Patent Number: 6,332,280

Title: Vacuum processing apparatus

Abstract: This invention relates to a vacuum processing apparatus having vacuumprocessing chambers the insides of which must be dry cleaned, and to amethod of operating such an apparatus. When the vacuum processing chambersare dry-cleaned, dummy substrates are transferred into the vacuumprocessing chamber by substrates conveyor means from dummy substratestorage means which is disposed in the air atmosphere together withstorage means for storing substrates to be processed, and the inside ofthe vacuum processing chamber is dry-cleaned by generating a plasma. Thedummy substrate is returned to the dummy substrate storage means after drycleaning is completed. Accordingly, any specific mechanism for only thecleaning purpose is not necessary and the construction of the apparatuscan be made simple. Furthermore, the dummy substrates used for drycleaning and the substrates to be processed do not coexist, contaminationof the substrates to be processed due to dust and remaining gas can beprevented and the production yield can be high.

Inventors: Kato; Shigekazu (Kudamatsu, JP), Nishihata; Kouji (Tokuyama, JP), Tsubone; Tsunehiko (Hikari, JP), Itou; Atsushi (Kudamatsu, JP)


International Classification: B41J 2/36 (20060101); B41J 2/365 (20060101); C23C 14/56 (20060101); H01L 21/67 (20060101); H01L 21/00 (20060101); H01L 21/677 (20060101); F26B 019/00 ()

Expiration Date: 12/25/2014