WO2015149848A1 - System for substrate processing, vacuum rotation module for a system for substrate processing and method of operating a substrate processing system - Google Patents

System for substrate processing, vacuum rotation module for a system for substrate processing and method of operating a substrate processing system Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2015149848A1
WO2015149848A1 PCT/EP2014/056604 EP2014056604W WO2015149848A1 WO 2015149848 A1 WO2015149848 A1 WO 2015149848A1 EP 2014056604 W EP2014056604 W EP 2014056604W WO 2015149848 A1 WO2015149848 A1 WO 2015149848A1
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Prior art keywords
vacuum
track
transportation
rotation
chamber
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PCT/EP2014/056604
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French (fr)
Inventor
Thomas Berger
Ralph Lindenberg
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Applied Materials, Inc.
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Priority to PCT/EP2014/056604 priority Critical patent/WO2015149848A1/en
Publication of WO2015149848A1 publication Critical patent/WO2015149848A1/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
    • H01L21/67703Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for conveying, e.g. between different workstations between different workstations
    • H01L21/67715Changing the direction of the conveying path
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C23COATING METALLIC MATERIAL; COATING MATERIAL WITH METALLIC MATERIAL; CHEMICAL SURFACE TREATMENT; DIFFUSION TREATMENT OF METALLIC MATERIAL; COATING BY VACUUM EVAPORATION, BY SPUTTERING, BY ION IMPLANTATION OR BY CHEMICAL VAPOUR DEPOSITION, IN GENERAL; INHIBITING CORROSION OF METALLIC MATERIAL OR INCRUSTATION IN GENERAL
    • C23CCOATING METALLIC MATERIAL; COATING MATERIAL WITH METALLIC MATERIAL; SURFACE TREATMENT OF METALLIC MATERIAL BY DIFFUSION INTO THE SURFACE, BY CHEMICAL CONVERSION OR SUBSTITUTION; COATING BY VACUUM EVAPORATION, BY SPUTTERING, BY ION IMPLANTATION OR BY CHEMICAL VAPOUR DEPOSITION, IN GENERAL
    • C23C14/00Coating by vacuum evaporation, by sputtering or by ion implantation of the coating forming material
    • C23C14/22Coating by vacuum evaporation, by sputtering or by ion implantation of the coating forming material characterised by the process of coating
    • C23C14/56Apparatus specially adapted for continuous coating; Arrangements for maintaining the vacuum, e.g. vacuum locks
    • C23C14/568Transferring the substrates through a series of coating stations
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L21/00Processes or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or solid state devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/02Manufacture or treatment of semiconductor devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/04Manufacture or treatment of semiconductor devices or of parts thereof the devices having at least one potential-jump barrier or surface barrier, e.g. PN junction, depletion layer or carrier concentration layer
    • H01L21/18Manufacture or treatment of semiconductor devices or of parts thereof the devices having at least one potential-jump barrier or surface barrier, e.g. PN junction, depletion layer or carrier concentration layer the devices having semiconductor bodies comprising elements of Group IV of the Periodic System or AIIIBV compounds with or without impurities, e.g. doping materials
    • H01L21/20Deposition of semiconductor materials on a substrate, e.g. epitaxial growth solid phase epitaxy
    • H01L21/203Deposition of semiconductor materials on a substrate, e.g. epitaxial growth solid phase epitaxy using physical deposition, e.g. vacuum deposition, sputtering
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L21/00Processes or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or solid state devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/67Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere
    • H01L21/677Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for conveying, e.g. between different workstations
    • H01L21/67703Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for conveying, e.g. between different workstations between different workstations
    • H01L21/67712Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere for conveying, e.g. between different workstations between different workstations the substrate being handled substantially vertically
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L21/00Processes or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or solid state devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/67Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere
    • H01L21/677Apparatus 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
    • H01L21/67739Apparatus 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 into and out of processing chamber
    • H01L21/67742Mechanical parts of transfer devices

Abstract

A substrate processing system for processing an essentially vertically-oriented substrate is described. The substrate processing system includes a first vacuum chamber having a first dual track transportation system with a first transportation track and a second transportation track, at least one lateral displacement mechanism configured for lateral displacement of the substrate from the first transportation track to the second transportation track or vice versa within the first vacuum chamber, and a vacuum rotation module having a second vacuum chamber, wherein the vacuum rotation module comprises a vertical rotation axis for rotating the substrate around the vertical rotation axis within the second vacuum chamber, wherein the vacuum rotation module having a second dual track transportation system with a first rotation track and a second rotation track, wherein the first rotation track is rotatable to form a linear transportation path with the first transportation track and the second rotation track is rotatable to form a linear transportation path with the second transportation track, and wherein the vertical rotation axis is between the first rotation track and the second rotation track.

Description

SYSTEM FOR SUBSTRATE PROCESSING, VACUUM ROTATION MODULE FOR A SYSTEM FOR SUBSTRATE PROCESSING AND METHOD OF OPERATING A SUBSTRATE PROCESSING SYSTEM
FIELD
[0001] Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to processing substrate processing systems, substrate rotation and methods of operating thereof. Particularly, they relate to a substrate processing system for processing an essentially vertically-oriented substrate, a vacuum rotation module configured for a substrate processing system, and method of depositing a layer stack in a substrate processing system
BACKGROUND
[0002] In a number of technical applications, layers of different materials are deposited onto each other over a substrate. Typically, this is done in a sequence of coating or deposition steps, wherein other processing steps like etching or structuring might also be provided before, between, or after the various deposition steps. For example, a multi-layer stack with a sequence of "material one"-"material two"-"material one" can be deposited. Due to different coating rates in different process steps and due to different thicknesses of the layers, the processing time in the processing chambers for depositing different layers may vary considerably.
[0003] In order to deposit a multiple layer stack, a number of configurations of processing chambers can be provided. For example, in-line arrangements of deposition chambers can be used as well as cluster arrangements of deposition chambers. A typical cluster arrangement comprises a central handling chamber and a number of processing or deposition chambers connected thereto. The coating chambers may be equipped to carry out the same or different processes. A typical in-line system includes a number of subsequent processing chambers, wherein processing steps are conducted in one chamber after the other such that a plurality of substrates can continuously or quasi-continuously be processed with the in-line system. However, whereas the handling of the process in in-line systems is quite easy, the processing time is determined by the longest processing time. Therefore, the efficiency of the process is affected. Cluster tools, on the other hand, allow for different cycle times. However, the handling may be quite complex, which requires an elaborate transfer system provided in the central handling chamber.
