Patents by Inventor Gerardo A. Brucker

Gerardo A. Brucker has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20190368959
    Abstract: A total pressure cold cathode ionization gauge is disclosed. An inverted magnetron electrode design is capable of simultaneously detecting and measuring total gas pressure in a high vacuum system, along with partial pressures of one or more gases, such as hydrogen, helium and water. In addition, a leak detector, such as a helium leak detector, is disclosed with a compact counterflow arrangement of a gas inlet passage to an ion detection passage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 29, 2019
    Publication date: December 5, 2019
    Inventors: Gerardo A. Brucker, Timothy C. Swinney, Clinton L. Percy
  • Publication number: 20190346328
    Abstract: A partial pressure detector and methods of detecting a partial pressure are provided, in which a thermal conductivity gauge, such as a Pirani gauge, is configured to sense a pressure of a mixture of gases within a vacuum chamber. An input of the partial pressure detector is configured to receive a total pressure reading from a species-independent pressure sensor of the mixture of gases in the vacuum chamber, and a controller configured to provide an output representing an amount of a species of gas in the vacuum chamber as a function of the pressure as sensed by the thermal conductivity gauge and the received total pressure reading. The controller has a resolution, and a range of the resolution is scaled to a range of expected partial pressures of the species. The output can be a partial pressure or a weighted partial pressure of the gas species.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 9, 2018
    Publication date: November 14, 2019
    Inventor: Gerardo A. Brucker
  • Publication number: 20190316981
    Abstract: A thermal conductivity gauge measures gas pressure within a chamber. A sensor wire and a resistor form a circuit coupled between a power input and ground, where the sensor wire extends into the chamber and connects to the resistor via a terminal. A controller adjusts the power input, as a function of a voltage at the terminal and a voltage at the power input, to bring the sensor wire to a target temperature. Based on the adjusted power input, the controller can determine a measure of the gas pressure within the chamber.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 17, 2018
    Publication date: October 17, 2019
    Inventors: Gerardo A. Brucker, Timothy C. Swinney
  • Publication number: 20190271607
    Abstract: A gauge having a housing formed of a polymer material and one or more electrical feedthrough pins disposed in the housing. The electrical feedthrough pins can be oriented substantially perpendicular to each other and have complex shapes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 17, 2019
    Publication date: September 5, 2019
    Inventors: Brandon J. Kelly, Clinton L. Percy, Scott C. Heinbuch, Gerardo A. Brucker, Timothy C. Swinney, Timothy R. Piwonka-Corle
  • Patent number: 10359332
    Abstract: A gauge having a housing formed of a polymer material and one or more electrical feedthrough pins disposed in the housing. The electrical feedthrough pins can be oriented substantially perpendicular to each other and have complex shapes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2019
    Assignee: MKS Instruments, Inc.
    Inventors: Brandon J. Kelly, Clinton L. Percy, Scott C. Heinbuch, Gerardo A. Brucker, Timothy C. Swinney, Timothy R. Piwonka-Corle
  • Patent number: 10352811
    Abstract: A cold cathode ionization vacuum gauge includes an extended anode electrode and a cathode electrode surrounding the anode electrode along its length and forming a discharge space between the anode electrode and the cathode electrode. The vacuum gauge further includes an electrically conductive guard ring electrode interposed between the cathode electrode and the anode electrode about a base of the anode electrode to collect leakage electrical current, and a discharge starter device disposed over and electrically connected with the guard ring electrode, the starter device having a plurality of tips directed toward the anode and forming a gap between the tips and the anode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: MKS Instruments, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerardo A. Brucker, Timothy C. Swinney, Brandon J. Kelly, Alfred A. Funari, Michael N. Schott, Kristian S. Schartau
  • Patent number: 10132707
    Abstract: Devices and corresponding methods can be provided to test an ionization gauge, such as a hot cathode ionization gauge, for leakage currents and to respond to the leakage currents to improve pressure measurement accuracy. Responding to the leakage current can include applying a correction to a pressure measurement signal generated by the gauge based on the leakage current. Responding to the leakage current can also include removing contamination causing the leakage current, where the contamination is on electrical feedthrough insulators or other gauge surfaces. Testing and correcting for leakage currents and removing contamination can be completed with the ionization pressure gauge in situ in its environment of use, and while the gauge remains under vacuum.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2018
    Assignee: MKS Instruments, Inc.
