Electrochemical Machining Patents (Class 204/224M)
  • Patent number: 6139715
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for deburring or radiusing articles made of TZM alloys by electrochemical machining uses a pulsating current and a binary salt electrolyte solution simultaneously applied across a gap between a tool electrode and a TZM workpiece. The pulse duration is typically in the range between about 0.5 milliseconds to about 100 milliseconds and the pulse interval is between 5 milliseconds and 150 milliseconds. The pulse voltage amplitude is typically in the range between about 8 volts to about 30 volts. The binary salt electrolyte solution is an aqueous salt solution with a total concentration typically in the range between about 14% to about 20% by weight of sodium chloride and sodium nitrate. The ratio of sodium chloride to sodium nitrate is typically in the range of between about 1:1 to about 1.5:1. The standoff distance, or gap, between the tool electrode and the TZM workpiece is typically in the range between 0.015 mm to about 3.0 mm.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2000
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Bin Wei
  • Patent number: 6132570
    Abstract: An electrochemical reaction assembly and methods of inducing electrochemical reactions, such as for deposition of materials on semiconductor substrates. The assembly and method achieve a highly uniform thickness and composition of deposition material or uniform etching or polishing on the semiconductor substrates by retaining the semiconductor substrates on a moving cathode immersed in an appropriate reaction solution wherein a wire mesh anode rotates about the moving cathode during electrochemical reaction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2000
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Salman Akram, David R. Hembree
  • Patent number: 6110331
    Abstract: A method, apparatus and system for fabricating a stencil mask for ion beam and electron beam lithography are provided. The stencil mask includes a silicon substrate, a membrane formed from the substrate, and a mask pattern formed by through openings in the membrane. The method includes defining the mask pattern and membrane area using semiconductor fabrication processes, and then forming the membrane by back side etching the substrate. The apparatus is configured to electrochemically wet etch the substrate, and to equalize pressure on either side of the substrate during the etch process. The system includes an ion implanter for defining a membrane area on the substrate, optical or e-beam pattern generators for patterning various masks on the substrate, a reactive ion etcher for etching the mask pattern in the substrate, and the apparatus for etching the back side of the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2000
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: J. Brett Rolfson
  • Patent number: 6110350
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for electrochemically deburring a diesel injector nozzle workpiece having a gallery cavity and having a first fuel hole and an air hole intersecting the gallery cavity at a first location. A first electrode is inserted into the first fuel hole such that the electrode tip is near the first location. A post is inserted in the air hole into the gallery cavity. An electrolyte flow is directed through a first channel of the post to the gallery cavity and through a second channel of the post from the gallery cavity. A voltage potential is applied between the first electrode and the workpiece to remove burrs previously formed at the first location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2000
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Bin Wei, John Peter Fura
  • Patent number: 6106690
    Abstract: An electroplaning technique achieves superior flatness of the face of a wafer. A chuck holds the wafer so the face of the wafer is oriented downwards and lowers it to an electroplaner stage. The electroplaner includes an elongated, horizontally extending cup, an elongated horizontally extending nozzle within it. Electrolyte flows non-turbulently from an upper side of the nozzle to create a meniscus of electrolyte that contacts the wafer. The electroplaner moves transversely while the chuck is held steady so that said meniscus sweeps across the face of said wafer. A rinser of similar construction likewise has a meniscus or rinse that sweeps across the wafer. The nozzle can have a row of openings along its upper side, or may be formed at least in part of a microporous material. The wafer is electrically configured as cathode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2000
    Assignee: Reynolds Tech Fabricators, Inc.
    Inventor: H. Vincent Reynolds
  • Patent number: 6099715
    Abstract: During continuous electrochemical polishing of a metallic workpiece an electrolyte flows through a cathodic part of a tool into a working gap formed between the cathodic part and the workpiece and leaves it through a discharge channel between the cathodic part and a wall of the tool. Between the tool's wall and the workpiece a clearance is formed bordering the working gap. To avoid flow of the electrolyte from the working gap into the clearance and to discharge fluid from the gap, a chamber is provided which contains an external fluid held under a pre-adjusted pressure, which can be above or below atmospheric pressure in relation to the pressure of the electrolyte in the working gap. The fluid's pressure is adjusted so, that at the beginning of the clearance a barrier against the penetration of electrolyte liquid is formed. At this barrier the electrolyte is separated from the surface of the workpiece alongside a distinctive breakaway edge.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: August 8, 2000
    Inventor: Fritz-Herbert Frembgen
  • Patent number: 6077412
    Abstract: A processing chamber for depositing and/or removing material onto/from a semiconductor wafer when the wafer is subjected to an electrolyte and in an electric field, and in which a rotating anode is used to agitate and distribute the electrolyte. A hollow sleeve is utilized to form a containment chamber for holding the electrolyte. A wafer residing on a support is moved vertically upward to engage the sleeve to form an enclosing floor for the containment chamber. One electrode is disposed within the containment chamber while the opposite electrode is comprised of several electrodes distributed around the circumference of the wafer. The electrodes are also protected from the electrolyte when the support is raised and engaged to the sleeve. In one embodiment, the support and the sleeve are stationary during processing, while a rotating anode is used to agitate and distribute the electrolyte.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2000
    Assignee: Cutek Research, Inc.
