Tuesday, November 22, 2011

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.