Thursday, October 27, 2011

US Patent 8044866 - Optically reconfigurable CNT RF antenna

This patent from Boeing teaches how carbon nanotubes can be used to reconfigure RF antennas so as to make them resistant to electromagnetic attack and enable easy change of frequency and direction of operation without adding complex electronics. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method to electronically steer an antenna's direction of radiation, the method comprising:

providing a surface-conformal reflector that comprises an array of addressable optical media that illuminate carbon nanotubes;

radiating a radio frequency signal from a transmitter in the direction of the reflector; and

selectively addressing the optical media with one or more optical signals to illuminate the carbon nanotubes and switch a state of the carbon nanotubes between their non-metallic states and metallic states to alter a reflection of the radiated radio frequency signal.


US Patent 8044750 - SiC/metal nanoresonator

This patent from Samsung teaches a nanoscale resonator capable of operating at room temperature with a resonance frequency in the GHz range. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nano-resonator including a beam having a composite structure, comprising:

a silicon carbide beam;

a metal conductor on the silicon carbide beam, the metal conductor having a density lower than a density of the silicon carbide beam; and

an oxide layer on the metal conductor.


US Patent 8044472 - Graphene pressure sensor

The application of stress to plural layers of graphene alters the semiconductor bandgap which changes the conductivity of the graphene layers. This patent from Kulite Semiconductor Products teaches using this property to construct a graphene-based pressure sensor. Claim 1 reads:

1. A transducer comprising:

a substrate a plurality of graphene semiconductive structures located entirely on a surface of the substrate, each of the graphene semiconductive structures being supported along its entire length by the substrate, wherein an electrical property of the graphene semiconductive structures changes with an applied force;

one or more metal pads securing at least one of the graphene semiconductive structures to the substrate; and

a circuit coupled to at least some of the graphene semiconductive structures to provide an output responsive to the change in the electrical property, the output being indicative of the applied force.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

US Patent 8044388 - Nanotube-semiconductor contact

This latest patent from Nantero has priority going back to 2001 and includes basic claims for interfacing carbon nanotubes with semiconductor material. Claim 1 reads:

1. A conductive article comprising:

a semiconductor material substrate;

a patterned conductive trace disposed on the semiconductor material substrate wherein the trace includes:

a non-woven nanotube fabric layer comprising a plurality of unaligned nanotubes providing a plurality of conductive pathways along the extent of the trace, and a metal layer adjacent to the non-woven nanotube fabric layer.


US Patent 8044379 - High density silicon nanowire bundles

This patent from Hitachi teaches the formation of high surface area silicon nanowire arrays useful to increase the sensitivity of nanosensors and contacts in nanoelectronic devices. Claim 1 reads:

1. A structure comprising:

well-aligned, densely packed bundles of silicon nanowires, each nanowire having a diameter of less than about 50 nm and a length of 10 nm -100 microns, the dimensions of the nanowires being substantially uniform, the structure consisting essentially of silicon and oxygen, or compounds thereof, and the structure having a porosity of at least 80%.


US Patent 8043942 - Method for producing core-shell nanowires

This patent from Samsung teaches process steps to form silicon nanowire core/shell pn junctions for use as high efficiency light emitting diodes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for producing core-shell nanowires, the method comprising the steps of:

(a) forming a metal layer directly on a substrate;

(b) forming an insulating film on the metal layer;

(c) patterning the insulating film;

(d) forming a plurality of nanowire cores in a direction perpendicular to the substrate on areas of the substrate from which portions of the insulating film are removed by the patterning; and

(e) forming first nanowire shells on surfaces of the nanowire cores to produce the core-shell nanowires.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

US Patent 8043687 - Graphene layer growth

This patent from HP may provide a step forward for the mass production of graphene films useful for the development of higher speed nanoelectronics. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for forming a graphene layer, the method comprising:

establishing an insulating layer on a substrate such that at least one seed region is formed therein, the insulating layer including a first surface that faces the substrate and a second surface opposed to the first surface that faces away from the substrate; and

exposing a seed material in the at least one seed region to a carbon-containing precursor gas, thereby initiating nucleation of the graphene layer on the seed material and enabling lateral growth of the graphene layer along at least a portion of the second surface of the insulating layer.


