Wednesday, September 30, 2009

US Patent 7595150 - Applying elongated molecules to a surface

This patent from Searete LLC (which has been associated with Intellectual Ventures) teaches a method of aligning nucleic acid or other molecular structures on a substrate using a controlled fluid flow. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of applying an elongated molecule to a surface, comprising:

applying a solution containing the elongated molecule to a first substrate;

applying a cover surface to the solution; and

controllably flowing a deposition fluid over the first substrate in a manner that promotes stretching of the elongated molecule along the first substrate,

wherein controllably flowing comprises sliding the cover surface relative to the first substrate to induce fluid flow in the deposition fluid.

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US Patent 7595111 - Continuous graphene sheet production

There has been some interest in recent years in graphene as a new electronic material having a high electron mobility. This patent discloses a manufacturing method which may help facilitate mass production of graphene-based electronics. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of creating continuous, monoatomic thick, graphite ribbon/sheet structures comprising the steps of:

providing a rotating drum with a static layer of graphite as a formation surface for graphite ribbon/sheet, and,

providing precursor material(s) of graphite ribbon/sheet on said formation surface, and,

providing activation by laser means of said precursor material,

whereby said precursor material assembles to create a continuous monoatomic thick graphite ribbon/sheet structure.


US Patent 7594982 - Porous nanostructured transparent electrode

There has been increasing interest in recent years for using nanomaterials to form transparent electrodes. In applications such as LCDs and solar cells such nanomaterials can offer a more cost effective alternative to conventional transparent electrode materials such as indium tin oxide. This patent from Nanosolar teaches one variety of nanostructured electrode based on a porous film which is applied to photovoltaic applications. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nanostructured transparent conducting electrode, comprising:

a nano-architected transparent porous film having a plurality of interconnected pores, wherein the pores are interconnected by an ordered network of connecting structures in the film;

an electrically conductive material that substantially fills the pores and connecting structures in the nano-architected porous film to form a network of interconnected conductive structures in the porous film; and

a layer of transparent conducting material,

wherein the nano-architectured porous film is disposed on the layer of transparent conducting material.


US Patent 7594949 - Metal nanoparticles fabrication using cross-linked polymers

This patent from a company called G-Nano teaches a way to synthesize silver nanoparticles using cross-linked polymers. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of making metal particles, comprising:

(a) providing internally cross-linked single-polymer molecules;

(b) contacting the single-polymer molecules with a metal salt to incorporate the metal salt into the single-polymer molecules; and

(c) causing the metal salt incorporated in the single-polymer molecules to form metal particles.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

US Patent 7593250 - Ferroelectric nanostructure switch

FeRAM is a type of non-volatile memory based on ferroelectric material having advantages in power consumption over DRAM and better data write speeds than Flash. This patent from the University of Arkansas discloses forming nanodots of PbZr1-xTixO3 providing higher memory density while avoiding electrical crosstalk. Claim 1 reads:

1. A device for storing data, comprising:

a low dimensional nano-scale ferroelectric material having at least one vortex ring of polarization generating an ordered toroid moment switchable between at least two stable states; and

means for switching said states with a transverse inhomogeneous static electric field.


US Patent 7593082 - CNT/Polyimide alignment material

This patent from LG Display teaches mixtures of CNT and polyimide to facilitate alignment of LCD materials. Claim 1 reads:

1. An alignment material for a liquid crystal display (LCD) device, comprising a mixture of carbon nano-tube and polyimide.

An example of uncited prior art which appears relevant is the article "Liquid crystal-carbon nanotube dispersions" published in the Journal of Applied Physics on 25 January 2005 which teaches using a rubbed polyimide alignment layer in a CNT-liquid crystal dispersion.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

US Patent 7592679 - Nanowire sensor including resistance switching material

This patent from HP teaches incorporating a material having chemically sensitive resistance in a nanowire junction sensor. Claim 1 reads:

1. A sensor, comprising:

at least two electrodes;

at least one nanowire having at least two segments extending substantially laterally between the at least two electrodes, whereby a junction or connection is formed between the at least two segments; and

a sensing material having at least two states positioned adjacent to the junction or connection, and adjacent to at least a portion of each of the at least two segments.


