Thursday, April 29, 2010

US Patent 7704919 - Gold coated platinum nanoparticles

This patent from Brookhaven Science Associates includes some basic claims to gold coated nanoparticles used as electrocatalysts for fuel cells. Claim 1 reads:

1. An oxygen-reducing electrocatalyst comprised of gold-coated metal particles bound to an electrically conductive support, said gold-coated metal particles comprising a noble metal-containing core at least partially encapsulated by an atomically thin outer shell of a gold alloy.


US Patent 7704754 - Creation of plasmon effects in materials

This patent from American Environmental Systems proposes the use of semiconductor, metal, or metal oxide nanoparticles to facilitate environmental cleanup by inducing surface plasmon resonance which breaks down waste material. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of creating surface plasmon induced properties in materials comprising steps of:

providing a material;

providing a nanoparticle capable of creating a surface plasmon induced property in the material by interactions of surface plasmon electric fields of the excited nanoparticle with the material;

providing a surface plasmon source;

embedding the nanoparticle into the material by mixing the nanoparticle with the material or by allowing the nanoparticle to be adsorbed by the material; and

exciting the embedded nanoparticle by the surface plasmon source.

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US Patent 7704489 - Photocatalytic nanotagging

Quantum dot conjugates have been used in biological tagging but the size of the conjugates have been larger than many proteins which interferes with biochemical processes. This patent from Sandia teaches a smaller nanotagging structure using metal nanoparticles and photocatalytic molecules. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nanotagged structure comprising:

a chemical structure comprising an associated photocatalyst molecule; and

a metal nanotag proximate to the associated photocatalyst molecule and located within an electron-transfer length of a radical form of the associated photocatalyst molecule.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

US Patent 7704480 - Manufacture of CNT yarn

This patent is based on a collaboration between Tsinghua University and Hon Hai Precision and teaches methods for making longer strands of composite carbon nanotube fibers. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for making a carbon nanotube yarn, the method comprising the steps of:

(1) providing a carbon nanotube array that is able to have one or more carbon nanotube yarn strings drawn therefrom;

(2) drawing out at least one planar carbon nanotube yarn string from the carbon nanotube array;

(3) applying organic solvent to the at least one carbon nanotube yarn string;

(4) removing the organic solvent such that the at least one planar carbon nanotube yarn string shrinks into a single non-planar strand of carbon nanotube yarn due to the surface tension of the organic solvent.

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US Patent 7704462 - Apparatus for producing aligned CNT thermal interface

This patent is from Intel and describes a system in which parallel plates provide an electric field in a vat of carbon nanotubes in order to align the nanotubes and form a thermal interface film. Claim 1 reads:

1. An apparatus comprising:

a slurry of carbon nanotubes in a liquid interstitial material;

a capacitor that includes plates, the plates being adapted to receive a portion of the slurry between the plates at least one of the plates being adjustable such that a distance between the plates can be changed; and

a voltage source to apply an electric field between the plates of the capacitor such that the electric field aligns nanotubes in the portion of the slurry that is between the plates to an orientation that is substantially perpendicular to the plates of the capacitor.


US Patent 7703697 - Nanotube bubblejet printer

This patent from Canon teaches a thermal inkjet printer designed to print aligned carbon nanotubes for applications such as field emitter display and transistor fabrication. Claim 1 reads:

1. A liquid discharge apparatus for discharging a disperse liquid containing a plurality carbon nanotubes, the carbon nanotubes having a length and a diameter, the liquid discharge apparatus comprising:

a nozzle having an entrance and a discharge opening through which the disperse liquid containing the carbon nanotubes is discharged;

an electrothermal converter for discharging the disperse liquid as an independent droplet from the discharge opening by applying energy to the disperse liquid and generating bubbles in the disperse liquid; and

a controller to apply electrical energy to the electrothermal converter, wherein the controller is configured to:

apply first electrical energy to the electrothermal converter that is sufficient to generate bubbles in the disperse liquid and discharge the disperse liquid from the discharge opening; and

at a time other than when the disperse liquid is being discharged from the discharge opening, intermittently apply second electrical energy that is smaller than the energy applied in discharging of the disperse liquid, to generate a plurality of bubbles in the disperse liquid and to vibrate the disperse liquid in the nozzle without discharging the disperse liquid from the discharge opening, the nozzle being tapered in such a manner that a diameter of the nozzle decreases from the entrance towards the discharge opening, and wherein the diameter of the entrance is larger than the length of the carbon nanotubes, and the diameter of the discharge opening is larger than the diameter of the carbon nanotubes and smaller than the length of the carbon nanotubes.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

