Ultra high Vacuum Process for the Deposition of Nanotubes and Nanowires



Invention Summary

The invention enables a versatile physical vapor deposition process for the growth of nanowires and nanotubes constructed from a wide range of materials (metals, metal mixtures, carbons, nitrides, oxides etc.), and uses molecular flows of reactive gases under an ultra-high vacuum environment. The process allows for growth of nanotubes and nanowires to be carried out under ultra clean and low pressure environments without exposing the substrate to the presence of high energy particles of a plasma that can damage the substrate and any nanotubes and nanowires growing on top of the substrate. These features allow the production of cleaner nanotubes/nanowires with more controllable growth conditions. The physical vapor deposition process offers the possibilities of developing recipes for growth of sophisticated nanowire structures by combining the nanotube/nanowire growth process with a wide range of ultra-high vacuum deposition and functionalization techniques.


Market Opportunity

Nanotubes and nanowires of various materials have become the subjects of intense, global research efforts in recent years. The interesting combination of electrical and mechanical properties of these nanotubes and nanowires has raised possibilities of revolutionizing fields ranging from computing, optics, field emitter devices, sensors, electrodes, solar cells, high strength composites, hydrogen storage and many other applications.


Features & Benefits

•The new deposition process is carried out in an extremely clean environment with the background pressure level that is at least five orders of magnitude less than a typical chemical vapor deposition process during all phases of the growth.


•Substrate surface can be cleaned to atomic level and preserved in this clean condition for an extended period.


•Substrate surface morphology (or surface reconstruction) can be controlled and monitored prior to and during growth.


•Fluxes of highly reactive gases with thermal energy (and thus low impact damages to the surface) can be precisely and rapidly controlled.


•Surface reactions at the substrate can be better analyzed and optimized since the surface is not affected by the processes involved in generating the reactive gases.


•Potential for low temperature growth (below 500° C.) by utilizing high reactivity of the gases.


•Ability to instantaneously modify strength and direction of electrical field above the growth surface.


•Ability to carry out in-situ doping post growth of deposition or other functionalization.


•Ability to use the entire arsenal of the latest surface treatment and analysis tools that can only operate under ultra-high vacuum conditions.



Intellectual Property        Patent No.: 8,945,304


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
John Minnick
Business Development Officer
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Biswajit (bj) Das
Myung Lee
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