    Inventors: Chiu H. Ting, William H. Holtkamp, Wen C. Ko
  • Patent number: 6059954
    Abstract: An electrochemical machining method in which a work piece and a machining electrode are opposed to each other and dipped in an electrolyte solution, and a surface of the work piece is machined by causing an electrolytic reaction between the surface of the work piece and a tip of the machining electrode in a state where a separating distance between the surface of the work piece and the tip of the machining electrode is adjusted and a desired separating distance is maintained, wherein a zero contact reference position where the surface of the work piece and the tip of the machining electrode are brought into contact with each other and the separating distance between the work piece and the machining electrode is nullified is electrically detected, moving distances of the work piece and the machining electrode from the zero contact reference position are detected, a relative separating distance between the surface of the work piece and the tip of the machining electrode is calculated based on a result of the de
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2000
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments Inc.
    Inventors: Masayuki Suda, Toshihiko Sakuhara, Tatsuaki Ataka
  • Patent number: 6056869
    Abstract: A device for electrochemically deplating metal from side edges and a backside of a semiconductor wafer or substrate. The device includes a shaped cathode having a shape substantially corresponding to a shape of at least a portion of the semiconductor wafer, such that the shaped cathode at least partially covers the backside and at least partially covers the side edges of the semiconductor wafer. The position of at least one of the semiconductor wafer and the shaped cathode is altered by position altering apparatus during the electrochemical deplating.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2000
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Cyprian Emeka Uzoh
  • Patent number: 6051116
    Abstract: An etching apparatus is described comprising a substrate holding segment for holding a substrate with a portion to be etched, an electrolytic bath for maintaining an electrolyte solution therein, a locomotive mechanism for moving the substrate holding segment in order to immerse the substrate held on the substrate holding segment in the electrolyte solution maintained in the electrolytic bath, and a counter electrode holding segment for holding a counter electrode having a pattern corresponding a desired etching pattern to be formed at the portion to be etched of the substrate. The counter electrode is positioned to oppose the substrate held on the substrate holding segment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2000
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hirofumi Ichinose, Ippei Sawayama, Akio Hasebe, Tsutomu Murakami, Masaya Hisamatsu, Satoshi Shinkura, Yukie Ueno
  • Patent number: 6017437
    Abstract: A processing chamber for depositing and/or removing material onto/from a semiconductor wafer when the wafer is subjected to an electrolyte and in an electric field. A hollow sleeve is utilized to form a containment chamber for holding the electrolyte. A wafer residing on a support is moved vertically upward to engage the sleeve to form an enclosing floor for the containment chamber. One electrode is disposed within the containment chamber while the opposite electrode is comprised of several electrodes distributed around the circumference of the wafer. The electrodes are also protected from the electrolyte when the support is raised and engaged to the sleeve. In one embodiment, the support and the sleeve are stationary during processing, while in another embodiment, both are rotated or oscillated during processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2000
    Assignee: Cutek Research, Inc.
    Inventors: Chiu H. Ting, William H. Holtkamp, Wen C. Ko, Kenneth J. Lowery, Peter Cho
  • Patent number: 6007694
    Abstract: An electrochemical machining method and apparatus involves the passage of a wire through a programmably controllable electrochemical machine, wherein the wire is tapered along its length to obtain a desired profile. The rate of material removal may be determined, for example, by modulating the power supplied to the electrochemical machine, or by varying the wire speed therethrough. The machine can include an electrical contact cell and a nutation cell. Electrical power is coupled to the wire via the contact cell. Relative orbital motion of the wire and the nutating cell ensures that material removal from the wire is uniform in all directions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1999
    Assignee: Phillips Plastics Corporation
    Inventors: Dave Walsh, Derrick Jones
  • Patent number: 5997703
    Abstract: A stent and a method for fabricating the stent are disclosed. The stent has an originally flat pattern and connection points where the sides of the flat pattern are joined. The method includes the steps of a) cutting a stent pattern into a flat piece of metal thereby to produce a metal pattern, b) deforming the metal pattern so as to cause two opposing sides to meet, and c) joining the two opposing sides at least at one point. Substantially no portion of the stent projects into the lumen of the stent when the stent is expanded against the internal wall of a blood vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: Medinol Ltd.
