News Column

Patent Application Titled "Facility and Method for Treating Substrate" Published Online

June 26, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors HWANG, Soo Min (Cheonan-si, KR); KIM, Dong Ho (Cheonan-si, KR); KIM, Won Jin (Cheonan-si, KR); KANG, Ho Shin (Cheonan-si, KR), filed on November 27, 2013, was made available online on June 12, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Semes Co., Ltd.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention disclosed herein relates to a facility and method for treating a substrate, and more particularly, a facility and method for treating a substrate, the facility including a test module inspecting a wafer finished with an operation process.

"As one of processes of manufacturing a semiconductor device or a flat display panel, a series of operations of forming a resist film on a substrate, exposing the corresponding resist film to light by using a photomask, and developing the same is performed. A treatment described above is performed by using a system including an exposure device connected to an coating-development device for coating with resist solution or developing. Certain tests, for example, tests for a critical dimension of a resist pattern, an overlap state of the resist pattern and a base pattern, and a developing defect are performed on a substrate formed with the resist pattern. Then, only a substrate determined as being acceptable is sent to a next operation process.

"Tests on the substrate described above are generally performed by a stand-alone test device installed separately from an coating-development device. However, an inline system in which a substrate test device is installed in an coating-development device may be used.

"As a method of inspecting a substrate, there are a total test method of sequentially inspecting all substrates by a lot as a unit and a sampling test method of testing for each amount previously set. Test methods described above may generate a standby time for a substrate test, thereby increasing a total necessary time for substrates. A test standby time increases when a substrate test time is longer than an coating-development treatment time."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present invention provides a substrate treatment facility and method capable of reducing a decline in production caused by a substrate test time.

"Aspects are not limited thereto and will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the disclosure as follows.

"Embodiments of the present invention provide methods of treating a substrate, including providing an operation module with substrates contained in a lot and performing an operation treatment thereon and performing a test treatment on the substrates completed with the operation treatment in a test module. The performing of the test treatment may include determining a substrate to be tested, which is provided to the test module, to allow the test treatment to be completed within an operation treatment time for the substrates in a unit lot.

"In some embodiments, the performing of the test treatment may include calculating an estimated necessary time for the entire operation treatments for the substrate in the unit lot and determining the substrate to be tested to allow the test treatment to be completed within the estimated necessary time.

"In other embodiments, the performing of the test treatment may include when an estimated completion point in time of the test treatment for a substrate to be provided to the test module is later than a point in time of completing an operation treatment for a substrate finally treated in the operation module among the substrates in the unit lot, containing the corresponding substrate in the lot without passing through the test treatment.

"In still other embodiments, the performing of the test treatment may include sampling some of the substrates performed with the operation treatment in the operation module and determining as the substrate to be tested.

"In even other embodiments, the performing of the test treatment may include determining a substrate sequentially completed with the operation treatment in an order of being performed with the operation treatment in the operation module as the substrate to be tested.

"In yet other embodiments, the performing of the operation treatment may include coating a substrate with photoresist and performing a developing treatment on the substrate, coated with photoresist. The performing the test treatment may include determining the substrate completed with the developing treatment as the substrate to be tested.

"In further embodiments, the performing of the developing treatment may include performing a developing operation on the substrate, coated with photoresist and performing a heat treatment on the substrate completed with the developing operation.

"In still further embodiments, the operation module may include a plurality of chambers allowing the performing of the operation treatment, and the performing of the test treatment may include determining only the substrate completed with the operation treatment in a certain one among the chambers as the substrate to be tested.

"In even further embodiments, the operation module may include a plurality of chambers allowing the performing of the operation treatment, and the performing of the test treatment may include determining at least one of the substrates completed with the operation treatment in the chambers for each chamber as the substrate to be tested.

"In yet further embodiments, the lot may include a first lot containing n number of substrates and a second lot containing m number of substrates. After performing the operation treatment and the test treatment on the substrates of the first lot, the operation treatment and the test treatment may be performed on the substrates of the second lot. The performing of the test treatment on the substrates of the first lot may include determining the substrate to be tested among the substrates of the first lot to allow the test treatment for the substrates of the first lot to be completed within an operation treatment time for the substrates of the first lot. The performing of the test treatment on the substrates of the second lot may include determining the substrate to be tested among the substrates of the second lot to allow the test treatment for the substrates of the second lot to be completed within an operation treatment time for the substrates of the second lot.

"In much further embodiments, an order of determining the substrate to be tested among the substrates of the first lot may differ from an order of determining the substrate to be tested among the substrates of the second lot.