US Patent 7592618 - Multilayer core/shell nanoparticle electroluminescence

This patent from Samsung teaches providing improved efficiency electroluminescence based on multiple silicon nanoparticle layers provided with insulating shells and intermediate layers. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nanoparticle electroluminescence device comprising:

a front electrode formed of a transparent conductive material;

a rear electrode formed of a conductive material; and

an emitting layer interposed between the front electrode and the rear electrode,

wherein said emitting layers includes a plurality of nanoparticle layers, each nanoparticle layer includes a plurality of nanoparticles having a core/shell structure comprising a core formed of silicon and a shell formed of silicon oxide or silicon nitride on the surface of the core, and

wherein said emitting layers further includes insulating layers formed above and below the plurality of nanoparticle layers, and an insulating layer between adjacent nanoparticle layers among said plurality of nanoparticle layers.


US Patent 7591989 - Plasma torch fabrication of SWCNTs

This patent teaches a new method of single walled carbon nanotube production requiring less energy than conventional methods while avoiding the simultaneous production of multiwall carbon nanotubes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for producing single-wall carbon nanotubes comprising:

feeding an inert gas through a plasma torch to form an inert gas plasma;

injecting a carbon-containing substance and a metal catalyst in said inert gas plasma, downstream of said inert gas feed, in order to form a plasma comprising atoms or molecules of carbon and atoms of said metal;

condensing said atoms or molecules of carbon and said atoms of said metal to form single-wall carbon nanotubes; and

recovering said single-wall carbon nanotubes.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

US Patent 7591897 - Low temperature rapid synthesis of metal oxide nanowires

This patent from the University of Louisville Research Foundation teaches a high volume method of manufacturing metal nanowire materials. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for synthesis of a metal oxide nanomaterial, the method comprising the steps of:

selecting a metal substrate;

creating a non-equilibrium gas comprising oxygen plasma at a low temperature at the point of the surface of the metal substrate of between about 50° C. and the temperature of the boiling point of the metal substrate;

exposing said metal substrate to said oxygen plasma having a neutral oxygen atom density of at least about 1×10^21/m^3 for nucleation of a metal oxide on a surface of said metal substrate;

forming the nanomaterial comprising a metal oxide nanostructure from the metal oxide on the surface of said metal substrate; and

controlling and maximizing the growth rate of said metal oxide nanostructure on said metal substrate by optimizing the density of said neutral oxygen atoms in said oxygen plasma.


US Patent 7591641 - Shape memory nanoimprinting mold

Nanoimprint lithography is a maskless semiconductor patterning technique capable of nanometer scale resolution by using a molded template. One drawback is that repeated use of the mold can result in a degradation in the patterns being formed. This patent from Canon teaches using a shape memory alloy material for the mold to avoid this problem. Claim 1 reads:

1. A mold for nano-imprinting with a concavo-convex pattern comprising a surface portion,

wherein the surface portion has the concavo-convex pattern and comprises a shape-memory material, and

wherein the shape-memory material is an NiTi alloy composed of Ni and Ti at a ratio of 52:48 atom %.


US Patent 7591193 - Nano-anemometer

Anemometers are commonly used to measure wind speed. This patent from Hewlett-Packard teaches a nanoscale version of an anemometer useful to measure flow velocities in microfluidic devices. Claim 1 reads:

1. A hot wire nano-anemometer comprising:

a pair of electrodes supported by a substrate and separated by an open area;

a nanowire formed in situ in the open area, electrically and mechanically coupled to the pair of electrodes; and

a sensing apparatus coupled to the nanowire to measure a temperature dependent property of the nanowire.


Monday, September 21, 2009

US Patent 7589880 - Manipulating light using coaxial nanoscale optics

This patent from Boston College discloses an array of nanoscale coaxial structures to manipulate light energy for improving the efficiency of solar cells or optical devices. Claim 1 reads:

1. A coaxial nanoscale optics apparatus for manipulating light comprising:

a plurality of nanoscale coaxial structures each comprising an electrically conducting core contacting a dielectric material which is coated with an outer electrical conductor layer; and

a substrate supporting the plurality of nanoscale coaxial structures.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

US Patent 7589422 - Dual thickness MEMS package

This patent from Samsung focuses on reducing the package size for MEMS or imaging arrays by including a thinned region around the peripheral surrounding region to accommodate solder connections to a PCB. Claim 1 reads:

