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January/February 2002

The Laboratory
in the News

Commentary by
C. Bruce Tarter

Fifty Years of
through Nuclear
Weapon Design

Turbulence in
Magnetic Fusion

Present at the

Rapid Field Detection of
Biological Agents




Conrad M. Yu
Hand-Held Multiple System Gas Chromatograph
U.S. Patent 6,306,200 B1
October 23, 2001
A multiple parallel handheld gas chromatograph (GC) system that includes several independent GCs. Each independent GC has its own injector, separation column, detector, and oven, and the GCs are mounted in a lightweight handheld assembly. Each GC operates independently and simultaneously. Because of different coatings in different separation columns, different retention times for the same gas will be measured. Thus, a multiple parallel GC system can measure, in a short period, different retention times, provide a cross-reference to determine what’s been measured, and become a two-dimensional system for direct field use.

Tri D. Tran, Joseph C. Farmer, Laura Murguia
Method and Apparatus for Capacitive Deionization and Electrochemical Purification and Regeneration of Electrodesy
U.S. Patent 6,309,532 B1
October 30, 2001
An electrically regeneratable electrochemical cell for capacitive deionization and electrochemical purification and regeneration of electrodes. The cell includes two end plates, one at each end of the cell. A new regeneration method is applied to the cell that includes slowing and stopping the purification cycle, electrically desorbing contaminants, and removing the desorbed contaminants. The cell further includes a plurality of generally identical double-sided intermediate electrodes that are equidistally separated from each other, between the two end electrodes. As the electrolyte enters the cell, it flows through a continuous open serpentine channel defined by the electrodes, substantially parallel to the surfaces of the electrodes. When the cell is polarized, ions are removed from the electrolyte and held in the electric double layers formed at the carbon aerogel surfaces of the electrodes. The cell is regenerated electrically to desorb such previously removed ions.

Claude Montcalm, Paul B. Mirkarimi
Process for Fabricating High Reflectance–Low Stress Mo–Si Multilayer Reflective Coatings
U.S. Patent 6,309,705 B1
October 30, 2001
A high-reflectance, low-stress molybdenum–silicon multilayer reflective coating particularly useful for the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelength region. While the multilayer reflective coating has particular application for EUV lithography, it has numerous other applications in which high-reflectance and low-stress multilayer coatings are used. Multilayer coatings with high near-normal incidence reflectance (greater than or equal to 65 percent) and low residual stress (less than or equal to 100 megapascals) have been produced using thermal and nonthermal approaches. The thermal approach involves heating the multilayer coating to a given temperature for a given time after deposition in order to induce structural changes in the multilayer coating that will have an overall relaxation effect without reducing the reflectance significantly.

J. Courtney Davidson, Joseph W. Balch
Modified Electrokinetic Sample Injection Method in Chromatography and Electrophoresis Analysis
U.S. Patent 6,319,379 B1
November 20, 2001
A simple injection method for horizontal configured multiple chromatography or electrophoresis units, each containing a number of separation/analysis channels. The method enables efficient introduction of analyte samples. When used in conjunction with horizontal microchannels, this loading method allows much reduced sample volumes and a means of sample stacking to greatly reduce the concentration of the sample. This reduction in the amount of sample can lead to great cost savings in sample preparation, particularly in massively parallel applications such as DNA sequencing. By this method, sample volumes of 100 nanoliters to 2 microliters have been used successfully, compared to the typical 5 microliters of sample required by the prior separation/analysis method.

Peter A. Krulevitch, Abraham P. Lee, M. Allen Northrup, William J. Benett
Microfabricated Instrument for Tissue Biopsy and Analysis
U.S. Patent 6,319,474 B1
November 20, 2001
A microfabricated biopsy/histology instrument that has several advantages over conventional procedures, including minimal specimen handling, smooth cutting edges with atomic sharpness capable of slicing thin specimens approximately 2 micrometers or greater, use of microliter volumes of chemicals for treating the specimens, low cost, disposability, a fabrication process that renders sterile parts, and easy use. The cutter resembles a cheese grater made from a block or substrate of silicon with extremely sharp and precise cutting edges formed by anisotropic etching of the silicon. As a specimen is cut, it passes through the silicon cutter and lies flat on a piece of glass bonded to the cutter. Microchannels are etched into the class or silicon substrates for delivering small volumes of chemicals for treating the specimen. After treatment, the specimens can be examined through the glass substrate.

Paul B. Mirkarimi, Sasa Bajt, Daniel G. Stearns
Mitigation of Substrate Defects in Reticles Using Multilayer Buffer Layers
U.S. Patent A multilayer film is used as a buffer layer to minimize the size of defects on a reticle substrate prior to deposition of a reflective coating on the substrate. The multilayer buffer layer deposited between the reticle substrate and the reflective coating produces a smoothing of small particles and other defects on the reticle substrate. The reduction in defect size is controlled by surface relaxation during the buffer layer growth process and by the degree of intermixing and volume contraction of the materials at the multilayer interfaces. The buffer layers are deposited at near-normal incidence by a low-particulate ion-beam-sputtering process. The growth surface of the buffer layer may also be heated by a secondary ion source to increase the degree of intermixing and improve the mitigation of defects.


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