Patents by Inventor James M. Tour

James M. Tour has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 10181370
    Abstract: A wellbore fluid may include an oleaginous continuous phase, one or more magnetic carbon nanoribbons, and at least one weighting agent. A method of performing wellbore operations may include circulating a wellbore fluid comprising a magnetic carbon nanoribbon composition and a base fluid through a wellbore. A method for electrical logging of a subterranean well may include placing into the subterranean well a logging medium, wherein the logging medium comprises a non-aqueous fluid and one or more magnetic carbon nanoribbons, wherein the one or more magnetic carbon nanoribbons are present in a concentration so as to permit the electrical logging of the subterranean well; and acquiring an electrical log of the subterranean well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2019
    Assignees: William Marsh Rice University, M-I L.L.C.
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Bostjan Genorio, Wei Lu, Katherine Price Hoelscher, James Friedheim, Arvind D. Patel
  • Publication number: 20180358618
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to electrodes that include a plurality of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes and a metal associated with the vertically aligned carbon nanotubes. The vertically aligned carbon nanotubes may be in the form of a graphene-carbon nanotube hybrid material that includes a graphene film covalently linked to the vertically aligned carbon nanotubes. The metal may become reversibly associated with the carbon nanotubes in situ during electrode operation and lack any dendrites or mossy aggregates. The metal may be in the form of a non-dendritic or non-mossy coating on surfaces of the vertically aligned carbon nanotubes. The metal may also be infiltrated within bundles of the vertically aligned carbon nanotubes. Additional embodiments pertain to energy storage devices that contain the electrodes of the present disclosure. Further embodiments pertain to methods of forming said electrodes by applying a metal to a plurality of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 25, 2016
    Publication date: December 13, 2018
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Abdul-Ruhman O. Raji, Rodrigo V. Salvatierra
  • Publication number: 20180346337
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to methods of making three-dimensional materials by combining a catalytic material with a precursor material and forming the three-dimensional material from the precursor material in the presence of the catalytic material. The three-dimensional material may be formed on surfaces and internal cavities of the catalytic material. The formed three-dimensional material includes a plurality of connected units that are derived from the precursor materials. The methods of the present disclosure may also include steps of separating catalytic materials from the formed three-dimensional materials and incorporating the three-dimensional materials as a component of an energy storage device (e.g., as an electrode in a capacitor). Additional embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to the formed three-dimensional materials.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 25, 2016
    Publication date: December 6, 2018
    Applicants: William Marsh Rice University, Tianjin University
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Junwei Sha, Naiqin Zhao
  • Publication number: 20180297850
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to methods of making a carbon nanotube hybrid material by depositing a catalyst solution onto a carbon-based material, and growing carbon nanotubes on the carbon-based material such that the grown carbon nanotubes become covalently linked to the carbon-based material through carbon-carbon bonds. The catalyst solution includes a metal component (e.g., iron) and a buffer component (e.g., aluminum) that may be in the form of particles. The metal component of the particle may be in the form of a metallic core or metallic oxide core while the buffer component may be on a surface of the metal component in the form of metal or metal oxides. Further embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to the catalytic particles and carbon nanotube hybrid materials. The carbon nanotube hybrid materials of the present disclosure may be incorporated as electrodes (e.g., anodes or cathodes) in energy storage devices.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 9, 2017
    Publication date: October 18, 2018
    Applicant: William Marsh Rice University
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Rodrigo Villegas Salvatierra, Dante Zakhidov, Junwei Sha
  • Publication number: 20180294409
    Abstract: A method for forming an electronic device may comprising the steps of selecting a substrate for an electronic device, and depositing a porous film utilizing physical vapor deposition, dry deposition, evaporative deposition, e-beam evaporation, plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition, or atomic layer deposition. In some embodiments, a deposition rate, temperature, pressure, or combination thereof may be carefully controlled during deposition to generate the porous film. Further, the depositing of the porous film occurs without the need for further processing. Additional steps may also include depositing an additional layer for the electronic device. In some case, the method may also include depositing and/or patterning a secondary electronic device on top or below the first electronic device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 7, 2016
