Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
RAPID RESPONSE SENSOR HOUSING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/065344
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A sensor assembly is provided that includes a housing having a unitary body with a proximal end portion and a distal end portion. The distal end portion is open and defines an internal cavity exposed to an outside environment, and the proximal end portion defines a plurality of internal passageways that extend and open into the internal cavity. A thin film resistive temperature device (RTD), or other micro-sensor, is disposed within the internal cavity, the thin film RTD having a plurality of lead wires that extend through the plurality of internal passageways, and the thin film RTD being in contact with at least one wall of the internal cavity. The thin film RTD and the lead wires are secured within the housing by a thermal adhesive having a matched coefficient of thermal expansion with that of the housing and the thin film RTD substrate.

More Like This:
Inventors:
OHSE, Jeremy (5710 Kenosha St, Richmond, IL, 60071, US)
FISCHER, Graham (5710 Kenosha St, Richmond, IL, 60071, US)
AFFARA, Ryan (5710 Kenosha St, Richmond, IL, 60071, US)
Application Number:
US2015/057250
Publication Date:
April 28, 2016
Filing Date:
October 23, 2015
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
WATLOW ELECTRIC MANUFACTURING COMPANY (12001 Lackland Road, St. Louis, MO, 63146, US)
International Classes:
G01K1/08; G01K7/16
Foreign References:
US4492948A1985-01-08
US7855632B12010-12-21
US20020071475A12002-06-13
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BURRIS, Kelly, K. (Burris, Kelly K.P.O. Box 1039, Chicago IL, 60610, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1 . A sensor assembly comprising:

a housing comprising a body having a proximal end portion and a distal end portion, the distal end portion defining an internal cavity and the proximal end portion defining a plurality of internal passageways that extend and open into the internal cavity, and

a micro-sensor disposed within the internal cavity, the micro-sensor having a plurality of lead wires that extend from micro-sensor through at least a subset of the plurality of internal passageways.

2. The sensor assembly according to Claim 1 , wherein the micro-sensor is a thin film resistive temperature device ( TD).

3. The sensor assembly according to Claim 1 , wherein the internal cavity defines at least one surface that geometrically matches a contact surface of the micro-sensor.

4. The sensor assembly according to Claim 3, wherein the at least one surface of the internal cavity and the contact surface of the micro-sensor are flat.

5. The sensor assembly according to Claim 1 , wherein the micro-sensor is secured within the internal cavity by a thermal adhesive.

6. The sensor assembly according to Claim 5, wherein the housing, the thermal adhesive, and a substrate of the micro-sensor have a matched coefficient of thermal expansion.

7. The sensor assembly according to Claim 1 , wherein the body is a unitary body.

8. The sensor assembly according to Claim 1 , wherein the lead wires are secured within the internal passageways by a thermal adhesive.

9. The sensor assembly according to Claim 1 , wherein the internal cavity and the internal passageways define a cylindrical geometry.

10. The sensor assembly according to Claim 1 , wherein the internal cavity and the internal passageways define a rectangular geometry.

1 1 . The sensor assembly according to Claim 10, wherein the internal cavity defines two lateral opposed walls that extend proximally to further define outer walls of the internal passageways.

12. The sensor assembly according to Claim 1 , wherein the internal cavity defines a geometry that matches an outer geometric periphery of the micro-sensor.

13. The sensor assembly according to Claim 1 further comprising an internal wall separating the internal cavity from the internal passageways, wherein the micro-sensor abuts the internal wall for proper positioning within the housing.

14. The sensor assembly according to Claim 1 , wherein the distal end portion of the housing is open such that the internal cavity is exposed to an outside environment.

15. The sensor assembly according to Claim 1 , wherein the micro-sensor is one of a 2-wire, a 3-wire, or a 4-wire RTD.

Description:
RAPID RESPONSE SENSOR HOUSING FIELD

[0001] The present disclosure relates to temperature sensors, and more particularly to small temperature sensors and their packaging.

BACKGROUND

[0002] The statements in this section merely provide background information related to the present disclosure and may not constitute prior art.

[0003] Temperature sensors are used in a variety of applications and are often employed in environments that demand high accuracy and a fast response time, such as semiconductor processing. Additionally, these temperatures sensors must be provided in relatively small packages in order to reduce their thermal impact on the specific application. Some temperature sensors are generally provided in extremely small packages, on the order of less than 0.25" in length and less than 0.10" in diameter, and with extremely tight manufacturing tolerances. These small temperature sensors are often difficult to manufacture and must be protected from damage by protective covers and other materials, which tend to decrease the response time and accuracy of the sensors.

