Wednesday, May 20, 2009

US Patent 7534468 - Self organization of molecular nanostructures by mechanical perturbation

Rotaxanes and catenanes are example of interlocking molecules which have been experimented with using electrical, thermal, or optical stimulation to produce a type of reconfigurable molecular memory. This patent from Scriba Nanotechnologie S.R.L. takes a different approach based on applying pressure via a stamp or tip structure which induces reconfiguration mechanically. Claim 1 reads:

1. A process for forming nanostructures comprising the step of:

applying on localised regions of a smooth thin film of rotaxanes or catenanes an external mechanical perturbation with preset magnitude thereby said film undergoes a collective morphological transformation and nanostructures are formed by self-organisation of said molecules, said nanostructures having preset number, size, interspacing and shape.