Tuesday, June 09, 2009

US Patent 7544626 - Self-assembled silicon nanotubes


While there have been a large variety of manufacturing methods used in the development of carbon nanotubes over the past two decades, other nanotube materials have been more difficult to produce. Silicon nanotubes may be easier to integrate into conventional semiconductor devices but have been fabricated mostly based on nanostructured templates. This patent from Hunan University in China teaches a method which may be simpler and lead to better scalability in the production of these materials based on self-assembly. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for preparing self-assembled silicon nanotubes (SiNTs) comprising:

forming a mixture of silicon oxide and water, wherein said mixture has a silicon oxide to water ratio of 0.01 to 10% by weight; and

maintaining said mixture at a temperature of about 200° C. to about 500° C. and a pressure of about 3 MPa to about 40 MPa for 1 to 5 hours while stirring.