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Substrate processing system, substrate processing method, sealed container storing apparatus, program for implementing the substrate processing method, and storage medium storing the program

Image Number 13 for United States Patent #7925370.

A substrate processing system which is capable of preventing dust from becoming attached to substrates without increasing the degree of cleanliness of a clean room to a predetermined level, and also capable of increasing the substrate processing throughput without increasing the burden on workers. a plasma processing apparatus 2 that subjects semiconductor wafers W to plasma processing in a cleaned atmosphere. A SMIF 4 has a enclosure 23 that is connected to the plasma processing apparatus 2 and has a cleaned atmosphere therein, a pod stage 26 on which a pod 3 housing semiconductor wafers W is mounted, a pod mounting portion 24 that carries out removal of semiconductor wafers W from the pod 3 and housing of semiconductor wafers W into the pod 3, and a wafer cassette transfer arm 27 that transfers semiconductor wafers W between the pod stage 26 and the plasma processing apparatus 2 via the enclosure 23. A preliminary loader 5 having a stage-shaped unprocessed pod port 28 that stores a pod 3 housing semiconductor wafers W that have not been subjected to the plasma processing, a shelf-like processed pod port 29 that stores a sealed container housing semiconductor wafers W that have been subjected to the plasma processing, and a pod moving mechanism 30 that moves the pods 3 between the stage-shaped unprocessed pod port 28 and the pod stage 26, and between the pod stage 26 and the shelf-like processed pod port 29.

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