Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Comments on several carbon nanotube patents used for energy, communications, antennas and as sensors

TinyTechIP is an interesting blog with a lot of commentary about the patents that have issued over the last several years in the nanotech field.

My carbon nanotube patents are mentioned and discussed briefly, here.  There is a lot more to them as well, including the first nanotube diode, amplifier, mixer, demodulator, and frequency converter.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Carbon Nanotube Amplifier

A while back I invented this carbon nanotube amplifier scheme that I think is quite practical and valuable. The invention allows the fabrication and practical use of linear conductors as antennas with lengths that correspond to light wavelengths and therefore allows the application of radiowave antenna, transmission and radiation practices, including harmonic generation and mixing, detection and frequency multiplication, to the lightwave regime. It uses the nanotube as part of a mixer in which a second signal is provided or injected, and the sum or product of the two mixed signals represent a gain in signal strength. It can be used over a wide bandwidth, from the visible light into the RF regimes.  Armstrong's superheterodyne radio invention from the early part of the 20th Century could never have anticipated this, but it does provide the heterodyne principle, which is a crucial part of virtually all wireless communications, radios, cell phones and many other important electronic and photonic devices.

Here is a link to a patent that covers the carbon nanotube amplifier invention.

Because it is the first of its kind, I was awarded broad claims. Here is one

A method of amplifying a signal with a carbon nanotube device, comprising: applying a first signal to said carbon nanotube device; applying a second signal to said carbon nanotube device; and outputting a sum or product of said first signal and said second signal from said carbon nanotube device.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Press release about my work and patents covering enhanced solar PV with nanotubes from 2006


Nanotube enhanced Solar Energy at top of Massachusetts firm’s investment plan

AMBIT Corporation announces Solar Energy Initiative

Ashland, MA | Posted on April 26, 2006

AMBIT Corporation announced today that it will form a new business group to oversee accelerated investment in its Carbon Nanotube Solar Energy Technology. Carbon nanotubes are tiny cylinders of carbon that can be used as lightwave antennas to boost the performance of silicon solar cells.

AMBIT Corporation, a technology development firm founded by inventors Robert J. Crowley and Donald N. Halgren, has already been awarded three U.S. patents and has additional patents pending for its novel nanotube array technology that can be used for light harvesting, optical detectors, nanotube memory, and other applications. "The climate for investments in advanced solar energy is favorable for further development of AMBIT's patented nanotube-on-silicon technology, which can boost the efficiency of solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity" said AMBIT Co-founder Robert J Crowley, who formed AMBIT with Halgren in 1993.

A view of AMBIT Corporation's carbon nanotube array of over a billion carbon nanotubes on a silicon solar cell measuring less than 8mm long. The company claims its invention may boost solar cell efficiencies by up to 18%. The bright colors are caused by the interaction of light with the nanotubes, which act like antennas.

Copyright © AMBIT Corporation

Click on image for larger version.

Crowley, who previously served as director of R&D at Boston Scientific's Imaging and Sensing Lab, where his group developed intravascular ultrasound and optical biopsy platforms for visualizing diseases, says that AMBIT's mission is focused on the nearest commercial applications of carbon-nanotube-on- silicon technology demonstrated at their Massachusetts laboratory. "We are currently observing phenomena that could mean a significant improvement in the ability of solar cells to use the entire solar spectrum. These cells are presently most sensitive to the blue portion of the spectrum, and by adding nanotubes we might also generate more electricity from the red and infrared spectrum" said Crowley, who describes the invention as "commercially important to energy applications involving solar array technology on silicon and also on various substrates, such as sol-gel, and others."

Crowley, along with Halgren and New Business VP Robert Arcangeli, are working to accelerate the investment in this area through private sources and through corporate investments from manufacturers of existing solar cell technology. "We'd like to move the development effort to a major lab" remarked Arcangeli, "where the necessary resources and associated silicon processing technology already exist. Our current laboratory is involved in sensor applications and developing other manufacturable products, such as actuators for switching and memory applications." Despite AMBIT Corporation's modest size, the firm is serious about making and selling what it invents. Remarked Crowley: "We are already manufacturing and selling products that use our proprietary process capabilities, and working with sister company Soundwave Research Laboratories, Inc (www.soundwaveresearch.com) to commercialize sensors used in medical ultrasound and music recording. In addition, we have successfully licensed antenna-related technology to other manufacturers and developers such as Natural Nano (www.naturalnano.com) and Nokia, a builder of cellular handsets."

Friday, November 25, 2011

Rice researchers confirm operation of nanoantennas and junctions

It is nice when another group confirms your own work even if you are not in the references.  Academics are notoriously blind to patents and many regard patents as unworthy references, but that should not be, since patents are at least as well reviewed as any peer reviewed articles in Science and other journals, and to a stricter standard of novelty, usefulness, and non-obviousness.


Discussed in 2011 how nanoantennas inject a charge into a semiconducting junction which makes them very useful as light detectors, and how they can be tuned to specific wavelengths.

Here's my idea on how to accomplish the above, written and published in the 1997-2001 ranges.

Here are the claims that were awarded to me

1. A method of manufacturing a lightwave electromagnetic antenna device comprising the steps of;

providing a substrate material,

depositing a metal oxide region on said substrate material, said metal oxide region having an electrical length shorter than a light wavelength, and,

growing an elongated linear structure having an electrical length corresponding to a light wavelength upon said metal oxide region.

2. The method of manufacturing a lightwave electromagnetic antenna device as recited in claim 1, wherein said elongated linear structure has a first end and a second end, said first end having an attachment point to said metal oxide region, said second end extending into free space.

3. The method of manufacturing a lightwave electromagnetic antenna device as recited in claim 1, wherein said elongated linear structure is a carbon nanotube.

4. The method of manufacturing a lightwave electromagnetic antenna device as recited in claim 1, wherein said metal oxide region is a nanoparticle.

5. The method of manufacturing a lightwave electromagnetic antenna device as recited in claim 3, wherein said nanoparticle is an iron oxide nanoparticle of less than 100 nanometers in diameter.

6. A method of manufacturing a wavelength of selective light responsive array of conductive linear elements comprising the steps of;

providing a substrate material,

depositing a metal oxide region on said substrate material, said metal oxide region having an electrical length shorter than a light wavelength, and,

growing a first group of conductive linear elements having an electrical length corresponding to a first light wavelength,

growing a second group of conductive linear elements having an electrical length corresponding to a second light wavelength.

7. The method of manufacturing a wavelength selective light responsive array of conductive linear elements as recited in claim 6, wherein said substrate material is provided with an electrical terminal.

8. A method of modifying a light wave comprising the steps of;

providing a substrate material,

depositing a metal oxide region on said substrate material, said metal oxide region having an electrical length shorter than a light wave length, and

growing an elongated linear structure having an electrical length corresponding to a light wavelength upon said metal oxide region,

providing an electrical signal to said substrate material, and

collecting, modifying and emitting energy at a light wavelength at said linear structure and said metal oxide region.

9. The method of modifying a light wave as recited in claim 8, wherein application of a current to said substrate material is effective to modulate said light wave.

10. The method of modifying a light wave as recited in claim 8, wherein application of a current to said substrate is effective to switch said light wave.

UBA - the Ultra Black Absorber - the blackest substance known

Invented January 1997 by Robert J Crowley

Copyright 2009: Soundwave Research Laboratories, Inc.

The recent work being done today by NASA in ultrablack surfaces sounds like work first done by us in 2000 that has a priority date of January 1997. One of the properties of the carbon nanotube antenna is the ability to absorb RF and lightwave energy over a very wide range of wavelengths, and this produces a very dense black that can be used to make solar thermal absorbers work better, and for optical systems that can't have any internal reflections.

Here is a link to one of several patents in the collection that covers this invention. 

