Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
ARRANGEMENT FOR CLAMPING A CARRIER TO A DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/192676
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An arrangement for fixing or clamping a carrier to a device during processing in a processing chamber is provided. The arrangement comprises a first clamping element coupled to the carrier and a second clamping element coupled to the device. The first clamping element and the second clamping element are configured to be fixable or clampable with respect to each other. The arrangement further comprises stop elements to support the carrier upon failure of one of the first clamping element and the second clamping element.

Inventors:
HEYMANNS, Matthias (Im Seerich 37, Münster, 64839, DE)
GRÖLS, Jens (Bezirksstrasse 3b, Alzenau, 63755, DE)
GOVINDASAMY, Sathiyamurthi (Flat No. A-606, A-BlockCELEBRITY SQUARE Apartments,Street: Sarjapura-Attibele Road,Bidaraguppe Post, Attibele Hobli, Anekal Taluk, Bangalore Karnataka 7, 562107, IN)
Application Number:
EP2018/058466
Publication Date:
October 10, 2019
Filing Date:
April 03, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
APPLIED MATERIALS, INC. (3050 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara, California, 95054, US)
HEYMANNS, Matthias (Im Seerich 37, Münster, 64839, DE)
GRÖLS, Jens (Bezirksstrasse 3b, Alzenau, 63755, DE)
GOVINDASAMY, Sathiyamurthi (Flat No. A-606, A-BlockCELEBRITY SQUARE Apartments,Street: Sarjapura-Attibele Road,Bidaraguppe Post, Attibele Hobli, Anekal Taluk, Bangalore Karnataka 7, 562107, IN)
International Classes:
C23C14/04; C23C14/50; C23C14/56; H01L21/677; H01L21/68; H01L21/687
Domestic Patent References:
WO2016112951A12016-07-21
Foreign References:
US20060196802A12006-09-07
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ZIMMERMANN & PARTNER PATENTANWÄLTE MBB (Josephspitalstr. 15, München, 80331, DE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. An arrangement for fixing or clamping a carrier to a device during processing in a processing chamber, the arrangement comprising: a first clamping element coupled to the carrier; a second clamping element coupled to the device, the first clamping element and the second clamping element being configured to be fixable or clampable with respect to each other; and a stop element to support the carrier upon failure of one of the first clamping element and the second clamping element.

2. The arrangement according to claim 1, wherein the stop element comprises at least one of: at least a protrusion and at least a pin.

3. The arrangement according to any of claims 1 to 2, wherein the stop element comprises at least one of: at least a recess and at least a cavity.

4. The arrangement according to claim 3, wherein the protrusion is insertable into the recess or wherein the pin is insertable into said cavity.

5. The arrangement according to claim 2, wherein the protrusion or the pin is connectable to, or is a part of, the carrier or the first clamping element.

6. The arrangement according to any of claims 2 to 4, wherein the second clamping element comprises a further protrusion overlapping with the protrusion of the first clamping element.

7. The arrangement according to claim 3, wherein the pin is connectable to, or is a part of, the second clamping element.

8. The arrangement according to any one of the claims 3 to 4, wherein the pin has a width and the cavity has edges or walls forming a further width larger than the width.

9. The arrangement of any of claims 3 to 4, wherein upon insertion of the pin into the cavity, a clearance is formed between said pin and the cavity, particularly the clearance ranging between 1 mm and 2 mm, particularly about 1.5 mm.

10. The arrangement of any of claims 1 to 9, wherein a clearance is provided between the carrier and the device, the clearance ranging between 1 mm and 2 mm, particularly about 1.5 mm.

11. The arrangement according to any of claims 1 to 10, wherein the stop element comprises at least a first hard stop edge and a second hard stop edge, the first hard stop edge being engageable with the second hard stop edge.

12. The arrangement according to any of claims 1 to 11, wherein the carrier is configured to carry a substrate or a mask in an essentially vertical position.

13. The arrangement according to any of claims 1 to 12, wherein the first clamping element comprises a magnetic plate and the second clamping element comprises an electro-permanent magnet.

14. A carrier for supporting a substrate or a mask in a vacuum chamber, the carrier comprising: a clamping arrangement for fixing or clamping the carrier to a device; and a stop element to support the carrier upon failure of the clamping arrangement.

15. An apparatus for depositing a layer on a substrate, comprising: a processing chamber adapted for layer deposition therein; an arrangement according to any one of claims 1 to 13 for a carrier within the processing chamber, and a deposition source for depositing material forming the layer on the substrate, wherein the carrier is configured to carry the substrate or a mask disposed between said substrate and the deposition source.

