Tuesday, December 26, 2006

US Patent 7151256 - Nanostructured Tip Array on a Cantilever


Scanning Probe Microscopes were developed in the early 1980's to detect matter on the atomic level. Recently there has been much interest in using nanotubes and other high aspect ratio materials as the tips for the microscopes. This patent from UT-Battelle proposes that forming a vertically aligned tip on a cantilever as a new idea. Claim 24 reads:

24. An apparatus, comprising a cantilever structure including: a substrate including a cantilever body; and a substantially vertically aligned, with respect to a plane of the cantilever body, elongated nanostructure coupled to the cantilever body.

Unfortunately the Examiner seems to have missed applicable prior art such as: