Method and apparatus for handling and processing wafer-like materials
Automated wafer inspection system
Wafer inspection system
Wafer processing machine vacuum front end method and apparatus
Method and apparatus for polishing workpiece
Wafer stage apparatus for attracting and holding semiconductor wafer
Vacuum processing apparatus with low particle generating wafer clamp
Apparatus to hold and remove an integrated circuit chip on a cutting chuck
ApplicationNo. 09/759613 filed on 01/12/2001
US Classes:279/158, MISCELLANEOUS414/755, Article reoriented by contact with fluid means414/806Of charging load-holding or -supporting element from source and transporting element to working, treating, or inspecting station
ExaminersPrimary: Kramer, Dean J.
Assistant: Fox, Charles A.
Attorney, Agent or Firm
International ClassesH01L 21/67 (20060101)
H01L 21/683 (20060101)
AbstractApparatus and methods for a wafer handling system that manipulates semiconductor wafers. The present invention includes an end effector having a vacuum chuck, an internal vacuum plenum, and a plurality of flow diverters positioned within the vacuum plenum to define vacuum distribution channels in fluid communication with respective vacuum ports of the vacuum chuck. The present invention also includes a vacuum chuck having flow diverters positioned in one or more internal vacuum plenums which are in fluid communication with the vacuum ports of the vacuum chuck. The flow diverters of the vacuum chucks adjust the vacuum pressure supplied to the vacuum ports such that, as vacuum ports are occluded by the wafer, the vacuum pressure is preferentially applied to unblocked vacuum ports for increasing the attractive force applied to unengaged portions of the wafer. The wafer handling system also includes a gas dispensing showerhead that may be positioned above a vacuum chuck for flattening the wafer so that a vacuum chuck can establish a secure engagement. The apparatus of the present invention has particularly utility for securing thin semiconductor wafers with a significant warpage.