Thursday, September 30, 2010

US Patent 7805031 - Defect-tolerant quantum computer

In quantum computing "color centers" refer to atomic vacancies embedded in diamond which may be used as quantum bits. This patent from HP proposes a way to fabricate a photonic type of quantum computer based on such color centers which is tolerant to defects. Claim 1 reads: 

1. A method for fabricating a defect-tolerant quantum computer architecture, the method comprising:

depositing a transmission layer on a substrate surface;

depositing a nucleation center at a particular location on the transmission layer;

forming photonic devices in the transmission layer, the photonic devices configured to transmit electromagnetic waves;

forming a color center in diamond at the nucleation center; and

embedding the transmission layer and the color center between a top cladding layer and a bottom cladding layer.


US Patent 7803859 - Silver nanoparticle infused container

Silver has long been known as an anti-bacterial agent. This patent from Zinus Inc. teaches providing nanoparticulate silver into plastic containers to provide ease of sanitation. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nano-silver infused container arrangement comprising:

a nano-silver infused container body defining at least one opening; and

a nano-silver infused container lid configured to close off the at least one opening, wherein the container body and the container lid are made of a polymeric compound, and

wherein the polymeric compound is rendered nonporous by infusing the polymeric compound with a concentration of 6 to 30 ppm of nano-silver particles.


US Patent 7803707 - Fabrication of metal silicide nanowires

Metal silicides are silicon compounds used in the formation of low resistivity ohmic contacts in microelectronics. This patent from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation teaches a fabrication process for growing metal silicide nanowires on ultrathin silicon oxide films which could provide extremely small gate lines for nano-MOSFETs. Claim 1 reads:   

1. A method for producing single-crystal, free-standing transition metal silicide nanowires comprising growing the nanowires on a surface of a silicon oxide film on a silicon substrate, wherein the silicon oxide film has a thickness of no more than about 2 nm.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

US Patent 7803574 - Medical device applications of nanostructured surfaces

This latest patent from Nanosys teaches a way to enhance the resistance to bacterial growth of implantable medical devices using nanofibrous coatings. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of administering a composition to a patient, comprising:

providing a composition-eluting device, said composition-eluting device comprising at least a first surface and a plurality of nanostructures attached to the first surface, wherein:

the plurality of nanostructures comprise nanofibers and/or nanotubes; and

introducing the composition-eluting device into the body of the patient.


US Patent 7803346 - Method of selecting CNT structure through photoirradiation

This is the latest patent from the researcher (Sumio Iijima) often credited with the discovery of carbon nanotubes and teaches a way to isolate CNTs of a single diameter. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for selecting single-walled carbon nanotubes of 1.2 nm diameter from a mixture of single-walled carbon nanotubes of various diameters, comprising irradiating the mixture of single-walled carbon nanotubes of various diameters with a light beam of a single wavelength of 620 nm under an oxidative environment to obtain single-walled carbon nanotubes of 1.2 nm diameter.


US Patent 7803262 - Alignment of nanotubes using magnetic nanoparticles

The alignment of carbon nanotubes is important to optimizing the strength as well as the electrical and thermal conductivity of nanotube composites. Several techniques have been developed to achieve this alignment based on the use of fluid flow and electrostatic fields. This patent from Florida State University teaches another method based on the application of a magnetic field on magnetic nanoparticles attached to the nanotubes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for aligning carbon nanotubes, the method comprising:

adding magnetic nanoparticles to the carbon nanotubes dispersed in a fluid medium to form a dispersion of magnetic nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes;

adsorbing the magnetic nanoparticles directly to the carbon nanotubes dispersed in the fluid medium to form a magnetic particle-carbon nanotube composite dispersed in the fluid medium; and

placing the magnetic particle-carbon nanotube composite dispersed in the fluid medium between magnets to expose the magnetic particle-carbon nanotube composite in the fluid medium to a magnetic field effective to align the nanotubes of the magnetic particle-carbon nanotube composite dispersed in the fluid medium.


