Patent Number: 8,869,967

Title: Dynamic load lock with cellular structure for discrete substrates

Abstract: A dynamic load lock chamber that includes a plurality of actuators positioned along its length to achieve a desired pressure gradient from an atmospheric pressure side to a processing pressure side of the chamber is provided. The chamber includes a transport belt continuously running through the chamber to transport substrates from the atmospheric pressure side to the processing pressure side of the chamber, if situated on an inlet side of a production line, and from the processing pressure side to the atmospheric pressure side of the chamber, if positioned on an outlet side of the production line. Separation mechanisms may be attached to the belt to separate discrete regions within the chamber into a plurality of discrete volumes. Substrates may be disposed between the separation mechanisms, such that separation between adjacent pressure regions within the chamber is maintained as the substrates are transported through the chamber.

Inventors: Buschbeck; Wolfgang (Hanau, DE), Henrich; Juergen (Limeshain, DE), Lopp; Andreas (Freigericht-Somborn, DE), Schlaefer; Susanne (Kleinostheim, DE)

Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.

International Classification: B23B 13/00 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 2018-10-28 0:00:00