JP6191721B2 - Conveying apparatus, conveying method, exposure apparatus, and device manufacturing method - Google Patents

Conveying apparatus, conveying method, exposure apparatus, and device manufacturing method Download PDF

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Publication number
JP6191721B2
JP6191721B2 JP2016077555A JP2016077555A JP6191721B2 JP 6191721 B2 JP6191721 B2 JP 6191721B2 JP 2016077555 A JP2016077555 A JP 2016077555A JP 2016077555 A JP2016077555 A JP 2016077555A JP 6191721 B2 JP6191721 B2 JP 6191721B2
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Prior art keywords
substrate
plate holder
support
unit
table
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JP2016077555A
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JP2016157133A (en
Inventor
麻子 金城
麻子 金城
牛島 康之
康之 牛島
哲嗣 花崎
哲嗣 花崎
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株式会社ニコン
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Priority to US30535510P priority
Priority to US61/305,355 priority
Priority to US61/305,439 priority
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Publication of JP2016157133A publication Critical patent/JP2016157133A/en
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L21/00Processes or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or solid state devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/67Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere
    • H01L21/677Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for conveying, e.g. between different workstations
    • H01L21/67784Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for conveying, e.g. between different workstations using air tracks
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65GTRANSPORT OR STORAGE DEVICES, e.g. CONVEYORS FOR LOADING OR TIPPING, SHOP CONVEYOR SYSTEMS OR PNEUMATIC TUBE CONVEYORS
    • B65G49/00Conveying systems characterised by their application for specified purposes not otherwise provided for
    • B65G49/05Conveying systems characterised by their application for specified purposes not otherwise provided for for fragile or damageable materials or articles
    • B65G49/06Conveying systems characterised by their application for specified purposes not otherwise provided for for fragile or damageable materials or articles for fragile sheets, e.g. glass
    • B65G49/063Transporting devices for sheet glass
    • B65G49/064Transporting devices for sheet glass in a horizontal position
    • B65G49/065Transporting devices for sheet glass in a horizontal position supported partially or completely on fluid cushions, e.g. a gas cushion
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65GTRANSPORT OR STORAGE DEVICES, e.g. CONVEYORS FOR LOADING OR TIPPING, SHOP CONVEYOR SYSTEMS OR PNEUMATIC TUBE CONVEYORS
    • B65G51/00Conveying articles through pipes or tubes by fluid flow or pressure; Conveying articles over a flat surface, e.g. the base of a trough, by jets located in the surface
    • B65G51/02Directly conveying the articles, e.g. slips, sheets, stockings, containers or workpieces, by flowing gases
    • B65G51/03Directly conveying the articles, e.g. slips, sheets, stockings, containers or workpieces, by flowing gases over a flat surface or in troughs
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L21/00Processes or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or solid state devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/67Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere
    • H01L21/683Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for supporting or gripping
    • H01L21/687Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for supporting or gripping using mechanical means, e.g. chucks, clamps or pinches
    • H01L21/68714Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for supporting or gripping using mechanical means, e.g. chucks, clamps or pinches the wafers being placed on a susceptor, stage or support
    • H01L21/68742Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for supporting or gripping using mechanical means, e.g. chucks, clamps or pinches the wafers being placed on a susceptor, stage or support characterised by a lifting arrangement, e.g. lift pins
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B65CONVEYING; PACKING; STORING; HANDLING THIN OR FILAMENTARY MATERIAL
    • B65GTRANSPORT OR STORAGE DEVICES, e.g. CONVEYORS FOR LOADING OR TIPPING, SHOP CONVEYOR SYSTEMS OR PNEUMATIC TUBE CONVEYORS
    • B65G2249/00Aspects relating to conveying systems for the manufacture of fragile sheets
    • B65G2249/04Arrangements of vacuum systems or suction cups
    • B65G2249/045Details of suction cups suction cups

Description

The present invention relates to a transport apparatus, a transport method, an exposure apparatus, and a device manufacturing method.
This application claims priority based on US Provisional Application Nos. 61 / 305,355 and 61 / 305,439 filed on Feb. 17, 2010, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

  In a manufacturing process of an electronic device such as a flat panel display, a processing apparatus for a large substrate such as an exposure apparatus or an inspection apparatus is used. In an exposure process and an inspection process using these processing apparatuses, a transport apparatus as disclosed in the following patent document that transports a large substrate (for example, a glass substrate) to the processing apparatus is used.

JP 2001-100189 A

  In the above-described large-sized substrate transfer apparatus, when the substrate supported by the substrate support member is transferred to the substrate holding unit, an air layer is interposed between the substrate and the substrate holding unit, so that the substrate after transfer is transferred to the substrate holding unit. Deformation may occur or the substrate may be displaced with respect to the mounting position on the substrate holder. When mounting displacement or deformation occurs on the substrate after delivery, for example, in the exposure apparatus, there arises a problem of exposure failure such that predetermined exposure cannot be performed at an appropriate position on the substrate. If the substrate is displaced or deformed, there is a problem that processing of the substrate is delayed by re-delivering the substrate, for example, in order to eliminate it. Further, for example, if the substrate delivery speed is lowered so that the air layer does not remain after delivery, there arises a problem that the processing of the substrate is further delayed.

  An object of an aspect of the present invention is to provide a transport apparatus, a transport method, an exposure apparatus, and a device manufacturing method capable of delivering a substrate without causing displacement and deformation.

  According to the first aspect of the present invention, a gas is supplied to one surface of the substrate, and a first support portion capable of supporting the substrate in a floating manner via the gas, and a first support portion capable of supporting the one surface of the substrate. Two support parts, a driving part that moves at least one of the first and second support parts, and that arranges the first and second support parts in proximity to or in contact with each other in the first direction, and the driving part. There is provided a transfer device including a transfer unit that moves the substrate supported by one of the arranged first and second support units to the other side along the first direction.

  According to the second aspect of the present invention, a gas is supplied to one surface of the substrate, the first support portion capable of supporting the substrate in a levitating manner through the gas, and the first support portion capable of supporting the one surface of the substrate. 2 and 3rd support part, and the 1st drive part which moves at least one of said 1st and 2nd support part, and makes this 1st and 2nd support part adjoin or contact mutually, and is arranged in the 1st direction A second driving unit that moves at least one of the first and third support units and arranges the first and third support units in the second direction by bringing them into close proximity or contact with each other, and the first driving unit. The first transfer unit that moves the substrate supported by the second support unit arranged in the first support unit toward the first support unit along the first direction, and the second driving unit, The substrate supported by the first support portion arranged in the third support portion is moved forward along the second direction. Transport apparatus is provided comprising a second transfer unit for moving the third support part side.

  According to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a transport method for transporting a substrate, wherein the first support portion capable of levitating and supporting the substrate via a gas supplied to the one surface of the substrate and the one surface of the substrate are provided. Moving at least one of the supportable second support parts, arranging the first and second support parts in the first direction in proximity to or in contact with each other, and arranging the arranged first and second support parts Moving the substrate supported by one side to the other side along the first direction is provided.

  According to the fourth aspect of the present invention, at least one of a first support part capable of supporting the substrate in a levitating manner via a gas supplied to one surface of the substrate and a second support part capable of supporting the one surface of the substrate. And moving the first and second support portions closer to or in contact with each other and arranging them in the first direction, and supporting the substrate supported by the second support portions arranged on the first support portion, Moving to the first support portion side along the first direction; moving at least one of the first support portion and the third support portion supporting one surface of the substrate; Arranging the support parts close to or in contact with each other in the second direction; and supporting the substrate supported by the first support parts arranged in the third support part along the second direction. Moving to the part side is provided.

  According to the fifth aspect of the present invention, a gas is supplied to one surface of the substrate, a first support part capable of supporting the substrate in a levitating manner through the gas, and a second support for supporting the one surface of the substrate. A support unit, a drive unit that moves at least one of the first and second support units, and arranges the first and second support units in close proximity to or in contact with each other; and the first unit arranged by the drive unit 2 The substrate supported by the support part is placed on the placement part of the first support part by stopping the supply of the gas and the transfer part that moves to the first support part side along the arrangement direction. A lifting mechanism that supports the substrate and lifts it above the placement portion; and a carry-out mechanism that unloads the substrate supported above the placement portion by the lifting mechanism from the first support portion. A transport apparatus is provided.

  According to a sixth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a transport method for transporting a substrate, the first support portion capable of levitating and supporting the substrate via a gas supplied to the one surface of the substrate, and the one surface of the substrate. Moving at least one of the second support portions capable of supporting the first support portion and arranging the first and second support portions in proximity to or in contact with each other; and the substrate supported by the arranged second support portions, The substrate placed on the placement portion of the first support portion is supported by transferring to the first support portion side along the arrangement direction and stopping the supply of the gas. There is provided a transport method including lifting up above the part and carrying out the substrate supported above the placement part from the first support part.

  According to a seventh aspect of the present invention, there is provided an exposure apparatus that exposes a substrate with exposure light, the exposure apparatus comprising the above-described transport device that holds the substrate and moves the substrate to an irradiation area of the exposure light. Is provided.

  According to the eighth aspect of the present invention, using the exposure apparatus, the pattern is transferred to the substrate, and the substrate to which the pattern is transferred is processed based on the pattern. A device manufacturing method is provided.

  According to the aspect of the present invention, it is possible to transfer a substrate without causing any mounting displacement or deformation.

It is a cross-sectional top view which shows the whole exposure apparatus outline. It is an external appearance perspective view which shows the specific structure in a chamber. It is a figure which shows the periphery structure of a plate holder. It is a figure which shows the periphery structure of a plate holder. It is a figure which shows the principal part structure of a carrying-in part. It is a figure which shows the principal part structure of a carrying-in part. It is a figure which shows the principal part structure of a carrying-out part. It is a figure which shows the principal part structure of a carrying-out part. It is a figure explaining the delivery process of the board | substrate to the table for carrying in. It is explanatory drawing of the conveyance process of the board | substrate between a plate holder and a carrying-out part. It is explanatory drawing of the conveyance process of the board | substrate between a plate holder and a carrying-out part. It is a figure which shows the state which carried out the floating support of the board | substrate on the carrying-in table. It is a figure explaining the process of conveying the board | substrate on the table for carrying in. It is a figure explaining the process in which a board | substrate transfers to the plate holder side. It is a figure which shows the state in which the board | substrate was mounted on the plate holder. It is a figure explaining the delivery process of the board | substrate to the table for carrying out. It is a figure which shows the state which carried out the floating support of the board | substrate on the plate holder. It is a figure explaining conveyance of a substrate from a plate holder to the carrying-out part side. It is a figure explaining conveyance of a substrate from a plate holder to the carrying-out part side. It is a figure explaining conveyance of a substrate from a plate holder to the carrying-out part side. It is a figure explaining the operation | movement which carries a board | substrate out from a carrying-out part. It is a figure which shows the structure of the carrying-in part which concerns on 2nd Embodiment. It is a figure which shows the structure of the carrying-in part which concerns on 2nd Embodiment. It is a figure explaining the structure which conveys a board | substrate from a carrying-in part to the plate holder side. It is a figure for demonstrating the process of following FIG. It is a figure which shows the structure of the plate holder which concerns on 3rd Embodiment. It is a figure explaining the structure which conveys a board | substrate from a carrying-in part to the plate holder side. It is a figure explaining the structure which conveys a board | substrate from a carrying-in part to the plate holder side. It is a figure which shows the structure which concerns on 4th Embodiment. It is a figure explaining the delivery operation | movement of the board | substrate concerning 4th Embodiment. It is a figure explaining the delivery operation | movement of the board | substrate concerning 4th Embodiment. It is a figure explaining the delivery operation | movement of the board | substrate concerning 4th Embodiment. It is a figure explaining the delivery operation | movement of the board | substrate concerning 4th Embodiment. It is a perspective view which shows the structure inside the chamber which concerns on 5th Embodiment. It is a top view which shows schematic structure of a carrying in / out part. It is a top view which shows schematic structure of a carrying in / out part. It is a figure explaining the board | substrate carrying-in process which concerns on 5th Embodiment. It is a figure explaining delivery of the board | substrate from the carrying in / out part to the plate holder side. It is a figure explaining the delivery of the board | substrate from the plate holder to the carrying in / out part side. It is a cross-sectional top view which shows the whole exposure apparatus outline. It is an external appearance perspective view which shows the specific structure in a chamber. It is a figure which shows the periphery structure of a plate holder. It is a figure which shows the periphery structure of a plate holder. It is explanatory drawing of the conveyance process of the board | substrate between a plate holder and a carrying-out part. It is explanatory drawing of the conveyance process of the board | substrate between a plate holder and a carrying-out part. It is a figure which shows the state which carried out the floating support of the board | substrate on the carrying-in table. It is a figure explaining the process of conveying the board | substrate on the table for carrying in. It is a figure explaining the process in which a board | substrate transfers to the plate holder side. It is a figure for demonstrating operation | movement of a carrying-out robot. It is a front view explaining the operation | movement which carries a board | substrate out from a plate holder. It is a front view explaining the operation | movement which carries a board | substrate out from a plate holder. It is a side view explaining the operation | movement which carries a board | substrate out from a plate holder. It is a figure which shows the structure of the carrying-in part which concerns on 3rd Embodiment. It is a figure explaining the structure which conveys a board | substrate from a carrying-in part to the plate holder side. It is a figure explaining the structure which conveys a board | substrate from a carrying-in part to the plate holder side. It is a figure which shows the structure of the exposure apparatus main body which concerns on 4th Embodiment. It is a figure which shows the plane structure of a plate holder. It is a sectional side view in a plate holder. It is a sectional side view in a plate holder. It is a figure which shows the structure of a vertical motion part. It is a figure explaining the structure which conveys a board | substrate from a carrying-in part to the plate holder side. It is a figure explaining the structure which conveys a board | substrate from a carrying-in part to the plate holder side. It is a figure which shows the state by which a board | substrate is levitated and supported on the table for carrying in. It is a figure which shows the state which the contact part contacted the edge part of the board | substrate. It is explanatory drawing of the process in which a board | substrate moves to a plate holder from a loading table. It is a perspective view for demonstrating operation | movement of a carrying-out robot. It is explanatory drawing of the process of carrying out a board | substrate from a plate holder. It is explanatory drawing of the process of carrying out a board | substrate from a plate holder. It is explanatory drawing of the process of carrying out a board | substrate from a plate holder. It is a top view which shows the structure of the adsorption | suction mechanism which concerns on 5th Embodiment. It is a side view showing the composition of the adsorption mechanism concerning a 5th embodiment. It is a side view explaining the operation | movement which carries a board | substrate out from a plate holder. It is a side view explaining the operation | movement which carries a board | substrate out from a plate holder. It is a figure which shows the structure which concerns on the modification of an adsorption | suction mechanism. It is a figure which shows the structure which concerns on the modification of an adsorption | suction mechanism. It is a flowchart for demonstrating an example of the manufacturing process of a microdevice.

  Embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the drawings. Note that the present invention is not limited to this. Hereinafter, an exposure apparatus that includes the transport apparatus according to the present invention and performs an exposure process for exposing a liquid crystal display device pattern to a substrate coated with a photosensitive agent will be described. An embodiment of the method is also described.

(First embodiment)
FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional plan view showing a schematic configuration of the exposure apparatus of the present embodiment. As shown in FIG. 1, the exposure apparatus 1 includes an exposure apparatus main body 3 that exposes a liquid crystal display device pattern on a substrate, a carry-in unit 4, and a carry-out unit 5, which are highly purified. And housed in a chamber 2 adjusted to a predetermined temperature. In the present embodiment, the substrate is a large glass plate, and the size of one side thereof is, for example, 500 mm or more.

  FIG. 2 is an external perspective view showing a specific configuration in the chamber 2. As shown in FIG. 2, the exposure apparatus main body 3 includes an illumination system (not shown) that illuminates the mask M with exposure light IL, a mask stage (not shown) that holds the mask M on which a liquid crystal display device pattern is formed, Projection optical system PL disposed below the mask stage, and a plate holder 9 as a substrate holder provided so as to be movable two-dimensionally on a base portion (not shown) disposed below the projection optical system PL. And a first moving mechanism 33 that holds the plate holder 9 and moves the plate holder 9 in the chamber 2.

  In the following description, it is assumed that the two-dimensional movement of the plate holder 9 with respect to a base portion (not shown) provided in the chamber 2 is performed in a horizontal plane, and the X axis is perpendicular to each other in the horizontal plane. And Y axis is set. The holding surface of the plate holder 9 with respect to the substrate P is parallel to the horizontal plane in a reference state (for example, a state when the substrate P is transferred). The Z axis is set in a direction orthogonal to the X axis and the Y axis, and the optical axis of the projection optical system PL is parallel to the Z axis. The directions around the X, Y, and Z axes are referred to as the θX direction, the θY direction, and the θZ direction, respectively.

  The first moving mechanism 33 includes a moving mechanism main body 35 and a holding portion 34 that is disposed on the moving mechanism main body 35 and holds the plate holder 9. The moving mechanism body 35 is supported by a gas bearing in a non-contact manner on a guide surface (base portion) (not shown) and can move on the guide surface in the XY directions. Based on such a configuration, the plate holder 9 can move within a predetermined region of the guide surface on the light emission side (image surface side of the projection optical system PL) while holding the substrate P.

  The movement mechanism main body 35 can move in the XY plane on the guide surface by the operation of a coarse movement system including an actuator such as a linear motor. The holding unit 34 can move in the Z-axis, θX, and θY directions with respect to the moving mechanism body 35 by operation of a fine movement system including an actuator such as a voice coil motor. The holding unit 34 operates in six directions including the X axis, the Y axis, the Z axis, the θX, the θY, and the θZ directions while holding the substrate P by the operation of the substrate stage driving system including the coarse movement system and the fine movement system. It is movable.

  The exposure apparatus 1 performs step-and-scan exposure with the rectangular substrate P placed on the plate holder 9, and a plurality of patterns formed on the mask P, for example 4 The images are sequentially transferred to two exposure areas (pattern transfer areas). That is, in the exposure apparatus 1, the slit M on the mask M is illuminated by the exposure light IL from the illumination system, and the mask M is moved by a controller (not shown) via a drive system (not shown). The pattern of the mask M in one exposure region on the substrate P is obtained by moving the mask stage to be held and the plate holder 9 for holding the substrate P in synchronization in a predetermined scanning direction (here, the Y-axis direction). Is transferred, that is, scanning exposure is performed. Note that the exposure apparatus 1 according to the present embodiment is a so-called multi-lens scan in which the projection optical system PL includes a plurality of projection optical modules, and the illumination system includes a plurality of illumination modules corresponding to the plurality of projection optical modules. It constitutes an exposure apparatus.

  After the scanning exposure of this one exposure region is completed, a stepping operation is performed in which the plate holder 9 is moved in the X direction by a predetermined amount to the scanning start position of the next exposure region. In the exposure apparatus main body 3, the pattern of the mask M is sequentially transferred to the four exposure regions by repeatedly performing such scanning exposure and stepping operation.

  As shown in FIG. 2, when the substrate P coated with a photosensitive agent is carried in a coater / developer (not shown) arranged adjacent to the exposure apparatus 1 as shown in FIG. ) And a second moving mechanism 43 that moves the carry-in table 40. The carry-in unit 4 can adjust the temperature of the substrate P carried into the carry-in table 40.

  The second moving mechanism 43 includes a moving mechanism main body 45 and a holding portion 44 that is disposed on the moving mechanism main body 45 and holds the loading table 40. The moving mechanism main body 45 is supported by a gas bearing in a non-contact manner on a guide surface (not shown) and can move in the XY directions on the guide surface. Based on such a configuration, the carry-in table 40 can move within a predetermined region of the guide surface while holding the substrate P. The support of the moving mechanism main body 45 with respect to the guide surface (not shown) is not limited to the support by the gas bearing, and a well-known guide mechanism (drive mechanism for the guide surface) different from the gas bearing can also be used.

  The moving mechanism main body 45 has the same configuration as the moving mechanism main body 35 and can move in the XY plane on the guide surface. The holding unit 44 has the same configuration as the holding unit 34 and can move in the Z-axis, θX, and θY directions with respect to the moving mechanism main body 45. The holding unit 44 can move in six directions including the X axis, the Y axis, the Z axis, the θX, the θY, and the θZ directions while holding the substrate P.

  Further, the carry-out unit 5 supports the one surface (lower surface) of the substrate P when the substrate P subjected to the exposure process by the exposure apparatus main body 3 is delivered as shown in FIG. And a third moving mechanism 53 that moves the unloading table 50.

  The third moving mechanism 53 includes a moving mechanism main body 55 and a holding portion 54 that is disposed on the moving mechanism main body 55 and holds the unloading table 50. The moving mechanism body 55 is supported by a gas bearing in a non-contact manner on a guide surface (not shown) and can move in the XY directions on the guide surface. Based on such a configuration, the carry-out table 50 can move within a predetermined region of the guide surface while holding the substrate P.

  The moving mechanism main body 55 has the same configuration as the moving mechanism main bodies 35 and 45, and can move in the XY plane on the guide surface. The holding portion 54 has the same configuration as the holding portions 34 and 44 and can move in the Z-axis, θX, and θY directions with respect to the moving mechanism main body 55. The holding unit 54 can move in six directions including the X axis, the Y axis, the Z axis, the θX, the θY, and the θZ directions while holding the substrate P.

  Next, the peripheral configuration of the plate holder 9 will be described with reference to FIGS. 3A and 3B. FIG. 3A is a diagram illustrating a planar configuration of the plate holder 9, and FIG. 3B is a diagram illustrating a side configuration of the plate holder 9. As shown in FIG. 3A, the plate holder 9 is formed with a substrate placement portion 31 on which the substrate P is placed. The upper surface of the substrate platform 31 is finished so that the substantial holding surface of the plate holder 9 with respect to the substrate P has good flatness. Furthermore, a plurality of suction holes K1 are provided on the upper surface of the substrate mounting portion 31 for bringing the substrate P into close contact with this surface. Each suction hole K1 is connected to a vacuum pump (not shown).

  In addition, a plurality of gas injection holes K <b> 2 are provided on the upper surface of the substrate mounting portion 31 to levitate and support the substrate P through the gas by injecting a gas such as air onto the lower surface of the substrate P. . Each gas injection hole K2 is connected to a gas injection pump (not shown). The suction holes K1 and the gas injection holes K2 are arranged in a staggered manner.

  Further, on the periphery of the plate holder 9, guide pins 36 for guiding the substrate P when the substrate P is carried in, and positioning pins 37 for defining the position of the substrate P with respect to the substrate mounting portion 31 of the plate holder 9. And are provided. The guide pins 36 and the positioning pins 37 can be moved together with the plate holder 9 in the exposure apparatus main body 3.

  As shown in FIG. 3B, the plate holder 9 is provided with a position detection sensor 19 on the side surface portion 9 a for detecting a relative position between the carry-in table 40 and the carry-out table 50. The position detection sensor 19 is a distance detection sensor 19a for detecting a relative distance with respect to the carry-in table 40 and the carry-out table 50, and a height for detecting a relative height with respect to the carry-in table 40 and the carry-out table 50. And a detection sensor 19b. A concave portion is formed at a position corresponding to the position detection sensor 19 in the carry-in table 40 and the carry-out table 50, so that the position detection sensor 19 interferes with the carry-in table 40 and the carry-out table 50. Is preventing.

  Next, the principal part structure of the carrying-in part 4 is demonstrated, referring FIG. 4A and FIG. 4B. 4A is a plan view showing a peripheral configuration of the carry-in table 40, and FIG. 4B is a view showing a cross section taken along line AA in FIG. 4A.

  As shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B, the carry-in unit 4 is provided with a first transfer unit 42 that transfers the substrate P from the carry-in table 40 to the plate holder 9. The first transfer part 42 includes a guide part 42 a and a contact part 42 b that comes into contact with the substrate P.

  On the upper surface of the carry-in table 40, two groove-shaped recesses 40a formed along one direction (Y direction shown in the figure) are formed. The guide portion 42a is provided in the recess 40a. The contact portion 42b is attached to the guide portion 42a in a state of protruding from the upper surface of the loading table 40. The contact portion 42b is made of an elastic member such as rubber, and can reduce damage to the substrate P at the time of contact.

The upper surface of the loading table 40 is provided with a plurality of gas injection holes K3 that float and support the substrate P through the gas by injecting a gas such as air onto the lower surface of the substrate P.
Each gas injection hole K3 is connected to a gas injection pump (not shown).

Furthermore, a plurality of suction holes K4 are provided on the upper surface of the loading table 40 for bringing the substrate P into close contact with the surface. Each suction hole K4 is connected to a vacuum pump (not shown). The gas injection holes K3 and the suction holes K4 are arranged in a staggered manner along the Y direction.
The gas injection holes K3 and the suction holes K4 are not limited to the staggered arrangement, and may be arranged in various forms (for example, they may be arranged alternately along the Y direction). Further, the gas injection hole K3 and the suction hole K4 are not limited to being provided independently from each other, and the same hole may be used as the gas injection hole K3 and the suction hole K4. In this case, each hole may be connected to a gas injection pump and a vacuum pump so as to be appropriately switched.

  The carry-in table 40 is formed with a through-hole 47 through which a substrate support pin of a vertical movement mechanism for passing the substrate P to and from a coater / developer (not shown) can be inserted as will be described later. ing.

  Next, the principal part structure of the carrying-out part 5 is demonstrated, referring FIG. 5A and FIG. 5B. As shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B, the unloading unit 5 is provided with a second transfer unit 52 that transfers the substrate P from the plate holder 9 to the unloading table 50. The second transfer part 52 includes a guide part 52 a and a suction part 52 b that sucks and holds the substrate P.

  On the upper surface of the carry-out table 50, two groove-shaped recesses 50a formed along one direction (Y direction shown in the figure) are formed. The guide portion 52a is provided in the recess 50a. The suction portion 52b is attached to the guide portion 52a so as to protrude from the upper surface of the carry-out table 50. The suction unit 52b includes a vacuum suction pad that holds the substrate P by vacuum suction, for example.

  Further, the suction portion 52b is provided with a contact portion 58 that contacts the substrate P pushed out from the plate holder 9 when the substrate is carried out. The contact portion 58 is made of an elastic member such as rubber.

The upper surface of the carry-out table 50 is provided with a plurality of gas injection holes K5 that float and support the substrate P through the gas by injecting a gas such as air onto the lower surface of the substrate P.
Each gas injection hole K5 is connected to a gas injection pump (not shown).

  Further, a plurality of suction holes K6 are provided on the upper surface of the unloading table 50 for bringing the substrate P into close contact with the surface. Each suction hole K6 is connected to a vacuum pump (not shown). The gas injection holes K5 and the suction holes K6 are arranged in a staggered manner.

