Elements Patents (Class 204/279)
  • Patent number: 6444102
    Abstract: A nonmetallic electrical contact or wiper composed of material such as carbon fiber, in which an electrical signal is transmitted along a length of the carbon fibers. The carbon fibers can be fused or conductively bonded together. The carbon fibers can be affixed to a carrier using various bonding and fastening techniques. The carrier can be electrically conductive or not depending on the application and can be affixed to the carbon fibers by bonding, fusing, or mechanical fastening. Alternatively, the electrical contact can be formed entirely from the carbon fiber material, with any carrier being also formed of carbon fiber material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 3, 2002
    Assignee: Micro Contacts Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Tucci, Philip Uruburu, Stephen Veselaski
  • Patent number: 6428660
    Abstract: An improved anode, cup and conductor assembly for a reactor vessel includes an anode assembly supported within a cup which holds a supply of process fluid. The cup is supported around its perimeter within the reactor vessel. The anode assembly has an anode shield carrying an anode, the anode shield having upwardly extending brackets with radially extending members. A diffusion plate is supported above the anode by the anode brackets using first bayonet connections. The anode shield and the anode are supported from below by a delivery tube which also serves to deliver process fluid to the cup. A second bayonet connection is provided between a top portion of the delivery tube and the anode assembly. The fluid delivery tube has a fixed height within the vessel. The anode elevation is adjusted by the interposing of a spacer of desired thickness between the anode and the tube. An electrical conductor is connected to the anode, and passes through the tube to be electrically accessible outside the vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Daniel J. Woodruff, Kyle M. Hanson
  • Patent number: 6428676
    Abstract: This invention provides a process for the electrolytic production of metal containing solutions and in particular a high concentration low impurity low alpha lead methane sulfonate solution using a specially designed electrolytic membrane cell. The process electrolytically dissolves low alpha lead in the anode compartment of the electrolytic cell using an anion exchange membrane that separates the anode compartment from the cathode compartment. The specially designed electrolytic cell can also be used to electrolytically dissolve other metals such as tin, copper, etc. in a suitable electrolyte and membrane. The cell utilizes a two-part membrane holder having a female member and a male member, one of which is attached to the cell walls and base with a water tight seal. The membrane holder effectively minimizes contamination between the anode and cathode compartments and allows the use of inexpensive materials such as stainless steel for the cathode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: Enthone Inc.
    Inventor: Anthony C. Onuoha
  • Publication number: 20020096436
    Abstract: An apparatus and associated method that removes electrolyte solution from a substrate, the apparatus comprises a thrust plate and a substrate extension unit. The thrust plate at least partially defines a spin recess. The substrate extension unit can be displaced between a retracted position and an extended position relative to the spin recess. The substrate extension unit is disposed within the spin recess when positioned in the retracted position. The substrate extension unit at least partially extends from within the spin recess when positioned in the extended position. The substrate is processed by immersing at least a portion of the substrate in a wet solution. The substrate is removed from the wet solution. The substrate extension unit extends into its extended position, and the substrate is spun. Extending the substrate extension unit limits the formation of fluid traps within the substrate holder assembly or between the substrate and the substrate holder assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 19, 2001
    Publication date: July 25, 2002
    Applicant: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Donald J. K. Olgado, Jayant Lakshmikanthan
  • Publication number: 20020074235
    Abstract: Insulation assemblies provide reduced heat loss from electrolytic metal production cells such as inert anode aluminum production cells. The insulation assemblies may be located at the end, side and/or center aisles of the cell, and may be supported by the anodes and deckplate of the cell. The assemblies reduce heat loss and bath vaporization losses, and permit stable operation of the inert anode cell.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 18, 2001
    Publication date: June 20, 2002
    Inventors: LeRoy E. D'Astolfo, Thomas R. Hornack, Raymond Miller, Robert L. Kozarek
  • Patent number: 6403263
