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Washington Technology Center Funding & Services Microfabrication Lab Industries Initiative News Forum
Washington Technology Center Clients

Aculight
Bothell

http://www.aculight.com

Researcher: Ann Mescher, UW Mechanical Engineering Dept.

Year project began: 2000

Aculight designs, develops, and manufactures solid-state lasers for new applications in industries as diverse as medicine, semiconductor processing, and telecommunications. As solid-state lasers get smaller and power output increases, cooling the laser becomes a significant challenge. In collaboration with Ann Mescher of the UW Department of Mechanical Engineering, Aculight is investigating MEMS processes at WTC's Microfab Lab to achieve a novel thermal management system that efficiently removes high heat flux from the laser's package. Aculight, one of the top 100 fastest-growing private companies in Washington, forecasts overall sales in excess of $20 million by 2004.

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Agilent

San Jose, California

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American Semiconductor, Inc.

American Semiconductor, Inc., Boise, Idaho
American Semiconductor (ASI) recently developed a collaborative relationship with the Washington Technology Center for use of the WTC Microfabrication Laboratory and its equipment. American Semiconductor is a fabless developer of semiconductor process solutions for low-power, RF, analog and digital integrated circuits resolving CMOS technology limitations for next generation scaling of advanced microelectronics. As a pure-play foundry for wafer fabrication and advanced process development, ASI's focus is on foundry and custom process development support for fabless and IDM commercial organizations and research institutions. In addition to foundry services, American Semiconductor is active in advanced technology research supported by agencies such as the U.S. Department of Defense. ASI utilizes the Microfab Lab process tools for a number of development projects including photo diode and biosensor fabrication. ASI recently completed a major milestone in the development of the patent pending Flexfet™ silicon-on-insulator (SOI) CMOS technology with an impressive prototype demonstration.

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Carbon Nanoprobes
Malvern, Pa. (formerly Seattle)

http://cnprobes.com

Carbon Nanoprobes in the WTC news forum

RTD Award: Phase I

Research Partner: William R. Schief Jr, Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington

Project Began: 2007

Carbon Nanoprobes, a startup company developing high-resolution probes for atomic force microscopy, has teamed with University of Washington's William Schief, Senior Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry, to develop a scanning probe tip useful in drug discovery. The project team will evaluate the feasibility of reliably producing small-diameter single-walled nanotube probes for the atomic force microscope. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a versatile tool used to create 3D molecular images and to pinpoint electrostatic, magnetic, and physical moduli on a surface. While AFM has been a popular choice among physical scientists, it has not reached the same level of usage among the life sciences community, due particularly to the current lack of resolution. The resolution of AFM, which is achieved by dragging a sharp stylus over a surface, is limited by the diameter of the stylus probe tip. The use of carbon nanotubes as probe tips should allow for single digit angstrom resolution, a 10x or greater increase in resolution over current commercial capabilities. Using HIV vaccine design as a case study, the UW research team will demonstrate that carbon nanotube probe tips will be useful in biological applications - positioning AFM as an emerging tool in modern drug discovery.

"I am thrilled to see the state of Washington positioning itself as a leader in the new economy. By helping companies such as Carbon Nanoprobes to succeed, we have the potential not only to make dramatic advances in health care, but also to provide jobs for the next generation."

State Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle)

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CombiMatrix Corp.

Mukilteo

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EnerG2, LLC (formerly Lygan Tech.)

Seattle

http://www.energ2.com

EnerG2 in the WTC news forum

RTD Award: Phase III

Research Partner: Guozhong Cao, Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, University of Washington

Project Phase Began: 2006

With today's rising gas prices, alternative fuel vehicles such as gas-electric hybrids and biodiesel are more in demand than ever. However, better energy storage technology is needed to bridge the gap between generation of power and consumption of power in these vehicles. Battery power has limited capacity; hydrogen power is still in its adolescence. High performance or "super" capacitors hold immediate promise as a solution. EnerG2 is a Seattle-based technology company dedicated to developing environmentally-conscious energy products. In 2004, EnerG2 partnered with Dr. Guozhong Cao, Associate Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering department at the University of Washington, to evaluate the properties and performance of the company's carbon-based material for a wide range of industrial, environmental, military and medical applications. The team received $240,000 in grant funding from WTC to conduct this research. In this third phase of R&D;, Dr. Cao and EnerG2 are working to further optimize the company's technology for super capacitors and develop a commercially-scalable manufacturing plan for introducing the product to market.

