Patents Examined by Keith Hendricks
  • Patent number: 9708718
    Abstract: There is provided a hydrogen production device which is high in the light use efficiency and can produce hydrogen with high efficiency without decreasing the hydrogen generation rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2017
    Inventors: Akihito Yoshida, Shunsuke Sata, Masaki Kaga
  • Patent number: 9708716
    Abstract: Methods for the photoreduction of molecules are provided. The methods use diamond having a negative electron affinity as a photocatalyst, taking advantage of its ability to act as a solid-state electron emitter that is capable of inducing reductions without the need for reactants to adsorb onto its surface. The methods comprise illuminating a fluid sample comprising the molecules to be reduced and hydrogen surface-terminated diamond having a negative electron affinity with light comprising a wavelength that induces the emission of electrons from the diamond directly into the fluid sample. The emitted electrons induce the reduction of the molecules to form a reduction product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 18, 2017
    Assignee: Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation
    Inventors: Robert John Hamers, Di Zhu, Nigel Hajj Becknell
  • Patent number: 9701550
    Abstract: A device for the purification of water, has the following components: (a) a storage tank (10) for retention of the purified water; (b) a feed pipe (15), leading from the water to be purified to the storage tank (10); (c) a reactor (4) for anodic oxidation of the water arranged within the feed pipe (15); (d) the storage tank (10) having a redox sensor (5) for measuring the redox potential; and (e) water supply from the feed pipe (15) into the storage tank (10) is performed discontinuously.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 11, 2017
    Assignee: AUTARCON GmbH
    Inventor: Martin Alexander Goldmaier
  • Patent number: 9696274
    Abstract: A gas sensor element of an air/fuel ratio sensor has a structure in which at least a part of an end portion of a porous electrode is sandwiched between a porous member and a solid electrolyte member. Therefore, it is possible to restrain shrinkage of the porous electrode during manufacture of the gas sensor element, which shrinkage would otherwise occur at the time of heating in a debindering step or at the beginning of a firing step, whereby occurrence of green breakage in the solid electrolyte member is restrained. Thus, cracking due to green breakage is restrained from occurring in the solid electrolyte member produced through firing. Since the end portion of the porous electrode can receive oxygen through the porous member, blackening of the solid electrolyte member can be prevented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Assignee: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yasumitsu Shimizu, Seiji Oya
  • Patent number: 9695516
    Abstract: A graphite oxide and/or graphene preparation method includes providing a plasma electrolytic apparatus, wherein an electrolyte is provided and a graphite electrode is configured as a cathode of the plasma electrolytic apparatus; and providing a cathodic current so as to initiate a plasma electrolytic process at the graphite electrode to obtain graphite oxide and/or graphene. The graphite oxide and/or graphene can be synthesized through plasma electrolytic processing at relatively low temperature under atmospheric pressure within a very short period of time, without the need for concentrated acids or strong oxidizing agents. The present invention may prepare graphite oxide and/or graphene with plasma electrolytic process directly from graphite, without requiring any prior purification or pretreatment. This plasma electrolytic process of the present invention is quite promising and provided with advantages such as low cost, simple setup, high efficiency, and environmental friendliness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2017
    Inventors: Kung-Hwa Wei, Van Thanh Dang
  • Patent number: 9687810
    Abstract: Materials such as biomass (e.g., plant biomass, animal biomass, and municipal waste biomass) and hydrocarbon-containing materials are processed to produce useful products, such as fuels. For example, systems are described that can use feedstock materials, such as cellulosic and/or lignocellulosic materials and/or starchy materials, or oil sands, oil shale, tar sands, bitumen, and coal to produce altered materials such as fuels (e.g., ethanol and/or butanol). The processing includes exposing the materials to an ion beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 27, 2017
    Assignee: XYLECO, INC.
