Wednesday, November 30, 2011

US Patent 8067758 - Nanostructured nuclear radiation shielding

This patent teaches how nanostructured materials can be used to produce improved shielding for nuclear power plants or in medical diagnostic devices. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nuclear radiation and nuclear particles guiding material comprising:

a) a plurality of layers containing nanostructures, the nanostructures having the role to confine, guide and gyrate the nuclear radiation;

b) a plurality of layers comprising piezo-electric, ferro electric or magneto-electric material that changes the direction of the guided nuclear radiation inside the guide as a function of an electric signal applied on said material;

c) a plurality of layers having materials sensitive to the nuclear resonance of the radiation, wherein a selective nuclear radiation resonant absorber is formed therein and

d) a plurality of layers, fabrics or inserts to increase the chemical or heat resistance, as well as the resistance to radiation with energy lower than that of x-ray radiation energy.

US Patent 8066831 - Power generation using nanoenergetic material

Explosive materials are conventionally not thought to be useful for producing electrical power due to the byproduct of uncontrolled thermal and mechanical forces. This patent from the University of Missouri teaches how nanomaterials might change this perception by producing smaller, controllable explosive reactions during power generation. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of generating power comprising:

igniting nanoenergetic material that is on a substrate, the nanoenergetic material comprising a mixture of oxidizer and fuel nanostructures;

receiving, with a transducer, energy from a shockwave generated by combustion of the nanoenergetic; and

using the transducer to convert the energy from the shockwave into electrical energy.


US Patent 8066190 - Transparent credit card with nanostructured ink marking

Transparency is a desirable feature of credit and debit cards but can make the inclusion of encoding indicia difficult. This patent from American Express teaches using quantum dots and indium tin oxide nanoparticles in an ink for creating transparent security indicia on these cards readable by UV light. Claim 1 reads:

1. A transaction card having a portion comprising:

a layer that is at least one of translucent and transparent;

a first infrared blocking compound associated with said layer;

a second infrared blocking compound associated with said layer,

wherein said first infrared blocking compound further comprises nanocrystalline indium tin oxide particles,

wherein said second infrared blocking compound comprises a quantum dot compound.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

US Patent 8065634 - Analysis of nanotube logic circuits

This patent from Stanford University teaches designing and forming nanotube logic circuits that are immune to misaligned or misplaced carbon nanotubes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for validating that a nanotube logic network having a plurality of regions is immune to misaligned nanotubes, the method comprising:

determining, by a computing device comprising a processor, each separate path through a plurality of adjoining regions of the plurality of regions from an input contact region to an output contact region, wherein each of the plurality of regions has an assigned Boolean function based on a conductivity of the respective region, wherein the plurality of regions comprises at least one gate region and at least one nonconductive region or doped region;

determining, by the computing device, a path function for each separate path based on the assigned Boolean function of each of the plurality of adjoining regions in the separate path;

determining, by the computing device, a combined path function based on the path function for each separate path; and

validating the nanotube logic network if the combined path function is equivalent to an intended logic function of the nanotube logic network.


US Patent 8064253 - CNT multi-valued memory

This patent from Toshiba teaches a way to create more reliable multiple bit memory transistors using carbon nanotubes or nanowires. Claim 1 reads:

1. A multivalued memory device comprising:

a first multivalued memory transistor and a second multivalued memory transistor,

wherein the first multivalued transistor has a channel made from at least one carbon nanotube or nanowire, and

the second multivalued transistor has a channel made from at least two carbon nanotubes or nanowires,

wherein data is stored by varying the number of carbon nanotubes or nanowires used in each of the respective channels, wherein the channels are at least one carbon nanotube or nanowire which allows current to flow through it.


US Patent 8063448 - Mem-resistor multi-gate FET

In order to continue the scaling predicted by Moore's Law multi-gate transistors will be necessary in the coming decade. There has also been an increasing interest in nanoscale thin films to achieve memory resistive effects for non-volatile memory. This patent from Infineon Technologies encompasses both these trends resulting in a multi-gate memory transistor having improved data retention and reduced size. Claim 1 reads:

1. A memory device comprising:

a multi gate field effect transistor having a fin with a contact area comprising a cross section of the fin; and

a programmable memory element abutting the contact area.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

US Patent 8062697 - Inkjet fabrication of CNT field emitters

This patent from Applied Nanotech has priority going back to 2001 and includes some broad claims for forming field emission displays using inkjet deposition of carbon nanotube materials. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for making a field emission cathode comprising the step of

selectively depositing a field emitter mixture onto a substrate using an ink jet dispenser,

wherein the field emitter mixture further comprises carbon nanotubes and other nanoparticles comprising other forms of carbon.