Research Partner: Dr. Guozhong Cao, Associate Professor, Department of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Washington

Founded in 2003, EnerG2 is focused on developing and applying advanced technologies in the global energy sector. The company has teamed with Dr. Guozhong Cao to develop a nanotechnology-based industrial gas storage solution. While methane, nitrogen and other specialty gases have long been used in a wide variety of industrial applications, media for their storage have not been improved for decades. EnerG2's carbon-based nanostructures offer safe, efficient storage at an affordable cost, with the goal of reducing the industry's current dependence on high pressures, low temperatures and inflexible canister form factors to store industrial gasses. Initial research conducted by EnerG2 and UW's Materials Science department demonstrated that these specially-designed carbon cryogels are effective as high-efficiency, high-density gas storage media. This follow on grant funding will be used to focus on the remaining challenges to be overcome in order to commercialize this technology. The most promising potential markets for this technology are compressed natural gas (CNG) and industrial gas storage. Eventually, the company hopes to use this technology to provide a solution for hydrogen storage for fuel cell powered vehicles.

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Galaxy Compound Semiconductor

Spokane

Researcher: Dr. Matthew McCluskey, WSU Department of Physics Research

Year project began: 2004

Dr. McCluskey will focus on characterizing a new infrared detector material that will have a wider spectral range than conventional detectors. An indium-antimonide(InSb)-based material that operates in the far infrared region would be a strong competitor for mercury-cadmium-telluride (MCT) semiconductors in this market. To achieve this, Galaxy proposes adding Bismuth (Bi) to the alloy to extend the wavelength. Prototypes of the new detector will be tested, opening up new markets for Galaxy and increasing interest in InSbBi semiconductor materials.

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Hummingbird Scientific

Lacey

http://www.hummingbirdscientific.com

Research & Technology Development (RTD) Award: Phase III

Project Title: "Development of an integrated microfluidics chamber for the transmission electron microscope"

Research Partner: Karl F. Böhringer, Ph.D., Professor, Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2008

Hummingbird Scientific, a developer of microscopy products located in Lacey, Washington, is partnered with the University of Washington Department of Electrical Engineering to develop a system for nanoscale imaging of materials in fluid environments.

UW will receive $100,000 in Phase III Research and Technology Development funding from Washington Technology Center and $20,000 from Hummingbird Scientific for the project titled "Development of an integrated microfluidics chamber for the transmission electron microscope."

Research into the internal structure of evolving materials is leading to important advances in the fields of nanoscience, bioscience and materials chemistry. While current imaging technology enables nanoscale research of materials evolving under controlled temperatures, no imagery technique exists for materials evolving in fluid environments. A method for observing material changes in liquids could prove to be a core technology for a range of scientific advances, from developing efficient solar cells to targeting cancer cells.

Hummingbird Scientific and UW Professor Karl Böhringer will continue a working collaboration in this Phase III project. Using the resources of University of Washington and Washington Technology Center, the team plans to develop an imaging system for materials in liquid or gaseous environments evolving under precise temperature controls. This work should extend the team's previous developments for imaging technology that Hummingbird Scientific expects to bring to market in 2008.

"Congratulations to Hummingbird Scientific on their worthy project and on receiving this grant. The Legislature is always looking to invest in increasing Washington's commercialization capacity. Hummingbird Scientific's microscopy project represents great scientific innovation and great economic potential. It's a perfect example of research and industry working together in the Puget Sound to generate new high-tech ideas, get those ideas to market, and create 21st century jobs."

State Sen. Karen Fraser (D-Thurston County)

"The Washington Technology Center's recognition of Hummingbird Scientific's pioneering nanoscience is a wonderful example of a great partnership. This is the partnership of our private and public sectors cooperating toward advances in a wide range of scientific realms."

State Rep. Sam Hunt (D-Olympia), Chair of the House State Government & Tribal Affairs Committee

"I'm delighted to see the state and Hummingbird Scientific partner in shaping our state's economy of the future."

State Rep. Brendan Williams (D-Olympia).