    Abstract: Provided are cathode current collectors for use in electrochemical cells, wherein the current collector comprises a conductive primer layer applied upon a conductive support, and the primer layer comprises from about 25 to 70% by weight of a crosslinked polymeric material formed from a reaction of a polyvinyl acetal and a crosslinking agent, and about 30 to 75% by weight of a conductive filler. The present invention also pertains to methods of forming such cathode current collectors for use in electrochemical cells comprising (i) an anode comprising lithium, and (ii) a cathode comprising an electroactive sulfur-containing material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2002
    Assignee: Moltech Corporation
    Inventor: Joseph M. Roach
  • Publication number: 20020066667
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a metal cathode sheet as component of cathode equipment for an electrolysis tank for the electrolytic recovery of pure metals, especially copper. The cathode sheet is provided, at its side edges which come into contact with the electrolyte and are vertically aligned in the electrolysis tank, with an edge protector, made of a ceramic material. The edge protector is electrically insulating, of dense porosity and resistant to electrolyte. Sharp-edged breakthroughs and the outer cathode cutting edges are completely coated by edge protector. In this manner flux line concentrations at these locations are forestalled.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 16, 2001
    Publication date: June 6, 2002
    Inventor: Gunter Knies
  • Publication number: 20020066666
    Abstract: An anode box sized and configured for retaining an anode plate therein is disclosed for use in an electrolytic tank of the type used for electrowinning or electrorefining. The anode box is unitarily formed, thereby rendering the device more resistant to degradation typically caused by the harsh environment of the electrolytic tank. The anode box is also formed with spacer structures which protect and isolate the anode plate from contact with the diaphragm, when used, and from contact with adjacent cathode frames. The anode box may include other elements, such as a port through which liberated gases may be withdrawn.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 1, 2000
    Publication date: June 6, 2002
    Inventors: Forrest B. Day, Michael Rytting, Steven S. Davis
  • Patent number: 6395155
    Abstract: An electrolysis plate is described which consists of an outer non-conductive frame, particularly a frame having a fiber-reinforced cresol resin, an electrically conductive, bipolar graphite plate which is mounted therein and is preferably slotted on both sides, and, in the region of the electrolyte feed, has plastic skirts for the forced direction of the electrolyte solutions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2002
    Assignee: Bayer Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Bernd Bressel, Hans-Joachim Kramann
  • Patent number: 6391170
    Abstract: An anode box sized and configured for retaining an anode plate therein is disclosed for use in an electrolytic tank of the type used for electrowinning or electrorefining. The anode box is unitarily formed, thereby rendering the device more resistant to degradation typically caused by the harsh environment of the electrolytic tank. The anode box is also formed with spacer structures which protect and isolate the anode plate from contact with the diaphragm, when used, and from contact with adjacent cathode frames. The anode box may include other elements, such as a port through which liberated gases may be withdrawn.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2002
    Assignee: EnviroTech Pumpsystems, Inc.
    Inventors: Forrest B. Day, Michael Rytting, Steven S. Davis
  • Publication number: 20020053510
    Abstract: A reactor for plating a metal onto a surface of a workpiece is set forth. The reactor comprises a reactor bowl including an electroplating solution disposed therein and an anode disposed in the reactor bowl in contact with the electroplating solution. A contact assembly is spaced from the anode within the reactor bowl. The contact assembly includes a plurality of contacts disposed to contact a peripheral edge of the surface of the workpiece to provide electroplating power to the surface of the workpiece. The contacts execute a wiping action against the surface of the workpiece as the workpiece is brought into engagement therewith The contact assembly also including a barrier disposed interior of the plurality of contacts. The barrier includes a member disposed to engage the surface of the workpiece to assist in isolating the plurality of contacts from the electroplating solution.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2001
    Publication date: May 9, 2002
    Inventors: Daniel J. Woodruff, Kyle M. Hanson, Thomas H. Oberlitner, LinLin Chen, John M. Pedersen, Vladimir Zila
  • Patent number: 6383351
    Abstract: An electrode assembly for the electrowinning of copper includes an electrode in the form of a plate. An edge strip is mounted on one edge of the electrode and serves to mask the edge from an electrolyte in which the assembly is immersed. A gap exists between the edge strip and the electrode on either side of the electrode. A sealing strip is located in each gap, and the sealing strips are discrete from the electrode and the edge strip. The sealing strips are resilient and can be stretched to remove the sealing strips from the gaps so that the sealing strips can be replaced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2002
    Assignee: Quadna, Inc.
