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.