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1. (WO2017001010) SELF-LOCKING HOLDER FOR SUBSTRATES
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SELF-LOCKING HOLDER FOR SUBSTRATES

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] Embodiments of the present disclosure relate to holders for holding a substrate during processing, e.g., for layer deposition. Embodiments of the present disclosure particularly relate to holders configured to be attached to carrier bodies of carriers for holding a substrate during vacuum layer deposition.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Several methods are known for depositing a material on a substrate. For instance, substrates may be coated by a physical vapor deposition (PVD) process, a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process, a plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) process etc. Typically, the process is performed in a process apparatus or process chamber, where the substrate to be coated is located. A deposition material is provided in the apparatus. A plurality of materials, but also oxides, nitrides or carbides thereof, may be used for deposition on a substrate. Further, other processing actions like etching, structuring, annealing, or the like can be conducted in processing chambers.

[0003] Coated materials may be used in several applications and in several technical fields. For instance, an application lies in the field of microelectronics, such as generating semiconductor devices. Further, substrates for displays are often coated by a PVD process. Further applications include insulating panels, organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels, substrates with TFT, color filters or the like.

[0004] Typically, glass substrates can be supported on carriers during processing thereof. A carrier supports the glass or the substrate and is driven through the processing machine. That is, the carrier drives the glass or substrate. The carriers typically form a frame or a plate, which supports a surface of the substrate along the periphery thereof or, in the latter case, supports the surface as such. Particularly, a frame shaped carrier can also be used to mask a glass substrate, wherein the aperture in the carrier, which is surrounded by the frame, provides an aperture for coating material to be deposited on the exposed substrate portion or an aperture for other processing steps acting on the substrate portion, which is exposed by the aperture.

[0005] To fix the substrate in the carrier, there are different holding arrangements available, e.g., glass holders. The simplest holder is a suitably bended flat spring. This type of spring needs a pusher acting from the front side of the carrier/glass to open it. Therefore, a hole in the carrier body is needed. During processing, coating material passes through said hole, which results in a coating of the bended flat spring. When a pusher is inserted to open the holder, the coating is scratched off the bended flat spring and thus, particles are generated which impede coating quality. Avoiding particle generation is a consideration for customers. Other known holders which are operated from the backside of the carrier are very expensive to manufacture and to maintain.

[0006] In view of the above, it is beneficial to provide a holder, particularly a holder configured to be attached to a carrier body for holding a substrate that overcomes at least some of the problems in the art.

SUMMARY

[0007] In light of the above, a holder configured to be attached to a carrier body for holding a substrate according to independent claims 1 and 11, respectively, a carrier according to claim 12, and a method for fixing a substrate in a carrier having a carrier body according to claim 14 is provided. Further aspects, advantages, and features of the present disclosure are apparent from the dependent claims, the description, and the accompanying drawings.

[0008] According to one embodiment, a holder configured to be attached to a carrier body for holding a substrate is provided. The holder includes a first portion having a first inclined surface, the first portion being configured to be attached to the carrier body, and a second portion, the second portion being configured to be movable relative to the first portion in at least one direction, wherein the first inclined surface is inclined with respect to a substrate to be loaded by a first angle.

[0009] According to a further embodiment, a holder configured to be attached to a carrier body for holding a substrate is provided. The holder includes a u-shaped first portion having a first inclined surface and a stepped surface, the u-shaped first portion being configured to be attached to the carrier body, the stepped surface facing the first inclined surface and being configured to support a substrate to be loaded, and a second portion, having a second inclined surface and a contact surface, the second portion being movable relative to the first portion in one direction from an open position to a clamping position, the second inclined surface facing the first inclined surface, the contact surface facing the stepped surface, wherein the first inclined surface and the second inclined surface are inclined with respect to the contact surface an angle, the angle being equal to 7°, and wherein the holder is configured to self-lock the substrate in the clamping position.

[0010] According to another aspect, a carrier including at least one holder is provided. The at least one holder includes a first portion having a first inclined surface, the first portion being configured to be attached to the carrier body, and a second portion, the second portion being configured to be movable relative to the first portion in at least one direction, wherein the first inclined surface is inclined with respect to a substrate to be loaded by a first angle.

