Monday, August 31, 2009

US Patent 7580595 - Optical frequency modulation using quantum laser

This patent teaches a laser based on quantum confinement achieving high speed operation with reduced parasitic electrical effects. Claim 1 reads:

1. A data transmission optoelectronic device, comprising:

mirrors providing feedback for light;

a waveguide disposed between said mirrors;

an active section incorporated in said waveguide, said active section having an active element for generating an optical gain if a forward bias is applied, said active element being selected from the group consisting of: a) a quantum well; b) an array of quantum wires; c) an array of quantum dots; d) a stack of quantum wells, quantum wires, or quantum dots; and e) any combination of a) through d);

an absorption section incorporated in said waveguide; and

an additional modulator incorporated in said waveguide, said additional modulator being configured to modulate a refractive index thereof such that a repetition frequency of the pulsed laser light is frequency-modulated and frequency-modulated optical data signals are generated; wherein the device is operable in a pulsed regime emitting pulsed laser light and the device is adapted to transmit frequency-modulated data signals.

US Patent 7579618 - Carbon nanotube resonator transistor

This patent from Northrop Grumman teaches a mechanically resonant carbon nanotube transistor providing a low output impedance in comparison to other CNT designs and a high operating frequency suitable for signal processing applications. Claim 1 reads:

1. A resonant transistor comprising:

a substrate;

a source formed on said substrate;

a drain formed on said substrate adjacent to said source,

a gap being formed between said source and said drain;

an input electrode formed on said substrate; and

a carbon nanotube gate positioned over said gap and over said input electrode, said nanotube gate being clamped on one end by a contact electrode.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

US Patent 7579399 - Plastic forming tool including nanoparticles

Throughout human history shaping tools have taken a variety of forms including stone, metals, alloys, and diamond. This patent from Huntsman Advanced Materials Americas appears to broadly claim a new form of shaping tool based on nanoparticle doped plastics which may be cheaper, more lightweight, and stronger than prior materials. Claim 1 reads:

1. A tool which consists of a plastic material with nanoscale particles and a material with gliding properties embedded in the plastic material and wherein the tool is in the form of a forming tool.


US Patent 7579238 - Multibit nanocrystal nonvolatile memory

Due to the discrete nature of nanocrystals they can be useful to facilitate the storage of multiple bits in semiconductor memory cells. This patent from Freescale Semiconductor teaches a variation of this technique which allows for a larger range of applied voltages making bit erasure possible without damage to the memory cell. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for forming a multi-bit memory cell using a semiconductor substrate, comprising:

forming a first insulating layer over the semiconductor substrate;

forming a second insulating layer over the first insulating layer;

forming a layer of gate material over the second insulating layer;

patterning the gate material to leave a gate portion of the layer of gate material;

etching the second insulating layer to undercut the gate portion and leave a portion of the second insulating layer between the first insulating layer and the gate portion; and

forming nanocrystals on the first insulating layer wherein a first portion of the nanocrystals is under the gate portion on a first side of the portion of the second insulating layer and a second portion of the nanocrystals is under the gate portion on a second side of the portion of the second insulating layer, whereby the first portion of the nanocrystals are for storing a logic state of a first bit and the second portion is for storing a logic state of a second bit.


US Patent 7579199 - Flexible flat panel display including transistors formed from nanoparticles

In order to construct flexible display devices from plastic materials lower temperature manufacturing processes are necessary. This patent from Samsung Mobile Display teaches a method of using semiconductor nanoparticles to form thin film transistors for flexible displays. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of manufacturing a thin film transistor, comprising:

partitioning a plurality of nanoparticle lines;

forming nanolayers on the nanoparticle lines, each nanoparticle line comprising a nanoparticle; and

forming an active layer by patterning the nanolayers.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

US Patent 7579149 - Electric field separation of molecular species on a scanning probe tip

This patent from IBM teaches a new way to perform DNA sequencing with possibly higher speed using the tip of a scanning probe microscope to separate molecules based on their mobility. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method comprising:

placing different kinds of molecular species onto a scanning probe microscope tip; and

introducing a first electric field between said scanning probe microscope tip and a substrate so that said different kinds of molecular species traverse said scanning probe microscope tip to be separated.