US Patent 8043593 - Silicon nanopowder

This patent has early priority (2003) and teaches a method of forming high purity crystalline silicon nanopowder including doping components useful to nanoelectronic processing. Claim 1 reads:

1. A silicon powder consisting of aggregated spherical crystalline silicon particles obtained by coalescence of spherical silicon particles in the reaction zone of a hot wall reactor, wherein the aggregated crystalline silicon powder has a BET surface area of 20 to 150 m2/g.


US Patent 8043409 - Production of indium-based nanowires

This patent teaches a method which may simplify the mass production of transparent, conductive nanomaterials based on indium nanowires. Claim 1 reads:

1. A production method of an indium-based nanowire product comprising indium-based nanowires, wherein the method comprises the step of:

disproportionation-reacting particles including indium subhalide as main components in a nonaqueous solvent, to obtain nanowires including metal indium as main components.


Monday, October 24, 2011

US Patent 8038909 - Nanoparticle solution for fabrication of photovoltaic cell

This is the latest patent from NanoSolar teaching forming one of their nanoparticle solutions for printing solar cells on flexible and less expensive substrates. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for fabricating a liquid containing intermixed elements of groups IB and IIIA, and VIA, comprising the steps of:

forming non-oxide nanoparticles containing elements from group IB; IIIA; and VIA;

combining the non-oxide nanoparticles to form a liquid that serves as an ink,

wherein forming the non-oxide nanoparticles includes spray co-precipitation of two or more reactants.


US Patent 8038887 - Membranes for nanometer scale mass fast transport

The development of membranes with nanoscale pores would be useful for chemical and biological separation or purification and simulations have shown that water molecules can be transported quickly through carbon nanotubes due to the atomic smoothness of the nanotube inner surface. This patent from Lawrence Livermore National Labs teaches a membrane containing carbon nanotube channels which may provide fast separation of gases and fluids on the nanoscale. Claim 1 reads: 

1. A membrane for enhanced fluid transport comprising:

a vertically-aligned array of carbon nanotubes, wherein the nanotubes have average pore size of about 2 nm or less,

a matrix material disposed between the carbon nanotubes and wherein the matrix material has negligible molecular permeability.


US Patent 8038479 - CNT electrical connectors

This patent from NanoRidge Materials teaches a reduced weight electrical power cable based on carbon nanotube/polymer composites. Claim 1 reads:

1. An electrical connector comprising:

at least one polymer;

carbon nanotubes;

wherein the carbon nanotubes are dispersed in the at least one polymer to form an electrically-conducting carbon nanotube/polymer dispersion; and

an electrical conductor comprising two electrical connection points;

wherein the electrical conductor comprises at least one metal;

wherein a first of the two electrical connection points contacts the carbon nanotube/polymer dispersion; and

wherein the electrical conductor is configured for transmitting current therethrough between the carbon nanotube/polymer dispersion and a second of the two electrical connection points.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

US Patent 8037775 - Passive hit locator including CNT arrays

In combat situations, it may be advantageous to know the location of damage from projectiles on equipment. This patent from Raytheon teaches how to use single walled carbon nanotube material to construct light weight sensor arrays fabrics allowing for a simpler hit detection system. Claim 1 reads:

1. A system for locating impacts, comprising:

at least two passive arrays of a plurality of aligned single walled carbon nanotubes, each carbon nanotube operable to emit electrical activity when compressed;

at least one sensor coupled to the at least two arrays configured to detect emitted electrical activity from the plurality of single walled carbon nanotubes; and

a computer configured to determine the location of an impact on the at least two arrays in response to the detected emitted electrical activity from the plurality of single walled carbon nanotubes.


