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Fast, Non-contact, In-situ temperature sensor 220C - 1200C    

Fast, non-contact, in-situ temperature sensor in a range of 220-1200'C. A proven highly sensitive system for fast, accurate and precise temperature control.


A proven temperature monitoring and control system used in semiconductor fabrication process for fast, in-situ measurement of a wide temperature range. The system provides accurate temperature readings in challenging environments where ordinary pyrometric systems fail. The system has a fast (1 KHz) response in a wide temperature range of 220'C - 1200'C, and is fully calibrated to provide high accuracy temperature readings (<1'C). The system has a proven track record in "impossible" environments, such as laser annealing and rapid thermal processing of semiconductor wafers, with excellent system-to-system matching capabilities. The temperature readings are corrected for wafer and film emissivity, reflectivity, transmissivity. Measurements are made using the fundamental principles of black body radiation. The temperature measurements can be performed in "impossible," environments of high background radiation, very bright environments (tungsten halogen lamps), high-power lasers, high temperatures, with varying and toxic ambient conditions, and unknown film properties. New applications for the technology may include high power laser processing, materials use for aerospace industry, high temperature adhesives, materials testing, thermal or radiation cure coatings, machine tools, micro-machinery, flash annealing or other thermal processing.

Primary Application of the Technology

The primary application is for temperature control of high temperature manufacturing process where fast, accurate and precise temperature measurement is critical. The primary market for this technology is semiconductor thermal processing.

Other Potential Applications

Additional applications for the technology are industrial laser annealing and welding, thermal processing of materials, aerospace, automotive, materials testing, thermal or radiation cure coatings.

The Problem Solved by the Technology

The technology solves the issue of remote, fast and accurate temperature measurement in a wide range of high temperature processes run in a hard to measure environments. The technique compensates for substrate emissivity, reflectivity, transmissivity, and corrects for in-situ installation and environmental effects (windows, fiber optic routing, etc.).

How the Technology Solves the Problem

The technology is based on proven semiconductor processing and methodologies, which require fast, precise, accurate, and reliable system to control process temperature. The system uses an advanced pyrometer unit with measuring environment based on the principles of Planck's black body radiation, where emissivity, transmissivity, and other properties of the material are properly calculated and accounted for.

Competitive Advantage

The technology works very well in the semiconductor thermal processing field of use. It has superior time response (1000Hz), it spans a wide range of temperatures from 220 degrees centigrade to 1200 degrees centigrade and it has been proven to work in hard-to-measure environments where conventional pyrometers fail. The accuracy of the readings is better than 1 degree centigrade, where a full compensation to emissivity, reflectivity, and transmissivity of the materials measured is applied.

Comments on Deal Structure, Potential Terms and Restrictions

Licensing of the technology, the know-how and the associated patents.

Additional Information

This technology is supported by 12 US patents; the most recent year of issue is 2001.

Technology has been already commercialized and used in proven, high volume wafer processing equipment.

The IP and know-how details will be provided as part of the technology exchange agreement.

In addition to the technology IP licensing and know-how information, the seller is willing to provide additional engineering support to customize the unit to the buyer system or use case. Details will be discussed as part of the technology exchange agreement.

Patent Summary

U.S. Patent Classes & Classifications Covered in this listing:

Class 374: Thermal Measuring And Testing

(1) a characteristic or condition of an object or system utilizing heating or cooling as a significant part of the test and not provided for in other classes, or (2) a thermal quantity or condition. This class also includes circuitry and devices with structure unique to a thermal measurement or test.

Subclass 110: Plural spaced temperature function
Subclass 121: By thermally emitted radiation
Subclass 124: With scanning or temperature distribution display
Subclass 126: Having emissivity compensating or specified radiating surface
Subclass 128: Having significant signal handling circuitry (e.g., linearizing, emissivity compensation)
Subclass 130: Optical system structure (e.g., lens)
Subclass 131: With radiation conducting element
Subclass 141: Combined with diverse art device
Subclass 161: Change of optical property
Subclass 2: By thermal radiation emitting device (e.g., blackbody cavity)

Class 250: Radiant Energy

This class provides for all methods and apparatus for using, generating, controlling or detecting radiant energy, combinations including such methods or apparatus, subcombinations of same and accessories therefore not classifiable elsewhere.

Subclass 338.1: Infrared responsive
Subclass 216: Optical or pre-photocell system

Class 977: Nanotechnology

This art collection provides for disclosures related to: nanostructure and chemical compositions of nanostructure; device that include at least one nanostructure; mathematical algorithms, e.g., computer software, etc., specifically adapted for modeling configurations or properties of nanostructure; methods or apparatus for making, detecting, analyzing, or treating nanostructure; and specified particular uses of nanostructure. the term "nanostructure" is defined to mean an atomic, molecular, or macromolecular structure that: has at least one physical dimension of approximately 1-100 nanometers; and possesses a special property, provides a special function, or produces a special effect that is uniquely attributable to the structure s nanoscale physical size.

Subclass 918: Immunological

Class 219: Electric Heating

This class includes all those devices commonly known as electric heaters, electric-heating metal working apparatus, electrically-heated tools and instruments. This is the generic class for electric heating devices, per se. Devices and systems equipped with electric heating means in which the electric heating means is combined with or includes specific other art structure whereby the heated material is withdrawn, stored or otherwise utilized will also be classified in the appropriate other art class to which it pertains.