    Inventor: Jacob Richter
  • Patent number: 5993637
    Abstract: An electrode structure is constituted by a first electrode, and at least one second electrode providing a pair of opposite portions with a prescribed spacing therebetween at which the first electrode is disposed. The electrode structure is suitably used for electrolytic etching and is effective in providing an accurate etching pattern without damaging the surface of an etching object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Masaya Hisamatsu, Akio Hasebe, Tsutomu Murakami, Hirofumi Ichinose, Satoshi Shinkura, Yukie Ueno
  • Patent number: 5985127
    Abstract: A method of removing a metallic erosion shield secured by a layer of non-metallic adhesive to a leading edge structure of a helicopter rotor blade comprising, the step of providing an electric field between the metallic component and an electrode, in the presence of an electrolyte between the metallic component and the electrode whereby the erosion shield is removed by an electrochemical process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Assignee: GKN Westland Helicopters Limited
    Inventor: Richard David Greenslade
  • Patent number: 5976330
    Abstract: An electrode (10) for performing an electrochemical treatment process has two cathode disks (35, 45) used as treatment locations for a component (55). By means of a return flow channel (23) formed parallel with the inflow bore (12), these two treatment locations are possible one behind the other, viewed in the axial direction of the electrode (10). Furthermore, the gaps (43, 45, 38, 39) located at both sides of the cathode disks (35, 45) have been embodied to be of different sizes. Together with the shape and the radius of the cathode disks (35, 45), contours with different sections are possible. The electrode (10) makes possible an economical production of components with specially shaped contours, and several contours in a single work step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Gerhard Ziegler, Hans Angermaier
  • Patent number: 5976347
    Abstract: A method of three-dimensionally microcutting a metal material suitable for molds is provided. An electrolyte is interposed between a work piece which is made of a conductive material, and an electrode. Through application of an electrolysis voltage between the work piece and the electrode with the electrolyte interposed between them, a passive state film is formed on the surface of a to-be-cut part of the work piece. Then, the passive state film on the surface of the to-be-cut part of the work piece is cut.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 2, 1999
    Assignee: Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kimihiro Wakabayashi, Shinichi Kawamata, Masaki Yamada, Toshihide Tanaka, Masaki Nagata
  • Patent number: 5972180
    Abstract: An apparatus for electopolishing a helix used for a traveling wave tube has the following structure. A bath is provided which receives an electrolyte solution for etching the helix. A holder is further provided for holding the helix in the electrolyte solution without any displacement or any vibration, wherein a part of the helix is electrically connected to an anode. A controller mechanically supporting a cathode is provided for moving the cathode around the helix at substantially a constant speed in a direction substantially parallel to a longitudinal direction of the helix so as to keep a distance of the cathode from the helix to be substantially constant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1999
    Assignee: NEC Corporation
    Inventor: Seiji Chujo
  • Patent number: 5964990
    Abstract: The device proposed for cleaning metal surfaces consist of pad (12, 34, 91) of insulating material held between a beak-shaped (11, 52, 94) electrode (10, 26, 46) and the metal surface (8) to be cleaned, plus a low-voltage a.c. power supply (2) which is connected via the other electrode to the metal (7). A pump supplies the pad with a highly corrosive, high-density, acid solution. The pad consists of a relatively thick hose or tape. The device has slots (36) into which the gases and vapors produced during cleaning are drawn by an extractor fan (40) and then passed through a washing bottle (41) where they are cleaned. The electrode may have various shapes, and it is possible to replace the tip (28, 94, 98). The electrode is preferably designed with bores through which the acid solution can be fed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1999
    Assignees: Nitty-Gritty S.R.L., Nitty-Gritty GmbH
    Inventors: Stefano Muratori, Michele Lapelosa, Alessandro Alboni
  • Patent number: 5958195