    Inventor: Marshall Medoff
  • Patent number: 9683297
    Abstract: A process for the production of energetically rich compounds comprising: using externally supplied thermal energy to heat an electrolyzable compound to a temperature greater than the ambient temperature; generating electricity from a solar electrical photovoltaic component; subjecting the heated electrolyzable compound to electrolysis with the solar generated electricity to generate an energetically rich electrolytic product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2017
    Assignee: The George Washington University
    Inventor: Stuart Licht
  • Patent number: 9675930
    Abstract: A plasma control method for an exhaust gas treating apparatus includes providing an exhaust gas treating apparatus having a plasma discharge space, a coil disposed on an outer circumference of the plasma discharge space, an upper electrode, and a lower electrode; generating plasma in the plasma discharge space; controlling the state of the plasma generated in the plasma discharge space by generating a magnetic field in the plasma discharge space between the upper electrode and the lower electrode; and cooling the reaction tube using a water cooled jacket disposed around the reaction tube. The magnetic field is generated by applying a current to the coil.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Inventors: Toshio Awaji, Takashi Nakayama, Toshio Tanaka
  • Patent number: 9657389
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a target for an ARC source having a first body (3) of a material to be vaporized, which essentially comprises in one plane a surface which is intended to be vaporized, wherein the surface surrounds in this plane a central area, characterized in that in the central area a second body (7) is provided, which is preferably in the form of a disk and is electrically isolated from the first body (3), in such a way that the second body (7) can essentially provide no electrons for maintaining a spark.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Inventors: Siegfried Krassnitzer, Juerg Hagmann
  • Patent number: 9637830
    Abstract: Photocatalytic structures having a capillary-force based electrolyte delivery system are provided. Also provided are photoelectrochemical and photocatalytic cells incorporating the structures and methods for using the cells to generate hydrogen and/or oxygen from water. The photocatalytic structures use an electrolyte-transporting strip comprising a porous network of cellulose nanofibers to transport electrolyte from a body of the electrolyte to a porous photoelectrode or a porous photocatalytic substrate via capillary force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: The United States of America as Represented by the Secretary of Agriculture
    Inventors: Xudong Wang, Zhaodong Li, Zhiyong Cai, Chunhua Yao
  • Patent number: 9637400
    Abstract: Electrochemical devices and methods for water treatment are disclosed. An electrodeionization device (100) may include one or more compartments (110) containing an ionselective media, such as boron-selective resin (170). Cyclic adsorption of target ions and regeneration of the media in-situ is used to treat process water, and may be driven by the promotion of various pH conditions within the electrochemical device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Inventors: Evgeniya Freydina, Joseph D. Gifford
  • Patent number: 9630162
    Abstract: A reactor and method for production of nanostructures, including metal oxide nanowires or nanoparticles, are provided. The reactor includes a regulated metal powder delivery system in communication with a dielectric tube; a plasma-forming gas inlet, whereby a plasma-forming gas is delivered substantially longitudinally into the dielectric tube; a sheath gas inlet, whereby a sheath gas is delivered into the dielectric tube; and a microwave energy generator coupled to the dielectric tube, whereby microwave energy is delivered into a plasma-forming gas. The method for producing nanostructures includes providing a reactor to form nanostructures and collecting the formed nanostructures, optionally from a filter located downstream of the dielectric tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: University of Louisville Research Foundation, Inc.
    Inventors: Mahendra Kumar Sunkara, Jeong H. Kim, Vivekanand Kumar
  • Patent number: 9624570
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a filtered cathodic-arc ion source that reduces, or even eliminates, macroparticles while minimally compromising the compact size, simplicity, and high flux ion production benefits of unfiltered cathodic-arc sources. Magnetic and electrostatic forces are implemented in a compact way to guide ions along curved trajectories between the cathode source and the workpiece area such that macroparticles, which are minimally affected by these forces and travel in straight lines, are inhibited from reaching the workpieces. The present invention implements this filtering technique in a device that is compact, symmetrical and easy to manufacture and operate and which does not substantially compromise coating deposition rate, area, or uniformity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: FLUXION INC.