16. A holding and aligning arrangement, comprising: a clamping device for supporting a carrier being a substrate carrier and/or a mask carrier during a processing in a processing chamber, and an alignment device for moving said substrate carrier relative to said mask carrier, wherein the clamping device comprises at least a first clamping element coupled to the substrate carrier or the mask carrier and a second clamping element coupled to the alignment device, the first clamping element and the second clamping element being configured to be fixable or clampable with respect to each other, and wherein the holding and aligning arrangement further comprises a stop element to support the carrier upon failure of one of the first clamping element and the second clamping element.

17. The arrangement according to claim 16, further comprising a hinge element coupled to the first clamping element.

Description:
ARRANGEMENT FOR CLAMPING A CARRIER TO A DEVICE

FIELD

[0001] Embodiments of the present disclosure relate to arrangements for fixing or clamping a carrier to a device, more specifically to an alignment device during processing in a processing chamber. Also, the embodiments of the present disclosure relate to carriers for supporting a substrate or a mask, apparatuses for depositing a layer on a substrate and holding and alignment arrangements.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Several methods are known for depositing a material on a substrate. As an example, substrates may be coated by using an evaporation process, a physical vapor deposition (PVD) process, such as a sputtering process, a spraying process, etc., or a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process. The process can be performed in a processing chamber of a deposition apparatus, where the substrate to be coated is located. A deposition material is provided in the processing chamber. A plurality of materials, such as organic material, molecules, metals, oxides, nitrides, and carbides may be used for deposition on a substrate. Further, other processes like etching, structuring, annealing, or the like can be conducted in processing chambers.

[0003] For example, coating processes may be considered for large area substrates, e.g. in display manufacturing technology. Coated substrates can be used in several applications and in several technical fields. For instance, an application can be organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels. Further applications include insulating panels, microelectronics, such as semiconductor devices, substrates with thin film transistors (TFTs), color filters, or the like. OLEDs are solid-state devices composed of thin films of (organic) molecules that create light with the application of electricity. As an example, OLED displays can provide bright displays on electronic devices and use reduced power compared to, for example, liquid crystal displays (LCDs). In the processing chamber, the organic molecules are generated (e.g., evaporated, sputtered, or sprayed etc.) and deposited as layers on the substrates. The material can for example pass through a mask having a boundary or a specific pattern to deposit material at desired positions on the substrate, e.g. to form an OLED pattern on the substrate.

[0004] An aspect related to the quality of the processed substrate, in particular of the deposited layer, is the alignment of the substrate with respect to the mask. As an example, the alignment should be accurate and steady in order to achieve good process results. Accordingly, devices are used which are coupled to the substrate and/or the mask carrier for aligning the substrate relative to the mask. However, systems used for alignment of substrates and masks may be susceptible to external interferences, such as vibrations. Such external interferences can compromise the alignment of the substrate and the mask during the processing, which results in a reduced quality of the processed substrate, and in particular the alignment of the deposited layers can be compromised. Therefore, it is beneficial that a device used for aligning the substrate relative to the mask can be fixed to the carrier in a secure way.

[0005] In order to fix an alignment device to a carrier, the carrier can be clamped to the device, for example, by a mutual interaction of dedicated clamping elements present at a surface of the carrier and of the device, respectively.

[0006] In view of the above, there is a need for arrangements, carriers and apparatuses, which can provide for an improved clamping action between a carrier and a device coupled to the carrier.

SUMMARY

[0007] In light of the above, an arrangement for fixing or clamping a carrier to a device during processing in a processing chamber, a carrier for supporting a substrate, an apparatus for depositing a layer on a substrate, and a holding and aligning arrangement are provided. Further aspects, benefits, and features of the present disclosure are apparent from the claims, the description, and the accompanying drawings. [0008] According to one embodiment, an arrangement for fixing or clamping a carrier to a device during processing in a processing chamber is provided. The arrangement includes a first clamping element coupled to the carrier; a second clamping element coupled to the device, the first clamping element and the second clamping element being configured to be fixable or clampable with respect to each other; and a stop element to support the carrier upon failure of one of the first clamping element and the second clamping element.

[0009] According to another embodiment, a carrier for supporting a substrate or a mask in a vacuum chamber is provided. The carrier includes a clamping arrangement for fixing or clamping the carrier to a device; and a stop element to support the carrier upon failure of the clamping arrangement.

