Tuesday, December 04, 2007

US Patent 7302832 - Scanning probe tips used to scan nanocode


Probe tips of atomic force microscopes or scanning tunneling microscopes are often used to characterize biological samples. This patent from Intel teaches using "nanocodes" which may take the form of carbon nanotubes combined with a reactive molecule to form an identification pattern for analytes to be detected by a scanning probe tip array. Claim 1 reads:

1. A surface analysis device, comprising: a substrate having a pattern on a surface of the substrate to orient a plurality of nanocodes, each nanocode comprising a tag element and a reactive molecule; a scanning array comprising a plurality of microscopy tips configured to simultaneously scan a plurality of tag elements of the plurality of the nanocodes on the surface of the substrate; and an analyzer coupled with the scanning array configured to receive simultaneously scanned information from the scanning array and utilizing the simultaneously scanned information to identify at least a portion of a sample molecule associated with the nanocodes and removed from the substrate prior to the simultaneous scan of the plurality of the tag elements, wherein the sample molecule is different from the plurality of the nanocodes.