US Patent 7579077 - Nanofiber reservoir for drug delivery

This patent from Nanosys teaches a drug delivery system which uses semiconductor nanofibers in forming a high surface area reservoir for medical compounds. Claim 1 reads:

1. A drug delivery device for introduction of one or more substances into a subject, which device comprises a substrate made from a first material, which substrate comprises:

at least a first surface, a plurality of semiconductor nanofibers attached to the first surface which nanofibers are made from a second compositionally different material from the first material,

a reservoir of the one or more substances comprised between the members of the plurality of nanofibers, and

the one or more substance incorporated into the reservoir such that said one or more substances is at least partially shielded from direct exposure to bodily fluids within the subject when the device is introduced into the subject.


US Patent 7579050 - Charged nanoparticle assisted lithography

Fabrication on the nanoscale is often divided between bottom-up and top-down strategies. However, there are some hybrid approaches which form an optimized medium between the nanoscale resolution available from the bottom-up approach and the fabrication speed available from the top-down approach. This patent represents one such hybrid approach based on a self-assembly of charged nanoparticles which enhance the resolution of a mask pattern, Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for patterning a nano-sized structure, which comprises the steps of:

(i) mounting a plate having a nano-scale pattern formed thereon by a patterned photoresist layer on an electrode placed in an externally grounded reactor and applying a voltage to the electrode, the nano-scale pattern being an exposed region of the plate uncovered by the photoresist layer;

(ii) accumulating charges selectively onto the photoresist layer on the plate mounted on the electrode by using an ionized gas; and

(iii) introducing charged nanoparticle aerosol having the same polarity as that of the charges accumulated on the photoresist layer into the reactor and toward the plate to cause the charged nanoparticles to adhere to the nano-scale pattern in a focused form to shape a narrower pattern than the original nano-scale pattern.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

US Patent 7578997 - Metal ion modified nanoparticles for odor removal

This patent from Kimberly-Clark Worldwide teaches a variety of nanoparticle compositions useful for odor removal. Claim 1 reads:

1. A composition for neutralizing odor, comprising:

a nanoparticle comprising a diameter of less than 500 nanometers, a surface area of at least about 500 square meters/gram, and a first Zeta Potential of about −1 to −50 millivolts, the nanoparticle comprising silica, titanium dioxide, gold, zinc oxide, polystyrene, or combinations thereof; and

at least one metal ion adsorbed onto the nanoparticle, the at least one metal ion selected from the group consisting of a copper ion, a silver ion, a gold ion, and combinations thereof;

wherein at least one of the nanoparticle and the adsorbed metal ion is capable of binding at least one odorous compound.


US Patent 7578909 - CNT sputtering apparatus

Sputtering is a common technique used in the semiconductor industry in forming metal or metal oxide thin film structures. This patent from Hitachi Cable teaches a way to integrate carbon nanotubes into the sputtering apparatus. Claim 10 reads:

10. A sputtering apparatus, comprising:

a sputtering target material, comprising: a molded material, comprising: a metal material; and a carbon nanotube (CNT) mixed into the metal material.


US Patent 7578176 - Accounting for tip variation in scanning probe microscopes

Atomic force microscopes (AFMs) detect matter on the nanoscale based upon the interaction of an ultrasharp tip and a substrate under investigation. However, under repeated usage the tips of AFMs undergo wear which requires recalibration of the microscope and which slows down the speed of material characterization. This patent from Veeco Metrology teaches a method which predicts the changes in the AFM tip based on the trends of usage in order to improve the throughput of characterization. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for making nanoscale measurements using a scanning probe, the method comprising:

performing a plurality of probe characterizations;

substantially automatically analyzing the plurality of probe characterizations to infer a trend associated with at least one tip shape attribute of the scanning probe;

using the scanning probe to obtain data from a sample; and

utilizing the data and the trend to compute a measurement of the sample that accounts for changes to the scanning probe.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

US Patent 7576565 - Mem-resistor crossbar driver circuit

Memory resistors have been proposed as a new nanoscale circuit element useful to non-volatile memory called resistive RAM and neuromorphic circuitry. One of the key advantages of memory resistors is their ability to provide reconfigurable resistance states enabling more adaptive electronic systems to be developed which merge hardware with software. This patent teaches reconfigurable driving circuits based on memristive materials applicable to robotic and computational systems. Claim 1 reads:

1. A driving waveform circuit including:

a crossbar array having input columns and output rows wherein the crossbar array is configured to store data in the form of high or low resistance states;

delay timing circuitry electrically connected to the input columns of the crossbar array and configured to provide a relative delay timing between input signals of each input column; and

summation circuitry electrically connected to the output rows of the crossbar array for generating one or more output signals based on the stored resistance state data and the input signals.

