Patents Examined by Donald R. Valentine
  • Patent number: 7052594
    Abstract: The invention relates to devices that control fluid flow, which comprise a substrate having an upper surface adapted to contact a flowing fluid and an elastic sheet immobilized with respect to the substrate, typically at a minimum of two immobilization points. The elastic sheet has a deflectable active area at least partially contained between the immobilization points; the lower surface of the sheet faces the upper surface of the substrate. Optionally, two or more electrodes are provided in contact with the active area of the elastic sheet. The device also includes an actuation means for deflecting the active area toward or away from the upper surface of the substrate. Additionally, the invention provides various methods for controlling fluid flow as well as methods for making devices that control fluid flow. The invention is particularly suited for microfluidic applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2006
    Assignee: SRI International
    Inventors: Ronald E. Pelrine, Roy D. Kornbluh
  • Patent number: 7045052
    Abstract: A method of manufacture for optical spectral filters with omnidirectional properties in the visible, near IR, mid IR and/or far IR (infrared) spectral ranges is based on the formation of large arrays of coherently modulated waveguides by electrochemical etching of a semiconductor wafer to form a pore array. Further processing of said porous semiconductor wafer optimizes the filtering properties of such a material. The method of filter manufacturing is large scale compatible and economically favorable. The resulting exemplary non-limiting illustrative filters are stable, do not degrade over time, do not exhibit material delamination problems and offer superior transmittance for use as bandpass, band blocking and narrow-bandpass filters. Such filters are useful for a wide variety of applications including but not limited to spectroscopy, optical communications, astronomy and sensing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2006
    Assignee: Lake Shore Cryotronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Vladimir Kochergin, Philip Swinehart
  • Patent number: 6964792
    Abstract: The present invention provides apparatus and methods for controlling flow dynamics of a plating fluid during a plating process. The invention achieves this fluid control through use of a diffuser membrane. Plating fluid is pumped through the membrane; the design and characteristics of the membrane provide a uniform flow pattern to the plating fluid exiting the membrane. Thus a work piece, upon which a metal or other conductive material is to be deposited, is exposed to a uniform flow of plating fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2005
    Assignee: Novellus Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven T. Mayer, R. Marshall Stowell, Evan E. Patton, Seshasayee Varadarajan
  • Patent number: 6939457
    Abstract: A contact-discharge truing/dressing method and a device therefor, capable of very simply conducting truing/dressing of a superabrasive grindstone, especially a superabrasive grindstone having a metal binder. The contact-discharge truing/dressing method brings a rotated conductive grindstone into contact with a pair of electrodes to which a DC voltage or pulse voltage is applied, and subjecting the conductive grindstone to an intermittent truing/dressing by contact discharge produced when opening/closing a circuit of a positive electrode, electrode chips, a grindstone binder, electrode chips, a negative electrode, and parts of the side surfaces of dual-ring rotary electrodes insulated by an insulation layer being used as a pair of electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2005
    Assignee: Japan Science and Technology Corporation
    Inventor: Masahiro Mizuno
  • Patent number: 6936143
    Abstract: A tandem cell or photoelectrochemical system for the cleavage of water to hydrogen and oxygen by visible light has two superimposed photocells, both cells being connected electrically. The photoactive material in the top cell is a semiconducting oxide placed in contact with an aqueous solution. This semiconducting oxide absorbs the blue and green part of the solar emission spectrum of a light source or light sources and generates with the energy collected oxygen and protons from water. The not absorbed yellow and red light transmits the top cell and enters a second photocell, the bottom cell, which is mounted, in the direction of the light behind, preferably directly behind the top cell. The bottom cell includes a dye-sensitized mesoporous photovoltaic film. The bottom cell converts the yellow, red and near infrared portion of the sunlight to drive the reduction of the protons, which are produced in the top cell during the photo catalytic water oxidation process, to hydrogen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2005
    Assignee: Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
    Inventors: Michael Graetzel, Jan Augustynski
  • Patent number: 6932898
    Abstract: An electrochemical process for simultaneously stripping diverse coatings from a metal substrate and, more particularly to the removal of MCrAlY and aluminide coatings from a base metal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2005
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Michael A. Kryzman, Mark Jaworowski
  • Patent number: 6929722