[0010] According to another embodiment, an apparatus for depositing a layer on a substrates is provided. The apparatus includes a processing chamber adapted for layer deposition therein; an arrangement according embodiments described herein for a carrier within the processing chamber, and a deposition source for depositing material forming the layer on the substrate, wherein the carrier is configured to carry the substrate or a mask disposed between said substrate and the deposition source.

[0011] According to another embodiment, a holding and aligning arrangement is provided. The arrangement includes a clamping device for supporting a carrier being a substrate carrier and/or a mask carrier during a processing in a processing chamber, and an alignment device for moving said substrate carrier relative to said mask carrier, wherein the clamping device comprises at least a first clamping element coupled to the substrate carrier or the mask carrier and a second clamping element coupled to the alignment device, the first clamping element and the second clamping element being configured to be fixable or clampable with respect to each other, and wherein the holding and aligning arrangement further comprises a stop element to support the carrier upon failure of one of the first clamping element and the second clamping element. 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 had by reference to embodiments. The accompanying drawings relate to embodiments of the disclosure and are described in the following:

FIG. 1 shows a schematic view of a deposition process for manufacturing OLEDs on a substrate;

FIG. 2A shows a schematic front view of a holding arrangement for supporting a substrate and a mask in a vertical orientation during layer deposition in a processing chamber;

FIG. 2B shows a schematic side view of the holding arrangement of FIG. 2A;

FIG. 3 shows a schematic view of an arrangement for fixing or clamping a carrier to a device according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 4 shows a schematic representation of a carrier for supporting a substrate or a mask according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 5 shows a section view of a clamping arrangement shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 shows a schematic representation of an arrangement for fixing or clamping a carrier to a device according to an embodiment of the present disclosure in the disengaging condition;

FIG. 7 shows a schematic representation of the arrangement of FIG. 6 in the engaging condition;

FIG. 8A shows a schematic representation of the arrangement according to an embodiment of the present disclosure with reference to the stop elements;

FIG. 8B shows a detail of the stop elements of the arrangement of FIG.8 A in normal condition; FIG. 8C shows a detail of the stop elements of the arrangement of FIG.8 A in slipping condition;

FIG. 9 shows a schematic representation of an arrangement for fixing or clamping a carrier to a device according to another embodiment of the present disclosure in the engaging condition;

FIG. 10 shows a schematic representation of an arrangement for fixing or clamping a carrier to a device according to a further another embodiment of the present disclosure in the engaging condition;

FIG. 11A shows a schematic representation of an arrangement for fixing or clamping a carrier to a device according to an alternative embodiment of the present disclosure in the engaging condition;

FIG. 11B shows a detail of the stop elements of the arrangement of FIG. 11A in the disengaged condition;

FIG. 11C shows a detail of the stop elements of the arrangement of FIG. 11A in the engaged condition;

FIG. 12 shows a schematic representation of an apparatus for depositing a layer on a substrate according to an embodiment of the present disclosure, and

FIG. 13 shows a schematic representation of a holding and alignment arrangement according to an embodiment of the present disclosure.

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. 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] The embodiments described herein can be utilized for inspecting large area coated substrates, e.g., for manufactured displays. The substrates or substrate receiving areas for which the apparatuses and methods described herein are configured can be large area substrates having a size of e.g. 1 m 2 or above. For example, a large area substrate or carrier can be GEN 4.5, which corresponds to about 0.67 m 2 substrates (0.73x0.92m), GEN 5, which corresponds to about 1.4 m 2 substrates (1.1 m x 1.3 m), GEN 7.5, which corresponds to about 4.29 m 2 substrates (1.95 m x 2.2 m), GEN 8.5, which corresponds to about 5.7m 2 substrates (2.2 m x 2.5 m), or even GEN 10, which corresponds to about 8.7 m 2 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. For example, for OLED display manufacturing, half sizes of the above mentioned substrate generations, including GEN 6, can be coated by evaporation of an apparatus for evaporating material. The half sizes of the substrate generation may result from some processes running on a full substrate size, and subsequent processes running on half of a substrate previously processed.

[0015] The term “substrate” as used herein may particularly embrace substantially inflexible substrates, e.g., a wafer, slices of transparent crystal such as sapphire or the like, or a glass plate. However, the present disclosure is not limited thereto, and the term “substrate” may embrace flexible substrates such as a web or a foil. The term “substantially inflexible” is understood to distinguish over“flexible”. Specifically, a substantially inflexible substrate can have a certain degree of flexibility, e.g. a glass plate having a thickness of 0.5 mm or below, wherein the flexibility of the substantially inflexible substrate is small in comparison to the flexible substrates.

