Tuesday, May 31, 2011

US Patent 7951424 - Selective placement of CNTs on oxide surface


In order to mass produce MOSFETs with carbon nanotube material a relaiable method is necessary to pattern the nanotubes. This patent from IBM teaches techniques compatible with microcontact printing. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of selective placement of carbon nanotubes on a predetermined surface comprising:

selectively placing without utilizing silylation chemistry a self-assembled monolayer on an upper metal oxide surface of a substrate;

depositing carbon nanotubes from a dispersion on said self-assembled monolayer or on a surface of said substrate not containing said self-assembled monolayer; and

removing excess carbon nanotubes from said substrate.


US Patent 7951351 - Growing SWCNTs from fullerene seed


This patent from Hyperion Catalysis teaches a method to fabricate single walled carbon nanotubes with a more narrow size and diameter distribution. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for producing single walled carbon nanotubes comprising:

(a) reacting a carbon containing gas under reaction conditions with a composition comprising fullerene on a precursor of a metal catalyst, wherein the precursor of a metal catalyst is coated with a thin film of fullerene, and wherein said reaction conditions are suitable for reducing said metal catalyst precursor, said conditions being at atmospheric pressure or greater; and

(b) growing single walled carbon nanotubes, wherein said fullerene serves as a seed for growth of the single walled carbon nanotubes.


US Patent 7951247 - Nanolaminate igniters


Nanocomposite materials are promising candidates for ignition materials by providing high-energy reactions without toxicity or other environmental hazard. This patent from Lawrence Livermore National Security teaches one type of nano-igniter based on a laminate structure. Claim 1 reads:

1. A composition comprising:

an energetic multilayer structure; and

an energetic booster material coated onto one end or one side of said multilayer structure, wherein said energetic booster material is a sol-gel nanostructured energetic material and comprises a binder.


US Patent 7950143 - Nanowire-based wind energy


Conventional wind power often takes the form of large installations positioned in remote areas to avoid the environmental impact of noise and scenic blight. Another option is smaller local wind power generators which may be implemented on a grass roots level. This patent from Genedics Clean Energy teaches a way to use nanomaterials to create microscale wind energy gathering devices. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of fabricating a wind energy gathering microdevice, the method comprising:

producing micro-components of the wind energy gathering microdevice using three-dimensional lithography;

producing at least one array of nanowires;

manipulating the micro-components and nanowires using optical cutting lasers and optical trapping lasers;

assembling the micro-components of the wind energy gathering micro-device and nanowires, the nanowires electrically interconnect the micro-components to form the wind energy gathering microdevice.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

US Patent 7948739 - Graphite flake supercapacitor


This patent from Nanotek Instruments includes some basic claims to graphite-based supercapacitors. Claim 1 reads:

1. A composite composition for use in an electrode for electrochemical capacitors, said composition comprising:

a) an electrochemically active material; and

b) exfoliated graphite flakes that are substantially interconnected to form a porous, conductive graphite network comprising pores, wherein at least a portion of said active material resides in a pore of said network and wherein said graphite network has a specific surface area greater than about 200 m2/gm.


US Patent 7948674 - Electro-optic window with CNT RF shield


Infrared imaging systems often require some RF shielding to protect from interference or damage to electronics. This patent from BAE Systems teaches using carbon nanotubes to achieve the shielding. Claim 1 reads:

1. An electro-optic window comprising

a material substantially transparent to at least one selected from the group consisting of infra-red and visible radiation,

the material being treated to have reduced RF transmission characteristics by the provision of carbon nanotubes provided as a layer on at least one surface of the window,

wherein the at least one layer of carbon nanotubes has a mat structure and includes an array of holes.


US Patent 7948147 - Stretchable silicon sensor network


This patent from Boeing teaches a system to monitor the structural integrity of airframes, bridges, buildings, etc. based on zinc oxide nanowires grown in a stretchable silicon template. Claim 1 reads:

1. A sensor network comprising:

a stretchable silicon substrate; and

a plurality of nodes fabricated on said stretchable silicon substrate, said nodes comprising an energy harvesting and storage element comprising zinc oxide nanowires grown on said stretchable silicon substrate, and at least one of a communication device, a sensing device, and a processor, said nodes interconnected via interconnecting conductors formed in said substrate.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

US Patent 7948082 - Patterned carbon nanomaterials


This patent is yet another in a series of basic patents from Nantero teaching ways to incorporate carbon nanotubes into microlithography processes. Claim 1 reads:

1. A conductive article comprising:

a plurality of inter-contacting carbon nanomaterial fibers defining a plurality of conductive pathways; and

a lithographically-patterned thin metal layer that is positioned to contact a portion of the plurality of inter-contacting carbon nanomaterial fibers.


