Inventor’s Corner

Particle counter

The invention controls contamination on product surfaces, machine tools and work areas within semiconductor, data storage, fluid filter, display, aerospace and medical industry cleanrooms.

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The device has a tacky surface (A) that is mounted on an inspection apparatus, which is automated by an optical microscope (B).

Light from a halogen lamp (C) is filtered through a series of baffles (D) and reflected by a mirror (E) that scatters it from the tacky surface to a “darkfield objective” (F), through tube lenses (G), filters (H), a beam splitter (I) and into two detector arrays (J).

Measurements of contamination are then calculated by an analyzer (K), including the number of particles detected; total number of a specific surface; size of particles; and particle volume or area.

Patent number: 5,507,393 B2
Date granted: Jan. 14, 2003
Inventor: John Samuel Batchelder of Somers, N.Y.

Microfiltration apparatus

Microfiltration wells have an important role in many biological and biochemical applications, including sample preparation, genome sequencing and drug discovery programs.

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The use of a single sheet of filter material to construct the microfiltration wells, however, can lead to cross-contamination due to the ability of liquid dispersing wicking across the sheet.The invention provides multi-well plates and column arrays in which samples—cell lysates containing nucleic acids of interest, such as ribonucleic acid (RNA)—can be analyzed and/or processed.

The microfiltration arrangement is a multi-layer structure, including a column plate having an array of mini columns in which samples are placed (A); a discrete filter element disposed in each mini column (B); a plate having a corresponding array of drip directors through which samples may flow (C); and a receiving well plate, which has an array of receiving wells (D).

The invention provides multi-well microfiltration arrangements designed to overcome cross-contamination due to wicking across a common filter sheet or individual filter elements entrapping sample constituents within substantial dead volumes.

Additionally, the invention provides multi-well microfiltration arrangements that avoid cross-contamination due to aerosol formation, pendent drops and/or splattering.

Patent number: 6,506,343 B1
Date granted: Jan. 14, 2003
Inventors: Kevin S. Bodner, Alfred P. Madden, John H. Halsey, Mark F. Oldham, Stephen E. Moring and Jon Hoshizaki of Applera Corp. (Foster City, Calif.)

Ultrasonic cleaning device

The ultrasonic device uses cleaning liquid (A)—pure water, in most cases—that is sprayed through a series of nozzles (B) to clean upper and lower substrate surfaces (C) in the manufacturing of flat-panel, liquid crystal or plasma displays.

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Along with an upper nozzle (B), the device has a lower nozzle (D) that projects cleaning liquid through an ultrasonic device (E). The upper nozzle showers the upper surface of a glass substrate, while the lower nozzle cleans the lower surface of the substrate with an ultrasound-intensified spray to remove contamination and strips metallic materials adhering to the lower surface once it has gone through the photoresist process.

The vibrating, ultrasonic element (E) is situated within the length of a given traveling direction that transports the substrate horizontally over rollers (F).

Patent number: 6,497,240 B1
Date granted: Dec. 24, 2002
Inventors: Kazuki Kobayashi, Toshiaki Muratani, Hiroto Yoshioka of Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha (Osaka, Japan)


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