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.