"In still much further embodiments, the n may be a natural number greater than m. A number of the substrates to be tested, determined among the substrates of the first lot, may be greater than a number of the substrates to be tested, determined among the substrates of the second lot.

"In other embodiments of the present invention, substrate treatment facilities include a load port, on which a lot containing a plurality of substrates is disposed, an operation module performing an operation treatment on the substrate, an index module located between the load port and the operation module and including an index robot transferring the substrate, a test module performing a test treatment on a substrate completed with the operation treatment in the operation module, and a control unit determining a substrate to be tested, which is provided to the test module, to allow the test treatment of the test module to be completed within an operation treatment time for the substrates of the unit lot in the operation module.

"In some embodiments, the operation module may include an coating module coating the substrate with photoresist and a developing module performing a developing treatment on the substrate coated with the photoresist. The control unit may determine the substrates completed with the developing treatment as the substrate to be tested.

"In other embodiments, the operation module may have a multi-layer structure, in which the coating module may be provided on a top of the developing module. The developing module may include a plurality of developing chambers performing a developing operation and arranged in a row and baking chambers performing a heat treatment on a substrate performed with the developing operation and arranged in parallel with the developing chambers. The test module may include test chambers located between the index module and the baking chambers and testing a substrate completed with the heat treatment.

"In still other embodiments, the operation module may have a single layer structure. The developing module may include a plurality of developing chambers performing a developing operation and baking chambers performing a heat treatment on a substrate performed with the developing operation. The coating module may include a plurality of coating chambers performing the coating treatment. The developing chambers and the coating chambers may be arranged in a row in one direction. The baking chambers may be arranged in a row in parallel with the developing chambers and the coating chambers. The test module may include a test chamber located between the index module and the baking chambers and testing a substrate completed with the heat treatment.

"In even other embodiments, the operation module may include a plurality of chambers performing the same treatment on the substrate. The control unit may determine only a substrate completed with the operation treatment in a certain one of the chambers as the substrate to be tested.

"In yet other embodiments, the operation module may include a plurality of chambers performing the same treatment on the substrate. The control unit may determine at least one substrate completed with the operation treatment for each of the chambers as the substrate to be tested.

"In further embodiments, the lot may include a first lot containing n number of substrates and a second lot containing m number of substrates. The control unit may control treatments to be sequentially performed on the m number of substrates of the second lot after completing the treatments on the n number of substrates of the first lot, may determine the substrate to be tested among the substrates of the first lot to allow the test treatment for the substrates of the first lot to be completed within an operation treatment time for the n number of substrates of the first lot, and may determine the substrate to be tested among the substrates of the second lot to allow the test treatment for the substrates of the second lot to be completed within an operation treatment time for the m number of substrates of the second lot.

"In still further embodiments, the control unit may control an order of determining the substrate to be tested among the substrates of the first lot to differ from an order of determining the substrate to be tested among the second substrates of the second lot.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the present invention, and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate exemplary embodiments of the present invention and, together with the description, serve to explain principles of the present invention. In the drawings:

"FIG. 1 is a lateral cross-sectional view illustrating a substrate treatment facility;

"FIG. 2 is a view illustrating the facility from a direction of A-A shown in FIG. 1;

"FIG. 3 is a view illustrating the facility from a direction of B-B shown in FIG. 1;

"FIG. 4 is a view illustrating the facility from a direction of C-C shown in FIG. 2;

"FIG. 5 is a view illustrating an order, in which a control unit determines a substrate to be tested, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 6 is a view illustrating an order, in which the control unit determines a substrate to be tested, according to another embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 7 is a view illustrating an order, in which the control unit determines a substrate to be tested, according to still another embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 8 is a view illustrating an order, in which the control unit determines a substrate to be tested, according to yet another embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 9 is a view illustrating an order, in which the control unit determines a substrate to be tested, according to even another embodiment of the present invention;

"FIG. 10 is a view illustrating an order, in which the control unit determines a substrate to be tested, according to a further embodiment of the present invention; and

"FIG. 11 is a view illustrating a substrate treatment facility according to another embodiment of the present invention."

For more information, see this patent application: HWANG, Soo Min; KIM, Dong Ho; KIM, Won Jin; KANG, Ho Shin. Facility and Method for Treating Substrate. Filed November 27, 2013 and posted June 12, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=4506&p=91&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140605.PD.&OS=PD/20140605&RS=PD/20140605

Keywords for this news article include: Semes Co. Ltd.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel



Source: Politics & Government Week


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters