Nanomotor/nanoactuator Patents (Class 977/725)
  • Patent number: 8736138
    Abstract: A carbon nanotube MEMS assembly comprises a plurality of carbon nanotubes oriented into a patterned frame, the patterned frame defining at least two components of a MEMS device. An interstitial material at least partially binds adjacent carbon nanotubes one to another. At least one component of the frame is fixed and at least one component of the frame is movable relative to the fixed component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2014
    Assignee: Brigham Young University
    Inventors: Robert C. Davis, Richard R. Vanfleet, David N. Hutchison
  • Patent number: 8652352
    Abstract: Photoresponsive shape memory nanoparticles have a layered smectic ordering and include a photoresponsive moiety selected from the group consisting of azobenzene, stilbene, and spiropyran. Multiple cycles of contraction and extension in these materials can be controlled by UV and visible light. By changing light intensity and exposure time, the magnitude of actuation can be modulated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: The United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Jawad Naciri, Jing C. Zhou, Banahalli R. Ratna
  • Patent number: 8557140
    Abstract: Photoresponsive shape memory nanoparticles have a layered smectic ordering and include a photoresponsive moiety selected from the group consisting of azobenzene, stilbene, and spiropyran. Multiple cycles of contraction and extension in these materials can be controlled by UV and visible light. By changing light intensity and exposure time, the magnitude of actuation can be modulated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: Jawad Naciri, Jing C. Zhou, Banahalli R. Ratna
  • Patent number: 8415859
    Abstract: A piezoelectric nanodevice may include a first substrate having formed thereon a multiple number of nanorods and a second substrate having formed thereon a multiple number of piezoelectric nanorods. The first substrate associates with the second substrate to generate friction between the nanorods of the first substrate and the piezoelectric nanorods of the second substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: Korea University Research and Business Foundation
    Inventor: Kwangyeol Lee
  • Patent number: 8394625
    Abstract: This invention generally relates to an integrated ‘lab-on-a-Pipette’™ which will provide sample-to-answer single cell genetic diagnosis for preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and other forms of single cell analysis (SCA). SCA is a quickly growing field with substantial impact in prenatal testing, cancer biopsies, diabetes, stem cell research, and our overall understanding of heterogeneity in biology. However, single cell genetic analysis is challenging, inaccurate, and in many cases impossible, due to the small amount of sample (5 pg), and difficulties in handling small sample volumes (50-100 pL). The ‘lab-on-a-pipette’ device integrates a microaspiration tip with microfluidic analysis components to conduct in-situ, real-time single cell genetic diagnosis in a single device. The microaspiration tip extracts and encapsulate a cell into an ultra-low volume plug (˜300 pL).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Inventors: Angelo Gaitas, Amar Basu
  • Publication number: 20120293047
    Abstract: A generator includes a substrate, a first electrode layer, a dense plurality of vertically-aligned piezoelectric elongated nanostructures, an insulating layer and a second electrode layer. The substrate has a top surface and the first electrode layer is disposed on the top surface of the substrate. The dense plurality of vertically-aligned piezoelectric elongated nanostructures extends from the first electrode layer. Each of the nanostructures has a top end. The insulating layer is disposed on the top ends of the nanostructures. The second electrode layer is disposed on the non-conductive layer and is spaced apart from the nanostructures.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 17, 2012
    Publication date: November 22, 2012
    Applicant: GEORGIA TECH RESEARCH CORPORATION
    Inventors: Zhong Lin Wang, Youfan Hu, Yan Zhang, Chen Xu, Guang Zhu
  • Patent number: 8148001
    Abstract: An energy storage device includes at least one nanotube. An energy storage mechanism converts energy external to the device into the appropriate levels of strain on the at least one nanotube to produce stored energy, and an energy recovery mechanism converts the energy released by relaxing the at least one nanotube back to energy external to the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2012
    Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Timothy F. Havel, Carol Livermore-Clifford
  • Patent number: 8144407
    Abstract: An exemplary CNT-based actuator includes a first electrode, a second electrode opposite to the first electrode, and a CNT layer sandwiched between the first electrode and the second electrode. The CNT layer includes two opposite surfaces in contact with the first and the second electrodes respectively, and a plurality of CNTs substantially parallel to each other. The first electrode and the second electrode are configured for cooperatively creating therebetween an electric field with an electric field direction substantially parallel to the CNTs so as to adjust a thickness of the CNT layer, thereby moving the second electrode relative to the first electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2012
    Assignee: Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Ga-Lane Chen
  • Publication number: 20120043858
    Abstract: Energy harvesting elements or membranes are provided that use a layer of electrodes with a mixture of carbon nanotubes (CNT). The energy harvesting device of this type can be used as in sensor-based system in which on application of a bending load, the energy harvesting device produces a voltage across the electrodes. The energy harvesting device may include an electrode coating including carbon nanotubes (CNT) substantially homogenously dispersed in epoxy resin system to form a CNT-epoxy electrode coating. The CNT-epoxy electrode can be realized by dispersing about 5% CNT (by weight) in an epoxy-resin system, followed by mixing the system to achieve a near-homogenous dispersion resulting in a CNT-epoxy mixture. The CNT-epoxy mixture can then be uniformly coated on surfaces of a polymer to form electrodes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 22, 2010
    Publication date: February 23, 2012
    Applicant: INDIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE
    Inventors: Debiprosad Roy Mahapatra, Arvind Krishnaswamy
  • Patent number: 8033091
    Abstract: A monolithic micro or nano electromechanical transducer device includes a pair of substrates (20, 25) respectively mounting one or more elongate electrical conductors (40) and resilient solid state hinge means (30, 32) integral with and linking the substrates to relatively locate the substrates so that respective elongate electrical conductors (40) of the substrates are opposed at a spacing that permits a detectable quantum tunnelling current between the conductors when a suitable electrical potential difference is applied across the conductors. The solid state hinge means permits relative parallel translation of the substrates transverse to the elongate electrical conductors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2011
    Assignee: Quantum Precision Instruments Asia PTE Ltd.
    Inventors: Marek Michalewicz, Zygmunt Rymuza
  • Patent number: 7998431
    Abstract: An apparatus comprising a substrate having a surface with a volume-tunable-material on the surface and fluid-support-structures over the surface and partially embedded in the volume-tunable-material. Each of said fluid-support-structures has at least one dimension of about 1 millimeter or less, and the fluid-support-structures are moveable in response to a volume transition of the volume-tunable-material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2011
    Assignee: Alcatel Lucent
    Inventors: Joanna Aizenberg, Paul Robert Kolodner, Thomas Nikita Krupenkin, Oleksandr Sydorenko, Joseph Ashley Taylor
  • Patent number: 7924514
    Abstract: A moveable assembly includes a frame, resilient suspension arms made of carbon nanotube bundles, and a moveable member. The frame is disposed around the moveable member. Each of the resilient suspension arms includes a first end fixed to the frame, and a second end connected to the moveable member. The resilient suspension arms are centro-symmetrically arranged relative to the moveable member such that the moveable member is capable of stably moving along a predetermined direction driven by an external force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2011
    Assignee: Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Tai-Hsu Chou
  • Patent number: 7884525
    Abstract: A nano-scale compliant mechanism includes a coupler and a plurality of nanotubes disposed for nano-scale motion relative to a grounded component. The nanotubes are fastened at one end to the coupler and at the other end to ground, to guide motion of the coupler relative to the ground. Particular embodiments include a plurality of parallel carbon nanotubes. An exemplary embodiment exhibits first and second regions of mechanical behavior; a first region governed by bulk elastic deformation of the nanotubes and a second region governed by compliant, hinge-like bending of the buckled nanotubes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2011
    Assignees: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brigham Young University
    Inventors: Martin L. Culpepper, Spencer P. Magleby, Larry L. Howell, Christopher M. DiBiasio, Robert M. Panas
  • Publication number: 20110023608
    Abstract: Devices usable as sensors, as transducers, or as both sensors and transducers include one or more nanotubes or nanowires. In some embodiments, the devices may each include a plurality of sensor/transducer devices carried by a common substrate. The sensor/transducer devices may be individually operable, and may exhibit a plurality of resonant frequencies to enhance the operable frequency bandwidth of the devices. Sensor/transducer devices include one or more elements configured to alter a resonant frequency of a nanotube. Such elements may be selectively and individually actuable. Methods for sensing mechanical displacements and vibrations include monitoring an electrical characteristic of a nanotube. Methods for generating mechanical displacements and vibrations include using an electrical signal to induce mechanical displacements or vibrations in one or more nanotubes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 11, 2010
