Patents Examined by Kathryn Gorgos
  • Patent number: 6800186
    Abstract: A continuous strip is electrochemically processed in an electrolytic processing bath using either a thin flexible or resilient dielectric wiping blade or an open web, plastic mesh to wipe bubbles of gas from the surface, sever dendritic material, if such is present, and to remove a surface layer of partially depleted electrolytic solution, replacing with fresh solution and to stabilize strip portions extending between support rolls. The resilient dielectric wiper blade is preferably used with perforated anodes which allow fresh electrolytic solution to flow into the space between the anodes and the strip surface after being expelled by passage of the strip past the wiping blade. The wiping blades may also be angularly oriented with respect to the strip to increase the wiping effectiveness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2004
    Inventors: James L. Forand, Harold M. Keeney, Erik S. Van Anglen
  • Patent number: 6572742
    Abstract: An electroplating method includes forming a layer, the forming of the layer includes: a) contacting a substrate with a first article, the first article includes a support and a conformable mask disposed in a pattern on the support; b) electroplating a first metal from a source of metal ions onto the substrate in a first pattern, the first pattern corresponding to the complement of the conformable mask pattern; and c) removing the first article from the substrate. The method may further involve one or more of (1) selectively depositing or non-selectively depositing one or more additional materials to complete formation of the layer, (2) planarizing deposited material after each deposition or after all depositions for a layer, and/or (3) forming layers adjacent previously formed layers to build up a structure from a plurality of adhered layers. Electroplating articles and electroplating apparatus are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2003
    Assignee: University of Southern California
    Inventor: Adam L. Cohen
  • Patent number: 6544399
    Abstract: The present invention provides plating solutions, particularly copper plating solutions, designed to provide uniform coatings on substrates and to provide substantially defect free filling of small features formed on substrates with none or low supporting electrolyte, i.e., which include no acid, low acid, no base, or no conducting salts, and/or high metal ion, e.g., copper, concentration. Defect free filling of features is enhanced by a plating solution containing blends of polyethers (“carrier”) and organic divalent sulfur compounds (“accelerator”), wherein the concentration of the carrier ranges from about 0.1 ppm to about 2500 ppm of the plating solution, and the concentration of the accelerator ranges from about 0.05 ppm to about 1000 ppm of the plating solution. The plating solution is further improved by adding an organic nitrogen compound at a concentration from about 0.01 ppm to about 1000 ppm to improve the filling of vias on a resistive substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Uziel Landau, John J. D'Urso
  • Patent number: 6488739
    Abstract: The invention relates to a process for the production of oxygen using novel membranes, formed from perovskitic or multi-phase structures, with a chemically active coating which demonstrate exceptionally high rates of fluid flux. The process uses membranes that are conductors of oxygen ions and electrons, which are substantially stable in air over the temperature range of 25° C. to the operating temperature of the membrane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2002
    Assignee: BP Corporation North America Inc.
    Inventors: Terry J. Mazanec, Thomas L. Cable
  • Patent number: 6461494
    Abstract: Methods used in semiconductor electroplating systems, such as for plating copper, onto a semiconductor wafer or other semiconductor workpiece. The methods apply to patterned metal layers plated onto seed layer which is partially protected by an overlying photoresist or other coating. The methods employ an electrode assembly which has a boot which seals about a contact face of the electrode. The sealing is performed by engaging the seal against photoresist to prevent corrosion of the seal layer. The area enclosed by the sealing includes a via which is surrounded by the seal. The electrode contact extends through the via to provide electrical contact with the metallic seed layer. Plating of copper or other metal proceeds at exposed seed layer areas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2002
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert W. Batz, Jr., Kenneth C. Haugan, Harry J. Geyer, Robert W. Berner
  • Patent number: 6451266
    Abstract: A system massages a user's feet and generates an electro-kinetic airflow that contains safe amounts of ozone that can deodorize the user's feet or socks. The system includes an ion generator comprising a high voltage pulse generator whose output pulses are coupled between left and right first and second electrode arrays. Preferably the first electrode array includes first and second pointed electrodes, and the second electrode array includes annular-like electrodes having a central opening coaxial with the associated pointed electrode. Preferably the annular-like electrodes are formed from a single sheet of metal by extrusion or punching such that the surface of the annular-like electrodes is smooth and continuous through the opening and into a collar region through which the air flows. Particulate matter in the ambient air electrostatically adheres to the smooth continuous surface of the annular-like electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2002