US Patent 8034361 - Stent coating incorporating nanoparticles

Stents are used to hold open body passages and are often treated with medical compounds to provide localized therapy. This patent from Advanced Cardiovascular Systems teaches how nanoparticles can be used to facilitate medical coating of stents and prolong their effectiveness. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for incorporating an active agent on an implantable medical device, the method comprising:

(a) fabricating nanoparticles containing the active agent;

(b) dispersing the nanoparticles in an organic phase to make a suspension; and

(c) applying the suspension onto the implantable medical device such that the nanoparticles are incorporated on the implantable medical device, and stirring the suspension during the application, wherein the implantable medical device is a stent; and

wherein the application comprises dipping the implantable medical device into the suspension.


US Patent 8034315 - Method of forming CNT electronics

This patent from Micron Technology teaches a way that carbon nanotube fibers can be arranged to form memory cells capable of storing multi-bit states. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of forming a device, comprising:

providing a plurality of crossed carbon nanotubes over a semiconductor substrate, the crossed carbon nanotubes forming an undulating upper topography extending across the carbon nanotubes and within spaces between the carbon nanotubes, the spaces having maximum lateral widths, a global maximum lateral width being the greatest lateral width of any of the spaces; and

depositing a material over the crossed nanotubes, the material being deposited as particles that have minimum cross-sectional equatorial widths exceeding the global maximum lateral width.


Monday, October 10, 2011

More evidence HP's "memristor" is fraud

"Bait-and-switch" scams are famously employed by used car salesman who advertise quality cars but sell lemons once customers take the bait. The "memristor" that HP has been claiming for the past few years is a scientific example of such a bait-and-switch scam. Originally HP claimed that thin films of TiO2 had the same properties of the memristor which was predicted by Leon Chua as a new 4th fundamental circuit element several decades ago. The problem is that the TiO2 materials do not obey the original definition of the memristor which requires a relationship between charge and magnetic flux linkage. However, HP and Chua have encouraged others (including myself, link) to incorrectly use the term memristor to enhance their reputation without regard to the scientific merits of their claim.

Recently at least a few scientists have begun to point out the illegitimacy of one of the paper's published by the HPLabs group. In the October 2011 issue of Applied Physics A: Material Science and Processing incorrect statements made by the researchers at HPLabs which are being foolishly circulated by other naive scientists was brought to light (link). Additional facts pointing to the memristor fraud conducted by HPLabs and Leon Chua include:

1) HP's memristor patents are junk. Both Samsung (US 7417271) and Sharp (US 7796416) own the main patents covering the memory resistance effects of TiO2 that HP has taken credit for. HP's related patents are mostly focused on molecular memory and nanowire crossbars (for a more detailed analysis see this link).

2) The discovery of TiO2 memory resistance effects dates back to the 1960's (link) and Bernard Widrow originally defined "memistor" to describe memory resistance effects for simulating neurons back in 1960 (link). It was only due to Leon Chua's ignorance of research in material science and neural models of Bernard Widrow that he considered his memristor an original idea. The researchers at HPLabs fail to correct this even though it has been pointed out to them repeatedly (by myself and others). 

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Sunday, October 09, 2011

US Patent 8030843 - Quantum dot phosphors for solid state lighting

This patent from WiSys Technology Foundation teaches a way to use quantum dots in an LED to simulate a white light close to diffuse sunlight. Claim 1 reads:

1. A solid-state lamp comprising:

a light emitting diode providing an ultraviolet light output;

a quantum dot phosphor receiving the ultraviolet light to emit a white light, the quantum dot phosphor comprising:

(a) a quantum dot;

(b) a capping layer surrounding the quantum dot; and

(c) an activator material attached to the capping layer to be spaced from the quantum dot by the capping layer so as to promote phosphorescence with the quantum dot.