RTD Award: Phase II

Project Title: "Development of a MEMS based Ultra High Temperature Heating Element for the TEM"

Research Partner: Karl Böhringer, Ph.D., Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2007

Hummingbird Scientific, a Lacey, Washington-based developer of microscopy solutions, has teamed with University of Washington electrical engineering researcher Karl Böhringer to develop an improved high temperature heating element for use in the transmission electron microscope - a development that will lead to scientific advancements across a range of scientific fields. The company-researcher team has received $100,000 in Research and Technology Development funding from Washington state for their project titled "Development of a MEMS-based Ultra-high Temperature Heating Element for the TEM." The most common dynamic microscopy experiments revolve around the relatively simple act of heating a sample, as temperature is often the primary thermodynamic driving force for microstructural change in materials processing. The current state of the art in heating and cooling holder design for transmission electron microscopy relies on substantially out-dated technologies, yielding significant problems in temperature control and expensive and time consuming maintenance. The development of a compact, efficient, low cost, ultra high temperature heating element is core to the advancement of high temperature materials science. Hummingbird Scientific and Karl Böhringer will take advantage of the unique resources at the University of Washington to develop an advanced heating holder technology - a technology that will add important research and development tools to the material science, bioscience and nanotechnology fields.

RTD Award: Phase I

Project Title: "Development of a MEMS based Ultra High Temperature Heating Element for the TEM"

Research Partner: Karl Böhringer, Ph.D., Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2006

Transmission electron microscopes (TEM) are one of the primary experimental tools used in nanotechnology and materials sciences. In order to effectively evaluate the performance of materials at the nano-scale in high temperature environments, it is necessary to observe samples at in-use temperatures. This project will be critical to achieving unprecedented high temperatures with superior resolution in the TEM. Hummingbird Scientific, a south Puget Sound company that supplies custom, cutting-edge equipment and services for electron and ion microscope applications, is working with Dr. Karl Böhringer, research professor in the University of Washington's electrical engineering department, to develop a high performance heating element for TEM experimentation. The development of new designs and manufacturing processes will strive to achieve a combination of competitive advantages including the ability to withstand ultra-high temperatures and a more efficient design conducive to cost-effective replacement and repair.

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Intel Corporation

Hillsboro, Oregon

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IntelliSense Inc. (ISI)

Indianola

Researcher: R. Bruce Darling, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering

The collaboration between ISI and the University of Washington will develop a new type of ion source for an ultra-miniature mass spectrometer. For use initially in providing real-time chemical analysis of air quality and process gas composition, this breakthrough instrument will be the smallest, lowest-cost, lowest-power consumption, fully functional instrument of its type on the market.

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Isotron Corp.

Redmond

http://www.isotron.net/

Researcher: Dr. Buddy Ratner, UW Engineered Biomaterials Center

Year project began: 2002

This team is developing a technology to provide semi-permeable reactive fabric coatings that can protect field troops, industrial workers, and healthcare workers in case of exposure to hazardous biological agents. This technology can also be applied to decontaminate drinking water systems. These industrial coatings are based on nanoparticle technology. Specifically, the company is working with Dr. Ratner to develop a new nanoparticle species that is capable of capturing and holding oxidant reactive species in a bioavailable state.

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JP Innovations

Monroe (Company was located in Arlington at the time of WTC-affiliation)

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Kinetics Mechanical Service

Union City, California

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Kronos Air Technologies, Inc.

Redmond

http://www.kronosati.com/

RTD Award: Phase III

Project Title: "Heat Transfer Technology for Microelectronics and MEMS, Phase III"

Research Partner: Alexander V. Mamishev, Ph.D., Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2007

Kronos Air Technologies, a Redmond-based developer of air movement and purification products, has teamed with University of Washington electrical engineering researcher Alexander V. Mamishev to develop a novel, energy-efficient electrostatic air pump that addresses the problem of thermal management in microelectronics. The company-researcher team has received $100,000 in Phase III Research and Technology Development funding from Washington state for their project titled "Heat Transfer Technology for Microelectronics and MEMS, Phase III." The problem of thermal management in microelectronics is at the center of attention for academia, government agencies and industry worldwide. The decreasing size of microelectronic components and the increasing thermal output density requires a dramatic increase of thermal exchange surface. Existing cooling devices are no longer efficient in terms of energy consumption and heat removal. The Electrostatic Fluid Acceleration (EFA) is an emerging technology that employs an electric field to exert force on ionized gas. Kronos Air Technologies has developed an improved version of EFA that makes it commercially viable as a solution to heat transfer. In Phase III, Kronos Air Technologies and Alexander V. Mamishev will focus on system integration, long-term testing and performance optimization of a micro-EFA heat exchanger. Ultimately, micro-EFA will become a natural inseparable part of any microelectronic device where heat transfer and withdrawal are necessary.

