Wednesday, April 23, 2008

US Patent 7361204 - Microparticle to nanoparticle conversion using focused irradiation

This patent from the U. of Florida includes some fairly broad claims toward vaporizing microparticles to generate nanoparticles. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of generating nanoparticles from a single microparticle, comprising the steps of:

dispensing a target stream of microparticles of material from a source;

focusing a light source onto the target stream; heating the target stream with the light source;

generating flux-specific bursts of nanoparticles from the heated target stream; and

varying at least one of a size of the microparticle and a repetition rate of the light source to control the flux of nanoparticles generated.

Some prior art which was not considered during examination and which could be relevant includes Cai et al. "Generation of metal nanoparticles by laser ablation of microspheres ".