A thermophoretic vacuum wand that is particularly suited for transporting articles in a cleanroom environment so that potential particle contaminants in the air do not become adhered to the surface of the article is described. The wand includes a housing having a platen with a front surface with suction port(s) through the platen; a vacuum source for applying a negative pressure to the suction port(s); and heating device for the object. Heating the article when it is held by the vacuum wand affords thermophoretic protection that effectively prevents particles in the air from depositing onto the article.
The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the Department of Energy.