[0016] A substrate may be made of any material suitable for material deposition. For instance, the substrate may be made of 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, metal or any other material or combination of materials which can be coated by a deposition process. [0017] FIG. 1 shows a schematic view of a deposition process for manufacturing OLEDs on a substrate 10, whereas FIGS 2A and 2B show an example of an holding arrangement 40 for supporting a substrate 10 on a substrate carrier 11 and a mask 20 on a mask carrier 21 during layer deposition in a processing chamber, wherein the substrate 10 and the mask 20 are maintained in an essentially vertical position.

[0018] As shown in FIG. 1, for manufacturing OFEDs, organic molecules can be provided by a deposition source 30 (e.g., evaporated) and deposited on the substrate 10. A mask arrangement including a mask 20 is positioned between the substrate 10 and the deposition source 30. The mask 20 has a specific pattern, e.g., provided by a plurality of openings or holes 22, so that organic molecules pass through the openings or holes 22 (e.g., along a path 32) to deposit a patterned layer or film of an organic compound on the substrate 10. A plurality of layers or films can be deposited on the substrate 10 using different masks or positions of the mask 20 with respect to the substrate 10, e.g., to generate pixels, for example, with different color properties. As an example, a first layer or film can be deposited to generate red pixels 34, a second layer or film can be deposited to generate green pixels 36, and a third layer or film can be deposited to generate blue pixels 38. The layer(s) or film(s), e.g., an organic material, can be arranged between two electrodes, such as an anode and a cathode (not shown). At least one electrode of the two electrodes can be transparent.

[0019] The substrate 10 and the mask 20 can be arranged in a vertical orientation during the deposition process. In FIG. 1, arrows indicate a vertical direction Y and a horizontal direction X. As used throughout the present disclosure, 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 holding arrangement 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.

[0020] FIG. 2A shows a schematic view of a holding arrangement 40 for supporting a substrate carrier 11 and a mask carrier 21 during layer deposition in a processing chamber that can be used in arrangements and apparatuses according to embodiments described herein. FIG. 2B shows a side view of the holding arrangement 40 shown in Fig. 2A.

[0021] Alignment systems used on vertical-operated tools can work from outside a processing chamber, i.e., from the atmospheric side. The alignment system can be connected to a substrate carrier and a mask carrier with stiff arms, e.g., extending through a wall of the processing chamber. For an alignment system outside the vacuum, a mechanical path between mask carrier or mask and substrate carrier or substrate is long, making the system susceptible to external interference (vibrations, heating, etc.) and tolerances.

[0022] Additionally or alternatively, an actuator of an alignment system may be included within the vacuum chamber. Accordingly, a length of a stiff arm may be reduced. For example, an actuator that may mechanically contact the substrate carrier and the mask carrier can be at least partially provided between a track for the mask carrier and a track for the substrate carrier.

[0023] The holding arrangement 40 may include two or more alignment actuators connectable to at least one of the substrate carrier 11 and the mask carrier 21, wherein the holding arrangement 40 is configured to support the substrate carrier 11 in, or parallel to, a first plane, wherein a first alignment actuator 41 of the two or more alignment actuators may be configured to move the substrate carrier 11 and the mask carrier 21 relative to each other at least in a first direction Y, wherein a second alignment actuator 42 of the two or more alignment actuators may be configured to move the substrate carrier 11 and the mask carrier 21 relative to each other at least in the first direction Y and a second direction X different from the first direction Y, and wherein the first direction Y and the second direction X are in the first plane. The two or more alignment actuators can also be referred to as "alignment blocks". Accordingly, the alignment blocks or alignment actuators can change the position of the substrate 10 and the mask 20 relative to each other. For example, an alignment block can be constituted by a first element fixed to the substrate carrier 11 or mask carrier 21 and a second element fixed to an alignment device provided with one or more actuators. The first element can be clamped to the second element through a mutual interaction (i.e. mechanical, magnetic, electromagnetic, etc.). [0024] As shown in FIG. 2B, the mask 20 can be attached to the mask carrier 21 and the holding arrangement 40 is configured for supporting at least one of the substrate carrier 11 and the mask carrier 21, particularly both the substrate carrier 11 and the mask carrier 21, in a substantially vertical orientation, in particular during layer deposition. The deposition occurs along the direction Z according to the arrow illustrated in FIG. 2B.