Monday, September 27, 2010

US Patent 7800302 - Qdot lighting with silica matrix

This patent from Samsung suggests a simplified manufacturing method and stabilized structure for quantum dot lighting based on a silica matrix. Claim 1 reads:

1. An electroluminescent element, the element comprising:

a glass template, which includes a silica matrix and a plurality of pores,

electrodes on opposing sides of the glass template, and

a luminescent material in the plurality of pores, wherein the luminescent material comprises an inorganic phosphor and a quantum dot.


US Patent 7800139 - Back gate nanowire thin film transistor

Langmuir-Blodgett films have been used to deposit nanowire semiconductor layers in the fabrication of thin film transistors but the nanowires tend to lack alignment using this method. This patent from LG Display teaches a way to overcome this problem using electrostatic fields from alignment electrodes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for fabricating a thin film transistor, comprising:

forming a gate electrode on a substrate;

forming an insulating film on an entire surface of the substrate including the gate electrode;

forming alignment electrodes on the insulating film such that the alignment electrodes face each other, to define a channel region;

forming an organic film on the insulting film including the alignment electrodes, to expose the channel region;

coating a nanowire-dispersed solution over the substrate and the organic film;

forming a nanowire semiconductor layer in the channel region by generating an electric field between the alignment electrodes;

removing a solvent included in the solution; and

removing the organic film.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

US Patent 7799988 - Point contact nanowire solar cell

Most solar cells are based on planar semiconductor wafers which have a maximum theoretical efficiency due to the bandgap of the semiconductor material. This patent proposes an alternative solar cell construction based on the formation of metallic nanowires or nanotubes as rectifying antennas to convert the visible spectrum into a source of DC current and which may improve the theoretical maximum efficiency. Claim 1 reads:

1. A device for receiving and converting incident radiation into DC current, comprising:

a transparent conductor;

at least one point-contact diode, the at least one point-contact diode having a nanowire providing a receiving antenna function and a rectification function, the nanowire including a sharp edge, the nanowire tapering and being narrowest at the sharp edge;

a thin insulating layer, situated between the transparent conductor and the nanowire; and

a point-contact junction, at which the sharp edge of the nanowire contacts the thin insulating layer.

US Patent 7799849 - Self-healing nanomaterial

This patent from Intel is related to semiconductor packaging and teaches a material to heal cracks in the packaging using an encapsulated nanoparticle composite. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method to fabricate a self-healing material comprising:

mixing nanoscale material with a healing agent to form a healing mixture;

encapsulating the healing mixture to form a plurality of self-healing capsules; and

dispersing the self-healing capsules in a polymer to fabricate the self-healing material.


US Patent 7799726 - CNT composites

This patent has relatively early priority (2001) and includes some broad claims toward catalysts supports including a large weight fraction of carbon nanotubes or nanofibers. Claim 1 reads:

1. A composite consisting essentially of:

an impregnated support activated by impregnation of at least one metal and/or metal salt and carbon nanotubes or nanofibers formed by vapor deposition, wherein the weight of said carbon nanotubes or nanofibers formed on said support is at least 10% of the weight of said composite.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

US Patent 7799425 - Metal composite nanoparticle

This patent from Ebara Corporation teaches a nanostructured bonding material as a substitute for solder in microelectronics. Claim 1 reads:

1. A composite nanoparticle comprising:

a core comprising an inorganic metal compound and a metal component; and

a coating of an organic substance bonded to said core by physical adsorption.