    Publication date: October 11, 2018
    Applicant: William Marsh Rice University
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Yongsung Ji, Seoung-Ki Lee
  • Publication number: 20180287162
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to an electrode that includes: a porous carbon material; a metal (e.g., Li) associated with the porous carbon material; and a conductive additive (e.g., graphene nanoribbons) associated with the porous carbon material. The metal may be in the form of a non-dendritic or non-mossy coating on a surface of the porous carbon material. The electrodes may also be associated with a substrate, such as a copper foil. The electrodes may be utilized as anodes or cathodes in energy storage devices, such as lithium ion batteries. Additional embodiments pertain to energy storage devices that contain the electrodes of the present disclosure. Further embodiments pertain to methods of making the electrodes by associating porous carbon materials with a conductive additive, a metal, and optionally a substrate. The electrode may then be incorporated as a component of an energy storage device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 10, 2016
    Publication date: October 4, 2018
    Applicant: William Marsh Rice University
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Wang Tuo, Rodrigo Villegas Salvatierra, Almaz S. Jalilov
  • Publication number: 20180282163
    Abstract: Various embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to methods of making graphene quantum dots from a carbon source by exposing the carbon source to a solution that contains an oxidant. The exposing results in the formation of the graphene quantum dots from the carbon source. The carbon sources can include coal, coke, biochar, asphalt, and combinations thereof. The oxidants can include an acid, such as nitric acid. In some embodiments, the oxidant consists essentially of a single acid, such as nitric acid. Various embodiments of the present disclosure also include steps of separating the formed graphene quantum dots from the oxidant by various methods, such as evaporation. In various embodiments, the methods of the present disclosure also include steps of enhancing a quantum yield of the graphene quantum dots, reducing the formed graphene quantum dots, and controlling the diameter of the formed graphene quantum dots.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 6, 2015
    Publication date: October 4, 2018
    Applicant: William Marsh Rice University
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Andrew Metzger, Ruquan Ye, Jason Mann
  • Patent number: 10086334
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to scalable methods of producing carbon quantum dots with desired bandgaps by the following steps: exposing a carbon source to an oxidant at a reaction temperature, where the exposing results in the formation of the carbon quantum dots; and selecting a desired size of the formed carbon quantum dots. In some embodiments, the selecting occurs by at least one of separating the desired size of the formed carbon quantum dots from other formed carbon quantum dots; selecting the reaction temperature that produces the desired size of the formed carbon quantum dots; and combinations of such steps. The desired size of carbon quantum dots can include a size range. The methods of the present disclosure can also include a step of purifying the formed carbon quantum dots prior to selecting a desired size.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2018
    Assignee: WILLIAM MARSH RICE UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Ruquan Ye, Andrew Metzger, Macy Stavinoha, Yonghao Zheng
  • Patent number: 10053366
    Abstract: Methods of controllably forming Bernal-stacked graphene layers are disclosed. The methods comprise: (1) cleaning a surface of a catalyst; (2) annealing the surface of the catalyst; (3) applying a carbon source onto the cleaned and annealed surface of the catalyst in a reaction chamber; and (4) growing the Bernal-stacked graphene layers on the surface of the catalyst in the reaction chamber, where the number of formed Bernal-stacked graphene layers is controllable as a function of one or more growth parameters, such as a total pressure of the reaction chamber. Further embodiments of the present disclosure also include steps of: (5) terminating the growing step; and (6) transferring the formed Bernal-stacked graphene layers from the surface of the catalyst onto a substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2018
    Assignee: WILLIAM MARSH RICE UNIVERISITY
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Zhengzong Sun, Abdul-Rahman O. Raji
  • Publication number: 20180183041
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to electrodes that include a plurality of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes and sulfur associated with the vertically aligned carbon nanotubes. The electrodes may also include a substrate (e.g., a porous nickel foam) and a carbon layer (e.g., graphene film). In some embodiments, the carbon layer may be positioned between the substrate and the vertically aligned carbon nanotubes. In some embodiments, the electrodes may be in the form of a graphene-carbon nanotube hybrid material that includes: a graphene film; and vertically aligned carbon nanotubes covalently linked to the graphene film. In some embodiments, the electrodes of the present disclosure serve as cathodes or anodes in an energy storage device. Additional embodiments pertain to energy storage devices that contain the electrodes of the present disclosure. Further embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to methods of making the electrodes and incorporating them into energy storage devices.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 9, 2016