    Inventor: Manuel G. Santoyo
  • Patent number: 6372101
    Abstract: An apparatus for preventing drag-out is provided. The apparatus is arranged at an exit where a workpiece leaves a plating chamber. Brush members are arranged to contact both sides of the workpiece as it leaves the plating chamber. The brush members are adjustably arranged in a housing such that the angle of the brush member relative to the workpiece can be varied. A locking mechanism is provided to hold the brush member at a selected angle. The entire apparatus is adjustably inward and outward with respect to the workpiece as well as with respect to the plating chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2002
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Ralph A. Barrese, Allen H. Hopkins, John J. Konrad, Donald L. Putman, David A. Space, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6368736
    Abstract: A reactant product valve for an electrolysis cell. The valve comprises first and second members disposed generally horizontally in the reactant product above the electrodes. The second member floats on liquid reactant product, sinks in liquid reactant and is movable between a closed position and open positions to control flow of reactant product through the valve. A plurality of apertures in the second member are offset horizontally from a plurality of apertures in the first member. The valve has at least one open position at which the second member is spaced from the first member so that the apertures in the first member communicate with the apertures in the second member, thereby allowing movement of reactant product through the valve. In the closed position the second member is adjacent the first member and the apertures do not communicate, thereby prohibiting movement of reactant product through the valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2002
    Inventor: Wayne Thomas Bliesner
  • Patent number: 6365032
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a unique electrochemical cell stack which employs an electrically conductive pressure pad. The pressure pad is composed of material compatible with the electrochemical cell environment and is disposed on the high pressure side of the membrane assembly, in intimate contact with the high pressure side screen pack.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Assignee: Proton Energy Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Jason K. Shiepe, Mark E. Dristy, Trent M. Molter, Lawrence C. Moulthrop, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20020027071
    Abstract: The present invention provides a bladder assembly 130 for use in an electroplating cell 100. The bladder assembly 130 comprises a mounting plate 132, a bladder 136, and an annular manifold 146. One or more inlets 142 are formed in the mounting plate 146 and are coupled to a fluid source 138. The manifold 146 is adapted to be received in a recess 140 formed in the lower face of the mounting plate 132 and secures the bladder 136 thereto. Outlets 154 formed in the manifold 146 communicate with the inlets 142 to route a fluid from the fluid source 138 into the bladder 136 to inflate the same. A substrate 121 disposed on a contact ring 114 opposite the bladder 136 is thereby selectively biased toward a seating surface of the contact ring 119. A pumping system 159 coupled at the backside of the substrate 121 provides a pressure or vacuum condition.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 28, 2001
    Publication date: March 7, 2002
    Applicant: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Jayant Lakshmikanthan, Joe Stevens
  • Publication number: 20020017457
    Abstract: A corner insert for edge strips used with modified electrodes for electrolytic processes. An electrode that is at least partially submerged in an electrolyte is protected by edge strips to prevent depositions and metallic bridges. The edge strips are typically mitered to abut one another at the corners of the electrode and it is difficult to seal this junction. One solution is to remove the corners of the electrode, provide non-mitered edge strips, and close the gap at the corner with an insert adapted to seal to the additional edges of the electrode created by removing the corners. Another solution is to provide a corner insert having one or more anchors for anchoring the corner insert to the electrode and to respective adjacent edge strips, the corner insert sealing against the edge strips and against opposite sides of the electrode whether or not the corner portion has been removed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 15, 2001
    Publication date: February 14, 2002
    Inventors: Michael P. Dwyer, Manuel G. Santoyo, David Watson, Stephen R. Lopez
  • Publication number: 20020011419
    Abstract: The present invention provides an electrodeposition apparatus for continuously forming a film of an oxide on a substrate by electrodeposition, wherein an electrodeposition tank for retaining an electrodeposition bath is formed of a metal and the inside of the electrodeposition tank is kept electrically floating. This can form a uniform oxide film without irregularities on the substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 17, 1999
    Publication date: January 31, 2002
    Inventors: KOZO ARAO, NOBORU TOYAMA, YUICHI SONODA, YUSUKE MIYAMOTO
  • Patent number: 6342136