US Patent 7799196 - Electromagnetic sorting and deposition of nanotubes

This patent from Micron Technology teaches a carbon nanotube deposition method which includes a step of filtering and aligning the nanotubes by size. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of depositing nanotubes onto a workpiece, comprising:

contacting a surface of a semiconductor wafer with a deposition fluid containing a plurality of nanotubes;

separating a first portion of the nanotubes from a second portion of the nanotubes with a filter located between the contacted surface of the semiconductor wafer and a counter-electrode;

aligning the first portion of the nanotubes relative to the surface of the semiconductor wafer while the first portion of the nanotubes are separated from the second portion of the nanotubes; and

establishing an energy field between the surface of the semiconductor wafer and the counter-electrode in the deposition fluid to deposit the separated and aligned first portion of the nanotubes onto the semiconductor wafer, wherein the energy field is at least one of an electric field and an electromagnetic field.


US Patent 7798922 - Athletic field markings with quantum dots

This patent teaches using quantum dots to form photoluminescent lines that distinguish football markings and soccer markings depending on exterior lighting. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for selectively marking a surface, the method comprising:

marking the surface with lines of a first material containing quantum dots having a first absorption characteristic and a first emission characteristic; and

selectively illuminating the surface with radiation consistent with the first absorption characteristic to cause the lines of the first material to display the first emission characteristic.

Monday, September 20, 2010

US Patent 7796123 - Touchscreen with CNT conductive layers

This patent from Kodak teaches a way to form roll-to-roll manufacturable touchscreen display electrodes based on single walled carbon nanotubes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A touchscreen comprising touch side and device side electrodes wherein each electrode comprises in order an insulating substrate, an exposed electrically conductive layer, wherein said exposed electrically conductive layers are adjacent and separated by dielectric spacers, and wherein said exposed electrically conductive layers comprise single wall carbon nanotubes and wherein said carbon nanotubes comprise covalently attached hydrophilic species.


US Patent 7795725 - Carbon nanostructure mat for thermal cooling

There has been much academic and some industry interest in the use of carbon nanostructures to form channels for future transistors. However, more near term applications in electronics may depend on the thermal cooling advantages offered by carbon nanostructures to semiconductor packaging. This latest patent from Micron Technology follows other companies including Intel and Hon Hai Precision in teaching a way to use carbon nanotubes to cool semiconductor dies. Claim 1 reads: 

1. A semiconductor package, comprising:

a semiconductor die;

a thermally conductive material in thermal contact with the die and comprising carbon nanostructures; and

wherein the semiconductor die has a substantially planar backside surface; and

wherein the thermally conductive material is a mat of the carbon nanostructures extending across an entirety of said substantially planar backside surface.


US Patent 7795694 - Quantum ring

Quantum wells, wires, and dots represent structures in which the wavefunctions of electrons are confined to 2, 1, or 0 dimensions. Most often nanocrystals are used to achieve quantum dots but this patent from Fujitsu teaches another way based on the fabrication of quantum rings which may facilitate the construction of quantum logic devices. Claim 1 reads:  

1. A quantum device, comprising:

a semiconductor substrate in a surface of which a ring-shaped groove is formed; and

a semiconductor film formed in the groove.


Friday, September 17, 2010

US Patent 7795677 - Nanowire SOI field effect transistor

This patent from IBM teaches the latest variation of nanowire FETs based on silicon-on-insulator technology. Claim 1 reads:

1. A field-effect transistor (FET) comprising:

a substrate having a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) layer which is divided into at least two sections electrically isolated from one another, one section forming a source region and the other section forming a drain region;

a channel region comprising at least one nanowire that connects the source region and the drain region, wherein the nanowire is disposed over the SOI layer;

an epitaxial semiconductor material, grown from the SOI layer, connecting the nanowire to each section of the SOI layer; and

a gate over the channel region.


