Patents Assigned to Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
  • Patent number: 7491448
    Abstract: A nano-particulate reticulated foam-like structure, which includes particles having a size of 10-200 nanometers. The particles are joined together to form a reticulated foam-like structure. The reticulated foam-like structure is similar to the structure of carbon nano-foam. The nano-particulate reticulated foam-like structure may comprise a metal, such as a hydrogen storage ahoy, either a gas-phase thermal or an electrochemical hydrogen storage alloy. The nano-particulate reticulated foam-like structure may alternatively comprise a hydroxide such as nickel hydroxide or manganese hydroxide or an oxide, such as a silver oxide or a copper oxide. When the nano-particulate reticulated foam-like structure is a hydrogen storage alloy, the material exhibits substantial immunity to hydrogen cycling decrepitation and an increase in the reversible hydrogen storage capacity by reduction of trapped hydrogen by at least 10% as compared to the same alloy in bulk form.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2009
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Stanford R. Ovshinsky, Marshall D. Muller, Lin R. Higley
  • Patent number: 7447404
    Abstract: An optical platform including optical bench, an optical or photonic coupling device and a photonic circuit. The photonic circuit includes a photonic crystal along a waveguide and/or defect. The coupling device may be a waveguide or impedance matching interconnection device. The optical bench includes a rectangular trench to seat an optical fiber and provide alignment with the photonic circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2008
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert O. Miller
  • Patent number: 7388178
    Abstract: An induction heating system for the manufacturing of optical memory microstructure, wherein the thermal cycle allows the process web to be rapidly heated to the relaxation and re-flow temperature, followed by cooling to the optimum separation temperature in under 10 seconds total process time. The rapid response heating system of the present invention may be achieved through the use of one or rotating asymmetrical induction heating coils which are embedded in the platen(s) of the embossing device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2008
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael Hennessey
  • Patent number: 7388825
    Abstract: An optical data storage and retrieval system that includes a phase change storage medium and dual energy sources. The phase change material may store information by undergoing a transformation from one structural state to another structural state through application of energy. The system is equipped with two energy sources, neither of which alone provides sufficient energy to effect the transformation. The combination of both energy sources, however, provides sufficient energy to induce the transformation needed to record information. The energy from either source may be optical, thermal, electromagnetic, mechanical or magnetic energy.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2008
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Stanford R. Ovshinsky, David Strand, David Tsu
  • Patent number: 7292521
    Abstract: A light-plasmon coupling lens including an optically transparent substrate having a light incident surface and a light-plasmon coupling surface opposite the light incident surface. The light-plasmon coupling surface including at least a set of circular concentric peaks/valleys which form a Fourier sinusoidal pattern in the radial direction of the circular concentric peaks/valleys. A conformal layer of metal is deposited on the light-plasmon coupling surface of the substrate and has aperture at the center of thereof through which plasmons are transmitted. An optical recording medium including a light-plasmon coupling lens.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2007
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Stanford R. Ovshinsky, David Strand, David Tsu
  • Patent number: 7250386
    Abstract: A quantum limit catalyst. The instant quantum limit catalyst is comprised of atomic aggregations whose dimensions correspond to the quantum limit. In the quantum limit, the atomic aggregations acquire structural configurations and electronic interactions not attainable in the macroscopic limit. The structural configurations possible in the quantum limit correspond to atomic aggregations having bond lengths, bond angles, topologies and coordination environments that differ from those found in the macroscopic limit. The electronic interactions possible in the quantum limit originate from wavefunction overlap and tunneling between atoms and lead to modifications in the magnitude and/or spatial distribution of electron density at catalytic sites to provide improved catalytic properties. Representative quantum limit catalysts include quantum scale atomic aggregations of metal atoms. Examples including catalysts derived from Fe, Mg, V and Co are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2007
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventor: Stanford R. Ovshinsky
  • Patent number: 7227170
    Abstract: Multi-terminal chalcogenide memory cells having multiple binary or non-binary bit storage capacity and methods of programming same. The memory cells include a pore region containing a chalcogenide material along with three or more electrical terminals in electrical communication therewith. The configuration of terminals delineates spatially distinct regions of chalcogenide material that may be selectively and independently programmed to provide multibit storage. The application of an electrical signal (e.g. electrical current or voltage pulse) between a pair of terminals effects a structural transformation in one of the spatially distinct portions of chalcogenide material. Application of electrical signals to different pairs of terminals within a chalcogenide device effects structural transformations in different portions of the chalcogenide material. The structural states produced by the structural transformations may be used for storage of information values in a binary or non-binary (e.g.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2007
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventor: Stanford R. Ovshinsky
  • Patent number: 7227221