SUMMARY

[0004] In one form, a sensor assembly is provided with a housing comprising a unitary body having a proximal end portion and a distal end portion, the distal end portion defining an internal cavity and the proximal end portion defining a plurality of internal passageways that extend and open into the internal cavity. A thin film resistive temperature device (RTD) is disposed within the internal cavity, the thin film RTD having a pair of lead wires that extend from the thin film RTD through at least a subset of the plurality of internal passageways.

[0005] In another form, a sensor assembly is provided that comprising a housing with a unitary body having a proximal end portion and a distal end portion. The distal end portion is open and defines an internal cavity exposed to an outside environment, and the proximal end portion defines a plurality of internal passageways that extend and open into the internal cavity, the plurality of internal passageways being separated by intermediate walls. A thin film resistive temperature device (RTD), or other micro-sensor, is disposed within the internal cavity, the thin film RTD having a plurality of lead wires that extend from the thin film RTD through the plurality of internal passageways, and the thin film RTD being in contact with at least one wall of the internal cavity. The thin film RTD and the lead wires are secured within the housing by a thermal adhesive having a matched coefficient of thermal expansion with that of the housing and the thin film RTD substrate.

[0006] In still another form, a housing for use in positioning a thin film resistive temperature device (RTD), or other micro-sensor, is provided that comprises a unitary body having a proximal end portion and a distal end portion, the distal end portion being open and defining an internal cavity, and the proximal end portion defining a plurality of internal passageways that extend and open into the internal cavity. The internal cavity defines at least one surface that geometrically matches a contact surface of the thin film RTD and an internal wall separating the internal cavity from the internal passageways, wherein the thin film RTD abuts the internal wall for proper positioning within the housing. [0007] In yet another form, a sensor assembly is provided that comprises a housing with a body having a proximal end portion and a distal end portion, the distal end portion defining an internal cavity and the proximal end portion defining a plurality of internal passageways that extend and open into the internal cavity. A micro-sensor is disposed within the internal cavity, the micro-sensor having a pair of lead wires that extend from micro-sensor through at least a subset of the plurality of internal passageways.

[0008] Additionally, another housing for use in positioning a micro- sensor is provided that comprises a unitary body having a proximal end portion and a distal end portion, the distal end portion being open and defining an internal cavity, and the proximal end portion defining a plurality of internal passageways that extend and open into the internal cavity. The internal cavity defines at least one surface that geometrically matches a contact surface of the micro-sensor and an internal wall separating the internal cavity from the internal passageways. The micro-sensor abuts the internal wall for proper positioning within the housing.

[0009] Further areas of applicability will become apparent from the description provided herein. It should be understood that the description and specific examples are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

DRAWINGS

[0010] In order that the disclosure may be well understood, there will now be described various forms thereof, given by way of example, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, in which: [001 1] FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of one form of the sensor assembly disposed within a semiconductor processing environment and constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure;

[0012] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of one form of a sensor assembly constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure;

[0013] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the sensor assembly of FIG. 2, taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

[0014] FIG. 4A is a distal perspective view of a housing of the sensor assembly constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure;

[0015] FIG. 4B is a proximal perspective view of a housing of FIG. 4A;

[0016] FIG. 5 is a side view from the distal end portion of the housing of FIG. 4A;

[0017] FIG. 6A is a perspective view of another form of a sensor assembly and housing constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure;

[0018] FIG. 6B is a perspective view of the housing of FIG. 6A; and

[0019] FIG. 7 is a distal end view of another form of a housing with a micro-sensor disposed therein and constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present disclosure.

[0020] The drawings described herein are for illustration purposes only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure in any way.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0021] The following description is merely exemplary in nature and is not intended to limit the present disclosure, application, or uses. It should be understood that throughout the drawings, corresponding reference numerals indicate like or corresponding parts and features.

[0022] Referring to FIG. 1 , a sensor assembly according to the present disclosure is illustrated and generally indicated by reference numeral 20, and is disposed within an exemplary semiconductor application having a chuck assembly 10. The sensor assembly 20, in one form, is disposed within a via 12 that extends through various members of the chuck assembly 10, in order to sense the temperature of a target, such as by way of example, a substrate 14.

[0023] Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, the sensor assembly 20 generally comprises a housing 22 that in one form is a unitary body, or a one-piece member. (It should be understood, however, that the housing 22 may be provided in multiple pieces or parts while remaining within the scope of the present disclosure). The housing 22 defines a proximal end portion 24 and a distal end portion 26, and the distal end portion 26 in one form is open, or exposed, to an outside environment as shown. The distal end portion 26 defines an internal cavity 28 that is also exposed to the outside environment. The proximal end portion 24 defines a plurality of internal passageways 30 that extend and open into the internal cavity 28. As further shown, the plurality of internal passageways 30 are separated by an intermediate wall 32. Although only two internal passageways 30 are shown, it should be understood that any number of passageways, including three (3) and four (4) passageways to accommodate a 3-wire or 4-wire RTD, may be employed while remaining within the scope of the present disclosure.

