Browse Prior Art Database

Airlock

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000073367D
Original Publication Date: 1970-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-22
Document File: 2 page(s) / 83K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Nuccio, C: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Shown is an airlock for inserting an object, such as a wafer, into a process chamber (vacuum environment) from the atmosphere without disturbing the processing environment.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
At least one non-text object (such as an image or picture) has been suppressed.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Page 1 of 2

Airlock

Shown is an airlock for inserting an object, such as a wafer, into a process chamber (vacuum environment) from the atmosphere without disturbing the processing environment.

The unit includes a cylindrical chamber 1 with appropriately sealed ends. A piston 2 with two cavities 3 and 4 for accommodating an object (e.g., a semiconductor wafer) is supported on guide rods 5 that extend into blind holes provided in piston 2. Sealing is effected by 0-rings provided on the outside diameter of piston 2 and inflatable seals in the I.D. of the cylinder as shown. A piston rod 6 is provided to obtain linear motion of the piston so that it can be raised or lowered to align the cavities with either the process entrance 7 or ambient entrance 8. Inflatable seals 9 and 10 retained on the inside diameter of cylinder 1 provide vacuum sealing in conjunction with the O-rings on piston 2. Insertion and removal of the object from the cavities 3 and 4 of piston 2 is effected by bellows sealed push-pull transports, not shown. Additional compatibility for transfer of an object is obtained via vacuum ports 11 and 12 suitably controlled by vacuum sealed gates or pivotable valves, not shown.

In operation, with the piston 2 positioned so that cavity 3 is aligned with entrance slot 8, inflatable seals 9 and 10 are pressurized to isolate the processing chamber (e.g., access port 7) from the atmosphere. The upper and lower portions of the chamber are then pumped down to a suitable vacuum while the portion between inflatable seals 9 and 10 is at atmospheric pressure for insertion of an object into the holde...