  The unloading table 50 is formed with a through-hole 57 through which a substrate support pin of a vertical movement mechanism for passing the substrate P to and from a coater / developer (not shown) can be inserted as will be described later. ing.

  Next, the operation of the exposure apparatus 1 will be described with reference to FIGS. Specifically, the transfer operation of the substrate P between the carry-in unit 4 and the plate holder 9 and the transfer operation of the substrate P between the plate holder 9 and the carry-out unit 5 will be mainly described. In the present embodiment, the carry-in table 40 of the carry-in unit 4 and the carry-out table 50 of the carry-out unit 5 are arranged at different positions in the same horizontal plane. That is, the carry-in table 40 and the carry-out table 50 are arranged at positions that do not overlap each other in a plan view state (a state seen from the + Z direction shown in FIG. 2).

  First, a substrate P coated with a photosensitive agent is carried into a carry-in unit 4 by a coater / developer (not shown). At this time, the vertical movement mechanism 49 positioned below the loading table 40 has the substrate support pins 49 a disposed above the loading table 40 through the through holes 47. Subsequently, the arm portion 48 of the coater / developer (not shown) is inserted between the substrate support pins 49a as shown in FIG. The arm portion 48 moves down to deliver the substrate P to the substrate support pins 49a and then retracts from the carry-in portion 4. The vertical movement mechanism 49 finishes the operation of loading the substrate P onto the loading table 40 by lowering the substrate support pins 49a that support the substrate P. Thereafter, when the vacuum pump is driven, the substrate P is sucked and held on the upper surface of the loading table 40 via the suction hole K4.

  Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 7A, the plate holder 9 moves so as to be close to the loading table 40 of the loading unit 4. Specifically, the first moving mechanism 33 arranges the plate holder 9 and the carry-in table 40 close to each other along the Y direction. Here, the state where the plate holder 9 and the carry-in table 40 are close to each other means a state where the plate holder 9 and the carry-in table 40 are separated by a distance at which the movement of the substrate P is smoothly performed during delivery of the substrate P described later.

  Further, the second moving mechanism 43 can be driven when the loading table 40 and the plate holder 9 are arranged. In this way, the loading table 40 and the plate holder 9 can be moved to the delivery position of the substrate P in a short time, and the time required for the loading operation of the substrate P can be shortened. In this case, the carry-out table 50 is retracted to a position where it does not interfere with the carry-in table 40.

  Further, since the substrate P is sucked and held on the upper surface of the loading table 40 through the suction hole K4, the substrate P is prevented from moving on the loading table 40 when the second moving mechanism 43 is driven. be able to.

  In the present embodiment, as shown in FIG. 7B, the substrate P is disposed higher than the plate holder 9 when the plate holder 9 and the loading table 40 are brought close to each other. In other words, the first moving mechanism 33 brings the plate holder 9 close to the loading table 40 so that the upper surface of the loading table 40 supporting the substrate P is higher than the upper surface of the plate holder 9. The loading table 40 can be raised by the second moving mechanism 43 so that the upper surface of the loading table 40 is higher than the upper surface of the plate holder 9.

  The first moving mechanism 33 can be arranged in a state where the plate holder 9 and the loading table 40 are in contact with each other. If it does in this way, delivery of the board | substrate P between the plate holder 9 mentioned later and the loading table 40 can be performed smoothly.

  Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 8, the carry-in table 40 injects gas from a plurality of gas injection holes K <b> 3 formed on the upper surface, and supports the substrate P in a state of floating through the gas. On the other hand, when receiving the substrate P, the plate holder 9 injects gas from the plurality of gas injection holes K2 formed on the upper surface.

  The carry-in unit 4 brings the contact portion 42b into contact with one end portion of the substrate P in a state where the substrate P is floated and supported on the carry-in table 40 as shown in FIG. The contact part 42b moves the substrate P toward the plate holder 9 by moving along the guide part 42a in the recess 40a.

  Since the substrate P is in a state of floating on the loading table 40, the contact portion 42b can smoothly slide the substrate P to the plate holder 9 side. Note that the upper surface of the plate holder 9 supports the substrate P as described above. Here, the gas injected from the gas injection holes K3 and K2 may have directivity.

  As shown in FIG. 10, the substrate P that slides on the upper surface of the loading table 40 by the contact portion 42 b smoothly moves to the upper surface of the plate holder 9. In the present embodiment, since the upper surface of the loading table 40 is higher than the upper surface of the plate holder 9, the substrate P can smoothly transfer onto the plate holder 9 without contacting the side surface of the plate holder 9. it can.

  As shown in FIG. 9, the substrate P slides in a state where the position in the X direction in the drawing is defined by the guide pins 36 provided in the peripheral portion of the plate holder 9. The abutting portion 42b moves the substrate P until it abuts on a positioning pin 37 provided on the downstream side of the plate holder 9 in the substrate transport direction. The position of the substrate P in the X direction in the figure is defined by the guide pins 36, and the position in the Y direction in the figure is defined by being sandwiched between the positioning pins 37 and the contact portions 42b. The plate holder 9 stops gas injection from the gas injection hole K2. As shown in FIG. 11, the substrate P is placed in a state of being aligned with the substrate platform 31.

  By the way, when the conventional substrate is placed on the plate holder, there is a possibility that the placement displacement of the substrate (position displacement from a predetermined placement position) or the deformation of the substrate may occur. One possible cause of this displacement is that the substrate floats due to a thin air layer generated between the substrate and the plate holder immediately before the substrate is placed, for example. Further, as one of the causes for causing the deformation of the substrate, for example, it is conceivable that the substrate swells due to an air pocket interposed between the substrate and the plate holder after the substrate is placed.

  On the other hand, in this embodiment, since the substrate P is transported in a state of being floated by gas injection as described above, the substrate P is transferred to the plate holder 9 without distortion and with high flatness. Further, since the substrate P is placed on the substrate platform 31 from the height at which the substrate P is levitated, it is possible to prevent an air pool or an air layer from being generated between the substrate P and the substrate platform 31. . Therefore, it becomes possible to prevent the substrate P from being swollen and prevent the substrate P from being displaced or deformed. Therefore, the substrate P can be placed at a predetermined position with respect to the plate holder 9 with high flatness. Thereafter, when the vacuum pump is driven, the substrate P is adsorbed and held on the upper surface of the substrate platform 31 via the suction hole K1.

After placing the substrate P on the plate holder 9, the mask M is illuminated with the exposure light IL from the illumination system. The pattern of the mask M illuminated with the exposure light IL is projected and exposed to the substrate P placed on the plate holder 9 via the projection optical system PL.
Since the exposure apparatus 1 can satisfactorily place the substrate P on the plate holder 9 as described above, predetermined exposure can be performed at an appropriate position on the substrate P with high accuracy, and reliability can be improved. High exposure processing can be realized.

  In the present embodiment, the photosensitive agent is applied by a coater / developer (not shown) while the substrate P is being exposed or while the exposed substrate P is being transported to the carry-out unit 5 as will be described later. The next coated substrate P can be placed on the loading table 40 of the loading unit 4.

Next, the carrying-out operation of the substrate P from the plate holder 9 after the exposure process is completed will be described.
When the exposure process ends, the plate holder 9 moves so as to be close to the unloading table 50 of the unloading unit 5 as shown in FIG. Specifically, the first moving mechanism 33 arranges the plate holder 9 and the unloading table 50 close to each other along the Y direction. At this time, since the substrate P is sucked and held through the suction hole K1, it is possible to prevent the substrate P from moving on the substrate platform 31 when the first moving mechanism 33 is driven.

  Further, the third moving mechanism 53 can be driven when the carry-out table 50 and the plate holder 9 are arranged. In this way, the loading table 40 and the plate holder 9 can be moved to the delivery position of the substrate P in a short time, and the time required for the unloading operation of the substrate P can be shortened. In this case, the carry-in table 40 is retracted to a position where it does not interfere with the carry-out table 50.

  In the present embodiment, when the plate holder 9 and the carry-out table 50 are brought close to each other, the substrate P is arranged higher than the plate holder 9 corresponding to the transfer destination of the substrate P, as when the plate holder 9 and the carry-in table 40 are brought close to each other. doing. That is, the first moving mechanism 33 brings the plate holder 9 close to the unloading table 50 so that the upper surface of the plate holder 9 supporting the substrate P is higher than the upper surface of the unloading table 50. Note that the carry-out table 50 can be lowered by the third moving mechanism 53 so that the upper surface of the carry-out table 50 is lower than the upper surface of the plate holder 9.

  The first moving mechanism 33 can also be arranged in a state where the plate holder 9 and the unloading table 50 are in contact with each other. If it does in this way, delivery of substrate P between plate holder 9 mentioned below and carrying-out table 50 can be performed smoothly.

  The plate holder 9 stops driving the vacuum pump, and releases the suction holding of the substrate P to the substrate mounting portion 31 via the suction hole K1. Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 13, the plate holder 9 injects gas from the plurality of gas injection holes K2 formed on the upper surface of the substrate mounting portion 31 and floats the substrate P through the gas. Support with. On the other hand, when the unloading unit 5 receives the substrate P, the unloading unit 5 injects gas from a plurality of gas injection holes K5 formed on the upper surface of the unloading table 50.

  The carry-out unit 5 moves the suction unit 52b of the second transfer unit 52 along the guide unit 52a toward the substrate P that is levitated and supported on the substrate platform 31 of the plate holder 9. The positioning pins 37 press the end of the substrate P that floats on the substrate platform 31 as shown in FIG. 14A. As a result, the substrate P that floats on the substrate platform 31 slides toward the carry-out table 50 and comes into contact with the contact portion 58 attached to the suction portion 52b as shown in FIG. 14B. By sliding the substrate P to the contact portion 58 side using the positioning pins 37 in this way, there is no need to move the suction portion 52b along the guide portion 52a to a position facing the substrate P on the plate holder 9. . After the end portion of the substrate P comes into contact with the contact portion 58, the suction portion 52b sucks and holds the substrate P and moves along the Y direction in the drawing along the guide portion 52a as shown in FIG. 14C.

At this time, since the substrate P is supported in a state of floating on the plate holder 9, the suction portion 52b can smoothly slide the substrate P toward the unloading table 50 side. Further, the upper surface of the carry-out table 50 supports the substrate P as described above.
Here, the gas injected from the gas injection holes K2 and K5 may have directivity.

  The substrate P that slides on the upper surface of the substrate platform 31 by the movement of the suction unit 52b smoothly transfers to the upper surface of the unloading table 50. In this embodiment, since the upper surface of the plate holder 9 is higher than the upper surface of the unloading table 50, the substrate P smoothly transfers onto the unloading table 50 without contacting the side surface of the unloading table 50. be able to.

  After the movement of the substrate P by the suction part 52b is completed, the carry-out table 50 stops the gas injection from the gas injection hole K5 and holds the substrate P by suction through the suction hole K6. The unloading unit 5 drives the third moving mechanism 53 in a state where the substrate P is sucked and held, and moves the unloading table 50 to the unloading position of the substrate P.

  After transferring the substrate P from the plate holder 9 to the carry-out unit 5, the exposure apparatus 1 moves the plate holder 9 so as to approach the carry-in table 40 of the carry-in unit 4. Similarly, the substrate P can be transferred between the loading table 40 and the plate holder 9, and the exposure process can be performed on the substrate P placed on the plate holder 9.

  In the present embodiment, the next substrate P is placed on the carry-out table 50 while the next substrate P is being carried into the plate holder 9 from the carry-in unit 4 or while the next substrate P is being subjected to the exposure process. The exposed substrate P is unloaded. At this time, the vertical movement mechanism 60 located below the carry-out table 50 arranges the substrate support pins 60 a above the carry-out table 50 through the through holes 57. Thereby, the board | substrate P will be hold | maintained above the carrying-out table 50 by being supported by the board | substrate support pin 60a. Subsequently, the arm 48 of the coater / developer (not shown) is inserted between the substrate support pins 60a as shown in FIG. Then, the board | substrate P is delivered to the arm part 48 by dropping the board | substrate support pin 60a. The arm unit 48 moves the substrate P into a coater / developer (not shown) and performs development processing.

  As described above, the plate holder 9 alternately accesses the carry-in unit 4 and the carry-out unit 5 by moving in the same horizontal plane (XY plane), thereby performing the carry-in / out operation of the substrate P with respect to the exposure apparatus main body 3. It can be carried out. In this embodiment, since the plate holder 9 is moved along the arrangement direction of the carry-in unit 4 and the carry-out unit 5, the plate holder 9 and the carry-in unit 4 and the carry-out unit 5 are arranged close to or in contact with each other. Can be done in a short time. Therefore, the processing time (so-called tact) associated with the loading / unloading operation of the substrate P can be shortened.

  According to this embodiment, since the substrate P supported to be levitated can be slid and transferred from the loading unit 4 to the plate holder 9, an air pool or air is provided between the substrate P and the substrate platform 31. It is possible to prevent the generation of a layer, and to prevent the substrate P from being displaced or deformed. Therefore, highly reliable exposure processing can be performed.

  In the first embodiment, when the substrate P is transported from the loading table 40 to the plate holder 9, the upper surface of the loading table 40 can be inclined. Specifically, the holding portion 44 of the second moving mechanism 43 has the upper surface of the loading table 40 that supports the substrate P in a state of being floated by gas injection from the gas injection hole K3 on the plate holder 9 side (θY direction). Tilt. Accordingly, the substrate P can be moved to the plate holder 9 side by utilizing the weight of the substrate P.

