Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center (RNC) :: Materials Research Center :: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY

Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center

Patents

 

Since its inception, researchers at the Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center have published more than 1,000 papers, presented at more than 2,000 seminars, and have made more than 80 patent disclosures. Licensing arrangements can be made with RPI's Office of Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer & New Ventures.

 

Some Examples:

 

“Embedded Nanotube Array Sensor” (US Patent 7,673,521). A method of producing polymer/nanotube composites where the density and position of the nanotubes within the composite ca be controlled. Carbon nanotubes are grown from organometallic micropatterns. These periodic nanotube arrays are then incorporated into a polymer matrix by deposing a curable polymer film on the as-grown tubes. This controlled method of producing free-standing nanotube/polymer composite films may be used to form nanosensor which provide information regarding a physical condition of a material, such as an airplane chassis or wing, in contact with the nanosensor.

 

“Carbon Nanotrees Formed by Flash CVD Method” (US Patent 7,504,152). A flash CVD process can be employed to grow micron- and nano-sized tree-like structures, particularly carbon structures on graphite electrodes. This process involves fast cyclic resistive heating of electrodes in an atmosphere of inert gas and hydrocarbons at below atmospheric pressure.

 

“Light Emitting Diodes and Display Apparatuses” (US Patent 7,560,746). In a light emitting diode, a first semiconductor layer supplies electrons, and a second semiconductor layer supplies holes. An active layer is formed between the first and second semiconductor layers. The active layer receives electrons and holes, and emits light in response to coupling between the electrons and the holes. A first reflective layer is formed on a bottom portion of the first semiconductor layer, and a second reflective layer is formed on a top portion of the second semiconductor layer. The light emitted from the active layer exits toward a side of the active layer.

 

“Direct Synthesis of Long Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Strands” (US Patent 7,615,204). Long, macroscopic nanotube strands or cables, up to several tens of centimeters in length, of aligned single-walled nanotubes are synthesized by the catalytic pyrolysis of n-hexane using an enhanced vertical floating catalyst CVD technique. The long strands of nanotubes assemble continuously from ropes or arrays of nanotubes, which are intrinsically long. These directly synthesized long nanotube strands or cables can be easily manipulated using macroscopic tools.

 

“In Vitro Metabolic Engineering on Microscale Devices” (US Patent 7,427,497). Disclosed herein is a microfluidics device that can be used to prepare natural products and their analogs. The device comprises the enzymes of a biosynthetic pathway immobilized thereon and a means for sequentially directing a starting material and each ensuing reaction product to the enzymes of the biosynthetic pathway in the order corresponding to the steps of the biosynthetic pathway. The device can thus be used to prepare the natural product using the natural starting material of the biosynthetic pathway or analogs of the natural product using an unnatural starting material. Alternatively, artificial pathways can be created by immobilizing an appropriate selection of enzymes on the device in an order whereby each subsequent enzyme can catalyze a reaction with the product of the prior enzyme. Novel chemical entities can be prepared from these artificial pathways.

 

“Directed assembly of highly-organized carbon nanotube architectures” (US Patent 7,189,430). A method of controllably aligning carbon nanotubes to a template structure to fabricate a variety of carbon nanotube containing structures and devices having desired characteristics is provided. The method allows simultaneous, selective growth of both vertically and horizontally controllably aligned nanotubes on the template structure but not on a substrate in a single process step.

 

“Method of transforming carbon nanotubes” (U.S. Patent 7,217,404). A method of transforming a carbon single wall nanotube (SWNT) is provided. The method comprises exposing the SWNT to light having a power sufficient to ignite or reconstruct the SWNT such that the SWNT is ignited or reconstructed by the exposure to the light.

 

"Tubular Mictrostructures via Controlled Nanoparticle Assembly" (U.S. Patent 6,960,378). A process for producing microtubes from nanoparticles includes forming a dispersion of the nanoparticles in a liquid phase and freeze-drying the dispersion to produce microtubes. The nanoparticles have surface functionality capable of self-bonding and bonding with the liquid phase during freeze-drying, particularly surface hydroxy functionality.

 

"Ultrafast All-Optical Switch Using Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Polymer Composites" (US Patent 6,782,154). An ultrafast all-optical nonlinear switch. The switch has as components a substrate and a material disposed on the substrate. In one embodiment, the material includes a plurality of single-walled carbon nanotubes and a polymer forming a composite. Preferably, the polymer is polyimide. In another embodiment, the material includes a plurality of single-walled carbon nanotubes incorporated into a silica. The nanotube loading in the material is less than about 0.1 wt %. The material is a substantially transparent, third-order nonlinear optical material. The switch has a switching speed of less than 1 picosecond for light with a wavelength of about 1.55 micrometers. Also disclosed is a process for preparing the ultrafast all-optical nonlinear switch.

 

“Gelatin Nanocomposites" (U.S. Patent 6,783,805). Scratch-resistant nanocomposite materials contain at least one film-forming hydrophilic colloid and at least one ceramic nanoparticle material. In particular, the film-forming hydrophilic colloid may be a gelatin, and the ceramic nanoparticle material may be alumina. In another aspect, the invention relates to scratch-resistant imaging elements comprising a support and a layer comprising such a nanocomposite material. The nanocomposite layer may be employed as an imaging layer, or as a protective layer disposed between an imagining layer and the environment.

 

“Nanoparticle-filled polymers” (US Patent 6,667,360). Polymer resins incorporating nanoparticles having a particle size in the range of 1-100 nm and a narrow particle size distribution have improved tensile properties and scratch resistance.

 

“Functionallized Microbeads Prepared by Photopolymerization” (US Patent 6,602,602). Epoxy-functionallized polymeric microbeads and dispersions thereof may be prepared using a cationic non-aqueous dispersion-suspension photopolymerization. The polymeric microbeads may be further modified with a variety of additional groups by reaction with various reagents with the epoxy moities.

 

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