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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Agglomerate Reduction in a Nanowire Suspension Stored in a Container", for Approval

September 11, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Young, Michael Eugene (Emeryville, CA); Srinivas, Arjun Daniel (San Francisco, CA); Robinson, Matthew R. (San Francisco, CA), filed on April 25, 2014, was made available online on August 28, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Innova Dynamics, Inc.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Nanostructures can differ markedly from their analogous bulk materials. In particular, efforts have been made to synthesize nanowires to exploit their properties for various applications.

"There are two basic approaches of synthesizing nanowires: top-down and bottom-up. In a top-down approach, a large piece of material is reduced down to small pieces through techniques such as lithography and electrophoresis. In a bottom-up approach, nanowires are synthesized by combination of constituent atoms. Most of the synthesis techniques are based on the bottom-up approach.

"One particular bottom-up approach is referred to as solution synthesis. In solution synthesis, nanowires can be grown from a reaction mixture including a solvent, a reagent including a material forming the nanowires, and a templating agent. As the reaction mixture is heated, the templating agent can bind to a lateral crystal face of a nanowire seed, thereby inducing preferentially growth along a longitudinal direction that is substantially perpendicular to the lateral crystal face.

"Once nanowires are synthesized, the nanowires can be suspended in a solvent, and the resulting suspension can be transferred to a container for storage and shipping.

"It is against this background that a need arose to develop the embodiments described herein."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "One aspect of this disclosure relates to a method of storing nanowires. In one embodiment, the method includes: (a) providing a nanowire suspension including nanowires suspended in a liquid; and (b) disposing the nanowire suspension in a container for storage, where the container is configured to inhibit agglomeration of nanowires from the nanowire suspension.

"In some implementations, a head space of the container is sized to inhibit evaporation of the liquid from the nanowire suspension. In some implementations, a wall of the container is resistant to adhesion of nanowires from the nanowire suspension. In some implementations, a wall of the container is resistant to wetting by the liquid. In some implementations, a wall of the container is formed of, or coated with, a fluorinated polymer, such as one selected from polytetrafluoroethylene, fluorinated ethylene propylene, and ethylene tetrafluoroethylene. In some implementations, disposing the nanowire suspension in the container is performed subsequent to synthesis of the nanowires in the nanowire suspension.

"In some implementations, a head space of the container is sized to inhibit evaporation of the liquid from the nanowire suspension, and a wall of the container is resistant to wetting by the liquid. In such implementations, the wall of the container can be formed of, or coated with, a fluorinated polymer, such as fluorinated ethylene propylene.

"In some implementations, the container includes a moveable plunger sized and shaped to fit an internal cross-section of the container, and disposing the nanowire suspension in the container includes confining the nanowire suspension to a volume between the moveable plunger and an opening of the container. In such implementations, a wall of the container can be resistant to wetting by the liquid.

"In some implementations, a head space of the container is sized such that a ratio of a volume of the head space to a total internal volume of the container is less than or equal to 10%, such as less than or equal to 5%, less than or equal to 4%, less than or equal to 3%, less than or equal to 2%, or less than or equal to 1%.

"In some implementations, a wall of the container is resistant to wetting by the liquid, and the wall forms a contact angle with the liquid that is greater than or equal to 90.degree., such as greater than or equal to 95.degree., greater than or equal to 100.degree., greater than or equal to 105.degree., greater than or equal to 110.degree., greater than or equal to 115.degree., greater than or equal to 120.degree., greater than or equal to 125.degree., greater than or equal to 130.degree., greater than or equal to 135.degree., greater than or equal to 140.degree., greater than or equal to 145.degree., or greater than or equal to 150.degree.

"In some implementations, a shelf life of the nanowire suspension stored in the container is at least 14 days, such as at least 30 days, at least 60 days, at least 90 days, at least 120 days, at least 150 days, at least 180 days, or at least 365 days.

"In another embodiment, the method includes: (a) providing a nanowire suspension including nanowires suspended in a liquid; and (b) disposing the nanowire suspension in a container for storage, where a wall of the container is at least one of: (1) resistant to adhesion of nanowires from the nanowire suspension; and (2) resistant to wetting by the liquid.

"In some implementations, the wall of the container is formed of, or coated with, a fluorinated polymer, such as fluorinated ethylene propylene. In some implementations, a head space of the container is sized to inhibit evaporation of the liquid from the nanowire suspension.

"Another aspect of this disclosure relates to an article of manufacture. In one embodiment, the article of manufacture includes: (a) a storage container; and (b) a nanowire suspension disposed in the storage container, where the nanowire suspension includes nanowires suspended in a liquid, and the storage container is configured to inhibit agglomeration of nanowires from the nanowire suspension.