  Further, when the substrate P is transported from the plate holder 9 to the unloading table 50, the upper surface of the plate holder 9 can be inclined. Specifically, the holding portion 34 of the first moving mechanism 33 inclines the upper surface of the plate holder 9 that supports the substrate P in the state of floating by the gas injection from the gas injection hole K2 toward the unloading table 50 (θY direction). Let Thereby, the substrate P can be moved to the unloading table 50 side by utilizing the weight of the substrate P.

(Second Embodiment)
Next, the configuration according to the second embodiment of the present invention will be described. In the present embodiment, the same components as those in the first embodiment are denoted by the same reference numerals, and the description thereof is omitted. The second embodiment is different from the first embodiment in the configuration of the first transfer unit 149 in the carry-in unit 104.

  16A and 16B are diagrams illustrating the configuration of the carry-in unit 104 according to the present embodiment, FIG. 16A is a diagram illustrating the planar configuration of the carry-in unit 104, and FIG. It is a figure which shows the side cross section by A line arrow.

  As shown in FIGS. 16A and 16B, the first transfer unit 149 of the carry-in unit 104 according to the present embodiment has a roller mechanism 148 instead of a configuration in which the gas is injected to one surface of the substrate P to support floating. doing.

  As shown in FIG. 16A, a plurality of notches 141 are formed on one end side of the loading table 140. In each of the notches 141, a roller 142 constituting the roller mechanism 148 is rotatably supported by a shaft 143. The roller 142 can be rotated by a driving mechanism (not shown). As shown in FIG. 16B, the roller mechanism 148 is configured such that the roller 142 can contact or be separated from the substrate P.

  Based on such a configuration, the roller mechanism 148 rotates the substrate P in a predetermined direction while bringing the rollers 142 into contact with the lower surface of the substrate P supported on the loading table 140, thereby causing the plate holder 9 to rotate the substrate P. Can move to the side. As a material for forming the roller 142, an elastic member such as rubber that generates a large frictional force with the substrate P can be used. By configuring the roller 142 using such an elastic member, damage (such as scratches) to the substrate P can be prevented. Further, only the suction hole K4 is provided on the upper surface of the loading table 140.

  Next, the operation of the exposure apparatus 1 in the present embodiment will be described. Specifically, the transfer operation of the substrate P between the carry-in unit 104 and the plate holder 9 different from the first embodiment will be described.

  First, a substrate P coated with a photosensitive agent is carried into the carry-in unit 104 by a coater / developer (not shown). The substrate P is sucked and held on the upper surface of the loading table 140 through the suction hole K4. Thereafter, the plate holder 9 moves so as to approach the carry-in table 140 (see FIG. 7A).

  Also in this embodiment, it is desirable that the plate holder 9 is brought close to the loading table 140 so that the upper surface of the loading table 140 supporting the substrate P is higher than the upper surface of the plate holder 9 (see FIG. 7B). .

  However, in the present embodiment, even if the upper surface of the loading table 140 is lower than the upper surface of the plate holder 9, if the upper surface of the roller 142 is at least higher than the upper surface of the plate holder 9, the substrate that has run on the roller 142. P can be reliably conveyed from the loading table 40 side to the plate holder 9 side.

  Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 17, the carry-in table 140 causes the roller 142 of the roller mechanism 148 to contact the lower surface of the substrate P and to rotate in a predetermined direction. On the other hand, when receiving the substrate P, the plate holder 9 injects gas from the plurality of gas injection holes K2 formed on the upper surface. The substrate P slides smoothly toward the plate holder 9 due to the frictional force with the roller 142.

Here, the plate holder 9 which is the transport destination of the substrate P is configured such that the substrate P is supported by being floated on the substrate mounting portion 31 by ejecting gas from the gas ejection hole K2.
Therefore, the substrate P that slides on the upper surface of the loading table 140 by the roller mechanism 148 smoothly transfers to the upper surface of the plate holder 9.

  As shown in FIG. 18, the substrate P slides in a state where the position in the X direction in the drawing is defined by the guide pins 36 provided in the peripheral portion of the plate holder 9. The roller mechanism 148 moves the substrate P until it comes into contact with a positioning pin 37 provided on the downstream side of the plate holder 9 in the substrate transport direction. The position of the substrate P in the X direction in the figure is defined by the guide pins 36, and the position in the Y direction in the figure is defined by being sandwiched between the positioning pins 37 and the contact portions 42b. The plate holder 9 stops gas injection from the gas injection hole K3. As a result, the substrate P is placed in a state of being aligned with the substrate placement unit 31.

Also in this embodiment, since the substrate P is transported in a state of being floated by gas injection as described above, it can be transferred to the plate holder 9 with no distortion and high flatness. It is possible to prevent an air pool or an air layer from being generated between the mounting portion 31 and the mounting portion 31. Therefore, the substrate P can be placed at a predetermined position with respect to the plate holder 9 with high flatness. Therefore, predetermined exposure can be performed with high accuracy at an appropriate position on the substrate P, and highly reliable exposure processing can be performed.
In addition, since the carrying-out operation | movement of the board | substrate P from the plate holder 9 after completion | finish of exposure processing is the same as that of 1st Embodiment, the description shall be abbreviate | omitted.

  In the above description, the case where the roller mechanism 148 is employed as the first transfer unit 149 of the carry-in unit 104 has been described, but a roller mechanism can also be employed as the second transfer unit 52 of the carry-out unit 5. Moreover, the structure which floats and supports the board | substrate P by gas injection can also be employ | adopted in the carrying-in table 140 like 1st Embodiment. According to this configuration, since the substrate P is transported by the roller mechanism 148 in a state where the substrate P is floated, the substrate P can be smoothly transported to the plate holder 9 side.

(Third embodiment)
Next, the configuration according to the third embodiment of the present invention will be described. In the present embodiment, the same components as those in the first and second embodiments are denoted by the same reference numerals, and the description thereof is omitted. The third embodiment is mainly different in that the plate holder 9 includes a first transfer mechanism.

  FIG. 19 is a diagram showing a configuration of the plate holder 109 according to the present embodiment. The plate holder 109 according to the present embodiment includes a first transfer unit 249 that transfers the substrate P from the loading table 40 to the plate holder 9 as shown in FIG. The first transfer unit 249 includes a suction unit 250 that sucks and holds both side portions of the substrate P in the width direction. The suction part 250 is freely movable in the XY plane along the surface direction of the substrate P.

  In the present embodiment, a position detection sensor 252 for detecting the position of the substrate P carried by the first transfer unit 249 relative to the substrate platform 31 is provided in the periphery of the plate holder 9. As this position detection sensor 252, for example, a potentiometer can be exemplified. In the present invention, either a contact type or non-contact type meter can be used.

  The suction part 250 sucks and holds the end of the substrate P that is levitated and supported on the carry-in table 40 by gas injection from the gas injection hole K3, and moves from the carry-in table 40 to the plate holder 9 as shown in FIG. 20A. And carry. On the other hand, when receiving the substrate P, the plate holder 9 injects gas from the plurality of gas injection holes K2 formed on the upper surface. At this time, the gas injected from the gas injection holes K2, K3 may have directivity.

As illustrated in FIG. 20B, the exposure unit 1 can detect a positional shift of the substrate P with respect to the substrate mounting unit 31 by bringing the end of the substrate P into contact with the position detection sensor 252 as illustrated in FIG. 20B. . The suction unit 250 is configured to be driven based on the detection result of the position detection sensor 252.
Therefore, the exposure apparatus 1 can correct the position of the substrate P held by the suction unit 250 relative to the substrate placement unit 31 based on the detection result of the position detection sensor 252.

Also in this embodiment, since the substrate P is transported in a state of being floated by gas injection as described above, it can be transferred to the plate holder 9 with no distortion and high flatness. It is possible to prevent an air pool or an air layer from being generated between the mounting portion 31 and the mounting portion 31. Therefore, the substrate P can be placed at a predetermined position with respect to the plate holder 9 with high flatness. Therefore, predetermined exposure can be performed with high accuracy at an appropriate position on the substrate P, and highly reliable exposure processing can be performed.
In addition, since the carrying-out operation | movement of the board | substrate P from the plate holder 9 after completion | finish of exposure processing is the same as that of 1st Embodiment, the description shall be abbreviate | omitted.

(Fourth embodiment)
Next, a configuration according to the fourth embodiment of the present invention will be described. In the present embodiment, the same components as those in the first embodiment are denoted by the same reference numerals, and the description thereof is omitted. As shown in FIG. 21, the fourth embodiment is mainly different from the first embodiment in that the carry-in table 40 and the carry-out table 50 are arranged at positions overlapping each other in a plan view. That is, when the substrate P is transferred to and from the plate holder 9, the carry-in table 40 and the carry-out table 50 move up and down with respect to the plate holder 9.

Hereinafter, the transfer operation of the substrate P in the present embodiment will be described with reference to FIGS. 22A, 22B, and 22C.
After the exposure process for the substrate P placed on the plate holder 9 is completed, the carry-out table 50 is arranged in the state of being close to the plate holder 9 along the Y direction. In the present embodiment, as shown in FIG. 22A, the carry-out table 50 waiting downward is raised with respect to the plate holder 9 to a position where the substrate P can be received. At this time, the upper surface of the carry-out table 50 can be arranged lower than the upper surface of the plate holder 9 (see FIG. 13).

  During the exposure process for the substrate P, the next substrate P is delivered to the carry-in table 40 from a coater / developer (not shown). As a result, the carry-in table 40 stands by above the plate holder 9 with the next substrate P being placed while the substrate P is being carried out from the plate holder 9 to the carry-out table 50.

  The plate holder 9 stops driving the vacuum pump, and releases the suction holding of the substrate P to the substrate mounting portion 31 via the suction hole K1. Subsequently, the plate holder 9 ejects a gas from the gas ejection hole K2, and supports the substrate P in a state where the substrate P is floated through the gas (see FIGS. 14A to 14C). On the other hand, when the unloading unit 5 receives the substrate P, the unloading unit 5 injects gas from a plurality of gas injection holes K5 formed on the upper surface of the unloading table 50. At this time, the gas injected from the gas injection holes K2 and K5 may have directivity.

  As shown in FIG. 22B, the carry-out unit 5 moves the substrate P held by the suction unit 52b along the Y direction in the same figure as in the first embodiment. At this time, since the substrate P is supported in a state of floating on the plate holder 9, the substrate P smoothly slides on the carry-out table 50. Further, the upper surface of the carry-out table 50 supports the substrate P as described above. Therefore, the board | substrate P will transfer to the upper surface of the table 50 for carrying out smoothly.

  After the movement of the substrate P is completed, the unloading table 50 stops gas injection from the gas injection hole K5 and holds the substrate P by suction through the suction hole K6. The unloading table 50 moves the substrate P downward as shown in FIG. 22C while holding the substrate P by suction. When the size of the substrate P is large and the substrate P is placed in a state of protruding from the upper surface of the unloading table 50, the unloading table 50 is removed from the plate holder 9 so that the substrate P does not interfere with the plate holder 9. The above-described descending operation is performed in a state of being retracted in the + Y direction in FIG.

  On the other hand, the carry-out table 50 starts to move downward, and as shown in FIG. 22C, the carry-out table 40 waiting above the plate holder 9 reaches a position where the substrate P can be delivered to the plate holder 9. Descend. Thereby, the plate holder 9 and the table 40 for carrying in are arranged in the state which adjoined along the Y direction. At this time, the upper surface of the carry-in table 40 can be arranged lower than the upper surface of the plate holder 9 (see FIG. 8).

  The carry-in table 40 ejects gas from a plurality of gas ejection holes K3 formed on the upper surface, and supports the substrate P in a state where the substrate P is floated through the gas. On the other hand, when receiving the substrate P, the plate holder 9 injects gas from the plurality of gas injection holes K2 formed on the upper surface. At this time, the gas injected from the gas injection holes K2, K3 may have directivity.

  The carry-in unit 4 brings the contact part 42 b into contact with one end of the substrate P in a state where the substrate P is floated and supported on the carry-in table 40. The abutting portion 42b moves along the guide portion 42a in the recess 40a to move the substrate P toward the plate holder 9 (see FIGS. 9 and 10).

  Since the board | substrate P is the state which floated on the table 40 for carrying in, it slides smoothly to the plate holder 9 side. Further, since the upper surface of the plate holder 9 supports the substrate P as described above, the substrate P smoothly moves from the loading table 40 to the plate holder 9 as shown in FIG. 22D. It becomes.

  As in the first embodiment, the substrate P can be placed in a state of being aligned with a predetermined position with respect to the substrate placement portion 31 by the guide pins 36 and the positioning pins 37 (see FIG. 9). Then, an exposure process is performed on the substrate P.

  In the present embodiment, while the substrate P is being carried into the plate holder 9 from the carry-in unit 4 or during the exposure process for the substrate P, the substrate P that has been subjected to the exposure process placed on the unloading table 50 is carried out. .

  In this embodiment, the carry-in unit 4 and the carry-out unit 5 are moved in the height direction (Z direction) with respect to the plate holder 9 and accessed alternately in this way, thereby carrying out the substrate P to the exposure apparatus main body 3. Can be performed. Moreover, since the carrying-in part 4 and the carrying-out part 5 stand by above the plate holder 9 when not in use and each moves up and down, the plate holder 9 can be accessed. Processing time (so-called tact) can be shortened.

  In the above-described embodiment, a case where the first direction in which the carry-in table 40 and the plate holder 9 are arranged and the second direction in which the carry-out table 50 and the plate holder 9 are arranged is parallel to each other will be described. However, the present invention is not limited to this, and the present invention can also be applied to a case where the first direction and the second direction are different directions (for example, orthogonal).