US Patent 8062554 - Electromagnetic field dispersion of nanoparticles

In order to evenly disperse nanoparticles into polymer composites techniques involving extrusion or functionalization of the nanoparticles have been used. However, these techniques have resulted in damage to the nanoparticles or a reduction in desired mechanical properties of the composite. This patent from Raytheon teaches an alternative dispersion method based on the application of electromagnetic fields. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for dispersing nanostructures in a composite matrix material, comprising:

adding a plurality of nanostructures into the composite matrix material; and

applying a substantially uniform electromagnetic field to the composite matrix material in a radial direction extending between an interior point of the composite matrix material and an outer edge of the composite matrix material,

wherein the application of the electromagnetic field causes the plurality of nanostructures to: substantially disperse throughout the composite matrix material; and

substantially align with the electromagnetic field.


US Patent 8062407 - Production of silver nanoparticles using a household microwave

This patent from Northwest Missouri State University teaches a relatively simple and inexpensive method to create silver nanoparticles useful in antimicrobial solutions. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of producing silver nanoparticles comprising the steps of:

providing an aqueous solution containing a quantity of silver nitrate and a quantity of a carbohydrate reductant;

heating said solution in a household microwave oven;

separating and collecting silver nanoparticles from said solution; and

recovering unreacted silver ions from said solution.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

US Patent 8060217 - Nanowire neural device

This patent from Korea's Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation teaches how nanowires can be used to form a neural interface without killing nerve cells. Claim 1 reads:

1. A neural device for at least one of obtaining electric signals from nerve fibers or transmitting signals thereto, comprising:

at least one nanowire configured to be inserted in the nerve fibers;

a processing module electrically connected with the at least one nanowire; and

a base, connected to the processing module, the base comprising: a through-hole in the base comprising an inner circumference, and a nanowire support fixed to the inner circumference of the through-hole;

wherein the at least one nanowire is attached to the nanowire support.


US Patent 8058640 - Branched nanowires

This is the latest patent from Charles Lieber's group at Harvard teaching a new form of branched nanowire useful to improve light emission devices. Claim 1 reads:

1. An article, comprising:

a branched nanoscale wire comprising a vertex comprising at least a first segment having a first composition;

a second segment having a second composition different from the first composition; and

a third segment, wherein the vertex defines a T junction of the first, second, and third segments.


US Patent 8057863 - Electrostatic force assisted deposition of graphene

This patent from the Regents of the University of California teaches a maskless deposition method for patterning graphene films to create ultrahigh mobility electronic devices. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of depositing graphene comprising:

bringing a stamp into contact with a substrate over a contact area, the stamp having one or more layers of the graphene covering the contact area;

developing an electric field over the contact area; and

removing the stamp from the vicinity of the substrate which leaves at least a layer of the graphene substantially covering the contact area.


US Patent 8057777 - Controlling chirality of nanotubes

There have been many laboratory methods proposed to separate semiconducting from metallic carbon nanotubes after fabrication but most of these methods complicate industrial production of nanotubes. This method from Nanocomp Technology instead introduces an approach applied during manufacture where the chirality of the nanotubes which determines the semiconducting or metallic properties is controlled. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for manufacturing nanotubes, the method comprising:

exposing a plurality of catalyst particles from which nanotubes can grow to a substantially high frequency field;

resonating the catalyst particles at a selected resonant frequency keyed to a radial breathing mode unique to a desired chiral nature of a nanotube to be manufactured; and

allowing those nanotubes having a resonant frequency substantially similar to the selected resonant frequency, and thus the unique desired chiral nature, to be grown.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

US Patent 8057776 - Production of carbon nanotubes from microalgae

This patent is from United Arab Emirates University and teaches a new type of carbon nanotube fabrication process using algae as the source material for the nanotubes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of forming carbon nanotubes from microalgae, comprising:

heating microalgae in an inert atmosphere to form carbon black;

mixing the carbon black with at least one auto-ignition substance; and

converting the carbon black to carbon nanotubes in a sealed chamber by heating a mixture of the carbon black and the auto-ignition substance.