US Patent 7576444 - Microturbine wind energy

Conventional wind power requires large tracts of land and an expensive set-up. This patent from a company called Genedics teaches an alternative based on microsized wind energy conversion devices set up along active roadways. Claim 1 reads:

1. An energy gathering system, comprising:

an energy gathering sheet having circuit connections configured to receive a plurality of less than one inch in size wind energy gathering devices; and

at least one interface configured to electrically connect to and provide energy to a destination from the energy gathering sheet.


US Patent 7576410 - Nanotube power transistor

This patent from Infineon Technologies teaches the formation of a power transistor including nanotubes in the channel allowing for voltages of up to 600V with less complex gate construction. Claim 1 reads:

1. A power transistor, comprising:

a source region;

a drain region;

a semiconductor body arranged between the source region and the drain region;

a plurality of nanotubes connected in parallel and disposed in the semiconductor body, the plurality of nanotubes being electrically insulated from the semiconductor body and electrically connecting the source and drain regions; and

at least one diode formed in the semiconductor body, a portion of the at least one diode being configured to act as a gate electrode for the transistor.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

US Patent 7576353 - Ballistic deflection transistor

This patent from researchers at the University of Rochester teaches a new type of transistor based on ballistic transport enabling ultra-high speed (THz) and low power logic circuit designs. An article from the University of Rochester explains that:

"Since there are no conventional junctions, the operating voltage is very low, making it suitable for low power applications. The projected power usage is expected to be 10% of conventional designs. Unlike conventional designs, this design will improve with reduced scale fabrication processes by using even less power and becoming more accurate with a better signal to noise ratio. The ultra-high speed capability will enable new approaches to telecommunications and computing."

1. A ballistic deflection transistor comprising:

a substrate;

a quantum well formed in the substrate;

a plurality of paths in the substrate to define a hub and a plurality of ports extending from the hub;

a deflective structure formed in the hub; and

a plurality of gates formed in the substrate to be adjacent to one of the ports to apply a capacitive or inductive field to electrons entering at said one of the ports.


US Patent 7576027 - Manufacture of carbide and oxycarbide catalysts from carbon nanotubes

This patent from Hyperion Catalysis International teaches using carbon nanotubes in the formation of catalysts required for petroleum refining. The catalysts are taught to offer higher surface area, porosity, pore size distribution, and resistance to attrition in comparison to conventional catalysts. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for forming a catalyst composition comprising the step of reacting carbon nanotubes with a solid Q-containing compound at temperatures between 500° C. to 1000° C. to form a carbide composition QC or Q2C that substantially retains the original morphology of said carbon nanotubes, said solid Q-containing compound comprising a carbide forming element Q.


US Patent 7575933 - Chemical sensor including nanostructure adapted selectivity

This patent from Nanomix teaches a manufacturing method for a nanomaterial-based chemical sensor providing enhanced sensitivity and the ability to detect different chemical signatures in parallel. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of fabricating a sensor for detecting a plurality of analytes, the method comprising:

(a) forming a plurality of nanostructure sensing devices on a substrate, wherein each nanostructure sensing device comprises: (i) a nanostructure, (ii) at least two contact electrodes in electrical communication via the nanostructure, and (iii) at least one structure selected from the group consisting of a protective coating disposed over the contact electrodes and a gate electrode in electrical communication with the nanostructure;

(b) adapting individual nanostructure sensing devices for sensitivity to different analytes of the plurality of analytes, wherein adapting individual nanostructure sensing devices comprises exposing at least some of the plurality of nanostructure sensing devices to a reactant, wherein the reactant is selected from the group consisting of a gas and an electrochemical solution; and

(c) forming signal connections to the individual nanostructure sensing devices, the signal connections adapted to transmit signals indicating responses of corresponding nanostructure sensing devices to the plurality of analytes.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

US Patent 7573926 - Multi-wavelength quantum dot laser

Quantum dot lasers offer improvements in laser efficiency but have been limited in multi-wavelength modes important to optical communications. this patent from Industrial Technology Research Institute teaches the manufacture of a quantum dot laser capable of overcoming this limitation. Claim 1 reads:

1. A multiwavelength quantum dot laser element, comprising:

a first semiconductor layer;

a second semiconductor layer; and

an active region, disposed between the first semiconductor layer and the second semiconductor layer, having a plurality of quantum dot active regions, each of the quantum dot active regions comprising a quantum dot layer and a covering layer that covers the quantum dot layer, wherein when an applied current is larger than a start-oscillation current, the quantum dot active regions simultaneously generate a plurality of laser lights with different wavelengths, wherein at least one different parameter condition exist between the quantum dot active regions, wherein the parameter condition comprises one of thickness, material composition, and quantum dot size of the quantum dot layers, and any combination thereof, and wherein the parameter condition further comprises one of thickness of the covering layers, material composition of the covering layers, and a combination thereof.


US Patent 7573186 - CNT electrochemical sensor

This patent from Fuji Xerox teaches a variation of a carbon nanotube chemical sensor which purportedly produces higher sensitivity. Claim 1 reads:

1. An electrode for electrochemical measurement comprising:

a plurality of carbon nanotubes,

a catalyst causing a specific chemical reaction, and

an insulator in which the carbon nanotubes and the catalyst are embedded,

wherein the carbon nanotubes are electrically connected with each other by chemical bonding to thereby form a network structure, a part of the catalyst is exposed at a surface of the insulator, and a part of the plurality of the carbon nanotubes are exposed at the surface of the insulator to form an electroconductive portion, and the carbon nanotubes are cross-linked with a cross-linking agent having non-self polymerizability.


US Patent 7572662 - Fullerene phase change RAM

This patent from Samsung teaches using fullerene to improve the electrical characteristics of electrode contacts in phase change memory. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of fabricating a phase change RAM (PRAM) comprising:

forming a bottom electrode, forming an interlayer dielectric film covering the bottom electrode, and forming a bottom electrode contact hole exposing a portion of the bottom electrode in the interlayer dielectric film;

forming a bottom electrode contact plug by filling the bottom electrode contact hole with a plug material;

forming a fullerene layer on a region including at least an upper surface of the bottom electrode contact plug; and

sequentially stacking a phase change layer and an upper electrode on the fullerene layer, wherein the fullerene layer contacts the bottom electrode contact plug.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

US Patent 7572300 - Nanowire AFM tip

Atomic Force Microscopes are a variety of scanning probes for inspecting the shapes and characteristics of nanostructures via Van der Waals forces. This patent from IBM (who originally developed AFMs in the 1980s) teaches a method of forming ultrasharp tips of nanowires on the apex of the AFM while removing unwanted nanowires. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of forming a scanning probe comprising:

forming an array of cantilevers;

forming a silicon pyramid having sidewalls and a tip by anisotropic etching over each of said cantilevers;

depositing a catalyst on the sidewalls and the tip of said silicon pyramid;

growing a plurality of nanowires from said catalyst over said sidewalls and said tip of said silicon pyramid; and

removing nanowires from said sidewalls of said silicon pyramid.


US Patent 7571638 - Integrated scanning probe cantilever and tip

Scanning probe microscopes may be considered a bridge between the microscale processing found in MEMS and the nanoscale processing found in molecular materials research. This patent teaches a supposedly "new" way to make a scanning probe microscope in which the elements forming the probe are integrated in a common material and formed in a plane which may make it easier to fabricate a larger variety of tip and cantilever shapes. Some earlier examples of integrated scanning probe tips include US Patent 5,021,364 and US Patent 6,415,653 (see Fig. 11 with body 118, cantilever 140, and tip 138 formed in a plane). Claim 1 of this latest patent reads:

1. An SPM tip assembly including:

a body, a cantilever, and a tip arranged in a configuration, wherein the body, the cantilever and the tip are made entirely from a material in which the configuration is created in a plane having two axes, wherein the z axis or principal axis of motion is one of the two axes.

Monday, August 10, 2009

US Patent 7570355 - NERS-active nanowire heterostructure

This patent from Hewlett Packard focuses on a variation of Raman spectroscopy using nanowire heterostructures to increase the sensitivity of molecular detection. Claim 1 reads:

1. A NERS-active structure comprising:

at least one heterostructure nanowire having at least two active regions and at least one inactive region between the at least two active regions, wherein the at least one heterostructure nanowire comprises at least one radial core-shell heterostructure nanowire.