(Fifth embodiment)
Subsequently, a configuration according to a fifth embodiment of the present invention will be described. In the present embodiment, the same components as those in the first embodiment are denoted by the same reference numerals, and the description thereof is omitted. The fifth embodiment is mainly different in that it includes a carry-in / out unit that functions as a carry-in unit or a carry-out unit.

FIG. 23 is a perspective view showing a configuration inside the chamber, and FIGS. 24A and 24B are plan views showing a schematic configuration of the carry-in / out section 400.
As shown in FIG. 23, the carry-in / out unit 400 includes a substrate mounting table 401 and a moving mechanism 402 that moves the substrate mounting table 401. The moving mechanism 402 has the same configuration as the first and second moving mechanisms 33 and 43 of the first embodiment. Based on such a configuration, the substrate mounting table 401 can move within a predetermined region of the guide surface on the light emission side (image surface side of the projection optical system PL) while holding the substrate P. . The substrate mounting table 401 is also movable along the Z-axis direction. Therefore, the substrate mounting table 401 functions as a carry-in table and a carry-out table.

  As shown in FIGS. 24A and 24B, the carry-in / out unit 400 includes a transfer unit 405 that transfers the substrate P from the substrate mounting table 401 to the plate holder 9. The transfer unit 405 includes a guide unit 406 and a suction unit 408 that sucks and holds the substrate P.

  On the upper surface of the substrate mounting table 401, two groove-shaped concave portions 401a formed along one direction (Y direction shown in the figure) are formed. The guide portion 406 is provided in the recess 401a. The suction unit 408 is attached to the guide unit 406 so as to protrude from the upper surface of the substrate mounting table 401. The suction unit 408 includes a vacuum suction pad that holds the substrate P by vacuum suction, for example.

  The upper surface of the substrate mounting table 401 is provided with a plurality of gas injection holes K7 that float and support the substrate P through the gas by injecting a gas such as air onto the lower surface of the substrate P. . Each gas injection hole K7 is connected to a gas injection pump (not shown). Furthermore, a plurality of suction holes K8 are provided on the upper surface of the substrate mounting table 401 for bringing the substrate P into close contact with this surface. Each suction hole K8 is connected to a vacuum pump (not shown). The gas injection holes K7 and the suction holes K8 are arranged in a staggered manner.

  The substrate mounting table 401 is formed with a through hole 407 through which a substrate support pin of a vertical movement mechanism for passing the substrate P to and from a coater / developer (not shown) can be inserted as will be described later. Has been.

  The plate holder 9 includes the position detection sensor 19 that detects a relative position with respect to the substrate mounting table 401 on the side surface thereof, as in the above-described embodiment. The position detection sensor 19 includes a distance detection sensor 19a for detecting a relative distance with respect to the substrate placement table 401 and a height detection sensor 19b for detecting a relative height with respect to the substrate placement table 401. (See FIG. 3B).

  Next, the delivery operation | movement of the board | substrate P between the carrying in / out part 400 and the plate holder 9 is demonstrated, referring drawings. First, a substrate P coated with a photosensitive agent is carried into a carry-in / out unit 400 by a coater / developer (not shown). At this time, the vertical movement mechanism 409 located below the substrate placement table 401 arranges the substrate support pins 410 above the substrate placement table 401 through the through holes 407. Subsequently, the arm portion 48 of the coater / developer (not shown) is inserted between the substrate support pins 410 as shown in FIG. The arm portion 48 descends to transfer the substrate P to the substrate support pins 410 and then retract from the carry-in / out portion 400. The vertical movement mechanism 409 lowers the substrate support pins 410 that support the substrate P, thereby completing the operation of loading the substrate P onto the substrate mounting table 401. Thereafter, by driving the vacuum pump, the substrate P is sucked and held on the upper surface of the substrate mounting table 401 through the suction hole K8.

  Subsequently, the plate holder 9 moves so as to be close to the substrate placement table 401 of the carry-in / out unit 400. When the substrate placement table 401 and the plate holder 9 are arranged, the transfer unit 405 is driven to move the substrate placement table 401 and the plate holder 9 to the delivery position of the substrate P in a short time. You may make it shorten the time which carrying-in operation requires. In this case, since the substrate P is sucked and held on the upper surface of the substrate placement table 401 through the suction hole K8, the substrate P is prevented from moving on the substrate placement table 401 when the transfer unit 405 is driven. The

  In the present embodiment, as shown in FIG. 26, the plate holder 9 is close to the substrate mounting table 401 so that the upper surface of the substrate mounting table 401 supporting the substrate P is higher than the upper surface of the plate holder 9. To do. The plate holder 9 and the substrate mounting table 401 may be arranged in contact with each other so that the moving distance of the substrate P can be shortened and the transfer can be performed more smoothly.

Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 26, the substrate mounting table 401 ejects gas from the plurality of gas ejection holes K7 formed on the upper surface, and supports the substrate P in a state where the substrate P is floated through the gas. .
On the other hand, when receiving the substrate P, the plate holder 9 injects gas from the plurality of gas injection holes K2 formed on the upper surface. At this time, the gas injected from the gas injection holes K2 and K7 may have directivity.

  The carry-in / out unit 400 sucks and holds one end of the substrate P by the suction unit 408 in a state where the substrate P is floated and supported on the substrate placement table 401. The suction portion 408 moves along the guide portion 406 in the recess 401a to move the substrate P toward the plate holder 9 (see FIGS. 24A and 24B).

  Since the substrate P is in a state of floating on the substrate mounting table 401, the suction unit 408 can smoothly slide the substrate P toward the plate holder 9. Further, the upper surface of the plate holder 9 supports the substrate P as described above.

  Therefore, the substrate P that slides on the upper surface of the substrate mounting table 401 by the suction unit 408 smoothly transfers to the upper surface of the plate holder 9. In this embodiment, as shown in FIG. 26, since the upper surface of the substrate mounting table 401 is higher than the upper surface of the plate holder 9, the substrate P does not contact the side surface of the plate holder 9 and smoothly It is possible to transfer onto the holder 9.

  The substrate P is brought into a state of being aligned at a predetermined position with respect to the substrate mounting portion 31 by contacting the guide pins 36 and the positioning pins 37 provided in the peripheral portion of the plate holder 9 (FIG. 9). reference).

  Also in this embodiment, since the substrate P is transported in a state of being floated by gas injection as described above, it is possible to prevent an air pool or an air layer from being generated between the substrate P and the substrate platform 31, Generation | occurrence | production of the mounting displacement and deformation | transformation of the board | substrate P can be prevented. Therefore, the substrate P can be placed at a predetermined position with respect to the plate holder 9 with high flatness. Thereafter, when the vacuum pump is driven, the substrate P is adsorbed and held on the upper surface of the substrate platform 31 via the suction hole K1. Then, after placing the substrate P on the plate holder 9, exposure processing is performed on the substrate P.

  When the exposure process is completed, the plate holder 9 moves so as to be close to the substrate placement table 401 of the carry-in / out unit 400. In the present embodiment, the plate holder 9 and the substrate mounting table 401 are brought close to each other so that the upper surface of the plate holder 9 is higher than the upper surface of the substrate mounting table 401.

  When arranging the substrate mounting table 401 and the plate holder 9, the time required for the unloading operation of the substrate P can be shortened by moving the substrate mounting table 401. Alternatively, the plate holder 9 and the substrate mounting table 401 can be arranged in contact with each other. In this way, since no gap is formed between the plate holder 9 and the substrate mounting table 401, the transfer of the substrate P can be performed smoothly.

  The plate holder 9 stops driving the vacuum pump, and releases the suction holding of the substrate P to the substrate mounting portion 31 via the suction hole K1. Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 27, the plate holder 9 injects a gas from the plurality of gas injection holes K2 formed on the upper surface of the substrate mounting portion 31, and floats the substrate P through the gas. Support with. On the other hand, when the carry-out unit 5 receives the substrate P, the carry-out unit 5 injects gas from a plurality of gas injection holes K7 formed on the upper surface of the substrate mounting table 401. At this time, the gas injected from the gas injection holes K2 and K7 may have directivity.

  The carry-in / out unit 400 moves the suction unit 408 of the transfer unit 405 along the guide unit 406 toward the substrate P that is levitated and supported on the substrate platform 31 of the plate holder 9. The suction unit 408 sucks and holds the substrate P, and moves the substrate P along the + Y direction in the drawing (see FIGS. 24A and 24B).

At this time, since the substrate P is supported in a state of floating on the plate holder 9, the suction unit 408 can smoothly slide the substrate P toward the substrate placement table 401.
Further, the upper surface of the substrate mounting table 401 supports the substrate P as described above.

  Therefore, the substrate P sliding on the upper surface of the substrate platform 31 smoothly moves to the upper surface of the substrate platform table 401. In the present embodiment, since the upper surface of the plate holder 9 is higher than the upper surface of the substrate mounting table 401, the substrate P does not come into contact with the side surface of the substrate mounting table 401, and smoothly moves on the substrate mounting table 401. Can be transferred to.

After the movement of the substrate P by the suction unit 408 is completed, the substrate mounting table 401 stops the gas injection from the gas injection hole K7 and holds the substrate P by suction through the suction hole K8.
The carry-in / out unit 400 drives the transfer unit 405 in a state where the substrate P is sucked and held, and moves the substrate placement table 401 to the carry-out position of the substrate P.

  Subsequently, the exposed substrate P placed on the substrate placement table 401 is carried out. At this time, the vertical movement mechanism 409 located below the substrate placement table 401 arranges the substrate support pins 410 above the substrate placement table 401 through the through holes 407. As a result, the substrate P is supported by the substrate support pins 410 and is held above the substrate placement table 401 (see FIG. 25). Subsequently, the arm portion 48 of the coater / developer (not shown) is inserted between the substrate support pins 410, and the substrate P is transferred to the arm portion 48 by lowering the substrate support pins 410. The arm unit 48 moves the substrate P into a coater / developer (not shown) and performs development processing.

  According to the present embodiment, since the substrate P supported to be levitated can be slid and transported from the loading / unloading unit 400 to the plate holder 9, an air pocket or air is interposed between the substrate P and the substrate platform 31. It is possible to prevent the generation of a layer, and to prevent the substrate P from being displaced or deformed. Therefore, highly reliable exposure processing can be performed. Moreover, since the carrying in / out part 400 serves as the carrying in part 4 and the carrying out part 5 in the said 1st-3rd embodiment, an apparatus structure can be simplified.

  In the fifth embodiment, when the substrate P is transported from the substrate mounting table 401 to the plate holder 9, the upper surface of the substrate mounting table 401 can be inclined. Specifically, the moving mechanism 402 inclines the upper surface of the substrate mounting table 401 that supports the substrate P in the state of being floated by gas injection from the gas injection hole K7 toward the plate holder 9 (θY direction). Accordingly, the substrate P can be moved to the plate holder 9 side by utilizing the weight of the substrate P.

  Further, when the substrate P is transported from the plate holder 9 to the substrate placement table 401, the upper surface of the plate holder 9 can be inclined. Specifically, the first moving mechanism 33 (holding unit 34) has the upper surface of the plate holder 9 that supports the substrate P in a state of being floated by gas injection from the gas injection hole K2 on the substrate mounting table 401 side (θY direction). Tilt to. Thereby, the substrate P can be moved to the substrate mounting table 401 side by utilizing the weight of the substrate P.

  In the present embodiment, the roller mechanism 148 as shown in the second embodiment may be employed as the transfer unit 405. Moreover, as the transfer part 405, as shown in 3rd Embodiment, the adsorption | suction part 408 which comprises the transfer part 405 can also be provided in the plate holder 9 side.

(Sixth embodiment)
Next, the structure concerning 6th Embodiment of this invention is demonstrated. In the following description, the same or similar elements as those in the above-described embodiment are denoted by the same reference numerals, and the description thereof is simplified or omitted.

FIG. 28 is a sectional plan view showing a schematic configuration of the exposure apparatus of the present embodiment, and FIG. 29 is a perspective view showing a schematic configuration of the apparatus in the chamber.
As in the embodiment described above, the exposure apparatus 1 includes an exposure apparatus main body 3 and a carry-in unit 4 as shown in FIG. In the present embodiment, the exposure apparatus 1 includes a carry-out robot 205. These are housed in a chamber 2 that is highly cleaned and adjusted to a predetermined temperature.

  As shown in FIG. 29, the carry-out robot 205 has, for example, a horizontal joint type structure, and is connected to the arm part 10 composed of a plurality of parts connected via a vertical joint axis, and the tip of the arm part 10. The fork part 12 and the drive device 13 are provided. The arm unit 10 can be moved, for example, in the vertical direction (Z-axis direction) by the driving device 13. The driving of the driving device 13 is controlled by a control device (not shown). As a result, the carry-out robot 205 receives the substrate P from the plate holder 9. The carry-out robot 205 is not limited to a horizontal joint type robot, and can be realized by appropriately adopting or combining known robots (generally, a transport mechanism).

  FIG. 30A is a diagram illustrating a planar configuration of the plate holder 9, and FIG. 30B is a diagram illustrating a side configuration of the plate holder 9. In the present embodiment, as shown in FIG. 30A, the plate holder 9 is provided with a substrate placement portion 31 on which the substrate P is placed.

  In the present embodiment, the plate holder 9 is formed with a groove 30 for receiving the fork portion 12 of the unloading robot 205 when the substrate P is unloaded. The groove portion 30 is formed along the moving direction of the fork portion 12 (Y direction in the figure). A region other than the groove portion 30 on the upper surface of the plate holder 9 constitutes the substrate mounting portion 31.

