Abraham P. Lee, M. Allen Northrup, Paul E. Ahre, and Peter C. Dupuy
Polymer Micromold and Fabrication Process
U.S. Patent 5,658,515
August 19, 1997
An extrusion micromold, i.e., a singular, hollow device that can be tailored to be thermally uniform and has micrometer-sized features. The mold is a metal shell with a passageway having an inner contour profile with diameters on the order of tens to hundreds of micrometers, and an outside diameter of 1 to 8 millimeters. The features of this mold are made by using a sacrificial mandrel that is machined to define the desired contour profile of the mold, coated to form an outer shell or mold body, and then selectively etched away, leaving a mold in the form of a hollow tube with the desired inner contour profile.
Anthony F. Bernhardt and Robert J. Contolini
Method of Forming a Spacer for Field Emission Flat Panel Displays
U.S. Patent 5,658,832
August 19, 1997
A method for forming spacers that uses a dielectric mold formed on a substrate and mold release agent. The spacers are formed of dielectric-containing aerogels or xerogels. A gel precursor is applied to the mold, filling holes that expose the substrate. A release agent is applied to the mold prior to precursor application, to ease removal of the mold after formation of the dielectric spacer. The shrinkage of the gel during solvent extraction also improves mold removal. The final spacer material is a good dielectric, such as silica, secured to the substrate. The resulting spacers have the capability to withstand atmospheric pressure, which tends to collapse the space between the phosphor faceplate and the field emitter cathode or baseplate in a flat panel display, provide standoff against high voltage imposed between the two plates, and are inexpensive to fabricate.
Jerald A. Britten
Moving Zone Marangoni Drying of Wet Objects Using Naturally Evaporated Solvent Vapor
U.S. Patent 5,660,642
August 26, 1997
A contactless drying process whereby a surface tension gradient driven flow (a Marangoni flow) is used to remove the thin film of water remaining on the surface of an object following rinsing. The process passively introduces minute amounts of alcohol (or other suitable material) vapor in the immediate vicinity of a continuously refreshed meniscus of deionized water or another aqueous-based, nonsurfactant rinsing agent. Used in conjuntion with cleaning, developing, or wet etching applications, the rinsing coupled with Marangoni drying provides a single-step process for cleaning, developing or etching, rinsing, and drying objects such as flat substrates or coatings on flat substrates without using heat, forced air flow, contact wiping, centrifugation, or large amounts of flammable solvents.
Thomas E. McEwan
Window-Closing Safety System
U.S. Patent 5,661,385
August 26, 1997
A safety device with a wire loop embedded in the glass of a passenger car window and routed near the closing leading edge of the window. The wire loop carries microwave pulses around the loop to and from a transceiver with separate output and input ports. An evanescent field, an inch or two in radius, is created along the wire loop by the pulses. Just about any object coming within the evanescent field will dramatically reduce the energy of the microwave pulses received by the transceiver. Such a loss in energy will cause electrical interlocks to halt or reverse a power window motor that is actively trying to close the window.