Thursday, March 20, 2008

US Patent 7344756 - Dip pen nanolithography with patterned probe tip

This is a fairly basic patent from Chad Mirkin, one of the founders of NanoInk (priority 5/16/2003) on scanning probe lithography using chemical or biological "ink" materials patterned on a probe tip for a contact printing process. The use of scanning probes to transfer atoms and molecules was actually pioneered by Don Eigler of IBM in the late 1980's and several earlier patents have been issued to the such uses of scanning probes for molecular transfer (see for example US Patent 5808311). Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for contact printing comprising: patterning a first ink on a surface of a scanning probe microscopy probe to form a first ink pattern on the surface; and positioning the surface near a first substrate, wherein the first ink pattern is transferred from the surface to the first substrate.