US Patent 7948042 - Graphene-based MEMS


This patent is from the Regents of the University of California and teaches how graphene can be use to form pn and npn control structures for microelectromechanical systems. Claim 1 reads:

1. A suspended structure, comprising:

a substrate having a first surface;

an electrically conductive structure suspended above the first surface of the substrate;

a graphene layer positioned upon the first surface of the substrate and beneath the suspended electrically conductive structure; and

a dielectric interposed between the electrically conductive suspended structure and the graphene layer.                             


US Patent 7947977 - Thin film transistor with CNT electrodes


Several proposals have been made to manufacture transistors using carbon nanotubes as the channel material. This patent from Hon Hai Precision (Foxconn) teaches a design in which nanotubes are used to form the electrodes of a transistor so as to enable applications in flexible electronic devices. Claim 1 reads:

1. A thin film transistor comprising:

a source electrode;

a drain electrode spaced from the source electrode;

a semiconducting layer electrically connected to the source electrode and the drain electrode; and

a gate electrode insulated from the source electrode, the drain electrode, and the semiconducting layer by an insulating layer;

wherein at least one of the source electrode, drain electrode, and the gate electrode comprises a metallic carbon nanotube layer, the metallic carbon nanotube layer comprises at least one carbon nanotube yarn structure, the at least one carbon nanotube yarn structure comprises a plurality of successive and oriented carbon nanotubes joined end to end by van der Waals attractive force.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

US Patent 7947581 - Formation of graphene on silicon substrates


This patent from Linde AG teaches a technique to grow graphene layers on a silicon substrate. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of forming a graphene layer on a substrate, comprising

providing the substrate;

depositing a metal carbide layer onto the substrate; and

pulse annealing the metal carbide layer in high vacuum layer to produce the graphene layer, wherein annealing comprises migrating the metallic species of the metal carbide layer toward the vacuum to form a metal rich layer and reforming the carbon atoms of the metal carbide layer into the graphene layer.


US Patent 7947454 - Polynucleotide analysis with nanopores


This patent is based on a collaboration between Harvard, the University of California, and Agilent Technologies and includes same basic claims toward sequencing RNA and DNA using nanopores. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for analyzing a target polynucleotide, comprising the steps of:

(a) introducing the target polynucleotide to a nanopore analysis system comprising a nanopore aperture;

(b) allowing the target polynucleotide to move with respect to the nanopore aperture to produce a signal at a rate of 350-2000 Hz; and

(c) monitoring the signal corresponding to the movement of the target polynucleotide with respect to the nanopore aperture, thereby analyzing the target polynucleotide.

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US Patent 7947371 - SWCNT composite with nucleic acid dispersant


This patent from DuPont includes some basic claims toward carbon nanotubes dispersed in a metal oxide matrix using nucleic acids. Claim 1 reads:

1. A single walled carbon nanotube composition comprising a population of highly dispersed single walled carbon nanotubes in an inorganic matrix, wherein said single walled carbon nanotubes are associated with a nucleic acid dispersant.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

US Patent 7944781 - Flexible waveguide including nanoparticles


This patent teaches a flexible waveguide for optical recording systems in which nanoparticles are used to improve the areal density of data storage. Claim 1 reads:

1. A flexible waveguide, comprising:

a core layer having a core material with a first index of refraction; and

a plurality of nanoparticles contained in the core layer, each of the nanoparticles having a second index of refraction that is greater than the first index of refraction of the core material.


