Tuesday, January 16, 2007

US Patent 7163659 - Vertical Nanowire Array Sensor


Nanostructures are of high interest to the area of sensors since the high surface-to-volume ratio of nanostructres allows for high precision detection of extremely small quantities. This patent from Hewlett-Packard teaches forming an array of electrically connected nanowires on a substrate to use as a chemical or bio. sensor. Claim 1 reads:

1. A sensor device, comprising: a substrate; an array of free-standing nanowires, said array comprising individual free-standing nanowires, each of said individual free-standing nanowires having a first end and a second end, said first end being attached to the substrate and said second end being unattached to the substrate, said individual free-standing nanowires configured for electrical communication with other individual free-standing nanowires through the first end; and a signal measurement apparatus electrically coupled to the array of free-standing nanowires for receiving electrical information from the array of free-standing nanowires.

However, there is some prior art in the field of scanning probe microscopy that use arrays electrically connected nanotubes as tips that might have been missed such as

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