Sample Claim:

1. An electromagnetic energy absorbing structure device comprising: a substrate for supporting an aligned array of electromagnetic energy modifying nanotubes thereon; an array of nanotubes on said substrate arranged for the receipt of electromagnetic energy, wherein the electromagnetic energy received by the nanotubes arranged on the substrate is selected from the group consisting of: electromagnetic energy in the visible range, electromagnetic energy in the ultraviolet range or electromagnetic energy in the infrared range. 

See  CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION in the above patent to view the January 16, 1997 priority date.

UBA tm is a trademark of Soundwave Research Laboratories, Inc. Ultra Black Absorbers is a trademark of Soundwave Research Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

World's Smallest Radio and More: Carbon nanotube radio, detector, modulator, demodulator, mixer, diode, antenna, amplifier, actuator, resonator, and multiplier invented in 1997

Here are links to my patents from the mid and late 90s when I invented the carbon nanotube antenna array and in doing do discovered that we could make mixers, diodes, amplifiers, resonators, demodulators, modulators, mixers and all kinds of functional components on silicon with nanotubes grown from specific points on the silicon.

Two of these patents were rated in the "Top Ten Nanotech Patents for 2006" by ex patent examiner and publisher Blaise Moutett, and several have been cited by Harvard, MIT, IBM, NEC, Samsung and others who all came later to the nanotube RF and optical device field.  Moutett talks about the importance of the invention here.

Who owns carbon nanotube patents, and which ones are "the good ones"?  I believe this collection, with its clear and original thinking, provides the basis for an important field of use in nanotechnology, namely the arrangement of long thin and small elements near or on semiconducting or other energy absorbing or radiating substrates. That means that super efficient solar thermal systems to warm houses, antennas for light that create seeing surfaces, lenseless cameras, and more could be practical realities, not to mention faster computing, all optical computers, and electronic components with much desired "DC to light" bandwidth.

The earliest one that issued is at the bottom of the column, as the USPTO does things that way and this brings you to the patent office, where a new law "America Invents" has raised the fees individual inventors must pay for patents. As usual, the large corporations benefit from many of these rule changes.

This is the fundamental set of patents with claims that cover many basic and important uses of nanotubes on silicon and on sol-gel, on semiconducting junctions, and for RF and optical operation. No other patents in that field predate the original filings and the work is quite original, useful, practical, and not at all obvious at the time - in fact it was thought to be impossible. But I did not think so, and when I wrote the patents I foresaw a new class of nanoelectronics that is just emerging, more than a dozen years later. I would like to further develop this for photonic and possibly communications applications and welcome any inquiries.

1 7,899,301 Full-Text Optical antenna array for harmonic generation, mixing and signal amplification
2 7,535,627 Full-Text Optical antenna array for harmonic generation, mixing and signal amplification
3 7,486,434 Full-Text Optical antenna array for harmonic generation, mixing and signal amplification
4 7,330,299 Full-Text Optical amplifying arrangement using carbon nanotubes
5 7,259,903 Full-Text Optical switching arrangement using carbon nanotubes
6 7,205,021 Full-Text Optical antenna array for harmonic generation, mixing and signal amplification
7 7,132,994 Full-Text Optical antenna array for harmonic generation, mixing and signal amplification
8 7,099,071 Full-Text Method of moving a carbon nanotube
9 6,700,550 Full-Text Optical antenna array for harmonic generation, mixing and signal amplification
10 6,258,401 Full-Text Optical antenna array for harmonic generation, mixing and signal amplification
11 6,038,060 Full-Text Optical antenna array for harmonic generation, mixing and signal amplification 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

DSPdoctor is the place for gear and more

Where can you go for 24 hour on call supply of expertise and the finest selected recording gear, software and systems, staffed by persons known-to-me as having years, maybe decades, of steering customers to the good stuff?  Call DSP Doctor, the only doctor I know who still wears steampunk goggles to hide his eyes, with his bemusing hairstyle and enigmatic smile, telling, but never letting on just how clever he really is.

