Patents Represented by Attorney Scheinberg & Griner, LLP
  • Patent number: 8334511
    Abstract: An electron microscope including a vacuum chamber for containing a specimen to be analyzed, an optics column, including an electron source and a final probe forming lens, for focusing electrons emitted from the electron source, a specimen stage positioned in the vacuum chamber under the probe forming lens for holding the specimen, and an x-ray detector positioned within the vacuum chamber. The x-ray detector includes an x-ray sensitive solid-state sensor and a mechanical support system for supporting and positioning the detector, including the sensor, within the vacuum chamber. The entirety of the mechanical support system is contained within the vacuum chamber. Multiple detectors of different types may be supported within the vacuum chamber on the mechanical support system. The mechanical support system may also include at least one thermoelectric cooler element for thermo-electrically cooling the x-ray sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2012
    Assignee: FEI Company
    Inventors: Frederick H. Schamber, Cornelis G. Van Beek
  • Patent number: 8190464
    Abstract: A management database is queried to determine which customers have failed to respond to recall notices. The resulting list of customers may be sorted or filtered so that some customers are preferentially contacted first, based on expected value or office preferences. The list may also be sorted or filtered to fill specific providers' schedules first. Customer names and contact information are then presented to schedulers so that customers may be contacted. The time and date of each contact is automatically recorded along with the outcome of the contact. A customer name is presented to a scheduler only if the same name is not being simultaneously presented to other schedulers and that customer was not too recently contacted, so that redundant or too frequent contacts are avoided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: Brevium, Inc.
    Inventors: Brett C. Gerlach, Brian William Perrin
  • Patent number: 8182328
    Abstract: A method for lottery wagering on real-world events. One method according to an embodiment of the present invention includes selecting a set of variables, each variable representing a time-varying value capable of having a fixed value at a specified time. For each variable, the method includes selecting a range of values for the fixed value of the variable at the specified time, dividing the range of values into a set of n increments, randomly assigning a lottery number from a set of lottery numbers, 1 to n, to each increment, selecting a winning lottery number from the set of lottery numbers based on correlating the fixed value of the variable at the specified time with the increment associated with the winning lottery number; and determining a set of winning lottery numbers from the winning lottery numbers selected for each variable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2012
    Inventors: James M. Odom, Scott D. Yelich
  • Patent number: 8168961
    Abstract: An improved method for substrate micromachining. Preferred embodiments of the present invention provide improved methods for the utilization of charged particle beam masking and laser ablation. A combination of the advantages of charged particle beam mask fabrication and ultra short pulse laser ablation are used to significantly reduce substrate processing time and improve lateral resolution and aspect ratio of features machined by laser ablation to preferably smaller than the diffraction limit of the machining laser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: FEI Company
    Inventors: Marcus Straw, Milos Toth, Steven Randolph, Michael Lysaght, Mark Utlaut
  • Patent number: 8168948
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for producing high-quality samples for e.g. TEM inspection. When thinning samples with e.g. a Focused Ion Beam apparatus (FIB), the sample often oxidizes when taken from the FIB due to the exposure to air. This results in low-quality samples, that may be unfit for further analysis. By forming a passivation layer, preferably a hydrogen passivation layer, on the sample in situ, that is: before taking the sample from the FIB, high quality TEM samples can be produced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: FEI Company
    Inventors: Aurélien Philippe Jean Maclou Botman, Bert Henning Freitag, Johannes Jacobus Lambertus Mulders
  • Patent number: 8170255
    Abstract: An enclosure with a substantial rectangular configuration, adapted to contain an apparatus sensitive to acoustic vibrations, the enclosure comprising walls and acoustic damping material located within the wall, wherein the acoustic damping material comprises at least one absorbing body of acoustic energy absorbing material located adjacent to a rib of the enclosure. The acoustic vibrations most disturbing the processes in the apparatus within the enclosure are caused by standing acoustic waves within the enclosure with frequencies in the range between 50 Hz and 1000 Hz. These acoustic waves are efficiently damped by the provision of a block of acoustic absorbing material adjacent to one of the ribs of the enclosure, to such an extent that the need for thick walls of the enclosure is substantially obviated, leading to a less voluminous enclosure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: FEI Company
    Inventors: Albert Visscher, Joseph Hubert Marie Guillaume Schroen
  • Patent number: 8168957
    Abstract: The present invention provides an inductively coupled, magnetically enhanced ion beam source, suitable to be used in conjunction with probe-forming optics to produce an ion beam without kinetic energy oscillations induced by the source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: FEI Company
    Inventors: John Keller, Noel Smith, Roderick Boswell, Lawrence Scipioni, Christine Charles, Orson Sutherland
  • Patent number: 8170832
    Abstract: A method for Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) sample creation. The use of a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)—Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (STEM) detector in the dual-beam focused ion beam (FIB)/SEM allows a sample to be thinned using the FIB, while the STEM signal is used to monitor sample thickness. A preferred embodiment of the present invention can measure the thickness of or create TEM samples by using a precise endpoint detection method. Preferred embodiments also enable automatic endpointing during TEM lamella creation and provide users with direct feedback on sample thickness during manual thinning. Preferred embodiments of the present invention thus provide methods for endpointing sample thinning and methods to partially or fully automate endpointing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: FEI Company
    Inventors: Richard J. Young, Brennan Peterson, Rudolf Johannes Peter Gerardus Schampers, Michael Moriarty
  • Patent number: 8164059
    Abstract: A secondary particle detector 302 for a charged particle beam system 300 includes a scintillator 304 and a transducer 312, such as a photomultiplier tube, positioned within a vacuum chamber 107. Unlike prior art Everhart-Thornley detectors, the photomultiplier is positioned within the vacuum chamber, which improves detection by eliminating optical couplings and provides flexibility in positioning the detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: FEI Company
