Patent Issued for Use of Noble Metal Nanoparticles as Light Absorbers and Heat Generators in Thermal Photodetectors, Sensors and Microelectromechanical Devices
The patent's inventor is Nikoobakht, Babak (
This patent was filed on
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "This invention pertains to thermal visible and infrared detectors of thin film resistance bolometer type in which visible or infrared radiation incident on the bolometer is absorbed, resulting in a temperature rise of the bolometer detector. This rise changes the resistance of the bolometer detector that can be transmitted or recorded by a read-out integrated circuit. Prior devices of the general type are shown for example in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,045,123; 5,059,543; and 6,203,194.
"This invention also pertains to detectors and sensors that contain thermopiles integrated to the new absorbing materials (e.g., gold nanorod). In the disclosed thermopile invention, the temperature difference between the cold and hot junctions of a thermocouple is improved due to the selective attachment of metal nanoparticles (e.g., nanorods) to the hot junctions of a thermocouple. The absorbed light in a metal nanocrystal, for instance, a gold nanorod is converted to heat due to the interaction between the incident light and the coherent oscillation of electrons in a metal nanorod. A nanorod detects the light in a wide range of wavelengths depending on its size and aspect ratio (ratio of length to width), thus can be used to generate heat in these regions as well. The light detection of nanorods, nanospheres or nanoshells is adjustable in the visible (300 to 700 nm) or infrared region (700 to 9000 nm) by tuning their aspect ratio, diameter, shell size and thickness, respectively. This makes all these shapes applicable for the disclosed invention."
Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "The following presents a simplified summary in order to provide a basic understanding of some aspects of the disclosed innovation. This summary is not an extensive overview, and it is not intended to identify key/critical elements or to delineate the scope thereof. Its sole purpose is to present some concepts in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.
"In this invention different classes of nanocrystals are introduced as strong light absorbers and heat generators. These nanomaterials due to their enormous light extinction coefficients exceed the performance of other light absorbing materials such as proteins, dyes, VO.sub.x, amorphous Si, etc., in thermal detectors and other solid state devices that require heat to light conversion. One objective of this invention is to integrate metal and semiconductor nanoparticles into uncooled and cooled microbolometers in order to enhance their performance.
"In the thermopile design, the metallic nanocrystals are coupled with individual thermocouples and only their hot junctions. This construction results in a significant improvement in the temperature difference between the cold and hot junctions of a given thermocouple and increases the voltage generation and sensitivity of a thermopile.
"The disclosed microbolometers or thermopiles have multitudes of applications in visible and infrared imaging, x-ray microcalorimetry, energy generation and gas sensors, refrigeration and coolers.
"The invention will become more clear from the following detailed description of embodiments, taken in conjunction with the drawings, wherein."
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Nikoobakht, Babak. Use of Noble Metal Nanoparticles as Light Absorbers and Heat Generators in Thermal Photodetectors, Sensors and Microelectromechanical Devices. U.S. Patent Number 8618481, filed
Keywords for this news article include: Nanorod, Patents, Nanoparticle, Nanotechnology, Emerging Technologies.
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