    Abstract: A substrate plating apparatus forms an interconnection layer on an interconnection region composed of a fine groove and/or a fine hole defined in a substrate. The substrate plating apparatus includes a plating unit for forming a plated layer on a surface of the substrate including the interconnection region, a chemical mechanical polishing unit for chemically mechanically polishing the substrate to remove the plated layer from the surface of the substrate leaving a portion of the plated layer in the interconnection region, a cleaning unit for cleaning the substrate after the plated layer is formed or the substrate is chemically mechanically polished, a drying unit for drying the substrate after the substrate is cleaned, and a substrate transfer unit for transferring the substrate to and from each of the first plating unit, the first chemical mechanical polishing unit, the cleaning unit, and the drying unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2005
    Assignee: Ebara Corporation
    Inventors: Akihisa Hongo, Naoaki Ogure, Hiroaki Inoue, Norio Kimura, Fumio Kuriyama, Manabu Tsujimura, Kenichi Suzuki, Atsushi Chono
  • Patent number: 6923900
    Abstract: A profiled tube (50b) comprising a high carbon content alloy (greater than 0.3%), superalloy or other high creep strength material, has a fluted bore with internal fins (52b) and intervening valleys or troughs (56b). Such a tube is made by centrifugal casting and subsequent electrochemical machining by drawing of an electrode (104) along the tube while at the same time passing electrolyte along the tube and around the electrode and also applying an electrical current between the tube and electrode, so that material of the tube passes into solution in the electrolyte. The electrode (104) has the same profile as the end-profile required in the tube (80) but has an inclined working face (124). An electrode rod (92) drives the electrode from one end mounting means (82) to another (84), each of which support the tube (80) and supply/exhaust electrolytic solution. The electrolyte is preferably sodium nitrate, although an acid based system is feasible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2005
    Assignee: Doncasters PLC
    Inventors: John Jones, Michael J. Yardley, Terry K Barker
  • Patent number: 6913676
    Abstract: An apparatus for delivering at least two liquid media to consumers of a fuel cell system, with a feed pump is made less complicated than known apparatuses in that at least one pressure transmission unit between the at least two media is provided with at least one pressure transmission element, which has at least two pressure faces for pressure imposition that communicate with the liquid media.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2005
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Michael Nau, Manfred Ruoff, Marc Bareis, Frank Ilgner, Horst Harndorf
  • Patent number: 6913683
    Abstract: A method for the production of pipe segments from a pipe (10) in which the pipe (10) is rotated about its longitudinal axis, while an electrode (20) is positioned in the vicinity of the outer surface (11) of the pipe (10) and electrolyte (30) is fed to the space between the pipe (10) and the electrode (20). The electrode (20) and the pipe (10) are connected to a voltage source (40), with the result that an electric current is brought about via the electrolyte (30). Thus, the pipe (10) is divided into pipe segments in an electrochemical way.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2005
    Assignee: Van Doorne's Transmissie B.V.
    Inventors: Cornelus Hendricus Maria Van Oirschot, Roland Theo Anton Kals, Hendrikus Van Den Boomen
  • Patent number: 6908534
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for plating a substrate is provided, wherein fine pits formed in the substrate, such as fine channels for wiring, are filled with a copper, copper alloy, or other material with low electrical resistance. The method is performed on a wafer W having fine pits (10) to fill the fine pits with a metal (13) and includes performing a first plating process (11) by immersing the wafer in a first plating solution having a composition superior in throwing power; and performing a second plating process (12) by immersing the substrate in a second plating solution having a composition superior in leveling ability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2005
    Assignee: Ebara Corporation
    Inventors: Akihisa Hongo, Mizuki Nagai, Kanji Ohno, Ryoichi Kimizuka, Megumi Maruyama
  • Patent number: 6905580
    Abstract: A water treating apparatus is provided which is capable of producing a hypochlorous acid-containing electrolytic water having a satisfactory sterilizing ability in a household. The water treating apparatus is an apparatus for producing hypochlorous acid in for-treatment water containing a salt by use of an electrochemical reaction which occurs in the for-treatment water when a direct current voltage is applied to at least a pair of electrodes oppositely disposed in the for-treatment water, wherein the direct current voltage to be applied to the electrodes is obtained by smoothing an alternating voltage of domestic use power supply into direct current power of a predetermined voltage, an electrode having titanium covered with a coating containing at least palladium or ruthenium is used as an anode, and at most 90% of the salt added to the for-treatment water is converted into hypochlorous acid by the electrochemical reaction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2005
    Assignee: Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Keiko Kurokawa, Masayuki Motegi, Toshimitsu Tsukui, Tatsuya Hirota
  • Patent number: 6902659
    Abstract: The present invention deposits a conductive material from an electrolyte solution to a predetermined area of a wafer. The steps that are used when making this application include applying the conductive material to the predetermined area of the wafer using an electrolyte solution disposed on a surface of the wafer, when the wafer is disposed between a cathode and an anode, and preventing accumulation of the conductive material to areas other than the predetermine area by mechanically polishing the other areas while the conductive material is being applied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2005
    Assignee: ASM Nutool, Inc.