1. A micro-element package comprising:

a substrate comprising a micro-element on a top surface of the substrate and a surrounding portion provided around the micro-element, wherein the surrounding portion is thinner than a portion of the substrate on which the micro-element is disposed; and

a circuit board that is electrically connected to the micro-element by utilizing the surrounding portion as a medium.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

US Patent 7589161 - Nanoparticle composition for quenching steel

The hardening of steel requires a step of rapid cooling performed by a variety of liquid solutions such as water-based or oil-based compositions. Water solutions are easy to dispose of and inexpensive but can result in too rapid cooling which leads to strained microstructures in the steel. Oil-based solutions provide slower cooling but are more expensive and can be dangerous. This patent from the Industrial Technology Research Institute teaches an alternative based on inorganic nanoparticles providing for an optimization of the desired qualities for steel quenching. Claim 1 reads:

1. A polymeric quenchant, comprising:

an inorganic nanoparticle,

a water-soluble polymer, and


wherein a weight ratio of the inorganic nanoparticle, water-soluble polymer and water is about 0.05-5:1-5:100, and the inorganic nanoparticle is talc, smectite clay, vermiculite, halloysite, sericite, saponite, montmorillonite, beidellite, nontronite, mica, hectorite, or a combination thereof.

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US Patent 7589043 - Carbon/Pt nanocatalyst for fuel cells

This patent from Samsung SDI teaches a material to improve the energy conversion efficiency of fuel cells based on platinum nanoparticles coated on carbon support material. Claim 1 reads:

1. A supported catalyst comprising:

a carbon-based catalyst support; and

a multi-layer structure of metal catalyst particles having an average diameter of 3.5 to 5 nm on the carbon-based catalyst support and wherein an amount of metal catalyst particles is 80 to 90 parts by weight based on 100 parts by weight of the supported catalyst.


US Patent 7588941 - Nucleic acid dispersion of DNA

This patent from DuPont has priority going back to 2002 and is basic to DNA wrapping of single walled carbon nanotubes to facilitate dispersion of the nanotubes into material composites. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for the production of a dispersed, carbon Nanotube—nucleic acid complex comprising:

a) providing a stabilized solution of single stranded nucleic acid molecules;

b) contacting a population of unfunctionalized, single walled carbon nanotubes with an effective amount of the stabilized nucleic acid solution of step (a) for a time sufficient for the single stranded nucleic acid molecules to associate with the carbon nanotubes by non-covalent means to form a dispersed, carbon nanotube—nucleic acid complex; and c) optionally recovering the dispersed, carbon nanotube—nucleic acid complex.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

US Patent 7588872 - CNT photoreceptor

This is one of a series of patents from Xerox which teaches that carbon nanotubes are useful to enhance the imaging properties of photoreceptive sheets which are important to laser printers. Claim 1 reads:

1. An electrophotographic imaging member comprising:

a substrate,

an optional intermediate layer,

a photogenerating layer that performs both charge generating and hole transport functions, and

an optional overcoating layer,

wherein the photogenerating layer comprises a carbon nanotube material that is from about 0.1 to about 50 nanometers in diameter and from about 0.01 to about 500 micrometers in length;

and the photogenerating layer contains about 5 to about 20 percent by weight carbon nanotube material.


US Patent 7588828 - Quantum dot synthesis from molecular clusters

This patent from Nanoco Technologies Limited teaches a strategy for the large scale synthesis of III-V quantum dots (e.g. GaN, InAs) by using a variety of molecular cluster materials. Claim 14 reads:

14. A method of producing nanoparticles, the method comprising the steps of:

providing a nanoparticle precursor composition comprising group 13 ions and group 15 ions; and

effecting conversion of the nanoparticle precursor into nanoparticles,

wherein said conversion is effected in the presence of a molecular cluster compound incorporating group 12 ions and group 16 ions under conditions permitting nanoparticle seeding and growth.


US Patent 7588748 - Carbon nanofiber composite having enhanced thermal and electrical conductivity

This patent from Showa Denko teaches a method of fabricating carbon nanofiber which provides the enhanced electrical and thermal transport properties of earlier nanofiber composites but with less nanofiber material being required. Claim 1 reads:

1. A vapor grown carbon fiber having a mean fiber diameter of 80 to 500 nm and an aspect ratio of 100 to 200, wherein filaments of the carbon fiber having a fiber diameter within ±20% of the mean fiber diameter account for 65% (on a number basis) or more of all the filaments of the carbon fiber.


