Wednesday, June 11, 2008

US Patent 7385266 - Vertical CNT sensor

Careful alignment of carbon nanotubes between electrodes is often necessary to construct electronic devices with carbon nanotubes. However, the proper positioning of the nanotubes is a difficult problem for large scale production. This patent from Nantero teaches a chemical sensor platform based on vertically oriented nanotubes which can be easier to directly fabricate on patterned electrode structures. Claim 1 reads:

1. A sensor platform, comprising:

a sensor element comprising at least one nanotube and having an electrical characterization;

a support structure, comprising a substrate, for supporting the sensor element so that it may be exposed to a fluid, and having a major surface of the substrate substantially non-parallel to the sensor element; and

control circuitry to electrically sense the electrical characterization of the sensor element so that the presence of a corresponding analyte may be detected, wherein the sensor element has an affinity for the corresponding analyte, and wherein the sensor element comprises a pristine nanotube.