US Patent 8030833 - Metal nanowire electron emitter

Carbon nanomaterials have been popular  materials considered for Surface Emission Displays (SEDs) or Field Emission Displays (FEDs) due to their high emission efficiency but fabrication of large area arrays can be difficult. This patent from the University of Illinois teaches alternative nanomaterials for field emission based on gold or silver nanowires. Claim 1 reads:

1. An apparatus, comprising:

a substrate;

a plurality of freestanding nanowires attached to the substrate, the nanowires each being monocrystalline and including at least one of gold and silver; and

wherein the nanowires each include a respective free end, each have a first dimension of 500 nanometers or less, and each have a second dimension extending from the substrate to the respective free end, the second dimension being at least 5 times greater than the first dimension; and

wherein the nanowires contact a substrate surface composed of a dielectric.


US Patent 8030784 - Semiconductor nanoparticle surface modification

This patent from Hitachi includes some broad claims for surface treated semiconductor nanoparticles to provide improved stability and durability. Claim 1 reads:

1. A modified semiconductor nanoparticle, which is modified with a functional group-containing polymer which is electrostatically bound to a semiconductor nanoparticle to form a modified semiconductor.


US Patent 8030664 - Nanowire quantum well LED

This patent from Samsung teaches increasing the light emitting area an efficiency of LEDs by using a nanowire array and quantum well structure. Claim 1 reads:

1. A light emitting device comprising:

a substrate; and

a nanowire array formed on the substrate and having a plurality of nanowire structures, wherein each of the nanowire structures comprises a stack having a semiconductor layer;

an active layer formed on the semiconductor layer, the active layer comprising a quantum well structure;

an insulating layer formed on the active layer; and a metal layer formed on the insulating layer.


US Patent 8030623 - CNT photoacoustic EM sensor

This patent from Hon Hai Precision (Foxconn) is based on the finding that carbon nanotubes act to convert electromagnetic waves (such as from a laser) into sound waves. Claim 1 reads: 

1. A method for measuring properties of an electromagnetic signal comprising steps of:

providing an electromagnetic signal measuring device comprising a carbon nanotube structure, the carbon nanotube structure comprising a plurality of carbon nanotubes;

receiving an electromagnetic signal by the carbon nanotube structure in the electromagnetic signal measuring device; and

measuring an intensity of the electromagnetic signal by sound waves produced by the carbon nanotube structure.

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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

US Patent 8030185 - Fabricating nanoheterostructures

This patent is from the Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan and teaches a metal/semiconductor nano-hetero structure for absorbing solar energy and converting light energy into chemical energy, hydrogen energy, or electrical energy. Claim 1 reads:

1. A fabricating method of a nano-hetero structure, comprising:

fabricating at least a nano-semiconductor base; and

adding a metal ion solution into an amine solvent containing the nano-semiconductor base such that a plurality of metal nanoparticles are grown on a surface of nano-semiconductor base to form the nano-hetero structure.


US Patent 8030168 - Nanowhisker DRAM

This patent from Micron Technology proposes a method to increase the density of DRAM memory cells by growing semiconductor nanowhiskers to form capacitive structures. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of forming a DRAM memory cell, comprising:

forming a wordline over a semiconductor substrate, and forming a capacitor storage node contact proximate the wordline;

growing a nanowhisker to have at least two dimensions of about 100 nanometers or less from beneath a catalytic material and from the capacitor storage node contact, and providing the nanowhisker to be electrically conductive; and

forming a capacitor dielectric layer and an outer capacitor electrode layer over the nanowhisker.


US Patent 8029759 - Producing CNTs from coal char

Coal is a basic material used to form carbon nanotubes but requires high temperature processing. This patent from Ohio University teaches a way to lower the required temperature by using electrolyzed coal char as the starting material. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of forming carbon nanotubes comprising subjecting an electrolyzed coal char to an elevated temperature in a controlled environment said temperature and said environment effective to form carbon nanotubes from said char.