    Publication date: June 28, 2018
    Applicant: William Marsh Rice University
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Caitian Gao, Lei Li
  • Publication number: 20180175379
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to electrodes that include a plurality of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes and germanium associated with the vertically aligned carbon nanotubes. The electrodes may also include a substrate (e.g., copper foil) and a carbon layer (e.g., graphene film). In some embodiments, the carbon layer may be positioned between the substrate and the vertically aligned carbon nanotubes. In some embodiments, the electrodes may be in the form of a graphene-carbon nanotube hybrid material that includes: a graphene film; and vertically aligned carbon nanotubes covalently linked to the graphene film. In some embodiments, the electrodes of the present disclosure serve as cathodes or anodes in an energy storage device. Additional embodiments pertain to energy storage devices that contain the electrodes of the present disclosure. Further embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to methods of making the electrodes and incorporating them into energy storage devices.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 10, 2016
    Publication date: June 21, 2018
    Applicant: William Marsh Rice University
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Caitian Gao, Nam Dong Kim
  • Patent number: 9997705
    Abstract: A porous memory device, such as a memory or a switch, may provide a top and bottom electrodes with a memory material layer (e.g. SiOx) positioned between the electrodes. The memory material layer may provide a nanoporous structure. In some embodiments, the nanoporous structure may be formed electrochemically, such as from anodic etching. Electroformation of a filament through the memory material layer may occur internally through the layer rather than at an edge at extremely low electro-forming voltages. The porous memory device may also provide multi-bit storage, high on-off ratios, long high-temperature lifetime, excellent cycling endurance, fast switching, and lower power consumption.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Assignee: William Marsh Rice University
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Gunuk Wang, Yang Yang, Yongsung Ji
  • Patent number: 9919927
    Abstract: In some embodiments, the present disclosure pertains to methods of making graphene quantum dots from a carbon source (e.g., coal, coke, and combinations thereof) by exposing the carbon source to an oxidant. In some embodiments, the methods of the present disclosure further comprise a step of separating the formed graphene quantum dots from the oxidant. In some embodiments, the methods of the present disclosure further comprise a step of reducing the formed graphene quantum dots. In some embodiments, the methods of the present disclosure further comprise a step of enhancing a quantum yield of the graphene quantum dots. In further embodiments, the methods of the present disclosure also include a step of controlling the diameter of the formed graphene quantum dots by selecting the carbon source. In some embodiments, the formed graphene quantum dots comprise oxygen addends or amorphous carbon addends on their edges.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: WILLIAM MARSH RICE UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Ruquan Ye, Changsheng Xiang, Jian Lin, Zhiwei Peng, Gabriel Ceriotti
  • Patent number: 9896340
    Abstract: In some embodiments, the present disclosure pertains to methods of forming a reinforcing material by: (1) depositing a first material onto a catalyst surface; and (2) forming a second material on the catalyst surface, where the second material is derived from and associated with the first material. In some embodiments, the first material includes, without limitation, carbon nanotubes, graphene nanoribbons, boron nitride nanotubes, chalcogenide nanotubes, carbon onions, and combinations thereof. In some embodiments, the formed second material includes, without limitation, graphene, hexagonal boron nitride, chalcogenides, and combinations thereof. In additional embodiments, the methods of the present disclosure also include a step of separating the formed reinforcing material from the catalyst surface, and transferring the separated reinforcing material onto a substrate without the use of polymers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: WILLIAM MARSH RICE UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Zheng Yan, Zhiwei Peng, Robert H. Hauge, Yilun Li
  • Publication number: 20180047519
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to methods of making electrically conductive materials by applying nanowires and graphene nanoribbons onto a surface to form a network layer with interconnected graphene nanoribbons and nanowires. In some embodiments, the methods include the following steps: (a) applying graphene nanoribbons onto a surface to form a graphene nanoribbon layer; (b) applying nanowires and graphene nanoribbons onto the graphene nanoribbon layer to form the network layer; and (c) optionally applying graphene nanoribbons onto the formed network layer to form a second graphene nanoribbon layer on the network layer. Additional embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to the formed electrically conductive materials and their use as components of electronic devices, such as energy storage devices. Further embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to electronic devices that contain the electrically conductive materials of the present disclosure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 9, 2016