[0004] Further, there is a desire to provide dual track or multiple track systems, e.g. a dual track inline system, wherein the tact time can further be reduced by transporting e.g. two substrates in one vacuum chamber on a first transportation track and a second transportation track, respectively. Processing systems, such as an inline sputter system, are subject to periodical maintenance. The maintenance reduces the uptime of the system. In many systems, such as sputter systems, that have more than one process chamber the maintenance of one of the process chambers results in an interruption of the entire system, i.e. the tools operation.
[0005] Accordingly, there is a need to further improve substrate processing systems, particularly with respect to uptime, tact time, and/or maintenance.
SUMMARY
[0006] In light of the above, the substrate processing system according to independent claim 1, the vacuum rotation module according to claim 8, and the method of depositing a layer stack in a substrate processing system according to claim 13 are provided. Further advantages, features, aspects and details are evident from the dependent claims, the description and the drawings.
[0007] According to one embodiment, a substrate processing system for processing an essentially vertically- oriented substrate is provided. The substrate processing system includes a first vacuum chamber having a first dual track transportation system with a first transportation track and a second transportation track, at least one lateral displacement mechanism configured for lateral displacement of the substrate from the first transportation track to the second transportation track or vice versa within the first vacuum chamber, and a vacuum rotation module having a second vacuum chamber, wherein the vacuum rotation module comprises a vertical rotation axis for rotating the substrate around the vertical rotation axis within the second vacuum chamber, wherein the vacuum rotation module having a second dual track transportation system with a first rotation track and a second rotation track, wherein the first rotation track is rotatable to form a linear transportation path with the first transportation track and the second rotation track is rotatable to form a linear transportation path with the second transportation track, and wherein the vertical rotation axis is between the first rotation track and the second rotation track.
[0008] According to another embodiment, a vacuum rotation module configured for a substrate processing system having a first vacuum chamber and a first dual track transportation system, particularly a substrate processing system according to embodiments described herein is provided. The vacuum rotation module includes a second vacuum chamber, a second dual track transportation system with a first rotation track and a second rotation track, wherein the first rotation axis and the second rotation axis have a distance of 500 mm or below, and a vertical rotation axis for rotating the substrate around the vertical rotation axis within the second vacuum chamber on the second dual track transportation system, wherein the vertical rotation axis is between the first rotation track and the second rotation track.
[0009] According to yet further embodiment, a method of depositing a layer stack in a substrate processing system having a first deposition chamber, a second deposition chamber, and a vacuum rotation module, particularly a substrate processing system according embodiments described herein, is provided. The method includes depositing a first layer comprising a first material in the first deposition chamber onto an essentially vertically oriented substrate, transferring the substrate from the first deposition chamber into the vacuum rotation module while a further substrate is transferred from the first deposition chamber into the vacuum rotation module or vice versa, transferring the substrate from the vacuum rotation module into the second deposition chamber, particularly while a further substrate is transferred from the vacuum rotation module into the second deposition chamber or vice versa, depositing a second layer comprising a second material in the second deposition chamber. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0010] So that the manner in which the above recited features of the present invention are attained and can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the invention, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to the embodiments thereof, which are illustrated in the appended drawings.
FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a substrate processing system having three deposition chambers, a vacuum rotation module providing linear transportation paths with the processing chambers and a dual transportation track system, according to embodiments described herein;
FIG. 2 is a schematic view of a further substrate processing system having several deposition chambers, a vacuum rotation module providing linear transportation paths with the processing chambers and a dual transportation track system, according to embodiments described herein; FIGS. 3 to 5 are schematic views of yet further substrate processing systems having several deposition chambers, a vacuum rotation module providing linear transportation paths with the processing chambers and a dual transportation track system, according to embodiments described herein;
FIG. 6 is a schematic view of a chamber including a dual transportation track system according to embodiments described herein;
FIG. 7 is a flow chart illustrating methods of depositing a layer stack in a processing system including an in-line substrate processing system portion, according to embodiments described herein; and
FIG. 8 is a schematic view of a further substrate processing system having several deposition chambers, a vacuum rotation module providing linear transportation paths with the processing chambers and a dual transportation track system, according to embodiments described herein. [0011] To facilitate understanding, identical reference numerals have been used, where possible, to designate identical or similar elements that are common to the figures. It is contemplated that elements and features of one embodiment may be beneficially incorporated in other embodiments without further recitation. [0012] It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only exemplary embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION [0013] Reference will now be made in detail to the various embodiments of the invention, one or more examples of which are illustrated in the figures. Each example is provided by way of explanation of the invention and is not meant as a limitation of the invention. For example, features illustrated or described as part of one embodiment can be used on or in conjunction with other embodiments to yield yet a further embodiment. It is intended that the present invention includes such modifications and variations.
[0014] The term "substrate" as used herein shall embrace substrates, such as glass substrates or substrates made of a plastic material, i.e. substrates which are used, for example, for manufacturing of displays. According to some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the embodiments described herein can be utilized for display manufacturing, e.g. PVD, i.e. sputter deposition on large area substrates for the display market.
[0015] According to some embodiments, large area substrates or respective carriers, wherein the carriers have a plurality of substrates, may have a size of at least 0.67 m2. Typically, the size can be about 0.67m2 (0.73x0.92m - Gen 4.5) or above, more typically about 2 m2 to about 9 m2 or even up to 12 m2. Typically, the substrates or carriers, for which the structures, systems, apparatuses, such as cathode assemblies, and methods according to embodiments described herein are provided, are large area substrates as described herein. For instance, a large area substrate or carrier can be GEN 4.5, which corresponds to about 0.67 m2 substrates (0.73x0.92m), GEN 5, which corresponds to about 1.4 m2 substrates (1.1 m x 1.3 m), GEN 7.5, which corresponds to about 4.29 m2 substrates (1.95 m x 2.2 m), GEN 8.5, which corresponds to about 5.7m2 substrates (2.2 m x 2.5 m), or even GEN 10, which corresponds to about 8.7 m2 substrates (2.85 m x 3.05 m). Even larger generations such as GEN 11 and GEN 12 and corresponding substrate areas can similarly be implemented. According to some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the system may be configured for TFT manufacturing, e.g. with static deposition.
[0016] Typically, the substrates are essentially vertically-oriented in the processing system. Thereby, it is to be understood that a vertically oriented substrate can have some deviation from a vertical, i.e., 90°, orientation in a processing system in order to allow for stable transport with an inclination by a few degrees, i.e. the substrates can have a deviation from the vertical orientation of + 20° or less, for example ±10° or less.
