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Nanoscale mass conveyors

United States Patent

March 11, 2008
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 mass transport method and device for individually delivering chargeable atoms or molecules from source particles is disclosed. It comprises a channel; at least one source particle of chargeable material fixed to the surface of the channel at a position along its length; a means of heating the channel; and a means for applying an controllable electric field along the channel, whereby the device transports the atoms or molecules along the channel in response to applied electric field. In a preferred embodiment, the mass transport device will comprise a multiwalled carbon nanotube (MWNT), although other one dimensional structures may also be used. The MWNT or other structure acts as a channel for individual or small collections of atoms due to the atomic smoothness of the material. Also preferred is a source particle of a metal such as indium. The particles move by dissociation into small units, in some cases, individual atoms. The particles are preferably less than 100 nm in size.
Regan; Brian C. (Oakland, CA), Aloni; Shaul (Albany, CA), Zettl; Alexander K. (Kensington, CA)
The Regents of the University of California (Oakland, CA)
11/ 085,397
March 21, 2005
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT This invention was made during work supported by U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC03-76SF00098. The government has certain rights in this invention.