[0025] By moving the substrate carrier 11 and the mask carrier 21 relative to each other at least in the first direction Y and the second direction X using the two or more alignment actuators, the substrate carrier 11 can be aligned with respect to the mask carrier 21 or mask 20, and the quality of the deposited layers can be improved.

[0026] For performing an adjustment of the position of the mask 20 relative to the substrate 10, by actuation of the alignment blocks, an optical inspection can also be performed in order to check possible variances or deviations relative to a correct alignment.

[0027] FIG. 3 describes an arrangement 50 for fixing or clamping a carrier 51 to a device 52. The arrangement 50 includes a first clamping element 53 coupled to the carrier 51 and a second clamping element 54 coupled to the device 52. According to embodiments described herein, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the first clamping element can be one of: a portion of the carrier, a clamping element attached to the carrier, a clamping element integrally formed with the carrier, and a surface of the carrier. Additionally or alternatively, according to embodiments described herein, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the second clamping element can be one of: a portion of the device, a clamping element attached to the device, a clamping element integrally formed with the device, and a surface of the device. The first and the second clamping elements 53, 54 are configured to be fixable to each other. For this purpose, a portion of the surface of the first clamping element 53 is in contact with a portion of the surface of the second clamping element 54, once the device 52 is clamped to the carrier 51. In order to support the carrier 51 upon failure of one of the first clamping element 53 and the second clamping element 54, the arrangement 50 further includes stop elements 55. It is noted that the carrier 51 can be configured to carry a substrate 10 or a mask 20 as the substrate carrier 11 or the mask carrier 21 shown in FIG. 2B. [0028] In this way, the arrangement 50 according to the present disclosure provides an improved clamping between the carrier 51 and the device 52. Advantageously, the device 52 can be an aligning device that can be fixed to the carrier 51 to carry out a relative movement of the substrate 10 and the mask 20. This improved clamping may beneficially be useful when for example the carrier 51 is configured to carry the substrate 10 and/or the mask 20 in an essentially vertical position. In fact, after fixing the device 52 to the carrier 51 through the mutual interaction of the clamping elements 53, 54, the stop elements 55 can prevent or reduce drift movement of the device relative to the substrate 10 that could occur over time.

[0029] FIG. 4 shows a carrier 51 for supporting a substrate and/or a mask according to an embodiment of the present disclosure. The carrier 51 includes a clamping arrangement for fixing the carrier 51 to a device 52. The clamping arrangement includes a first clamping portion 501 coupled to the carrier 51 and a second clamping portion 502 (not shown in the figure) coupled to the device 52. The first clamping portion 501 can be fixable or clampable to the second clamping portion 502. In particular, FIG. 4 shows a carrier 51 with a rectangular shape having four first clamping portions 501 located at or adjacent to the four corners. A device 52 to be fixed to the carrier 51 can have four second clamping portions 502 that can be coupled to the corresponding first clamping portions 501 on the carrier 51. Alternatively, four devices 52, each having at least a second clamping portion 502, can be fixed to the carrier 51 by coupling each second clamping portion 502 to the corresponding first clamping portion 501 present on the carrier 51. According to an alternative configuration, two devices 52, each having two second clamping portions 502, can be fixed in pairs to two first clamping portions 501 present on the carrier 51.

[0030] FIG. 5 shows a section view of the first clamping portion 501 of FIG. 4 along the line A-A. The first clamping portion 501 includes a first clamping element 53 having an external surface 531 that can be in contact with the second clamping element 54 (not shown in the figure) and an internal surface 532 that is in contact with the carrier 51 or with an angular positioning element 56, such as a hinge. Connecting means 57 are provided for fixing the first clamping element 53 to said angular positioning element 56 and/or to the carrier 51. The first clamping element 53 can include a magnetically attractable material, i.e. a magnetic plate. A magnet included at the second clamping portion, such as a permanent magnet, an electromagnet or an electropermanent magnet, can connect to the magnetic plate, e.g. a plate of a magnetic material.

[0031] FIG. 6 describes the functioning of the arrangement 50 according to the present disclosure in the disengaging condition. The first clamping portion 501 present on the carrier 51 is engageable or disengageable with the second clamping portion 502 present on the device 52 by moving the external surface 531 of the first clamping element 53 relative to a surface 541 of the second clamping element 54. The double arrow in FIG. 6 describes this movement.