US Patent 8057686 - Molecular tag for nanotube separation

This patent from Micron Technology teaches a method of removing defective carbon nanotubes based on molecular tags which are chemisorbed on defective portions of the nanotubes.

1. A defective nanotube separation method comprising:

depositing by atomic layer deposition a tag on a nanotube having a conductive, semiconductive, or insulative type of intrinsic conductivity in a nanotube mixture, the nanotube having a defect, the tag depositing at the defect where a deposition rate is greater than on another nanotube in the mixture lacking the defect, the other nanotube having the same type of intrinsic conductivity as the tagged nanotube, and the tag not depositing on the other nanotube;

removing the tagged nanotube from the mixture by using the tag; and

after the removing, the mixture containing the untagged other nanotube having the same type of intrinsic conductivity as the tagged nanotube.


US Patent 8057682 - Plant synthesis of nanoparticle metals for decontamination

This patent from VeruTEK Technologies relates to metal nanoparticles formed with solutions of plant extracts and the use of these metal nanoparticles in removing contaminants from soil and groundwater. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for reducing the concentration of a contaminant in a medium, comprising:

combining a metal nanoparticle with the medium;

introducing a plant-based surfactant into the medium; and

allowing the metal nanoparticle to reduce the concentration of or stimulate biological reduction of the concentration of the contaminant.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

US Patent 8053782 - Graphene phototransistor

Graphene has become increasing popular in the last few years for its potential in achieving high speed nanoelectronics. This patent from IBM teaches additional advantages of graphene to achieve photodetection over a broader range of wavelengths than conventional semiconductor materials. Claim 1 reads:

1. A photodetecting device comprising:

a. a substrate;

b. a gate oxide layer deposited on said substrate;

c. a channel layer of graphene deposited on said gate oxide layer; and

d. source and drain contact regions disposed on said graphene layer wherein multiple source and drain regions are provided.


US Patent 8053760 - CNT thin film transistor

There have been numerous patents issued over the past ten years for thin film transistors using carbon nanotube material. This latest version is from Hon Hai Precision (Foxconn) and teaches a CNT thin film transistor with improved carrier mobility. Claim 1 reads:

1. A thin film transistor comprising:

a source electrode;

a drain electrode spaced from the source electrode;

a semiconductor layer comprising a carbon nanotube structure, the carbon nanotube structure comprises of carbon nanotubes; and

a gate electrode insulated from the source electrode, the drain electrode, and the semiconducting layer by an insulating layer, wherein the carbon nanotube structure is connected to both the source electrode and the drain electrode, an angle exist between each carbon nanotube of the carbon nanotube structure and a surface of the semiconductor layer, and the angle ranges from about 0 degrees to about 15 degrees.


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

US Patent 8053135 - Nanoparticle thin film for energy storage

This patent from Samsung teaches a catalyst layer for a fuel cell formed from metal nanoparticles and includes some broad claims covering the layer. Claim 1 reads:

1. A microporous thin film coated on a substrate, the microporous thin film comprising metal nanoparticles and having a microporous structure with porosity of at least about 20%, wherein the metal nanoparticles have an average particle size ranging from about 1 to about 10 nm.


US Patent 8052989 - Method of coating a medical device with CNT foam

Carbon nanotubes have been found to be useful as coatings for stents and catheters to provide drug delivery. This patent from Boston Scientific Scimed teaches one method to provide a uniform porous coating of carbon nanotubes on implantable medical devices. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of coating a medical device, comprising

assembling an array of vertically-oriented carbon nanotubes on a surface of the medical device;

contacting the array of carbon nanotubes with a liquid; and

evaporating the liquid to form a cellular foam made of carbon nanotubes.


