Create CNT Collimators

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Flow diagram showing the steps for fabricating a CNT collimator
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Lee Chow, Ph.D.
Guang Chai
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Raju Nagaiah
Licensing Associate 407.882.0593
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Carbon nanotube collimator fabrication and application

US Patent 7,750,297 B1

Provides new methods and apparatus for the creation of well-defined micron sized fiber coated carbon nanotube collimators.

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have unique physical and mechanical properties, one useful characteristic being that these compounds are extremely small hollow tubes. Because of this property, CNTs make great collimators (devices that narrow and direct a beam or wave) for electrons and molecules. These carbon nanotube collimators have a variety of applications. For example they could: improve quantum computers; be used for high energy applications in physics such as particle collisions; and they can be used in medicine for cell therapy. Unfortunately, the product of carbon nanotube synthesis is not naturally straight. Only a few studies have worked to remedy this problem, but the nanotube collimators created were extremely short and difficult to make. With improved synthesis and handling, longer and more consistent CNT collimators could be made. In this case, well defined CNT collimators could be very profitable, with wider ranging applications within numerous commercial areas.

Technical Details

Researchers at UCF have created a novel synthesis method utilizing focused ion beam technology to fabricate carbon nanotube collimators. The CNT collimators are shaped with the aid of a transmission electron microscope and a micro-manipulator. This method provides carbon nanotubes with a hollow channel (10-20 nanometers wide) and lengths of up to 3 microns (over ten times longer than any previously created). These CNT collimators have already found several uses: channeling of electron beams; nanoapertures for single ion implantation for quantum computers; producing a well collimated beam of charged particles and delivery of single molecules or molecule streams for bio studies and medical therapy. All of these uses would be on the cutting edge of technology utilized for quantum computers, particle colliders and understanding cell and medical therapy

Benefits

  • Fast and consistent methods for creating carbon nanotube collimators
  • Creation of straight collimators with lengths ten times longer than previous (up to 3 microns)
  • Superior channeling of charged particles and molecules

Applications

  • Quantum computers
  • Enhancing particle colliders
  • Delivering single molecules to biological sites
  • Cell and medical therapy