"Pro Gear and Advice for the Modern Recording Studio" he says, and rightly so, because signal processing is everything, or at least some of it, anyway it's important! Wait, what am I saying??  Analog backlash notwithstanding, we have to be smart about combining the likes of say, a Bock Microphone, an NPNG preamp, and all that digital horsepower under the hood of a Macbook and make it all work to crank out some real music (while avoiding Indie Dirge, the Thomas Kinkade effect on sound, but rockin, and kickass).  Anyway go here. Buy something and then relax because you got the right thing on the way, not some unknown whatever.

Shakuhachi: The Japanese End-Blown Flute is both simple and complex

 It's just a couple of pieces of bamboo with some holes, but the Japanese end-blown flute, or shakuhachi (means "foot" in Japanese) is an incredibly complex and versatile instrument, capable of over four octaves and hundreds of "microtones" which consist of pitch and timbre variations.

The one shown here was made in Japan by shakuhachi guru Tom Deaver. Tom died last year and left behind hundreds of fine instruments used throughout the world.

There is a lot to the blowing end. The sharp edge, or "utaguchi" is designed so that the airflow from the player's lips creates a vortex, and sets up conditions for resonance. Because there is no fipple, like the blowing end of a recorder, the shape and angle of embrochure affects the sound very much.  A relatively soft even airflow produces the rich, harmonic filled fundamental note, and a faster, more concentrated airflow tends to reduce the fundamental and favor one or more harmonics.

The airflow gets the energy going, and the fingering controls the length of the resonant column, while the angle of the shakuhachi to the face plays an important role in producing sharps and flats, or more.

All the explanations of how it works do not describe how it sounds, or why the shakuhachi has such a natural sound, even earning the term "the sound of nature".  Our ears, tuned to hear complex things, interpret the wind and the trees together, and apparently recognize this instrument as an organic part of that scene.

I play the shakuhachi, not very well, but when I am by myself I play brilliantly enough. I  found that looking out over a vista or some distant field makes it much easier, but I don't know why, exactly.

Friday, August 26, 2011

John Cate and the van Gogh Brothers - California

Great new video by John and VGBs. Check out JohnCate.com too!

Monday, July 04, 2011


Here is a link to what is going on these days at the lab. Photonic materials, imaging, artists, even some music still, but in the context of performance, and adverts.

New55 has another "epic blog" going, with hundreds of posts, same as we did with microphonium.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Quickbooks disables their software three years after you buy it

Chat InformationPlease wait for an agent to respond. Your wait time will be approximately 0 minute(s) and 3 second(s).
Chat InformationYou are now chatting with Jeffrey. In order to better serve you, may I have your name?
you: Robert Crowley Soundwave Research Labs
Jeffrey: Hi, this is Jeff from QuickBooks Online Sales. Thank you for choosing to chat with me today. How may I assist you?
Jeffrey: Pleased to meet you online Robert!
you: Our email send function on the manufacturing version has been disabled by Quickbooks. Can you please restore it?
Jeffrey: Just to set your expectation, this chat option is for QuickBooks Online pre-sales and sales chat queue. May I ask what year version of QuickBooks are you currently using?
you: 2008
Jeffrey: Okay. Is it Pro or Premier?
you: This will also affect future purchase decisions too
you: Pro
Jeffrey: Oh I see. I do apologize but you've reached QuickBooks Online pre-sales and sales chat queue. I am trained for product specifics and sales, and I am afraid that regarding your question, I may not be able to assist you with your technical issue. I recommend that you call our QuickBooks Technical Support Department to better assist you with your concern.
you: Does the new version allow me to remotely access via the web?
Jeffrey: I do apologize, you need to have a Remote Access Service even in the latest version if you want to access QuickBooks from different locations.
Jeffrey: Do you have the number of the Support Department?
you: Also will Intuit maintain all functions on new products? The reason I ask is that I am considering an upgrade, which is very costly internally, and want to know if I will lose functions such as email, and when. This is a sales features issue, not a support call.
Jeffrey: Yes, they maintain the old features even in the latest version of QuickBooks.
you: OK so why has email function been shut off my present version? Is that legal?
Jeffrey: To give you more details about the new feature of QuickBooks Pro, I will send you a link.
you: Actually Jeffrey, I'd like to get an answer from Intuit.
Jeffrey: QuickBooks Pro 2011 - click here
you: Please answer my question
Jeffrey: I do apologize but you've reached QuickBooks Online pre-sales and sales chat queue. We do not have the resource or tool to give you the information you need. I recommend that you call our QuickBooks Customer Service Department at 888-246-8848.
you: This is a basic question about a feature. You should be able to find the answer
Jeffrey: We have a service discontinuation every 3 years, that is why I strongly recommend an upgrade in order to use the e-mail service function.
you: Ok tell me about this "service discontinuation". Does that mean the software is disabled in three years from purchase date?
Jeffrey: Okay. Let me give you a link about the service discontinuation and the upgrade