US Patent 7944011 - Optically controlled CNT electrical switch


This patent is from STMicroelectronics and teaches a system integrating optical and electronic circuitry using a carbon nanotube switch. Claim 1 reads:

1. An electrical-switch system, comprising:

an optically controlled electrical-switch device comprising, a first current-conduction terminal, a second current-conduction terminal, and at least one carbon nanotube connected between the first and second current-conduction terminals;

an electromagnetic radiation generating device for generating and directing electromagnetic radiations onto each carbon nanotube; and

a polarization varying device for varying a polarization of the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the electromagnetic radiation generating device to control the electrical conductivity of each carbon nanotube.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

US Patent 7943552 - Quantum dot nanocrystal inventory control


This patent from M.I.T. has priority going back to 1998 and includes some basic claims to using semiconductor quantum dots for inventory control. Claim 1 reads:

1. A library of compounds, wherein each compound in the library is bound to an individual support, each support having associated therewith more than one population of semiconductor nanocrystals, each population having a distinct characteristic spectral emission, wherein each compound is attached to the support during a synthesis sequence, wherein each nanocrystal comprises a Group II-VI semiconductor, a Group III-V semiconductor, or a Group IV semiconductor selected from a group consisting of ZnS, ZnSe, ZnTe, CdS, CdSe, CdTe, MgTe, GaN, GaP, GaAs, GaSb, InP, InAs, InSb, AlP, AlSb, AlS, Ge, or Si.


US Patent 7943396 - Peptide-coated nanoparticles with graded shell


This patent from the Regents of the University of California teaches quantum dots designed to improve quantum yield and reduce blinking. Claim 1 reads:

1. A peptide-coated nanoparticle comprising:

a nanocrystal core surrounded by a graded shell wherein said graded shell comprises at least two different semiconductor molecules; and

at least one peptide directly attached to the surface of said graded shell.


US Patent 7943390 - Molecular biofluid viscosity sensor


Blood and blood plasma viscosity may become abnormal due to a variety of pathologic conditions. This patent teaches a way to use fluorescent molecules called molecular rotors to measure plasma viscosity for medical diagnostics.

1. A method for measuring viscosity comprising:

exposing a solid surface having molecular rotors attached thereto to a fluid having a viscosity to be measured; and

taking optical measurements to determine viscosity.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

US Patent 7943238 - Capacitor with CNT electrode material


This patent from Yazaki Corporation teaches a way to use treated carbon nanotubes to form electrodes of supercapacitors. Claim 1 reads:

1. A capacitor comprising two capacitor electrodes separated by an insulating material, wherein at least one of the two capacitor electrodes comprises a carbon nanotube filled with one or more non-carbon materials selected from the group consisting of bromine, iodine, an interhalogen compound, and any combination thereof.


US Patent 7943218 - Environmentally friendly flexible film having a nanocoating


Potato chip and other snack foods most often use petroleum based packaging that have a low rate of biodegradability resulting in a poor environmental impact. This patent from Frito-Lay teaches a potential alternative using bio-based nanocoatings. Claim 1 reads:

1. A multi-layer packaging film comprising:

a) an outer layer comprising a first bio-based film;

b) an adhesive layer adjacent to said outer layer; and

c) a product side layer comprising a second bio-based film having a nanocoating between said product side layer and said adhesive layer to provide barrier properties,

wherein said multi-layer packaging film comprises a moisture vapor transmission rate of less than about 5 g/m2/day.


US Patent 7943168 - Nanoparticle delivery system with hydrophobic core


This patent is from Washington University and teaches a nanoparticle composition which may be useful for cancer treatments and claims for the first time, the opportunity to effect cell barrier crossing in a selective manner without hemolysis of red blood cells or destruction of tissues whose existence is desirable. Claim 1 reads:

1. A composition comprising nanoparticles, which nanoparticles comprise a liquid hydrophobic core coating with a lipid/surfactant layer, wherein said lipid/surfactant layer contains at least one membrane-integrating peptide, which is a membrane-lytic peptide.


Monday, May 16, 2011

US Patent 7940477 - Solid immersion lens with nanowire focusing


In order to increase the physical resolution limit of optical microscopes one technique is to immerse the optics in a high index refractive liquid to increase the maximum numerical aperture. This patent teaches an additional technique in which a nanowire structure is used at the optical focal point to generate near field effects. Claim 1 reads:

1. A solid immersion lens for optical applications,

which comprises a spherical sector bounded by a plane surface,

wherein a wire or tube of cylindrical shape made of a semiconductor material, the generatrices of which are perpendicular to the plane surface and at least one dimension of which is of nanoscale, is placed on the plane surface at the focal point of said solid immersion lens.


