Inventor’s corner

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Clean plastic process
The invention can be an ultra-clean plastic film, sheet or bag that is used in the production of semiconductors, precision instruments and electronic devices. It can also be applied in medical bio-related applications or for wrapping cleanroom garments. The process involves immersing and running plastic material in ultra-pure water in a cleanroom. Further spraying and washing the film or sheet with ultra-pure water after the film or sheet is drawn out is followed by drying, destaticization, cutting and heat sealing.
Patent number: 6,110,573
Date granted: August 29, 2000
Inventors: Hachiro Kobayashi and Sukeharu Kainuma (Tokyo).

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Cleanroom sliding door
The sliding door is geared for facilities manufacturing precision parts, chemicals and special foods. The apparatus can also be used as an access to a surgical operating room. The door assembly includes a pair of vertically spaced shafts that are angled horizontally and guide the sliding door as it moves from an opened to closed position. The invention has a device that automatically opens and closes the door. Once closed, a seal further protects the environment it shelters.
Patent number: 6,098,341
Date granted: August 1, 2000
Inventor: Thorsten Gebauer (Stuttgart, Germany)

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Non- and low-particle-emitting material
The invention is demonstrated as a material and a facemask that can be used in a cleanroom.

Either can be made from one or more layers of fractured plastic film or treated nonwoven fabric.

Non- and low-particle-emitting fractured plastic films, such as Goretex, and treated non-woven materials, using polyethylene and polyolefin, prevent contaminants from escaping and protect the wearer from hazardous liquids and aerosols.

Patent number: 6,117,515
Date granted:
September 12, 2000
Inventors: Kevin K. Brunson
Marc E. Pinney,
Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc. (Roswell, GA).

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Base contaminant detector
The system detects base contamination at low concentrations in air. It has a detector that provides a single reading that indicates aggregate proton-bonding characteristics of various base contaminants that are present in the air. The system can operate as a “total amine detector” for airborne organic compounds containing ammonia. The system can be employed in semiconductor manufacturing facilities to evaluate incoming or exhaust air from a cleanroom. It can also be implemented within the stepper or coat-and-develop track of a photolithographic process. The system converts compounds present in the air to a common detectable compound. The converter is located near a sample region of a process and the detector is remotely located with sample lines extending between converter and detector to conduct a sample flow. Filters provide air free of contaminants to various stages of a process. The air from the outlet of the filters provides zero air for calibration of the converter and detector, and continual, automated recalibration is shown. The detection system can also be constructed as a mobile detection unit and can be calibrated to monitor select stages of a manufacturing process.
Patent number: 6,096,267
Date granted: August 1, 2000
Inventor: Oleg P. Kishkovich and Devon A. Kinkead, Extraction Systems Inc. (Franklin, MA)

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Chemical drying and cleaning method
The invention is a method and apparatus for drying and/or cleaning electronic parts, semiconductor wafers, printed circuit boards or other devices manufactured in a cleanroom. As the device is withdrawn from a processing liquid, a drying liquid, such as hydrofluoroether (HFE), ethylated HFE or mixture, is applied to an exposed surface of the device. The exposed surface may be stationary, rotating or moving along a selected path. The device can be dried in five to 60 seconds, and in most situations and can be cleaned using the invention. Drying and/or cleaning can be performed in a single device continuous or batch process.
Patent number: 6,119,366
Date granted: September 19, 2000
Inventors: Gary W. Ferrell (Half Moon Bay, CA) and Robert J. Elson and John F. Schipper (Palo Alto, CA).

Send your inventions
Information on the patents highlighted was obtained through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Inventors who have been granted patents within the last six months for new cleanroom and contamination control technology are encouraged to submit them to CleanRooms magazine for publication. Send a brief description of the invention along with a detailed drawing to Mark A. DeSorbo, associate editor, CleanRooms, 98 Spit Brook Road, Nashua, NH 03062, or e-mail at [email protected].


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