Sunday, September 03, 2006

US Patent 7098056 - Nanotube Growth Using Dip Pen Nanolithography

Dip Pen Nanolithography is a lithography technique that employs ultrafine tips coated with a molecular film that can be used to draw patterns on a surface via a water meniscus formed between the tip and the surface. This patent proposes the use of this technology in patterning the catalytic material used to grow vertical arrays of nanotubes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for producing carbon nanotubes, the method comprising: a) providing a substrate with a top surface, b) forming an island of catalyst material on the top surface using a tip having a patterning compound thereon, c) heating the substrate and catalyst island, and d) contacting the catalyst island with a carbon-containing gas for a period of time sufficient to form the nanotubes on the catalyst island.