Inventor’s Corner

Water purification process

This invention provides purification devices for reducing the amount of contaminants in water. Each device includes a water-soluble flocculant (A)—a composition that binds non-covalently to one or more contaminants—defining a multiplicity of pores with average diameter from to 2000 .mu.m (B). The handle-guided (C) purification devices are partially submerged in contaminated water, which dissolves a port of the flocculant (D) and forms water-insoluble complexes with one or more contaminants in the water. These complexes can then be removed from the treated water by filtration.

Patent number: 6,749,748
Date granted: June 15, 2004
Inventors: John W. Macpherson (Snohomish, Wash.), Jason J. Ziemer (Buckley, Wash.) and Everett J. Nichols (Edmonds, Wash.)

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Preventing contamination during process flow

Designed to eliminate manual contamination control methods in semiconductor manufacturing, this database-oriented method prevents and finds occurrence of contamination automatically during a process flow. In one aspect of the invention, a memory device contains: a tool database (B) containing a plurality of tools tagged as being either contaminated or uncontaminated; a process database (C), which includes the order of steps in the relevant process flow and corresponding tool information for each step; a wafer information database (D). The process database associated with the tool database is cross-examined and will display a contamination warning message before contamination occurs in one of the steps of process flow.

Patent number: 6,751,517
Date granted: June 15, 2004
Inventors: Wein-Hai Chou, William Wei-Yi Kuo, Ming Liu Peng, and Wen-Hsi Lin; Assigned to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Hsin-Chu, Taiwan).

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Method of treating surfaces of substrates

The invention's method cleans/polishes a surface of a substrate or a plurality of substrates, as well as a surface of a semi-conductive material wafer. In treating a substrate surface, the cleaning apparatus (A) comprises a platen cleaning member (B) with a layer of frozen liquid material (C) sprayed onto the cooled platen. The upper surface (D) of the frozen liquid layer is used to treat a substrate surface. In the figure, a liquid layer (E) is formed on the treating surface. A carrier (F) is configured to receive and support a substrate (G). In operation, the substrate is lowered to contact either or both the frozen and liquid layers. Subsequently, at least one platen and substrate is moved relative to the other platen and substrate to cause the frozen layer to move relative to a surface (H) of the substrate. The entirety of the substrate surface can be uniformly polished when the wafer is brought into contact with the frozen layer.

Patent number: 6,734,121
Date granted: May 11, 2004
Inventors: Scott E. Moore (Meridian, Idaho) and Trung Tri Doan (Boise, Idaho); Assigned to Micron Technology Inc. (Boise, Idaho)

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