US Patent 7794699 - Nanostructured blood substitute

In the HBO series True Blood the premise is that an artificial human blood substitute is invented allowing for vampires to come out of hiding. Thanks to the research behind this patent issued to the Michigan Molecular Institute such an artificial blood substitute could become a reality with the help of nanotechnology. Hopefully the vampire part will remain fiction. Claim 1 reads:  

1. A nano-structured compound capable of carrying oxygen and/or other gases, comprising: dendron, dendrimer, hyperbranched polymer, or dendrigraft having a plurality of branches, each branch including a plurality of repeat units that contain a fluorocarbon moiety represented by the formula —(CF2)x—, wherein x is an integer greater than 1, and each branch including a terminal repeat unit; and peripheral hydrophilic moieties covalently bonded to said terminal repeat units to provide solubility of the compound in aqueous media.


US Patent 7794620 - Chlorestic monolayers with nanoparticles

This patent from SICPA Holding S.A. teaches the inclusion of nanoparticles in liquid crystal films to improve color change effects or add properties such as magnetization to the film. Claim 1 reads:

1. Liquid-crystal monolayer comprising a three-dimensionally crosslinked, cholesteric liquid-crystal mixture and nanoparticles, wherein said nanoparticles have a particle size of 1 to 999 nm and have properties selected from the group consisting of luminescence, fluorescence, phosphorescence and magnetism.


Monday, September 13, 2010

US Patent 7791433 - Nanotube array RF filter

It has been demonstrated that carbon nanotube arrays may be used to construct tunable RF filters. However, the geometry of the nanotube array can result in a non-uniform charge distribution resulting in the creation of a DC path of current that can destroy the device. This patent from Nokia teaches a circular nanotube array that can avoid this problem. Claim 1 reads:

1. An apparatus comprising:

a first electrode having a first edge;

an array of nanotubes distributed in a closed path, where the closed path surrounds the first electrode and adjacent to the first edge, the closed path is locally straight, and where each of the nanotubes comprises an end that is free to oscillate; and

a second electrode having a second edge surrounding both the first electrode and the array of nanotubes.


US Patent 7791194 - Nanotube composite interconnect

This patent is from a company called Oracle America and teaches using the electrical and thermal conductivity of carbon nanotubes to enhance interconnects used in printed circuit board (PCB) assemblies. Claim 1 reads:
1. A composite interconnect system comprising:

a plurality of carbon nanotubes;

a plurality of solder balls; and

a plurality of standoff balls;

wherein each of the plurality of carbon nanotubes, solder balls, and standoff balls are disposed on a first device to provide a connection to a second device.


US Patent 7791157 - Qdot photovoltaic film

Optical coating are often formed on solar cells to reflect the portion of the spectrum which is not converted to electricity and thus avoid unwanted heating of the cells which reduces efficiency. This patent from Samsung teaches using a quantum dot film in place of such reflective coatings to convert the unusable portions of the spectrum to wavelengths that can be converted to electrical energy. Claim 1 reads:  

1. A solar cell comprising

a conductive substrate,

an energy conversion layer comprising a quantum dot compound and formed on at least one side of the substrate,

a light absorption layer, and

a counter electrode,

wherein the thickness of the energy conversion layer is about 20 nm to about 10 μm, and the solar cell is configured to generate an electric current upon absorbing light.


Thursday, September 09, 2010

US Patent 7791108 - Nanowire tunneling transistor

Conventional MOSFET devices are based on the formation of a semiconductor channel having a length and width that determines the transistor behavior. Usually the channel is defined in a substrate having opposite  doping than the source and drain regions (e.g. n-type vs. p-type) but this requires careful control of doping that is very difficult at the nanoscale. This patent from NXP B.V. teaches a type of semiconductor nanowire channel design with low channel (nanowire) doping and highly doped source and drain regions forming Schottky-type barriers in a design which may be easier to fabricate at nanoscale dimensions. Claim 1 reads:    

1. Transistor comprising a nanowire having a source and a drain separated by an intrinsic or lowly doped region,

wherein a potential barrier is formed at the interface of the intrinsic or lowly doped region and one of the source and the drain,

wherein a gate electrode is provided in the vicinity of the potential barrier such that the effective height and/or width of the potential barrier can be modulated by applying an appropriate voltage to the gate electrode.