US Patent 8052951 - CNTs grown on bulk materials

This patent from UT-Battelle teaches a way to use different types of support substrates on which to grow carbon nanotube materials and includes some broad claims covering bulk nanotube structures. Claim 1 reads:

1. A bulk nanotube structure comprising:

a bulk support media;

a metal catalyst species comprising aluminum disposed adjacent the bulk support media; and

a plurality of carbon nanotubes disposed adjacent the metal catalyst species.


Tuesday, November 08, 2011

US Patent 8052855 - CNT gas sensor

This patent from Samsung teaches a carbon nanotube gas sensor having improved sensitivity for sensing stable gases such as carbon dioxide and improving the adhesion between carbon nanotubes and electrodes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A carbon nanotube gas sensor comprising:

a substrate;

an insulating layer formed on the substrate;

electrodes formed on a same plane of the insulating layer; and

carbon nanotube barriers, which protrude higher than the electrodes, and are disposed in spaces between the electrodes; and

gas detecting spaces formed on the electrodes between the carbon nanotube barriers;

wherein ends of the carbon nanotube barriers are exposed, and the carbon nanotube barriers each comprise a plurality of carbon nanotubes, a first organic polymer, and a different second organic polymer.


US Patent 8052075 - Microwave purification of single walled carbon nanotubes

This patent from Micron Technology teaches a way to remove the metallic type of single walled carbon nanotubes leaving single walled nanotubes useful as semiconducting material. Claim 1 reads:

1. A process, comprising:

treating a mixture of metallic carbon nanotubes and semiconductive carbon nanotubes in a liquid by applying microwave energy, the liquid selected such that the semiconductive carbon nanotubes do not significantly decompose in the liquid,

wherein treating the mixture is carried out under conditions of applying the microwave energy to the liquid containing the metallic carbon nanotubes and semiconductive carbon nanotubes to remove metallic carbon nanotubes but to leave semiconductive carbon nantoubes.


US Patent 8051859 - Sputter deposition of nanoparticles on cigarette paper

This is the latest patent from Philip Morris covering a way to deposit nanoparticles during the fabrication of cigarette products in order to assist in the filtration of harmful gases such as carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for physical vapor deposition of nanoscale particles directly on a substrate comprising:

supporting the substrate in a chamber having a target;

forming nanoscale particles from the target; and

depositing the nanoscale particles directly on the substrate

wherein the substrate is selected from the group consisting of tobacco cut filler, cigarette paper and cigarette filter material.


Thursday, November 03, 2011

US Patents 8050430 and 8050431 - CNT sound generator

These are the latest in a series of patents from Beijing FUNATE Innovation Technology and Hon Hai Precision (Foxconn) based on newly discovered applications of carbon nanotubes in sound generation based on a thermoacoustic effect. Claim 1 (of US Patent 8050431) reads:

1. An apparatus, the apparatus comprising:

an electromagnetic signal device; and

a sound wave generator, the sound wave generator comprises a carbon nanotube structure, the carbon nanotube structure comprises one or more carbon nanotube films, each carbon nanotube film comprises a plurality of carbon nanotubes entangled with each other;

wherein the electromagnetic signal device is configured to transmit an electromagnetic signal to the carbon nanotube structure, the carbon nanotube structure is configured to convert the electromagnetic signal into heat and transfer the heat to a medium in contact with the sound wave generator, causing a thermoacoustic effect.

Labels: ,

US Patent 8049514 - Nanotube electron emitter for IC inspection

This patent from Micron Technology teaches a way to improve the resolution of in situ monitoring during the fabrication of integrated circuits by using electron emitting carbon nanotubes in place or the more conventional optical probing methods. Claim 1 reads:

1. A system for testing integrated circuit substrates, comprising:

a nanotube emitter assembly to transmit an electrical signal to an integrated circuit substrate; and

a sensor electrically coupled to the nanotube emitter assembly to sense current associated with the electrical signal and induced through the integrated circuit substrate,

wherein the nanotube emitter assembly is configured to dry etch insulation material from an incompletely etched recess of the integrated circuit substrate.