[0011] According to yet another aspect, a method for fixing a substrate in a carrier having a carrier body is provided. The method includes loading a substrate on the carrier, moving at least one holder relative to the carrier body towards the loaded substrate, the at least one holder including a first portion and a second portion, and clamping the substrate with the at least one holder by moving the second portion of the at least one holder towards the substrate in at least on direction.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] So that the manner in which the above recited features of the present disclosure can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the disclosure, briefly summarized above, may be provided by reference to embodiments. The accompanying drawings relate to embodiments of the disclosure and are described as follows:

FIGS. 1A, IB, 1C, and ID illustrate carriers according to embodiments described herein, each having at least one holder;

FIG. 2 illustrates a holder according to embodiments described herein;

FIGS. 3A, 3B, and 3C illustrate a holder according to embodiments described herein, specifically at different positions during a process of clamping a substrate;

FIG. 4 illustrates a holder 200 according to embodiments described herein;

FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C illustrate a holder according to embodiments described herein, specifically at different positions during a process of clamping a substrate;

FIG. 6 illustrates a flowchart of a method for fixing a substrate in a carrier having a carrier body according to embodiments described herein; and

FIG. 7 illustrates a schematic view of a deposition chamber according to embodiments described herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0013] Reference will now be made in detail to the various embodiments of the disclosure, one or more examples of which are illustrated in the figures. Within the following description of the drawings, the same reference numbers refer to same components. Generally, only the differences with respect to individual embodiments are described. Each example is provided by way of explanation of the disclosure and is not meant as a limitation of the disclosure. Further, features illustrated or described as part of one embodiment can be used on or in conjunction with other embodiments to yield yet a further embodiment. It is intended that the description includes such modifications and variations.

[0014] According to embodiments described herein, a carrier including at least one holder is provided. The at least one holder is configured to hold or clamp a substrate by a self-locking mechanism. By the self-locking mechanism, a high clamping force can be achieved on small clamping surfaces while applying relative small forces to the holder. The holder provides a two-part body having a first portion and a second portion that is configured to be moveable relative to the first portion. The two-part body provides a high clamping ability at comparably low applied forces.

[0015] According to embodiments described herein, the carrier includes at least one holder. Each holder includes a first portion having a first inclined surface, the first portion being configured to be attached to the carrier body; a second portion, the second portion being configured to be movable relative to the first portion in at least one direction, wherein the first inclined surface is inclined with respect to a substrate to be loaded by a first angle . Further, a force arrangement, e.g. at least one spring element or at least one pneumatic cylinder, or the like, is provided and is configured to push the second portion along the at least one direction. The force arrangement and the relative movement of the second portion with respect to the first portion provide, in combination with the first inclined surface, a high clamping force for clamping the substrate.

[0016] According to some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the substrate thickness can be from 0.1 to 1.8 mm and the holder can be adapted for such substrate thicknesses. Even though it may be particularly beneficial when the substrate thickness is about 0.9 mm or below, such as 0.7 mm or 0.5 mm or 0.3 mm and the holders are specifically adapted for such substrate thicknesses, the person skilled in the art will understand that the holders may also be adapted for smaller or larger substrate thickness.

[0017] According to some embodiments, which could be combined with other embodiments described herein, large area substrates may have a size of at least 0.174 m2. Typically the size can be about 1.4 m 2 to about 8 m 2 , more typically about 2 m 2 to about 9 m2 or even up to 12 m2. Typically, the rectangular substrates, for which the mask structures, apparatuses, and methods according to embodiments described herein are provided, are large area substrates as described herein. For instance, a large area substrate can be GEN 5, which corresponds to about 1.4 m substrates (1.1 m x 1.3 m),

GEN 7.5, which corresponds to about 4.39 m substrates (1.95 m x 2.25 m), GEN 8.5, which corresponds to about 5.5 m2 substrates (2.2 m x 2.5 m), or even GEN 10, which corresponds to about 8.7 m substrates (2.85 m x 3.05 m). Even larger generations such as GEN 11 and GEN 12 and corresponding substrate areas can similarly be implemented. However, the person skilled in the art may understand the holders may be used for any substrate size, i.e. even a smaller or larger substrate size than outlined above.

[0018] Typically, the substrate may be made from any material suitable for material deposition. For instance, the substrate may be made from a material selected from the group consisting of glass (for instance soda-lime glass, borosilicate glass etc.), metal, polymer, ceramic, compound materials, carbon fiber materials or any other material or combination of materials which can be coated by a deposition process.

[0019] Figures 1A to ID illustrate carriers 100 according to embodiments described herein, each having at least one holder 200.

[0020] Figure 1A shows a carrier 100. The carrier 100 is configured for supporting a substrate 101. As shown in FIG. 1A, the substrate 101 is provided in a position within the carrier 100, particularly when processed in a processing chamber. The carrier 100 includes a frame or carrier body 160 defining a window or aperture. According to typical implementations, the carrier body 160 provides a substrate receiving surface. Typically, the substrate receiving surface is configured to be in contact with a perimeter portion of the substrate during operation, i.e. when the substrate 101 is loaded.

[0021] According to some embodiments, which could be combined with other embodiments described herein, the carrier body 160 can be made of aluminum,

aluminum alloys, titanium, alloys thereof, stainless steel or the like. For comparably small large area substrates, e.g. GEN 5 or below, the carrier body 160 can be manufactured from a single piece, i.e. the frame is integrally formed. However, according to some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the carrier body 160 can include two or more elements such as a top bar, sidebars and a bottom bar. Particularly for very large area substrates, the carrier or carrier body can be manufactured having several portions. These portions of the carrier body are assembled to provide the carrier body 160 for supporting the substrate 101. The carrier body 160 is particularly configured for receiving the substrate 101 in the substrate area.