US Patent 7701668 - Nanodisk memory formed via imprint lithography

This patent from ASML Holding NV teaches using naoimprint lithography to pattern sub-50nm bit patterns on a memory disk. Claim 11 reads:

11. A method of manufacturing a memory disk, comprising:

(a) forming main tracks on a disk platen by imprinting a nanodisk onto the disk platen;

(b) forming isolated bit areas with respect to the main tracks on the disk platen by imprinting the nanodisk onto the disk platen; and

(c) forming a magnetic layer on the isolated bit areas with magnetic material to form discrete isolated data bits.


US Patent 7701428 - Integrated display including nanowire selection transistors

Flat panel displays currently use thin film transistor technology in the selection of pixels. However, the use of thin film silicon produces limitations on the size and weight of the displays. This patent from Nanosys teaches forming nanowire transistors to enable new types of displays using plastic and flexible materials. Claim 1 reads:

1. An active matrix backplane used within a display, comprising:

a plurality of pixels;

a plurality of column transistors, wherein a column transistor within said plurality of column transistors applies a voltage across a subset of a plurality of pixel transistors;

a plurality of row transistors, wherein at least two row transistors within said plurality of row transistors turns a corresponding pixel transistor on and off;

a plurality of pixel transistors, wherein a pixel transistor within said plurality of pixel transistors controls a corresponding pixel within said plurality of pixels; and

edge electronics that control one or more of said column transistors, said row transistors, and said pixel transistors, wherein said edge electronics comprises a plurality of nanowire transistors each comprising a plurality of nanowires extending between a first source electrode and a first drain electrode of the transistor.


US Patent 7701013 - Nanoelectromechanical transistor

In the last 10 years the company Nantero has introduced a variety of designs for nanomechanical switches based on carbon nanotube ribbons. This patent from IBM teaches a way to integrate nanotube mechanical switches into a more conventional field effect transistor structures having more predictable characteristics. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nanoelectromechanical transistor (NEMT) comprising:

an insulative substrate including a gate adjacent thereto, and a source region and a drain region separated from the gate by an insulator;

an electromechanically deflectable nanotube member; and

a channel member electrically insulatively coupled to the nanotube member so as to be aligned with the source region and the drain region, wherein electromechanical deflection of the nanotube member is controllable, in response to an electrical potential applied to the gate and the nanotube member, between an off state and an on state, the on state placing the channel member in electrical connection with the source region and the drain region to form a current path.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

US Patent 7700943 - Functionalized CNT heat spreader

This patent from Intel teaches that nanotube functionalization can assist in the mixing of nanotubes with polymers or metals to form more effective materials for thermal management. Claim 1 reads:

1. An apparatus comprising:

a first layer attached to surface of a die; and

a nanotube (NT) composite coupled to the first layer to provide thermal management for the die, the NT composite including a nanotube (NT) structure functionalized with radicals of a first polymer; wherein the NT structure comprises:

a substrate; and

a functionalized carbon NT array grown or deposited on the substrate, the functionalized carbon NT array including a plurality of aligned or non-aligned single-walled or multi-walled carbon NTs having surfaces attached to the radicals.


US Patent 7700915 - Characterization of crystalline tubular molecules

This patent from Canatu Oy proposes a new method for characterizing carbon nanotubes using electron diffraction. The method provides more reliable results by correcting for anomalous tilt angle of the electron beam. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for determining the atomic structure of at least one tubular crystalline molecule, wherein the method comprises the following steps:

obtaining an electron diffraction pattern of at least one tubular crystalline molecule;

calculating at least one feature of the atomic structure and/or range of atomic structures using at least one calibration-free property of the electron diffraction pattern; and

compensating for an effect of an unexpected, unknown or otherwise uncontrolled tilt angle of the tubular crystalline molecule with respect to an electron beam.


