Wednesday, July 06, 2011

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.