[0032] According to some embodiments of the present disclosure, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the stop elements 55 include at least a protrusion and a corresponding recess, the protrusion being engageable with or insertable into the recess. The engagement of the protrusion with the recess ensures that the first clamping element 53 remains fixed to the second clamping element 54 almost at the same position. In fact, the protrusion and the recess work as hard stop elements able to reduce or avoid relative slipping movement between the clamping elements that could occur over time.

[0033] In particular, as shown in FIG. 5 and FIG. 6, the protrusion can be a pin 551 and the recess can be a cavity 552, so that the pin 551 can be inserted into, or extracted from the cavity 552.

[0034] In particular, according to one embodiment of the present disclosure, the pin 551 is connectable to, or is a part of the carrier 51 and the cavity 552 is part of the second clamping element 54.

[0035] FIG. 6 and FIG. 7 describe the first clamping element 53 (or the first clamping portion 501) being fixable or clampable to the second clamping element 54 (or the second clamping portion 502) by contacting the external surface 531 of the first clamping element 53 with the external surface 541 of the second clamping element 54. The first clamping element 53 can be clamped to the second clamping element 54 through a mutual interaction (i.e. mechanical, magnetic, electromagnetic, etc.) of the corresponding external surfaces 531, 541. [0036] For example, an additional fixing or clamping action is hereby carried out by inserting a pin 551 into the corresponding cavity 552. In this way, the device 52 is securely fixed to the carrier 51. The stop elements 55, and in particular the pins 551 coupled with the cavities 552 can reduce or prevent possible problems that may occur over time for the mutual clamping action between the two clamping elements 53, 54, for example due to a drift movement.

[0037] As illustrated by FIG. 4 and FIG. 5, the first clamping element 53 has a flat surface and can be constituted by a plate (for example a magnetic plate) fixed to the carrier 51. The stop elements 55 can include two pins 551 located at the opposite sides of the first clamping element 53, wherein each pin 551 is insertable in a corresponding cavity 552. The two pins 551 are oriented extending from the carrier, e.g. along a vertical line of a main surface of the carrier 51. In this way, the connection between the first clamping element 53 and the second clamping element 54 is further improved. In an alternative configuration, the pins 551 can be arranged according to a different orientation relative to the first clamping element 53.

[0038] According to embodiments the present disclosure, a carrier can be clamped to a device, e.g. an alignment actuator. For example, embodiments include a first clamping element coupled to the carrier and a second clamping element coupled to the device, the first clamping element and the second clamping element being configured to be fixable or clampable with respect to each other. A stop element is provided. The stop element supports the carrier upon failure of one of the first clamping element and the second clamping element. For example, if the carrier would slip, i.e. the first clamping element and the second clamping element slip relative to each other, e.g. move unintended, the stop element supports the carrier or catches the carrier. As another example, if one of the clamping elements would have a failure, the stop element supports the carrier or catches the carrier.

[0039] According to embodiments described herein, the stop element or components of the stop element may be at one or both of the clamping elements. For example, the stop element may be coupled to one or both of the clamping elements or integrally formed with one or both of the clamping elements. According to embodiments described herein, the stop element or components of the stop element may be at the carrier and/or the device. For example, the stop element may be coupled to the carrier and/or the device or integrally formed with the carrier and/or the device.

[0040] According to embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the stop element may be formed by a protrusion and one of the carrier and the device and a recess at the corresponding other entity of the carrier and the device. Yet further, additionally or alternatively, the stop element may be formed by protrusions and the carrier and the device. An arrangement for fixing or clamping a carrier to a device can be provided by the second clamping element comprises a further protrusion overlapping with the protrusion of the first clamping element.

[0041] FIG. 8 A shows the arrangement 50 in the engaged condition. Accordingly, the second clamping element 54 is in contact with the first clamping element 53. The pins 551 are inserted into the cavities 552. FIG. 8B and 8C show a detail of the interaction between the pin 551 and the cavity 552, in a normal condition (FIG. 8B), when the pin 551 does not touch any internal surfaces of the cavity 552 and in a slipping condition (FIG. 8C), when the pin 551 touches an internal surface of the cavity 552. The interaction between the pin and the cavity reduces a movement that may occur. For example, during a failure of a magnet the carrier may slip, particularly for vertically oriented substrates. The interaction of the pin and the cavity prevent a complete drop of the carrier. As a yet further optional modification that may be combined with other embodiments, due to the presence of a step or a hook, the pin 551 may be prevented from being pulled out from the cavity 552 in a slipping condition.