US Patent 7790650 - Nano-carbon catalyst

This patent from NanoC teaches a carbon-based nanocatalyst used in the production of unsaturated hydrocarbons. Claim 1 reads:

1. A catalyst comprising at least one support and at least one layer applied as coating to said support, said layer containing

a) 50 to 95% by weight of at least one aluminum, silicon, titanium or magnesium oxide compound or a silicon carbide or a carbon support or mixtures thereof, and

b) 5 to 50% by weight of at least one nanocarbon.


US Patent 7790539 - DWCNT field effect transistor

This is another patent from Sony (see also US 7719032) teaching a method to form a field effect transistor from a single multi-wall carbon nanotube. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for producing an electronic device including a multi-walled carbon nanotube having at least two layers, the method comprising the steps of:

supplying current to part of an outer carbon nanotube layer to remove the part of the outer carbon molecule layer;

providing at least one current-input means to the outer carbon nanotube layer;

providing at least one current-output means to the outer carbon nanotube layer; and

providing at least one voltage-applying means to an inner carbon nanotube layer.


US Patent 7790331 - Fuel cell with nanowire film

Conductive nanowires have been used by Nanosys to create enhanced efficiency fuel cells. This patent from HP teaches a modification of such fuel cells using photoresist as a deposition liquid for the nanowires. Claim 1 reads:

1. A fuel cell, comprising:

an electrolyte substrate; and

a patterned film cathode established on the substrate, the patterned film including insoluble matter of an imaged photoresist having a plurality of nanowires dispersed therein, at least one of the plurality of nanowires contacting at least an other of the plurality of nanowires;

wherein the plurality of nanowires enhances catalytic activity and conductivity of the patterned film.


Wednesday, September 08, 2010

US Patent 7790285 - Nano-scaled graphene platelets

This patent is from Nanotek Instruments and includes some claims appearing to be fundamental to nanoscale graphene. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nano-scaled graphene platelet having a length, a width, and a thickness, wherein the thickness is no greater than 100 nm and the length-to-width ratio is no less than 3.


US Patent 7790243 - Room temperature production of 3D carbon nano-onions

Laser ablation of graphite is used in some methods of fabricating carbon nanostructures but require   pressurized inert gas at a high temperature. This patent from The Aerospace Corporation teaches a way to reduce the temperature to ambient levels during carbon nanomaterial fabrication. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method, comprising:

employing a laser process in an oxygen-containing atmosphere at room temperature to provide a substrate with a carbonaceous coating that includes nested carbon structures.


US Patent 7790242 - Electrostatic deposition of graphene

In order to produce single layer graphene sheets the "scotch tape" method has been employed to mechanically separate a layer from pyrolytic graphite. Some epitaxial techniques have also been used but result in multilayer graphene sheets. This patent from the University of Louisville Research Foundation teaches an alternative technique based on electrostatic deposition of graphene which may be easier for mass production. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for electrostatic deposition of graphene on a substrate, comprising the steps of:

securing a graphite sample to a first electrode;

electrically connecting the first electrode to a positive terminal of a power source;

electrically connecting a second electrode to a ground terminal of the power source;

placing the substrate over the second electrode; and

using the power source to apply a voltage, such that graphene is removed from the graphite sample and deposited on the substrate.


US Patent 7790051 - Atom isolation with silicon nanocrystals

The manipulation of individual atoms was first achieved in the 1980's by Don Eigler of IBM using a scanning tunneling microscope. This patent from Sandia Corp. also teaches a SPM method of analyzing single atoms in which silicon nanocrystals are used to retain the atoms in particular locations. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for isolating single atoms of an atomic species of interest within silicon nanocrystals to provide for movement of each single atom using an atomic force microscope tip to move the silicon nanocrystal containing that single atom, comprising the steps of:

providing a substrate having the silicon nanocrystals located thereon;

implanting the silicon nanocrystals with ions of the atomic species of interest at an ion energy and at an ion dose rate which statistically implants, on average, only one of the ions of the atomic species of interest into each silicon nanocrystal; and

measuring an electrical charge distribution of the silicon nanocrystals and thereby identifying which of the silicon nanocrystals contain the single atom of the atomic species of interest and which of the silicon nanocrystals contain a different number of atoms of the atomic species of interest.