[0024] A micro-sensor, which in this form is a thin film resistive temperature device (RTD) 40, is disposed within the internal cavity 28. The thin film RTD 40 is oriented as shown and also exposed to the outside environment for increased tip sensitivity. The thin film RTD 40 includes a plurality of lead wires 42 that extend from the thin film RTD 40 through the plurality of internal passageways 30, and the thin film RTD 40 is in contact with at least one wall 42 of the internal cavity 28. The lead wires 42 that extend from the thin film RTD, in one form, are a smaller diameter and then transition to a larger diameter as they extend through the internal passageways 30 as shown. In one form, the lead wires 42 transition from 0.15mm to 0.40mm.

[0025] The thin film RTD 40 and the lead wires 42 are secured within the housing 22 by a thermal adhesive, also referred to as a potting compound, having a matched coefficient of thermal expansion with that of the housing 22 and a substrate of the thin film RTD 40. (The substrate of the thin film RTD 40 is generally the outer casing as shown, with the RTD element inside, which in this form is a ceramic casing/substrate and a platinum resistance element). In one form, the housing 22 is alumina, and the thermal adhesive is alumina based, along with the substrate 41 . Alternately, a glass adhesive is used to secure the thin film RTD 40 and the lead wires 42 within the housing 22. The glass adhesive generally provides good heat transfer and may be a material such as borosilicate. Overall, the thermal adhesive is provided for thermal conductivity, adhesion, and strain relief of the internal components (thin film RTD 40 and lead wires 42).

[0026] As used herein, the term "micro-sensor" shall be construed to mean extremely small sensors, such as a thin film RTD or a sensor employing nano particles, by way of example. Such micro-sensors have a size on the order of approximately 10mm in length by approximately 2mm in diameter, with relatively tight manufacturing tolerances, on the order of ±0.2mm. Accordingly, the present disclosure should not be construed as being limited to only thin film RTDs and may include other types of micro-sensors, either for temperature or other environmental sensing, such as by way of example, pressure or humidity.

[0027] Additionally, the term "thermal adhesive" shall be construed to mean a material or compound that secures components and with the desired heat transfer characteristics. A thermal adhesive may include a potting compound, glass, or other material that both bonds and transfers heat according to application requirements.

[0028] As shown in FIG. 2, the sensor assembly the internal cavity 28 defines at least one surface 46 that geometrically matches a contact surface 48 of the thin film RTD 40, which in this form is flat. This geometric matching provides for improved heat transfer, repeatability, and response time of the thin film RTD 40. It should be understood that other geometric profiles other than flat may be employed, depending on the shape of the micro-sensor and the response time/accuracy desired. Such profiles may include, by way of example, arcuate or polygonal profiles, which are set forth below in greater detail.

[0029] Referring now to FIGS. 4A-B and 5, the internal cavity 28 the internal passageways 30 in this form define a rectangular geometry. The internal cavity 28 defines two lateral opposed walls 50 that extend proximally to further define outer walls 52 of the internal passageways 30, which is also shown in FIG. 3. In this form, manufacturability of the housing 22 is improved. Additionally, the internal passageways 30 are separated by the intermediate wall 32 for electrical isolation of the lead wires 42. As further shown, an internal wall 56 (FIG. 2 and 5) separates the internal cavity 28 from the internal passageways 30, wherein the thin film RTD 40 in one form abuts the internal wall 56 or proper positioning within the housing 22. [0030] Referring to FIGS. 6A and 6B, another form of a sensor assembly is illustrated and generally indicated by reference numeral 60. In this form, the sensor assembly 60 includes a housing 62 that defines an internal cavity 64 that is cylindrical, and internal passageways 66 that are rectangular with arcuate end portions 68 as shown, or an oval shape. It should be understood that any number of shapes for the internal cavity and internal passageways of the housing may be employed while remaining within the scope of the present disclosure, and thus the illustration of rectangular/oval and cylindrical geometries herein should not be construed as limiting the scope of the present disclosure.

[0031] As shown in FIG. 7, in another form, an internal cavity 70 of a housing 72 defines a geometry that matches an outer geometric periphery 74 of the thin film RTD 40, with a relatively thin layer of thermal adhesive 76 there between. In this form, response time and accuracy are improved even further. Accordingly, a variety of shapes for both the internal cavity and internal passageways may be provided according to the geometry of the micro-sensor being used and the application requirements.

[0032] The description of the disclosure is merely exemplary in nature and, thus, variations that do not depart from the substance of the disclosure are intended to be within the scope of the disclosure. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the disclosure.