Thursday, July 28, 2011

US Patent 7986083 - CNT electron emitters with reinforcement structures

This patent from Hon Hai Precision (Foxconn) includes claims to a carbon nanotube field emission display providing a reduced weight with greater structural integrity. Claim 1 reads:

1. An electron emission device, comprising:

a cathode electrode; and

a gate electrode insulated from the cathode electrode, the gate electrode comprising a carbon nanotube layer having a plurality of substantially uniformly distributed spaces, the carbon nanotube layer comprising at least one carbon nanotube film and a plurality of carbon nanotube reinforcement structures.

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US Patent 7985906 - Nanotube-based logic circuits

This patent from Nantero focuses on logic circuit designs based on their carbon nanotube switching fabrics. Claim 1 reads:

1. A Boolean logic circuit, comprising

at least one input terminal and an output terminal; and

a network of nanotube switching elements electrically disposed between said at least one input terminal and said output terminal, each of said nanotube switching elements comprising:

a first terminal;

a second terminal; and

a nanotube channel element;

wherein the nanotube channel element is configured to form a conductive path between the first and second terminals of the nanotube switching element in response to electrical stimulus applied to the nanotube switching element;

said network of nanotube switching elements effectuating a Boolean function transformation of Boolean signals on said at least one input terminal, said Boolean function transformation including a Boolean inversion within the function.


US Patent 7985666 - Silicon nanowire growth from silicon nanodots

Typically the growth of silicon nanowire arrays use metal catalytic material such as gold as reaction sites that determine where the nanowires grow. This patent from  Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute teaches an alternative method using silicon nanodots which may allow for a higher areal density of nanowires to be produced. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of manufacturing silicon nanowires comprising:

forming a silicon nanodot thin film having a plurality of silicon nanodots exposed on a substrate; and

growing the silicon nanowires on the silicon nanodot thin film using the silicon nanodots as a nucleation site.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

US Patent 7985627 - CNT thermal interface

This patent is the latest in a series of patents from Intel teaching ways to use carbon nanotubes to achieve high thermal conduction interfaces to cool integrated circuit packaging. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method, comprising:

oxidizing at least one nanotube rope in acid to cut it into short nanotubes with open ends having carboxyl linkages attached thereto;

forming organic moieties at the open ends; tethering an end of the short nanotubes to a surface of a first object; and

placing a surface of a second object in contact with another end of the short nanotubes to form a thermal path between the surface of the first object and the surface of the second object.


US Patent 7985454 - Low cost nanowire growth

This latest patent from Nanosys teaches a method which may bring mass production of nanowire devices closer to the mainstream. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method to produce a catalytic-coated nanowire growth substrate for nanowire growth, comprising:

(a) depositing a buffer layer on a substrate;

(b) treating the buffer layer with boiled water or steam following the depositing in step (a) to enhance interactions between the buffer layer and catalyst particles; and

(c) depositing catalytic particles on a surface of the buffer layer following the treating in step (b).


US Patent 7985385 - Programmable charge patterns for protein assembly

This patent from SRI International teaches a device to achieve protein crystallization using a bottom-up nanoscale approach which may be useful to future customization of drug design. Claim 1 reads:

1. A device for providing a purification of biomolecules, said device comprising:

a nanoscale substrate supporting an addressable nanoscale array, the addressable nanoscale array being programmable with charge patterns for selective molecule attraction; and

a means for exposing biomolecules, where said biomolecules are in a form amenable to a directable flow, to the nanoscale substrate in a manner such that the biomolecules are collected, thereby improving the purification of said biomolecules.


US Patent 7985367 - Glass nanoparticles by laser ablation

This patent from the Regents of the University of California includes some basic claims to the production of glass nanoparticles useful to the production of bioassays and LEDs. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for producing active glass nanoparticles, comprising

subjecting an active glass substrate material to a plurality of laser generated light pulses; and

collecting nanoparticles ejected from said substrate material;

wherein said nanoparticles exhibit upconversion luminescence.


Monday, July 25, 2011

US Patent 7983020 - CNT coated capacitor electrodes

This patent from Intel teaches how carbon nanotubes can be used to improve the decoupling capacitance used in delivering power to CPUs. Claim 1 reads:

1. A device comprising:

a capacitor comprising a first and second electrode and a capacitor dielectric between the first and second electrodes;

wherein at least one of the first and second electrodes comprise a plurality of carbon nanotubes coupled thereto; and

wherein the plurality of the carbon nanotubes are in direct physical contact with the capacitor dielectric.


