Patents Examined by Wesley A. Nicolas
  • Patent number: 6932896
    Abstract: Systems and methods to remove or lessen the size of metal particles that have formed on, and to limit the rate at which metal particles form or grow on, workpiece surface influencing devices used during electrodeposition are presented. According to an exemplary method, the workpiece surface influencing device is occasionally placed in contact with a conditioning substrate coated with an inert material, and the bias applied to the electrodeposition system is reversed. According to another exemplary method, the workpiece surface influencing device is conditioned using mechanical contact members, such as brushes, and conditioning of the workpiece surface influencing device occurs, for example, through physical brushing of the workpiece surface influencing device with the brushes. According to a further exemplary method, the workpiece surface influencing device is rotated in different direction during electrodeposition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2005
    Assignee: Nutool, Inc.
    Inventors: Bulent M. Basol, Cyprian Uzoh, Homayoun Talieh
  • Patent number: 6916414
    Abstract: Using pulsed current and relatively low average voltages, articles containing light metals such as magnesium may be rapidly anodized to form protective surface coatings. The anodizing solutions employed may contain phosphate, permanganate, silicate, zirconate, vanadate, titanate, hydroxide, alkali metal fluoride and/or complex fluoride, optionally with other components present.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2005
    Assignee: Henkel Kommanditgesellschaft auf Aktien
    Inventor: Shawn E. Dolan
  • Patent number: 6911135
    Abstract: A method for separating a metal from a composition including the metal involves forming an electrolytic cell in which the anode comprises a composition including the metal. The electrolyte is an ionic liquid. A sufficient potential difference is applied between the anode and the cathode to cause the metal to transfer from the anode to the cathode deposited thereon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2005
    Assignee: British Nuclear Fuels PLC
    Inventors: Robert Charles Thied, Justine Elizabeth Hatter, Kenneth Richard Seddon, William Robert Pitner, David William Rooney, David Hebditch
  • Patent number: 6908540
    Abstract: An electro-chemical deposition method and apparatus that encapsulates a substrate's edge to prevent deposition thereon is generally provided. In one embodiment, the apparatus includes a contact ring, one or more electrical contact pads disposed on the contact ring and a thrust plate axially movable relative to the contact ring. A first seal is disposed inward of the contact pad and seals with the contact ring. A second seal is coupled to the thrust plate. The first and second seals are adapted to sandwich the substrate therebetween when the contact ring and the thrust plate are moved towards each other. In another embodiment, a third seal provides a seal between the thrust plate and contact ring, and, with the first and second seals, defines an exclusion zone encapsulating the substrate's edge. One or more electrical contact pads are protected from the electrolyte by being disposed within the exclusion zone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2005
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventor: Arnold Kholodenko
  • Patent number: 6893548
    Abstract: An apparatus and method is provided for analyzing or conditioning an electrochemical bath. One aspect of the invention provides a method for analyzing an electrochemical bath in an electrochemical deposition process including providing a first electrochemical bath having a first bath composition, utilizing the first electrochemical bath in an electrochemical deposition process to form a second electrochemical bath having a second bath composition and analyzing the first and second compositions to identify one or more constituents generated in the electrochemical deposition process. Additive material having a composition that is substantially the same as all or at least some of the one or more constituents generated in the electrochemical deposition process may be added to another electrochemical bath to produce a desired chemical composition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2005
    Assignee: Applied Materials Inc.
    Inventors: Robin Cheung, Daniel A. Carl, Liang-Yuh Chen, Yezdi Dordi, Paul F. Smith, Ratson Morad, Peter Hey, Ashok Sinha
  • Patent number: 6890412
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for microencapsulating or electrodeposited coating of ferromagnetic and soft-magnetic sub-micron or nano sized powderized material comprising use of a rotary flow-through device assisted by an electromagnet within the electrode ring to alternately position the powder at the face of the cathode ring and electroplate the powder and reorient it prior to another repositioning. The invention is also of a process and apparatus for forming a strip, mesh, or film from magnetic powderized material in an organized bipolar arrangement, which is particularly useful for electroforming foils with the magnetic particles positioned in a monolayer within a multilayer metallic foil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2005
    Assignee: Surfect Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas P. Griego, John W. Eichman, III, Geronimo Velasquez
  • Patent number: 6890413
    Abstract: A process for electroplating metallic features of different density on a surface of a substrate comprises providing an electroplating bath having an anode, immersing the substrate into the electroplating bath, spaced from the anode, the substrate comprising a cathode. Positioned in the electroplating bath between the substrate and the anode, and adjacent to and separated from the substrate surface is a second cathode that includes a wire mesh screening portion having openings of different sizes conforming to the metallic features to be electroplated. The second cathode screening portion has openings of larger size adjacent areas of higher density of features to be electroplated and openings of smaller size adjacent areas of lower density of features to be electroplated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2005
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Tien-Jen Cheng, Todd M. Fowler, Ajay P. Giri, Anton Nenadic, Blessen Samuel, Keith Kwong Hon Wong
  • Patent number: 6884334
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a containment chamber that is used for carrying out multiple processing steps such as depositing on, polishing, etching, modifying, rinsing, cleaning, and drying a surface on the workpiece. In one example of the present invention, the chamber is used to electro chemically mechanically deposit a conductive material on a semiconductor wafer. The same containment chamber can then be used to rinse and clean the same wafer. As a result, the present invention eliminates the need for separate processing stations for depositing the conductive material and cleaning the wafer. Thus, with the present invention, costs and physical space are reduced while providing an efficient apparatus and method for carrying out multiple processes on the wafer surface using a containment chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2005
    Assignee: ASM NuTool, Inc.
    Inventors: Konstantin Volodarsky, Boguslaw A. Nigorski, Rimma Volodarsky, Douglas W. Young, Cyprian Uzoh, Homayoun Talieh
  • Patent number: 6863793
    Abstract: A continuous layer of a metal is electrodeposited onto a substrate having both hydrodynamically inaccessible recesses and hydrodynamically accessible recesses on its surface by a twostep process in which the hydrodynamically inaccessible recesses are plated using a pulsed reversing current with cathodic pulses having a duty cycle of less than about 50% and anodic pulses having a duty cycle of greater than about 50% and the hydrodynamically accessible recesses are then plated using a pulsed reversing current with cathodic pulses having a duty cycle of greater than about 50% and anodic pulses having a duty cycle of less than about 50%.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2005
    Assignee: Faraday Technology Marketing Group, LLC
    Inventors: E. Jennings Taylor, Jenny J. Sun, Maria E. Inman
  • Patent number: 6858126
    Abstract: A method of producing electrodes for electrolytic capacitors by etching metal foil in a low pH etching electrolyte is disclosed. The low pH electrolyte is an aqueous solution, which comprises hydrochloric acid, glycerol, sodium perchlorate or perchloric acid, sodium persulfate and titanium (111) chloride. Anode foils etched according to the method of the invention maintain high capacitance gains, electrical porosity and strength. The electrical porosity of the etched foils is sufficiently high such that the overall Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) is not increased in multilayer anodes configurations. Also described is a low pH electrolyte bath composition. Anode foils etched according to the present invention and electrolytic capacitors incorporating the etched anode foils are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 22, 2005
    Assignee: Pacesetter, Inc.
    Inventors: Ralph Jason Hemphill, Thomas Flavian Strange
  • Patent number: 6852208
    Abstract: Deposition of conductive material on or removal of conductive material from a workpiece frontal side of a semiconductor workpiece is performed by providing an anode having an anode area which is to face the workpiece frontal side, and electrically connecting the workpiece frontal side with at least one electrical contact, outside of the anode area, by pushing the electrical contact and the workpiece frontal side into proximity with each other. A potential is applied between the anode and the electrical contact, and the workpiece is moved with respect to the anode and the electrical contact. Full-face electroplating or electropolishing over the workpiece frontal side surface, in its entirety, is thus permitted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2005
    Assignee: NuTool, Inc.
    Inventors: Jalal Ashjaee, Boguslaw Nagorski, Bulent M. Basol, Homayoun Talieh, Cyprian Uzoh
  • Patent number: 6827838
    Abstract: A method of separating and recovering 18F from 18O water at high purity and efficiency while maintaining the purity of the 18O water. By using a solid electrode (1) as an anode and a container (electrodeposition vessel) (2) made of platinum as a cathode, 18F in a solution (4) is electrodeposited on the solid electrode surface by applying a voltage. Then, by using the solid electrode (1) on which 18F is electrodeposited as a cathode and a container (recovery vessel) (5) holding pure water therein as an anode, 18F is recovered in the pure water by applying a voltage of opposite polarity to that of the electrodeposition. In this process, little 18O water is lost. The initial concentration of the 18O water is maintained even after the electrodeposition of 18F, so that the 18O water can be repeatedly used as an irradiation target for production of 18F.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2004
    Assignee: Riken
    Inventors: Toshio Hyodo, Yoshiko Itoh, Fuminori Saito, Yasuyuki Nagashima, Toshikazu Kurihara, Akira Goto, Masayuki Kase, Yasushige Yano, Katsumi Senoo
  • Patent number: 6824667
    Abstract: A method of producing metal hydride misch-metal composite powders comprising providing to a rotary flow-through electrodeposition apparatus a powder whose particles comprise one or more lanthanide alloy metals selected from the group consisting of titanium lanthanide alloy metals and nickel lanthanide alloy metals; and electrodepositing one or more non-lanthanide metals on the powder via the apparatus. Also the resulting compositions of matter and metal hydride misch-metal powders.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2004
    Assignee: Surfect Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas P. Griego
  • Patent number: 6818117
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method of preparing self-assembled monolayers on a metal comprising electrolyzing a thiosulfate compound in a solvent, where the electricity for the electrolysis is applied at a voltage for a period of time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2004
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Gregory S. Ferguson, Chen-Chan Hseuh, Mong-Tung Lee, Michael S. Freund
  • Patent number: 6818115
    Abstract: The present invention includes an electrolytic plating system with an elecrolytic plating bath, means for positioning the printed circuit boards in the bath, and means to alternately generate a laminar flow of electrolyte on each side of the printed circuit boards. A preferred means to alternately generate a laminar flow of electolyte comprises a floating shield with a venturi-shaped partition and an aligned partition below the printed circuit boards, and operating a plurality of eductors below the floating shield. The means to alternately generate a laminar flow of electolyte can further comprise a transport mechanism that moves the floating shield and its partitions from side to side relative to the eductors or a mechanism to move the eductors. The plating can be also be improved by using a vibrator and a spring-mounting system that prevents vibration energy being absorbed by fixed portions of the plating system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2004
    Assignee: Viasystems Group, Inc.
    Inventors: Hein van Kempen, Daniel J. Weber
  • Patent number: 6818118
    Abstract: A method for forming a coating on aluminum by contacting the aluminum with water, at least one multifunctional polymeric organic acid, a monomer of an intrinsically conductive polymer and polymerizing the ICP monomer and forming aluminum oxide by imposing an electrical potential between the aluminum surface as the anode and a cathode. The intrinsically conductive polymer salt and aluminum oxide coating that is formed resists corrosion and is resistant to de-doping during immersion in hot water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2004
    Assignee: McDonnell Douglas Corporation
    Inventors: Patrick J. Kinlen, Lawrence M. Lawless, Vinod P. Menon
  • Patent number: 6814851
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for anodizing a component. The component is placed in a container having a supply port, a drain port and a supply passage. The supply passage faced on a surface of the component to be anodized. A reaction medium is supplied from the supply port to the drain port. An electric current is supplied from an electrode provided on the drain port side of the surface. The apparatus prevents any hydrogen gas created by the electrode from recirculating to the surface of the component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2004
    Assignee: Unisia Jecs Corporation
    Inventors: Masato Sasaki, Masazumi Ishikawa, Sachiko Sugita
  • Patent number: 6814847
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for maintaining electro-deposition of metal on a cathode in an electrolytic cell. The cell comprises a metal anode, a cathode, an electrolytic bath and a main power supply to apply an electric potential across the anode and cathode resulting in a forward current and deposition of metal from said anode to the cathode. An auxiliary power supply is also provided for connection to the cell. In cases where the mains power supply falls below a predetermined value, the auxiliary power supply maintains a predetermined direction and quantity of current flow in the cell. The auxiliary power supply may be continuous or activated only when the current flow and/or direction of current falls below said predetermined value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2004
    Assignee: Copper Refineries Pty Ltd
    Inventors: John Cutmore, David Bailey
  • Patent number: 6814852
    Abstract: The present invention is drawn to the electrolysis of fluids in a lab-on-a-chip environment for generating gases. Various lab-on-a-chip embodiments are described along with a method of generating gas in a lab-on-a-chip environment. The method comprises the steps of (a) providing a substrate having active circuitry thereon, at least a portion of said active circuitry being readable by a computer; (b) providing an electrolytic cell configured for communication with the active circuitry, said electrolytic cell comprising an anode and a cathode in an electrolytic fluid bath; and (c) generating a gas in the electrolytic fluid bath by creating an electrical potential between the anode and the cathode through the electrolytic fluid bath.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2004
    Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
    Inventors: Clayton L. Holstun, David Tyvoll
  • Patent number: 6814848
    Abstract: A method for determining a quantity of each of alloy phases in the plating layer includes subjecting each alloy phase in the plating layer to constant potential electrolysis in each of a plurality of ranges of potentials obtained on the basis of the immersion potential of each alloy phase and the immersion potential of a basis metal, by using a plated metal material having different kinds of alloy phases in the plating layer as the anode, to determine the quantity of each alloy phase in the plating layer on the basis of the quantity of electricity consumed in each range of the potentials during the electrolysis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2004
    Assignee: JFE Steel Corporation
    Inventors: Kyoko Fujimoto, Makoto Shimura, Yoichi Tobiyama, Kazuaki Kyono