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1. (WO2018127814) WORKPIECE MAGNETIZING SYSTEM AND METHOD OF OPERATING
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CLAIMS

1 . An apparatus for magnetizing one or more workpieces, comprising:

a workpiece holder configured to support one or more workpieces, the one or more workpieces having at least one substantially planar surface; and

a magnet assembly having a first magnet and a second magnet, the first and second magnets defining a gap between opposing poles of each magnet, wherein the magnet assembly is arranged to generate a magnetic field substantially perpendicular to the planar surface of the one or more workpieces, and

wherein the field uniformity of the magnetic field generated by the magnet assembly is less than a 10% variation across the diameter or major lateral dimension of the one or more workpieces, the percent variation being measured as a maximum variation in the magnetic field strength across at least one workpiece divided by the average field strength across the at least one workpiece.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the one or more workpieces includes ten (10) or fewer workpieces.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the one or more workpieces is a single workpiece.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the magnetic field strength of the magnetic field generated by the magnet assembly ranges up to 2T.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein the gap ranges up to and including 20 mm (millimeters).

6. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the magnetic field strength of the magnetic field generated by the magnet assembly ranges up to 1 T.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the gap ranges up to and including 80 mm (millimeters).

8. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the magnetic field strength of the magnetic field generated by the magnet assembly ranges up to 0.1 T.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the gap ranges up to and including 200 mm (millimeters).

10. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the one or more workpieces include wafer or panel substrates having a diameter or lateral dimension equal to or greater than 200mm.

1 1 . The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the field uniformity of the magnetic field generated by the magnet assembly is less than a 5% variation across the diameter or major lateral dimension of the one or more workpieces.

12. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the field uniformity of the magnetic field generated by the magnet assembly is less than or equal to a 2% variation across the diameter or major lateral dimension of the one or more workpieces.

13. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein at least one of the first magnet and the second magnet is a permanent magnet or an electro-magnet.

14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the first and second magnets are electromagnets.

15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the coil winding of each of the first magnet and the second magnet are independently powered and controlled by at least one power source.

16. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the magnet assembly further includes: an H-frame for mounting the first and second magnets to complete the magnetic field circuit.

17. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the magnet assembly further includes: a first magnetic pole piece arranged proximate a first pole of the first magnet, and located adjacent the one or more workpieces; and

a second magnetic pole piece arranged proximate a second pole of the second magnet, and located adjacent the one or more workpieces.

18. An apparatus for magnetizing one or more workpieces, comprising:

a workpiece holder configured to support one or more workpieces, the one or more workpieces having at least one substantially planar surface; and

a magnet assembly having a first magnet and a second magnet, the first and second magnets defining a gap between opposing poles of each magnet, wherein the magnet assembly is arranged to generate a magnetic field substantially perpendicular to the planar surface of the one or more workpieces, and

wherein the magnetic assembly generates a magnetic field substantially perpendicular to the planar surface of the one or more workpieces across an area in excess of 10 cm2.

19. A method for magnetizing one or more workpieces, comprising:

locating one or more workpieces on a workpiece holder within a gap between opposing poles of a pair of magnets mounted in a magnetic assembly;

generating a magnetic field substantially perpendicular to an exposed planar surface of the one or more workpieces;

magnetizing a layer on each of the one or more workpieces; and

achieving a workpiece throughput in excess of 10 workpieces per hour, wherein the field uniformity of the magnetic field generated by the magnet assembly is less than a 10% variation across the diameter or major lateral dimension of the one or more workpieces, the percent variation being measured as a maximum

variation in the magnetic field strength across at least one workpiece divided by the average field strength across the at least one workpiece, or

wherein the magnetic assembly generates a magnetic field substantially perpendicular to the planar surface of the one or more workpieces across an area in excess of 10 cm2.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the magnetic field strength generated by the magnet assembly ranges up to 3T.

