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Automated Furnace Processor

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000087075D
Original Publication Date: 1976-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-03
Document File: 4 page(s) / 77K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Ing, PW: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

The overall system (Fig. 1) includes a feed station 1 and an output station 2, with a plurality of interpositioned work stations 3A, 3B and 3C (such as furnaces, e.g., oxidation and diffusion). A horizontally movable pallet 4 is reciprocally driven between input and output stations 1 and 2, and adapted for alignment at any one of the furnaces 3A-3C.

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Automated Furnace Processor

The overall system (Fig. 1) includes a feed station 1 and an output station 2, with a plurality of interpositioned work stations 3A, 3B and 3C (such as furnaces, e.g., oxidation and diffusion). A horizontally movable pallet 4 is reciprocally driven between input and output stations 1 and 2, and adapted for alignment at any one of the furnaces 3A-3C.

Each of the input and output stations 1 and 2 is adapted to mount a magazine or cartridge 5 (Fig. 3) adapted to seat a plurality of substrates or carriers 6 (e.g., boats) in superposed positions relative to each other

Each of the input and output stations is provided with an elevating mechanism for indexing magazine 5 to align a carrier position with the pallet 4.

Referring to Figs. 1 and 4, the carrier or boat 6 has a recessed groove 8 parallel with one edge 9, with a plurality of recesses 11 in its upper surface for seating of workpiece 10, such as a circular semiconductor wafer. In operation, the opposite edge 12 (Fig. 2) will be positioned adjacent furnaces 3A-3C.

The pallet 4 is driven by means of reversible linear drive 13 (Fig. 2) for locating pallet 4 under a boat position at input and output stations 1 and 2. Also, the pallet drive 13 can position the pallet 4 in alignment with the mouth of any of furnaces 3A-3C. The supporting surface of pallet 4 will normally be in alignment with the floor of furnaces 3A-3C.

When pallet 4 is in proper position in input station 1, the magazine 5 is indexed downwardly until a boat 6 rests on the top surface of pallet 4, which is then ready to transport the boat 6 to any of selected furnaces 3A-3C. For exiting a boat 6, the pallet 4 is driven into output station 2 to seat the boat 6 in position in the exit magazine 5, which is indexed upwardly to lift the boat 6 above the top surface of pallet 4. Boats 6 can be positioned in magazine 5 in any number of ways. For example, the positions may be defined by grooves in which boat 6 is inserted by projecting pins extending from opposite sides of magazine 5, which support the boats 6.

Although a worm drive 13 has been shown for pallet 4, a wire-driven indexer can be utilized. Also, tape drivers can be employed.

Associated with each furnace 3A-3C, is a boat pusher assembly 14 (Figs. 1 and 2) comprised of a horizontally driven pusher rod 15 worm driven by motor 16...