Monday, October 24, 2011

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.