Inventor’s Corner

Air duct coupling adapter

Within the plenum space (A) above a cleanroom (B), an HVAC duct (C) can be connected to a fan-filter unit (D) with the invention, an adapter (E).

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The adapter has two connection points, one for the air duct (F) and another for the fan-filter unit (G). Sidewalls (H) of the adapter serve as relief holes that supply air to the intake opening when the air duct is closed off by a damper system.

Patent number: 6,471,582 B1
Date granted: Oct. 29, 2002
Inventors: Darren F. Tucker of Applied Optoelectronics Inc. (Sugar Land, Texas)

Air purification method

This is a method and apparatus for purifying air to deactivate toxic chemical and biological species such as Sarin, mustard gas, phosgene, cyanogen chloride, Anthrax spores, E. coli bacteria, Salmonella bacteria, Hepatitis virus and Norwalk virus.

The apparatus has a reaction or combustion chamber (A) that is coupled to a counterflow heat exchanger (B). Incoming contaminated air is directed through a heating side (C) of the exchanger to preheat it. The air is further heated to a temperature of at least 200 degrees Celsius, which is sufficient to deactivate common biological toxic species.

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Optionally, the reaction chamber may include a catalyst (D) on a surface area over which the heated air is directed, enabling a thermocatalytic reaction particularly effective in deactivating biological and chemical warfare agents, such as Anthrax and Sarin.

Portable versions of the invention are useful in both military and civilian air purifying applications, while fixed installations of the apparatus are useful in deactivating toxic species from the air in areas where food is prepared or stored or in purifying air in the environment of a living space.

Patent number: 6,488,900 B1
Date granted: Dec. 3, 2002
Inventors: Charles J. Call, Mike Powell, Seung-Ho Hong, Ezra Merrill, Alireza Shekarriz and Patrick Call of MesoSystems Technology Inc. (Kenewick, Wash.)

Surface protection method

The invention is a method for protecting exposed surfaces from harmful airborne contamination in such enclosed spaces as buildings, medical rooms, clean manufacturing areas or consultation rooms.

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Using an ionizer (A), contamination (B) is charged by exposure to an electrostatically-charged cloud (C), creating a field for pulling harmful airborne contamination away from such exposed surfaces as a medical device or a wound on the body (D). The harmful airborne agent may then be collected by a separate charged surface, where the contamination is destroyed by ultraviolet light.

Patent number: 6,379,427 B1
Date granted: April 30, 2002
Inventors: Harold E. Siess of Gaithersburg, Md.

Intelligent minienvironment

The invention is an intelligent minienvironment control system designed to improve minienvironment performance, the protection of fab equipment and safety conditions for fab personnel.

The intelligent minienvironment control system is made up of several minienvironment control and monitoring systems (MCMSs) that are dedicated to each minienvironment.

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The MCMSs continuously monitor the environmental conditions and are linked together in a local area network (LAN) to form an integrated fab-wide management system.

The management system, which is situated around a process tool, is made up of a particle counter; a fan filter unit; a sprinkler system; internal and external hazard detectors; temperature, pressure and humidity sensors; a light tower and workstations linked to the network for storing historical data for and allowing remote access to each of the MCMSs in the system.

Patent number: 6,473,668 B2
Date granted: Oct. 29, 2002
Inventors: Salem Abuzeid, Xiaohua George He and George Tannous of Asyst Technologies Inc. (Freemont, Calif.)


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