    Abstract: This invention applies to an electrolytic cell busbar construction for the purpose of the electrolytic recovery of metals. The construction is formed so that the gap between the electrodes can be changed easily. All parts of the construction are in the form of an integral profile longitudinally to the cell and the support lugs of the electrodes in the cell are unnotched.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2002
    Assignee: Outokumpu Oyj
    Inventors: Henri Virtanen, Ismo Virtanen, Tuomo Kivistö, Tom Marttila
  • Publication number: 20020005362
    Abstract: A bipolar electrolytic cell can include, as a manifold, a spiral manifold assembly. This spiral manifold assembly will comprise a first outer assembly member, a second outer assembly member and a center assembly member. The overall structure can provide reduced loss of metal or gas and minimal loss of electrical current during an electrolytic process.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 7, 2001
    Publication date: January 17, 2002
    Applicant: ELTECH Systems Corporation
    Inventors: Robert L. Wilhelm, William A. Nutter
  • Publication number: 20020000372
    Abstract: Contact assemblies, electroplating machines with contact assemblies, and methods for making contact assemblies that are used in the fabrication of microelectronic workpieces. The contact assemblies can be dry-contact assemblies. A contact assembly for use in an electroplating system can comprise a support member and a contact system carried by the support member. The support member, for example, can be a ring or another structure that has an opening configured to receive the workpiece. In one embodiment, the support member is a conductive ring. The contact system can have a plurality of contact members projecting inwardly into the opening relative to the support member. The contact members can comprise electrically conductive biasing elements that have contact sites and the contact members can also have a dielectric coating covering at least a portion of the biasing elements. The contact system can also have a shield carried by the support member and a seal on the lip of the shield.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 30, 2001
    Publication date: January 3, 2002
    Inventors: John M. Pedersen, Jeremy Willey, Daniel J. Woodruff
  • Publication number: 20020000380
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to an improved electroplating method, chemistry, and production worthy apparatus for depositing noble metals (e.g., platinum) and their alloys onto the surface of the workpiece, such as a semiconductor wafer, pursuant to manufacturing a microelectronic device, circuit, and/or component. The reliability of the noble metal material deposited using the disclosed method, chemistry, and/or apparatus is significantly better than the reliability of noble metal structures deposited using the teachings of the prior art. This is largely attributable to the low stress of films that are deposited using the teachings disclosed herein. The metals, which can be deposited, include gold, silver, platinum, palladium, ruthenium, iridium, rhodium, osmium and alloys containing these metals.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 28, 1999
    Publication date: January 3, 2002
    Inventors: LYNDON W. GRAHAM, CURT W. JACOBSON, THOMAS L. RITZDORF
  • Patent number: 6328860
    Abstract: An electrolytic cell comprising a walled enclosure including a cathode sidewall has busbar structure external to the cell. The busbar structure can include a gird bar releasably secured at the sidewall. It also may include a small cathode busbar member on the sidewall. The small busbar member is typically located above and adjacent to the gird bar. there can be internal support members for the cathodes directly secured to the inside face of the cathode sidewall. Furthermore, intercell connection may be handled directly to the outside face of the cathode sidewall. The overall structure can provide reduced potential for sidewall stress corrosion cracking, reduced cathode manufacturing cost, and accommodation of stress relief for the cathode weldment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2001
    Assignee: Eltech Systems Corporation
    Inventors: Richard L. Romine, Thomas F. Florkiewicz, John J. Jahn, Gerald R. Pohto
  • Patent number: 6328863
    Abstract: A bipolar electrolytic cell can include, as a manifold, a spiral manifold assembly. This spiral manifold assembly will comprise a first outer assembly member, a second outer assembly member and a center assembly member. The overall structure can provide reduced loss of metal or gas and minimal loss of electrical current during an electrolytic process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2001
    Inventors: Robert L. Wilhelm, William A. Nutter
  • Patent number: 6325903
    Abstract: A holding clamp device, for releasably holding a thick planar article over ground, comprising: an elongated main arm member, defining first and second opposite end portions; a pair of first and second tubular bar members, each defining an outer end portion and an opposite inner end portion; a rail member, integral to an intermediate section of the main arm member and slidably engaged by the second bar member inner end portion, wherein the second bar member is maintained by the rail member parallel to the first bar and wherein the second bar member is movable relative to the first bar member while continuously remaining parallel thereto; a first biasing member, continuously biasing the first and second bar members toward one another; and a second biasing member, for discretely biasing the second bar member away from the first bar member, against the continuous bias of the first biasing member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2001