"In some implementations, the storage container includes a wall formed of, or coated with, a material that is resistant to adhesion of nanowires from the nanowire suspension. In some implementations, the storage container includes a wall formed of, or coated with, a material that is resistant to wetting by the liquid. In some implementations, the storage container includes a wall that is formed of, or coated with, a fluorinated polymer, such as fluorinated ethylene propylene.

"In some implementations, a head space of the storage container is sized to inhibit evaporation of the liquid from the nanowire suspension. In some implementations, the storage container is configured with an adjustable head space. In some implementations, the storage container includes a moveable plunger sized and shaped to fit an internal cross-section of the storage container, and the nanowire suspension is confined to a volume between the moveable plunger and an opening of the storage container. In such implementations, the storage container can include a wall that is formed of, or coated with, a fluorinated polymer.

"In some implementations, a head space of the storage container is sized such that a ratio of a volume of the head space to a total internal volume of the storage container is less than or equal to 10%, such as less than or equal to 5%, less than or equal to 4%, less than or equal to 3%, less than or equal to 2%, or less than or equal to 1%.

"In some implementations, the storage container includes a wall that is resistant to wetting by the liquid, and the wall forms a contact angle with the liquid that is greater than or equal to 90.degree., such as greater than or equal to 95.degree., greater than or equal to 100.degree., greater than or equal to 105.degree., greater than or equal to 110.degree., greater than or equal to 115.degree., greater than or equal to 120.degree., greater than or equal to 125.degree., greater than or equal to 130.degree., greater than or equal to 135.degree., greater than or equal to 140.degree., greater than or equal to 145.degree., or greater than or equal to 150.degree.

"In some implementations, a shelf life of the nanowire suspension disposed in the storage container is at least 14 days, such as at least 30 days, at least 60 days, at least 90 days, at least 120 days, at least 150 days, at least 180 days, or at least 365 days.

"In another embodiment, the article of manufacture includes: (a) a storage container; and (b) a nanowire suspension disposed in the storage container, where the nanowire suspension includes nanowires suspended in a liquid, and the storage container includes a wall formed of, or coated with, a material that is at least one of: (1) resistant to adhesion of nanowires from the nanowire suspension; and (2) resistant to wetting by the liquid.

"In some implementations, the wall of the storage container is formed of, or coated with, a fluorinated polymer, such as fluorinated ethylene propylene. In some implementations, a head space of the storage container is sized to inhibit evaporation of the liquid from the nanowire suspension. In some implementations, the storage container is configured with an adjustable head space.

"Other aspects and embodiments of this disclosure are also contemplated. The foregoing summary and the following detailed description are not meant to restrict the invention to any particular embodiment but are merely meant to describe some embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"For a better understanding of the nature and objects of some embodiments of this disclosure, reference should be made to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

"FIG. 1(a) shows the problem of agglomeration of nanowires stored in a container, and FIG. 1(b) shows solutions to solve the problem according to embodiments of this disclosure.

"FIG. 2 shows a contact angle between a solid surface and a drop of a given liquid disposed on the surface, in accordance with an embodiment of this disclosure.

"FIG. 3(a), FIG. 3(b), and FIG. 3 show different shapes of a liquid meniscus that can result from adjusting a wettability of inner wall surfaces, in accordance with an embodiment of this disclosure.

"FIG. 4(a) and FIG. 4(b) show different extents of adhesion of nanowires to inner wall surfaces, in accordance with an embodiment of this disclosure.

"FIG. 5 shows a further solution to the problem of agglomeration of nanowires stored in a container, in accordance with an embodiment of this disclosure.

"FIG. 6(a), FIG. 6(b), and FIG. 6 are images showing evaluation results in connection with some aspects of this disclosure.

"FIG. 7(a), FIG. 7(b), and FIG. 7 are images showing evaluation results in connection with some aspects of this disclosure.

"FIG. 8(a), FIG. 8(b), and FIG. 8 are images showing evaluation results in connection with some aspects of this disclosure."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Young, Michael Eugene; Srinivas, Arjun Daniel; Robinson, Matthew R. Agglomerate Reduction in a Nanowire Suspension Stored in a Container. Filed April 25, 2014 and posted August 28, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=6413&p=129&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140821.PD.&OS=PD/20140821&RS=PD/20140821

Keywords for this news article include: Alkenes, Emerging Technologies, Ethylenes, Innova Dynamics, Innova Dynamics Inc., Nanotechnology, Nanowire.

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Source: Politics & Government Week


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