Patents Assigned to Fluoroware, Inc.
  • Patent number: 6354601
    Abstract: A wafer container comprising an enclosure portion with a door frame defining an opening for insertion and removal of wafers and a door for insertion into the door frame for closing the opening and sealing with the door frame has an improved elastomeric seal. In a preferred embodiment of the invention an elastomeric seal encircles the door, is partially inset in a groove in the door, and has a cantilevered portion extending laterally outwardly from the door to engage a sealing surface of the door and a laterally displaced sealing surface of the door frame when the door is seated. Thus a seal can be provided that is effected almost totally by flexure of the cantilevered portion rather than by compression of the seal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis J. Krampotich, D. Kerry Kiser, Michael D. Peterson
  • Patent number: 6289912
    Abstract: A valve has a contractible valve element formed of an inner laminae of PFA, an outer laminae of PTFE with the outer laminae having a boss to provide positive compression and positive distension of the valve element. The portion that constrict is welded to a PFA tubular end portion thus providing the advantages of a PTFE laminae with a boss and the PFA what it surfaces. The valve utilizes a valve mechanism which has a yoke which moves radially towards and away from the contractible valve element with linkages extending from yoke arms which connect to opposite sides of the contractible valve element. The valve element may thus be positively closed and positively opened. The hermetic seal between the outer PTFE laminae and the inner PFA laminae causes the inner laminae to extend outwardly when the outer laminae is positively distended thereby allowing the valve function where the fluid being controlled is under a negative pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2001
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas J. McPeak, James C. Linder, Jeffrey J. McKenzie, Steven A. Melbostad, Michael W. Johnson
  • Patent number: 6267245
    Abstract: A wafer container comprising a receptacle and door provides for horizontal minimal contact support of wafers and provides for vertical support without one surface support intermediate the front edge support and rear edge support. The wafer carrier has for each wafer two distinct levels of support axially offset from one another. The first level of support is by wafer shelves contacting the bottom surface at the left side and right side of each wafer. The second level of support is provided by cushions securing the wafer at the front edge and back edge without one surface support at the left and right edges. The cushions on the door and at the rear of the receptacle are preferably removable such as by folding or compressing the cushion unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2001
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory W. Bores, Michael C. Zabka
  • Patent number: 6248177
    Abstract: A method of cleaning a wafer carrier utilizes two isolated fluidic circuits. The wafer carrier having an interior and an exterior. The carrier is sealingly attached to a cleaning apparatus having separate isolated areas, one isolated area including the interior and the other the exterior. Fluid of the first fluidic circuit is sprayed on the interior and fluid from the second circuit is sprayed on the exterior reducing cross contamination.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2001
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventor: David L. Halbmaier
  • Patent number: 6227224
    Abstract: A valve has a contractible valve element formed of an inner laminae of PFA, an outer laminae of PTFE with the outer laminae having a boss to provide positive compression and positive distension of the valve element. The portion that constrict is welded to a PFA tubular end portion thus providing the advantages of a PTFE laminae with a boss and the PFA what it surfaces. The valve utilizes a valve mechanism which has a yoke which moves radially towards and away from the contractible valve element with linkages extending from yoke arms which connect to opposite sides of the contractible valve element. The valve element may thus be positively closed and positively opened. The hermetic seal between the outer PTFE laminae and the inner PFA laminae causes the inner laminae to extend outwardly when the outer laminae is positively distended thereby allowing the valve function where the fluid being controlled is under a negative pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2001
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas J. McPeak, James C. Linder, Jeffrey J. McKenzie, Steven A. Melbostad, Michael W. Johnson
  • Patent number: 6216874
    Abstract: A low tolerance build-up wafer carrier and method for assembling the same for supporting semiconductor wafer disks and for interfacing with processing equipment. Press-fit fasteners are used to assemble composite carriers and attach equipment interface portions to the carrier. Each press-fit fastener comprising a first fastener portion integral with a first element and a second fastener portion integral with a second element. The first and second fastener portions interferingly engaging each other when pressed together thereby connecting first and second elements without significant tolerance build-up. A further embodiment of the invention is to provide a wafer carrier having interface contact portions positioned to accept carrier contact portions, from processing equipment, through a guide plate or kinematic coupling. The interface contact portions acting to align the carrier and prevent tolerance build-up due to the flexing of the guide plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2001
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory W. Bores, Michael C. Zabka
  • Patent number: 6206196
    Abstract: A semiconductor wafer carrier has an enclosure with a door frame defining an opening for insertion and removal of wafers, a door for closing and sealing said opening, and separately formed door guides for controlling the interface between said door and the enclosure. In a preferred embodiment, the door guides each comprise a first body and a second body connected to each other by a web. Each body includes a door contacting portion and a door frame contacting portion. The door frame contacting portion has a sloped segment configured to slidingly, progressively, and cooperatively engage the door frame to properly position the door within door frame during closure with minimal particle generation by such contact. In this preferred embodiment, the guide is configured to be attached onto a corner edge of a door. In this arrangement, as the door is inserted into the door frame in the z-direction, the first and second bodies exert centering forces as needed in the x and y directions on corner portions of the door.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2001
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis J. Krampotich, David L. Nyseth
  • Patent number: 6183021
    Abstract: A pass-through dual containment fitting that protectively seals a portion of pass-through tubing has a fitting body that incorporates a first end, a second end and a collar, each having a longitudinal bore for receiving the pass-through tubing. The second end having an extending nose portion. A radially compressive sealing device is engagable with the first end of the fitting body. When the radially compressive sealing device is fully engaged with the first end a fluid-tight seal is formed between the device and the fitting body. A dual containment sealing device incorporates containment tubing having a flared end and a flared end fitting. The extending nose portion of the fitting body is inserted into the flared end. The flared end fitting engages the second end of the fitting body to compress the flared end to the extending nose portion to form a fluid-tight seal between the dual containment sealing device and the fitting body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1998
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2001
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew E. Walsh, Gary A. Wolf, Eric G. Soderstrom, Sr.