    Abstract: Multi-terminal chalcogenide memory cells having multiple binary or non-binary bit storage capacity and methods of programming same. The memory cells include a pore region containing a chalcogenide material along with three or more electrical terminals in electrical communication therewith. The configuration of terminals delineates spatially distinct regions of chalcogenide material that may be selectively and independently programmed to provide multibit storage. The application of an electrical signal (e.g. electrical current or voltage pulse) between a pair of terminals effects a structural transformation in one of the spatially distinct portions of chalcogenide material. Application of electrical signals to different pairs of terminals within a chalcogenide device effects structural transformations in different portions of the chalcogenide material. The structural states produced by the structural transformations may be used for storage of information values in a binary or non-binary (e.g.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2007
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventor: Stanford R. Ovshinsky
  • Patent number: 7186999
    Abstract: An error reduction circuit for use in arrays of chalcogenide memory and computing devices. The error reduction circuit reduces the error associated with the output response of chalcogenide devices. In a preferred embodiment, the output response is resistance and the error reduction circuit reduces errors or fluctuations in the resistance. The error reduction circuit includes a network of chalcogenide devices, each of which is nominally equivalent and each of which is programmed into the same state having the same nominal resistance. The inclusion of multiple devices in the network of the instant error reduction circuit provides for a reduction in the contributions of both dynamic fluctuations and manufacturing fluctuations to the error in the output response.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2007
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Stanford R. Ovshinsky, Morrel H. Cohen
  • Patent number: 7186998
    Abstract: A multi-terminal logic device. The device includes a phase change material having crystalline and amorphous states in electrical communication with three or more electrical terminals. The phase change material is able to undergo reversible transformations between amorphous and crystalline states in response to applied electrical energy where the amorphous and crystalline states show measurably distinct electrical resistances. Electrical energy in the form of current or voltage pulses applied between a pair of terminals influences the structural state and measured electrical resistance between the terminals. In the instant devices, independent input signals are provided between different pairs of terminals and the output is measured as the resistance between yet another pair of terminals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2007
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Stanford R. Ovshinsky, Boil Pashmakov
  • Patent number: 7144241
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for forming microstructures in the surface of polymeric web materials for use as optical memory substrates. The microstructures may be formed by laminating a hot stamper to a web of material with a selective time/temperature profile. The stamper may be heated to melt flow the surface of the web and stabilize before separation. The stamper may be carried by a support that is independent of the press. The web of polymeric material may be provided with a flow enhancer to improve image formation. Also described herein are methods and apparatus for making optical memory modules, such as disks, which include novel stampers, coating applicators, and finishing systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2006
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael Hennessey, David Strand, Barry Clark, Paul Gasiorowski
  • Patent number: 7113474
    Abstract: An optical recording medium includes a crystallizing layer for enhancing the crystallization of a phase change memory layer, an energy storage layer for aiding the state transformations of a phase change memory layer, and/or a modifying element for increasing absorption and contrast at short wavelengths. An optical data storage and retrieval system containing same. Also a light-plasmon coupling lens including an optically transparent substrate having a light incident surface and a light-plasmon coupling surface opposite the light incident surface. The light-plasmon coupling surface including at least a set of circular concentric peaks/valleys which form a Fourier sinusoidal pattern in the radial direction of the circular concentric peaks/valleys. A conformal layer of metal is deposited on the light-plasmon coupling surface of the substrate and has aperture at the center of thereof through which plasmons are transmitted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2006
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Stanford R. Ovshinsky, David Strand, David Tsu
  • Patent number: 7085155
    Abstract: An electronic device for securing the contents of data storage and processing elements. The device includes a security element and a phase-change element connected in a parallel arrangement. The security element is a three-terminal device, having an ON state and an OFF state which differ in resistance and regulate electronic access to the phase-change element by controlling the flow of electrical current applied to the parallel combination. In the ON state, the resistance of the security element is less than that of the phase-change element, thereby precluding a determination of the resistance of the phase-change element. In this PROTECT mode, the contents of the phase-change element are secured. In the OFF state, the resistance of the security element is greater than that of the phase-change material so that the resistance of the parallel combination approaches that of the phase-change element. In this READ mode, the resistance and information content of the phase-change element can be determined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Stanford R. Ovshinsky, Morrel H. Cohen
  • Patent number: 7065274
