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System and method for 2D workpiece alignment

United States Patent

July 14, 2015
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A carrier capable of holding one or more workpieces is disclosed. The carrier includes movable projections located along the sides of each cell in the carrier. This carrier, in conjunction with a separate alignment apparatus, aligns each workpiece within its respective cell against several alignment pins, using a multiple step alignment process to guarantee proper positioning of the workpiece in the cell. First, the workpieces are moved toward one side of the cell. Once the workpieces have been aligned against this side, the workpieces are then moved toward an adjacent orthogonal side such that the workpieces are aligned to two sides of the cell. Once aligned, the workpiece is held in place by the projections located along each side of each cell. In addition, the alignment pins are also used to align the associated mask, thereby guaranteeing that the mask is properly aligned to the workpiece.
Weaver; William T. (Austin, TX), Carlson; Charles T. (Cedar Park, TX), Smith; Scott A. (Lago Vista, TX), Beck; Michael A. (Pflugerville, TX), Webb; Aaron P. (Austin, TX), Strassner; James D. (Austin, TX), Gravell; Lawrence R. (Austin, TX), Simmons; Michael C. (Austin, TX)
Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, Inc. (Gloucester, MA)
13/ 623,428
September 20, 2012
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT This Invention was made with U.S. Government support under Contract No. DE-EE0004737 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.