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1. (WO2019046477) SEPARATORS FOR HANDLING, TRANSPORTING, OR STORING SEMICONDUCTOR WAFERS
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CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A semiconductor wafer separator, comprising:

a circular ring including:

an outer edge defining a periphery of the circular ring, and

an inner edge defining a central opening of the circular ring; a first right-angled recess configured to receive a semiconductor wafer,

wherein the first right-angled recess extends downward from a top surface of the circular ring; and

a second right-angled recess configured to maintain a gap beneath the semiconductor wafer when the semiconductor wafer is set within the first right-angled recess.

2. The semiconductor wafer separator of claim 1 , further comprising:

a first interlock component disposed along the top surface of the circular ring; and a second interlock component disposed along a bottom surface of the circular ring.

3. The semiconductor wafer separator of claim 2, wherein the first interlock component is a recess adapted to engage a corresponding second interlock component of an upwardly-adjacent wafer separator.

4. The semiconductor wafer separator of claim 2, wherein the second interlock component is a protrusion adapted to engage a corresponding first interlock component of a downwardly-adjacent wafer separator.

5. The semiconductor wafer separator of claim 1 , wherein the top surface of the circular ring is substantially coplanar with a top surface of the semiconductor wafer when the semiconductor wafer is set within the first right-angled recess.

6. The semiconductor wafer separator of claim 2, further comprising:

a wafer separator securing component configured to secure the semiconductor wafer separator to an upwardly-adjacent wafer separator.

7. The semiconductor wafer separator of claim 1 , wherein the first right-angled recess comprises a notch configured to facilitate the removal of the semiconductor wafer from the circular ring when the semiconductor wafer is set within the first right-angled recess.

8. The semiconductor wafer separator of claim 1 , wherein the first right-angled recess comprises a plurality of notches disposed equidistant along the periphery of the circular ring, and wherein the plurality of notches are configured to facilitate the removal of the semiconductor wafer from the circular ring when the semiconductor wafer is set within the first right-angled recess.

9. The semiconductor wafer separator of claim 4, further comprising:

the semiconductor wafer set within the first right-angled recess of the semiconductor wafer separator;

the downwardly-adjacent wafer separator; and

a second semiconductor wafer set within the downwardly-adjacent wafer separator.

10. The semiconductor wafer separator of claim 9, wherein a bottom surface of the circular ring includes a feature that causes a space to be formed between the bottom surface of the circular ring and a top surface of the second semiconductorwaferset within the downwardly-adjacent wafer separator.

1 1 . The semiconductor wafer separator of claim 1 , further comprising a carrier component extending outward from the outer edge of the circular ring.

12. The semiconductor wafer separator of claim 1 , wherein the semiconductor wafer separator comprises polyethylene thermoplastic.

13. A system comprising:

at least two wafer separators configured to transport at least two semiconductor wafers, each wafer separator of the at least two wafer separators including:

a circular ring having:

an outer edge defining a periphery of the circular ring, and an inner edge defining a central opening of the circular ring;

a first right-angled recess configured for receiving a first semiconductor wafer,

wherein the first right-angled recess extends downward from a top surface of the circular ring;

a second right-angled recess configured for maintaining a gap between the first semiconductor wafer and the second right-angled recess when the first semiconductor wafer is set within the first right- angled recess;

a first interlock component disposed along the top surface of the circular ring and configured to engage an upwardly-adjacent wafer separator; and

a second interlock component disposed along a bottom surface of the circular ring and configured to engage a downwardly-adjacent wafer separator.

14. The system of claim 13, wherein the first interlock component is a recess adapted to engage a protruding interlock component of the upwardly-adjacent wafer separator.

15. The system of claim 13, wherein the second interlock component is a protrusion adapted to engage a recessing interlock component of the downwardly-adjacent wafer separator.

The system of claim 13, wherein each wafer separator further comprises:

a carrier component extending outward from the outer edge of the circular ring.

The system of claim 13, further comprising:

a first cover disposed above an uppermost wafer separator of the at least two wafer separators;

a second cover disposed below a lowermost wafer separator of the at least two wafer separators;

a first protective substrate disposed between the first cover and the uppermost wafer separator; and

a second protective substrate disposed between the second cover and the lowermost wafer separator.

A method comprising:

receiving a wafer separator including:

a circular ring having:

an outer edge defining a periphery of the circular ring, and an inner edge defining a central opening of the circular ring;

a first right-angled recess extending downward from a top surface of the circular ring; and

a second right-angled recess configured to maintain a gap beneath the semiconductor wafer when the semiconductor wafer is set within the first right-angled recess; and

placing the semiconductor wafer within the first right-angled recess of the wafer separator.

The method of claim 18, further comprising:

engaging a protrusion on a bottom surface of the wafer separator with a recess on a top surface of a downwardly-adjacent wafer separator to secure the wafer separator to the downwardly-adjacent wafer separator.

20. The method of claim 18, further comprising:

engaging a recess on a top surface of the wafer separator with a protrusion on a bottom surface of an upwardly-adjacent wafer separator to secure the wafer separator to the upwardly-adjacent wafer separator.

21 . The method of claim 18, further comprising:

removing the semiconductor wafer from the first right-angled recess of the wafer separator using at least one notch of a plurality of notches in the circular ring.

22. The method of claim 21 , wherein the plurality of notches are exposed on the outer edge and the inner edge, and wherein the plurality of notches are located equidistant around the periphery of the circular ring.