    Abstract: The tube inner surface electropolishing device includes an electrolyte delivery system to cause electrolyte to flow through the tube whose inner surface must be electropolished. An electrical cable having an electrode engaged to its distal end is slowly moved through the tube while an electrical current from a power supply passes through the electrode and the tube wall and the electrolyte flowing therebetween. Several electrode embodiments are disclosed including electrodes that include a chain of elements having alternating insulator and electrode elements, an electrode including a quantity of metallic wool enclosed in a permeable insulating member, and a flexible insulating member formed from a cylindrical tubular section which is axially compressible to produce a series of projecting flexible arms, so that any one section can be compressed to enter a smaller opening than the tube to be polished.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1999
    Assignee: Therma Corporation, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas A. Lorincz, Joseph P. Parisi
  • Patent number: 5948219
    Abstract: A lithographic apparatus and method are presented which use an electric field to form features from a desired material upon an upper topography of a semiconductor substrate. A layer of an electric field resist material is formed over a layer of the desired material upon the upper topography of the semiconductor substrate. The electric field resist layer is then patterned by exposure to an electric field via the apparatus. The apparatus includes a plate and a voltage source. In one embodiment, the plate is electrically conductive and a lower surface of the plate has one or more raised portions with recessed portions existing between adjacent raised portions. The lower surface of the conductive plate is positioned above and in close proximity to the exposed surface of the electric field resist layer. The voltage source applies an electrical voltage between the electrically conductive plate and the semiconductor substrate, creating the electric field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 7, 1999
    Assignee: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
    Inventor: Don R. Rohner
  • Patent number: 5942100
    Abstract: The present application describes apparatus and method for monitoring and controlling the etching of quartz crystals to a desired target frequency by means of monitoring the frequency of a monitor blank that is immersed in the etchant simultaneously with the etch load. Since during etching the thickness removal is the same for monitor and etch load, one can predetermine a monitor target frequency in terms of the load target frequency. The process is terminated upon reaching the monitor target.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1999
    Assignee: Transat Corporation
    Inventor: Franz L. Sauerland
  • Patent number: 5935410
    Abstract: A process for producing a structured area of porous silicon on a substrate, in which silicon is etched and structured by means of illumination, includes selectively aiming the illumination during or after the formation of the porous silicon directly at a selected area of a p-doped substrate in order to effect etching and structuring of the porous silicon in another area. A device for carrying out the process includes an illuminating system for supporting the etching process and for structuring the porous silicon, in which the illuminating system is selectively aimed during or after the formation of the porous silicon directly at a selected area of p-doped substrate in order to effect etching and structuring of the porous silicon in another area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 10, 1999
    Assignee: Forschungszentrum Julich GmbH
    Inventors: Markus Thonissen, Michael Kruger, Hans Luth, Michael Gotz Berger, Wolfgang Theiss, Gilles Lerondel, Robert Romestain
  • Patent number: 5900134
    Abstract: A method and apparatus is described for producing a large number of identical parts from a bar of material by electrochemical machining without the intervention of an operator. The apparatus comprises a spindle for supporting the bar and periodically feeding it in the direction of its axis, and an electrochemical machining assembly comprising cathodes for shaping the leading end portion of the bar to form the part. After the part has been shaped, it is electrochemically cut from the bar, and the bar is advanced longitudinally by the spindle in order to proceed with the machining of the next part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1999
    Assignee: Societe Nationale d'Etude et de Construction de Monteurs d'Aviation "SNECMA"
    Inventors: Jacques Marie Pierre Stenneler, Pierre Marc Serge Lechervy
  • Patent number: 5896653
    Abstract: A low voltage, low current power supply and chemical etching tool includes a container and a D.C. voltage source sealed within the container. The D.C. voltage source may be one or more batteries that together generate less than 18 volts and 1.7 amps. Electrical leads are connected to the D.C voltage source, and lead from the container through openings in the container cap. The electrical leads have no splices external to the container. The openings through which the electrical leads pass are sealed. One of the electrical leads is connected to an electro-chemical etching head. The other electrical lead is connected to a connecting clip to be attached to the part to be marked by the etching process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 27, 1999
