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Nanoscale relaxation oscillator

United States Patent

April 7, 2009
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Management Department Website
A nanoscale oscillation device is disclosed, wherein two nanoscale droplets are altered in size by mass transport, then contact each other and merge through surface tension. The device may also comprise a channel having an actuator responsive to mechanical oscillation caused by expansion and contraction of the droplets. It further has a structure for delivering atoms between droplets, wherein the droplets are nanoparticles. Provided are a first particle and a second particle on the channel member, both being made of a chargeable material, the second particle contacting the actuator portion; and electrodes connected to the channel member for delivering a potential gradient across the channel and traversing the first and second particles. The particles are spaced apart a specified distance so that atoms from one particle are delivered to the other particle by mass transport in response to the potential (e.g. voltage potential) and the first and second particles are liquid and touch at a predetermined point of growth, thereby causing merging of the second particle into the first particle by surface tension forces and reverse movement of the actuator. In a preferred embodiment, the channel comprises a carbon nanotube and the droplets comprise metal nanoparticles, e.g. indium, which is readily made liquid.
Zettl; Alexander K. (Kensington, CA), Regan; Brian C. (Los Angeles, CA), Aloni; Shaul (Albany, CA)
The Regents of the University of California (Oakland, CA)
11/ 245,652
October 6, 2005
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT This invention was made during work supported by U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231 and National Science Foundation Grant CCR 0210176. The government has certain rights in this invention.