    Inventor: Homayoun Talieh
  • Patent number: 6890410
    Abstract: An electrolysis conversion system for converting liquid to gas, such as water into hydrogen and oxygen, includes a housing in which are housed encapsulated and non-encapsulated electrodes in any one of side-by-side, rolled or folded relationship. The electrodes are immersed in an electrolyte, water or the like and are appropriately electrically connected to positive and negative sides of an energy source. The encapsulation material of the encapsulated electrodes can be substantially conductive or non-conductive to either ion flow or electron flow and either substantially non-porous or porous to gas bubbles with the option of utilizing spacers to prevent arcing and thereby generate hydrogen and oxygen from the water/electrolyte.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2005
    Inventor: John T. Sullivan
  • Patent number: 6890415
    Abstract: An improved anode, cup and conductor assembly for a reactor vessel includes an anode assembly supported within a cup which holds a supply of process fluid. The cup is supported around its perimeter within the reactor vessel. The anode assembly has an anode shield carrying an anode, the anode shield having upwardly extending brackets with radially extending members. A diffusion plate is supported above the anode by the anode brackets using first bayonet connections. The anode shield and the anode are supported from below by a delivery tube which also serves to deliver process fluid to the cup. A second bayonet connection is provided between a top portion of the delivery tube and the anode assembly. The fluid delivery tube has a fixed height within the vessel. The anode elevation is adjusted by the interposing of a spacer of desired thickness between the anode and the tube. An electrical conductor is connected to the anode, and passes through the tube to be electrically accessible outside the vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2005
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel J. Woodruff, Kyle M. Hanson
  • Patent number: 6890416
    Abstract: An electroplating apparatus prevents anode-mediated degradation of electrolyte additives by creating a mechanism for maintaining separate anolyte and catholyte and preventing mixing thereof within a plating chamber. The separation is accomplished by interposing a porous chemical transport barrier between the anode and cathode. The transport barrier limits the chemical transport (via diffusion and/or convection) of all species but allows migration of ionic species (and hence passage of current) during application of sufficiently large electric fields within electrolyte.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2005
    Assignee: Novellus Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven T. Mayer, Evan E. Patton, Robert L. Jackson, Jonathan D. Reid
  • Patent number: 6881307
    Abstract: In order to provide an image creating apparatus which is driven at a high speed by a low voltage and realizes high contrast, the image creating apparatus of the present invention applies a voltage selectively to surfaces of arranged plural polymeric electrolyte films and generate a potential difference between both surfaces of the polymeric electrolyte films to which the voltage is applied to deform the polymeric electrolyte films. This image creating apparatus can provide an optical shutter of an image recording apparatus and a reflection or transmitting type image display device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2005
    Assignee: Minolta Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Akihito Ikegawa
  • Patent number: 6881320
    Abstract: A vacuum operated electrolytic generator can be used to produce a chlorine dioxide solution or a mist of chlorine dioxide from a buffered aqueous alkali metal chlorite solution in one pass through an electrolytic cell. The cell contains a high surface area anode, a corrosion-resistant highly conductive cathode, and a cation ion exchange membrane between the anode and cathode. An eductor is used on the anolyte effluent line to create a vacuum and draw the anolyte through the cell. Either motive water or a motive inert gas (such as air) is used in the eductor. Preferably, an eductor is used in the catholyte effluent line. An ascending anolyte effluent line with a non-corrosive check valve leads from the cell to the anode eductor. Sensors are used to monitor the composition of the anolyte effluent and/or the anolyte feed. The final product is a chlorine dioxide solution when water is used for the eduction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2005
    Assignee: International Dioxide, Inc.
    Inventors: Brian D. Krafton, John C. Smedley, Donald C. Kucher
  • Patent number: 6881321
    Abstract: Lightweight and reactive metals can be produced from ore, refined from alloy, and recycled from metal matrix composites using electrolysis in electrolytes including an ionic liquid containing a metal chloride at or near room temperature. Low electric energy consumption and pollutant emission, easy operation and low production costs are achieved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2005
    Assignee: The University of Alabama
    Inventors: Banqiu Wu, Ramana G. Reddy, Robin D. Rogers
  • Patent number: 6875333
    Abstract: A plating apparatus is provided to allow the whole area of a target plating surface of a wafer to be subjected to more uniform plating treatment and moreover enables a target plating surface of a wider area to be subjected to positive and uniform plating treatment. In the plating apparatus which has a stirring bar within a plating tank and which performs plating treatment of a target plating surface of the wafer while stirring a plating solution near the target plating surface of the wafer by moving the stirring bar, the stirring bar is rotated while being oscillated in a motion plane substantially parallel to the target plating surface of the wafer. By this operation, the occurrence of an eddy flow of the plating solution is suppressed during stirring and it becomes possible to positively carry out more uniform plating treatment of a wider region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2005
    Assignee: Electroplating Engineers of Japan Limited
    Inventor: Yasuhiko Sakaki