[0022] According to some embodiments, which could be combined with other embodiments described herein, the carrier 100 includes at least one holder 200. The at least one holder 200 may be attached or coupled to the carrier body 160 moveably substantially parallel to a substrate area, i.e. substantially parallel to the surfaces of the substrate 101, and along the carrier body 160, as indicated by the arrows in Figure 1A. This attachment allows positioning of the holder 200 at different positions of the carrier body 160, for instance at any edge location of the substrate 101, depending, e.g., on process conditions, an area to be coated, etc.

[0023] In the example shown in Figure 1A, two holders 200 may be provided at the upper or top side (frame element) of the carrier body 160. Although two holders 200 are shown in Figure 1, the present embodiments are not limited thereto. More than two holders 200 could be provided at different locations of the carrier body 160. For instance, at least one of the two or more holders 200 could be provided in a corner region of the carrier body 160. Further, more than one holder 200 could be provided on a side of the carrier body 160, i.e. on each side of the substrate 101.

[0024] Figure IB shows an example in which two holders 200 are provided at a left side of the carrier body 160 and two holders 200 are provided at a right side of the carrier body 160. By providing more than one holder 200 at a side of the carrier body 160 and/or providing at least one holder 200 at more than one side of the carrier body 160, a stability with which the substrate 101 is held in the carrier 100 can be increased. [0025] In the example shown in Figure 1C, at least one holder 200 is provided and/or distributed along the sides of the carrier body 160. Specifically, the positions at which the holders 200 are provided at the carrier body 160 may be distributed around the perimeter of the substrate 101. Further, at least two holders 200 may be uniformly distributed along the perimeter of the substrate 101. For example, a holder 200 can be provided every 300 mm to every 1000 mm along the perimeter of the substrate 101, such as every 300 to 800 mm around the edge of the substrate 101. Further, the holders 200 may be provided in pairs of positions. Specifically, a pair of holders 200 may be provided adjacent to each other at a position, whereas a distance between the holders 200 of that pair is smaller than a distance to another holder 200 not being part of that pair. Further, the pair of holders 200 may be attached or fixed to the carrier body 160 in such a manner that the pair of holders 200 is moveable together with respect to the carrier body 160.

[0026] Figure ID shows an example in which the at least one holder 200 is provided at an upper side of the carrier body 160. Further, the substrate 101 may be placed at a lower side of the carrier body 160, i.e. a lower side of the substrate 101 may be in contact with the lower side of the carrier body 160. According to some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the carrier body 160 includes a first side, a second side, a third side, and a fourth side. The at least one holder 200 may be arranged at the first side of the carrier body 160. The first side (herein also referred to as the upper or top side) may be arranged in a higher position with respect to gravity than the second side, the third side, and the fourth side when the carrier 100 and/or the carrier body 160 is arranged in a loading position. Further, an edge of the substrate 101 may be placed on the fourth side of the carrier body 160, the fourth side (herein also referred to as the lower or bottom side) may be arranged in a lower position with respect to gravity than the first side, the second side, and the third side.

[0027] Figure 2 illustrates a holder 200 according to embodiments described herein.

[0028] According to some embodiments, which could be combined with other embodiments described herein, the holder 200 is configured to be attached to a carrier body 160 for holding a substrate 101. The holder 200 includes a first portion 210 and a second portion 220. The first portion 210 is configured to be attached to a carrier body 160, specifically as described above. The first portion 210 includes an inclined surface 212 or first inclined surface 212. The first inclined surface 212 is inclined with respect to a substrate 101 to be loaded by a first angle . The second portion 220 is configured to be movable relative to the first portion 210 in at least one direction X.

[0029] Specifically, the second portion 220 may be configured to be moved towards a substrate 101 to be loaded (see below Figures 3A to 3C). Typically, the second portion 220 may be configured to be movable relative to the first portion 210 in a direction perpendicular to an edge of a substrate 101 to be loaded (see below Figures 3 A to 3C) or to the carrier body 160.

[0030] In the context of the present application, "a direction perpendicular to" or "a direction parallel to" may be understood by the person skilled in the art as a direction including a directional component or principal direction perpendicular to, respectively parallel to, the referenced object. Thus, a direction transverse or oblige to this object may also be understood as being encompassed by such a term, specifically as long as the transverse and/or oblique direction includes such a directional component and/or principal direction.

[0031] According to some embodiments, which could be combined with other embodiments described herein, the second portion 220 may be moved in the at least one direction X until the second portion 220 abuts against the first inclined surface 212. That is, the second portion 220 may be formed in such a manner that it may be moved relative to the first portion 210 until a surface of the second portion 220 comes into contact with the first inclined surface 212.