US Patent 8049106 - Semiconductor nanowire network for a solar cell

This patent comes from research conducted at the University of Florida and teaches a way to use semiconductor nanowires to form high area contact interfaces to improve the efficiency of solar cells. Claim 1 reads:

1. A solar cell comprising an active layer, the active layer comprising:

a first layer comprising a first composition;

a second layer comprising a second composition; and

a composite layer disposed between said first and said second layer, said composite layer comprising an interpenetrated network of a third composition and a fourth composition,

wherein the third composition extends from said first layer to said second layer throughout a thickness of said composite layer, and said fourth composition extends from said second layer to said first layer through said third composition throughout said thickness of said composite layer,

wherein at least one of said third composition and said fourth composition comprises a plurality of semiconducting nanowires, wherein said semiconducting nanowires comprise InP, Si, GaAs or GaN.


Wednesday, November 02, 2011

US Patent 8048688 - Improving thermal and mechanical characteristics of nanotube arrays

This patent from Samsung teaches a way to improve the properties of carbon nanotubes used as a thermal interface material for cooling IC devices. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for increasing thermal conductivity and thermal performance of material comprising an array of any of (i) carbon nanotubes (CNTs) arranged vertically, (ii) carbon nanofibers (CNFs) arranged vertically, and (iii) nanowires arranged vertically, comprising:

repeatedly applying a compressive force to said material, wherein the compressive force is applied in a direction parallel to the any of (i) carbon nanotubes (CNTs) arranged vertically, (ii) carbon nanofibers (CNFs) arranged vertically, and (iii) nanowires arranged vertically.


US Patent 8048567 - Nanofiber structured anode for secondary battery

This patent from Korean researchers teaches a rechargable battery with higher speed charging/discharging rates by using nanostructured materials. Claim 1 reads:

1. An anode for a secondary battery, comprising:

an anode collector; and

a negative active material compressed on at least one surface of the collector and being a thin porous metal oxide layer with a tangled web structure of nano-fibers composed of at least one of nano-grains, nano-rods, and nano-particles.


US Patent 8048547 - Biological fuel cells with nanoporous membranes

This patent based on work done at the U.S. Naval Research Labs helps enable miniaturization of biological fuel cells for powering MEMS or NEMS sensor arrays. Claim 1 reads:

1. A fuel cell comprising:

an anode chamber,

a cathode chamber, and

a nanoporous membrane having a pore size from about 100 nm to about 1000 nm between the anode chamber and the cathode chamber,

wherein the nanoporous membrane sequesters a microbe in the anode chamber and wherein the nanoporous membrane allows nutrients to flow from the cathode chamber to the anode chamber.


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

US Patent 8048485 - Continuous production of carbon nanostructures

Most carbon nanotube production methods are batch processes and do not facilitate the continuous production of carbon nanotubes in large amounts. However, this patent from Qinetiq Limited teaches one method which may allow continuous deposition of CNT films for high throughput production. Claim 1 reads:

1. A process for growing carbon nanostructures, in which the nanostructures are grown on a continuous, elongate, heated catalytic substrate using chemical vapour deposition to form a coated substrate, the process involving movement of the continuous substrate through one or more deposition chambers, wherein the carbon nanostructures are grown in a continuous or semi-continuous manner, and wherein the deposited carbon nanostructures are removed from the substrate in a further continuous or semi-continuous step.


US Patent 8048474 - Graphene memory resistance cell

In the past few years Sharp and Samsung have been developing new forms of high endurance non-volatile memory called RRAM based on metal oxide materials. This patent from SanDisk 3D teaches the manufacture of a new variation of RRAM based on graphene. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of making a nonvolatile memory cell, comprising:

forming a steering element; and

forming a graphene storage element;

wherein the step of forming the graphene storage element comprises:

providing a graphene colloid; and

coating the graphene colloid over a substrate to form a graphene layer.


US Patent 8048441 - Nanobead releasing medical devices

This patent from Abbott Cardiovascular Systems includes some broad claims for drug delivery vascular stents including nanobead layers encapsulating bioactive agents. Claim 1 reads:

1. A medical device comprising

a coating, the coating comprising nanobeads embedded in the coating, and the coating comprising a polymer and a material selected from the group consisting of ceramic materials, bioglass, and combinations thereof;

wherein the coating provides for a controlled release of a bioactive agent or agents encapsulated in the nanobeads, and the nanobeads comprise the one or more bioactive agents and a matrix, the one or more bioactive agents dispersed in the matrix of the nanobeads and the nanobeads being without a shell surrounding the matrix.