Tuesday, July 31, 2007

US Patent 7250139 - Nanotip dispensing device


Based on work from a Northwestern University professor named Chad Mirkin a company called Nanoink was founded which uses an atomic force microscope in a fashion analogous to a pen to write molecular patterns of nanometer width. This patent is also from Northwestern and takes the pen analogy to another level by including thin film capillary structures to direct the molecular "ink". Claim 1 reads:

1. A material dispensing device, comprising an elongated cantilever comprising a plurality of thin films arranged relative to one another to define a microchannel in the cantilever, said cantilever having a material dispensing tip proximate an end of the cantilever and communicating with the microchannel to receive material therefrom, said material dispensing tip comprising a pointed tip body and an annular shell comprising one of the thin films spaced about the tip body to define a material dispensing annular space about the tip body.

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