Friday, September 11, 2009

US Patent 7587107 - Plasmon logic

Surface plasmons are electron vibrations formed at the interface of a thin film metal and dielectric. This patent from Intellectual Ventures proposes forming guided structures for plasmons as a new basis for an optical switching logic. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of controlling energy propagation, comprising:

guiding energy at a first plasmon frequency along a first path with a guiding structure;

blocking the guided energy carried by the guiding structure at the first plasmon frequency from propagating along the first path by electromagnetically saturating a first portion of the guiding structure along the first path with a first control signal having a first control signal frequency, wherein the first control signal includes electromagnetic radiation; and

blocking the guided energy carried by the guiding structure at the first plasmon frequency from propagating along the first path by saturating a second portion of the guiding structure along the first path with electromagnetic radiation.


US Patent 7586249 - CNT Yarn field emitter

Researchers working with Hon Hai Precision have developed carbon nanotube yarn from nanotube segments connected via molecular forces. This patent includes some basic claims to using this nanotube yarn for electron emission. Claim 1 reads:

1. A field emission device, comprising:

a base; and

at least one carbon nanotube yarn attached to the base, the at least one carbon nanotube yarn comprising a plurality of carbon nanotube segments, the carbon nanotube segments being joined end to end by van der Waals attractive force.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

US Patent 7585584 - Branched carbon nanotubes

This patent from Samsung teaches a method for increasing the surface area of carbon nanotube arrays used as fuel cell electrodes by growing carbon nanobranches from the sides of the carbon nanotube trunks. Claim 1 reads:

1. Carbon nanotubes, which are directly grown over a carbon substrate, whose internal and external walls are uniformly doped with nano-sized metallic catalyst particles, wherein the carbon nanotubes include a main axis region with a terminal portion and a first portion, wherein the terminal portion is located on the main axis region opposite from the carbon substrate and the first portion is located between the terminal portion and the carbon substrate, and wherein two or more branches branch out symmetrically around the main axis from the first portions to form branched carbon nanotubes.


US Patent 7585564 - Metal core/dielectric shell nanoparticle memory

This patent from Nanosys may be important to future generations of flash memory which use charge-storing nanoparticles to potentially store digital data in a range greater than 1Tbit/cm2. Claim 1 reads:

1. A charge storage device or memory device comprising a plurality of discrete nanostructures comprising metal cores and SiO2 shells, wherein a diameter of a member nanostructure with its shell is less than or equal to 50 nm, and wherein the member nanostructures are arranged in a monolayer array and present at a density greater than 1×1012/cm2.


US Patent 7585484 - Control of CNT tip manufacture

Alteration of the tip shape and structure of carbon nanotubes can be useful to control the chemical functionalization of the tips or to enhance field emission properties. This patent from Tsinghua University and Hon Hai Precision teaches a CVD flow control method used to regulate such tip alteration. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for synthesizing carbon nanotubes with desired tip structures, comprising the steps of:

introducing a carbon source gas flowing over a catalyst received in a reaction chamber;

continuously reducing an inner pressure in the reaction chamber with a predetermined pressure-reduction speed; and

forming carbon nanotubes with desired tip structures on the catalyst, the tip structures being related to the pressure-reduction speed.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

TinyTechIP - MEMS and Nanotechnology Patent Searching

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Friday, September 04, 2009

US Patent 7582992 - CNT magnetic nanomotor

Nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) are often referred to as a natural extension of MEMS. However, in reality there are actually very few practical designs for any type of nanoscale mechanical systems other than those based on existing biochemistry. This patent proposes one alternative based on suspended carbon nanotubes used as rotating components of a nanoscale motor. While the practicality of the design may be questionable it gets some points for originality. Claim 1 reads:

1. An assembly comprising:

an interconnection base having a plurality of pins for connection to control circuitry;

a housing that interlocks with said interconnection base such that at least a partial vacuum may be formed inside said housing;

a circuit card having circuitry that interfaces with said pins;

a first nanotube subassembly mounted to said circuit card, said subassembly comprising a plurality of nanotubes that are each suspended between a pair of connection pads and control/driver circuitry electrically coupled to each pair of connection pads; and

at least one magnetic field, wherein said control/driver circuitry is configured to apply current pulses to said nanotubes such that said nanotubes rotate in said at least one magnetic field.


