(A) GENERAL STATEMENT
(1)Note. Terms having an asterisk (*) are defined inthe GLOSSARY, below.
This is the generic class for:
(a) processes consisting of the single or repeated unit operationof forming a single-crystal* of any type of material, includinginorganic or organic;
(b) such processes combined with perfecting operations; and
(c) apparatus for conducting non-coating processes of thisclass.
However, the following classes specifically provide for theunit operation of single-crystal* growth:
Class 505, Class 419; Class 204; and Class 164, subclass 122.2.
And the following classes specifically provide for apparatusfor single-crystal* growth:
Class 118; Class 204; and Class 422.
B. GUIDE TO USING THIS CLASS DEFINITION
The statements in LINES WITH OTHER CLASSES, below, set forththe precise and controlling class lines.
Unless otherwise indicated, placement according to these classlines is subject to the hierarchical and comprehensive rules ofplacement.
Class 117 is most broadly organized according to processesand apparatus. Further arrangement is premised on the physicalstate of the immediate-precursor* (the precursor* materialimmediately adjacent to the growing single-crystal*).
The descending order of arrangement of the physical stateof the immediate-precursor* is: solid or gel state; liquidor supercritical state; vapor or gaseous state. Care must be exercisedto correctly identify the physical state of the immediate-precursor* inorder to obtain correct placement.
For example, vapor phase deposition of a non-single-crystal* materialfollowed by a single-crystal* forming step from that vapordeposited material would be placed as follows: into a solid stateprecursor* subclass if that formation step does not changethe solid state of the material (such as by melting or liquefyingit); into a liquid state precursor* subclass if the materialis liquified in the formation step and the single-crystal* isgrown from the liquid; into a vapor state precursor* subclassif during the single-crystal* formation step the materialis evaporated or sublimed and redeposited to form a single-crystal*.
This class also provides an extensive Cross-Reference ArtCollection schedule. A portion of this is loosely based upon theEuropean Patent Office-modified IPC classification. However, wherethere are indents, the U.S. hierarchical practice of placement inthe first appropriate subclass among corresponding indents is followed.Coextensive use of cross-referencing has been used so that thisalternative schedule may provide an acceptable substitute searchin certain situations. However, it is important to note that wherethe standard U.S. subclasses have substantially complete overlap withina Cross-Reference Art Collection subclass, cross-referencing fromthat U.S. subclass into the Cross-Reference Art Collection subclasshas not been done, and a note appears in each of those subclassesindicating that cross-referencing is unnecessarily duplicative andthat a complete search of the Cross-Reference Art Collection conceptwould have to include the noted U.S. subclass. For example, a U.S.patent cross-referenced into subclass 75 would not be placed intothe cross-reference art collection 921, as the notes therein indicate.