RTD Award: Phase II

Research Partner: Alexander V. Mamishev, Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Washington

Project Began: 2006

As microelectronics evolve - getting smaller and more powerful - thermal management is becoming an ever more challenging issue. Cooling systems are pressured to keep pace with technology and meet increasing needs for better energy consumption and heat dissipation. Kronos Air Technologies, a Redmond-based subsidiary, is partnering with Dr. Alexander Mamishev and graduate students Nels Jewell-Larsen and Chi-Peng Hsu from the University of Washington's Electrical Engineering department to develop more advanced heat transfer technology for microelectronics. In previous research, Kronos and Mamishev developed a microchip-based air handling system with compact size, high speed airflow, and more targeted delivery of cooling to areas of highest heat. In this next phase, the team is looking to develop prototypes and define a fabrication process that optimizes mass production of the devices for the commercial market.

Researcher: Alexander Mamishev, University of Washington, Electrical Engineering Department

Project Began: 2004

Kronos Air Technologies, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kronos Advanced Technologies, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: KNOS). For this project, the company is teamed with Alexander Mamishev from the University of Washington's Electrical Engineering Department to develop a novel heat transfer technology for microelectronics. Thermal management for microelectronics and MEMS systems is a challenge. Existing cooling devices aren't meeting increasing needs for energy consumption and heat dissipation of this rapidly growing and evolving market. Kronos' air movement system is an emerging technology that uses an electric field to exert force on ionized gas. Kronos is looking to develop an improved air handling system that is smaller in size, has high speed airflow, allows more targeted delivery of cooling to areas of highest heat and is compatible with current processes. This new microchip system will help the semiconductor industry meet the demands of the next generation of microelectronics devices.

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Lippi System Ltd.

India

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Lumera Corp.

Bothell

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Lygan Technologies

Seattle

Researcher: Dr. Guozhong Cao, UW Department of Materials Science & Engineering Research

Year project began: 2004

This project will focus on developing and evaluating carbon-based nanostructures for use in industrial gas storage systems. These systems have the near-term potential to improve the safety, usability, and cost-effectiveness of storing such gases as nitrogen and methane. A longer-term goal would be to apply this technology to hydrogen, a desirable power source currently limited in use due to inability to store this gas effectively.

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Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan

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MicroConnex

Snoqualmie

Researcher: Dr. Scott Dunham, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering

Project years: 2004, 2005

MicroConnex has teamed with Professor Dunham to develop a new process for manufacturing large arrays of high performance thin film transistors on flexible substrates. High frequency operation, light weight, and flexibility are critical factors for many existing and emerging semiconductor and electronics markets including radar, telecommunications, signal processing, and flexible displays. Consequently there is a growing demand for high performance devices that are thin and flexible. In a phase one project, MicroConnex and the UW collaborated on the development of a new flexible thin film transistor technology. In this phase two project, the team will work on optimizing the device structure and processing to combine high performance with high yield as well as improving cost-efficiency and scalability for rapid prototyping and manufacturing. The new process is expected to overcome the challenges facing wafer-based and PECVD processes, and the new products will have both military and commercial applications.

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MicroEnergy Technologies, Inc.

Vancouver

Researcher: Dr. Fred Forster, UW Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

Year project began: 2003

There is a need, both immediate and long-term, for extremely high-heat, high-temperature, high-reliability, and low-cost cooling systems that currently are not available for conventional semiconductor device cooling. Wide Band-Gap semiconductor devices have significant advantages in high-temperature and high-power applications such as power converters, hybrid electric vehicles, power plants, and radar systems.