    Inventor: Howard Brown
  • Publication number: 20010037944
    Abstract: A plating barrel includes a rotatable barrel of which the exterior shape is approximately a hexagonal column, cathode-lead connections which penetrate through end surfaces of the barrel generally along a rotational axis of the barrel, cathodes placed inside the barrel and which are connected to the ends of the cathode-lead connections, and attachments which are attached to the cathode-lead connections or the barrel in a manner such that the central axes of the attachments are approximately the same as the rotational axis of the barrel, the vertices of the attachments point toward the center of the barrel, and peripheral portions of the bases of the attachments at the opposite ends relative to the vertices are close to the inside end surfaces of the barrel so that objects do not pass through the gaps.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2001
    Publication date: November 8, 2001
    Inventors: Yukio Sanada, Kenichi Hayashi
  • Patent number: 6312573
    Abstract: A nonconductive insert is provided to fill the void resulting from the removal of mother-plate corners wrapped within the abutting ends of side and bottom edge strips. The insert includes at least one anchor, adapted to frictionally engage the end of a strip mounted along the edge of the mother plate. The insert and its anchors are designed to completely fill the void left by the missing mother-plate corner, thereby preventing penetration of electrolyte and accumulation of deposits. According to other embodiments of the invention, the insert may be incorporated into the edge-strip end as an integral component of the strip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2001
    Assignee: Quadna, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael P. Dwyer, Manuel G. Santoyo, David Watson
  • Publication number: 20010035347
    Abstract: A method of treating a carbonaceous cell component of an electrolyte cell for the production of aluminum, to impart protection against deterioration during operation of the cell. A liquid suspension of a refractory material dispersed in a lignosulfonate binder solution is prepared and applied as a protective coating to the surface of carbonaceous cell components and allowed to dry.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 6, 2001
    Publication date: November 1, 2001
    Inventors: Amir A. Mirtchi, Jules Bergeron
  • Patent number: 6309517
    Abstract: This invention comprises a driven conveyor for transporting work pieces into one or more flood plating cells for electroplating a metal onto the planar surfaces and surfaces of the through holes of the work piece. An electrolyte solution is pumped by one or more recirculating pumps into the flood cell at such a rate as to maintain the liquid at a desired level covering the anodes and work pieces while work pieces are moved through the cells. One or more power sources provide direct current to the anodes and to the electrified contactors to transmit electrical current to the work pieces. The electrified contactors are positioned across the path of the work piece and spaced outside of the flood cell such that the electrolyte solution does not contact the contactors. Plating will occur so long as the work piece is in contact with one or more of the electrified contactors and the electrolyte.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2001
    Assignee: Oliver Sales Company
    Inventors: Richard Carroll Condra, Richard Malcolm Johnson
  • Patent number: 6303013
    Abstract: A gas sensor has a housing integrally formed with a caulked fixation portion. A detection element is inserted into the housing and fixed therein by caulking the caulked fixation portion via a sealing member such as a metallic ring. The caulked fixation portion is composed of a caulked portion and a buckling portion, and satisfies dimensional relationships of T1<T3<T2; 2<T2/T1, and 3<L/{(T1+T2)/2}. T1 is a minimum thickness of the caulked portion, and T2 is a maximum thickness of the caulked portion. T3 is an average thickness of the buckling portion, and L is a length of the caulked portion in an axial direction of the gas sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2001
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventors: Isao Watanabe, Takashi Kojima
  • Patent number: 6299745
    Abstract: A rack suitable for holding a flexible substrate panel, the rack having a plurality of clamps for providing current to a panel clamped to the rack, the clamps being positioned to uniformly distribute current to the substrate. Seven clamps are used to hold a flexible substrate panel bearing a copper seed or other conductive layer in place on the rack wherein one tautens the substrate while attaching the clamps so as to clamp the substrate in a “wrinkle free” manner. The seven clamps are arranged with 3 clamps on each of the left and right sides and one clamp on the bottom, the clamps making electrical contact with conductive layers of both the front and back surfaces of the substrate panel. The arrangement of the clamps provides adequate support to the substrate, provides for a good and uniform current distribution on the substrate, and allows a relatively large amount of current to flow through the panel without burning off the conductive/seed layers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Assignee: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: Raj Kumar, Cheryle Rattey
  • Publication number: 20010023821
