Tuesday, March 17, 2009

US Patent 7503206 - Method for cavitation using scanning probe microscopy


Cavitation is a phenomena involving the formation of vapor bubbles based on the pressure of a flowing liquid. One application of cavitation is in the cleaning of surfaces and this patent from General Nanotechnology teaches cavitation as a nanofabrication technique. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for scanning probe microscopy (SPM) comprising:

inducing nanocavitation effects on a target surface with a nanocavitation inducing member;

applying an excitation signal to vary the distance between the nanocavitation inducing member and the target surface in accordance with the excitation signal; and

scanning the nanocavitation inducing member across the target surface during the step of applying the excitation signal, wherein inducing nanocavitation effects includes creating a plurality of cavitation bubbles.