Compiled by Steve Smith
Hurricane helping hands
TUCSON, Ariz. – QRP Inc. (www.qrpgloves.com), a manufacturer of specialized gloves used for contamination control in chemical processing, laboratories and food processing, has pledged to contribute to victims of Hurricane Katrina $1 for each case of its products sold through the end of the year. The family-owned business will donate its funds, which could total tens of thousands of dollars, through the American Red Cross.
Big barrier breakthrough
PHOENIX, Ariz. – Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials, CMP Technologies (http://electronicmaterials.rohmhaas.com) has introduced a copper barrier slurry technology that is designed to address chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) in low-k integration schemes at the 90 nm and 65 nm semiconductor technology nodes. The company says its technology was developed in close collaboration with device manufacturers. The selectivity and removal rates of the LK393c4 copper barrier slurry are reported to achieve a 25 to 30 percent improvement in wafer throughput and cost-of-ownership over comparable slurry formulations. The technology is said to deliver high removal rates at low pressures needed for CMP in next-generation copper-barrier processes. Currently available for sampling, the technology is expected to be commercially available later this year.
SAN JOSE, Calif. – A patterned wafer inspection platform, developed by KLA-Tencor (www.kla-tencor.com), is designed to meet new defect and yield challenges from emerging 65 nm and 45 nm processes. Key to the Puma 9000 platform is the company’s proprietary Streak darkfield imaging technology, which combines advanced ultraviolet illumination optics with high-speed imaging to provide a range of inspection modes optimized for critical defect detection without compromising throughput. The company claims that its proprietary solid-state linear sensor images the scattered light, extending the dynamic range to produce improved signal-to-noise ratio as well as more stable and repeatable measurements than can be achieved via other methods. In addition, the darkfield technology is designed to provide highly effective noise suppression and pattern filtering, resulting in improved defect capture on critical layers.
Prominent people to propel PDA
BETHESDA, Md. – The Parenteral Drug Association (PDA; www.pda.org) has named Richard Levy, PhD, as senior vice president of Science and Regulatory Affairs, and Robert Dana as vice president of Quality and Regulatory Affairs. Both are long-standing association members and have recently served on the board of directors. Dr. Levy has served as corporate vice president and general manager at PAREXEL Consulting, and was director of the Viral and BioMolecular Technologies Business Unit at Millipore Corp. With more than 38 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Robert Dana has most recently served as senior director of Compliance Assurance Services, director of Technical Evaluation and Service, and technical auditor/GMP-all at Bristol-Myers Squibb. He has also held diverse consulting roles in GMP and regulatory compliance, most recently as founder and president of Elkhorn Associates, which specializes in quality and regulatory compliance for the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.
Demand rising for antimicrobial chemicals
CLEVELAND, Ohio – A new study by The Freedonia Group (www.freedoniagroup.com) predicts a $930 million market by 2009 for antimicrobial chemicals in the U.S. Leading the way will be the food and beverage processing industry, where heightened awareness of health risks and potential liability associated with foodborne pathogens will spur greater use of disinfectants. The coatings industry will also be a major user, due in large part to an ongoing shift to waterborne formulations. In institutional and commercial markets, gains will be prompted by concerns about E. coli, salmonella, and other foodborne pathogens, as well as by threats posed by bacteria, viruses, and other microbes. Phenol-based compounds will be the largest single type of antimicrobial chemical due to their extensive use in medical and food processing markets. Iodine-based compounds, says the study, will be the next biggest gainer due to their broad-spectrum germicidal activity, compatibility with a variety of cleaning formulations, and synergestic action in disinfectant blends containing more than one active ingredient (or, an active ingredient mixed with a commodity, such as isopropanol). Freedonia Group also expects strong gains for iodophors due to increased use in surface disinfectants for food processing plants, dairies and health care facilities, and as additives for paints and coatings.
Studying specification specifics
ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. – “Testing Cleanroom Performance,” an online education class sponsored by the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST; www.iest.org) will be held October 25 at 11:00 AM central time. The presentation, led by Robert Mielke of Abbott Laboratories, will review 12 of 13 different test methods (excepting particle counting) that are described in ISO 14644-3, Cleanrooms and associated controlled environments-Test methods. The online class is recommended for those who specify or test cleanrooms, and may also be beneficial to designers, installers, operators, and cleanroom maintenance personnel.
Purifier promises to protect processes
EAST HILLS, N.Y. – Pall Corp. (www.pall.com) says it has developed a purification technology that’s designed to protect oxygen analyzers used in semiconductor manufacturing processes. Its Gaskleen-SP purifier assembly is built to extend the life of oxygen analyzers, helping to ensure long-term analyzer accuracy. The technology claims to remove gaseous impurities that interfere with the electrode material and zirconium oxide sensor inside an oxygen analyzer. Pall says its technology will also permit semiconductor manufacturers to reduce the number of required calibrations by as much as seven times over a one-year period.
Removing maligned mooing materials
ROCKVILLE, Md. – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA; www.fda.gov) is amending an interim final rule established July 2004 that will now allow use of cattle small intestine in certain human food and cosmetic products, provided that the distal ileum section of the intestine-considered a source for carrying the agent for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease-is removed. Previously the entire small intestine was considered a prohibited cattle material. The rule, “Use of Materials Derived from Cattle in Human Food and Cosmetics,” has also been amended to clarify that milk and milk products, hides and hide-derived products, and tallow derivatives are not prohibited for use in human foods and cosmetics. The FDA says that the amendments, which are in effect as of October 7, still leave the interim final rule with the same level of protection to the public against the agent that causes mad cow disease.
More attention to infection prevention
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Freedonia Group Inc. (www.freedoniagroup.com) has released a study that claims that U.S. demand for infection prevention technology will increase 4.6 percent annually to an $11.8 billion industry by 2009. Expected to post the largest demand gains are: air- and liquid-resistant surgical drapes and gowns, high-level surface and instrument disinfectants, heavy-duty laboratory and powder-free surgical gloves, heat-resistant sterilization wrap, and filtration-enhanced face masks. While hospitals will remain the largest market, pharmaceutical companies will see the fastest increases in demand in the life science market as newly adopted FDA regulations extend quality management requirements to all phases of drug production. The report, Infection Prevention Products & Services, also says that demand for contract sterilization services will expand at a fast pace over the next five years as pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers broaden the use of outsourcing to meet increasingly stringent FDA regulations for product and package sterility.
Documentation delivery devices
BILLERICA, Mass. – Using calibrated devices, trained and certified Millipore Corp. (www.millipore.com) engineers are now performing maintenance and requalification tests as part of the company’s new validation service plans. Millipore will integrate the periodic requalification component of pharmaceutical regulatory requirements as part of routine, documented system maintenance. The full test includes all hydraulic, electronic and monitoring functions. Millipore’s validation service plans are also designed to offer increased system longevity, water quality optimization, investment savings, and priority status. The company says customers will be eligible for a discount on their entire order of products when simultaneously purchasing a validation service contract.
ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. – The Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST; www.iest.org) has established a scholarship in memory of the late Gene Borson, who served for more than 40 years in the contamination-control industry and was named a Fellow of IEST-the organization’s highest distinction. Borson had served as chair of IEST Working Groups CC009: Compendium of Standards, Practices, Methods, and Similar Documents Relating to Contamination Control; CC-011: A Glossary of Terms and Definitions Relating to Contamination Control; and CC016: The Rate of Deposition of Nonvolatile Residue in Cleanrooms. The Gene Borson Memorial Scholarship will encourage and recognize students in the writing of technical papers related to contamination control.