21 . An apparatus for magnetically annealing one or more workpieces, comprising:

a workpiece holder configured to support one or more workpieces, the one or more workpieces having at least one substantially planar surface;

a workpiece heating system configured to elevate the one or more workpieces to an anneal temperature; and

a magnet assembly having a first magnet and a second magnet, the first and second magnets defining a gap between opposing poles of each magnet, wherein the magnet assembly is arranged to generate a magnetic field substantially perpendicular to the planar surface of the one or more workpieces, and

wherein the field uniformity of the magnetic field generated by the magnet assembly is less than a 10% variation across the diameter or major lateral dimension of the one or more workpieces, the percent variation being measured as a maximum variation in the magnetic field strength across at least one workpiece divided by the average field strength across the at least one workpiece.

22. The apparatus of claim 21 , wherein the one or more workpieces includes ten (10) or fewer workpieces.

23. The apparatus of claim 21 , wherein the one or more workpieces is a single workpiece.

24. The apparatus of claim 21 , wherein the magnetic field strength of the magnetic field generated by the magnet assembly ranges up to 2T.

25. The apparatus of claim 21 , wherein the gap ranges up to and including 200 mm (millimeters).

26. The apparatus of claim 21 , wherein the one or more workpieces include wafer or panel substrates having a diameter or lateral dimension equal to or greater than 200mm.

27. The apparatus of claim 26, wherein the field uniformity of the magnetic field generated by the magnet assembly is less than a 2% variation across the diameter or major lateral dimension of the one or more workpieces.

28. The apparatus of claim 21 , wherein the first and second magnets are electromagnets.

29. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the coil winding of each of the first magnet and the second magnet are independently powered and controlled by at least one power source.

30. The apparatus of claim 28, wherein the magnet assembly further includes: an H-frame for mounting the first and second magnets to complete the magnetic field circuit;

a first magnetic pole piece arranged proximate a first pole of the first magnet, and located adjacent the one or more workpieces; and

a second magnetic pole piece arranged proximate a second pole of the second magnet, and located adjacent the one or more workpieces.

31 . The apparatus of claim 21 , further comprising:

a vacuum chamber defining an interior space to arrange the substrate holder and one or more workpieces in a vacuum environment, wherein the vacuum chamber is disposed within the gap between the first and second magnets.

32. The apparatus of claim 31 , wherein the vacuum chamber maintains the vacuum environment at a pressure ranging from 10~7 Torr to 10 Torr.

33. The apparatus of claim 31 , wherein the vacuum chamber is coupled to a gas delivery system configured to supply a gas to the vacuum environment.

34. The apparatus of claim 33, wherein the gas includes an inert gas or reducing gas.

35. The apparatus of claim 21 , wherein the anneal temperature ranges up to 600 degrees Centigrade.

36. The apparatus of claim 21 , wherein the workpiece heating system is configured to heat the one or more workpieces by radiation, conduction, convection, or induction, or any combination of two or more heating mechanisms.

37. The apparatus of claim 21 , wherein the workpiece heating system is coupled to a temperature controller programmably configured to controllably elevate a temperature for each of the one or more workpieces to a pre-determined temperature range including the anneal temperature.

38. The apparatus of claim 21 , wherein the workpiece heating system includes a resistive heating element coupled to the workpiece holder, or coupled to the vacuum chamber within which the workpiece holder and one or more workpieces are mounted, or coupled to both.

39. The apparatus of claim 21 , wherein the workpiece heating system includes an electromagnetic source arranged to illuminate at least a part of the one or more workpieces with a beam of energy, and scan the beam of energy across the planar surface of the one or more workpieces.

40. A method for magnetizing one or more workpieces, comprising:

locating one or more workpieces on a workpiece holder within a gap between opposing poles of a pair of magnets mounted in a magnetic assembly;

generating a magnetic field substantially perpendicular to an exposed planar surface of the one or more workpieces;

magnetizing a layer on each of the one or more workpieces;

thermally processing the one or more workpieces before, during, or after the magnetizing by elevating the temperature of the one or more workpieces to an anneal temperature ranging up to 600 degrees Centigrade; and

achieving a workpiece throughput in excess of 10 workpieces per hour, wherein the field uniformity of the magnetic field generated by the magnet assembly is less than a 10% variation across the diameter or major lateral dimension of the one or more workpieces, the percent variation being measured as a maximum variation in the magnetic field strength across at least one workpiece divided by the average field strength across the at least one workpiece, or

wherein the magnetic assembly generates a magnetic field substantially perpendicular to the planar surface of the one or more workpieces across an area in excess of 10 cm2.