US Patent 7582975 - Nanowire gap sensor

This patent from HP teaches a method to create gaps in nanowire structures which is reproducible and may facilitate mass production of nanoscale sensors. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nanowire device, comprising:

a nanowire formed between two surfaces;

a gap formed at a predetermined location in the nanowire; and

a protective layer established on each surface of the nanowire without being established on ends of the nanowire adjacent to the gap or adjacent to the two surfaces.


Thursday, September 03, 2009

US Patent 7582892 - Optically controlled CNT electrical switch

This patent from STMicroelectronics teaches how the electrical conductivity of carbon nanotubes can be altered by controlling the polarization of electromagnetic energy incident of the nanotube. Such effects could be useful to optoelectronics switching for high speed communication devices. Claim 1 reads:

1. An optical-control method of an electrical-switch device comprising a first current-conduction terminal and a second current-conduction terminal, and a carbon nanotube connected between said first and second current-conduction terminals, said method comprising the steps of:

impinging upon said carbon nanotube with electromagnetic radiation; and

varying the polarization of the electromagnetic radiation incident upon said carbon nanotube in order to vary the electrical conductivity of the carbon nanotube itself.


US Patent 7582359 - MEMS device for monitoring gas turbine

This patent from Siemens Energy teaches the advantages of MEMS devices for determining wear in gas turbine engines. Some relevant prior art which seems to have been overlooked is a report from the Institute for Defense Analysis entitled "MEMS in Turbine Engines" published in January 1999. Claim 1 reads:

1. A component for use in a combustion turbine, the component comprising:

a substrate;

a MEMS device affixed to the substrate; and

at least one connector in electrical communication with the MEMS device for routing a data signal from the MEMS device to a termination location.


US Patent 7582330 - Metallic nanostructures from chromonic material

Chromatic materials refer to large, multi-ring molecules typically characterized by the presence of a hydrophobic core surrounded by various hydrophilic groups which in high concentration form liquid crystals. This patent from 3M teaches using such chromatic materials to control the orientation and distribution of metallic nanostructures. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of making metallic nanostructures comprising mixing

(a) an aqueous composition comprising a chromonic material with

(b) a metal salt dissolved in solution, and

reducing said metal salt so as to form a metallic nanostructure.


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

US Patent 7582222 - Cobalt-doped tin dioxide nanoparticles

This patent from Boise State University teaches a new type of magnetic nanopowder having potential uses in spintronic devices. Claim 1 reads:

1. A powder comprising cobalt-doped tin dioxide exhibiting room-temperature ferromagnetism, wherein the powder consists of nanoparticles.


US Patent 7582155 - Asphalt nanocomposite roofing products

This patent from Building Materials Investment Corporation teaches a waterproofing roof coating made from asphalt nanocomposite. Claim 1 reads:

8. A coated article comprising

a substrate having at least one surface that is coated with a nanocomposite, said nanocomposite comprising an asphalt flux or partially or fully oxidized asphalt; and

a layered clay mineral in an amount from about 1 to about 15 weight %, based on the total weight of the nanocomposite;

wherein said substrate is a base layer or a material layer of a building materials product, and wherein said building materials product is a shingle.


US Patent 7581439 - Microsensors embedded in tires

This patent from Bridgestone teaches incorporating RFID microsensors in tires to detect overheating conditions. Claim 1 reads:

1. A pneumatic tire comprising:

a pair of bead rings;

a body cord ply extending between the bead rings;

an innerliner disposed inwardly of the body cord ply;

a belt layer disposed outwardly of the body cord ply;

a pair of sidewalls disposed outwardly of the body cord ply; and

a sensor layer including a plurality of micro-scale sized or smaller sensors each providing wireless signal data related to one or more physical properties of the tire, wherein the sensors activate to provide signals at a threshold temperature corresponding to an undesirable tire temperature or the sensors deactivate and cease providing signals at a threshold temperature corresponding to an undesirable tire temperature.