Ex parte MIYAZAWA et al. - Page 10

          Appeal No. 96-1805                                                          
          Application 08/200,432                                                      

          a gas ambient as an alternative to the high vacuum is clearly               
          envisioned by Black” (emphasis added).  The appellants also                 
          support this view (Brief, page 8).                                          
               Goesele has been cited by the examiner as teaching that the            
          bonding process can successfully be conducted by pressing the               
          wafers together at one spot, from which a bonding wave proceeds             
          (column 3, lines 34 through 36).                                            
               We first shall consider the limitation in claims 1 and 13 of           
          setting a pressure of gas below atmospheric pressure between the            
          first and second wafers "before starting a sticking of said                 
          wafers."  The examiner's position is that Hoshi would have taught           
          one of ordinary skill in the art to further modify the bonding              

          systems described in the admitted prior art by performing them in           
          a chamber in which the pressure is below atmospheric at the                 
          required point in the method.  He begins his analysis by                    
          asserting that                                                              
               no bonding of the wafers [in Hoshi] is initiated by                    
               merely contacting the surfaces . . . as depicted in                    
               Figure 3D because the wafers are still held apart by                   
               the vacuum pressure of the vacuum chucks" (Answer,                     
               sentence bridging pages 8 and 9).                                      


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