    Inventors: Stephen C. Blouch, Paul C. Arnold, Gerardo A. Brucker, Wesley J. Graba, Douglas C. Hansen
  • Publication number: 20180306763
    Abstract: Methods and systems for endpoint detection of lyophilization processes are provided. A method for detecting an endpoint in a lyophilization process includes monitoring a total pressure of gases within a chamber containing a sample undergoing lyophilization and controlling a mass rate of flow of inert gas delivered to the chamber to replace water vapor removed from the chamber. The method further includes determining that sufficient water has been removed from the chamber based on total pressure and mass flow rate of inert gas being delivered.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 13, 2018
    Publication date: October 25, 2018
    Inventors: Gerardo A. Brucker, David W. Kelly, Philip D. Acomb
  • Publication number: 20180164176
    Abstract: A cold cathode ionization gauge (CCIG) includes an extended anode, a cathode surrounding the anode along a length of the anode, and a feedthrough insulator supporting the anode. The cathode forms a discharge space around the anode to enable formation of a plasma between the anode and the cathode and a resultant ion current flow into the cathode. The CCIG further includes a magnet applying a magnetic field through the discharge space to lengthen free electron paths to sustain the plasma. A shield is electrically isolated from the insulator and shields the insulator from electrons of the plasma. The shield may be mounted to the cathode and surrounds and is spaced from the anode. An electric controller applies voltage between the anode and the cathode to create ionization with plasma discharge between the anode and the cathode, the controller determining pressure based on measured ion current flow to the cathode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 7, 2017
    Publication date: June 14, 2018
    Inventors: Gerardo A. Brucker, Timothy C. Swinney
  • Patent number: 9952113
    Abstract: An ionization gauge to measure pressure, while controlling the location of deposits resulting from sputtering when operating at high pressure, includes at least one electron source that emits electrons, and an anode that defines an ionization volume. The ionization gauge also includes a collector electrode that collects ions formed by collisions between the electrons and gas molecules and atoms in the ionization volume, to provide a gas pressure output. The electron source can be positioned at an end of the ionization volume, such that the exposure of the electron source to atom flux sputtered off the collector electrode and envelope surface is minimized. Alternatively, the ionization gauge can include a first shade outside of the ionization volume, the first shade being located between the electron source and the collector electrode, and, optionally, a second shade between the envelope and the electron source, such that atoms sputtered off the envelope are inhibited from depositing on the electron source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2018
    Assignee: MKS Instruments, Inc.
    Inventor: Gerardo A. Brucker
  • Publication number: 20180010977
    Abstract: A cold cathode ionization vacuum gauge includes an extended anode electrode and a cathode electrode surrounding the anode electrode along its length and forming a discharge space between the anode electrode and the cathode electrode. The vacuum gauge further includes an electrically conductive guard ring electrode interposed between the cathode electrode and the anode electrode about a base of the anode electrode to collect leakage electrical current, and a discharge starter device disposed over and electrically connected with the guard ring electrode, the starter device having a plurality of tips directed toward the anode and forming a gap between the tips and the anode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 22, 2017
    Publication date: January 11, 2018
    Inventors: Gerardo A. Brucker, Timothy C. Swinney, Brandon J. Kelly, Alfred A. Funari, Michael N. Schott, Kristian S. Schartau
  • Patent number: 9797797
    Abstract: A cold cathode ionization vacuum gauge includes an extended anode electrode and a cathode electrode surrounding the anode electrode along its length and forming a discharge space between the anode electrode and the cathode electrode. The vacuum gauge further includes an electrically conductive guard ring electrode interposed between the cathode electrode and the anode electrode about a base of the anode electrode to collect leakage electrical current, and a discharge starter device disposed over and electrically connected with the guard ring electrode, the starter device having a plurality of tips directed toward the anode and forming a gap between the tips and the anode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 24, 2017
    Assignee: MKS Instruments, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerardo A. Brucker, Timothy C. Swinney, Brandon J. Kelly, Alfred A. Funari, Michael N. Schott, Kristian S. Schartau
  • Patent number: 9714919
    Abstract: A method of detecting specific gas species in an ion trap, the specific gas species initially being a trace component of a first low concentration in the volume of gas, includes ionizing the gas including the specific gas species, thereby creating specific ion species. The method further includes producing an electrostatic potential in which the specific ion species are confined in the ion trap to trajectories. The method also includes exciting confined specific ion species with an AC excitation source having an excitation frequency, scanning the excitation frequency of the AC excitation source to eject the specific ion species from the ion trap, and detecting the ejected specific ion species. The method further includes increasing the concentration of the specific ion species within the ion trap relative to the first low concentration prior to scanning the excitation frequency that ejects the ions of the specific gas species.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2017