[0017] According to embodiments described herein, a substrate processing system with improved tact time and/or improved uptime, particularly during maintenance can be provided. Further, the footprint of the processing system is not unnecessarily increased, e.g. for providing redundant chambers. According to embodiments described herein, a module, such as a vacuum rotation module, that distributes the substrate to different process chambers is provided. One of these process chambers can be shut off for maintenance without stopping the whole processing system. During maintenance of one process chamber the system can operate at least with a reduced tact time.
[0018] Vacuum rotation modules have previously been described, wherein one or more rotation tracks are provided and substrates can be rotated within the vacuum rotation module around the rotation axis, e.g. vertical rotation axis. These modules typically include a single track transportation system, i.e. a transportation system, for which one substrate at a time can be transported between the vacuum rotation module and an adjacent vacuum chamber.
[0019] According to embodiments described herein, a first vacuum chamber having a first dual track transportation system is provided. For example, the dual track transportation system can include a lateral displacement mechanism for changing the track position of the substrate within the first vacuum chamber. The substrate can be moved from one track of the dual track transportation system to another track of the dual track transportation system in a lateral direction, i.e. a direction that is essentially perpendicular to the transport direction of the transportation system. According to embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the transport direction can also be described as the direction for transportation of substrate from one vacuum chamber of the processing system to another chamber of the processing system. A vacuum rotation module having a second vacuum chamber is provided. The vacuum rotation module includes a vertical rotation axis for rotating the essentially vertically oriented substrates in the vacuum chamber of the vacuum rotation module, i.e. the second vacuum chamber. The vacuum rotation module includes a second dual track transportation system, wherein the vertical rotation axis is provided between the first rotation track and a second rotation track of the second transportation system. According to embodiments described herein, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the second dual track transportation system has essentially the same track distance as the dual track transportation system in the first vacuum chamber, e.g. the vacuum chamber of a processing chamber.
[0020] According to embodiments described herein, a dual track (DT-) vacuum rotation module is provided. A DT-vacuum rotation module is useful for processes with thick layers and high throughput that may need frequent maintenance of a process kit. For example, having a DT-vacuum rotation module allows for arranging one or more thick layer depositing process stations, for example displaced by 90° when coupled to the vacuum rotation module. A dual track vacuum rotation module enables the system to replace more than one carrier between a processing module, e.g. having a processing chamber, and the vacuum rotation modules simultaneously, particularly when a dual track carrier transport is also used in the processing module processing chamber. After the replacement, the rotor of the vacuum rotation module rotates in a position to transfer a carrier to the next module or to receive a carrier from the next module. Accordingly, a plurality of processing modules can be connected to the vacuum rotation module, wherein the footprint of the processing system can be reduced or kept to a limited area, for example, the processing modules for various processes do not need to be arranged back-to- back. [0021] In-line processing systems typically provide a sequence of chambers for depositing a sequence of layers. Thereby, one layer after the other is deposited in one chamber after the other. For example, a thin layer of molybdenum can be deposited over a substrate, subsequently a thick layer of aluminum is deposited over the molybdenum layer and a further thin layer of molybdenum is deposited over the aluminum layer. Thereby, a first chamber including a molybdenum deposition source can be provided. Thereafter, two deposition chambers for depositing aluminum can be provided. Thereafter, another chamber for depositing molybdenum is provided. Thereby, substrates in an in-line processing system can be transferred into the first aluminum chamber and the second aluminum chamber in an alternating manner, such that the deposition of the thicker aluminum layer is less limiting for the overall throughput in the in-line deposition system. However, a deposition source for depositing molybdenum, for example, a molybdenum sputtering target, can be very expensive, particularly for processing large area substrates. Accordingly, four chambers are utilized in the above-described processing system and two chambers with very expensive deposition sources, for example, sputtering targets, need to be provided. Further, in the event of maintenance, the complete production needs to be stopped in such a processing system.
[0022] FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of a substrate processing system 100. The system includes the first vacuum chamber 101, a second vacuum chamber 102, and a third vacuum chamber 103. The vacuum chambers can be deposition chambers or other processing chambers, wherein a vacuum is generated within the chamber. The vacuum, i.e. the pressure of e.g. 10 mbar or below, is provided according to the needs of the processing step, for example, for the deposition of the material on or over a substrate. Further, the system includes a vacuum rotation module 150 having a vacuum chamber, which is configured for transferring substrates from the first vacuum chamber 101 to one of the second or third vacuum chambers 102/103. Further, the vacuum rotation module 150 is configured for transferring the substrate from one of the vacuum chambers 102/103 to another one of the vacuum chambers or the first deposition chamber 101.
[0023] As shown in FIG. 1, the first deposition chamber has a first deposition source 141, and the second deposition chamber and the third deposition chamber each have another deposition source 142. Typically, the deposition sources 142 in the second and the third chamber can be a similar deposition source such that the second vacuum chamber 102 and the third vacuum chamber 103 can be used in an alternating manner. According to typical embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the deposition sources are provided as sputtering targets, such as rotatable sputtering targets.
[0024] According to typical embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the deposition sources are provided as sputtering targets, such as rotatable sputtering targets. According to typical implementations thereof, a DC sputtering, a pulse sputtering, an RF sputtering, or an MF sputtering can be provided. According to yet further embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the middle frequency sputtering with frequencies in the range of 5 kHz to 100 kHz, for example, 30 kHz to 50 kHz, can be provided.
[0025] In the event the deposition with the deposition source 142 is a limiting factor for the throughput of the substrate processing system 100, the overall throughput can be increased because substrates, which are continuously or quasi-continuously processed in the processing system, can be processed in the vacuum chambers 102 and 103 in an alternating manner. For example, this can be the case if the layer to be deposited with the deposition source 142 is a thick layer or if the deposition rate of a deposition source 142 is low. [0026] According to embodiments described herein, the vacuum rotation module 150 and the vacuum chambers 101, 102, and 103 are connected via linear transport paths. According to embodiments described herein, the vacuum rotation module includes a dual track transportation system having a first rotation track 151 and a second rotation track 154. The first rotation track and the second rotation track can be rotated around a vertical rotation axis 155. For example, the first rotation track and the second rotation track can be rotated to be in a position as illustrated by reference numeral 15 and 154' to generate linear transportation paths with the transportation tracks of the second vacuum chamber 102. For example, large area substrates, which are typically used for display manufacturing, can be transported along the linear transportation paths in the substrate processing system 100. Typically, the linear transport paths are provided by transportation tracks 161 and 163, such as linear transportation tracks having, e.g., a plurality of rollers arranged along a line. Further, the first rotation track 151 and the second rotation track 154 can be provided as linear transportation tracks having, e.g., a plurality of rollers arranged along a line. Additionally, the first rotation track and the second rotation track can be rotated along the vertical rotation axis 155, which is provided between the first rotation track 151 and the second rotation track 154. According to typical embodiments, the transportation tracks and/or rotation tracks can be provided by a transportation system at the bottom of the large area substrates and a guiding system at the top of the essentially vertically oriented large area substrates.
