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July 16th, 2008
Nanotechnology is this decade's buzz word, gathering momentum in just about every area of research. These materials are becoming common in optical sensors, too, and a whole field of nanoscale optics is developing, though that is not considered in this patent review.
Nanomaterials are used to enhance various linear and nonlinear responses such as Raman Scattering. Nanoparticles are being used to improve the temperature stability of an optical polymer across a broad range. And optical methods are being developed to sort and manipulate nanomaterials, as described, for example, by patent US6974927, Method and system for optically sorting and/or manipulating carbon nanotubes, in which an optical dipole trap is created with a focused light source such as a laser.
Here are some of the more recent patent applications and granted patents involving the uses of nanomaterials in an optical device or format other than sensors.
Patent Application 20070140638/US: Nanowires and Nanoribbons as Subwavelength Optical Waveguides and Their Use as Components in Photonic Circuits and Devices.
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