    Publication date: February 3, 2011
    Applicant: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Neal R. Rueger
  • Patent number: 7863798
    Abstract: A nanoscale nanocrystal which may be used as a reciprocating motor is provided, comprising a substrate having an energy differential across it, e.g. an electrical connection to a voltage source at a proximal end; an atom reservoir on the substrate distal to the electrical connection; a nanoparticle ram on the substrate distal to the atom reservoir; a nanolever contacting the nanoparticle ram and having an electrical connection to a voltage source, whereby a voltage applied between the electrical connections on the substrate and the nanolever causes movement of atoms between the reservoir and the ram. Movement of the ram causes movement of the nanolever relative to the substrate. The substrate and nanolever preferably comprise multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) and the atom reservoir and nanoparticle ram are preferably metal (e.g. indium) deposited as small particles on the MWNTs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2011
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventors: Brian C. Regan, Alexander K. Zettl, Shaul Aloni
  • Publication number: 20100253184
    Abstract: An apparatus for generating electrical energy may include; a first electrode, a second electrode spaced apart from the first electrode, a nanowire which includes a piezoelectric material and is disposed on the first electrode, an active layer disposed on the first electrode, a conductive layer disposed on the active layer, and an insulating film disposed between the conductive layer and the nanowire, wherein the nanowire and the active layer are electrically connected to each other. A method for manufacturing an apparatus for generating electrical energy may include; disposing a nanowire including a piezoelectric material on a first electrode, disposing an active layer, which is electrically connected to the nanowire, on the first electrode, disposing an insulating film on the nanowire, disposing a conductive layer on the active layer, and disposing a second electrode in proximity to the nanowire and substantially opposite to the first electrode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 5, 2009
    Publication date: October 7, 2010
    Applicant: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Dukhyun CHOI, Jaeyoung CHOI
  • Publication number: 20100237744
    Abstract: In an actuator including at least one active electrode disposed in an electrolyte and comprising at least two webs of an electrically conductive material with a plurality of geometrically anisotropic nanoparticles disposed thereon and oriented uni-directionally in a preferential direction with an electrically conductive connection between the nanoparticles and the webs and a potential difference with respect to ground can be applied to the active electrode by a voltage or current source, the nanoparticles are connected in each case to two webs and the connections are material-interlocking.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 27, 2006
    Publication date: September 23, 2010
    Inventors: Torsten Koker, Ulrich Gengenbach
  • Patent number: 7787990
    Abstract: A system of three-dimensional multipurpose elements is disclosed, consisting of single solid elements which can be computer-controlled to move, connect to one another, and disconnect from one another. A single element of the system consists of a casing made up of walls (6), linked with each other by means of an electroplastic actuator (3) which changes the reciprocal position of the walls of the casing of a single element. Changes in the reciprocal position of the walls occur according to the exciting signal transmitted from a programmable integrated circuit (1). Heat emitters (14) carry away excess heat from the system devices. Inside a single element there are provided interlocks (7) for connecting respective single elements, as well as magnetic coils (8) and a voltage source (5) supplying the integrated circuit (1), interlocks, magnetic coils and electroplastic actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2010
    Inventor: Andrzej Pietrzyk
  • Patent number: 7777222
    Abstract: Nanotube device structures and methods of fabrication. A method of making a nanotube switching element includes forming a first structure having at a first output electrode; forming second structure having a second output electrode; forming a conductive article having at least one nanotube, the article having first and second ends; positioning the conductive article between said first and second structures such that the first structure clamps the first and second ends of the article to the second structure, and such that the first and second output electrodes are opposite each other with the article positioned therebetween; providing at least one signal electrode in electrical communication with the conductive article; and providing at least one control electrode in spaced relation to the conductive article such that the control electrode may control the conductive article to form a conductive pathway between the signal electrode and the first output electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2010
    Assignee: Nantero, Inc.
