The Evolution of Cleanroom Design
February 20, 2015
Cleanrooms certainly have come a long way since their formal introduction in 1962. Imagine what it was like prior to this time when a cleanroom consisted of a “sealed-off area” that was vacuumed, and vacuumed often. It’s a far cry from the high standards of contamination control we’ve become accustomed to today. The antiquated and questionable success of vacuuming a sealed off area all changed when, in 1959, physicist Willis Whitfield had the idea to “sweep” a dedicated area with highly filtered air. The results were dramatic and after some fine tuning, the marketplace was formally introduced to cleanrooms in 1962 … and thus, an industry was born.
Fast-forward 52 years, and cleanrooms have enabled the electronics, computers, and information technology industries to reach the level of sophistication with their products that we have come to expect. Further breakthroughs in biotechnology, nanotechnology, health sciences, and healthcare are also directly attributed to the sophisticated capabilities of cleanrooms as we know them today. To reflect upon the big picture, these advancements have dramatically impacted and benefited society.