  Note that the thickness of the fork portion 12 is smaller than the depth of the groove portion 30. As a result, as described later, after the fork portion 12 is accommodated in the groove portion 30, the substrate P placed on the substrate placement portion 31 is transferred to and placed on the fork portion 12 by being raised. It has become.

  Similar to FIG. 3B, the plate holder 9 is provided with a position detection sensor 19 for detecting a relative position with respect to the loading table 40 on the side surface portion 9 a as shown in FIG. 30B. The position detection sensor 19 includes a distance detection sensor 19 a for detecting a relative distance with respect to the carry-in table 40 and a height detection sensor 19 b for detecting a relative height with respect to the carry-in table 40. A recess is formed at a position corresponding to the position detection sensor 19 in the carry-in table 40, thereby preventing the position detection sensor 19 and the carry-in table 40 from interfering with each other.

  Next, the operation of the exposure apparatus 1 in the present embodiment will be described with reference to FIGS. 6, 11, 31 </ b> A to 34. Specifically, the transfer operation of the substrate P between the carry-in unit 4 and the plate holder 9 and the transfer operation of the substrate P between the plate holder 9 and the carry-out robot 205 will be mainly described.

  First, a substrate P coated with a photosensitive agent is carried into a carry-in unit 4 by a coater / developer (not shown). At this time, the vertical movement mechanism 49 positioned below the loading table 40 has the substrate support pins 49 a disposed above the loading table 40 through the through holes 47. Subsequently, the arm portion 48 of the coater / developer (not shown) is inserted between the substrate support pins 49a as shown in FIG. The arm portion 48 moves down to deliver the substrate P to the substrate support pins 49a and then retracts from the carry-in portion 4. The vertical movement mechanism 49 finishes the operation of loading the substrate P onto the loading table 40 by lowering the substrate support pins 49a that support the substrate P. Thereafter, when the vacuum pump is driven, the substrate P is sucked and held on the upper surface of the loading table 40 via the suction hole K4.

Subsequently, the plate holder 9 moves so as to be close to the loading table 40 of the loading unit 4 as shown in FIG. 31A. In FIGS. 31A and 31B, illustration of the carry-out robot is omitted.
Specifically, the first moving mechanism 33 arranges the plate holder 9 and the carry-in table 40 close to each other along the Y direction. Here, the state where the plate holder 9 and the carry-in table 40 are close to each other means a state where the plate holder 9 and the carry-in table 40 are separated by a distance at which the movement of the substrate P is smoothly performed during delivery of the substrate P described later.

  Further, the second moving mechanism 43 can be driven when the loading table 40 and the plate holder 9 are arranged. In this way, the loading table 40 and the plate holder 9 can be moved to the delivery position of the substrate P in a short time, and the time required for the loading operation of the substrate P can be shortened. At this time, since the substrate P is sucked and held on the upper surface of the loading table 40 through the suction hole K4, the substrate P is prevented from moving on the loading table 40 when the second moving mechanism 43 is driven. can do.

  In the present embodiment, as shown in FIG. 31B, when the plate holder 9 and the loading table 40 are brought close to each other, the substrate P is disposed higher than the plate holder 9. In other words, the first moving mechanism 33 brings the plate holder 9 close to the loading table 40 so that the upper surface of the loading table 40 supporting the substrate P is higher than the upper surface of the plate holder 9. The loading table 40 can be raised by the second moving mechanism 43 so that the upper surface of the loading table 40 is higher than the upper surface of the plate holder 9.

  Moreover, the 1st moving mechanism 33 can also be arranged in the state which made the plate holder 9 and the table 40 for carrying in contact. If it does in this way, delivery of the board | substrate P between the plate holder 9 mentioned later and the loading table 40 can be performed smoothly.

  Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 32, the carry-in table 40 injects gas from a plurality of gas injection holes K3 formed on the upper surface, and supports the substrate P in a state where the substrate P is floated through the gas. On the other hand, when receiving the substrate P, the plate holder 9 injects gas from the plurality of gas injection holes K2 formed on the upper surface.

  The carry-in unit 4 brings the contact portion 42b into contact with one end portion of the substrate P as shown in FIG. 33 in a state where the substrate P is floated and supported on the carry-in table 40. The contact part 42b moves the substrate P toward the plate holder 9 by moving along the guide part 42a in the recess 40a.

  Since the substrate P is in a state of floating on the loading table 40, the contact portion 42b can smoothly slide the substrate P to the plate holder 9 side. Note that the upper surface of the plate holder 9 supports the substrate P as described above. Here, the gas injected from the gas injection holes K3 and K2 may have directivity.

  As shown in FIG. 34, the substrate P that slides on the upper surface of the loading table 40 by the contact portion 42b smoothly moves to the upper surface of the plate holder 9. In the present embodiment, since the upper surface of the loading table 40 is higher than the upper surface of the plate holder 9, the substrate P can smoothly transfer onto the plate holder 9 without contacting the side surface of the plate holder 9. it can.

  As shown in FIG. 33, the substrate P slides in a state where the position in the X direction in the drawing is defined by the guide pins 36 provided in the peripheral portion of the plate holder 9. The abutting portion 42b moves the substrate P until it abuts on a positioning pin 37 provided on the downstream side of the plate holder 9 in the substrate transport direction. The position of the substrate P in the X direction in the figure is defined by the guide pins 36, and the position in the Y direction in the figure is defined by being sandwiched between the positioning pins 37 and the contact portions 42b. The plate holder 9 stops gas injection from the gas injection hole K2. As shown in FIG. 11, the substrate P is placed in a state of being aligned with the substrate platform 31.

  By the way, when the conventional substrate is placed on the plate holder, there is a possibility that the placement displacement of the substrate (position displacement from a predetermined placement position) or the deformation of the substrate may occur. One possible cause of this displacement is that the substrate floats due to a thin air layer generated between the substrate and the plate holder immediately before the substrate is placed, for example. Further, as one of the causes for causing the deformation of the substrate, for example, it is conceivable that the substrate swells due to an air pocket interposed between the substrate and the plate holder after the substrate is placed.

  On the other hand, in this embodiment, since the substrate P is transported in a state of being floated by gas injection as described above, the substrate P is transferred to the plate holder 9 without distortion and with high flatness. Further, since the substrate P is placed on the substrate platform 31 from the height at which the substrate P is levitated, it is possible to prevent an air pool or an air layer from being generated between the substrate P and the substrate platform 31. . Therefore, it becomes possible to prevent the substrate P from being swollen and prevent the substrate P from being displaced or deformed. Therefore, the substrate P can be placed at a predetermined position with respect to the plate holder 9 with high flatness. Thereafter, when the vacuum pump is driven, the substrate P is adsorbed and held on the upper surface of the substrate platform 31 via the suction hole K1.

  After placing the substrate P on the plate holder 9, the mask M is illuminated with the exposure light IL from the illumination system. The pattern of the mask M illuminated with the exposure light IL is projected and exposed to the substrate P placed on the plate holder 9 via the projection optical system PL.

  Since the substrate P is satisfactorily placed on the plate holder 9 as described above, the exposure apparatus 1 can perform predetermined exposure at an appropriate position on the substrate P with high accuracy, and a highly reliable exposure process. Can be realized.

  In the present embodiment, the photosensitive agent is applied by a coater / developer (not shown) while the substrate P is being exposed or while the unloading robot 205 is transporting the exposed substrate P as will be described later. The next coated substrate P can be placed on the loading table 40 of the loading unit 4.

Next, the carrying-out operation of the substrate P from the plate holder 9 after the exposure process is completed will be described.
Specifically, a method for unloading the substrate P by the unloading robot 205 will be described. FIG. 35 is a perspective view for explaining the operation of the unloading robot 205, and FIGS. 36A and 36B are cross-sectional configuration diagrams when the substrate P is unloaded from the plate holder 9 when viewed from the Y-axis direction. These are side views when the operation of carrying the substrate P out of the plate holder 9 is viewed from the X-axis direction. In FIG. 35, only the fork portion 12 is shown, and the entire configuration of the carry-out robot 205 is omitted. In FIGS. 36A and 36B, the fork portion 12 that supports the substrate P is simplified for convenience.

  When the exposure process is completed, the suction of the suction hole K1 by the vacuum pump is released, and the suction of the substrate P by the plate holder 9 is released. Subsequently, the carry-out robot 205 inserts the fork portion 12 into the groove portion 30 formed in the plate holder 9 from the −Y direction side as shown in FIG.

  Then, the driving device 13 moves the fork portion 12 upward by a predetermined amount, thereby bringing the fork portion 12 into contact with the lower surface of the substrate P as shown in FIG. 36A. In addition, as shown in FIG. 36B, the fork unit 12 moves further upward to lift the substrate P above the plate holder 9 and separate it from the substrate platform 31.

  Further, the carry-out robot 205 raises (retreats) the fork unit 12 to a height that does not contact the carry-in table 40 of the carry-in unit 4 on which the next substrate P coated with the photosensitive agent is placed. After the fork unit 12 has moved up to a position where it does not come into contact with the substrate P on the loading table 40, the loading table 40 of the loading unit 4 moves so as to be close to the plate holder 9 as shown in FIG. Then, the substrate P is transported to the plate holder 9 side.

While the substrate P is being transported from the carry-in unit 4 to the plate holder 9, the carry-out robot 205 moves the substrate P placed on the fork unit 12 into a coater / developer (not shown).
As described above, the operation for unloading the substrate P from the exposure apparatus main body 3 is completed.

  As described above, according to the present embodiment, the substrate P supported to be levitated can be transported from the carry-in unit 4 to the plate holder 9 by sliding, so that the air is interposed between the substrate P and the substrate platform 31. It is possible to prevent the accumulation or air layer from being generated, and to prevent the substrate P from being displaced or deformed. Therefore, highly reliable exposure processing can be performed.

  Moreover, in this embodiment, since the board | substrate P is slid and carried in from the carrying-in part 4 to the plate holder 9 side using gas injection, tact time is compared with the board | substrate carrying-in to the plate holder using the conventional tray. become longer.

  On the other hand, in the present embodiment, the fork unit 12 of the unloading robot 205 is inserted into the groove unit 30 and the substrate P is lifted from the lower surface so that the substrate P is retracted from the plate holder 9. Since P can be carried into the plate holder 9, the total tact time required for carrying the substrate P in and out of the plate holder 9 can be made substantially the same as when a conventional tray is used. Therefore, the substrate P can be loaded into the plate holder 9 in a good state without increasing the tact time when loading and unloading the substrate P.

In the present embodiment, when the substrate P is transferred from the loading table 40 to the plate holder 9, the upper surface of the loading table 40 can be inclined. Specifically, the holding portion 44 of the second moving mechanism 43 has the upper surface of the loading table 40 that supports the substrate P in a state of being floated by gas injection from the gas injection hole K3 on the plate holder 9 side (θY direction). Tilt.
Accordingly, the substrate P can be moved to the plate holder 9 side by utilizing the weight of the substrate P.

(Seventh embodiment)
Subsequently, a configuration according to a seventh embodiment of the present invention will be described. In the present embodiment, the same components as those in the sixth embodiment are denoted by the same reference numerals, and the description thereof is omitted. The seventh embodiment is different from the sixth embodiment in the configuration of the carry-in section.

  In the present embodiment, the carry-in unit 104 is the same as that described with reference to FIGS. 16A and 16B.

  Further, the operation of the exposure apparatus 1 in the present embodiment is the same as that described with reference to FIGS.

In the present embodiment, since the substrate P is transported in a state of being floated by gas injection as described above, the substrate P can be transferred to the plate holder 9 without distortion and with high flatness. It is possible to prevent an air pool or an air layer from being generated between the portion 31. Therefore, the substrate P can be placed at a predetermined position with respect to the plate holder 9 with high flatness.
Therefore, predetermined exposure can be performed with high accuracy at an appropriate position on the substrate P, and highly reliable exposure processing can be performed.

(Eighth embodiment)
Subsequently, a configuration according to the eighth embodiment of the present invention will be described. In the present embodiment, the same components as those in the sixth and seventh embodiments are denoted by the same reference numerals, and the description thereof is omitted. The eighth embodiment is mainly different from the sixth and seventh embodiments in that the plate holder 9 includes a transfer unit.

  FIG. 38 is a diagram showing a configuration of the plate holder 109 according to the present embodiment. As shown in FIG. 38, the plate holder 109 according to this embodiment includes a first transfer unit 249 that transfers the substrate P from the loading table 40 to the plate holder 9. The first transfer unit 249 includes a suction unit 250 that sucks and holds both side portions of the substrate P in the width direction. The suction part 250 is freely movable in the XY plane along the surface direction of the substrate P.

  In the present embodiment, a position detection sensor 252 for detecting the position of the substrate P carried by the first transfer unit 249 relative to the substrate platform 31 is provided in the periphery of the plate holder 9. As this position detection sensor 252, for example, a potentiometer can be exemplified. In the present invention, either a contact type or non-contact type meter can be used.

  The suction portion 250 sucks and holds the end of the substrate P that is levitated and supported on the carry-in table 40 by gas injection from the gas injection hole K3, and moves from the carry-in table 40 to the plate holder 9 side as shown in FIG. 39A. And carry. On the other hand, when receiving the substrate P, the plate holder 9 injects gas from the plurality of gas injection holes K2 formed on the upper surface. At this time, the gas injected from the gas injection holes K2, K3 may have directivity.