    Inventors: Claude L. Bertin, Thomas Rueckes, Brent M. Segal
  • Patent number: 7749792
    Abstract: The present disclosure is broadly directed to a method for designing new MEMS micro-movers, particularly suited for, but not limited to, CMOS fabrication techniques, that are capable of large lateral displacement for tuning capacitors, fabricating capacitors, self-assembly of small gaps in CMOS processes, fabricating latching structures and other applications where lateral micro-positioning on the order of up to 10 ?m, or greater, is desired. Principles of self-assembly and electro-thermal actuation are used for designing micro-movers. In self-assembly, motion is induced in specific beams by designing a lateral effective residual stress gradient within the beams. The lateral residual stress gradient arises from purposefully offsetting certain layers of one material versus another material. For example, lower metal layers may be side by side with dielectric layers, both of which are positioned beneath a top metal layer of a CMOS-MEMS beam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2010
    Assignee: Carnegie Mellon University
    Inventors: Gary K. Fedder, Altug Oz
  • Patent number: 7718000
    Abstract: One provides (101) disperse ultra-nanocrystalline diamond powder material that comprises a plurality of substantially ordered crystallites that are each sized no larger than about 10 nanometers. One then reacts (102) these crystallites with a metallic component. The resultant nanowire is then able to exhibit a desired increase with respect to its ability to conduct electricity while also substantially preserving the thermal conductivity behavior of the disperse ultra-nanocrystalline diamond powder material. The reaction process can comprise combining (201) the crystallites with one or more metal salts in an aqueous solution and then heating (203) that aqueous solution to remove the water. This heating can occur in a reducing atmosphere (comprising, for example, hydrogen and/or methane) to also reduce the salt to metal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2010
    Assignee: Dimerond Technologies, LLC
    Inventor: Dieter M. Gruen
  • Publication number: 20100033059
    Abstract: An apparatus for generating electrical energy including a first electrode, a second electrode and one or more nanowires, and a method for manufacturing the apparatus for generating electrical energy. The second electrode may have a concave portion and a convex portion. The first electrode and the nanowire are formed of different materials. The nanowire is formed on the first electrode and is positioned between the first electrode and the second electrode. Because the nanowire is formed on the first electrode, the nanowire may be grown vertically and the uniformity and conductivity of the nanowires may be improved. When a stress is applied to the first electrode or the second electrode, the nanowire is deformed and an electric current is generated from the nanowire due to a piezoelectric effect of the nanowire and a Schottky contact between the nanowire and the electrode which makes contact with the nanowire.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 8, 2009
    Publication date: February 11, 2010
    Applicants: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD., KUMOH NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
    Inventors: Jaeyoung CHOI, Sang-Woo KIM, Dukhyun CHOI
  • Publication number: 20090315011
    Abstract: Nanotube device structures and methods of fabrication. A method of making a nanotube switching element includes forming a first structure having at a first output electrode; forming second structure having a second output electrode; forming a conductive article having at least one nanotube, the article having first and second ends; positioning the conductive article between said first and second structures such that the first structure clamps the first and second ends of the article to the second structure, and such that the first and second output electrodes are opposite each other with the article positioned therebetween; providing at least one signal electrode in electrical communication with the conductive article; and providing at least one control electrode in spaced relation to the conductive article such that the control electrode may control the conductive article to form a conductive pathway between the signal electrode and the first output electrode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 26, 2009
    Publication date: December 24, 2009
    Inventors: Claude L. BERTIN, Thomas RUECKES, Brent M. SEGAL
  • Patent number: 7625383
    Abstract: The present invention provides a surgical manipulator which capable of manipulating a surgical or medical tool in up to six degrees of freedom. The manipulator has a relatively lightweight, compact design as a result of the use of high force to mass ratio actuators. The manipulator includes a mounting fixture which permits the manipulator to be fixed relative to a portion of a body of a patient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 1, 2009
    Assignee: MicroDexterity Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Steve T Charles, J. Michael Stuart, Larry Bronisz
  • Patent number: 7588960
    Abstract: Nanotube device structures and methods of fabrication. A method of making a nanotube switching element includes forming a first structure having at a first output electrode; forming second structure having a second output electrode; forming a conductive article having at least one nanotube, the article having first and second ends; positioning the conductive article between said first and second structures such that the first structure clamps the first and second ends of the article to the second structure, and such that the first and second output electrodes are opposite each other with the article positioned therebetween; providing at least one signal electrode in electrical communication with the conductive article; and providing at least one control electrode in spaced relation to the conductive article such that the control electrode may control the conductive article to form a conductive pathway between the signal electrode and the first output electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2009
    Assignee: Nantero, Inc.