Friday, August 07, 2009

US Patent 7569905 - 3-contact vertical nanorod sensor

This patent from the Palo Alto Research Center teaches an electronic environmental sensor fabricated from zinc oxide nanorods. Claim 1 reads:

1. A vertically fabricated three-electrode device comprising:

a detector having a substrate having a major surface; and

a nanorod formed on the substrate, the nanorod being substantially perpendicular to the major surface of the substrate, wherein the nanorod comprises:

a middle portion;

a first end portion, the first end portion being metallized; and

a second end portion, the second end portion being metallized,

a part of the middle portion of the nanorod being metallized and electrically connected to a third electrode.


US Patent 7569880 - Nanotube switch FET

This appears to be yet another basic patent to carbon nanotube electronics issued to the innovative company Nantero. This patent covers a field effect transistor using a mechanical nanotube switch as a control element which may form the basis of a higher stability, lower leakage non-volatile memory cell. Claim 1 reads:

1. A field effect device, comprising:

a gate, a source, and a drain, with a conductive channel between the source and the drain; and

a nanotube switch having a corresponding control terminal, said nanotube switch being positioned to control electrical conduction through said conductive channel.


Thursday, August 06, 2009

US Patent 7569847 - Uniform diameter core-shell nanowire heterostructures

This patent from the University of California system has priority going back to 2001 and teaches the fabrication of uniform arrays of nanowires. However, one bizarre thing about some of the claims (such as claim 1 below) is that they claim a single nanowire making the limitation regarding the diameter uniformity of a population of nanowires seemingly meaningless. One earlier article published in 1999 describing core/shell semiconductor nanowires is "CdS/CdSe core/sheath nanostructures obtained from CdS nanowires," Chem. Commun., 1999, 1969 - 1970, DOI: 10.1039/a905669f.

1. A nanowire, comprising: a core of a first material at least partially surrounded by a sheath of a compositionally different non-amorphous material;

wherein said nanowire is configured to be selected from a population of nanowires, said population of nanowires having a substantially uniform inter-wire diameter of less than 50% RMS.


US Patent 7569846 - Nanowire phase change RAM

Phase change RAM has been under experimental study for decades but appears to be getting ready as a strong contender for the non-volatile memory market with companies including Samsung, Intel, STMicroelectronics, and Hynix preparing for mass-production. This patent from Samsung teaches using nanowires to reduce the contact area between electrodes and phase change material. Claim 1 reads:

1. A phase-change random access memory (PRAM) device comprising:

a lower structure;

a plurality of contact plugs extending from the lower structure; a plurality of nanowires extending from respective terminal ends of the plurality of contact plugs, and wherein the nanowires are formed within the contact plugs; and

a phase-change layer formed on the one end of the contact plugs.


US Patent 7569510 - Nanoparticle catalysts for CO reduction in cigarettes

This patent from Philip Morris teaches a way to convert carbon monoxide in cigarettes to carbon dioxide using metal oxide nanoparticles in a porous support. Claim 1 reads:

1. A catalyst comprising noble metal nanoparticles on non-noble metal oxides incorporated in a porous support of mesoporous silica wherein the catalyst is catalytically active for oxidation of carbon monoxide and wherein the noble metal nanoparticles are selected from the group consisting of gold, palladium, platinum and mixtures thereof and the non-noble metal oxides are selected from the group consisting of titania, alumina, ceria, zirconia, iron oxide, zinc oxide, magnesium oxide, and mixtures thereof.


US Patent 7569503 - Laser annealing of nanowire thin films

Various nanowire materials have been shown to have electron mobilities several times that of silicon offering the possibility of increasing the speed of electronic devices. However, techniques need to be developed to integrate nanowire semiconductors with traditional semiconductor substrates. This patent from Nanosys is based on the discovery that nanowires have a lower melting temperature than bulk semiconductor materials which allows a low energy laser annealing method to be achieved. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for annealing at least one nanowire on a specimen, wherein the at least one nanowire comprises a core and at least one shell layer disposed about the core, the method comprising irradiating portions of the at least one nanowire on the specimen with at least a first laser having a laser fluence of less than about 100 mJ/cm2.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

US Patent 7569470 - Fabrication of nanowire arrays on vicinal surface

This patent teaches a new method to manufacture nanowires based on deviations of the crystallographic orientation of a substrate on which the nanowires are grown. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of preparing an array of conducting or semi-conducting nanowires comprising:

forming a vicinal surface of stepped atomic terraces on a substrate; and

depositing a fractional layer of dopant material to form nanostripes having a width less than the width of the atomic terraces;

wherein diffusion of the atoms of the dopant nanostripes into the substrate forms the nanowires.