    Abstract: A lift and rotate assembly for use in a workpiece processing station. The lift and rotate assembly includes a body having a slim profile and pins located on opposite sides for mounting the assembly onto a tool frame. The lift and rotate assembly is removably and pivotally mounted to an exposed outer surface of the frame. The lift and rotate assembly has a body, a process head movably connected to the body, and control components mounted within the body and configured to move the process head relative to the body. The lift and rotate assembly in one embodiment is positionable in a forward, operating position with the body adjacent to the frame, and in a tilted, service position with the body tilted away from the frame.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 5, 2001
    Publication date: September 27, 2001
    Inventors: Randy Harris, Daniel J. Woodruff
  • Patent number: 6282774
    Abstract: When applied to an electrolyser for producing halogen gases from aqueous alkali halogenide solution using several plate-like electrolysis cells arranged side by side in a stack whilst electrically connected, each cell being encased in two semi-shells made from electroconductive material with contact strips on the outer side of at least one of the casing's rear walls, the anode and the cathode being separated from one another by a partition, arranged parallel to one another and electrically connected to the rear wall of the respective casing via metal reinforcements, the current-carrying surface should be as large as possible to avoid uneven current distribution. This is achieved by the fact that the metal reinforcements are in the form of solid plates (10) which are flush with the contact strips (7) and whose side edges run up the entire height of the rear wall (3A, 4A) and the anode (8) or cathode (9).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2001
    Assignee: Krupp Uhde GmbH
    Inventors: Thomas Borucinski, Karl-Heinz Dulle, Jürgen Gegner, Martin Wollny
  • Patent number: 6284109
    Abstract: A spacer mechanism which is used to separate electrodes within an electrowinning process. The spacers have a central body portion which defines the distancing between the electrodes and at least four sloping arms extending from the central body. The arms are used to move the electrodes to the top of the central body of the spacer, as the electrodes are being placed next to each other. Each of the arms is ideally narrow so that the “footprint” of the spacer is minimized. The small “footprint” causes minimal disruption of the electrical flow between the electrodes so that the electro-deposition process proceeds in a uniform manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2001
    Inventor: William Ebert
  • Patent number: 6274012
    Abstract: An electrode edge protector includes two distinct components that cooperate to provide a tight and durable fit over the edge of an electrode. The first component is an elongated core member with a longitudinal slot for receiving the edge of the electrode. This core member is made of relatively flexible material and includes multiple transverse perforations for housing retaining pins passed through corresponding holes in the electrode plate in substantially the same manner as in conventional edge strips. The second component is an elongated sleeve with a cross-section conforming to the geometry of the core member so as to provide a snug support structure that wraps around the core and contains the pins in place. The sleeve is made of relatively rigid material that is inert to the electrolytic solution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2001
    Assignee: Quadna, Inc.
    Inventor: Manuel G. Santoyo
  • Patent number: 6274011
    Abstract: A track assembly and electrolytic container for the electro-refining and electrowinning of metals is disclosed. The container of this invention has mirror image integrally cast lip and trough sections in each interior side wall of the container for accepting a track assembly. The track assembly has a track means for engaging and guiding a separating member and a track retainer means for frictionally engaging and securing the track means to both of the interior side walls. The track assembly and electrolytic container of the instant invention facilitates the removal of unwanted slimes from the electrolytic container while keeping the electrolytic process operational during the removal period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2001
    Assignee: Corrosion Technology International, Inc.
    Inventors: Phillip L. Andreas, Eric Voss
  • Patent number: 6267856
    Abstract: A holding clamp device, for releasably holding a thick planar article over ground, comprising: an elongated main arm member, defining first and second opposite end portions; a pair of first and second tubular bar members, each defining an outer end portion and an opposite inner end portion; a rail member, integral to an intermediate section of the main arm member and slidably engaged by the second bar member inner end portion, wherein the second bar member is maintained by the rail member parallel to the first bar and wherein the second bar member is movable relative to the first bar member while continuously remaining parallel thereto; a first biasing member, continuously biasing the first and second bar members toward one another; and a second biasing member, for discretely biasing the second bar member away from the first bar member, against the continuous bias of the first biasing member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2001
    Assignee: M & B Plating Racks Inc.