US Patent 7700498 - Self-repair of nanostructures by liquidification

Manufacturing limitations make structural defects and nonuniformity at sub-micron dimensions more likely than in microscale systems. This patent from Princeton University teaches a method to correct such defects for silicon or metal nanostructures by liquification and resolidification. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of reducing geometrical and/or structural defects in a nanoscale device having at least one nanostructure with a minimum dimension about one micrometer or less comprising the steps of:

providing the nanoscale device;

fabricating a guiding surface on an exposed surface of the nanostructure;

liquifying the nanostructure for a period of time; and

permitting the liquified nanostructure to resolidify.


US Patent 7700193 - Core/shell nanoparticle with optical, magnetic, and thermal properties

This patent from Industrial Technology Research Institute teaches the fabrication of nanoparticles having a magnetic core and a metallic shell useful to enhance optical and magnetic medical imaging methods. Claim 1 reads:

1. A core-shell structure having magnetic, exothermic, and light absorption behaviors with a metal seed layer formed between the core and the shell.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

US Patent 7696684 - Semiconductor nanocrystal display

This patent from the Regents of the University of California has early priority (June 1998) and includes basic claims to quantum dots used in multi-color displays. Claim 1 reads:

1. A multicolor display apparatus, comprising:

a pixel array of semiconductor nanocrystals comprising a plurality of pixels of different colors, wherein the sizes of the nanocrystals in each of the plurality of pixels determine the colors; and

a pixel addressing system comprising a light source operatively associated with the pixel array for selectively optically exciting the nanocrystals with light from the light source to produce a luminescent color pattern of pixels.


US Patent 7696505 - CNT crossbar electronics

This patent is from Searete LLC (the patenting arm of Intellectual Ventures) teaches a carbon nanotube crossbar electronic systems similar to some of the designs developed by Nantero but with the inclusion of an intermediate resist layer that may be selectively removed to program the interconnects between nanotubes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A carbon nanotube (CNT) circuit template, comprising:

a first array of substantially parallel, laterally separated CNTs;

a second array of substantially parallel, laterally separated CNTs arranged at an angle to the first array; and

an intermediate layer interposed between the first array of CNTs and the second array of CNTs.

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US Patent 7696022 - Laser trimming of nanowire electronics

Solution-based deposition of nanowires has been used to form thin film transistors. However, this can produce an irregular positioning of the nanowires resulting in nonuniform electrical characteristics. This patent from Canon teaches a solution to this problem by using laser trimming. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of manufacturing an electric device having a plurality of nanowires, comprising the steps of:

fabricating the electric device by using the plurality of nanowires;

measuring a characteristic value of the fabricated electric device; and

cutting at least one of the nanowires or changing electric characteristics of at least one of the nanowires so as to have a desired characteristic value of the electric device,

wherein the step of cutting at least one of the nanowires is carried out by laser trimming.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

US Patent 7695988 - Spectral nanofluidic analysis

This patent from Cornell Research Foundation appears basic to the use of quantum dots in microfluidic analysis of biomolecules. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method comprising:

conjugating molecules with a plurality of different types of quantum dots having different emission spectra to form conjugates;

driving the conjugates through a sub-micrometer channel detection volume;

exciting the conjugates in the sub-micrometer channel; and

detecting emission from multiple regions of the spectrum.


US Patent 7695811 - Reversible adhesive using nanostructures

This patent from the Regents of the University of California proposes a magnetically actuated reversible adhesive using polymer nanorods. Claim 1 reads:

1. An adhesive, comprising:

a compliant surface having one or more nano-structures thereon,

wherein the compliant surface is moved by applying a magnetic field either to engage the nano-structures with an adhering surface or to remove the nano-structures from the adhering surface.