    Inventors: Claude L. Bertin, Thomas Rueckes, Brent M. Segal
  • Patent number: 7582992
    Abstract: Electromechanical systems utilizing suspended conducting nanometer-scale beams are provided and may be used in applications, such as, motors, generators, pumps, fans, compressors, propulsion systems, transmitters, receivers, heat engines, heat pumps, magnetic field sensors, kinetic energy storage devices and accelerometers. Such nanometer-scale beams may be provided as, for example, single molecules, single crystal filaments, or nanotubes. When suspended by both ends, these nanometer-scale beams may be caused to rotate about their line of suspension, similar to the motion of a jumprope (or a rotating whip), via electromagnetic or electrostatic forces. This motion may be used, for example, to accelerate molecules of a working substance in a preferred direction, generate electricity from the motion of a working substance molecules, or generate electromagnetic signals. Means of transmitting and controlling currents through these beams are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 1, 2009
    Assignee: CJP IP Holdings, Ltd.
    Inventors: Joseph F. Pinkerton, John C. Harlan
  • Patent number: 7564085
    Abstract: A memory device that performs writing and reading operations using a mechanical movement of a nanowire, and a method of manufacturing the memory device are provided. The memory device includes a source electrode, a drain electrode, and a gate electrode, each of which is formed on an insulating substrate. A nanowire capacitor is formed on the source electrode. The nanowire capacitor includes a first nanowire vertically grown from the source electrode, a dielectric layer formed on the outer surface of the first nanowire, and a floating electrode formed on the outer surface of the dielectric layer. A second nanowire is vertically grown on the drain electrode. The drain electrode is arranged between the source electrode and the gate electrode. The second nanowire is elastically deformed and contacts the nanowire capacitor when a drain voltage is applied to the drain electrode, and polarity of the drain voltage is opposite to polarity of a source voltage that is applied to the source electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2009
    Assignee: Samsung SDI Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jae-Eun Jang, Seung-Nam Cha, Byong-Gwon Song, Yong-Wan Jin
  • Patent number: 7558103
    Abstract: A magnetic switching element according to an example of the present invention includes a magnetic element, first and second electrodes which put the magnetic element therebetween, a current control section which is connected to the first and second electrodes, the current control section controlling a magnetization direction of a magnetization free section in such a manner that a current is made to flow between the magnetization free section and the magnetization fixed section, a movable conductive tube having a fixed end and a free end, and a third electrode connected to the fixed end of the conductive tube. A switching operation is performed in such a manner that a spatial position of the conductive tube is caused to change depending on the magnetization direction of the magnetization free section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2009
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Shiho Nakamura, Yuichi Motoi, Shigeru Haneda, Hirofumi Morise, Takahiro Hirai
  • Publication number: 20090146075
    Abstract: The invention relates to a motorized manipulator for positioning a TEM specimen holder with sub-micron resolution parallel to a y-z plane and rotating the specimen holder in the y-z plane, the manipulator comprising a base (2), and attachment means (30) for attaching the specimen holder to the manipulator, characterized in that the manipulator further comprises at least three nano-actuators (3a, 3b, 3c) mounted on the base, each nano-actuator showing a tip (4a, 4b, 4c), the at least three tips defining the y-z plane, each tip capable of moving with respect to the base in the y-z plane; a platform (5) in contact with the tips of the nano-actuators; and clamping means (6) for pressing the platform against the tips of the nano-actuators; as a result of which the nano-actuators can rotate the platform with respect to the base in the y-z plane and translate the platform parallel to the y-z plane.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 17, 2008
    Publication date: June 11, 2009
    Applicant: REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
    Inventors: Andreas Karl Schmid, Nord Andresen
  • Patent number: 7518283
    Abstract: It is an object of the present invention to provide NEMS that utilize electrostatic and electromagnetic forces to operate. In one nanoelectrostatic embodiment, a nanometer-scale beam is suspended in an electric field. Electrically charged rails are placed around the beam. When a beam contacts a rail, the beam is forced to move through the electric field in a particular direction. In one nanoelectromagnetic embodiment, a nanometer-scale beam is suspended in a magnetic field. A rail is located in the vicinity of the beam and opposite charges are applied to the rail and beam. In this manner, a current may flow between the beam and rail when the beam and rail contact each other. This current may interact with the magnetic field to move the beam in a particular direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2009
    Assignee: CJP IP Holdings Ltd.