[0027] According to different embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the dual track transportation systems in the vacuum chambers, for example the vacuum chambers 122, 121, 101, 102, and 103 that are shown in FIG. 1, i.e. transportation systems having a first transportation path and a second transportation path, can be provided by a fixed dual track system, a movable single track system, or a movable dual track system. The fixed dual track system includes a first transportation track and the second transportation track, wherein the first transportation track and the second transportation track cannot be laterally displaced, i.e. a substrate cannot be moved in a direction perpendicular to the transport direction. A movable single track system provides a dual track transportation system by having a linear transportation track, which can be displaced laterally, i.e. perpendicular to the transport direction, such that the substrate can either be provided on the first transportation path or the second transportation path, wherein the first transportation path and the second transportation path are distant from each other. A movable dual track system includes the first transportation track and a second transportation track, wherein both transportation tracks can be displaced laterally, i.e. they can switch their respective position from the first transportation path to the second transportation path and vice versa.
[0028] According to embodiments described herein, the vacuum rotation module includes a fixed dual track system having a first rotation track and a second rotation track, which may also be referred to as a rotatable first transportation track and a rotatable second transportation track, wherein the distance between the first rotation track and the second rotation track is fixed. Thereby, the distance or pitch between the first rotation track and the second rotation track is fixed and the vertical rotation axis 155 is provided between the first rotation track and the second rotation track. According to some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the distance or pitch between the first rotation track the second rotation track is 500 mm or below, for example 200 mm or below, such as about 100 mm, about 90 mm or about 80 mm. The rotation axis is between the first rotation track and the second rotation track and for example, essentially perpendicular to the rotation tracks, as shown in FIG. 1.
[0029] According to one example, in the event that the substrate is exactly vertically oriented, the transportation system for the bottom of the large area substrates or carriers and the guiding system for the top of the large area substrate or carriers are within the plane, such that the first plane of the first rotation track, the second plane of the second rotation track, and the vertical rotation axis are parallel, wherein the vertical rotation axis 155 is provided between the first plane and the second plane. It can be understood that for the substrate processing systems having a variation of the vertical substrate orientation of + 20° or less, the first plane and the second plane might not be parallel. In such a case, the vertical rotation axis 155 extends between the two non-parallel planes within the vacuum chamber of the vacuum rotation module 150 and can, for example, be arranged to form the symmetry axis for the first plane and the second plane.
[0030] As described herein, the vacuum rotation module having a dual track transportation system with a pitch or distance of the track that matches a single adjacent vacuum chamber allows for an improved transfer of carriers for processing systems having a single chamber connected at one side of the vacuum rotation module. Accordingly, two carriers can be transferred into and/or out of the vacuum rotation module simultaneously. Thereby, the first rotation track and the second rotation track, which allows for the simultaneous transfer, is located to have the vertical rotation axis between the first rotation track and the second rotation track. Accordingly, the improved transfer can be provided without the need to have a larger amount of numbers, which may for example be located back to back at one side of the vacuum rotation module. In light thereof, embodiments described herein can provide an improved tact time, particularly where one chamber of a processing system is under maintenance, while the footprint can be reduced. Having an option of a reduced footprint typically reduces cost of ownership of a processing system and/or allows for installing a system in a region, in which a limited amount of floor space is provided.
[0031] According to yet further embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the vacuum rotation module is configured for rotation of the substrates with respect to a vertical rotational axis 155. Thereby, a substrate entering the vacuum rotation module 150 via a linear transportation path 151 can be further transferred to the chamber 103 via a linear transportation path 152 without a rotation in the vacuum rotation module 150. A substrate which enters the vacuum rotation module 150 via the transportation path 151 can be rotated within the vacuum rotation module 150 in order to enter the chamber 102 via linear transportation path 152. A transfer out of the chambers 102, 103 to the vacuum rotation module 150 can be conducted with or without a corresponding rotation, respectively.
[0032] As described above, the arrangement of deposition chambers 101, 102, and 103 in combination with the vacuum rotation module 150 can be used to improve the utilization of a plurality of deposition chambers, particularly of the deposition chamber 101, and more particularly by having a reduced footprint of the processing system. Accordingly, if the deposition chamber 101 is configured for deposition of expensive materials such as a molybdenum-containing material, a platinum-containing material, a gold-containing material, or a silver-containing material, an operator of the processing system 100 only needs to purchase one set of deposition sources of the expensive kind. Accordingly, the value of targets that need to be held on stock in order to enable short downtimes can be reduced.
[0033] According to embodiments described herein, the in-line processing system 100 includes an improved utilization of the processing chambers and allows for feeding of the substrates into the processing system in a continuous or quasi-continuous manner. Thereby, the further chamber 121 and the yet further chamber 122 are provided with a first and a second transportation track 163 and 164, respectively.
[0034] The set of transportation tracks can be configured for a lateral movement of a substrate within one or more of the chambers 121, 101, 102, and 103. Thereby, the substrate can be moved essentially horizontally such that a displacement along a direction perpendicular to the transportation paths is provided.
[0035] According to typical embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the chamber 122 can be a load lock chamber for inserting the substrates into the processing system 100 and for discharging the substrates out of the processing system. Further, the chamber 121 can be a chamber selected from the group consisting of: a buffer chamber, a heating chamber, a transfer chamber, a cycle-time- adjusting chamber, or the like.
