Newport Beach, CA, May 18,2010 – RFnano received U.S. Patent 7,721,347 for a scanning nanotube probe device and its method of operation. According to inventor Peter J. Burke, a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of California-Irvine, the device provides a method of determining, without contact, the physical and electrical properties of nanotube materials.
The device includes a scanning probe configured to generate a signal of certain frequency onto the nanotube material and measure a reflected signal from the nanotube material, and a processor coupled to the scanning probe which is configured to determine the physical and electrical properties of the nanotube material from the measured reflected signal. The method includes positioning a scanning probe relative to the nanotube material, generating a signal of certain frequency onto the nanotube material, and measuring a reflected signal from the nanotube material.
The processor may be configured to determine the sheet resistance of the nanotube material from the measured reflected signal. The device can determine on a wafer scale the physical and electrical properties of nanotubes, nanotube arrays, and nanotube mattes, without contact.
In one embodiment, the scanning probe includes at least one of a dipole antenna at the end of a coax, a loop (magnetic dipole) antenna at the end of a coax, an open ended waveguide (circular or rectilinear), a radiating structure at the end of a waveguide, or any radiating structure at the end of a coax or waveguide. The certain frequency may be selected from a group consisting of a radio frequency and a microwave frequency, for example, from 1 Hz to 1 THz or higher. The processor may further be configured to generate a map of a reflection coefficient vs. the position of the nanotube material relative to the scanning probe. In one embodiment, the map provides uniformity characteristics and alignment information of the nanotube material.
Prior attempts at nanotube characterization have involved making multiple electrodes on a nanotube coated wafer and measuring their electrical properties. However, this approach requires numerous steps, requires manipulating and contacting the wafer and cannot be used in a way that allows inspection only of the wafer.
RF Nano’s disruptive technology has the ability to dramatically improve RF (radio frequency) and mixed signal electronics. RF Nano is commercializing ground-breaking technology developed at UC Irvine which will change the way real world signals are manipulated and processed.
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