US Patent 7982570 - CNT-enhanced inductor

This patent from General Electric teaches how carbon nanotubes can be used to enhance the Q-factor (a measure of energy storage versus energy dissipation) of inductors used in magnetic resonance imaging. Claim 1 reads:

1. An inductor comprising an electrical conductor wound in a magnetic flux concentrating pattern, the electrical conductor comprising:

a substrate formed into a shape of the inductor; and

a plurality of carbon nanotubes substantially aligned with an axis along a center of the electrical conductor, wherein the plurality of carbon nanotubes are grown on the substrate.


US Patent 7982209 - CNT crossbar memory with steering diode

This patent from SanDisk3D teaches an improved version of the carbon nanotube memory originally developed by Nantero in which p-i-n diodes are incorporated into the memory cells to avoid current sneak paths which make addressing of memory cells difficult. Claim 1 reads:

1. A memory cell comprising:

a first conductor;

a steering element, wherein the steering element is a vertically oriented p-i-n junction diode;

a carbon nanotube fabric; and

a second conductor, wherein the steering element and the carbon nanotube fabric are arranged electrically in series between the first conductor and the second conductor, and wherein the entire memory cell is formed above a substrate.


US Patent 7982204 - Unstable nanowire nitrides to form semiconductor structures

This patent from Intel teaches how metal nanowire nitrides can be used to improve layer adhesion during semiconductor fabrication processes. Claim 5 reads:

5. A semiconductor structure comprising:

a substrate;

a metal nanowire nitride layer over said substrate; and

a region of substantially nitride free metal formed in said layer.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

US Patent 7981818 - Lead-acid battery with nanofiber separator

This patent from P.H. Glatfelter teaches how nanofibers can be used in separators to prevent short circuits for smaller sizes of lead-acid batteries. Claim 1 reads:

1. A multilayer composite sheet for use in a lead-acid battery, comprising

a) a base layer comprising paper or a glass fiber mat;

b) a layer of polymeric nanofibers bonded with discrete adhesive particles to a first surface of the base layer; and

c) a scrim layer bonded with discrete adhesive particles to a surface of the layer of nanofibers opposite the base layer.


US Patent 7981464 - Nanopowder electronics

This patent is from PPG Industries Ohio with priority going back to 1996 and includes some basic claims to manufacturing electronics from ceramic nanopowder materials. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for manufacturing a product comprising one or more passive electronic components, wherein the method comprises:

suspending ceramic nanopowders in a solvent, thereby preparing a nanopowder dispersion or paste;

forming a layer from the nanopowder dispersion or paste such that the average grain size of the nanopowder in the layer is equal to or less than 100 nanometers; and

wherein the layer provides at least one passive electronic device function selected from the group consisting of capacitor, resistor, varistor and inductor.


US Patent 7981396 - SWCNT synthesis

This patent from Honda Motor describes a modified CVD method of single walled carbon nanotube growth which may provide a route to industrial scale synthesis. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for synthesizing carbon nanostructures, the method comprising:

providing a catalyst of metal nanoparticles, wherein the catalyst is supported on a powdered oxide substrate having a particle size of 0.5 μm to 5 μm;

entraining the catalyst in an inert gas; and

exposing the entrained catalyst to a carbon precursor gas at a temperature sufficient to form carbon nanostructures, wherein the carbon nanostructure is single-walled carbon nanotubes.


Monday, July 18, 2011

US Patent 7977643 - Nanoparticle radiation detector

This patent appears to include some basic claims for nanoparticle-based light detectors formed in a semiconducting matrix. Earlier work was done by Nanosys in this area (e.g. US 6878871, col. 15, lines 1-36, Fig. 1 ) related to nanocrystals or nanowires in a polymer matrix for photovoltaic conversion. Unfortunately this reference was not cited during examination. The difference may be the use of a semiconducting rather than polymer matrix. Claim 1 reads:

1. An assembly for converting radiation to electrical energy, comprising:

a host matrix of inorganic semiconducting material defining a first surface and a second surface and a thickness between the first and second surfaces;

a plurality of nanoparticles interspersed within the host matrix, the plurality of nanoparticles being capable of generating at least one charge carrier upon interaction with the radiation;

a first electrode disposed adjacent to the first surface of the host matrix; and

a second electrode disposed adjacent to the second surface of the host matrix.

US Patent 7977423 - CNT reinforced polymer

This patent has priority going back to 2003 and appears to include some basic claims for CNT enhanced polymers. Claim 1 reads:

1. Carbon nanotube reinforced polymer comprising a polymer and carbon nanotubes reinforcing the polymer, the carbon nanotube reinforced polymer having a conductivity percolation threshold of less than 1000000 Ω/cm at a carbon nanotube content of 1.5 wt. % and less, wherein the polymer is selected from a polyamide or a polystyrene based polymer.