  • Patent number: 6164530
    Abstract: The present invention provides a method and apparatus for monitoring the progress of a plurality of batches of semiconductor wafer or memory disks through a multiplicity of processing operations at various locations within a plant facility and maintaining information regarding the progress of each batch at the respective batch. The method includes the step of inserting each of the batches of wafers or memory disks in a carrier constructed and arranged for supporting the wafers or disks in parallel, axially arranged, spaced arrays. A transponder is embedded in a planar wall portion within each carrier by way of a recess extending inwardly from a lower edge of the wall portion. The transponder has a code to identify the carrier and a batch of wafers or disks contained therein and to further identify the various processing operations to which the batch has been subjected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2000
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: Nicholas T. Cheesebrow, Shawn D. Eggum, Robert D. Kos, Randy S. Williams
  • Patent number: 6135156
    Abstract: The tube closure comprises a cap and a nut which work in concert with each other to effectively seal a nipple at the end of a threaded tube or pipe and which facilitate removal of the cap. The cap has a flared end portion, a narrowed neck portion, a head portion, and an inner cylindrical sealing surface which engages the nipple. The cap is removably engaged within the nut with the nut at the neck portion, and is sealingly engaged on a cylindrical surface of the nipple. The cap may be removed from the nut by withdrawing the head through the nut, with an axial separation force. Removal of the cap from the nipple requires an axial cap removal force. The required axial separation force is greater than the cap removal force. The engagement of the cap within the nut allows the unscrewing of the nut to provide an axial force on the cap to disengage the cap from the nipple without separating the nut from the cap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2000
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: James D. Donoho, Todd Maciej, Eric G. Soderstrom
  • Patent number: 6116547
    Abstract: A system and method for isolating the compressive and tensive forces created in a section of flexible tubing whose length expands and contracts in response to the fluid it conveys, while constraining the expansion of the tubing to a substantially horizontal plane. The tubing section having a pair of ends and a center portion therebetween. The system having a support structure and a pair of clamping members. The support structure having a pair of side constrainment portions for constraining the expansion of the tubing. The clamping members for anchoring the ends of the tubing section within the support structure thereby fixing their positions relative to each other and the support structure. When the tubing expands, the ends remain in their fixed position and the center portion of the tubing is forced to snake between the side constrainment portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2000
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael W. Johnson, Jeffrey J. McKenzie
  • Patent number: 6082540
    Abstract: In a preferred embodiment of the invention, a transport module suitable for 300 mm wafers has a cushioning system that attaches to the interior of an enclosure door. The system comprises a pair of upright parallel cushions, each comprising an elongate base portion with a plurality of integral fingers extending at an acute angle from the base members. Each sequential finger of each cushion engaging every other wafer. Each finger having an arm portion and a wafer engaging portion. The wafer engaging portion comprising a curved convex surface to provide minimal vertical line contact with the circumferential outer surface of the wafer without providing axial constrainment of the wafer. The base portions are attached to the inside facing door panels by a plurality of attachment portions each comprising a split shank portion that extends through the aperture and a plurality of flange portions on the ends of the split shank portions for securing the base portions to the inside panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2000
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: Dennis J. Krampotich, D. Kerry Kiser
  • Patent number: 6082547
    Abstract: A plastic jig which may be injection molded has a plurality of square pockets, each pocket having a pair of integral spring loaded fingers on two adjacent sides of square component trays for repeatedly and consistently positioning the component trays placed in said pocket. The resiliency of said spring loaded fingers operate to urge the square tray against fixed locating portions of the pocket. Features on the top and bottom of the jig provide for the secure stacking of jigs while holding trays. An upper jig above an adjacent lower jig provides a cover, enclosing the components in the tray in lower jig.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2000
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert J. Nentl, James R. Nigg
  • Patent number: 6079597
    Abstract: A blow molded drum has a port including a neck with exterior buttress threads and a port opening having a sleeve fusion bonded in the neck. The sleeve having a inner cylindrical sealing surface, and a shoulder. A drop-in down tube assembly seats with the shoulder and has an upwardly extending nipple. Either a dispense head or a closure radially seals within the sleeve and is secured by a retainer with interior buttress threads engaging with the exterior threads on the port neck. The dispense head has a first flow duct extending to a nipple engaging portion to seal with the upwardly extending nipple and a second flow duct leading to an annular space around the nipple for a return fluid line or for providing air or a gas for displacing withdrawn fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2000
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: Barry L. Rauworth, John M. Hennan
  • Patent number: 6070730