US Patent 7940381 - Semiconductor nanowire EM sensor


This patent from IBM teaches using semiconductor nanowires to detect electromagnetic radiation such as gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet radiation, radiation in visible spectrum, or infrared radiation and in which a dye is used to determine the peak absorption wavelength. Claim 1 reads:

1. A semiconductor device comprising:

a semiconductor nanowire located on a substrate and comprising a semiconductor material; and

a dye layer including a chemical coating layer and a metallic element containing layer, wherein said dye layer absorbs electromagnetic radiation, and wherein energy from said absorbed electromagnetic radiation induces electronic excitation in said dye layer and alters free charge carrier density in said semiconductor nanowire,

wherein said chemical coating layer is located on said semiconductor nanowire and comprises a functional material that selectively attaches to said semiconductor material and react with said metallic element containing layer to form a dye material.


US Patent 7939992 - Electrical switch relay having CNTs


This patent is from Tyco Electronics and discloses an electrical relay based on carbon nanotubes in which particularly low lift actuators can be used, without there being the possibility of an uncontrolled spark. Claim 1 reads:

1. An electrical switch element comprising:

at least one actuator having at least one driving member having carbon nanotubes; at least one switch contact being movable through driving movement of the actuator; and,

a switch mechanism having at least two swivelling levers connected to each other via the actuator and at least one contact retainer, on which the switch contact is arranged, the contact retainer connecting the two swivelling levers in its longitudinal direction with a lever arm which is larger than the actuator, and constructed so it can be deflected transversely to its longitudinal direction.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

US Patent 7939560 - Fluorescent nanoparticles with ZnO coating


This patent from Boise State University includes some broad claims toward ZnO nanoparticles useful for particle tracking, cell imaging, antibacterial treatments and cancer therapy. Claim 1 reads:

1. A composition of matter comprising a fluorescent dye core nanostructure with a nanoscale ZnO surface layer.


US Patent 7939404 - Nanowire capacitor grown from graphene mask


Further scalability of DRAM memory to the nanoscale may require the use of capacitors formed from carbon nanotubes or nanowires. This patent from Hynix Semiconductor teaches a way to achieve this using graphene based masks. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for making a capacitor of a semiconductor device, the method comprising:

forming a graphene seed film over a substrate;

performing a first plasma process on the graphene seed;

growing a graphene on the graphene seed film;

growing a nano tube or a nano wire using the graphene as a mask; and

sequentially forming a dielectric film and a conductive layer over the nano tube or the nano wire, wherein the nano tub or the nano wire, the dielectric film, and the conductive layer define the capacitor.


US Patent 7939218 - Nanowire with carbon layer


This patent from Nanosys teaches using carbon coated nanowire materials to increase the efficiency of membrane electrodes for fuel cells. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nanowire comprising a carbon-based layer, wherein the carbon-based layer is substantially devoid of basal plane carbon.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

US Patent 7939136 - Forming arrays of CNTs


This patent from Rice University has priority going back to 1997 and includes some basic claims to forming large arrays of carbon nanotubes on a substrate. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of forming a macroscopic array of fullerene nanotubes, said method comprising the step of assembling subarrays of at least about 106 fullerene nanotubes into a composite array, wherein the subarrays are made according to the method comprising:

(a) providing at least about 1000000 fullerene nanotubes of substantially similar length;

(b) introducing a linking moiety onto at least one end of the fullerene nanotubes;

(c) providing a substrate coated with a material to which the linking moiety will attach; and

(d) contacting the fullerene nanotubes containing the linking moiety with the substrate.


