Tuesday, July 10, 2012

US Patent 8216636 - Flow alignment of nanotubes


Flow-based alignment has been proposed by Nanosys to orient nanowires in a particular direction. This patent from Nanyang Technological University teaches a similar technique in which a pre-alignment step is used to avoid clogs in flow channels. Claim 1 reads:

1. A method of aligning nanotubes comprising:

providing a plurality of channels on a substrate;

placing a suspension of nanotubes on or adjacent an open surface of the channels, and

allowing the suspension to flow into the channels to align the nanotubes substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the channels, wherein the channels are lengthwise-closed channels and the open surface is an open end; and

pre-aligning the nanotubes in the suspension before allowing the suspension to flow into the channels, thereby reducing blockage of the open end of the channels by randomly oriented nanotubes in the suspension.