    Assignee: MKS Instruments, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerardo A. Brucker, Timothy C. Swinney, G. Jeffery Rathbone
  • Patent number: 9671302
    Abstract: A cold cathode ionization vacuum gauge includes an extended anode electrode and a cathode electrode surrounding the anode electrode along its length and forming a discharge space between the anode electrode and the cathode electrode. The vacuum gauge further includes an electrically conductive guard ring electrode interposed between the cathode electrode and the anode electrode about a base of the anode electrode to collect leakage electrical current, and a discharge starter device disposed over and electrically connected with the guard ring electrode, the starter device having a plurality of tips directed toward the anode and forming a gap between the tips and the anode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2017
    Assignee: MKS Instruments, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerardo A. Brucker, Timothy C. Swinney, Brandon J. Kelly
  • Publication number: 20170146420
    Abstract: An ionization gauge to measure pressure, while controlling the location of deposits resulting from sputtering when operating at high pressure, includes at least one electron source that emits electrons, and an anode that defines an ionization volume. The ionization gauge also includes a collector electrode that collects ions formed by collisions between the electrons and gas molecules and atoms in the ionization volume, to provide a gas pressure output. The electron source can be positioned at an end of the ionization volume, such that the exposure of the electron source to atom flux sputtered off the collector electrode and envelope surface is minimized. Alternatively, the ionization gauge can include a first shade outside of the ionization volume, the first shade being located between the electron source and the collector electrode, and, optionally, a second shade between the envelope and the electron source, such that atoms sputtered off the envelope are inhibited from depositing on the electron source.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 1, 2017
    Publication date: May 25, 2017
    Inventor: Gerardo A. Brucker
  • Patent number: 9593996
    Abstract: An ionization gauge to measure pressure, while controlling the location of deposits resulting from sputtering when operating at high pressure, includes at least one electron source that emits electrons, and an anode that defines an ionization volume. The ionization gauge also includes a collector electrode that collects ions formed by collisions between the electrons and gas molecules and atoms in the ionization volume, to provide a gas pressure output. The electron source can be positioned at an end of the ionization volume, such that the exposure of the electron source to atom flux sputtered off the collector electrode and envelope surface is minimized. Alternatively, the ionization gauge can include a first shade outside of the ionization volume, the first shade being located between the electron source and the collector electrode, and, optionally, a second shade between the envelope and the electron source, such that atoms sputtered off the envelope are inhibited from depositing on the electron source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2017
    Assignee: MKS Instruments, Inc.
    Inventor: Gerardo A. Brucker
  • Patent number: 9588004
    Abstract: A Long Lifetime Cold Cathode Ionization Vacuum Gauge Design with an extended anode electrode having an axially directed tip, a cathode electrode, and a baffle structure. The axially directed tip of the anode electrode can have a rounded exterior with a diameter at least 10% greater than the diameter of the anode electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 7, 2017
    Assignee: MKS Instruments, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerardo A. Brucker, Scott C. Heinbuch
  • Publication number: 20170010171
    Abstract: Devices and corresponding methods can be provided to test an ionization gauge, such as a hot cathode ionization gauge, for leakage currents and to respond to the leakage currents to improve pressure measurement accuracy. Responding to the leakage current can include applying a correction to a pressure measurement signal generated by the gauge based on the leakage current. Responding to the leakage current can also include removing contamination causing the leakage current, where the contamination is on electrical feedthrough insulators or other gauge surfaces. Testing and correcting for leakage currents and removing contamination can be completed with the ionization pressure gauge in situ in its environment of use, and while the gauge remains under vacuum.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 9, 2015
    Publication date: January 12, 2017
    Inventors: Stephen C. Blouch, Paul C. Arnold, Gerardo A. Brucker, Wesley J. Graba, Douglas C. Hansen
  • Patent number: 9404827
    Abstract: An ionization gauge to measure pressure and to reduce sputtering yields includes at least one electron source that generates electrons. The ionization gauge also includes a collector electrode that collects ions formed by the collisions between the electrons and gas molecules. The ionization gauge also includes an anode. An anode bias voltage relative to a bias voltage of a collector electrode is configured to switch at a predetermined pressure to decrease a yield of sputtering collisions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2016
    Assignee: MKS Instruments, Inc.
    Inventor: Gerardo A. Brucker
  • Publication number: 20160209288
    Abstract: A gauge having a housing formed of a polymer material and one or more electrical feedthrough pins disposed in the housing. The electrical feedthrough pins can be oriented substantially perpendicular to each other and have complex shapes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 13, 2016
    Publication date: July 21, 2016
    Inventors: Brandon J. Kelly, Clinton L. Percy, Scott C. Heinbuch, Gerardo A. Brucker, Timothy C. Swinney, Timothy R. Piwonka-Corle