This invention provides a reusable support for physically transporting wafers in semiconductor processing equipment. This wafer support is a rigid disk which supports a process wafer. Its design and material is compatible with the wafer clamping mechanisms found in most etching tools. It consistently aligns the wafer to the chuck and has the option of providing direct backside cooling.U.S. Patent Abstract and First Claim
A wafer holding device supports a wafer during semiconductor processing. The device has a planar disk member with a raised supporting edge on which the wafer sits. Cooling gas passes through an aperture in the disk member to contact the bottom surface of the wafer. An O-ring, which sits on or near the raised supporting edge, is used to maintain an airtight seal between the wafer and the wafer holding device. Pegs or a ridge on the supporting edge fix the rotational position of the wafer. The wafer is secured to the device using a ring member, with holes for the ridge or pegs, placed on top of the wafer. At the bottom of the disk member is an annular projection that is held by a robotic transfer mechanism during transport into the process chamber. The projection fits processing equipment designed to hold standard-sized wafers.
Claim 1 (of 24)
A wafer holding device for supporting a wafer by a bottom surface of said wafer and transporting said wafer into and out of a wafer processing chamber, said device comprising:
a base member with a top surface, a bottom surface, and a perimeter edge;
a raised supporting edge for supporting said wafer by said bottom surface of said wafer, said supporting edge extending to a constant height in a direction normal to said top surface of said base member and extending continuously around said perimeter edge of said base member, and forming a recession well comprising a portion of said top surface of said base member and an inner wall of said supporting edge;
means for positioning said wafer on said supporting edge;
means for securing said wafer to said supporting edge; and
a holding portion on said base member for engaging said wafer holding device with a robotic arm.