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Nanodevices for generating power from molecules and batteryless sensing

United States Patent

July 15, 2014
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Visit the Industrial Partnerships Office Website
Batteryless Chemical Detection
Environmental Energy Harvesting
A nanoconverter or nanosensor is disclosed capable of directly generating electricity through physisorption interactions with molecules that are dipole containing organic species in a molecule interaction zone. High surface-to-volume ratio semiconductor nanowires or nanotubes (such as ZnO, silicon, carbon, etc.) are grown either aligned or randomly-aligned on a substrate. Epoxy or other nonconductive polymers are used to seal portions of the nanowires or nanotubes to create molecule noninteraction zones. By correlating certain molecule species to voltages generated, a nanosensor may quickly identify which species is detected. Nanoconverters in a series parallel arrangement may be constructed in planar, stacked, or rolled arrays to supply power to nano- and micro-devices without use of external batteries. In some cases breath, from human or other life forms, contain sufficient molecules to power a nanoconverter. A membrane permeable to certain molecules around the molecule interaction zone increases specific molecule nanosensor selectivity response.
Wang; Yinmin (Tracy, CA), Wang; Xianying (Shanghai, CN), Hamza; Alex V. (Livermore, CA)
Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC (Livermore, CA)
13/ 451,796
April 20, 2012
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT This invention was made with Government support under Contract No DE-AC52-07NA27344 awarded by the US Department of Energy (DOE). The Government has certain rights in this invention.