    Abstract: An optical coupling device for the efficient transfer of an optical signal between optical components. The device can receive an optical signal from a transmitting component connected to its input end and efficiently transmit that signal to a receiving component connected to its output end. The instant device includes a combination of two or more dielectric materials and provides impedance matching at the input and output ends as well as impedance conservation during propagation of the optical signal through the device. Impedance matching at the input and output ends is controlled through variations in the relative proportions of the constituent dielectric materials of the device in the cross-sections of input and output ends to achieve an effective permittivity that closely matches that of the interconnected component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2006
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert O. Miller
  • Patent number: 7054524
    Abstract: A slab photonic crystal waveguide that preserves the parity of guided modes. The waveguide includes a photonic crystal layer interposed between two dielectric layers. The photonic crystal layer includes a periodic arrangement of asymmetrically shaped dielectric regions within a surrounding dielectric material. The waveguide precludes conversion of the state of parity of an introduced input mode by maintaining a symmetric mode field distribution. A symmetric mode field distribution is attained through variations in the dielectric constants of the dielectric layers that compensate for asymmetric mode localization tendencies associated with the asymmetric periodically arranged dielectric regions within the photonic crystal layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2006
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventor: Robert O. Miller
  • Patent number: 7012874
    Abstract: Methods of writing information to an optical memory device. The methods comprise the step of writing a mark to the active material of the optical memory device by irradiating the material with an applied energy source. In one embodiment, the applied energy source provides a plurality of energy pulses. In another embodiment, energy in excess of that required to form a mark is released and dissipated in a manner that minimizes mark enlargement, spurious mark formation, recrystallization and back crystallization. The methods are effective to provide better cooling characteristics through enhancement of the capacitive cooling contribution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 14, 2006
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventor: David Tsu
  • Patent number: 6999953
    Abstract: An analog neural computing medium, neuron and neural networks are disclosed. The neural computing medium includes a phase change material that has the ability to cumulatively respond to multiple input signals. Input signals induce transformations among a plurality of accumulation states of the disclosed neural computing medium. The accumulation states are characterized by a high electrical resistance. Upon cumulative receipt of energy from one or more input signals that equals or exceeds a threshold value, the neural computing medium fires by transforming to a low resistance state. The disclosed neural computing medium may also be configured to perform a weighting function whereby it weights incoming signals. The disclosed neurons may also include activation units for further transforming signals transmitted by the accumulation units according to a mathematical operation. The artificial neurons, weighting units, accumulation units and activation units may be connected to form artificial neural networks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2006
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventor: Stanford R. Ovhsinsky
  • Patent number: 6985373
    Abstract: An element for steering electromagnetic beams. The element includes a phase change material in combination with dielectric and other layers in a multilayer optical stack. The phase change material that is reversibly transformable between two or more structural states, where different structural states differ with respect to refractive index and/or extinction coefficient. The structural state of the phase change material establishes a phase angle state for the element that dictates the direction of propagation of an output beam produced from an incident electromagnetic beam. Depending on the structural state, the element adopts one of two principal phase angle states and a binary beam steering capability is achieved in which an incident electromagnetic beam can be redirected in either of two directions. In a preferred embodiment, the output beam is a reflected beam and the element includes a phase change material sandwiched between two dielectric materials and supported by a metal layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2006
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventor: David Tsu
  • Patent number: 6969867
    Abstract: Multi-terminal field effect devices comprising a chalcogenide material. The devices include a first terminal, a second terminal and a field effect terminal. Application of a gate signal to the field effect terminal modulates the current passing through the chalcogenide material between the first and second terminals and/or modifies the holding voltage or current of the chalcogenide material between the first and second terminals. The devices may be used as interconnection devices in circuits and networks to regulate current flow between circuit or network elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2005
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventor: Stanford R. Ovshinsky
  • Patent number: 6967344
    Abstract: Multi-terminal electronic switching devices comprising a chalcogenide material switchable between a resistive state and a conductive state. The devices include a first terminal, a second terminal and a control terminal. Application of a control signal to the control terminal modulates the conductivity of the chalcogenide material between the first and second terminals and/or the threshold voltage required to switch the chalcogenide material between the first and second terminals from a resistive state to a conductive state. The devices may be used as interconnection devices or signal providing devices in circuits and networks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2005
    Assignee: Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Stanford R. Ovshinsky, Boil Pashmakov