    Assignee: Northrop Grumman Corporation
    Inventors: Carl R. Rhoads, Michael H. Granneman, Kelly G. Ralston
  • Patent number: 5893966
    Abstract: An electrochemical reaction assembly and methods of inducing electrochemical reactions, such as for deposition of materials on semiconductor substrates. The assembly and method achieve a highly uniform thickness and composition of deposition material or uniform etching or polishing on the semiconductor substrates by retaining the semiconductor substrates on a moving cathode immersed in an appropriate reaction solution wherein a wire mesh anode rotates about the moving cathode during electrochemical reaction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 1997
    Date of Patent: April 13, 1999
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Salman Akram, David R. Hembree
  • Patent number: 5865984
    Abstract: Disclosed is an electrochemical etching apparatus including a fixture for holding a workpiece; a nozzle, positioned opposite the fixture and facing the workpiece, for impinging an etchant onto the workpiece; and an electrode for applying a voltage between the electrode and the workpiece; wherein, in operation, one of the fixture and nozzle are rotated and the nozzle is moved radially outwardly so that the workpiece is spirally etched. Also disclosed is a method of spirally etching a workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1999
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: William E. Corbin, Jr., Madhav Datta, Thomas E. Dinan, Frederick W. Kern
  • Patent number: 5833835
    Abstract: Method of electrochemically machining an electrically conductive workpiece (2) in an electrolyte by applying bipolar electric pulses between the workpiece (2) and an electrically conductive electrode (6), one or more current pulses of normal polarity alternating with voltage pulses of opposite polarity. The amplitude (Un) of the voltage pulses is adjusted between two predetermined values (Un1, Un2) derived from the occurrence of a given surface quality of the workpiece (2) and the occurrence of wear of the electrode (6). The derivation is effected by means of at least one test which precedes the machining of the workpiece (2). During the test the amplitude (Un) of the voltage pulses is increased gradually from an initial value to a final value. The two predetermined values (Un1, Un2) are determined upon the occurrence of a sign reversal in the difference between successive values of a parameter which is representative of a property of a gap (5) between the electrode (6) and the workpiece (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1998
    Assignee: U.S. Philips Corporation
    Inventors: Nasich Z. Gimaev, Aleksandr N. Zajcev, Aleksandr L. Belogorskij, Igor L. Agafonov, Naila A. Amirchanova, Viktor N. Kucenko, Rafail R. Muchutdinov
  • Patent number: 5820744
    Abstract: Electrochemical machining (ECM) techniques utilizing real-time parameter monitoring, alarms and feedback control for improved machining of a workpiece are disclosed. The ECM device utilizes one or more cathodes, an electrolyte and a positively charged workpiece to achieve electrolytic action. A number of controlling variables, such as cathode feed rate, electrolyte flow rate and voltage, are balanced in response to measured system parameters. The following parameters are preferably monitored in order to adjust the controlling variables: the drive parameters of feed rate and cathode depth; the pump parameters of flow rate and pressure; and the power components of voltage and current. The flow rate in each of the cathodes, or a corresponding Reynolds number, is preferably utilized to provide an alarm to the operator if a statistically significant change in flow is detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: Doncasters, Turbo Products Division
    Inventors: Clifton Vedantus Edwards, Frank P. Simkowski
  • Patent number: 5819400
    Abstract: An electrode assembly for electrochemically etching the rifling of a gun barrel and method of manufacturing the electrode assembly is disclosed. The electrode assembly includes a unitary cage formed of insulative material, such as a thermoplastic polymer like Nylon, disposed about an electrically conductive core member. The core member includes a generally cylindrical body portion that has an outer generally cylindrical surface with a plurality of helical grooves disposed the length of the body portion, and a threaded member that coaxially extends from one end of the body portion for connecting to a rifling rod. The grooves have a generally dovetail cross-section and at least one radially extending recess disposed therein. The unitary cage has a strip portion disposed within each helical groove and end portions disposed at each longitudinal end of the body portion of the core member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1998
    Assignee: Smith & Wesson Corp.