    Inventors: Joseph F. Pinkerton, Jeffrey D. Mullen
  • Publication number: 20090092509
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for manipulating particles on a micro- or nano-scale. An embodiment of the present invention includes a magnetic micro-manipulation technique that utilizes micro-coils and soft magnetic microscopic wires for localized manipulation of particles. Another embodiment of the present invention uses magneto-static interaction between two magnetic microscopic wires to mechanically manipulate particles. Yet another embodiment of the present invention combines a magnetic particle with a magnetic manipulator or other device for generating magnetic fields to operate as a micro-fluidic micro-motor. Other embodiments of the present invention employ a magnetic separation system employing porous membranes partially filled with magnetic wires.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 28, 2008
    Publication date: April 9, 2009
    Inventors: Mladen Barbic, Jack J. Mock, Andrew P. Gray
  • Patent number: 7515010
    Abstract: A nanoscale oscillation device is disclosed, wherein two nanoscale droplets are altered in size by mass transport, then contact each other and merge through surface tension. The device may also comprise a channel having an actuator responsive to mechanical oscillation caused by expansion and contraction of the droplets. It further has a structure for delivering atoms between droplets, wherein the droplets are nanoparticles. Provided are a first particle and a second particle on the channel member, both being made of a chargeable material, the second particle contacting the actuator portion; and electrodes connected to the channel member for delivering a potential gradient across the channel and traversing the first and second particles. The particles are spaced apart a specified distance so that atoms from one particle are delivered to the other particle by mass transport in response to the potential (e.g.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2009
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventors: Alexander K. Zettl, Brian C. Regan, Shaul Aloni
  • Publication number: 20090056305
    Abstract: A scalable flat-panel nano-particle MEMS/NEMS thruster includes a grid having a plurality of electrodes to establish electrical fields. A liquid is disposed in a liquid reservoir of the grid. The liquid is positioned within the electrical fields. A plurality of nano-particles are suspended in the liquid. A plurality of MEMS and NEMS micron-size vias are disposed in the grid. The electrical fields extract the plurality of nano-particles from the liquid and accelerate the nano-particles in the vias to provide propulsion system thrust.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 6, 2006
    Publication date: March 5, 2009
    Inventors: Brian E. Gilchrist, Alec D. Gallimore, Michael Keidar, Louis Musinski, Thomas M. Liu
  • Patent number: 7495350
    Abstract: Nanoelectromechanical systems utilizing nanometer-scale assemblies are provided that convert thermal energy into another form of energy that can be used to perform useful work at macroscopic level. Nanometer-scale beams are provided that reduce the velocity of working substance molecules that collide with this nanometer-scale beam by converting some of the kinetic energy of a colliding molecule into kinetic energy of the nanometer-scale beam. In embodiments that operate without a working substance, the thermal vibrations of the beam itself create the necessary beam motion. Automatic switches may be added to realize a regulator such that the nanometer-scale beams only deliver voltages that exceed a particular amount. The output energy of millions of these devices may be efficiently summed together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2009
    Assignee: CJP IP Holdings, Ltd.
    Inventors: Joseph F. Pinkerton, John C Harlan
  • Publication number: 20090009924
    Abstract: A nanoscale grasping device comprising at least three electrostatically actuated grasping elements, wherein the nanoscale grasping device may be used to more accurately grasp an object, more easily hold an object in a defined location or orientation and more readily manipulate an object.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 12, 2005
    Publication date: January 8, 2009
    Inventor: David L. Carnahan
  • Publication number: 20080314149
    Abstract: Devices usable as sensors, as transducers, or as both sensors and transducers include one or more nanotubes or nanowires. In some embodiments, the devices may each include a plurality of sensor/transducer devices carried by a common substrate. The sensor/transducer devices may be individually operable, and may exhibit a plurality of resonant frequencies to enhance the operable frequency bandwidth of the devices. Sensor/transducer devices include one or more elements configured to alter a resonant frequency of a nanotube. Such elements may be selectively and individually actuable. Methods for sensing mechanical displacements and vibrations include monitoring an electrical characteristic of a nanotube. Methods for generating mechanical displacements and vibrations include using an electrical signal to induce mechanical displacements or vibrations in one or more nanotubes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 25, 2007
    Publication date: December 25, 2008
    Applicant: MICRON TECHNOLOGY, INC.