    Inventor: Howard Brown
  • Patent number: 6264810
    Abstract: A coupling for an inert electrode for refining a metal is provided. The coupling includes an electrode assembly and an electrically conductive support structure assembly. The support structure assembly includes a mechanical connection and an electrical connection which are in spaced relation. The mechanical connection holds the electrical connection in compression.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 24, 2001
    Assignee: Alcoa Inc.
    Inventors: Israel Stol, S. John Pien, Robert W. Woods, Rabindra K. Bhattcharyya
  • Patent number: 6258222
    Abstract: An electrolyzer 1 for electrolyzing water existing between electrode plates 4, 5 disposed at a prescribed interval by imposing a voltage between the electrode plates is arranged such that at least the electrode plate 5 acting as an anode comprises a ferrite electrode including at least one hole 15 is formed therein, the interval between the hole and an extreme or terminal end of an electrode terminal 9 inserted into the hole 15 is filled with a conductive metal coupling member 16 that becomes deformed when the electrode terminal 9 is inserted in the hole so that the ferrite electrode 5 is made conductive to and arranged integrally with the electrode terminal 9.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1998
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2001
    Assignee: Omega Go., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shinichi Nakamura, Kazunori Hirao, Kunihiko Fukuzuka
  • Patent number: 6258226
    Abstract: A method for preventing the deposition of material in an opening near a surface of an article, and a masking insert therefore. The method and insert are particularly suited for preventing the plating of a metal, such as platinum, on turbine airfoils or turbine blades and vanes having a complex geometry, as is the case when cast trailing edge cooling slots are present in the airfoil surface. The method entails the use of the masking insert, which is precisely configured to mask the cooling slots during plating by preventing circulation of the plating bath through the slots. For this purpose, the insert is equipped with appendages that are sized, shaped, spaced and oriented on a base member to register with, and preferably be received within, the cooling slots of an airfoil having a particular cooling slot design.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2001
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Jeffrey A. Conner
  • Patent number: 6254742
    Abstract: In an electroplating reactor for plating a spinning wafer, a diffusion plate is supported above an anode located within a cup filled with process fluid within the reactor. The diffusion plate includes a plurality of openings which are arranged in a spiral pattern. The openings allow for an improved plating thickness distribution on the wafer surface. The openings can be elongated slots curved along the direction of the spiral path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2001
    Assignee: Semitool, Inc.
    Inventors: Kyle M. Hanson, Robert A. Weaver, Jerry Simchuk, Raymon F. Thompson
  • Patent number: 6251236
    Abstract: The present invention provides a cathode contact ring for use in an electroplating cell. The contact ring comprises an insulative body having a substrate seating surface and one or more conducting members disposed in the insulative body. The conducting members provide discrete conducting pathways and are defined by inner and outer conducting pads linked by conducting members. A power supply is attached to the conducting members to deliver current and voltage to a substrate during processing. The substrate seating surface comprises an isolation gasket extending diametrically interior to the inner conducting pads such that electrolyte is prevented from depositing on the backside of the substrate. The insulative body provides seating surfaces for other cell components, such as the lid, so that no additional insulating material is needed to isolate the components. A portion of the insulative body is disposed through a plurality of holes formed in the conducting framework.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 1998
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2001
    Assignee: Applied Materials, Inc.