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US Patents 7977007 and 7977013 - Nanowire based membrane electrode assemblies for fuel cells

These two latest patents from Nanosys includes basic claims covering nanowire structures used to enhance the efficiency of fuel cells.

1. A nanostructured catalyst support for a membrane electrode assembly of a fuel cell comprising an interconnected network of nanowires each having a metal catalyst deposited thereon wherein the catalyst metal comprises nanoparticles having a diameter less than about 10 nm, wherein the nanowire network defines a plurality of pores between the nanowires in the network, wherein the plurality of pores have an effective pore size of less than about 10 microns.

1. A nanowire for use in a fuel cell wherein the nanowire comprises a core which comprises silicon and at least one shell layer which comprises silicon carbide (SiC) having a catalyst metal and/or proton conducting coating deposited thereon.


US Patent 7976966 - CNT magnetic media

This patent teaches an interesting technique to use carbon nanotubes to enhance the maximum possible storage density of magnetic storage material. Claim 1 reads:

1. A magnetic tape, comprising:

a substrate; and

a ribbon of magnetic media layered on said substrate, said magnetic media comprising:

a plurality of magnetic nanoparticles contained within a carbon nanotube; and

a plurality of said carbon nanotubes encapsulated in a matrix.

US Patent 7976950 - Graphene transparent electrode

There are already a few patents around for graphene-based transparent electrodes (e.g. US 7449133)which may be a potential successor to ITO used in manufacture of flat panel electronic displays. This patent teaches one variation from Hitachi with high light transmission. Claim 1 reads:

1. A transparent conductive film, comprising graphene platelets overlapping one another to form a multilayer structure, wherein:

an average size of the graphene platelets is 50 nm or more;

each of the graphene platelets consists of single atomic layer or a plurality of atomic layers less than 9;

a total number of the atomic layers in the multilayer structure is 9 or less; and

the transparent conductive film has an electrical resistivity of 1.0×10−6 Ωm or less and a light transmission at a wavelength of 550 nm of 80% or more.


US Patent 7976948 - Nanophosphor

This patent from Konica Minolta Medical and Graphic includes some broad claims for electrostatically charged nano-phosphors which enhances luminance for applications in molecular labeling and displays. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nanosized phosphor,

wherein at least 90% of total particles have a particle size of 1 to 100 nm and an electrostatic charge amount of the total particles is from −20 μC/g to 5 μC/g.


US Patent 7976855 - Odor absorbing article using nanoparticles

This patent from Kimberly-Clark Worldwide teaches how nanoparticles including metal ions can be used to remove odors and can be incorporated into various industrial and consumer products including absorbent articles, air and water filters, household cleaners, fabrics, and paper towels. Claim 1 reads:

1. An odor absorbing article of manufacture, comprising:

a nonwoven web treated with a nanoparticle, the nanoparticle including silica, alumina, or combinations thereof and wherein the nanoparticle includes about 20-200 metal ions adsorbed onto the nanoparticle,

wherein the adsorbed metal ions include copper ion, iron ion or combinations thereof and are active sites on a surface of the nanoparticle for binding gaseous or odorous compounds to the nanoparticle surface removing the compound from a surrounding environment.


Thursday, July 07, 2011

US Patent 7973295 - Method for making transparent carbon nanotube film

This patent from Hon Hai Precision (Foxconn) includes some basic claims for a method of manufacturing transparent electrodes from carbon nanotube film. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for making a transparent carbon nanotube film, the method comprises the following steps:

(a) obtaining a carbon nanotube film; and

(b) irradiating the carbon nanotube film by a laser device with a power density greater than 0.1×104 W/m2.

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US Patent 7972819 - Disrupting cells and amplifying nucleic acids using gold nanorods

This patent from Samsung teaches how gold nanorods can be used in place of magnetic beads to improve cell lysis to obtain and amplify DNA. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of continuously disrupting cells and amplifying nucleic acids in a single microchamber comprising:

introducing a solution containing cells and unmodified gold nanorods into a microchamber;

irradiating a laser onto the gold nanorods to disrupt the cells; and

amplifying a nucleic acid from the disrupted cells in the microchamber.