    Abstract: A container for disks has an improved latching mechanism. The container comprises a cassette with sidewalls with slots for holding disks in an axial arrangement, two opposite endwalls each have a U-shaped recess extending downwardly from the open top, a top cover with a rectangular top portion and two end portions extend downwardly to cover the U-shaped recess. The top cover latches to the cassette by way of a latching mechanism which includes a living hinge, an extension portion, and a hook portion all on each end portion. The hook portion cooperates and engages with a cooperative catch member on the cassette. The extension member is under tension to secure the top cover in place. In an alternate embodiment, recesses on the extension portion connect to nubs on the cassettes or on the bottom cover to secure the top cover in place.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2000
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: Motoyuki Narisawa, Kazuo Kaneko, Timothy D. Schmidt, Dale A. Maenke, Michael C. Zabka
  • Patent number: 6039186
    Abstract: A composite wafer carrier for holding and restraining circular semiconductor wafer disks during their transport, storage, and processing. The composite wafer carrier generally comprising an open top and bottom for insertion and removal of wafer disk, an upright front end member having an interface portion such as an H-bar, an upright back end member, and a pair of sidewall members with vertical sidewall slots extending rearwardly from the front end member to said back end member. At least one of said members separately molded and joined to the other members of the wafer carrier by cooperating engagement portions without external fasteners. The wafer carrier may be snapped together. A separate second interface at the back end member may be provided to allow the carrier to interface with equipment with the wafer top side up or inverted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2000
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: Sanjiv M. Bhatt, Shawn D. Eggum, Wayne C. Olson
  • Patent number: 6010008
    Abstract: A module with an openable and closeable door has a central support structure which includes a machine interface exposed at the bottom of the module and integral wafer support columns extending upwardly in the module for supporting wafers. An advantage and feature of the invention is that a non-interrupted path-to-ground extends from each wafer support shelf to the machine interface. Additionally, the side walls of the shell have a recess portion with engagement members that cooperate with engagement members on removable handles. The handles utilize detents to rotatably lock such handles into place on the side walls of the carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2000
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: David L. Nyseth, Dennis J. Krampotich, Todd M. Ulschmid, Gregory W. Bores
  • Patent number: 6000550
    Abstract: A two part hinge for containers and boxes. The first part includes a pair parallel arms which include axially aligned opposing sockets which are configured to rotatingly receive pintle ends. The sockets are provided with radially disposed channels which extend from the sockets to exterior edges of the arms to form a slot for guiding the pintle ends into the sockets. The first hinge part also includes a dual function tab which is generally collaterally aligned with and parallel to the arms of the first part of the hinge. The tab is provided with a camming surface and a retaining surface. The camming surface engages and deflects the center portion of the pintle as it passes thereby, while the retaining surface maintains the pintle ends in the sockets by effectively blocking movement of the center portion of the pintle. The retaining surface of the tab is consistent with the arcuate surfaces of the sockets to form a smooth transition between the socket surfaces and the retaining surface of the tab.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1999
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: Tony Simpson, Michael S. Adams
  • Patent number: 5957292
    Abstract: A sealable enclosure for wafers has a door with an easily accessible and disassembleable latching mechanism which utilizes a minimal number of moving parts. The door includes an enclosure with a cammed member rotatable on a post and in engagement with a pair of latching arms that extend, retract, move upwardly and downwardly or forwardly and rearwardly depending on whether the door is a front side door or a bottom door. The movement of the latching arms is accomplished by cammed portion of the cammed member configured to move cam follower portions of the latching arms in an axial direction with respect to the cammed member and in a radial direction. The latching arm pivots on a fulcrum within the enclosure. The latching mechanism is accessible through a panel that attaches by integral detents on the panel that cooperate with recesses on the interior edge walls of the door enclosure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: Kirk J. Mikkelsen, Michael S. Adams, Greg Bores, Brian S. Wiseman
  • Patent number: 5924441
    Abstract: The invention comprises a three-way diaphragm valve. The valve has a housing having three flow ducts each leading into an open interior chamber. The open interior chamber is divided into a central chamber, an upper chamber and a lower chamber. A first valve seat is positioned between the central chamber and the upper chamber. A second valve seat is positioned between the central chamber and the lower chamber. A central valve stem assembly is slidably mounted in the valve and has a first valve member and a second valve member positioned to alternately engage the first valve seat and second valve seat respectively, to direct flow from one passageway to another. A spring bears against the valve stem assembly to bias the relative position of the valve members and valve seats in a first predetermined position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 20, 1999
    Assignee: Fluoroware, Inc.
    Inventors: John A. Leys, Michael A. Stein