Electrostatic chucks support and help cool silicon wafers during manufacturing. Conventional types use expensive, dielectric materials in the chuck's face that can introduce contaminants. Moreover, mechanical damage may result if the static-holding charge takes too long to discharge, as is often the case.
To lower costs, decrease cycle time, and generate less scrap, a new chuck face made of an easily produced, patterned silicon wafer, uses tiny, non-conductive silicon dioxide islands on its surface. These micromachined, non-conductive raised areas on the chuck face prevent excessive currents when the strong electric field is applied between the chuck face and the clamped wafer. Result: fast on/off cycling for quicker de-chucking.
Carl Seager, Sandia National Laboratories, (E) Albuquerque, NM 87185; (505) 844-9168.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.