Wednesday, May 16, 2007

US Patent 7217404 - Photoinduced combustion of carbon nanotubes

Several years back an undergraduate student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was taking some flash photographs in a lab and accidentally ignited a clump of single-walled carbon nanotubes (see article at

It appears as if the researchers in the lab filed a patent for the effect which has issued with a fairly broad claim reading:

1. A method of transforming a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) comprising exposing the SWNT to light having a power sufficient to ignite the SWNT, wherein the SWNT is ignited by the light.