    Assignee: Sharper Image Corporation
    Inventors: Shek Fai Lau, Andrew Parker
  • Patent number: 6428680
    Abstract: A room in a building serving as a safe haven for human inhabitants against harmful agent attack such as chemical or biological weapon attack. The room provides an environment sealed from air-carried harmful agents wherein the sealing can be accomplished by blocking air ducts and air leakage around doors. The room can be specially built, retrofitted, or rapidly adapted to serve as a safe haven. The room can include an oxygen source such as an oxygen generator. One oxygen generator utilizes a chemical process to generate gaseous oxygen. The room preferably includes a carbon dioxide scrubber. The invention includes kits and methods for rapidly converting a room to a safe haven.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventor: Ruth D. Kreichauf
  • Patent number: 6416645
    Abstract: An electrolytic process and apparatus is disclosed for oxidizing or reducing inorganic and organic species, especially in dilute aqueous solutions, and for water purification and treatment. The electrolytic reactor includes an anode, cathode and a packed bed of particulate ion exchange material which, preferably, is modified by converting a portion of the transfer sites to semiconductor junctions which act as mini anodes, or cathodes, to significantly increase the capacity of the reactor to oxidize or reduce the species to be treated, or split water. The ion exchange material may be a monobed of either modified anion exchange material or modified cation exchange material, or a mixed bed of both, and can be in direct contact with either the anode or cathode, or separated from both. Under the influence of direct current, free radical hydroxyl, free radical hydrogen, regenerant hydroxyl ion and/or regenerant hydrogen ion are generated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2002
    Assignees: The State of Connecticut, as represented by the Department of Economic and Community Development, Silicon Valley Bank
    Inventors: Richard L. Sampson, Allison H. Sampson
  • Patent number: 6409892
    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 and the anode are supported from below by a delivery tube which also serves to deliver process fluid to the cup. A 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. The conductor is connected to the anode with a plug-in connection which is completed when the tube is coupled to the anode by the bayonet connection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel J. Woodruff, Kyle M. Hanson
  • Patent number: 6410840
    Abstract: A thermoelectric conversion device is manufactured by the following steps of forming. A metallic material is formed on a substrate. A photosensitive resin pattern is formed on the metallic material. Patterned n-type or p-type thermoelectric material elements having a predetermined thickness and electrode junction layers are formed by plating. Next, the photosensitive resin pattern is dissolved and the metallic material is removed. And the substrate having the p-type thermoelectric material elements and the substrate having the n-type thermoelectric material elements are joined with the electrode junction layers interposed between the each thermoelectric material elements and the opposed substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments Inc.
    Inventors: Shuzo Sudo, Matsuo Kishi, Hirohiko Nemoto
  • Patent number: 6402916
    Abstract: An electrolytic process and apparatus are disclosed for water purification and pH adjustment. The electrolytic reactor includes an anode, cathode and a bed of particulate ion exchange material modified by converting a portion of the transfer sites to semiconductor junctions. The ion exchange material may be a monobed of either modified anion exchange material or modified cation exchange material, or a mixed bed of both. Undesirable ions are exchanged onto the ion exchange material at the ion exchange sites. Regenerant ions, produced at the semiconductor junctions then exchange with the undesirable ions attached to the ion exchange material, and the undesirable ions migrate through the bed toward the respective anode or cathode and out of the aqueous solution. The pH of the aqueous solution can be adjusted by passing the solution through either a modified cation resin bed or through a modified anion resin bed to lower or increase the pH, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Inventors: Richard L. Sampson, Allison H. Sampson
  • Patent number: 6398944
    Abstract: A method of removing, by oxidation at the anode, the acid liberated in cathodic dip-coating in the course of the deposition of the coating film, using anodes coated with a layer of tin oxide or with a mixture of tin oxide with ruthenium or iridium oxides.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: BASF Coatings AG
    Inventors: Klaus Arlt, Udo Heil, Karl-Heinz Grosse-Brinkhaus
  • Patent number: 6398926
    Abstract: An electroplating chamber that allows substrates such as wafers to be effectively plated with the plating surface facing upwards. A method of reducing non-uniformity in the electroplating process is also disclosed. The chamber includes a bottom and a cover. The bottom contains a sidewall, an opening on top and securing means for securing substrates into the chamber during the plating process. At least one electrode retaining element is provided having at least one first electrode extending therefrom. The electrode retaining element is movable between an operating position and a release position. The cover contains a second electrode held above the substrate by an electrode holder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: Techpoint Pacific Singapore Pte Ltd.