Monday, September 06, 2010

US Patent 7787959 - Cylindrical nerve sensor with nanotude/polymer electrode

In order to attach electrodes to nerve tissue the electrode need to be formed or coated with material that will reduce the potential for nerve trauma while providing sufficient electrical conductivity to stimulate or sense the nerve. This patent from Pacesetters Inc. teaches using carbon nanotubes in a cylindrical electrode attached to a nerve in order to achieve the desired conductivity. Claim 1 reads:

1. An attachment mechanism for creating an electrical connection between a lead and a nerve bundle, the attachment mechanism comprising:

an electrically insulative polymer material configured to attach to the nerve bundle, the polymer material including an electrode region of the polymer material sufficiently impregnated with nanotubes to be electrically conductive; and

an electrically conductive layer extending over an outer surface of the polymer material;

wherein the conductive layer and polymer layer are curved, the polymer layer forming an inner circumferential surface.


US Patent 7786540 - Vertical nanotube fabric sensor

This latest patent from Nantero teaches a nanotube-based chemical sensor which may be easier to fabricate and integrate with CMOS electronics than earlier versions. Claim 1 reads:

1. A sensor platform, comprising

a sensor element comprising a non-woven nanotube fabric and having an electrical characterization;

a support structure, comprising a substrate, for supporting the sensor element so that it may be exposed to a fluid, and having a major surface of the substrate substantially non-parallel to the sensor element; and

control circuitry to electrically sense the electrical characterization of the sensor element so that the presence of a corresponding analyte may be detected.


US Patent 7786467 - 3D nanowire crossbar

As transistor scaling becomes more difficult and expensive the semiconductor industry is look for 3D topologies for the design of future memories and processors. This patent from HPLabs teaches one candidate based on nanowire crossbar layers. Claim 1 reads:

1. A three-dimensional nanoscale electronic device comprising:

a first functional layer including nanowires and a first type of nanowire junction; and

one or more additional functional layers, layered above the first functional layer, including nanowires and one or more additional types of nanowire junctions,

the first functional layer and one or more additional functional layers interconnected, in a direction approximately normal to planes of the first and one or more functional layers, through one or more of nanowires, nanowire junctions, microscale signal lines, and submicroscale signal lines.


US Patent 7786464 - Nanocrystal enhanced phase change RAM

This patent from Infineon is based on the finding that nanocrystals can be used to increase the current density and thus reduce power requirements for phase change memory. Claim 1 reads:

1. An integrated circuit comprising:

a first electrode;

resistivity changing material coupled to the first electrode;

a second electrode; and

a dielectric material layer between the resistivity changing material and the second electrode, the dielectric material layer comprising nanocrystals.


Sunday, September 05, 2010

US Patent 7786440 - Nanowire multispectral imaging array

Infrared imaging devices are used in applications such as fire detection, machine overheating, and weapon detection. This patent from Honeywell teaches a way to implement these imaging devices with thermoelectric nanowires allowing higher spatial resolution and higher reading speed. Claim 1 reads:

1. A multispectral imaging array system, comprising:

a substrate;

a plurality of antennas located with respect to one another on said substrate, such that a plurality of respective gaps is formed between each antenna among said plurality of antennas;

at least one nanowire located in at least one gap on said substrate among said plurality of respective gaps, wherein said at least one nanowire is in communication with said plurality of antennas and said substrate; and

a plurality of local packages covering each of said plurality of respective gaps provided to protect said at least one nanowire located in said at least one gap and to provide a low ambient pressure.