    Inventor: David R. Sargeant
  • Patent number: 5795449
    Abstract: A processing-liquid reservation unit for a discharge processing apparatus which reserves processing liquid supplied from a processing-liquid supply unit and generates, in the processing liquid, a discharge in a small gap between an electrode and a work piece to be processed so as to process the work piece, the processing-liquid reservation unit for a discharge processing apparatus comprising: a processing tank having an opening portion; a door for opening/closing the opening portion of the processing tank; a tubular elastic member for sealing a space between the door and the opening portion of the processing tank in a state where the door is closed; and a fluid control unit for filling the tubular elastic member with fluid and discharging the same from the tubular elastic member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 1996
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1998
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Tsutomu Sasaki
  • Patent number: 5779864
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are methods of measuring, adjusting and uniformalizing a sectional area ratio of a metal-covered electric wire, a method of cleaning an electric wire, a method of manufacturing a metal-covered electric wire, an apparatus for measuring a sectional area ratio of a metal-covered electric wire, and an apparatus for electropolishing a metal-covered electric wire.Electric resistance values of first and second materials are previously stored respectively so that a sectional area ratio of a metal-covered electric wire is calculated on the basis of the as-stored values and an actually measured electric resistance value of the metal-covered electric wire. Measurement and uniformalization of a sectional area ratio of a metal-covered electric wire and cleaning of an electric wire are carried out by dissolving surface layer parts of the electric wires by electropolishing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1998
    Assignee: Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Akira Mikumo, Kenichi Takahashi, Masanobu Koganeya
  • Patent number: 5736015
    Abstract: An electrical discharge machining apparatus is disclosed having a frame with a base and a vertical support secured to and extending upwardly from the base. A tank adapted to contain an electrolytic liquid is secured to the vertical support by an adjustment mechanism which enables the vertical position of the tank to be varied. A work holder is optionally pivotally secured to the top of the vertical support and movable between a work position in which the work support and work are aligned with the tank and an inspection position in which the work holder is laterally spaced from the tank. Electrical discharge electrodes are contained within the tank while a servo motor vertically moves the work support with its attached work against the electrodes to perform the machining operation. The electrical discharge apparatus is particularly suited for dental prosthesis applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 7, 1998
    Assignee: Pilot Industries, Inc.
    Inventors: Charles Armentrout, Lesley A. Calvert, Lawrence Davies, John Jarchow, Michael Pulka, Jon Thomson
  • Patent number: 5685971
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for forming a passage with a variable diameter along its length in a conductive workpiece are disclosed. The workpiece is mounted in a fixture and an externally insulated hollow electrode is positioned proximate to a surface location of the workpiece into which the passage is to be formed. A first selected voltage is connected between the electrode and the workplace with the voltage being connected to cause the electrode to act as a cathode and the workpiece to act as an anode. A pump causes an acidic electrolyte to flow through the electrode at a chosen pressure and onto the workpiece surface. The electrode is moved toward the workpiece at a first selected feed rate by a CNC controller to cause a portion of the passage to be formed at a first predetermined diameter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1991
    Date of Patent: November 11, 1997
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Lawrence Joseph Schroder, Lathan Merriman Wayman, Oleg Edelman
  • Patent number: 5681448
    Abstract: An electrochemical etching process carried out in an etching system including an electrolysis vessel which is provided thereinside with facing wall surfaces defining therebetween an etching solution flow region. A semiconductor substrate to be etched and a counter electrode are mounted respectively on the facing wall surfaces. A flow stream generating section for the etching solution is formed separate from the etching solution flow region and includes a device for generating the flow stream of the etching solution. The flow stream generating section is connected to the etching solution flow region in such a manner that the etching solution flow in a direction generally parallel with the facing wall surfaces inside the electrolysis vessel. An electric potential is applied between the semiconductor substrate and the counter electrode to accomplish an electrochemical etching on the semiconductor substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 28, 1997
    Assignee: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Makoto Uchiyama, Hidetoshi Nojiri, Yasukazu Iwasaki
  • Patent number: 5672263
    Abstract: According to the present invention, a method and apparatus for electrochemically machining a workpiece is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 30, 1997
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: David A. Raulerson, Brian J. Schwartz
  • Patent number: 5667646
    Abstract: A dressing apparatus comprises at least two electrode pieces each having an arcuate inner surface and being arranged around a grinding stone to define a gap therebetween. A gap adjusting mechanism adjusts the gap between the arcuate inner surface of each of the electrodes and the grinding stone and maintains the gap between the arcuate inner surface of each electrode and the grinding stone equal to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 16, 1997