US Patent 7695646 - Qdot metamaterial

Metamaterials usually refer to composites which exhibit a negative index of refraction useful to create high resolution optics and having some potential for cloaking devices. One problem with some metamaterials is high signal attenuation. This patent from HP teaches a variety of metamaterial using quantum dots to produce a less lossy metamaterial composite. Claim 1 reads:

1. A composite material configured to exhibit at least one of a negative effective permittivity and a negative effective permeability for incident radiation of at least one wavelength, the composite material comprising

an arrangement of electromagnetically resonant cells having smaller dimension relative to said wavelength,

each cell having a plurality of quantum dots,

each of the electromagnetically resonant cells comprising an electrical conductor,

wherein the quantum dots are integrated into the electrical conductor for enhancing a resonant response thereof to the incident radiation at said wavelength.


US Patent 7695609 - CNT/polymer ChemFET

This patent is from Applied Nanotech and teaches a variety of nanotube ChemFET which improves the sensitivity by using an immobilizing polymer. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of detecting an analyte comprising the steps of:

immobilizing a polymer and sensing element to carbon nanotubes lacking alignment; and

utilizing a transduction mechanism to detect the analyte, wherein the transduction mechanism uses a thin film transistor.


Monday, April 12, 2010

US Patent 7692373 - Qdot white light

This patent from Lumileds Lighting has very early priority (April 1998) and includes claims to white light LEDs formed using quantum dot. Claim 1 reads:

1. A white light emitting device comprising:

a blue primary light source;

a first layer in optical communication with the blue primary light source and comprising quantum dots of a material and size adapted to emit red secondary light; and

a second layer in optical communication with said first layer and said primary light source and comprising quantum dots of a material and size adapted to emit green secondary light.

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US Patent 7692361 - Nanoparticle composite actuator

Microactuators are important components to numerous applications such as inkjet printheads, optical switches, and medical implants. This patent from Hitachi teaches a new type of microactuator using organic material having embedded carbon nanoparticles which operates based on thermal expansion. Claim 1 reads:

1. An actuator comprising:

a molding product of a material comprising a mixture of fine conductive particles and a polymer material, the material expanding or contracting by electric supply; and

at least two electrodes for electric supply disposed on both side portions of the molding product which expands or contracts.


US Patent 7692249 - Self-assembled CNTFET

This patent from Intel (priority 1/24/2004) includes some basic claims covering carbon nanotube transistors formed using chemical self-assembly. Claim 1 reads:

1. A transistor comprising:

a source region;

a drain region;

a plurality of nanotubes extending between said source and drain regions, said nanotubes having functionalized ends with attached functional groups, wherein said nanotubes have opposed first functionalized ends coupled to said source region and second functionalized ends coupled to said drain region, said first functionalized ends attracted to said source region and not said drain region; and

a gate electrode over said nanotubes.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

US Patent 7692218 - CNT ChemFet

This patent is based on basic research from Rice University and appears to be basic to using carbon nanotubes as the channel for CHEMFET biosensors. Claim 1 reads:

1. A field effect transistor comprising:

a source;

a drain;

a gate;

a dielectric layer that coats the gate; and

at least one carbon nanotube disposed at least partially in said dielectric layer, said at least one carbon nanotube having a portion which is functionalized with at least one indicator molecule that is exposed from the dielectric layer, the at least one carbon nanotube being on the gate for transmitting charge from the at least one indicator molecule to the gate.

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US Patent 7692215 - Microscale to nanoscale electronic interface

HPLabs has attracted much attention recently based on the development of a new nanoscale circuit element called a memristor having potential applications in non-volatile memory and programmable logic. However, perhaps an equally important development from HPLabs is the development of nanoscale interfaces allowing further scaling than conventional semiconductor manufacturing would allow. This patent covers one approach using separate microscale and nanoscale layers. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nanoscale/microscale interface having a microscale layer and a predominantly nanoscale layer, the nanoscale/microscale interface comprising:

a microscale-layer substrate;

microelectronic circuits fabricated on the microscale-layer substrate, the microelectronic circuits connected to a number of pins exposed on a surface microscale-layer, the pins partitioned into groups of pins, each group of pins configured identically within a fundamental unit, the fundamental units arranged to tile the surface microscale-layer according to a lattice symmetry; and

a number of nanoscale-layer sub-layers, each nanoscale-layer sub-layer containing regularly spaced, parallel pad-interconnected-nanowire-unit (PINU) bundles.