    Inventor: Neal R. Rueger
  • Patent number: 7453183
    Abstract: A rotational actuator/motor based on rotation of a carbon nanotube is disclosed. The carbon nanotube is provided with a rotor plate attached to an outer wall, which moves relative to an inner wall of the nanotube. After deposit of a nanotube on a silicon chip substrate, the entire structure may be fabricated by lithography using selected techniques adapted from silicon manufacturing technology. The structures to be fabricated may comprise a multiwall carbon nanotube (MWNT), two in plane stators S1, S2 and a gate stator S3 buried beneath the substrate surface. The MWNT is suspended between two anchor pads and comprises a rotator attached to an outer wall and arranged to move in response to electromagnetic inputs. The substrate is etched away to allow the rotor to freely rotate. Rotation may be either in a reciprocal or fully rotatable manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2008
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventors: Alexander K. Zettl, Adam M. Fennimore, Thomas D. Yuzvinsky
  • Publication number: 20080197339
    Abstract: A nanoscale nanocrystal which may be used as a reciprocating motor is provided, comprising a substrate having an energy differential across it, e.g. an electrical connection to a voltage source at a proximal end; an atom reservoir on the substrate distal to the electrical connection; a nanoparticle ram on the substrate distal to the atom reservoir; a nanolever contacting the nanoparticle ram and having an electrical connection to a voltage source, whereby a voltage applied between the electrical connections on the substrate and the nanolever causes movement of atoms between the reservoir and the ram. Movement of the ram causes movement of the nanolever relative to the substrate. The substrate and nanolever preferably comprise multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) and the atom reservoir and nanoparticle ram are preferably metal (e.g. indium) deposited as small particles on the MWNTs.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 19, 2005
    Publication date: August 21, 2008
    Inventors: Brian Christopher Regan, Alexander K. Zettl, Shaul Aloni
  • Patent number: 7361430
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a carbon nanotube (SWNT)-polymer composite actuator and method to make such actuator. A series of uniform composites was prepared by dispersing purified single wall nanotubes with varying weight percents into a polymer matrix, followed by solution casting. The resulting nanotube-polymer composite was then successfully used to form a nanotube polymer actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Thomas Gennett, Ryne P. Raffaelle, Brian J. Landi, Michael J. Heben
  • Publication number: 20080072357
    Abstract: The present invention provides, in one embodiment, an apparatus. The apparatus, without limitation, may include a substrate with a surface, and a polymer layer attached to a region of the surface. The apparatus may further include a plurality of nanostructures, a first end of each nanostructure being in the polymer layer and a second end of each nanostructure protruding through the polymer layer, wherein the nanostructures are configured to move from a first position to a second position in response to a change in thickness of the polymer layer from a first thickness to a second thickness.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 14, 2006
    Publication date: March 20, 2008
    Applicant: Lucent Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: Joanna Aizenberg, Thomas Nikita Krupenkin, Oleksander Sydorenko, Joseph Ashley Taylor
  • Publication number: 20080007140
    Abstract: An actuator device which is made as a laminated structure including a displacement-functioning layer having a region to be deformed by the electric field and an electrode-functioning layer having a region to function as an electrode. And an manufacturing method in which the above-mentioned device is easily manufactured, the method in which, according to the laminated structure, arranging each layer to be formed on the transfer section and transferring it onto the substrate to laminate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 20, 2007
    Publication date: January 10, 2008
    Inventors: Tomoo Izumi, Akira Kosaka, Mitsuhiro Fukuda
  • Patent number: 7314382
    Abstract: An apparatus including a positioner that is transitional from a first positioner orientation towards a second positioner orientation and that comprises a bistable member having a first substantially stable state corresponding to the first positioner orientation and a second substantially stable state corresponding to the second positioner orientation. The apparatus also includes a coupler that is transitional from a first coupler orientation towards a second coupler orientation in response to transition of the bistable-member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2008
    Assignee: Zyvex Labs, LLC
    Inventor: Michael Nolan