[0042] According to some embodiments of the present disclosure, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the pin 551 has a width and the cavity 552 has edges, e.g. inner edges or walls, forming a further width. The further width of the cavity 552 can be greater than the width of the pin 551. Accordingly, as shown in FIG. 8B, once the pin 551 is inserted into the cavity 552, a clearance 553 is formed between the pin 551 and the edges of said cavity 552. In particular, the clearance 553 can range between 1 mm and 2 mm, preferably about 1.5 mm.

[0043] According to some embodiments of the present disclosure, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the pin 551 has a circular diameter (or a dimension of another shape such as a rectangle or a polygon) and the cavity 552 has edges or walls forming a further circular diameter (or a further dimension of another shape such as a rectangle or a polygon). In particular, the circular diameter or the dimension of the pin 551 ranges between 8 mm and 12 mm, preferably about 10 mm. The further circular diameter or the further dimension of the cavity 552 has a diameter ranging between 9.5 mm and 13.5 mm, preferably about 11.5 mm. Based on the necessities, the pin 551 and the outline of the cavity 552 can have a different shape and size.

[0044] According to some embodiments of the present disclosure, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the cavity 552 can have a depth ranging between 4 mm and 6 mm, preferably of 5 mm.

[0045] It is noted that these dimensions of the pin 551 and of the cavity 552 are considered to be the preferable range values so that the stop element 55 can support the carrier 51 upon failure of at least one of the first or second clamping element 53, 54. This is provided e.g. considering that the carrier 51 can carry a substrate 10 (or a mask 20) in an essentially vertical position, the substrate 10 having the dimension mentioned above.

[0046] According to some embodiments of the present disclosure, the pin 551 can be connectable to, or can be part of the first clamping element 53 and/or the cavity 552 can be part of the second clamping element 54. This is shown in FIG. 9, that describes an arrangement 50 in an engaged condition.

[0047] According to a further alternative embodiment of the arrangement 50 of the present disclosure shown in FIG. 10, the protrusion, e.g. the pin 551, can be connectable to, or can be a part of, the second clamping element 54 and the recess, e.g. the cavity 552, can be part of the first clamping element 53.

[0048] With these types of configurations, the two opposite pins 551 can be located closer to each other and can favor a stronger connection between the first and the second clamping elements 53, 54.

[0049] FIG. 11A shows a further embodiment of the arrangement 50 according to the present disclosure. The stop elements 55 can include at least a first hard stop edge 554 formed in the first clamping element 53 and a corresponding second hard stop edge 555 formed in the second clamping element 54. The first hard stop edge 554 is engageable or engages with a portion of the second clamping element 54. The second hard stop edge is engageable or engages with a portion of the first clamping element 53.

[0050] FIG. 11B describes in detail the disengaged condition, when the first and second clamping elements 53, 54 are moved away from each other and FIG. 11C describes the engaged condition, when the first and second clamping elements 53, 54 are moved closer to each other. The hard stop edges 554, 555 can be configured as an upper or lower protrusion of the external surface 531 and 541 of the first and second clamping elements 53, 54. In order to realize the engagement, if the hard stop edge 554 of the first clamping element 53 is formed by an upper protrusion of the external surface 531 of the first clamping element 53, the hard stop edge 555 of the second clamping element 54 is formed by a corresponding lower protrusion of the external surface 541 of the second clamping element 54, and vice versa.

[0051] According to some embodiments of the present disclosure, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the carrier is configured to carry a substrate 10 or a mask 20 in an essentially vertical position.

[0052] According to some embodiments of the present disclosure, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the first clamping element 53 can include a magnetically attractable material, i.e. a magnetic plate, and the second clamping element 54 can include an electro-permanent magnet element. In this way, the clamping action between the two clamping elements 53, 54 and consequently the fixing between the carrier 51 and the device 52 is further improved.

[0053] In particular, the electro-permanent magnet element can be switchable between a magnetized state and a non-magnetized state by applying an electrical current, wherein the electro-permanent magnet element is configured to remain in a magnetized state or a non- magnetized state after removal of the electrical current.

[0054] According to one embodiment, the electro-permanent magnet element can include a clamping magnet assembly including clamping magnets and a controlling magnet assembly including at least one controlling magnet and at least a coil. In particular, the one coil substantially can enclose the one controlling magnet of the controlling magnet assembly and is configured to switch the polarity of the one controlling magnet. The electro-permanent magnet element can include at least a permanent magnet made of a rare- earth metal, particularly a neodymium alloy.

