Tuesday, September 30, 2008

US Patent 7429369 - Manufacture of silicon nanoparticle nanotubes


This patent from the University of Illinois describes a manufacturing procedure for a new type of nanotube formed from individual silicon nanoparticles which may have some benefits to biomedical applications and flexible electronics. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for forming silicon nanoparticle nanotubes, the method comprising steps of:

disposing a conductive or semiconductive substrate in a solution including a dispersion of silicon nanoparticles, said disposing being done in a manner to avoid a meniscus being formed on a surface of the substrate; disposing a thick electrode opposite the surface of the substrate;

applying electrical potential between the substrate and the thick electrode; maintaining the electrical potential between the substrate and the thick electrode to form a thin film of silicon nanoparticles on the substrate; and

drying the thin film to induce it to roll into a silicon nanoparticle nanotube;

wherein the area and thickness of the thin film is such that a diameter of the silicon nanoparticle nanotube is at least about 100 times greater than the thickness of the thin film.