Wednesday, December 09, 2009

US Patent 7628972 - Shaping nanostructures with ion flux

Focused ion beam processing is a common technique used to shape materials on the nanoscale. This patent from Eloret Corporation teaches a method of bending or aligning carbon nanotubes using a focused ion beam. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for molding a nanostructure into a desired configuration comprising: applying an ion flux from an ion source to a nanostructure, wherein the direction of said ion flux with respect to said nanostructure causes said nanostructure to bend in the direction of said ion source.

However, one prior art patent which appears to have been overlooked is US Patent 6,248,674 from HP which also teaches alignment of nanowires on a substrate using ionic flux.