    Inventor: Lotar Peter Mahneke
  • Patent number: 6398943
    Abstract: A porous layer produced from silicon, germanium or aluminum by applying a wedge-shaped mask to the surface of the layer and by controlled elecrochemical etching along the mask.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2002
    Assignee: Forschungszentrum Julich GmbH
    Inventors: Rüdiger Arens-Fischer, Michael Berger, Michael Krüger, Markus Thönissen, Hans Lüth
  • Patent number: 6395152
    Abstract: An electropolishing apparatus for polishing a metal layer formed on a wafer (31) includes an electrolyte (34), a polishing receptacle (100), a wafer chuck (29), a fluid inlet (5, 7, 9), and at least one cathode (1, 2, 3). The wafer chuck (29) holds and positions the wafer (31) within the polishing receptacle (100). The electrolyte (34) is delivered through the fluid inlet (5, 7, 9) into the polishing receptacle (100). The cathode (1, 2, 3) then applies an electropolishing current to the electrolyte to electropolish the wafer (31). In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, discrete portions of the wafer (31) can be electropolished to enhance the uniformity of the electropolished wafer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2002
    Assignee: ACM Research, Inc.
    Inventor: Hui Wang
  • Patent number: 6391168
    Abstract: In the plating solution in the plating bath, a wafer and an anode electrode are opposed to each other, between which is interposed a disk-shaped auxiliary electrode having a diameter smaller than that of the wafer. This auxiliary electrode has a plurality of holes formed therein. Through these holes, the plating solution is uniformly supplied to between the wafer and the anode electrode. The auxiliary electrode is supplied with the same positive potential as that of the anode electrode. This forms electric lines of force directed from the auxiliary electrode and the anode electrode to the wafer. The closer provision of the anode electrode (the auxiliary electrode) compensates a drop in current density on the wafer resulting from the potential drop at the portion far from cathode terminals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2002
    Assignee: NEC Corporation
    Inventor: Kazuyoshi Ueno
  • Patent number: 6391269
    Abstract: A deodorizing/sterilizing device having a cylindrical electrode formed of a sintered metal which mainly contains titanium oxide and can be easily machined by rolling and cutting and a needle-like electrode located generally on the center axis of the cylindrical electrode. By applying a current of high frequency and high voltage, ultraviolet radiation is emitted from the needle-like electrode. The electrode material is little corroded by ozone. Air flows along the inner peripheral surface of the cylindrical electrode, ultraviolet radiation is emitted from the needle-like electrode, the cylindrical electrode has the function of an optical catalyst to achieve deodorization and sterilization.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2002
    Assignees: Takeshiro Yoshimatsu, Kenji Nakamura
    Inventor: Takeshiro Yoshimatu
  • Patent number: 6387241
    Abstract: Methods of using ozone have been developed which sterilize instruments and medical wastes, oxidize, organics found in wastewater, clean laundry, break down contaminants in soil into a form more readily digested by microbes, kill microorganisms present in food products, and destroy toxins present in food products. The preferred methods for killing microorganism and destroying toxins use pressurized, humidified, and concentrated ozone produced by an electrochemical cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2002
    Assignee: Lynntech, Inc.
    Inventors: Oliver J. Murphy, G. Duncan Hitchens
  • Patent number: RE37765
    Abstract: Described herein is an improved process for electroplating a conductive metal layer to the surface of a nonconductive material comprising pretreating the material with a carbon black dispersion followed by a graphite dispersion before the electroplating step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Assignee: MacDermid, Incorporated
    Inventors: Catherine M. Randolph, Barry F. Nelsen
  • Patent number: RE37804
    Abstract: Sealed lead-acid cells are disclosed which include an internal cell restraint contacting the interior surface of the cover and positioned between the positive plates and the cover, the internal cell restraint cooperates with an external cell restraint, such as a coated metal face plate, to direct positive plate growth which occurs in service away from the cover, the features disclosed allowing plastic-to-plastic terminal post-cover seals to be used and allow cells of capacities of up to 2,000 Ampere Hours or more to be provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2002
    Assignee: GNB Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Edward M. Mattan