US Patent 7786402 - Nanospot welding

This patent from Applied Nanotech teaches a way to construct perhaps the world's smallest welding tool by using a carbon coated AFM tip as an electron emission device. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for creating a nanospot weld on a work piece comprising:

positioning a tip of a modified atomic force microscope (AFM) at a controlled distance from the work piece, wherein a cantilever beam of the AFM has the tip configured as an electron beam source;

activating the electron beam source to provide electrons directed towards the work piece by applying a controlled voltage potential to the electron beam source; and

modulating the voltage potential of the electron beam source or the controlled distance of the tip from the work piece to cause controlled local heating of the work piece thereby creating the nanospot weld on the work piece.


US Patent 7785733 - Reserve cell-array nanostructured battery

In electrolytic batteries reactions occur between the electrolytic fluid and the electrode material that can limit battery lifetime. This patent from Alcatel-Lucent teaches forming nanostructured surface barriers between the electrode and the electrolyte to avoid this problem. Claim 1 reads:

1. An apparatus comprising:

a first electrode having a plurality of separate cells;

an electrolyte fluid;

a nanostructured surface corresponding to at least one of said cells in said plurality of separate cells,

wherein said nanostructured surface is disposed between a portion of said electrode in said at least one of said cells and said electrolyte fluid in a way such that said nanostructured surface prevents contact of the electrolyte fluid and said portion of said electrode.


US Patent 7785717 - Q-dot encoded media

This patent from Life Technologies has relatively early priority (1998) and teaches forming coded patterns on media such as ID cards and currency using multi-spectral (plural color) nanocrystals. Claim 1 reads:

1. An article comprising:

a substrate having an identifiable code pattern of fluorescent water soluble quantum dots operably bound to the substrate, said identifiable code pattern including more than one color of quantum dot;

the identifiable code pattern including encoded data; and

wherein the identifiable code pattern is in a machine readable format,

wherein the quantum dot is operably bound to a molecule that provides a reactive functionality that enables the quantum dot to be soluble in water.


Thursday, September 02, 2010

US Patent 7785669 - Method for making high density CNT array

In order to optimize the use of carbon nanotube arrays for thermal and electrical conduction it is important to have a high density of the nanotubes. However, typical CVD methods used to grow the nanotube produce insufficient density. This patent from Tsinghua University teaches a clever shrink wrap type of strategy to increase nanotube density. Claim 1 reads:  

1. A method for making a high-density carbon nanotube array, the method comprising the steps of:

(a) providing a substrate having a carbon nanotube array formed thereon;

(b) providing an elastic film;

(c) stretching the elastic film uniformly, and covering the elastic film on the carbon nanotube array;

(d) applying a pressure uniformly on the elastic film, and shrinking the elastic film and the carbon nanotube array under the pressure; and

(e) separating the carbon nanotube array from the elastic film to acquire a high-density carbon nanotube array.


US Patent 7785557 - Transparent and electrically conductive graphene film

Unidym is at the forefront of research and commercial development of carbon nanomaterials building upon the basic research conducted by Richard Smalley of Rice University. This latest patent encompasses transparent and electrically conductive graphene thin film material useful to constructing display and printable electronic technology. Claim 1 reads: 

1. A method of producing a film, comprising:

applying a dispersion comprising graphene flakes and a solvent to a surface of a substrate; and

removing the solvent from the dispersion such that the graphene flakes form an interconnected network;

wherein the graphene flakes are functionalized;

wherein the interconnected network has an optical transparency of at least 50%, and wherein the interconnected network is electrically conductive.