    Inventor: Joe Stevens
  • Patent number: 6251234
    Abstract: An electroplating machine is disclosed as including an electrode positioning apparatus, an electrolyte delivery apparatus, an apparatus for covering a roller, an apparatus for dissolving copper oxide powder in an electrolyte passing through the apparatus, and an apparatus allowing the variation of the distance between two rollers. The electrode positioning apparatus has a first open end and a second end joined by two sets of connecting members, in which the connecting members in each set are parallel to one another and equally spaced from the adjacent member. The electrolyte delivery apparatus includes a pipe connected to a source of electrolyte and a nozzle through which the electrolyte is deliverable to an electrode mounted on the electrode positioning apparatus. The covering apparatus is elongate in shape and includes a cavity for accommodating a majority part of the outside surface of a roller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2001
    Assignees: Process Automation International, Ltd., Shipley Company, LLC
    Inventors: Paul Henington, Kwok Wah Li, Kwok Wing Ng, Chi Chung Lee, Pin Chun Huang, Fang Hao Lee, Marlin Vance Marsh, Carl John Colangelo
  • Publication number: 20010004050
    Abstract: The present invention is an integrated screen comprising a screen portion having openings and an integral protector edge disposed about the periphery of the screen portion. This integrated screen protector edge can be utilized individually as the membrane support/flow field in an electrochemical cell or in conjunction with one or more subsequent screen layers. When utilized with subsequent screen layers, the integrated screen protector edge is disposed adjacent to and in intimate contact with the membrane assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 9, 2001
    Publication date: June 21, 2001
    Inventors: Robert H. Byron, Trent M. Molter, Mark E. Dristy
  • Patent number: 6241860
    Abstract: An electroplating machine is disclosed as including an electrode positioning apparatus, an electrolyte delivery apparatus, an apparatus for covering a roller, an apparatus for dissolving copper oxide powder in an electrolyte passing through the apparatus, and an apparatus allowing the variation of the distance between two rollers. The electrode positioning apparatus has a first open end and a second end joined by two sets of connecting members, in which the connecting members in each set are parallel to one another and equally spaced from the adjacent member. The electrolyte delivery apparatus includes a pipe connected to a source of electrolyte and a nozzle through which the electrolyte is deliverable to an electrode mounted on the electrode positioning apparatus. The nozzle includes an elongate gap and the electrolyte exits the nozzle continuously along the entire length of the elongate gap. The electrode positioning and the electrolyte delivery apparatus are slidably engageable with each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2001
    Assignees: Process Automation International, Ltd., Shipley Company, LLC
    Inventors: Pin Chun Huang, Fang Hao Lee
  • Patent number: 6235168
    Abstract: An electrolyte cell includes a membrane (114) supporting frame (104) which having an aperture (180) having a stepped sidewall, including a peripheral sealing ledge (182) in which is set a seal (184), a membrane (114) whose periphery is urged against the seal (114) by a subframe (202) mounted in the aperture (180), the sub-frame (202) being provided with vertically extending stand-offs (218) at each corner so as to define a cavity partially bounded by the frame (104) and sub-frame (202) at the top of bottom of the aperture (180), the top and bottom edges of the sub-frame (202) being provided with a plurality of through-holes (216).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2000
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2001
    Assignee: Capital Controls Ltd.
    Inventors: Ivan Strutt, Julian Dudley Routh
  • Patent number: 6231730
    Abstract: A cathode frame for receiving and retaining a cathode plate for electrowinning and/or electrorefining processes is constructed as an integrally-formed frame body having a base member and side members which provide a continuous channel therethrough for retaining the peripheral edge of a cathode plate, and is further structured with a cross frame extending between the side members for receiving a cathode plate therethrough. The cross frame is sized and positioned to extend proud of the frame body thereby providing contact surfaces for striking when recovering the cathode plate from the frame. In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the cross frame is integrally formed with the side members and base member and the cathode frame is configured to retain a filter media thereagainst.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2001
    Assignee: EpviroTech Pumpsystems, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven S. Davis, Forrest B. Day, Calvin C. Mills
  • Patent number: 6217726
    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 many one section can be compressed to enter a smaller opening than the tube to be polished. An electrolyte dam is coupled to the electrode and controls the flow rate of electrolyte through the tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2001
    Assignee: Therma Corporation, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas A. Lorincz, Joseph P. Parisi
  • Patent number: 6214181
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a new design of elements for ion exchange membrane electrolyzers for the electrolysis of brine to produce chlorine, hydrogen and caustic soda. This new design solves the problems affecting prior art, by both minimizing the electrolyte concentration and temperature gradients, and the pressure fluctuation resorting to components which are easy to be installed and may be obtained through automated production cycles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2001
    Assignee: De Nora S.p.A.
    Inventors: Luciano Iacopetti, Maurizio Marzupio
  • Patent number: 6200438
    Abstract: Anti-corrosive apparatus cover with an improved detachable wall-covering for new or used covers of electrolytic cells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2001
    Assignee: Bayer Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Peter Clasen, Stefan Venghaus