[0032] According to some embodiments, which could be combined with other embodiments described herein, the second portion 220 includes a second inclined surface 222. The second inclined surface 222 may face the first inclined surface 212. Further, the second inclined surface 222 may be inclined with respect to a substrate 101 to be loaded by a second angle a2. In this case, the second portion 220 may be moved in the at least one direction X until the second inclined surface 222 abuts against the first inclined surface 212. A surface area that provides a contact between the first portion 210 and the second portion 220 may be thus increased, providing an increased contact area between the first portion 210 and the second portion 220 when the second portion 220 is moved relative to the first portion 210 until the second portion 220 abuts against the first portion 210. This effect may be further increased by providing the first inclined surface 212 and the second inclined surface 222 with the same angle. According to some embodiments, which could be combined with other embodiments described herein, the first angle i and the second angle a2 are equal to each other.

[0033] According to some embodiments, which could be combined with other embodiments described herein, the first angle i is equal to or less than 10°, typically equal to or less than 8°, and/or equal to or greater than 4°, typically equal to or greater than 6°. Specifically, the first angle i is equal to 7°. According to some embodiments, which could be combined with other embodiments described herein, the second angle a2 is equal to or less than 10°, typically equal to or less than 8°, and/or equal to or greater than 4°, typically equal to or greater than 6°. Specifically, the second angle a2 is equal to 7°.

[0034] As shown in the example of Figure 2, the first portion 210 may be configured to provide a receiving space for receiving at least a part of the second portion 220. The receiving space may be formed having substantially a u-shape. In this context, "substantially u-shaped" or having "substantially a u-shape" may be understood as being formed by three inner surfaces or boundary surfaces having an opening. For instance, the first portion 210 may include a stepped surface 214 facing the first inclined surface 212. Further, the first portion 210 may include a first connecting surface 216 connecting the first inclined surface 212 and the stepped surface 214. The first inclined surface 212, the stepped surface 214 and the first connecting surface 216 may provide boundary surfaces or inner surfaces of the receiving space of the first portion 210. Further, a part of the receiving space or the first portion 210 opposite the connecting surface 216 may be configured with an opening, through which the second portion 220 or a part of the second portion 220 may be received in or inserted into first portion 210, specifically in or into the receiving space of the first portion 210.

[0035] According to some embodiments, which could be combined with other embodiments described herein, the stepped surface 214 is configured to support a substrate 101 to be loaded. According to some embodiments, which could be combined

with other embodiments described herein, the stepped surface 214 includes a stepped portion having a height h, the height h equaling a thickness d of the substrate 101 to be loaded. The stepped surface may thus include two surface segments arranged at different levels and separated by the stepped portion. One of these two surface segments may be connected to the first connecting surface 216. The other one of these two surface segments may provide support for a substrate 101. By providing the stepped portion with the same height h as the thickness d of the substrate 10, a surface of the substrate 101 opposite the stepped surface 214 and the surface segment of the stepped surface 216 that is connected to the connecting surface 216 may be provided at the same level. According to embodiments described herein, the stepped surface 214 together with a loaded substrate 101 may provide a gliding surface for the second portion 220 as will be further described below.

[0036] The second portion 220 may have a pencil-shaped cross-section as shown in the example of Figure 2. For instance, the second portion 220 may include a contact surface 224 opposite the first inclined surface 212. Specifically, the contact surface 224 may be provided opposite the second inclined surface 222. Further, the second portion 220 may include a second connecting surface 226 connecting the second inclined surface 222 and the contact surface 224. The second inclined surface 222, the contact surface 224 and the second connecting surface 226 may provide boundary surfaces or a periphery of a part of the second portion 220, specifically of the part of the second portion 220 that may be at least partially accommodated in the receiving space of the first portion 210.

[0037] As shown in the example of Figure 2, the contact surface 224 may face the stepped surface 214 of the first portion 210. Further, the second connecting surface 226 may face the first connecting surface 216. As it will be described in further detail below, when the second portion 220 is moved relative to the first portion 210, a gap between the first connecting surface 216 and the second connecting surface 226 may vary in size. Specifically, the gap between the first connecting surface 216 and the second connecting surface 226 may become bigger when the second portion 220 is moved in the direction X towards a substrate 101, i.e. out of the receiving space of the first portion 210.

[0038] Taking the position of the second portion 220 of the holder 200 as a reference point, a movement of the second portion 220 relative to the first portion 210 towards a substrate 101 may be equally or alternatively understood as a movement of the second portion 220 relative to the first portion 210 away from that portion of the carrier body 160, to which the first portion 210 of the holder 200 is attached.