US Patent 7691533 - Electrode with conductive polymer covered CNTs

This patent from TDK Corporation teaches a way to increase the energy density of fuel cells for hybrid vehicles by using electrodes including a film of carbon nanotubes covered with conductive polymer. Claim 1 reads:

1. A coated electrode comprising:

an electrode comprising:

a collector with electron conductivity, and

an electrode active material-containing layer with electron conductivity formed on the collector,

wherein the electrode active material-containing layer includes carbon nanotubes, and binder in an amount of 10-80 weight %, and

a separate continuous film of a conductive polymer covering the entire electrode.


US Patent 7691168 - Charged nanofiber filter

This patent from 3M teaches using polymer nanofibers to form a more efficient air filter. Claim 1 reads:

1. Charged multilayer media that comprises:

a) a hydrocharged fibrous filtration layer that contains a plurality of intertwined nanofibers that have a length of about 12 to about 300 mm, and

b) a porous roll-to-roll processable support layer.


Monday, April 05, 2010

US Patent 7689367 - Atomic modeling using Blacklight Theory

Blacklight Power is a somewhat controversial company which has developed energy technology based on a new physic model attempting to explain experimental results related to cold fusion research. This type of application usually raises some 35 USC 101 questions at the USPTO and the prosecution history appears fairly interesting including numerous letters from U.S. Senators, Internet postings debating the merits, and declarations from various scientists.


A method and system of physically solving the charge, mass, and current density functions of excited-state atoms and atomic ions using Maxwell's equations and computing and rendering the nature of excited-state electrons using the solutions. The results can be displayed on visual or graphical media. The display can be static or dynamic such that electron spin and rotation motion can be displayed in an embodiment. The displayed information is useful to anticipate reactivity and physical properties. The insight into the nature of excited-state electrons can permit the solution and display of those of other atoms and atomic ions and provide utility to anticipate their reactivity and physical properties as well as spectral absorption and emission to lead to new optical materials and light sources.


Sunday, April 04, 2010

US Patent 7688570 - Nanotube enhanced silicon capacitor

Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) is a form of semiconductor memory which uses capacitor structures to store data. However, the scaling of DRAM reduces the capacitance values making it difficult to provide reliable storage. This patent from Hynix Semiconductor teaches using nanotubes in the capacitor structure to increase the surface area and capacitance of DRAM memory cells. Claim 1 reads:

1. A capacitor, comprising:

a lower electrode including a patterned conductive layer and a plurality of nanotubes formed on the patterned conductive layer without using a catalytic layer;

a dielectric layer formed on the lower electrode; and

an upper electrode formed on the dielectric layer, wherein the patterned conductive layer is formed of a silicon layer.


US Patent 7687841 - Offset gate CNTFET

This patent from Micron Technologies addresses the problem of leakage current between the drain and source of carbon nanotube field effect transistors by placing the gate electrode at an asymmetric position. Claim 1 reads:

1. A transistor, comprising:

a channel formed of at least one carbon nanotube, wherein the channel is in contact with a source and with a drain of the transistor;

a dielectric material proximate to the channel; and

a gate comprising a sidewall on an edge of a pad, wherein the gate is proximate to the dielectric material, wherein the gate is positioned closer to the source than to the drain, and wherein the source and drain are self aligned with respect to the gate and to the pad.


US Patent 7687801 - CNT dopant material

This patent teaches dopants for carbon nanotube transistors enabling better control of the gate threshold voltage. Claim 1 reads:

1. A semiconductor device comprising, as the device,

a semiconductor material that is obtained by depositing, on a carbon nanotube, a donor with a smaller ionization potential than an intrinsic work function of the carbon nanotube or an acceptor with a larger electron affinity than the intrinsic work function of the carbon nanotube, wherein the ionization potential of the donor in vacuum is 6.4 eV or less.