As shown in FIG. 39B, the exposure unit 1 can detect a positional shift of the substrate P with respect to the substrate placement unit 31 by bringing the end of the substrate P into contact with the position detection sensor 252. . The suction unit 250 is configured to be driven based on the detection result of the position detection sensor 252.
Therefore, the exposure apparatus 1 can correct the position of the substrate P held by the suction unit 250 relative to the substrate placement unit 31 based on the detection result of the position detection sensor 252.

Also in this embodiment, since the substrate P is transported in a state of being floated by gas injection as described above, it can be transferred to the plate holder 9 with no distortion and high flatness. It is possible to prevent an air pool or an air layer from being generated between the mounting portion 31 and the mounting portion 31. Therefore, the substrate P can be placed at a predetermined position with respect to the plate holder 9 with high flatness. Therefore, predetermined exposure can be performed with high accuracy at an appropriate position on the substrate P, and highly reliable exposure processing can be performed.
In addition, since the carrying-out operation | movement of the board | substrate P from the plate holder 9 after completion | finish of exposure processing is the same as that of 1st Embodiment, the description shall be abbreviate | omitted.

(Ninth embodiment)
Subsequently, a configuration according to the ninth embodiment of the present invention will be described. In the present embodiment, the same components as those in the sixth to eighth embodiments are denoted by the same reference numerals, and the description thereof is omitted. The sixth embodiment is mainly different from the sixth to eighth embodiments in the configuration of the exposure apparatus main body. FIG. 40 is a perspective view showing a schematic configuration of the exposure apparatus main body 3 according to the present embodiment.

  As shown in FIG. 40, the exposure apparatus main body 3 of the present embodiment includes a plate holder 9, a substrate lifting mechanism 150 provided on the plate holder 9, and a first moving mechanism 33. The substrate lifting mechanism 150 is for lifting the substrate P upward when the substrate P is unloaded.

  41 is a diagram showing a planar configuration of the plate holder 9, FIGS. 42A and 42B are side sectional views of the plate holder 9, FIG. 42A is a diagram showing a state before the substrate is delivered, and FIG. It is a figure which shows the state after delivery of.

  As shown in FIGS. 41, 42A, and 42B, the lifting mechanism 150 includes a plurality of substrate support members 151 that support the substrate P, a vertical operation unit 152 that moves the substrate support member 151 up and down (see FIG. 43), It has.

  The substrate support member 151 includes a first linear member 119 installed in the X direction (first direction) in FIG. 41 with respect to the shaft portion (vertical movement member) 155, and the Y direction (second direction) in FIG. The second linear member 120 is installed, and is formed in a substantially lattice shape as a whole. Here, the first linear member 119 and the second linear member (second erection portion) 120 are welded to each other or combined in a lattice shape. Each substrate support member 151 is installed between a plurality of (for example, six in this embodiment) shaft portions 155.

  Each lattice shape constituting each substrate support member 151 has a plurality of substantially rectangular openings 121 that are smaller than the substrate P. The shape of the substrate support member 151 is not limited to the shape shown in FIG. 41, and may be a frame-like single frame in which only one opening 121 is formed, for example.

  In this embodiment, the four board | substrate support members 151 are arrange | positioned in the state which left the clearance gap S along the extending direction (Y direction shown by FIG. 41) of the 2nd linear member 120. As shown in FIG. Such a gap S between the substrate support members 151 serves to constitute a space into which the fork portion 12 is inserted when the substrate P is unloaded from the plate holder 9 as will be described later.

  In addition, as a forming material of the board | substrate support member 151 (the 1st linear member 119 and the 2nd linear member 120), when the board | substrate support member 151 supports the board | substrate P, suppressing the bending by the dead weight of the board | substrate P is suppressed. It is preferable to use a material that can be used. For example, various synthetic resins or metals can be used. Specific examples include nylon, polypropylene, AS resin, ABS resin, polycarbonate, fiber reinforced plastic, and stainless steel. Examples of the fiber reinforced plastic include GFRP (Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic) and CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic).

  As shown in FIG. 43, the vertical movement unit 152 includes a shaft portion (vertical movement member) 155 and a driving device 153 that drives the shaft portion 155 up and down. The driving device 153 is provided for each shaft portion 155, and thereby each shaft portion 155 performs an up and down operation independently.

  Based on this configuration, as shown in FIGS. 42A and 42B, the substrate support member 151 moves up and down with respect to the substrate placement portion 31 of the plate holder 9 as the up and down operation portion 152 (shaft portion 155) moves up and down. To do.

  On the other hand, the plate holder 9 is formed with a recess 130 for accommodating the substrate support member 151. The recesses 130 are provided in a lattice shape corresponding to the frame structure of the substrate support member 151. A region (partial placement portion) other than the concave portion 130 on the upper surface of the plate holder 9 constitutes a substrate placement portion 31 that holds the substrate P.

  The thickness of the substrate support member 151 is smaller than the depth of the recess 130. As a result, as shown in FIG. 42B, only the substrate P placed on the substrate support member 151 is transferred to the substrate placement portion 31 and placed by placing the substrate support member 151 in the recess 130. It has come to be.

  In addition, the substrate platform 31 is finished so that the substantial holding surface of the plate holder 9 with respect to the substrate P has good flatness. Furthermore, the substrate holding surface (upper surface) of the substrate mounting portion 31 has a suction port for bringing the substrate P into close contact with the surface, or air (gas) is ejected when a substrate is loaded as described later. An opening K205 is formed which functions as a gas injection port that floats and supports the surface. A vacuum pump (not shown) and a gas injection pump (not shown) are connected to the opening K205. By switching the driving of these pumps, the opening K205 can function as a suction port or an injection port as described above. .

  Around the periphery of the plate holder 9, there are guide pins 36 for guiding the substrate P when the substrate P is carried in, and positioning pins 37 for defining the position of the substrate P with respect to the substrate mounting portion 31 of the plate holder 9. (See FIGS. 44A and 44B). The guide pins 36 and the positioning pins 37 can be moved together with the plate holder 9 in the exposure apparatus main body 3.

  Next, the operation of the exposure apparatus 1 of the present embodiment will be described with reference to FIGS. 44A to 50B. Specifically, the transfer operation of the substrate P between the carry-in unit 4 and the plate holder 9 and the transfer operation of the substrate P between the plate holder 9 and the carry-out robot 205 will be mainly described.

  First, as in the sixth embodiment, a substrate P coated with a photosensitive agent is carried into the carry-in section 4 by a coater / developer (not shown). At this time, the substrate P is sucked and held on the upper surface of the loading table 40 through the suction hole K4.

  Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 44A, the plate holder 9 moves so as to be close to the loading table 40 of the loading unit 4. In FIGS. 44A and 44B, the carry-out robot is not shown. Specifically, the first moving mechanism 33 arranges the plate holder 9 and the carry-in table 40 close to each other along the Y direction. At this time, by driving the second moving mechanism 43, the loading table 40 and the plate holder 9 can be moved to the delivery position of the substrate P in a short time, and the time required for the loading operation of the substrate P can be shortened. Since the substrate P is sucked and held on the upper surface of the loading table 40 through the suction hole K4, the substrate P does not move on the loading table 40 when the second moving mechanism 43 is driven.

  In the present embodiment, as shown in FIG. 44B, the first moving mechanism 33 loads the plate holder 9 so that the upper surface of the loading table 40 that supports the substrate P is higher than the upper surface of the plate holder 9. It is brought close to the work table 40. The loading table 40 can be raised by the second moving mechanism 43 so that the upper surface of the loading table 40 is higher than the upper surface of the plate holder 9. Moreover, the 1st moving mechanism 33 can also be arranged in the state which contacted the plate holder 9 and the carrying-in table 40, and thereby can deliver the board | substrate P smoothly.

  Subsequently, as shown in FIG. 45, the carry-in table 40 injects gas from a plurality of gas injection holes K3 formed on the upper surface, and supports the substrate P in a state where the substrate P is floated through the gas. On the other hand, when receiving the substrate P, the plate holder 9 drives a gas injection pump (not shown) and injects air from the opening K205 provided in the substrate mounting portion 31.

  The carry-in unit 4 brings the abutment part 42b into contact with one end of the substrate P in a state where the substrate P is floated and supported on the carry-in table 40, as shown in FIG. The contact part 42b moves the substrate P toward the plate holder 9 by moving along the guide part 42a in the recess 40a.

  Since the substrate P is in a state of floating on the loading table 40, the contact portion 42b can smoothly slide the substrate P to the plate holder 9 side. Note that the upper surface of the plate holder 9 supports the substrate P as described above. Here, the gas injected from the gas injection hole K3 and the opening K205 may have directivity.

  As shown in FIG. 47, the substrate P that slides on the upper surface of the loading table 40 by the contact portion 42b smoothly moves to the upper surface of the plate holder 9. In the present embodiment, since the upper surface of the loading table 40 is higher than the upper surface of the plate holder 9, the substrate P can smoothly transfer onto the plate holder 9 without contacting the side surface of the plate holder 9. it can.

  The position of the substrate P in the X direction in the figure is defined by the guide pins 36, and the position in the Y direction in the figure is defined by being sandwiched between the positioning pins 37 and the contact portions 42b. The plate holder 9 stops gas injection from the opening K205. As a result, the substrate P is placed in a state of being aligned with the substrate placement unit 31.

In the present embodiment, since the substrate P is transported in a state of being floated by gas injection as described above, the substrate P is transferred to the plate holder 9 with no distortion and high flatness. Further, since the substrate P is placed on the substrate platform 31 from the height at which the substrate P is levitated, it is possible to prevent an air pool or an air layer from being generated between the substrate P and the substrate platform 31. . Therefore, it becomes possible to prevent the substrate P from being swollen and prevent the substrate P from being displaced or deformed.
Therefore, the substrate P is placed at a predetermined position with respect to the plate holder 9 with a high flatness. Thereafter, by driving the vacuum pump, the substrate P is adsorbed and held on the upper surface of the substrate platform 31 through the opening K205.

  After placing the substrate P on the plate holder 9, the mask M is illuminated with the exposure light IL from the illumination system. The pattern of the mask M illuminated with the exposure light IL is projected and exposed to the substrate P placed on the plate holder 9 via the projection optical system PL.

  Since the substrate P is satisfactorily placed on the plate holder 9 as described above, the exposure apparatus 1 according to the present embodiment can perform predetermined exposure at an appropriate position on the substrate P with high accuracy. Highly reliable exposure processing can be realized.

Next, the carrying-out operation of the substrate P from the plate holder 9 after the exposure process is completed will be described.
Specifically, a method for unloading the substrate P by the unloading robot 205 will be described. FIG. 48 is a perspective view for explaining the operation of the unloading robot 205. FIGS. 49A, 49B, and 49C are cross-sectional configuration diagrams when the substrate P is unloaded from the plate holder 9 when viewed from the Y-axis direction. It is. In FIG. 48, only the fork unit 12 is shown, and the entire configuration of the carry-out robot 205 is omitted. In the present embodiment, the substrate support portion in the fork portion 12 is different from that in the above embodiment, corresponding to the shape of the lifting mechanism 150. 49A, 49B, and 49C, the fork portion 12 that supports the substrate P is simplified for convenience.

  When the exposure process is completed, the suction through the opening K205 by the vacuum pump is released, and the suction of the substrate P by the plate holder 9 is released. Subsequently, the lifting mechanism 150 drives the shaft portion 155 to raise the substrate support member 151. At this time, as shown in FIG. 49A, the substrate P placed on the substrate platform 31 together with the substrate support member 151 is lifted upward. At this time, the substrate P is lifted upward by being supported by the plurality of substrate support members 151, so that occurrence of peeling electrification can be prevented. Moreover, since the board | substrate P can be supported in a large surface compared with the case where the board | substrate P is lifted with a pin like the past, the amount of bending which arises in the board | substrate P can be reduced, and a crack occurs in the board | substrate P. Can be prevented.

  The unloading robot 205 drives the fork unit 12 to move the fork unit 12 toward the gap S between the substrate support members 151 arranged above the substrate platform 31 and both ends in the X-axis direction as shown in FIG. Moving from the Y direction side, the forks 12 are inserted into the gap S and both ends (FIG. 49B).

  When the driving device 13 moves the fork portion 12 upward by a predetermined amount, the fork portion 12 comes into contact with the lower surface of the substrate P. When the fork portion 12 is further moved upward, the substrate P is lifted above the plate holder 9 and separated from the lifting mechanism 150 as shown in FIG. 49C.

  The lifting mechanism 150 accommodates the substrate support member 151 in the recess 130 after the substrate P is separated. After the substrate support member 151 is accommodated in the recess 130, the plate holder 9 moves so as to be close to the loading table 40 of the loading section 4, and transports the substrate P to the plate holder 9 side as described above. .

While the substrate P is being transported from the carry-in unit 4 to the plate holder 9, the carry-out robot 205 moves the substrate P placed on the fork unit 12 into a coater / developer (not shown).
As described above, the operation for unloading the substrate P from the exposure apparatus main body 3 is completed.

As described above, according to the present embodiment, the substrate P supported to be levitated is slid and conveyed from the carry-in unit 4 to the plate holder 9, so that it is possible to prevent the substrate P from being displaced and deformed.
Also in the present embodiment, the overall tact time required for loading and unloading the substrate P with respect to the plate holder 9 can be made substantially the same as when a conventional tray is used. Therefore, the substrate P can be loaded into the plate holder 9 in a good state without increasing the tact time during loading / unloading of the substrate P.