MicroEnergy Technologies, Inc. (MicroET) was launched in 2000 to develop new technologies and products in the areas of thermal engineering and aerosol handling. The company currently is devising an ultra-high heat flux, active cooling module for distributed cooling. Using a piezoelectric micro-pump developed by Dr. Fred Forster of the University of Washington's Department of Mechanical Engineering, MicroET is developing a new fluid transport subsystem that uses microchannels and nanoparticle suspensions as the fluid to maximize the efficiency of coolants.

The company's cooling modules offer key benefits, such as greater heat removal capacity, easy alteration with minimum impact on the system, uniform surface temperatures, and an inexpensive manufacturing process in mass quantities.

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Microvision, Inc.

Redmond (Located in Bothell for a previous WTC affiliation)

http://www.microvision.com

Microvision in the WTC news forum
Research Partner: Dr. Kannan M. Krishnan, UW Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Project Began: 2004

Micro-electro-mechanical-system(MEMS)-based scanners are a natural choice for the scanning mirror requirements of scanned beam displays (SBDs). SBDs offer unique advantages for near-to-eye applications, such as head-worn displays for DVD players, or image-capture applications, including bar code scanners and endoscopes.
Current MEMS technologies offer scanners that are small and relatively low-cost to manufacture. However, many consumer market applications require lower cost, smaller packaging, and lower battery drain. Achieving these goals will open up numerous high-volume consumer product opportunities, as no other display technology, such as LCDs, can compete in the area of performance. Improving the MEMS actuation means (controlling the motion of a MEMS scanner) is one way to achieve these goals.

Microvision has teamed with Professor Krishnan to investigate the development of materials and processes for fabrication of hard micromagnets for actuation of MEMS devices. These new materials can reduce size, power, and costs, opening up the growing consumer market.

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Pacific Bioscience Labs, Inc.

Seattle

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PCB Piezotronics

Depew, New York

http://www.pcb.com/

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Polymers Northwest

Mukilteo

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Quantum Leap Technology

Beaverton, Oregon

http://www.clearedgepower.com/

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SiVerta, Inc.

Milpitas, California

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Stratos

Seattle

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System To ASIC Inc.

Bothell

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Taiwan R.O.C.

Taiwan

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Technology Connections

Boise, Idaho

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Therus Corporation

Seattle

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TraceDetect

Seattle

http://www.tracedetect.com/

Researcher: Karl F. Böhringer, UW Dept. of Electrical Engineering

Year project began: 2004

TraceDetect develops electrochemical sensors for water analysis, and switching and sensing technologies. This project will research, design, and build a prototype fiber-optic routing switch for telecommunications system applications that is compact, low-power, and significantly faster than current products.

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VirtuSphere, Inc.

Sammamish

Researcher: Suzanne Weghorst, Senior Research Scientist, Human Interface Technology Laboratory, University of Washington

Project Year: 2005

VirtuSphere, Inc. has teamed with Dr. Weghorst with the UW's Human Interface Technology (HIT) Laboratory, a leading Virtual Reality academic research facility, to explore new market opportunities for the company's patented VirtuSphere product. This platform enables lifelike movements in virtual reality and delivers an innovative interface via the most natural form of navigation (i.e. walking). Virtual reality (VR) simulation was valued in 2003 at $42 billion worldwide. Revenues are projected to reach $78 billion by 2008. VR technology holds significant promise and potential for a host of applications including education and training, rehabilitation, recreation, and data visualization. One of the key barriers for VR has been the lack of devices which allow users to move freely and navigate naturally in virtual environments (VEs). The VirtuSphere omni-directional locomotion device provides a highly effective and robust solution to this problem, allowing lifelike movements with full-range of motion. VirtuSphere's primary market is military training and simulation. Through this project, the team will explore application of this technology to new commercial markets including interactive education, rehabilitation, and movement-based gaming.

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Voxtel, Inc.

Beaverton, Oregon

Voxtel is a global leader in photonic devices and systems. Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, the company specializes in developing and commercializing advanced detectors, imaging devices, and electro-optical systems including avalanche photodiodes (APDs) and photon counting modules, high speed, radiation hardened CMOS imaging sensors, laser radar receivers and systems, multi-spectral imaging systems, wavefront sensors, and infrared radiometric imaging systems. Voxtel is using the Microfab Lab's low-stress PECVD silicon nitride process for mesa APD sidewall passivation.

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Wacom Technology Corporation

Vancouver

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XN Technologies

Cheney

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Zeus Semiconductor

Vancouver

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