Patent Number: 6,309,163

Title: Wafer positioning device with storage capability

Abstract: The present invention provides a wafer positioning device having wafer storage capability. The wafer positioning device has a wafer platform with wafer lift pins, a wafer position sensor, and a storage location in close proximity to the wafer platform and the wafer position sensor. The storage location may be above the wafer position sensor, in which case the wafer position sensor retracts or rotates so that the wafer lift pins may elevate a positioned wafer past the position sensor to the storage location. Alternatively, the storage location may be between the wafer platform and the wafer positioning device. The storage location is preferably formed by a plurality of rotatable towers or a plurality of retractable lift pins that are operatively coupled to the wafer platform and that have wafer support portions capable of assuming both a wafer storage position and a wafer passage position.

Inventors: Nering; Eric A. (Modesto, CA)

Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.

International Classification: G03F 7/20 (20060101); H01L 21/67 (20060101); H01L 21/68 (20060101); B65G 001/00 ()

Expiration Date: 10/30/2018