  In the above-described embodiment, the case where the opening K205 as the gas injection port is formed only in the substrate mounting portion 31 has been described. However, the gas injection port may be formed on the upper surface of the substrate support member 151. In this way, when the substrate P is carried into the plate holder 9, the amount of gas injected onto the substrate conveyance surface increases, so that the substrate P can be conveyed more smoothly.

(10th Embodiment)
Subsequently, a configuration according to the tenth embodiment of the present invention will be described. In the present embodiment, the same components as those in the sixth embodiment are denoted by the same reference numerals, and the description thereof is omitted. The tenth embodiment is mainly different from the above-described embodiment in that a suction mechanism for sucking the substrate P in a non-contact state is provided as means for carrying the substrate P out of the plate holder 9.

  The suction mechanism is for holding the substrate P, lifting the substrate P upward from the substrate mounting portion 31 of the plate holder 9, and moving the substrate P into a coater / developer (not shown). FIG. 50A shows the configuration of the suction surface, and FIG. 50B is a diagram showing the overall configuration of the suction mechanism.

  As shown in FIGS. 50A and 50B, the suction mechanism 350 moves a plurality of holding portions 351 that hold the substrate P in a non-contact state, a base portion 352 that holds these holding portions 351, and the base portion 352. A possible drive mechanism 355 and a base portion 352 are provided. The base portion 352 is a plate-like member having a size substantially equal to that of the substrate P. The holding portions 351 are regularly arranged on the base portion 352, and thereby the substrate P can be favorably held.

  A so-called Bernoulli chuck was used as the holding portion 351. The holding unit 351 generates a negative pressure between the holding portion 351 and the substrate P by injecting the compressed air between the holding portion 351 and the substrate P. Thereby, the pressing force which presses the board | substrate P toward the holding | maintenance part 351 side is produced. On the other hand, when the gap between the holding unit 351 and the substrate P becomes small, the flow rate of the compressed air decreases, and the pressure between the holding unit 351 and the substrate P increases. As a result, a force for separating the substrate P from the holding portion 351 is generated. The holding unit 351 holds the substrate P in a state where the distance between the substrate P and the holding unit 351 is held constant, that is, in a non-contact state, by injecting compressed air so as to balance such two forces. can do.

  Next, the operation of the exposure apparatus 1 will be described with reference to the drawings. In addition, about the delivery operation | movement of the board | substrate P between the carrying-in part 4 and the plate holder 9, since it is the same as that of 1st Embodiment, description is abbreviate | omitted.

  Hereinafter, the operation of carrying the substrate P out of the plate holder 9 will be described. Specifically, a method for carrying the substrate P out of the plate holder 9 by the suction mechanism 350 will be described. 51A and 51B are side views when the operation of unloading the substrate P from the plate holder 9 is viewed from the X-axis direction.

  When the exposure process is completed, the suction of the suction hole K1 by the vacuum pump is released, and the suction of the substrate P by the plate holder 9 is released. Subsequently, the suction mechanism 350 moves above the plate holder 9. Then, the suction mechanism 350 is lowered to a position where the holding portion 351 can hold the substrate P as shown in FIG. 51A. Then, the upper surface of the substrate P is held in a non-contact state by the plurality of holding portions 351. At this time, the plurality of holding portions 351 can hold the substrate P by being driven simultaneously or sequentially.

  The suction mechanism 350 lifts the substrate P above the plate holder 9 by the drive mechanism 355 in a state where the substrate P is held by the plurality of holding units 251 and separates the substrate P from the substrate mounting unit 31 as shown in FIG. 51B. At this time, since the holding portion 351 is not in contact with the substrate P, no suction mark remains on the substrate P.

  After the suction mechanism 350 rises to a position where it does not come into contact with the substrate P on the loading table 40, the loading table 40 of the loading section 4 moves so as to be close to the plate holder 9. And like the said embodiment, it conveys from the loading table 40 to the plate holder 9 in the state which carried out the floating support of the board | substrate P. FIG.

  While the substrate P is being transported from the carry-in unit 4 to the plate holder 9, the suction mechanism 350 moves the substrate P held by the holding unit 351 into a coater / developer (not shown). As described above, the operation for unloading the substrate P from the exposure apparatus main body 3 is completed.

  As shown in FIGS. 52A and 52B, a support member 353 that supports the lower surface of the substrate P can be provided around the base portion 352. The support member 353 is made of a frame-like member that surrounds the periphery of the substrate P, and has a plurality of projecting portions 354 that project in the surface direction of the substrate P. The overhang portion 334 comes into contact with the lower surface of the substrate P. According to this configuration, when holding a large substrate that may cause sagging of the substrate P, the peripheral end portion of the substrate P is supported by the overhanging portion 354. Therefore, even if the large substrate is held, The substrate P can be held in a state where the flatness is high by the holding portion 351 while preventing the end of the P from sagging.

  Further, as the substrate P in the above-described embodiment, not only a glass substrate for a display device but also a semiconductor wafer for manufacturing a semiconductor device, a ceramic wafer for a thin film magnetic head, or an original mask or reticle used in an exposure apparatus ( Synthetic quartz, silicon wafer) or the like is applied.

  Further, as the exposure apparatus, a step-and-scan type scanning exposure apparatus (scanning stepper) that moves the mask M and the substrate P synchronously to scan and expose the substrate P with the exposure light IL through the pattern of the mask M. In addition, the present invention may be applied to a step-and-repeat projection exposure apparatus (stepper) in which the pattern of the mask M is collectively exposed while the mask M and the substrate P are stationary, and the substrate P is sequentially moved stepwise. it can.

  The present invention can also be applied to a twin stage type exposure apparatus having a plurality of substrate stages as disclosed in US Pat. No. 6,341,007, US Pat. No. 6,208,407, US Pat. No. 6,262,796, and the like.

  The present invention also provides a substrate stage for holding a substrate and a reference in which a reference mark is formed without holding the substrate, as disclosed in US Pat. No. 6,897,963, European Patent Application No. 1713113, and the like. The present invention can also be applied to an exposure apparatus that includes a measurement stage on which members and / or various photoelectric sensors are mounted. An exposure apparatus including a plurality of substrate stages and measurement stages can be employed.

  In the above-described embodiment, a light-transmitting mask in which a predetermined light-shielding pattern (or phase pattern / dimming pattern) is formed on a light-transmitting substrate is used. As disclosed in US Pat. No. 6,778,257, a variable shaped mask (also called an electronic mask, an active mask, or an image generator) that forms a transmission pattern, a reflection pattern, or a light emission pattern based on electronic data of a pattern to be exposed. ) May be used. Further, a pattern forming apparatus including a self-luminous image display element may be provided instead of the variable molding mask including the non-luminous image display element.

  The exposure apparatus of the above-described embodiment is manufactured by assembling various subsystems including each component so as to maintain predetermined mechanical accuracy, electrical accuracy, and optical accuracy. In order to ensure these various accuracies, before and after assembly, various optical systems are adjusted to achieve optical accuracy, various mechanical systems are adjusted to achieve mechanical accuracy, and various electrical systems are Adjustments are made to achieve electrical accuracy. The assembly process from the various subsystems to the exposure apparatus includes mechanical connection, electrical circuit wiring connection, pneumatic circuit piping connection and the like between the various subsystems. Needless to say, there is an assembly process for each subsystem before the assembly process from the various subsystems to the exposure apparatus. When the assembly process of the various subsystems to the exposure apparatus is completed, comprehensive adjustment is performed to ensure various accuracies as the entire exposure apparatus. The exposure apparatus is preferably manufactured in a clean room where the temperature, cleanliness, etc. are controlled.

  As shown in FIG. 53, a microdevice such as a semiconductor device includes a step 201 for designing a function / performance of the microdevice, a step 202 for manufacturing a mask (reticle) based on the design step, and a substrate which is a base material of the device. Manufacturing step 203, including substrate processing (exposure processing) including exposing the substrate with exposure light using a mask pattern and developing the exposed substrate (photosensitive agent) according to the above-described embodiment The substrate is manufactured through a substrate processing step 204, a device assembly step (including processing processes such as a dicing process, a bonding process, and a packaging process) 205, an inspection step 206, and the like. In step 204, the photosensitive agent is developed to form an exposure pattern layer (developed photosensitive agent layer) corresponding to the mask pattern, and the substrate is processed through the exposure pattern layer. It is.

  Note that the requirements of the above-described embodiments and modifications can be combined as appropriate. Some components may not be used. In addition, as long as it is permitted by law, the disclosure of all published publications and US patents related to the exposure apparatus and the like cited in the above-described embodiments and modifications are incorporated herein by reference.

P ... substrate, K1, K4, K6, K8 ... suction hole, K2, K3, K5, K7 ... gas injection hole, K205 ... opening, 1 ... exposure apparatus, 4,104 ... carry-in part, 5 ... carry-out part, 9 , 109 ... Plate holder, 12 ... Fork part, 19 ... Position detection sensor, 33 ... First movement mechanism, 40, 140 ... Loading table, 42, 149, 249 ... First transfer part, 43 ... Second movement mechanism, DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 50 ... Unloading table, 52 ... 2nd transfer part, 53 ... 3rd moving mechanism, 109 ... Plate holder, 142 ... Roller, 148 ... Roller mechanism, 149 ... 1st transfer part, 150 ... Lifting mechanism, 205 ... Unloading robot , 250 ... Suction part, 251 ... Holding part, 252 ... Position detection sensor, 350 ... Suction mechanism, 351 ... Holding part, 401 ... Substrate mounting table, 405 ... Transfer part, 408 ... Suction part

Claims (19)

  1. And supporting lifting unit capable of supporting the floating substrate,
    Provided at a position which does not overlap with the supporting portion with respect to the first direction, the move to the support and the position overlapping with respect to a second direction crossing the first direction, moving the substrate supported by levitation to the supporting lifting unit on comprising a transfer unit for, a,
    The transfer unit is a transfer device that adjusts a position of the substrate with respect to the support unit in the first and second directions .
  2.   The transfer unit includes an adsorption mechanism that adsorbs and holds an end portion of the substrate, and a position detection unit that detects a position of the substrate with respect to the support unit,
      The transport apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the suction mechanism moves the substrate based on a detection result of the position detection unit.
  3.   The transport device according to claim 2, wherein the suction mechanism sucks and holds an end portion of the substrate in the second direction.
  4. A support device capable of levitating and supporting the substrate;
      A drive unit that moves at least one of the support unit and the support device, and arranges the support unit and the support device close to or in contact with each other in the second direction; and
      The said transfer part is a conveying apparatus as described in any one of Claims 1-3 which moves the said board | substrate from one side of the said support part and the said support apparatus regarding the said 2nd direction.
  5.   The drive unit includes the support unit and the support device such that the substrate supported by one of the support unit and the support device is disposed at a position higher than the other of the support unit and the support device. Are arranged in the second direction.
  6.   The drive unit is arranged such that one upper surface portion of the support portion and the support device supporting the substrate is positioned higher than the other upper surface portion of the support portion and the support device. The transport device according to claim 5, wherein a support portion and the support device are arranged in the second direction.
  7.   The transport device according to claim 4, wherein at least a part of the driving unit is provided integrally with the support device.
  8.   The transport device according to claim 4, wherein at least a part of the driving unit is provided so as to be movable integrally with the support unit.
  9.   The transfer unit includes a roller mechanism that rotates in contact with the lower surface of the substrate, and a position defining unit that defines a position of the substrate with respect to the support unit or the support device,
      The transfer device according to claim 4, wherein the roller mechanism moves the substrate so as to contact the position defining portion.
  10.   The transport apparatus according to claim 4, further comprising a position detection unit configured to detect a relative position between the support unit and the support device.
  11.   The transport apparatus according to any one of claims 1 to 10,
      An exposure apparatus comprising: a pattern forming apparatus that forms a predetermined pattern on the substrate by exposing the substrate supported by the support portion using an energy beam.
  12. The exposure apparatus according to claim 11, wherein the substrate is used in a flat panel display device.
  13.   The exposure apparatus according to claim 11 or 12, wherein the substrate has a length of at least one side of 500 mm or more.
  14.   Using the exposure apparatus according to claim 12, exposing the substrate coated with a photosensitive agent, and transferring a pattern to the substrate;
      Developing the photosensitive agent exposed by the exposure to form an exposure pattern layer corresponding to the pattern;
      Processing the substrate through the exposed pattern layer.
  15.   A transport method for transporting a substrate,
      Supporting the substrate on a support portion capable of supporting floating;
      The transfer unit provided at a position that does not overlap the support unit with respect to the first direction moves to a position that overlaps the support unit with respect to a second direction that intersects the first direction, and the substrate that is supported by floating is moved to the support unit. Carrying it up,
      Adjusting the position of the substrate carried into the support portion relative to the support portion with respect to the first and second directions.
  16.   The transport method according to claim 15, wherein in the carrying-in, suction is performed to suck and hold an end portion of the substrate in the second direction, and a position of the substrate with respect to the support portion is detected.
  17.   17. The transport method according to claim 15, wherein, in the carrying-in, the substrate is moved from one of the support device capable of supporting the substrate to be levitated and the support portion with respect to the second direction.
  18.   The transport according to claim 17, further comprising: moving at least one of the support part and the support device, and arranging the support part and the support device in the second direction in proximity to or in contact with each other. Method.
  19.   In the arrangement, the support portion and the support are arranged such that the substrate supported by one of the support portion and the support device is disposed at a position higher than the other of the support portion and the support device. The transfer method according to claim 18, wherein the apparatus is arranged in the second direction.
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