  • Patent number: 7315106
    Abstract: An actuator element which functions stably in air and in vacuo, and can be driven at low voltages is described. A actuator element which includes at least two electrode layers, each of which is mutually insulated and comprises a gel composition comprising carbon nanotubes, an ionic liquid and a polymer, are formed on the surface of ion-conductive layer comprising a gel composition comprising an ionic liquid and a polymer, so that the actuator element is capable of being flexed or deformed by creating a potential difference between the electrode layers; and an actuator element wherein at least two electrode layers, each of which is mutually insulated, are formed on the surface of ion-conductive layer, conductive layer is formed on the surface of each electrode layer, and the actuator element is capable of being flexed or deformed by creating a potential difference between the conductive layers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2008
    Assignees: Japan Science and Technology Agency, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
    Inventors: Kinji Asaka, Takanori Fukushima, Takuzo Aida, Atsuko Ogawa
  • Patent number: 7199498
    Abstract: Electromechanical systems utilizing suspended conducting nanometer-scale beams are provided and may be used in applications, such as, motors, generators, pumps, fans, compressors, propulsion systems, transmitters, receivers, heat engines, heat pumps, magnetic field sensors, kinetic energy storage devices and accelerometers. Such nanometer-scale beams may be provided as, for example, single molecules, single crystal filaments, or nanotubes. When suspended by both ends, these nanometer-scale beams may be caused to rotate about their line of suspension, similar to the motion of a jumprope (or a rotating whip), via electromagnetic or electrostatic forces. This motion may be used, for example, to accelerate molecules of a working substance in a preferred direction, generate electricity from the motion of a working substance molecules, or generate electromagnetic signals. Means of transmitting and controlling currents through these beams are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 3, 2007
    Assignee: Ambient Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph F. Pinkerton, John C. Harlan
  • Patent number: 7196450
    Abstract: Electromechanical systems utilizing suspended conducting nanometer-scale beams are provided and may be used in applications, such as, motors, generators, pumps, fans, compressors, propulsion systems, transmitters, receivers, heat engines, heat pumps, magnetic field sensors, kinetic energy storage devices and accelerometers. Such nanometer-scale beams may be provided as, for example, single molecules, single crystal filaments, or nanotubes. When suspended by both ends, these nanometer-scale beams may be caused to rotate about their line of suspension, similar to the motion of a jumprope (or a rotating whip), via electromagnetic or electrostatic forces. This motion may be used, for example, to accelerate molecules of a working substance in a preferred direction, generate electricity from the motion of a working substance molecules, or generate electromagnetic signals. Means of transmitting and controlling currents through these beams are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2007
    Assignee: Ambient Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph F Pinkerton, John C Harlan
  • Patent number: 7175762
    Abstract: A nanofeature particulate trap comprising a plurality of densely packed nanofeatures, such as nanotubes, and a particulate detector incorporating the nanofeature particulate trap are provided. A method of producing a nanotrap structure alone or integrated with a particulate detector is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2007
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Flavio Noca, Brian D. Hunt, Michael J. Bronikowski, Michael E. Hoenk, Robert S. Kowalczyk, Daniel S. Choi, Fei Chen
  • Patent number: 7053520
    Abstract: A rotational actuator/motor based on rotation of a carbon nanotube is disclosed. The carbon nanotube is provided with a rotor plate attached to an outer wall, which moves relative to an inner wall of the nanotube. After deposit of a nanotube on a silicon chip substrate, the entire structure may be fabricated by lithography using selected techniques adapted from silicon manufacturing technology. The structures to be fabricated may comprise a multiwall carbon nanotube (MWNT), two in plane stators S1, S2 and a gate stator S3 buried beneath the substrate surface. The MWNT is suspended between two anchor pads and comprises a rotator attached to an outer wall and arranged to move in response to electromagnetic inputs. The substrate is etched away to allow the rotor to freely rotate. Rotation may be either in a reciprocal or fully rotatable manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2006
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventors: Alexander K. Zetti, Adam M. Fennimore, Thomas D. Yuzvinsky