[0039] Further, in the context of the present application, an "inclined surface" may be understood as a surface that includes at least an inclined surface segment that is inclined with respect to a reference object by an angle. That is, an "inclined surface" may be inclined with respect to the reference object as such, as it is, e.g., shown in the example of Figure 2 for the first inclined surface 212. An "inclined surface" may however also be understood as a surface including at least two surface segments, among which only one of these segments is inclined with respect to the reference object, as it is, e.g., shown in the example of Figure 2 for the second inclined surface 222. Therein, the second inclined surface 222 may include a first surface segment 222a that may be free of an inclination with respect to a substrate 101 to be loaded, and a second inclined surface segment 222b that may be inclined with respect to a substrate 101 to be loaded by the second angle a2.

[0040] According to some embodiments, which could be combined with other embodiments described herein, the holder 200 further includes a substrate receiving space 230. The substrate receiving space 230 may facilitate substrate loading. The substrate receiving space 230 may be formed by the first portion 210 and the second portion 220. Specifically, the substrate receiving space 230 may be formed by the stepped surface 214 of the first portion 210, particularly the surface segment of the stepped surface 214 that is not connected to the first connecting surface 216, and an extension surface 225 of the second portion 220. The extension surface may be an extension of the contact surface having a surface segment that projects away from the stepped surface 214 to open the substrate receiving space 230 and a further surface segment that delimits the substrate receiving space 230 towards the second portion 220.

[0041] The substrate receiving space 230 may have a width w that is bigger than the thickness d of the substrate 101. The width w may be understood as a distance between the stepped surface 214 and the further surface segment as described above.

Specifically, the width w may be in the range from 0.4 to 8 mm depending on the thickness d of the substrate 101. Particularly, the width w may be 2 to 8 times as high as the thickness d of the substrate 101, specifically 3 to 5 times, typically 4 times. For instance, for a substrate 101 having a thickness d of about 0.3 mm, the width w may be about 1.2 mm.

[0042] Figures 3A to 3C illustrate a holder 200 according to embodiments described herein, specifically Figures 3A to 3C illustrate a holder 200 according to embodiments described herein at different positions during a process of clamping a substrate 101.

[0043] The above described holder 200 may include the first portion 210 configured to provide a receiving space for receiving at least a part of a second portion 220. The receiving space may be configured with at least one inclined surface 212. At least one of the first portion 210 and the second portion 220 may be configured to be moveable with respect to the other one.

[0044] According to some embodiments, which could be combined with other embodiments described herein, the first portion 210 and the second portion 220 are configured to hold a substrate 101 by a self-locking mechanism. The term "self-locking" or "self-locking mechanism" may be understood by the person skilled in the art as a mechanism that locks automatically when closed. Accordingly, a position when the second portion 220 has been moved relative to the first portion 210 until the second portion 220 abuts against the first portion 210, specifically against the first inclined surface 212 of the first portion 210, may be referred to as a closed position or clamping position (see Figures 3C and 5C for more details).

[0045] Specifically, the person skilled in the art may recognize that "self-locking" may describe a locking effect of two adjoining objects that is caused by a frictional resistance to sliding or gliding of the two adjoining objects. Once static friction is exceeded, the objects are no longer self-locking. Self-locking may be recognized as being affected by, e.g., the angle of inclination and the surface roughness of the contact surfaces. Specifically, to achieve self-locking, the angle of inclination may be made smaller than the arc tangent of the coefficient of static friction.

[0046] As shown in the example of Figure 3 A, the first portion 210 of the holder 200 may further include an outer surface 218. The outer surface 218 may be arranged next to the receiving space for receiving the second portion 220. That is, the outer surface 218 may not be arranged in the receiving space. Specifically, the outer surface 218 may be connected to the first inclined surface 212. Further, the outer surface 218 may face an opposing surface 228 of the second portion 220. The opposing surface 228 of the second portion may be connected to the second inclined surface 222 in such a manner that the part of the second portion 220 being bound by the opposing surface 228 and the part of the second portion 220 being bound by the second inclined surface 222, the contact surface 224, and the second connecting surface 226 may be L- shaped. Further, the holder 200 may be coupled or connected to a carrier body 160 of a carrier 100 by a connecting member 250.

[0047] The example of Figure 3A shows the holder 200 in a loading position or open position, i.e. when the holder 200 does not clamp a substrate 101. In this position, the second portion 220 is inserted or accommodated in the receiving space of the first portion 210. In the example of Figure 3A, the gap between the first connecting surface 216 and the second connecting surface 226 is comparably small. Further, the contact surface 224 may face the surface segment of the stepped surface 214 that is connected to the first connecting surface 216. Specifically, the connecting surface may be provided or arranged at the side of the stepped portion that is connected to the first connecting surface 216, i.e. deeper in the receiving space as the stepped portion.

