Thursday, March 12, 2009

US Patent 7501483 - Molecular nanoweaver

Chemical reactions have been induced with individual molecules using tools such as lasers, atomic force microscopes, and scanning tunneling microscopes. However, such bottom-up molecular reactions are typically limited to lab experiments rather than the creation of a macroscopic material. This patent from the University of Chicago teaches a free space method based on field gradients in order to weave macromolecular films. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of constructing macroscopic films with tailored assemblies of molecules, comprising:

providing starting molecules; and

applying a force selected from the group of a gravitational force, a centrifugal force, a magnetic field force, and an electric field force to the starting molecules causing them to move in space and then chemically react to form tailored assemblies of molecules in a particular pattern in a nanoscale size macroscopic film for removal and subsequent use.