Thursday, October 30, 2008

US Patent 7442926 - Carbon nanotip shaping

In order to provide sharper tips with higher aspect ratios carbon nanotubes have previously been implemented as tips of atomic force microscopes. This patent from Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials teaches a method of shaping the tips by irradiation. Claim 1 reads:

1. A fabrication method of a nano tip, the nano tip being attached to a mechanical or electrical device and that is usable for detecting surface signals or biological and chemical signals or is usable as a source of a scanning energy beam, comprising:

providing a supporting holder that is fixed at one end thereof to the mechanical or electrical device;

bonding a carbon nanotube to the free end of the supporting holder, the carbon nanotube has one lengthwise end thereof fixed to the supporting holder; and

modifying the property of at least a part of the carbon nanotube from a crystalline to a non-crystalline by scanning an energy beam to the carbon nanotube.

However, some pertinent prior art which may have been overlooked during the examination includes US Patent 6,283,812 (see Fig. 1) and articles such as "Length Adjustment of Carbon nanotubes by electron bombardment" or "Length control and sharpening of atomic force microscope carbon nanotube tips assisted by an electron beam".