Thursday, December 17, 2009

US Patent 7632569 - Fullerene nanotube array

The late Richard Smalley was a pioneer in developing manufacturing methods for single-walled carbon nanotubes. Many of the nanotube patents emerging from Smalley's group at Rice University have priority going back to the 1990's and were limited in scope to single walled carbon nanotubes. In more recent years several continuation patents have issued extending the scope to "fullerene nanotubes" which may encompass double-walled and multi-walled nanotubes as well. This patent with priority going back to 1997 appears basic to arrays of nanotubes formed on a substrate which is relevant to application such as field emission displays. Claim 1 reads:

1. A macroscopic array comprising

(i) at least about 1000000 fullerene nanotubes, wherein (a) all of the fullerene nanotubes in the macroscopic array are in generally parallel orientation, and (b) all of the fullerene nanotubes in the macroscopic array have a substantially similar length, and

(ii) a substrate attached to one end of said array and oriented substantially perpendicularly to the nanotubes in said array.