Low Profile Transfer Mechanism for Controlled Environments

Invention Summary:

Various scientific and manufacturing processes are performed in special controlled environments (e.g., ultra-high vacuum, high radiation, air-stable, etc.) that require special chambers that maintain the desired environment. A device such as a superconducting magnet or cryostat is housed within the chamber that requires objects to be transferred during various operations. Current transfer mechanisms are large and rigid to accommodate the forces required to move objects to and from the device, and are typically very tall, requiring specialized laboratory space with very high ceilings. These large mechanisms contain a large volume of dead space, increasing pump-down time to obtain a low-pressure environment. Tall mechanisms are also prone to mechanical instabilities which are sensitive to vibrations and can negatively impact various operations.

Researchers at Rutgers University have developed a small-footprint flexible mechanism for the transfer of scanning probes in ultra-high vacuum (UHV) between two sites: one at room temperature, and another at low temperatures. The mechanism consists of a carousel, a pulley, a coarse guide, a tool selector, drop-off and pick-up tools, and tool stands. Transfer occurs at a low profile in contrast with current mechanisms, allowing smaller chambers to be used.



- Smaller operating space

- Shorter pump-down times

- Minimizes mechanical instabilities

Market Applications:

- Semiconductor development

- Materials analysis


Intellectual Property & Development Status:

Patent pending. Available for licensing and/or research collaboration.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Shu Wang
Licensing Manager
Rutgers University
Machines & Instruments