    Inventors: Robert Gerlach, Mostafa Maazouz, Trevor Dingle, Mark Utlaut, James McGinn
  • Patent number: 8163145
    Abstract: An improved method of controlling topographical variations when milling a cross-section of a structure, which can be used to reduce topographical variation on a cross-section of a write-head in order to improve the accuracy of metrology applications. Topographical variation is reduced by using a protective layer that comprises a material having mill rates at higher incidence angles that closely approximate the mill rates of the structure at those higher incidence angles. Topographical variation can be intentionally introduced by using a protective layer that comprises a material having mill rates at higher incidence angles that do not closely approximate the mill rates of the structure at those higher incidence angles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: FEI Company
    Inventors: James P Nadeau, Pei Zou, Jason H. Arjavac
  • Patent number: 8163641
    Abstract: A charge transfer mechanism is used to locally deposit or remove material for a small structure. A local electrochemical cell is created without having to immerse the entire work piece in a bath. The charge transfer mechanism can be used together with a charged particle beam or laser system to modify small structures, such as integrated circuits or micro-electromechanical system. The charge transfer process can be performed in air or, in some embodiments, in a vacuum chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2012
    Assignee: FEI Company
    Inventors: George Y. Gu, Neil J. Bassom, Thomas J. Gannon, Kun Liu
  • Patent number: 8150615
    Abstract: An improved system for delivering propane or other consumable liquid to remotely located storage tanks including a novel combination of remote monitoring of customer tanks and an improved method of using the remote monitoring data to optimally schedule deliveries, improve safety, and more efficiently operate a propane dealership. More accurate and timely information concerning the status of customer tanks serves to improve operational efficiencies and increase safety. Data received from remote sensors can be collected and organized so that it is easily understood and utilized through the implementation of a user interface accessible via the Internet that allows the information to be presented in an efficient graphical and contextual fashion. Operational efficiencies can also be improved by taking historical propane usage for each tank, weather conditions, and projected fuel usage into account.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2012
    Inventor: Richard L. Humphrey
  • Patent number: 8149160
    Abstract: A non-contact, distance traveled measurement system (DTMS) to calculate speed and distance traveled by a vehicle over rails—more specifically, by trains traveling on standard railroad tracks. Preferably, a pair of short range (near field) microwave-based transmitters/sensors (transceivers) are mounted on the underside of the train and used to key on rail-bed features such as cross ties or tie plates. Preferred embodiments also include infrared sensors as a redundant channel that is less sensitive to moisture in the track bed. Data from the sensors is correlated to determine the time delay between the first and second sensors' passage over objects on the rail bed such as cross-ties or tie-plates. From this time delay, nearly instantaneous velocity can be computed at each given target such as a tie plate (metal target) or a tie (dielectric contrast target). Velocity versus time curves can be integrated over time to derive distance traveled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2012
    Assignee: Systems and Materials Research Corporation
    Inventors: Alan V. Bray, Sean McNeal, Jesse McDaniel
  • Patent number: 8134124
    Abstract: An improved method and apparatus for S/TEM sample preparation and analysis. Preferred embodiments of the present invention provide improved methods for TEM sample creation, especially for small geometry (<100 nm thick) TEM lamellae. A novel sample structure and a novel use of a milling pattern allow the creation of S/TEM samples as thin as 50 nm without significant bowing or warping. Preferred embodiments of the present invention provide methods to partially or fully automate TEM sample creation, to make the process of creating and analyzing TEM samples less labor intensive, and to increase throughput and reproducibility of TEM analysis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2012
    Assignee: FEI Company
    Inventors: Jeff Blackwood, Stacey Stone
  • Patent number: 8124942
    Abstract: A focused ion beam (FIB) system is disclosed, comprising an inductively coupled plasma ion source, an insulating plasma chamber containing the plasma, a conducting source biasing electrode in contact with the plasma and biased to a high voltage to control the ion beam energy at a sample, and a plurality of apertures. The plasma within the plasma chamber serves as a virtual source for an ion column comprising one or more lenses which form a focused ion beam on the surface of a sample to be imaged and/or FIB-processed. The plasma is initiated by a plasma igniter mounted near or at the column which induces a high voltage oscillatory pulse on the source biasing electrode. By mounting the plasma igniter near the column, capacitive effects of the cable connecting the source biasing electrode to the biasing power supply are minimized. Ion beam sputtering of the apertures is minimized by proper aperture materials selection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2012
    Assignee: FEI Company
    Inventors: Anthony Graupera, Sean Kellogg, Tom Miller, Dustin Laur, Shouyin Zhang, Antonius Bastianus Wilhelmus Dirriwachter
  • Patent number: 8117970
    Abstract: An overhead storage system includes support beams forming a frame to a deck around its perimeter and four corner vertical mounts for suspending the deck from a ceiling. The frame is preferably made of Z-shaped beams supported by vertical L-shaped corner supports to provide strong support for a deck. The Z-shaped beams provide strength and a horizontal surface on which a deck can be rested. A welded wire deck can be strengthened by bonding it to ribs. In some embodiments, center supports can preferably be positioned anywhere along the length of the support beams, and do not require holes in the beams for mounting. The beams are preferably connected to the vertical corner brackets without using threaded fasteners, thereby making the assembly easier for assembly by a homeowner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2012
    Inventor: Michael Baez
  • Patent number: D655121
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Inventor: Jamie M. Wallace
  • Patent number: D657178
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2012
    Inventor: Tamara L. Cryar
  • Patent number: D657474
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2012
    Assignee: FEI Company
    Inventor: Pleun Dona
  • Patent number: D659394
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2012
    Assignee: PAK, LLP
    Inventors: Nicol Hebert, Marlinda Hinojosa