[0048] The example of Figure 3 A further shows a substrate 101. The substrate 101 may have been loaded on a carrier 100 as described above. In the example shown in Figure 3 A, the substrate 101 is in a remote position from the holder 200, i.e. does not contact the holder 200.

[0049] The example of Figure 3B shows the holder 200 in a state in which the holder 200 has been approached towards the substrate 101, i.e. when the holder 200 has been moved towards the substrate 101. Specifically, the holder 200 may be moved towards the substrate 101 until the substrate 101 abuts against the stepped portion of the stepped surface 214 of the first portion 210. Further, the substrate 101 may be supported by the stepped surface in such a manner that a surface of the substrate 101 and the surface segment of the stepped surface 214 facing the contact surface 224 of the second portion 220 form a gliding surface for the second portion 220. Specifically, the surface segment of the stepped surface 214 facing the contact surface 224 and the above surface of the substrate 101 may be at the same level. This leveling may be achieved, e.g., when the height h of the stepped portion equals the thickness d of the substrate 101.

[0050] During movement of the holder 200 towards the substrate 101, the substrate 101 may be received in or inserted into the substrate receiving space 230 before the substrate 101 abuts against the stepped portion of the stepped surface 214. By providing the substrate receiving space with a greater width w than the height h of the stepped portion, the holder 200 may be configured with clearance or a tolerance space for inserting the substrate 101. According to some embodiments, a deviation of a position of the holder 200 with respect to the substrate 101 can be compensated for.

[0051] The example of Figure 3C shows the holder 200 in a clamping position, i.e. when the holder 200 clamps the substrate 101. For clamping the substrate 101, which may have been previously loaded on the carrier 100 or the carrier body 160, the second portion 220 may be moved relative to the first portion 210 at least in the direction X, specifically towards the substrate 101.

[0052] According to some embodiments, which could be combined with other embodiments described herein, the holder 200 further includes a force arrangement 240. For instance, the force arrangement 240 may include at least one spring element or at least one pneumatic cylinder. According to some embodiments, which could be combined with other embodiments described herein, the force arrangement 240 is configured to exert a force between the first portion 210 and the second portion 220 to move the second portion 220 relative to the first portion 210 from a loading position shown in Figures 3A and 3B to the clamping position shown in Figure 3C.

[0053] Specifically, the force arrangement 240 may move or push the second portion 220 in an outward direction with respect to the receiving space of the first portion 210. For instance, the force arrangement 240 may move the second portion 220 in the at least one direction X until the second portion 220 abuts against the first inclined surface 212. In the example shown in Figure 3C, the force arrangement 240 moves or pushes the

second portion 220 in the at least one direction X until the second inclined surface 222 of the second portion 220 comes into contact with the first inclined surface 212 of the first portion 210.

[0054] During the above described movement of the second portion 220 relative to the first portion 210 in the at least one direction X, the contact surface 224 of the second portion 220 is moved from a location facing the surface segment of the stepped surface 214 that is connected to the first connecting surface 216 as shown in Figure 3B to a location facing the other surface segment of the stepped surface 214. Specifically, by providing the stepped portion of the stepped surface 214 with the same height h as the thickness d of the substrate 101, the contact surface 224 may glide from the stepped surface 214 to the substrate 101 smoothly.

[0055] The force arrangement 240 exerts a force between the first portion 210 and the second portion 220 to move the second portion 220 relative to the first portion 210 in the direction X. During this movement, the second portion 220 comes into contact with the first inclined surface 212 of the first portion 210. Due to the inclination of the first inclined surface 212 by the angle al5 the exerted force along the direction X is transferred in a force acting along a direction Y which may be orthogonal to the direction X. Hence, the second portion 220, specifically the contact surface 224 of the second portion 220, may be pushed against the substrate 101 to clamp the substrate 101 in the holder 200. Specifically, the direction Y may be perpendicular to a surface of the substrate 101.

[0056] According to some embodiments, which could be combined with other embodiments described herein, during operation, i.e. when the substrate 101 is carried by the carrier 100, the substrate 101 is interposed or sandwiched between the stepped surface 214 of the first portion 210 and the contact surface 224 of the second portion.

An edge, e.g. a lateral side, of the substrate 101 can contact the stepped portion of the stepped surface 214. The substrate 101 can be clamped in a defined position. According to some embodiments, which could be combined with other embodiments described herein, the direction of movement of the second portion 220 is in the at least one direction X, i.e. towards the substrate 101. According to some embodiments, the direction of movement of the second portion 220 with respect to the first portion 210

could alternatively or additionally also be perpendicular to the edge of the substrate 101 that abuts against the stepped portion of the stepped surface 214 and/or parallel to a plane of the substrate.

[0057] As outlined above, the holder 200 may use or apply a self-locking mechanism to clamp or hold a substrate 101. According to some embodiments described herein, a high clamping force can be achieved on a small clamping surface, i.e. a surface corresponding to the contact surface 224, with moderate spring force. That is, a high clamping force compared to the force exerted by the force arrangement 240 can be achieved.

