holding arm
54, 55, 64, 65 holding part
70, 80 slewing axis
72, 82 Base pulley
73, 83 Support pulley
76, 86 Intermediate pulley
77, 87 Tip pulley
100 turning center

Claims (14)

  1. A first swivel arm that can swivel, a first substrate holding arm that forms a first substrate holding part for holding a substrate, and the first swivel arm and the first substrate holding arm. A first articulated arm including a first middle arm;
    A swivelable second swivel arm having a common swivel center with the first swivel arm, a second substrate holding arm forming a second substrate holding portion for holding the substrate, and the second swivel A second multi-joint arm including a second middle arm provided between the arm and the second substrate holding arm;
    The first and second substrate holding arms have a reference position positioned on the left and right across a horizontal straight line passing through the turning center and a substrate delivery position by extending and contracting the first and second articulated arms, respectively. Back and forth between
    The movement trajectory of the first substrate holding arm draws a curve in a direction away from the straight line to the left when the first substrate holding arm moves from the reference position to the substrate delivery position, and the second substrate The movement trajectory of the holding arm draws a curve in a direction away from the straight line to the right side when the second substrate holding arm moves from the reference position to the substrate transfer position, and these curves are arranged to the left and right with respect to the straight line. A substrate transfer device characterized by being symmetrical.
  2.   2. The substrate transfer apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the first substrate holding arm and the second substrate holding arm advance and retreat simultaneously.
  3.   3. The first and second swivel arms swivel in a state in which the first and second substrate holding arms are placed at reference positions arranged side by side on both sides of the swivel center. The board | substrate conveyance apparatus of description.
  4.   4. The substrate transfer apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the first multi-joint arm and the second multi-joint arm are configured to be driven independently. 5.
  5.   Each of the first and second substrate holding arms includes holding portions at both ends in the advancing and retreating direction so that two substrates can be held, and when the direction in which the straight line extends from the turning center is the front-rear direction, 5. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the vehicle is configured to move from a reference position arranged side by side across the turning center to both the front side and the rear side. The board | substrate conveyance apparatus of description.
  6.   Each of the first multi-joint arm and the second multi-joint arm includes a swivel arm, a substrate holding arm, and three arms including a middle stage arm that is interposed between both arms and shorter than the swivel arm. 6. The substrate transfer apparatus according to claim 1, wherein
  7.   7. The reference positions of the first multi-joint arm and the second multi-joint arm are characterized in that both middle arms are positioned in a straight line and the substrate holding arm is orthogonal to the middle arm. The board | substrate conveyance apparatus of description.
  8. The articulated arm
    A base pulley that is rotatable about the turning center of the turning arm, and independent of the turning arm;
    A support pulley that is rotatably provided at a distal end portion of the swivel arm, is connected to the base pulley by a timing belt, and rotates integrally with the middle arm;
    An intermediate pulley provided coaxially with the support pulley on the middle arm and fixed to the swivel arm;
    A front end pulley that is rotatably provided at a front end portion of the middle arm, is connected to the intermediate pulley by a timing belt, and rotates integrally with a substrate holding arm;
    8. The substrate transfer apparatus according to claim 6, wherein the ratio of the number of teeth of each pulley is adjusted so that the movement locus of the substrate holding arm draws a curve.
  9. The tooth number ratio between the base pulley and the support pulley is A (A is a value larger than 2): 1, and the tooth number ratio between the intermediate pulley and the tip pulley is 1: 2. 9. The substrate transfer apparatus according to 8.
  10. First and second swivel portions that can swivel around a common swivel center;
    A first substrate holding portion provided in the first turning portion so as to be able to advance and retract between a reference position and a substrate transfer position;
    A second substrate holding unit provided on the second swivel unit so as to be able to advance and retreat between a reference position and a substrate transfer position; and located on the same plane as the first substrate holding unit;
    A first and second advancing / retreating drive unit for moving the first and second substrate holders, respectively,
    The first and second substrate holders move back and forth between a reference position and a substrate delivery position that are symmetrically located across a horizontal straight line passing through the turning center,
    The movement path of the first substrate holding part curves in a direction away from the straight line to the left when the first substrate holding part moves from the reference position to the substrate transfer position, and the second substrate The movement trajectory of the holding portion draws a curve in a direction away from the straight line to the right side when the second substrate holding portion moves from the reference position to the substrate transfer position, and these curves are arranged to the left and right with respect to the straight line. A substrate transfer device characterized by being symmetrical.
  11. A transfer chamber having an airtight structure including the substrate transfer apparatus according to claim 1,
    A plurality of substrate processing chambers disposed around the transfer chamber along a circle centered on the turning center and connected to the transfer chamber in an airtight manner,
    A substrate processing apparatus, wherein a substrate is transferred to a substrate processing chamber adjacent to each other by a first substrate holding unit and a second substrate holding unit, respectively.
  12. Around the transfer chamber, the first and second load lock chambers in which the substrate is carried in and out by the first substrate holding portion and the second substrate holding portion are airtightly connected to the transfer chamber. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 11, wherein
  13. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the substrate processing chamber and the transfer chamber are in a vacuum atmosphere or an inert gas atmosphere.
  14. The substrate processing apparatus according to any one of claims 11 to 13 transfer chamber is characterized in that it is formed in a polygonal shape.
JP2003076105A 2003-03-19 2003-03-19 Substrate transport apparatus and substrate processing apparatus Expired - Fee Related JP4245387B2 (en)

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JP2003076105A JP4245387B2 (en) 2003-03-19 2003-03-19 Substrate transport apparatus and substrate processing apparatus
US10/712,043 US6986261B2 (en) 2002-11-15 2003-11-14 Method and system for controlling chiller and semiconductor processing system

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JP4476133B2 (en) 2005-02-24 2010-06-09 東京エレクトロン株式会社 Processing system
JP4970128B2 (en) * 2007-04-27 2012-07-04 日本電産サンキョー株式会社 Industrial robot and collective processing device
KR100968869B1 (en) * 2008-07-09 2010-07-09 김정호 Substrate transfer robot
CN102326244B (en) 2009-01-11 2014-12-17 应用材料公司 Robot systems, apparatus and methods for transporting substrates in electronic device manufacturing
JP2011077399A (en) * 2009-09-30 2011-04-14 Tokyo Electron Ltd Method for transferring subject to be processed and apparatus for processing subject to be processed
CN103476551B (en) * 2010-11-10 2016-08-10 布鲁克斯自动化公司 Tow-armed robot
KR20140087038A (en) * 2011-12-15 2014-07-08 다즈모 가부시키가이샤 Wafer conveyance device
DE102012100929A1 (en) 2012-02-06 2013-08-08 Roth & Rau Ag Substrate processing system
EP2664539B1 (en) * 2012-05-17 2018-07-18 The Boeing Company A method of and apparatus for extending the operation of an unmanned aerial vehicle
KR20150038000A (en) 2012-07-05 2015-04-08 어플라이드 머티어리얼스, 인코포레이티드 Boom drive apparatus, multi-arm robot apparatus, electronic device processing systems, and methods for transporting substrates in electronic device manufacturing systems
JP6110612B2 (en) * 2012-07-19 2017-04-05 川崎重工業株式会社 Substrate transfer device
CN102774652A (en) * 2012-07-31 2012-11-14 深圳市华星光电技术有限公司 Supporting arm of LCD (liquid crystal display) panel handling device

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