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Conductive Hot Melt Adhesive in Commercially Available Dispensing Form Factor for Electron Microscopy Disclosure Number: IPCOM000030757D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Aug-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Aug-25
Document File: 2 page(s) / 60K

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An easy, inexpensive, no delay, method of placing and bonding samples for examination in a scanning electron microscope (SEM) using a electrically conductive hot melt adhesive.

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Conductive Hot Melt Adhesive in Commercially Available Dispensing Form Factor for Electron Microscopy

This is a method to package commercial or specialty formulations of a conductive hot melt adhesive in a form factor (shape) that can be dispensed in commercially-available hot melt glue guns for application in the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) field . As of today, there are numerous conductive adhesives such as glues, paints and thin, pressure sensitive adhesives (PSA) that are used to mount samples in the SEM sample chamber. Generally, these glues and paints require an extended amount of time--usually greater than an hour--to dry or cure. Samples mounted via the PSA option are limited to the size, weight, and shape of the sample geometry due to the PSA limitations (thickness, shear strength, etc.) required to hold them in place. If they are too heavy or irregularly shaped, they do not provide sufficient holding force to keep the sample from moving in the SEM which is critical. The paints, glues, and adhesives are extremely messy and hard to clean off of the reusable sample holder, generally requiring a solvent , such as acetone, to remove. The conductive, hot melt adhesive solution described herein overcomes these issues.

     A conductive, hot melt adhesive is formulated from any of a variety of commercially-available hot melt adhesives via incorporation of conductive particles of various morphologies, sizes, and intrinsic conductivity. Conductivity is provided by adjusting the loading level of the particles such that the minimum weight percent necessary to achieve adequate conductivity without severely degrading the adhesive physical properties is utilized. The adhesive is cast into a format/shape that is compatible with standard hot melt adhesive dispensers. This conductive hot melt adhesive is extremely quick setting, easy to clean, and provides excellent holding power for heavy, irregularly shaped samples. A sample can be mounted and within seconds placed in a SEM for analysis. Another major advantage to this type of application is both the ease of application and clean up. These attributes shorten sample preparation time and limits contamination that can occur during sample preparation using paints, glues and PSAs.

     There are numerous patents and disclosures on conductive hot melt glues/adhesives but none of them address the specific issues required for use in the electron microscopy (EM) field. In particular, most conductive, hot melt adhesives are cast as thin films. This disclosure describes material and processes to formulate, mold a...