    Inventor: Paul Erik Sathrum
  • Patent number: 9617634
    Abstract: In a sputter device (1), power of a DC power source (20) is sequentially distributed and supplied in a time division pulse state to a plurality of sputter evaporation sources (4). A power source (10) provided to each of the sputter evaporation sources (4) supplies continuous power to each of the sputter evaporation sources (4). The sputter device (1) having the configuration requires no DC pulse power source to be provided to each of the sputter evaporation sources (4), which reduces the device cost.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2017
    Assignee: Kobe Steel, Ltd
    Inventors: Tadao Okimoto, Hiroshi Tamagaki
  • Patent number: 9611537
    Abstract: A target for a physical vapor deposition system includes a top, a bottom, and a base. The base essentially is defined by the surface of the target to be sputtered. A first, inner ring and a second, outer ring extend from the base. Each ring has an inner side and an outer side, wherein sputtering is concentrated on the outer sides by means of a magnet arrangement adjacent to the target.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: EVATEC AG
    Inventors: Stanislav Kadlec, Jürgen Weichart
  • Patent number: 9611516
    Abstract: Biomass (e.g., plant biomass, animal biomass, and municipal waste biomass) is processed to produce useful intermediates and products, such as energy, fuels, foods or materials. For example, equipment, systems and methods are described that can be used to treat feedstock materials, such as cellulosic and/or lignocellulosic materials, in a vault in which hazardous gases are removed, destroyed and/or converted. The treatments are efficient and can reduce the recalcitrance of the lignocellulosic material so that it is easier to produce an intermediate or product, e.g., sugars, alcohols, sugar alcohols and energy, from the lignocellulosic material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Assignee: XYLECO, INC.
    Inventors: Marshall Medoff, Thomas Craig Masterman, Robert Paradis
  • Patent number: 9611539
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for depositing a metal-containing layer on a substrate are provided herein. In some embodiments, a method of processing a substrate in a physical vapor deposition (PVD) chamber includes applying RF power at a VHF frequency to a target comprising a metal disposed in the PVD chamber above the substrate to form a plasma from a plasma-forming gas; optionally applying a DC power to the target to direct the plasma towards the target; sputtering metal atoms from the target using the plasma while maintaining a first pressure in the PVD chamber sufficient to ionize a predominant portion of the sputtered metal atoms; and controlling the plasma sheath voltage between the plasma and the substrate to form a metal-containing layer having a desired crystal structure and or desired morphology on feature structures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2017
    Inventors: Zhenbin Ge, Alan Ritchie, Adolph Miller Allen
  • Patent number: 9605340
    Abstract: A physical vapor deposition (PVD) chamber for depositing a transparent and clear hydrogenated carbon, e.g., hydrogenated diamond-like carbon, film. A chamber body is configured for maintaining vacuum condition therein, the chamber body having an aperture on its sidewall. A plasma cage having an orifice is attached to the sidewall, such that the orifice overlaps the aperture. Two sputtering targets are situated on cathodes inside the plasma cage and are oriented opposite each other and configured to sustain plasma there-between and confined inside the plasma cage. The plasma inside the cage sputters material from the targets, which then passes through the orifice and aperture and lands on the substrate. The substrate is moved continuously in a pass-by fashion during the process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: INTEVAC, INC.
    Inventors: David Fang Wei Chen, David Ward Brown, Charles Liu, Samuel D. Harkness, IV
  • Patent number: 9605353
    Abstract: An apparatus including at least one electrolytic cell having at least one electrode compartment structured to contain a liquid electrolyte and a plurality of electrically conducting particulates forming a particulate bed, at least one reaction region structured to support electrochemical reactions, at least one collection region structured to facilitate collection of electrically conducting particulates, at least one feeding region structured to facilitate input of electrically conducting particulates, at least one actuation module arranged substantially outside of the at least one reaction region of relevance for the electrochemical modifications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: Blue Planet Strategies, L.L.C.
    Inventor: Patrick I. James
  • Patent number: 9598779
    Abstract: In a carbon dioxide reduction method according to the present disclose, used is a carbon dioxide reduction device comprising a cathode container in which a first electrolyte containing carbon dioxide is stored, an anode container in which a second electrolyte is stored, a solid electrolyte membrane, a condenser, a cathode electrode having a metal or a metal compound on the surface thereof, and anode electrode having a region formed of a nitride semiconductor layer in which a GaN layer and an AlxGa1-xN layer are stacked. The anode electrode is irradiated with light condensed by the condenser and having a wavelength of not more than 360 nanometers to reduce the carbon dioxide contained in the first electrolyte on the cathode electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Inventors: Hiroshi Hashiba, Masahiro Deguchi, Satoshi Yotsuhashi, Yuka Yamada