CoreFlow develops manufactures and markets advanced handling and conveying solutions for Semiconductor and Flat Panel Display (FPD) equipment manufacturers. With more than 800 systems installed worldwide, CoreFlow’s solutions can be found on the production floors of many top manufacturing and fab plants.
The challenges inherent in the handling of semiconductor wafers are growing more complex as a new additional manufacturing process steps affect wafer flatness. Now, extremely warped thick or thin wafers need to be handled effectively and reliably. Common and standard End Effectors often fail to properly handle such wafers, thus compromising process throughput and yield.
End Effector (EE)
CoreFlow’s End Effector (EE) family addresses the challenges of handling all types of wafers, including thin, perforated, compound, glass, bare and polish wafers. Utilizing its SmartNozzle™ technology, CoreFlow’s handling mechanism acquires the wafer even when only a fraction of the vacuum array is covered. This contrasts with competing technologies, where a standard vacuum chuck would lose its gripping force and drop the wafer.
CoreFlow's End Effector Concept
When a warped wafer is gripped by the End Effector, some of the vacuum pads may be uncovered and exposed to air due to the wafer shape. With a standard End Effector, the flow will go to the exposed pads and as a result, the covered pads will not have any vacuum gripping force. CoreFlow unique End Effector design ensures that all vacuum pads receive enough flow, regardless of their coverage. The flow at uncovered pads will be choked by the nozzle’s flow resistance, while the covered pads will generate vacuum force and the warped wafer will be gripped firmly.
Bellow graph demonstrates CoreFlow End Effector gripping capabilities vs. competitor End effector with a similar design. In this comparison, the CoreFlow EE can still grip the wafer even when three vacuum ports (pads) are open while the competitor EE loses the grip immediately as a single vacuum port is open.
CoreFlow's End Effector Product Benefits:
- Transfer warped wafers, even when only a fraction of the EE vacuum pads are covered. There is enough vacuum force to hold the wafer.
- Handling of thin and thick (100-1400 μ) warped wafers (supporting warpage of up to 10 mm).
- Can handle 150, 200, and 300 mm wafer diameters.