US Patent 7785496 - Electrochromatic nanoparticle ink

A variety of nanoparticle-based inks have been developed over the past years to be used as low-cost patterning of metal layers in semiconductor devices. This patent from Clemson University also teaches a nanoparticle-based ink but instead of metal patterns the ink is used to fabricate electrochromatic displays. Claim 1 reads:

1. A printable ink comprising

a carrier liquid;

a plurality of a first composite particle dispersed within the carrier liquid, the first composite particle having a maximum cross sectional diameter of less than about 500 nanometers, the first composite particle including a plurality of nanoparticles and an intrinsically conductive polymer, the first composite particle having a conductivity between about 1×10−4 S/cm and about 10 S/cm; and

a monomeric dopant in the intrinsically conductive polymer;

wherein the printable ink is an electrochromic ink, the first composite particles exhibiting a color change upon a change in the electrical state of the ink.


US Patent 7785472 - Structure-selective separation of CNTs

This patent from Japan Science and Technology Agency teaches a way to take advantage of the correlation between the structure-sensitive electronic energy level of a carbon nanotube and the redox potential of a metal to sort nanotubes based on diameter and chirality. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of separating, concentrating, or refining a carbon nanotube having a desired physical property from a sample solution, wherein the desired physical property includes at least one of a diameter or a chiral vector, the method comprising:

a) irradiating light to the sample solution containing carbon nanotubes in the presence of metal ions, so that the metal ions are respectively reduced and deposited on the carbon nanotubes, and

b) selecting the carbon nanotubes having the desired physical property by applying a predetermined magnetic field or chromatography to the carbon nanotubes so as to precipitate the carbon nanotubes with the desired physical property.


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

US Patent 7785415 - Nanostructure growth via localized heating

The manufacture of nanostructures such as silicon nanowires or carbon nanotubes often require a high temperature furnace which makes it difficult to integrate nanostructures with microelectronics. This patent from the Regents of the University of California teaches a clever alternative of using localized heating provided by resistive microstructures so that the fabrication chamber may be maintained in room temperature during nanostructure growth. Claim 1 reads:
1. An apparatus for generating synthesis of a nanostructure in a room temperature environment, comprising:

a resistive microstructure;

wherein the microstructure is configured to allow current to pass through the microstructure to generate a localized heating at a location on the microstructure; and

wherein said localized heating results in growth of one or more nanostructures.


US Patent 7785391 - Dendritic metal nanoparticles

This patent from Sandia Corp. teaches a manufacture of dendritic metal nanostructures having a high surface to volume to increase the efficiency of catalysts and sensing devices. Claim 1 reads:

1. A dendritic metal nanostructure comprising a metal dendrite and a surface-associated surfactant, wherein the metal dendrite comprises a two-dimensional sheet of metal branches.


US Patent 7784542 - Cement including nanoparticles

This patent from Halliburton Energy teaches forming a cement using nanoparticles which optimizes elasticity, ductility, and strength. Claim 1 reads: 
1. A method of cementing in a subterranean formation:

introducing a cement composition into the subterranean formation, wherein the cement composition comprises cement, a nano-particle essentially free of silica fume, latex, and water; and

allowing the cement composition to set in the subterranean formation.


US Patent 7784178 - CNT-LCP material for semiconductor fab container

Semiconductor fabrication wafer containers are purged with inert gases such as nitrogen to reduce moisture, oxygen, or other contaminants. However, the barrier materials typically used in such containers make repeated purging necessary. This patent from Intel teaches using a liquid crystal polymer with carbon nanomaterial as the barrier material to reduce the frequency of purging. Claim 1 reads:

1. An apparatus, comprising:

an enclosure to contain one or more environmentally sensitive devices associated with semiconductor manufacture,

the enclosure comprising a liquid crystal polymer (LCP) to provide a barrier against at least water and oxygen and providing purging requirements of purging of between about 30 to 50 hours to maintain a relative humidity in the enclosure of less than about 10%,

the liquid crystal polymer (LCP) comprising a carbon nanotube material, a carbon multi-wall nanotube (MWNT), or carbon powder in the LCP; and

a door coupled with the enclosure.