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Non Contact Semiconductor Chuck Design.
This design of a unique non-contact chuck was part of a much larger scale design and engineering project for a wet processing machine for the semiconductor industry. The client engaged Vertex to design, engineer and produce a scalable new chuck to hold the wafer from the bottom end, while at the same time having the ability to process the side on which the wafer is held.

We had strict instructions not to allow any contact with the top side of the wafer. This is due to a sensitive semiconductor design on that side, therefore the name "Non-Contact Chuck". This unique design had to overcome and avoid collision with the wafer's holding fingers in the process module, while scanning the wafer above it. This resulted in holding fingers behaving like Millipede legs. Challenges in this design were enormous.
The chuck had to spin 360 degrees, travel on the Z-axis, while pressurizing the top side of the wafer with air. This is to prevent any liquid from getting to the top side, when pneumatically controlling and actuating each finger at the right time.

Great project to work on, great challenge, and great results.