[0058] In the example of Figures 3A to 3C, the force arrangement 240 is shown as being arranged between the outer surface 218 of the first portion 210 and the opposing surface 228 of the second portion. The person skilled in the art will appreciate that the present disclosure is not limited thereto. For instance, the force arrangement 240 may be provided in the first portion 210 or the second portion 220 to exert a force, e.g., between the first connecting surface 216 and the second connecting surface 226. Thus, the present disclosure encompasses any such variations of the force arrangement 240.

[0059] Figure 4 illustrates a holder 200 according to embodiments described herein.

[0060] According to the example shown in Figure 4, the holder 200 may further include a guiding device 260. The guiding device 260 may provide guidance for the movement of the second portion 220 relative to the first portion 210. Specifically, the guiding device 260 may determine the direction along which the second portion 220 is moveable relative to the first portion 210. According to embodiments described herein, a smooth movement of the second portion 220 relative to the first portion 210 may be provided.

[0061] The example of Figure 4 further shows a loading device 300. According to some embodiments, which could be combined with other embodiments described herein, the loading device 300 is configured to hold the holder 200 in the loading position during loading. Specifically, the holding device 300 may hold the first portion 210 and the second portion 220 together, i.e. may hold the second portion 220 in a

position in which the gap between the first connecting surface 216 and the second connecting surface 226 is comparably small. That is, the loading device 300 may counteract the force exerted by the force arrangement 240.

[0062] Figures 5A to 5C illustrate a holder 200 according to embodiments described herein, specifically Figures 5A to 5C illustrate a holder 200 according to embodiments described herein at different positions during a process of clamping a substrate 101.

[0063] The example of Figure 5A shows the holder 200 in an open position or loading position, in which a substrate 101 is loaded in the carrier 100 or carrier body 160. Further, the holder 200 is arranged in a remote position from the substrate 101. As can be seen from Figure 5, the loading device 300 is connected to the holder 200 to hold the first portion 210 and the second portion 220 together, i.e. to hold the holder 200 in a state in which the second portion 220 is inserted or received in the receiving space of the first portion 210.

[0064] The example of Figure 5B shows the holder 200 after the holder 200 has been approached to or moved towards the substrate 101. Specifically, the substrate 101 may be positioned on the stepped surface 214 of the first portion 210 as described above. Further, the loading device 300 may still hold the holder 200 in the loading position.

[0065] The example of Figure 5C shows the holder 200 in a clamping position. The loading device 300 counteracting the force arrangement 240 has been removed or released. The force arrangement 240 may push or move the second portion 220 towards the substrate 101. The first portion 210, specifically the contact surface 214 of the substrate 101, may contact the substrate 101. Due to the inclination of the first inclination surface 212, the contact surface 224 is pushed towards the substrate 101 by the force arrangement. The substrate 101 may thus be sandwiched between first portion 210 and the second portion 220. The movement of the second portion 220 relative to the first portion 210 may be guided by the guiding device 260, providing a smooth movement of the second portion 220 relative to the first portion 210.

[0066] Although the loading device 300 is depicted as mechanically holding the holder 200 in the loading position, it will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that the loading device 300 may hold the holder 200 in the loading position by other mechanisms. For instance, the loading device 300 may hold the holder 200 in the loading position by magnetic force, e.g., applied by an electromagnetic device.

[0067] Although the stepped surface 214 and the first connecting surface 216 have been described as being part of the first part or first portion 210 of the holder 200, it will be understood by those having ordinary skill in the art that the stepped surface 214 and/or the connecting surface 216 may also be part of the carrier 100. For instance, the stepped surface may be a surface of a protruding member of the carrier 100 that may be, e.g., connected to the carrier body 160. In this case the substrate 101 may be supported by the carrier 100. Specifically, the substrate 101 may be sandwiched or clamped between the second portion 220 of the holder and the protruding member of the carrier 100 in the clamping position. Further, the connecting surface 216 may be omitted when the stepped surface 214 is provided by the carrier 100.

[0068] According to different embodiments, the carrier 100 can be utilized for PVD deposition processes, CVD deposition processes, substrate structuring edging, heating (e.g. annealing) or any kind of substrate processing. Embodiments of carriers as described herein and methods for utilizing such carriers are particularly useful for non-stationary, i.e. continuous substrate processing. Typically, the carriers are provided for processing vertically oriented large area glass substrates. Non-stationary processing typically includes that the carrier also provides masking elements for the process.

[0069] Figure 6 illustrates a flowchart of a method 80 for fixing a substrate 101 in a carrier 100 having a carrier body 160 according to embodiments described herein.