[0036] According to typical embodiments, the chambers shown exemplarity in FIG. 1 are vacuum chambers, i.e., they are configured for transferring or processing the substrates at the pressure of 10 mbar or below. Thereby, the substrates are locked into or locked out of the chamber 122, which is configured for being evacuated before a vacuum valve between chambers 122 and 121 is opened for further transport of the substrate into the chamber 121 in the processing system 100. [0037] According to typical embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the improved utilization of deposition chambers can be used for layer stacks, wherein the first layer and another layer, e.g., a final layer, are thin when compared to an intermediate layer. For example, a layer stack can include at least a molybdenum-containing layer, a copper-containing layer, and a molybdenum-containing layer, wherein these three layers included are provided in this order. The layer stack could also include a molybdenum-containing layer, an aluminum-containing layer, and a molybdenum containing layer, wherein these three layers included are provided in this order. Yet, according to further embodiments, the molybdenum-containing layer could also be another layer of the above-described layers including an expensive material. [0038] FIG. 1 shows a swing module 622, where substrates can be handled from a horizontal position to a vertical position for processing in the vertical processing. According to yet further embodiments, also other loading modules, like robots and/or buffers, vertical or horizontal, can be provided to load a carrier having one or more substrates supported therein into the load lock chamber 122., Typically, the swing module can also include a dual track system. Thereby, an atmosphere rotation module and/or an additional exit chamber can be omitted, as the system includes a dual exit/entrance out of/into the load lock 122. As indicated by reference numeral 181, the dual track system of the swing module can be a movable single track module as described herein. A carrier can be loaded onto any of the tracks 164 or 164 of the dual track transportation system in the load lock chamber 122, which can for example be a fixed dual track transportation system.
[0039] One or more chambers can be transferred between the load lock chamber 122 and the chamber 121. From the chamber 121 a carrier can be transferred in the first vacuum chamber 101. The dual track transportation system of the first vacuum chamber 101 can for example be a movable dual track system, in which two tracks can switch their respective position. This is indicated by reference numeral 182. After processing of the substrate in the first vacuum chamber 101, the substrate can be transferred from the first vacuum chamber 101 to the vacuum rotation module 150 and further to the second vacuum chamber 102 for further processing of the substrate. For example, a further, e.g. a subsequent, substrate in a further carrier, which is to be moved out of the first vacuum chamber 101 into a further vacuum chamber can be moved to the third vacuum chamber 103 while the first substrate is still processed in the second vacuum chamber 102. Accordingly, the vacuum rotation module allows for addressing two or more chambers by rotation of the first rotation track and the second rotation track around the vertical axis 155.
[0040] In light thereof, several substrates can be processed simultaneously. For example, in FIG. 1 only three deposition chambers are provided, wherein two chambers can be used for deposition, e.g. in an alternating manner, and one chamber can be utilized for depositing a first layer of the substrate and a final layer of the substrate in the processing system 100.
[0041] According to some embodiments described herein, the first vacuum chamber 101 can be a first deposition chamber having a first deposition source 141 provided in the first deposition chamber, and wherein the first vacuum chamber is coupled to the vacuum rotation module 150, the first vacuum chamber and the vacuum rotation module are separated by a first vacuum sealable valve. Additionally or alternatively, a second and/or third vacuum chamber 102/103 being a second and/or third deposition chamber and having a second deposition source and/or third deposition source can be provided, wherein the second and/or third vacuum chamber is coupled to the vacuum rotation module separated by a second vacuum sealable valve.
[0042] Accordingly, particularly a vacuum sealable valve between the vacuum rotation module and one or more of the second and third vacuum chambers can be closed for maintenance of a respective one of these chambers, In light of the dual transportation track and the resulting dual transportation path in the single other vacuum chamber, the transfer of carriers into and out of this single other vacuum chamber can be improved. This in turn can improve the tact time of the processing system, e.g. while one chamber is under maintenance. [0043] FIG 1 illustrates one embodiment, having several chambers equipped with dual track transportation systems. As described above, dual track transportation systems having a first transportation path and second transportation path can be provided by a fixed dual track system, a movable single track system or a movable dual track system. The fixed dual track system includes a first transportation track and the second transportation track, wherein the first transportation track and the second transportation track cannot be laterally displaced, i.e. a substrate cannot be moved in a direction perpendicular to the transport direction. A movable single track system, which is indicated by reference numeral 181 in the figures, provides a dual track transportation system by having a linear transportation track, which can be displaced laterally, i.e. perpendicular to the transport direction, such that the substrate can either be provided on the first transportation path or the second transportation path, wherein the first transportation path and the second transportation path are distant from each other. A movable dual track system, which is indicated by reference numeral 182 in the figures, includes the first transportation track and a second transportation track, wherein both transportation tracks can be displaced laterally, i.e. they can switch their respective position from the first transportation path to the second transportation path and vice versa.
[0044] As illustrated with respect to FIG. 2, according to yet further embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, a yet further deposition chamber, such as vacuum chamber 104 e.g. with source 142 can be provided. The vacuum chambers 101, 102, 103, and 104 can be connected to the vacuum rotation module, e.g. through vacuum sealable valves. Linear transport paths are provided, which can, for example, have an angle relative to each other of 90°. Substrates can be provided in one of the vacuum chambers 102-104 in an alternating manner such that a layer is deposited with one of the deposition sources 142 which may include a source for a yet further material.
[0045] According to some implementations, the deposition sources 142 can be of a similar kind such that essentially the same layer can be deposited in vacuum chambers 102, 103, and 104, and these vacuum chambers can be used in an alternating manner and/or provided redundancy in the event of maintenance of one chamber, wherein the system might then still be operated. According to embodiments, described herein, the tact time during maintenance of one chamber might need to be reduced as compared to a fully operating system; yet, the tact time during maintenance can be improved as compared to other systems due to the arrangement of dual track transportation systems according to embodiments described herein.
[0046] For example, a layer stack to be deposited in a processing system 100 shown in FIG. 2, can include a thin molybdenum-containing layer, a thick layer comprising a first material, a thick layer comprising a second material, and a thin molybdenum-containing layer. Yet, according to further embodiments, the molybdenum-containing layer could also be another layer of the above-described layers including an expensive material.
[0047] According to another implementation, the deposition sources 142 could be of the same kind such that an intermediate layer could be processed for an even longer time as compared to the embodiments shown in FIG. 1. According to typical embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the deposition sources are provided as sputtering targets, such as rotatable sputtering targets. According to yet further alternative implementations, the deposition sources 244 could deposit different materials such that a layer stack with more than four layers to be deposited can be manufactured in the system.
[0048] According to yet further embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the processing systems, such as the processing system 100 shown in FIG. 2, can also have a multiple track transportation system with a first transportation track, a second transportation track, and one or more further transportation tracks, such as the third transportation track (not shown). [0049] Thereby, the substrates can be transferred from the load lock chamber 122 in the further chamber 121, or one substrate can be transferred from the further chamber 121 in the load lock chamber 122 while another substrate is transferred from the load lock chamber 122 in the further chamber 121. Accordingly, a transfer of substrates can be conducted in a more flexible manner, such that applications for which the transfer of substrates might be a limiting factor for the cycle time can be increased in throughput.