US Patent 7939047 - Bandgap separation of CNTs


This patent from Rice University teaches a chromotographic separation of functionalized carbon nanotubes based on the semiconductor bandgap. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for separating CNTs by type, the method comprising the steps of:

a) dispersing a plurality of CNTs of different type as individual nanotubes in a solvent to form a first mixture;

b) selectively-functionalizing metallic and semi-metallic CNTs within the first mixture using a first diazonium species, in sub-stoichiometric amount, to yield a second mixture comprising selectively-functionalized metallic and semi-metallic CNTs and unfunctionalized semiconducting CNTs;

c) reacting the CNTs in the second mixture with a second diazonium species to yield a third mixture comprising differentially-functionalized metallic and semi-metallic CNTs possessing a first chemical property and functionalized semiconducting CNTs possessing a second chemical property; and

d) performing at least one chromatographic separation on the third mixture, so as to separate the differentially-functionalized metallic and semi-metallic CNTs from the functionalized semiconducting CNTs on the basis of their functionalization-induced differential chemical properties.


US Patent 7938969 - Size separation of magnetic nanoparticles


Magnetic nanoparticles have usefulness as biological tags and in some memory devices. This patent from Rice University teaches a method of separating magnetic nanoparticles by size. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method for separating magnetic nanoparticles comprising:

providing a sample comprising a plurality of magnetic nanoparticles;

passing the sample through a first magnetic field;

at least partially isolating magnetic nanoparticles of a first nanoparticle size desired;

altering the strength of the first magnetic field to produce a second magnetic field; and

at least partially isolating magnetic nanoparticles of a second nanoparticle size desired.


Monday, May 09, 2011

US Patent 7936112 - Piezoelectric nanowire transducer


This patent from Samsung includes some broad claims to an electrical energy generator based on piezoelectric nanowires which may be useful to remote powering of MEMS devices. Claim 1 reads:

1. An energy converting apparatus comprising:

first and second electrodes spaced apart from each other; and

a first nanowire formed on the first electrode, which is composed of a piezoelectric material, the first nanowire being configured to resonate in response to an electromagnetic wave at a first frequency so as to contact the second electrode.


US Patent 7935419 - Thick shell nanocrystal quantum dots


This patent from Los Alamos National Security teaches a way to increase the stability and decrease blinking in semiconductor quantum dots by using multilayer outer shells. Claim 1 reads:

1. Colloidal nanocrystal quantum dots comprising an inner core having an average diameter of at least 1.5 nm and an outer shell, wherein the outer shell comprises at least seven monolayers of an inorganic material, wherein at least one of said monolayers comprises CdS, and wherein at least 30% of the quantum dots have an on-time fraction of at least 0.80 for a period of at least 10 minutes.


US Patent 7935276 - Polymers incorporating carbon nanospheres


The high aspect ratio of carbon nanotubes can make uniform dispersion into polymers difficult. This patent from Headwaters Technology Innovation teaches using multiwall carbon nanospheres which may reduce this difficulty. Claim 1 reads:

1. A composite material comprising:

a polymeric material comprising a polymer or a polymerizable material; and

a plurality of carbon nanospheres dispersed in the polymeric material, wherein the carbon nanospheres comprise at least about 0.1% by weight of the composite material, wherein the carbon nanospheres comprise hollow, multi-walled particles having multiple graphitic layers with an outer diameter of less than about 1 micron, wherein the carbon nanospheres have an absence of surface functional groups.


US Patent 7935259 - Molecular filter with acoustic propagation


This patent from NASA teaches a system to speed up molecular filtering of water using a vibrating actuator. Claim 1 reads:

1. A filtering apparatus, comprising:

a microporous membrane for sifting molecules of a substance; and

an actuator, operatively positioned near the microporous membrane, for propagating acoustic vibration at a particular frequency onto the microporous membrane so as to hasten movement of said molecules through the microporous membrane.


US Patent 7935175 - Magnetic trapping of CNTs


In some manufacturing methods filters are used to separate carbon nanotubes from an exhaust gas. However, these filtrers can become clogged which decresases the efficiency of nanotube extraction. This patent from Semes Co. teaches instead using a magnetic means for separation. Claim 1 reads:

1. A carbon nanotube trapping apparatus for trapping carbon nanotubes generated at a reaction tube, comprising:

a housing including an inner space through which an exhaust gas including carbon nanotubes grown on a metal catalyst passes, the housing having an inner circumferential surface of non-magnetized material; and

a magnetic block installed at the housing and configured to trap the carbon nanotubes grown on the metal catalyst on the inner surface of the housing by using a magnetic force.