Browse Prior Art Database

Light-Tight Cleanroom Gate Mechanism

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000036828D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 68K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Baker, D: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

This article describes a light-tight cleanroom gate mechanism which provides access for a robot to load and unload semiconductor wafers to and from a process stage. The gate mechanism, when closed, provides a light-tight seal to the process chamber. When the gate mechanism is open, it allows access for an 8-inch semiconductor wafer and a robotic arm to access the process chamber. Because of the narrow profile of the gate mechanism, neither the motions of the robotic arm nor the process stage are impeded. In addition, the mechanism is designed to operate in a cleanroom environment by avoiding particle generation and keeping disturbances to cleanroom airflow at a minimum.

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Light-Tight Cleanroom Gate Mechanism

This article describes a light-tight cleanroom gate mechanism which provides access for a robot to load and unload semiconductor wafers to and from a process stage. The gate mechanism, when closed, provides a light-tight seal to the process chamber. When the gate mechanism is open, it allows access for an 8-inch semiconductor wafer and a robotic arm to access the process chamber. Because of the narrow profile of the gate mechanism, neither the motions of the robotic arm nor the process stage are impeded. In addition, the mechanism is designed to operate in a cleanroom environment by avoiding particle generation and keeping disturbances to cleanroom airflow at a minimum.

The figures show the cleanroom gate mechanism. The gate 1, made of a black polycarbonate material, is attached to a rodless cylinder slide 2. The slide 2 is mounted to a plate 3 which is, in turn, mounted to the gate housing pieces 4 and 5. This entire assembly is mounted to the chamber top plate (not pictured), and fits within a 2-inch depth to allow the assembly to fit within the wall of the process chamber. Channels 6 in the gate housing 4 and 5 and top plate (not pictured) align with the grooves in the gate 1. When closed, the assembly creates a tortuous path on the top, bottom and sides, providing a light-tight chamber seal and minimizing particle movement towards the process chamber. The gate 1 travels 1 1/2 inches to allow sufficient opening for the wafe...