US Patent 7569425 - Manufacture of aligned CNT thermal interface film

The excellent thermal transport properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have attracted the interest of companies such as Intel looking for solutions in the growing problem of heat accumulation in microprocessors. In order to maximize the efficiency of CNT thermal transport this patent from Hon Hai Precision Industry teaches a way to produce nanotube films of very good alignment. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for manufacturing a thermal interface material, the method comprising the steps of:

(a) forming an array of carbon nanotubes on a substrate;

(b) applying a liquid macromolecular material to the carbon nanotubes;

(c) solidifying the liquid macromolecular material; and

(d) cutting the solidified macromolecular material in a direction perpendicular to the long axes of the carbon nanotubes, to thereby obtain the thermal interface material with the carbon nanotubes secured therein.

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US Patent 7569410 - Integrated MEMS packaging

As microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) move into the mainstream one issue important to cost-savings is effective packaging and integration of MEMS devices with CMOS electronics. This patent from Sharp teaches a way to fabricate MEMS on glass substrates making it easier to integrate MEMS devices in cell phones to achieve image and motion capture functions.
Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for packaging a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) device, the method comprising:

providing a first substrate having a first region with boundaries;

forming an electrical circuit on a second region of the first substrate, electrically connected to the first substrate;

integrating a MEMS device on the first region, electrically connected to the first substrate;

providing a second substrate overlying the first substrate; and,

forming a wall along the first region boundaries, between the first and second substrates, hermetically enclosing the MEMS device.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

US Patent 7569340 - Nanoarrays of single virus particles

This patent covers an application of NanoInk's Dip Pen Nanolithography® to form arrays of binding sites for a virus which may represent the most precise and reliable way to control the positioning of a virus for study. Claim 1 reads:

1. An array comprising:

a substrate surface comprising a pattern of binding sites for a virus, wherein each binding site is surrounded by a substrate surface which does not bind virus, wherein the shape and the size of the virus binding site provides that only one virus particle is disposed on each binding site, and one virus particle disposed on each of the binding sites.


US Patent 7569252 - Dip Pen Nanolithography®

The atomic force microscope was originally developed in the 1980's to scan on the nanometer and atomic level but was soon found to be useful to manipulated as well as to detect on the nanoscale. This is a basic patent to Northwestern University with priority going back to 1999 on the process of Dip Pen Nanolithography®, a type of coating process using an ultrasharp tip to transfer nanoscale patterns on a substrate which is being commercialized by NanoInk. Although not the first type of coating process using atomic force microscopes (see US Patent 5,751,683) this patent broadly covers capillary transport of fluid in nanolithography.

Claim 1 reads:

1. A nanolithographic method comprising:

providing a substrate;

providing a tip, wherein the tip is coated with a patterning compound; and

contacting the coated tip with the substrate so that the patterning compound is transported by capillary transport and anchored to the substrate so as to produce a pattern.


US Patent 7569205 - Dispersion of nanodiamonds

Nanodiamonds have potential as additives to improve lubricants and for polishing. However, nanodiamonds can suffer from the same clumping problems of other nanomaterials. This patent teaches a processing method in which dimethyl sulfoxide is used to deaggregate the nanodiamonds. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of processing detonation nanodiamonds to fractionate the detonation nanodiamonds comprising, in order:

providing detonation nanodiamonds,

forming a combination consisting essentially of said detonation nanodiamonds and a solvent, said nanodiamonds exhibiting a positive zeta potential in said solvent, said solvent consisting essentially of DMSO making up at least approximately 10% DMSO (v/v) in the solvent with any balance of the solvent consisting essentially of a polar solvent, wherein the DMSO increases or stabilizes the magnitude of the positive zeta potential of the detonation nanodiamonds in the combination,

applying a dispersive technique to said combination, subjecting said combination to a procedure that causes nanodiamond particles of a first size range to be substantially spatially separated from nanodiamonds of a second size range, and collecting said nanodiamonds of said first size range essentially free of said second size range.