US Patent 7972648 - Nanoparticle enhanced osseointegration

This patent from Biomet 3I teaches how nanoparticles can be useful to improve the properties of dental implants. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of forming an implant to be implanted into living bone, the method comprising the acts of:

roughening at least a portion of the implant surface to produce a microscale roughened surface;

forming a nanoscale roughened surface on the microscale roughened surface; and

depositing discrete nanoparticles on the nanoscale roughened surface though a one-step process of exposing the nanoscale roughened surface to a solution including the nanoparticles, the nanoparticles comprising a material having a property that promotes osseointegration, wherein a portion of the roughened surface is exposed between at least some of the discrete nanoparticles such that the exposed roughened portion between the discrete nanoparticles is for contacting bone.


Wednesday, July 06, 2011

US Patent 7972616 - Nanostructured adhesive bandage

This patent from Nanosys covers some biomedical innovations of nanotechnology providing a possible substitute for suturing with enhanced wound healing possibilities. Claim 1 reads:

1. A wound dressing comprising:

a plurality of nanostructures; and

a bandage that includes a fibrous web, wherein at least a portion of the plurality of nanostructures are incorporated within or associated with the fibrous web;

wherein at least a portion of the plurality of nanostructures include at least one coating material, wherein the nanostructures including the coating material are wholly or partially coated with the at least one coating material, and wherein a surface of the bandage is capable of adhering to a biological tissue surface due at least to van der Waals forces between at least a portion of the plurality of nanostructures and the biological tissue surface.


US Patent 7972560 - Zeptoliter droplet dispenser

This patent from Brookhaven Science Associates teaches a method to manufacture perhaps the smallest possible fluid delivery system in the world (zepto = 10-21). Claim 12 reads:

12. A method for making a pipette, the method comprising:

forming a carbon shell around at least part of a nanowire, the carbon shell comprising at least one layer of graphene; and

opening a channel in the shell, the channel having an approximate diameter of about 0.1 nanometers to about 5 nanometers, wherein opening a channel in the shell comprises:

focusing a high-energy beam onto a spot on the shell encapsulating a reservoir, the energy of the beam sufficient to remove the shell in a region comprising the spot.


US Patent 7972537 - CNT-polymer composite

This patent from Hon Hai Precision (Foxconn) teaches a variation of carbon nanotube-polymer composite useful for solar cell electrodes and supercapacitors by providing lower internal resistances. Claim 1 reads:

1. A carbon nanotube-conductive polymer composite comprising:

a plurality of carbon nanotubes which form a carbon nanotube network; and

a plurality of conductive polymer fibers adhered to the carbon nanotube network,

wherein the conductive polymer fibers are from about 100 nm to about 10 mm long and wherein the diameters of the conductive polymer fibers are from about 30 nm to about 120 nm.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

US Patent 7972437 - Hollow nanocrystals

This patent is from the Regents of the University of California and includes some basic claims for hollow nanocrystals which may be useful to applications involving ion exchange, molecular separation, catalysis, chromatography, microelectronics, and energy storage. Claim 1 reads:

1. A hollow nanocrystal, comprising:

a nanocrystal shell having a thickness of at least 0.5 nm, said nanocrystal shell enveloping an empty space and lacking a core, wherein, said nanocrystal shell forms a continuous three dimensional domain adopting a three dimensional arrangement of atoms in contrast to molecular sheets and is not perfectly single crystalline.


US Patent 7972426 - Nanomaterial security mark

This patent from HP teaches nanomaterial based inks used as authentication marks on checks, documents, or other media. Some relevant prior art not considered during the examination of this patent is US Patent 6,617,583 from M.I.T. and US Patent 7,917,298 (priority 2003) from Nanosys. Claim 1 reads:

1. An ink including light-activated components utilized for printing a security mark, comprising:

a first ink component that defines a first spectral property, the first component being chosen from a nanocrystal, a quantum dot, and a carbon nanotube;

a second ink component that defines a second spectral property different from said first spectral property, the second component being chosen from a nanocrystal, a quantum dot, and a carbon nanotube; and

a solvent in which said first and second ink components are dispersed;

wherein the first and second spectral properties are each a wavelength specific feature chosen from the group consisting of an absorptive feature and a Raman feature.


US Patent 7971489 - CNT load cell

This patent from Applied Materials teaches a strain gauge formed using carbon nanotubes used in characterizing semiconductor wafers in environments having background EM noise. Claim 10 reads:

10. A test wafer assembly for characterizing semiconductor processing equipment, comprising:

a first wafer;

a second wafer, parallel to said first wafer;

a plurality of spaced-apart carbon nanotube load cells positioned between and attached to both of said first and second wafers; and

an electrical device, independently electrically connected to each of said plurality of carbon nanotube load cells;

wherein said electrical device is configured to monitor and record the resistivity of said load cells.