[0050] FIG. 3 illustrates yet further embodiments described herein. Similar to FIG. 1, a vacuum chamber 101, a vacuum chamber 102, and a vacuum chamber 103 are shown. One or more of the vacuum chambers can be connected to the vacuum rotation modules with a vacuum sealable valve 332. According to different embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, a vacuum sealable valve can be provided from the group consisting of a gate valve, a slit valve, and a slot valve. Even though vacuum sealable valves are not shown in some of the figures herein, vacuum sealable valves can be used between any of the chambers coupled to each other, i.e. which are adjacent to each other.
[0051] As compared to FIG.l, the embodiment in FIG. 3 has a straight transportation path between the vacuum chambers 102 and 103. This may improve the tact time for certain layer stacks and/or can be an improvement with respect to specific space requirements, e.g. when the maximum length of the processing system may be limited by the available floor space.
[0052] As shown in FIGS. 1 to 4, the vacuum rotation module can be an octagon or another polygon. According to some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the vacuum rotation module has at least four side walls, wherein each side wall is configured to be coupled to a vacuum chamber. FIG. 5 shows side walls 452a to 452d, wherein the vacuum rotation module is a rectangle. Yet further, the vacuum rotation module can have at least eight side walls, wherein each side wall is configured to be coupled to a vacuum chamber. FIG. 4 shows the side walls 452a to 452h. Vacuum chambers, which can for example be processing chambers, are connected to side wall 452c, 452d, 452e, 452g, and 452h. Accordingly, one or more vacuum chambers might have linear transportation paths, which are rotated by 90° and/or 45°. This may improve the tact time for certain layer stacks and/or can be an improvement with respect to specific space requirements, e.g. when the maximum length of the processing system may be limited by the available floor space.
[0053] An example of a chamber 121 with the first transportation track 163 and the second transportation track 164 is shown in FIG. 6. The chamber 121 has a chamber wall 302 with openings 306. The openings 306 are configured for transfer of the essentially vertically-oriented substrates. Accordingly, the openings 306 can have the shape of a slit. Typically, the openings can be opened and closed with a vacuum sealable valve.
[0054] Further, the chamber 121 can have a flange 304 for connection of a vacuum system, such as a vacuum pump or the like. Thereby, the chamber 121 can be evacuated when at least one of the vacuum valves, preferably both vacuum valves for closing the openings 306 are closed and/or when adjacent vacuum chambers are evacuated as valves.
[0055] The substrate transport system or carrier transport system, respectively, having a first transportation track 163 and a second transportation track 164 includes two groups of transportation elements. The transportation elements 310 of the first group of transportation elements include a transportation roller 312. The transportation elements 320 of the second group of transportation elements include a transportation roller 322. The transportation elements 310 are rotatable around the rotation axis 311. The transportation elements 320 are rotatable around the rotation axis 321.
[0056] Each of the transportation elements 310 and 320 are illustrated in FIG. 6 in two positions. Thereby, one position is shown with dotted lines. Each of the transportation elements has a bearing element 314 or 324, respectively. The bearing elements are configured for providing the rotation and for providing linear movement along the axis 311 or 321, respectively. The rotation elements can be moved from the first position to the second position (dotted lines) by the linear movement of the bearing element. [0057] As illustrated in FIG. 6, the transportation roller 312 is offset with respect to the transportation roller 322. By the linear movement of the transportation elements, the transportation roller 312 of the transportation elements 310 can move from the first transportation track 163 to the second transportation track 164. Accordingly, by movement of the transportation elements 310 and 320, a substrate, which is positioned in the first transportation track, i.e., on the transportation roller for driving the carrier, can be moved to the second transportation track. Alternatively, a substrate, which is positioned in the second transportation track 164, can be moved to the first transportation track.
[0058] The transportation elements 310 and 320, which are illustrated in FIG. 6, provide the substrate support for the essentially vertically oriented substrate, which is adapted to support the substrate at the lower end thereof. According to further embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the substrate transportation system or the carrier transportation system, respectively, can also include an upper transportation means or guiding element, e.g. a magnetic guiding element for guiding a carrier along a transportation path, i.e. in the transport direction.
[0059] Typically, the transportation means is one or more groups of guiding elements for guiding the substrates in one of the first transportation path or the second transportation path. For example, the guiding elements can be magnetic guiding elements having a recess, e.g., two slits, through which the substrate can be transferred. According to yet further embodiments, these guiding elements can also include a bearing for linear movement such that the shift from the first transportation track to the second transportation track can be conducted.
[0060] According to typical embodiments, the transportation elements 310 and the transportation elements 320 are moved synchronously for lateral transfer of the essentially vertically oriented substrate within the chamber 121. Typically, the upper elements, such as the guiding elements, are also moved at the same time.
[0061] The transportation elements 310 and 320 can further include belt drives 316 and 326 for driving the rotation of the transportation elements in order to transport the substrates or carriers provided on the transportation rollers along the transportation paths. According to some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, one or more of the belt drives can be driven by one motor.
[0062] FIG. 7 illustrates a method of depositing a layer stack in a processing system as described herein, which may according to some embodiments be a hybrid system between an inline-processing system and a cluster processing system having an improved utilization of deposition chambers. As shown in FIG. 7, a first layer is deposited in a first chamber in step 402. The first layer can typically include at least one material selected from the group consisting of: molybdenum, platinum, and gold.
[0063] Further, the first layer is typically a thin layer or a layer which can be deposited within a time that is short as compared to the deposition time of a second layer. The substrate is then transferred in either the second or the third chamber such that the second layer can be either deposited in the second chamber in step 404 or third chamber in step 405.
[0064] Thereby, the steps 404 and 405 can be conducted in an alternating manner. In light of the longer deposition time in the second or the third chamber, the deposition system is not unnecessarily limited in throughput by the longer deposition step. In step 406 another layer comprising the same material as the first layer (see step 402) is deposited. Step 406 is conducted in the same chamber as step 402. Thereby, an improved utilization of deposition chambers is provided. [0065] According to yet further embodiments described herein, the route of step 404 or 405 may be temporarily closed by maintenance of the second or third chamber. The system can still be operated if the vacuum sealable valve between the vacuum rotation module and the chamber under maintenance is closed. Further, the dual track transportation system between the vacuum rotation module and the other of the second or third chamber can be utilized to have a better tact time during maintenance. In light of the fact that the vertical rotation axis is between the first rotation track and the second rotation track of the dual track transportation system of the vacuum rotation module, the footprint or required floor space can be reduced as compared to processing systems having multiple track transportation systems in a vacuum rotation module, wherein the two tracks adjacent to vertical rotation axis have a large distance, e.g. of 1000 mm or above.