    Assignee: Seiko Seiki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Katsura Tomotaki
  • Patent number: 5662783
    Abstract: An electrode assembly (10) for an electrochemical machining apparatus comprises a plurality of electrodes (18,20) for location adjacent a workpiece (12) to be machined, at least one of the electrodes (18,20) being movable towards the workpiece (12) during an electrochemical machining operation. The moveable electrodes (18,20) have a machining face (19,21) shaped to a desired contour and at least one side member (32,34) arranged to move with the electrodes (18,20) as the electrodes approach the workpiece (12). The side members (32,34) are fixed to and move with the electrodes (18,20) at all times during the electrochemical machining operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 2, 1997
    Assignee: Rolls-Royce plc
    Inventors: Alan J. Cannon, Alan D. Staines
  • Patent number: 5637239
    Abstract: An electrode for use in a rotary electrical discharge machining (EDM) device for producing at least one curved hole in an article includes at least one curved tooth. The curved tooth lies in a plane. A perpendicular line to that plane is parallel to the axis of rotation on the rotary EDM device. At least one curved cooling hole is machined in the article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 10, 1997
    Assignee: United Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Edward G. Adamski, David A. Niezelski, Richard H. Shaw
  • Patent number: 5630932
    Abstract: A tip and substrate preparation system for use with scanning probe microscopes (SPMs) includes a scanning tunneling microscope (STM) tip maker, STM tip coater, a substrate treatment method for producing clean, flat gold substrates for STM use and methods for preparing chemically activated substrates for use with an atomic force microscope (AFM). The tip maker includes a coater and an etcher which are preferably controlled by electronic controllers. The etcher provides fully automatic tip etching in a two-stage process in sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution, permitting platinum alloys to be etched without the use of cyanide-containing chemicals. The coater is used to insulate the tips with soft polymer coatings so as to ensure very low tip leakage current (on the order of about 1 pA typical). The substrate treatment device comprises a quartz plate and a quartz torch for annealing substrates in a hydrogen flame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 20, 1997
    Assignee: Molecular Imaging Corporation
    Inventors: Stuart M. Lindsay, Tianwei Jing, Yuri L. Lyubchenko, Alexander A. Gall
  • Patent number: 5614076
    Abstract: An electroetching tool using scanned localized application of flowing electrolyte against a workpiece such as a large area mask having high density features for the fabrication of microelectronic components. A masked molybdenum plate is suspended in a vertical direction within a tank which functions as a reservoir for a recirculating electrobyte. The electrolyte in the reservoir is filtered and pumped to a pair of travelling cathode assemblies from which the flowing electrolyte is simultaneously applied through respective charged orifices to both sides of the workpiece. The workpiece is masked on its opposite sides with mirror imaged mask apertures having corresponding opposite-sided features in registration with each other.Each orifice through which the electrolyte is applied comprises an open groove in the surface of a block of polyvinal chloride material which groove extends in a vertical direction relative to the tank. The bottom of the groove is adjacent to a conductive plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 29, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 25, 1997
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Denis J. Brophy, Madhav Datta, Derek B. Harris, Frank S. Ryan, Frank A. Spera
  • Patent number: 5567300
    Abstract: A high speed electrochemical metal removal technique provides for planarization of multilayer copper interconnection in thin film modules. The process uses a neutral salt solution, is compatible with the plating process and has minimum safety and waste disposal problems. The process offers tremendous cost advantages over previously employed micromilling techniques for planarization.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 22, 1996
    Assignee: IBM Corporation
    Inventors: Madhav Datta, Terrence R. O'Toole
  • Patent number: 5552026
    Abstract: An improved surface treatment system, assembly, workstation and method for plating and the like. The assembly includes a suction pump along the treating liquid discharge end to circulate treatment fluid and avoid leakage. The assembly includes a member defining a fluid passage within the interior surface of a workpiece which is connected to a treating liquid feed channel and a treating liquid discharge channel. Advantageously, a washing fluid inlet is provided to permit a workpiece to be both treated and washed at the same workstation. The assembly may be used with a cover as an additional means to avoid leakage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 1, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1996
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hirihiko Ikegaya, Masaaki Isobe, Masayuki Watanabe
  • Patent number: 5543032
    Abstract: A tool and process for electroetching metal films or layers on a substrate employs a linear electrode and a linear jet of electrolyte squirted from the electrode. The electrode is slowly scanned over the film by a drive mechanism. The current is preferably intermittent. In one embodiment a single wafer surface (substrate) is inverted and the jet is scanned underneath. In another embodiment wafers are held vertically on opposite sides of a holder and two linear electrodes, oriented horizontally and on opposite sides of the holder, are scanned vertically upward at a rate such that the metal layers are completely removed in one pass. The process is especially adapted for fabricating C4 solder balls with triple seed layers of Ti--W (titanium-tungsten alloy) on a substrate, phased Cr--Cu consisting of 50% chromium (Cr) and 50% copper (Cu), and substantially pure Cu. Solder alloys are through-mask electrodeposited on the Cu layer. The seed layers conduct the plating current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 6, 1996