Subclass 390: Muffle-type enclosure
Subclass 405: Including heat energy reflecting or directing means
Subclass 411: With infrared generating means
Subclass 502: Utilizing light-sensitive and/or responsive means

Class 117: Single-Crystal, Oriented-Crystal, And Epitaxy Growth Processes; Non-Coating Apparatus Therefor

Processes consisting of the single or repeated unit operation of forming a single-crystal of any type of material, including inorganic or organic; such processes combined with perfecting operations; and apparatus for conducting non-coating processes of this class.

Subclass 202: With responsive control means
Subclass 85: With a step of measuring, testing, or sensing
Subclass 86: With responsive control

Class 118: Coating Apparatus

pparatus for applying or obtaining a surface coating on a base and/or apparatus for impregnating base materials and takes all such apparatus not provided for in other classes. The coating obtained may be permanent or transitory. The coating may be supplied solely by extraneous materials, as in a painting or waxing operation, or may be supplied wholly or in part by the base materials as in the formation of an oxide coating on a metal base. The coating may consist of an emulsion, dispersion, solution, admixture or oil which is clearly disclosed as leaving a residual film, layer or continuous deposit on the base.

Subclass 725: Substrate heater

Class 392: Electric Resistance Heating Devices

Subclass 416: With chamber
Subclass 418: With support for workpiece

Class 356: Optics: Measuring And Testing

Methods and apparatus (1) for analyzing light to measure or test its characteristics, such as intensity, color and polarization; (2) for determining the optical or nonoptical properties of materials or articles by noting, as by inspection, measurement, or test the effect produced by the materials or articles on light associated therewith; and (3) for measuring the dimensions of structures or the spatial relationships such as distances or angle bearings of spaced points by comparison of the respective properties (usually direction or spatial position) of the light from these points or by comparison of the properties of these lights with some scale or standard. The light analyzing includes or is for spectroscopy, interference, polarization, beam direction or pattern, focal position of a light source, shade or color, and photometers. The material or article properties determined are or involve crystal or gem examination, material strain analysis, blood analysis, optical pyrometers, egg candling, cutting blade sharpness, oil testing, document verification, flatness, lens or reflector testing, refraction testing, monitoring moving webs or fabrics, light transmission or absorption, light reflection, inspection for flaws or imperfections in materials, and thread counting. The dimensioning and spatial relationship determination includes triangulation by a light beam, contour plotting, range or height finders, motion stopping, velocity or velocity/height measuring, sighting where the optical element or reticle moves with the sighted object, particle size determination, particle light scattering, electrophoresis, angle measuring or axial alignment, mensuration or configuration comparison, alignment in a lateral direction, and fiducial instruments.

Subclass 45: Plural color responsive

Class 702: Data Processing:Measuring, Calibrating, Or Testing

This class provides for apparatus and corresponding methods wherein the data processing system or calculating computer is designed for or utilized in an environment relating to a specific or generic measurement system, a calibration or correction system, or a testing system.

Subclass 130: Temperature measuring system

Class 323: Electricity: Power Supply Or Regulation Systems

This is the generic class for electrical systems wherein a single electrical source is coupled to a single electrical load circuit and means are provided which control the magnitude or level of the current or voltage of either or both of said circuits and/or the phase angle between the current or voltage of either or both of said circuits. This is also the generic class for transformer systems and impedance systems.

Subclass 316: With amplifier connected to or between current paths

Class 324: Electricity: Measuring And Testing

This is the residual home for all subject matter, not elsewhere classified, relating to the measuring, testing (or sensing) of electric properties, (e.g., determining ground resistivity, determining frequency of an alternating current, determining kilowatt hour demand), or the measuring, testing or sensing of nonelectric properties by electric means (e.g., determining moisture, a nonelectric property, by measuring conductance with a resistance bridge; determining speed, a nonelectric property by use of an electric tachometer).


Class 327: Miscellaneous Active Electrical Nonlinear Devices, Circuits, And Systems

This is the residual class for electrical devices, circuits or systems having an output not directly proportional to its input and comprising at least one component which can provide gain or can route electrical current and which device, circuit or system does not form a complete system such as is classified specifically elsewhere or a subcombination of utility only in such elsewhere classified system.

Subclass 512: Temperature

Class 359: Optical: Systems And Elements

Optical elements included in this class are: Lenses; Polarizers; Diffraction gratings; Prisms; Reflectors; Filters; Projection screens; Optical Modulators; Optical Demodulators. Among the optical systems included in this class are: Compound lens systems; Light reflecting signalling systems (e.g., retroreflectors); stereoscopic systems; Binocular devices; Systems of lenticular elements; Systems involving light interference; Glare reducing systems; Light dividing and combining systems; Light control systems (e.g., light valves); building illumination with natural light; Systems for protecting or shielding elements; Optical systems whose operation depends upon polarizing, diffracting, dispersing, reflecting, or refracting light; kaleidoscopes. Further included are certain apertures, closures, and viewing devices of a specialized nature which involve no intentional reflection, refraction, or filtering of light rays. This class also includes optical elements combined with another type of structure(s) to constitute an optical element combined with a nonoptical structure or a perfection or improvement in the optical element.

Subclass 853: Light concentrating (e.g., heliostat, etc.), concave, or paraboloidal structure

European Patent Classes & Classifications Covered in this listing:


SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR . Processes or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or solid state devices or of parts thereof .