    Publication date: February 15, 2018
    Applicant: William Marsh Rice University
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Rodrigo V. Salvatierra, Abdul-Rahman O. Raji
  • Publication number: 20180008957
    Abstract: In some embodiments, the present disclosure pertains to methods of capturing CO2 from an environment by hydrating a porous material with water molecules to the extent thereby to define a preselected region of a plurality of hydrated pores and yet to the extent to allow the preselected region of a plurality of pores of the porous material to uptake gas molecules; positioning the porous material within a CO2 associated environment; and capturing CO2 by the hydrated porous material. In some embodiments, the pore volume of the hydrated porous material includes between 90% and 20% of the pre-hydrated pore volume to provide unhydrated pore volume within the porous material for enhanced selective uptake of CO2 in the CO2 associated environment. In some embodiments, the step of capturing includes forming CO2-hydrates within the pores of the porous material, where the CO2┬Ěn/H2O ratio is n<4.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 3, 2017
    Publication date: January 11, 2018
    Applicant: William Marsh Rice University
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Almaz S. Jalilov
  • Patent number: 9845551
    Abstract: In some embodiments, the present disclosure pertains to methods of forming single-crystal graphenes by: (1) cleaning a surface of a catalyst; (2) annealing the surface of the catalyst; (3) applying a carbon source to the surface of the catalyst; and (4) growing single-crystal graphene on the surface of the catalyst from the carbon source. Further embodiments of the present disclosure also include a step of separating the formed single-crystal graphene from the surface of the catalyst. In some embodiments, the methods of the present disclosure also include a step of transferring the formed single-crystal graphene to a substrate. Additional embodiments of the present disclosure also include a step of growing stacks of single crystals of graphene.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2017
    Assignee: WILLIAM MARSH RICE UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Zheng Yan
  • Patent number: 9840418
    Abstract: Methods of producing graphene nanoplatelets by exposing graphite to a medium to form a dispersion of graphite in the medium. In some embodiments, the exposing results in formation of graphene nanoplatelets from the graphite. In some embodiments, the medium includes the following components: (a) an acid; (b) a dehydrating agent; and (c) an oxidizing agent. In some embodiments, the methods of the present disclosure result in the formation of graphene nanoplatelets at a yield of more than 90%. In some embodiments, the methods of the present disclosure result in the formation of graphene nanoplatelets in bulk quantities that are more than about a 1 kg of graphene nanoplatelets. Additional embodiments of the present disclosure pertains to the formed graphene nanoplatelets. In some embodiments, the graphene nanoplatelets include a plurality of layers, such as from about 1 layer to about 100 layers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2017
    Assignee: WILLIAM MARSH RICE UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Ayrat Dimiev, Gabriel Ceriotti
  • Publication number: 20170342578
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to electrocatalysts that include a surface and a plurality of catalytically active sites associated with the surface. The catalytically active sites include individually dispersed metallic atoms that are associated with heteroatoms. In some embodiments, the surface includes graphene oxide, the heteroatoms include nitrogen, and the metallic atoms include cobalt. Additional embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to methods of mediating an electrocatalytic reaction by exposing a precursor material to an electrocatalyst of the present disclosure. In some embodiments, the electrocatalytic reaction is a hydrogen evolution reaction that results in the formation of molecular hydrogen from the precursor material. Further embodiments of the present disclosure pertain to methods of making the electrocatalysts of the present disclosure by associating a surface with heteroatoms and metallic atoms.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 11, 2015
    Publication date: November 30, 2017
    Applicant: William Marsh Rice University
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Huilong Fei
  • Patent number: 9831424
    Abstract: A nanoporous (NP) memory may include a non-porous layer and a nanoporous layer sandwiched between the bottom and top electrodes. The memory may be free of diodes, selectors, and/or transistors that may be necessary in other memories to mitigate crosstalk. The nanoporous material of the nanoporous layer may be a metal oxide, metal chalcogenide, or a combination thereof. Further, the memory may lack any additional components. Further, the memory may be free from requiring an electroformation process to allow switching between ON/OFF states.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: WILLIAM MARSH RICE UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: James M. Tour, Gunuk Wang, Yang Yang