[0066] FIG. 8 illustrates examplarily yet further embodiments. The swing module as well as the other chambers are provided with a first transportation track and a second transportation track 163 and 164. Yet further, additionally or alternatively to the additional tracks, third and forth deposition chambers 204 and 205 are provided. Even though deposition sources 244 are denoted with a different reference numeral as compared to deposition sources 142, these sources can be similar. Accordingly, more than two chambers for deposition of the second target material can be attached to the vacuum rotation module. One or more of the chambers for deposition of the second layer can be operated in an alternating manner and can be equipped with either single carrier tracks and/or dual carrier tracks as shown in FIG. 8. This allows deposition of even thicker second layers with increased throughput, particularly without the need to deposit the second layer in several steps, e.g. in several chambers.
[0067] According to embodiments described herein, at least one chamber wall of the vacuum rotation module is coupled to a single chamber only, e.g. chamber 101 in FIG.8. The dual track or multiple track transportation system in the vacuum rotation module 150 has a pitch width or distance of the two rotation tracks adjacent to the vertical rotation axis, which corresponds to the pitch width or distance of a first transportation track and a second transportation track, which is, for example, directly adjacent to the first transportation track. As can be seen from FIG. 8, the vacuum rotation module shown in Fig, 8 allows for having either one or two chambers coupled on a respective side of the vacuum rotation module. Accordingly, one or more sides of the vacuum rotation module may be coupled to one vacuum chamber only.
[0068] The embodiments described herein improve the efficiency of hardware usage, increase the system throughput with a given number of vacuum chambers and/or increases system throughput by using enhanced alternating operation for deposition of the second layer. Further, the tact time particularly during maintenance can be improved while the footprint of the processing system is not enlarged too much, i.e. the tact time is not provided by merely adding further hardware, which would increase the cost of ownership. This is provided by the hybrid system and can be further improved by using multiple carrier tracks in the vacuum rotation module, wherein the vertical rotation axis is provided between two adjacent rotation tracks having a pitch or distance, which corresponds to a pitch or distance of a dual track transportation system in a single other chamber and/or a pitch or distance which is e.g. 500 mm or below, for example 200 mm or below, such as about 100 mm, about 90 mm or about 80 mm.
[0069] Embodiments described herein can be utilized for multilayer-deposition tools, e.g. a multilayer PVD deposition tool, particularly with static deposition process. [0070] In light of the above a plurality of embodiments are described. For example, according to one embodiment, a substrate processing system for processing an essentially vertically-oriented substrate is provided. The system includes a first vacuum chamber having a first dual track transportation system with a first transportation track and a second transportation track, at least one lateral displacement mechanism configured for lateral displacement of the substrate from the first transportation track to the second transportation track or vice versa within the first vacuum chamber, and a vacuum rotation module having a second vacuum chamber, wherein the vacuum rotation module comprises a vertical rotation axis for rotating the substrate around the vertical rotation axis within the second vacuum chamber, wherein the vacuum rotation module having a second dual track transportation system with a first rotation track and a second rotation track, wherein the first rotation track is rotatable to form a linear transportation path with the first transportation track and the second rotation track is rotatable to form a linear transportation path with the second transportation track, and wherein the vertical rotation axis is between the first rotation track and the second rotation track. According to some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the first vacuum chamber can be a first deposition chamber having a first deposition source provided in the first deposition chamber, wherein the first vacuum chamber is coupled to the vacuum rotation module, the first vacuum chamber and the vacuum rotation module are separated by a first vacuum sealable valve, and for example a third vacuum chamber being a second deposition chamber is included and having a second deposition source provided in the second deposition chamber, wherein the third vacuum chamber is coupled to the vacuum rotation module, wherein the second vacuum chamber and the vacuum rotation module are separated by a second vacuum sealable valve. [0071] According to another embodiment, a vacuum rotation module configured for a substrate processing system having a first vacuum chamber and a first dual track transportation system, particularly for a substrate processing system according to embodiments described herein is provided. The vacuum rotation module includes a second vacuum chamber, a second dual track transportation system with a first rotation track and a second rotation track, wherein the first rotation axis and the second rotation axis have a distance of 500 mm or below, and a vertical rotation axis for rotating the substrate around the vertical rotation axis within the second vacuum chamber on the second dual track transportation system, wherein the vertical rotation axis is between the first rotation track and the second rotation track. According to some embodiments, one or more of the following features, aspects and details can be included. For example, the vacuum rotation module can have at least four side walls, wherein each side wall is configured to be coupled to a vacuum chamber, particularly wherein the vacuum rotation module has at least eight side walls, wherein each side wall is configured to be coupled to a vacuum chamber. The vacuum rotation module can be configured for loading and/or unloading two substrates simultaneously from and/or into one adjacent vacuum chamber. The first rotation axis and the second rotation axis can have a distance of 200 mm or below. [0072] According to a yet further embodiment, A method of depositing a layer stack in a substrate processing system having a first deposition chamber, a second deposition chamber, and a vacuum rotation module is provided. The method includes depositing a first layer comprising a first material in the first deposition chamber onto an essentially vertically oriented substrate, transferring the substrate from the first deposition chamber into the vacuum rotation module while a further substrate is transferred from the first deposition chamber into the vacuum rotation module or vice versa, transferring the substrate from the vacuum rotation module into the second deposition chamber, particularly while a further substrate is transferred from the vacuum rotation module into the second deposition chamber or vice versa, depositing a second layer comprising a second material in the second deposition chamber. The method may further include closing a vacuum sealable valve between the vacuum rotation module and the second deposition chamber and providing maintenance to the second deposition chamber while the remaining system is under operation and/or it may further include laterally displacing the substrate from a first transportation track to a second transportation track or vice versa within first deposition chamber.