    Assignee: IBM Corporation
    Inventors: Madhav Datta, Ravindra V. Shenoy
  • Patent number: 5536388
    Abstract: A nozzle is provided for use in electroetching a vertically oriented workpiece, comprising a housing having a top, sides, and bottom for creating a flow of etching solution on the workpiece, and means for shaping the flow of etching solution into a moving channel to improve etch uniformity of the workpiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 16, 1996
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas E. Dinan, Kirk G. Berridge, Madhav Datta, Thomas S. Kanarsky, Michael B. Pike, Ravindra V. Shenoy
  • Patent number: 5531874
    Abstract: An electroetching tool using scanned localized application of flowing electrolyte against a workpiece such as a large area mask having high density features for the fabrication of microelectronic components. A masked molybdenum plate is suspended in a vertical direction within a tank which functions as a reservoir for a recirculating electrobyte. The electrolyte in the reservoir is filtered and pumped to a pair of travelling cathode assemblies from which the flowing electrolyte is simultaneously applied through respective charged orifices to both sides of the workpiece. The workpiece is masked on its opposite sides with mirror imaged mask apertures having corresponding opposite-sided features in registration with each other.Each orifice through which the electrolyte is applied comprises an open groove in the surface of a block of polyvinal chloride material which groove extends in a vertical direction relative to the tank. The bottom of the groove is adjacent to a conductive plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 1994
    Date of Patent: July 2, 1996
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Denis J. Brophy, Madhav Datta, Derek B. Harris, Frank S. Ryan, Frank A. Spera
  • Patent number: 5527435
    Abstract: The clamping system makes it possible to hold a free portion of a part during operations performed thereon. The device includes a plurality of blocks, each integral either with a pin or with a tube equipped with a small operating lever. The assembly is mounted in a gripping base between two shoulders. Gripping of each block in the clamping position is accomplished by a screw and two plates which make it possible to lock the assembly. The clamping system permits clamping of turbojet blades during the electrochemical machining or milling operation thereon.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 18, 1996
    Assignee: Societe Nationale d'Etude et de Construction de Moteurs d'Aviation "Snecma"
    Inventor: Jean-Philippe Arnau
  • Patent number: 5516412
    Abstract: An electroplating cell includes a floor, ceiling, front wall, and back wall forming a box having first and second opposite open ends. A rack for supporting an article to be electroplated is removably positioned vertically to close the first open end and includes a thief laterally surrounding the article to define a cathode. An anode is positioned vertically to close the second open end, with the assembly defining a substantially closed, six-sided inner chamber for receiving an electrolyte therein for electroplating the article. The article and surrounding thief are coextensively aligned with the anode, with the floor, ceiling, front and back walls being effective for guiding electrical current flux between the cathode and the anode. In a preferred embodiment, the cell is disposed as an inner cell inside an outer cell substantially filled with the electrolyte, and a paddle is disposed inside the inner cell for agitating the electrolyte therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 1995
    Date of Patent: May 14, 1996
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Panayotis C. Andricacos, Kirk G. Berridge, John O. Dukovic, Matteo Flotta, Jose Ordonez, Helmut R. Poweleit, Jeffrey S. Richter, Lubomyr T. Romankiw, Otto P. Schick, Frank Spera, Kwong-Hon Wong
  • Patent number: 5507924
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are methods of measuring, adjusting and uniformalizing a sectional area ratio of a metal-covered electric wire, a method of cleaning an electric wire, a method of manufacturing a metal-covered electric wire, an apparatus for measuring a sectional area ratio of a metal-covered electric wire, and an apparatus for electropolishing a metal-covered electric wire.Electric resistance values of first and second materials are previously stored respectively so that a sectional area ratio of a metal-covered electric wire is calculated on the basis of the as-stored values and an actually measured electric resistance value of the metal-covered electric wire. Measurement and uniformalization of a sectional area ratio of a metal-covered electric wire and cleaning of an electric wire are carried out by dissolving surface layer parts of the electric wires by electropolishing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 16, 1996
    Assignee: Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Akira Mikumo, Kenichi Takahashi, Masanobu Koganeya
  • Patent number: 5507925
    Abstract: A process is set forth for electrochemically machining holes in a workpiece, such as a die, in such a manner so as to virtually eliminate surface finish patterns normally introduced by the electrochemical machining process, by randomly forming sequences of patterns of holes extending in rows across the workpiece along its extent, and then rotating the workpiece 180.degree. and randomly forming additional sequences of patterns of holes across the workpiece adjacent those sequences of holes which were formed prior to rotating the workpiece 180.degree..
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 16, 1996
    Assignee: Corning Incorporated
    Inventor: Thomas W. Brew