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.