Wednesday, March 11, 2009

US Patent 7501024 - Carbon nanohorn production

Sumio Iijima is usually credited as the first to discover (or at least properly characterize) carbon nanotubes. This patent from Iijima's group teaches an apparatus for manufacturing a related type of carbon nanostructure called carbon nanohorns. Claim 1 reads:

1. A carbon nanohorn producing apparatus comprising:

a target holding unit which holds a graphite target;

a light source which irradiates a surface of said graphite target with light, said light source being a laser beam source, and an irradiation angle of a laser beam emitted by the laser beam source is from 30° to 6°;

a cooling unit which cools carbon vapor vaporized from said graphite target by said light irradiation; and a recovery unit which recovers said carbon vapor cooled by the cooling unit to obtain a carbon nanohorn, wherein said recovery unit includes a recovery chamber and recovery pipe which introduces said carbon vapor to said recovery chamber, and said cooling unit is configured to cool at least inside of said recovery pipe.