[0073] According to some embodiments of a processing system or operating of a processing system, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, a first material to be deposited can be selected from the group consisting of: molybdenum, molybdenum- alloys, platinum, platinum- alloys, gold, gold-alloys, titanium, titanium- alloys, silver, and silver-alloys, particularly wherein the first material is molybdenum, a molybdenum-alloy, titanium, or a titanium-alloy. Yet further, as a further optional modification of one or more embodiments described herein, the first transportation track can include a plurality of guiding elements for guiding in a transport direction, wherein the second transportation track comprises a plurality of guiding elements for guiding in the transport direction, and wherein the guiding elements of the first transportation track and the second transportation track are adapted for a first and second guiding position respectively such that the guiding positions are displaced in a direction perpendicular to the transport direction. For example, the guiding elements of the first transportation track and the guiding elements of the second transportation track can be provided along the transportation direction alternately.
[0074] While the foregoing is directed to embodiments of the invention, other and further embodiments of the invention may be devised without departing from the basic scope thereof, and the scope thereof is determined by the claims that follow.

Claims

1. A substrate processing system for processing an essentially vertically- oriented substrate, comprising: a first vacuum chamber having a first dual track transportation system with a first transportation track and a second transportation track; at least one lateral displacement mechanism configured for lateral displacement of the substrate from the first transportation track to the second transportation track or vice versa within the first vacuum chamber; and a vacuum rotation module having a second vacuum chamber, wherein the vacuum rotation module comprises a vertical rotation axis for rotating the substrate around the vertical rotation axis within the second vacuum chamber, wherein the vacuum rotation module having a second dual track transportation system with a first rotation track and a second rotation track, wherein the first rotation track is rotatable to form a linear transportation path with the first transportation track and the second rotation track is rotatable to form a linear transportation path with the second transportation track, and wherein the vertical rotation axis is between the first rotation track and the second rotation track.
2. The substrate processing system according to claim 1, wherein the first vacuum chamber is a first deposition chamber having a first deposition source provided in the first deposition chamber, and wherein the first vacuum chamber is coupled to the vacuum rotation module, the first vacuum chamber and the vacuum rotation module are separated by a first vacuum sealable valve.
3. The substrate processing system according to claim 2, further comprising: a third vacuum chamber being a second deposition chamber and having a second deposition source provided in the second deposition chamber, wherein the third vacuum chamber is coupled to the vacuum rotation module, wherein the second vacuum chamber and the vacuum rotation module are separated by a second vacuum sealable valve.
4. The substrate processing system according to claim 3, wherein the first deposition chamber is configured to deposit a first layer comprising a first material, wherein the second deposition chamber is configured to deposit a second layer over the first layer, the second layer comprising a second material, further comprising: a third deposition chamber being configured to deposit a layer comprising the second material; a further chamber comprising a further dual track transportation system having a further first transportation track and a further second transportation track, wherein the further dual track transportation system forms linear transportation paths with the first dual track transportation system; wherein the first deposition chamber is adapted to receive the substrate from the vacuum rotation module, and to deposit a further layer comprising the first material over the second layer.
5. The system according to any of claims 1 to 4, further comprising: at least one load lock chamber having a load lock dual track transportation system forming linear transportation paths with the first dual track transportation system.
6. The substrate processing system according to any of claims 1 to 5, wherein the vacuum rotation module is a vacuum rotation module according to any of claims 9 to 12.
7. The substrate processing system according to claim 6, wherein three or more of the at least four side walls is coupled to a single vacuum chamber only.
8. A vacuum rotation module configured for a substrate processing system having a first vacuum chamber and a first dual track transportation system, particularly a substrate processing system according to any of claims 1 to 7, comprising: a second vacuum chamber; a second dual track transportation system with a first rotation track and a second rotation track, wherein the first rotation axis and the second rotation axis have a distance of 500 mm or below; and a vertical rotation axis for rotating the substrate around the vertical rotation axis within the second vacuum chamber on the second dual track transportation system, wherein the vertical rotation axis is between the first rotation track and the second rotation track.
9. The vacuum rotation module according to claim 8, wherein the vacuum rotation module has at least four side walls, wherein each side wall is configured to be coupled to a vacuum chamber, particularly wherein the vacuum rotation module has at least eight side walls, wherein each side wall is configured to be coupled to a vacuum chamber.
10. The vacuum rotation module according to any of claims 8 to 9, wherein the vacuum rotation module is configured for loading and/or unloading two substrates simultaneously from and/or into one adjacent vacuum chamber.
11. The vacuum rotation module according to any of claims 8 to 10, wherein the first rotation axis and the second rotation axis have a distance of 200 mm or below.
12. The vacuum rotation module according to any of claims 8 to 11, wherein the vacuum rotation module is configured for rotation of the substrate under a pressure below 10 mbar.
13. A method of depositing a layer stack in a substrate processing system having a first deposition chamber, a second deposition chamber, and a vacuum rotation module, particularly a substrate processing system according to any of claims 1 to 8, the method comprising: depositing a first layer comprising a first material in the first deposition chamber onto an essentially vertically oriented substrate; transferring the substrate from the first deposition chamber into the vacuum rotation module while a further substrate is transferred from the first deposition chamber into the vacuum rotation module or vice versa; transferring the substrate from the vacuum rotation module into the second deposition chamber, particularly while a further substrate is transferred from the vacuum rotation module into the second deposition chamber or vice versa; depositing a second layer comprising a second material in the second deposition chamber.
14. The method according to claim 13, further comprising: closing a vacuum sealable valve between the vacuum rotation module and the second deposition chamber; and providing maintenance to the second deposition chamber while the remaining system is under operation.
15. The method according to any of claims 13 to 14, further comprising: laterally displacing the substrate from a first transportation track to a second transportation track or vice versa within first deposition chamber.
PCT/EP2014/056604 2014-04-02 2014-04-02 System for substrate processing, vacuum rotation module for a system for substrate processing and method of operating a substrate processing system WO2015149848A1 (en)

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WO2018166635A1 (en) * 2017-03-17 2018-09-20 Applied Materials, Inc. Apparatus for routing a carrier in a processing system, a system for processing a substrate on the carrier, and method of routing a carrier in a vacuum chamber
JP2019512864A (en) * 2017-03-17 2019-05-16 アプライド マテリアルズ インコーポレイテッドApplied Materials,Incorporated How to operate a vacuum processing system
US20190393064A1 (en) * 2017-03-17 2019-12-26 Applied Materials, Inc. Apparatus for routing a carrier in a processing system, a system for processing a substrate on the carrier, and method of routing a carrier in a vacuum chamber
WO2018197009A1 (en) * 2017-04-28 2018-11-01 Applied Materials, Inc. Vacuum system and method of depositing one or more materials on a substrate

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JP2017513221A (en) 2017-05-25

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