[0070] In block 81, a substrate 101 is loaded on a carrier 100. In block 82, at least one holder 200 is moved relative to the carrier body 160 towards the loaded substrate 101. The at least one holder 200 includes a first portion 210 and a second portion 220. In block 83, the substrate 101 is clamped with the at least one holder 200 by moving the second portion 220 of the at least one holder 200 towards the substrate 101 in at least one direction X. Specifically, the at least one direction X may be parallel to a plane of the substrate 101. That is, the at least one holder 200 may be first moved towards the substrate 101 until the holder 200 supports the substrate 101. Then, the second portion

least one direction X, while the first portion 210 maintains its position with respect to the substrate 101.

[0071] Specifically, the second portion 220 may be moved or pushed by a force arrangement 240 towards the substrate 101 that may be released when the holder 200 has been moved relative to the carrier body 160 towards the loaded substrate 101. The force exerted by the force arrangement 240 may be used to hold or clamp the substrate 101 in the holder 200 by a self-locking mechanism. For instance, the first portion 210 of the holder 200 may include a first inclined surface 212 that is inclined with respect to the substrate 101 by a first angle i. The first inclined surface 212 may transfer the force exerted by the force arrangement, e.g., along the direction X, into a force along a direction Y that may be perpendicular to a surface of the substrate 101.

[0072] Figure 7 illustrates a schematic view of a deposition chamber 600 according to embodiments described herein. The deposition chamber 600 is adapted for a deposition process, such as a PVD or CVD process. A substrate 101 is shown being located within or at a carrier 100 on a substrate transport device 620. A deposition material source 630 is provided in chamber 612 facing the side of the substrate 101 to be coated. The deposition material source 630 provides deposition material to be deposited on the substrate 101.

[0073] In Figure 7, the source 630 may be a target with deposition material thereon or any other arrangement allowing material to be released for deposition on substrate 101. Typically, the material source 630 may be a rotatable target. According to some embodiments, the material source 630 may be movable in order to position and/or replace the source. According to other embodiments, the material source may be a planar target.

[0074] According to some embodiments, the deposition material may be chosen according to the deposition process and the later application of the coated substrate. For instance, the deposition material of the source may be a material selected from the group consisting of: a metal, such as aluminum, molybdenum, titanium, copper, or the like, silicon, indium tin oxide, and other transparent conductive oxides. Typically,

oxide-, nitride- or carbide-layers, which can include such materials, can be deposited by providing the material from the source or by reactive deposition, i.e. the material from the source reacts with elements like oxygen, nitride, or carbon from a processing gas.

[0075] Typically, the substrate 101 is provided within or at the carrier 100, which can also serve as an edge exclusion mask, particularly for non-stationary deposition processes. Dashed lines 665 show exemplarily the path of the deposition material during operation of the chamber 600. According to other embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the masking can be provided by a separate edge exclusion mask, which is provided in the chamber 612. A carrier according to embodiments described herein can be beneficial for stationary processes and also for non- stationary processes.

[0076] According to embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the holder 200 firmly holds edges of the substrate 101 particularly during a deposition process. Embodiments can provide a decrease in substrate breakage, particularly in light of the fact that the substrates are getting bigger in length and height, however, the thickness of the substrates decreases. In the example of Figure 7, one holder 200 is shown being provided at two sides of the substrate. As described above with, e.g., reference to Figures 1A to ID, the present disclosure is not limited to such an arrangement. For instance, with respect to gravity, at least one holder may be provided at the upper side of the carrier 100, while the substrate 101 is placed at a lower side of the carrier 100.

[0077] The term "vertical direction" or "vertical orientation" is understood to distinguish over "horizontal direction" or "horizontal orientation". That is, the "vertical direction" or "vertical orientation" relates to a substantially vertical orientation e.g. of the carrier and the substrate, wherein a deviation of a few degrees, e.g. up to 10° or even up to 15°, from an exact vertical direction or vertical orientation is still considered as a " substantially vertical direction" or a "substantially vertical orientation". The vertical direction can be substantially parallel to the force of gravity.

[0078] According to embodiments described herein, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, substantially vertically is understood particularly

when referring to the substrate orientation, to allow for a deviation from the vertical direction of 20° or below, e.g. of 10° or below. This deviation can be provided for example because a substrate support with some deviation from the vertical orientation might result in a more stable substrate position. Yet, the substrate orientation during deposition of the organic material is considered substantially vertical, which is considered different from the horizontal substrate orientation.

[0079] The term "substantially perpendicular" relates to a substantially perpendicular orientation e.g. of the rotation axis and the support surface or substrate surface, wherein a deviation of a few degrees, e.g. up to 10° or even up to 15°, from an exact perpendicular orientation is still considered as " substantially perpendicular".

[0080] While the foregoing is directed to embodiments of the disclosure, other and further embodiments of the disclosure may be devised without departing from the basic scope thereof, and the scope thereof is determined by the claims that follow.