[0055] FIG. 12 describes an apparatus 60 for depositing a layer on a substrate 10. The apparatus includes a processing chamber 61 adapted for the layer deposition and an arrangement 50 according to any embodiments described above. The arrangement 50 can be used for fixing or clamping a carrier 51 to a device 52 during processing in the processing chamber 61. The apparatus furthermore includes a deposition source 30 for depositing a material forming the layer on the substrate 10. In particular, a carrier can be configured to carry the substrate 10 or a mask 20 disposed between the substrate 10 and the deposition source 30. As an example, in the apparatus of FIG. 12, the carrier 51 is configured to carry the substrate 10 as the substrate carrier 11 of FIG. 2B.

[0056] The use of the arrangement 50 in the apparatus 60 is beneficial for fixing a device 52 to the carrier 51 in a steady and more permanent way. The device 52 can be for example an aligning device for moving the carrier 12 relative to the mask 20 in order to exactly align the mask pattern relative to the surface of the substrate 10 to be processed. For example, the device can be connected to the substrate carrier 51 and to a mask carrier. Advantageously, the arrangement 50 is used for clamping the device 52 and for maintaining the clamping over time without failure within the processing chamber 61, e.g. during the processing (i.e. layer deposition) of the substrate 10.

[0057] FIG. 13 shows a holding and aligning arrangement 70 according to the present disclosure. The arrangement 70 includes a clamping device 58 for supporting a substrate carrier 51 and/or a mask carrier 21 during a processing in a processing chamber. The arrangement 70 of FIG. 13 shows a clamping device 58 supporting the substrate carrier 51. The arrangement 70 furthermore includes an alignment device 52 for moving the substrate carrier 51 relative to the mask carrier 21. In particular, the clamping device 58 includes at least a first clamping element 53 coupled to the substrate carrier 51 or the mask carrier 21 and a second clamping element 54 coupled to the alignment device 52. The first clamping element 53 and the second clamping element 54 are configured to be fixable or clampable with respect to each other. The clamping device 58 includes stop elements 55 to support the carrier 51 upon failure of one of the first clamping element 53 and the second clamping element 54. According to some embodiments, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the holding of an aligning arrangement can include a first clamping device (see reference numeral 58 FIG. 13) coupling the substrate carrier to the alignment device, and a second clamping device (not shown in FIG. 13) coupling the mask carrier to the alignment device. The second clamping device may be provided according to embodiments described herein and/or similar to the first clamping device.

[0058] The stop elements 55 improve the clamping action of the clamping device 58 since they can prevent the slipping between the first clamping element 53 and the second clamping element 54 that can occur over time due to drift movement of the device 52 relative to the carrier 51.

[0059] According to some embodiments of the present disclosure, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the alignment device 52 can be configured to be fixed or clamped to both the substrate carrier 51 and the mask carrier 21. The clamping device 58 can therefore include dedicated stop elements 55 for supporting both the substrate carrier 51 and the mask carrier 21 upon failure of the corresponding clamping elements.

[0060] The aligning device 52 can include one or more actuators acting on the substrate carrier 51 and/or the mask carrier 21 to perform a movement of the substrate 10 relative to the mask 20. The actuator can be an integral part of the device 52 or can be a separated component connected to the device 52 through suitable connecting means.

[0061] According to some embodiments of the present disclosure, which can be combined with other embodiments described herein, the first clamping element 53 can be coupled to a hinge element. Accordingly, the alignment device 52 can move the carrier 51 in a different direction, i.e. along a linear direction in, or parallel to, a plane defined by the carrier 51 (for example the XY plane in FIG. 2A), along a linear direction perpendicular to the plane (for example the z-direction in FIG. 2B) and/or in an angular direction around an axis perpendicular to said plane. [0062] The presence of a clearance 553 between the pin 551 and the cavity 552 (or a protrusion and a recess) can also serve for allowing fine adjustment movements of the carrier 51 in different directions even after the first clamping element 53 has been fixed to the second clamping element 54. For example, the clearance 553 can allow an angular movement of the carrier 51 around an axis perpendicular to the plane defined by the carrier 51.

[0063] The embodiments according to the present disclosure have several advantages including the possibility to improve the clamping action between the device 52 and the carrier 51. In particular, these embodiments have the advantage of preventing slipping between the clamping elements 53, 54 that may occur over time, especially when the carrier 51 is configured to carry a substrate 10 or a mask 20 in an essentially vertical position. Furthermore, the embodiments according to the present disclosure have the advantage of allowing fine adjustments of the position of the carrier 51 in several different directions. [0064] 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.