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Karyadi takes a break

Studio Bopnique engineer Karyadi Sutejda taking a break from the action at the recording studio in Chelmsford, MA.

Philip Lampe cast a fill light on Kary so that deep shadows wouldn't hide his studious demeanor, but project instead upon the brick wall of the old mill building. Seated adjacent to an ancient radio upon an even older one, Kary seemed ready to get back to what he was doing before we invaded.

Check out the nice website done in Drupal by Philip. Anthony J Resta has succeeded in updating this site with lots of new and active content all by himself for the past year, which was the idea in the first place.

Monday, April 18, 2011

google showing cracks in foundation

Search engine giant google has recently announced that it is getting out of the google branded video server business - surrendering in name to its more powerful and popular YouTube search engine - at the same time that the number one internet search engine and website is exhibiting a marked decrease in search results quality, and a large increase in search spam.

Other search engines such as Alta Vista and Yahoo are expected to benefit by user frustration as google tries to find its way back, even as its own news items in its popular news pages languish with stale news pieces that are weeks old.

Something is wrong at google. The darling of the internet revolution, google owns blogger, which this blog is part of. Google is nice to blogger, and gives it a high search ranking, something this author is grateful for. But google may have too many irons in the fire and could lose its touch as more of its searches produce junk, spam, and aggregator sites designed to dupe google into directing users to click on impressions put there by advertisers - revenue google does not enjoy.

Let's hope that google figures out the magic it once was, and doesn't end up like other great companies that have come and gone except in name, such as Polaroid, AIG, and Blockbuster.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

WinRadio WR-G33WSM

 The WInRadio WR-G33WSM has to be the most versatile and economical software-based receiver for the "wireless mic" ranges ever.

This is a full-featured receiver with a superhet architecture that easily interfaces with any PC, even a cheap "netbook" that you can get at BestBuy for $200.

We sell these! Why? Because they are a great tool, we make antennas (that work with these receivers, by the way) and thought some of our RFvenue customers might like to have it in their kit of interference-fighting tools that are very much needed in today's crowded performance spectrum domain.

Read much more about the WR-G33WSM here.

We have these IN STOCK, and ready to ship. Call us at 508 231 4515. Next day delivery available, discounts and packages available, too.

Brand-New, in box, fresh stock, full USA Warranty NOT GRAY LABEL!!!

We take care of our customers, eh? You get the antenna, the receiver, cables, software, and you can even call us up on the phone and a real person will answer. Our hours are 9am to 4pm, Eastern Time.

Each WinRadio has been checked by us for correct operation before putting it in our customer-ready inventory.  $999.  CALL FOR PRICE and DISCOUNTS on other items.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm selling the Harmony Rocket

 I've had this 60s era Harmony Rocket for years and have never touched it. This vintage guitar hung on the conference room wall at Crowley and Tripp Microphones until it was replaced with the Hofner.  The pick guard and tuners are original, and so are the pickups, and knobs. The bridge is an aftermarket bridge and has not been set up.

There is a scratch on the neck and the body that you can see in photo number 2.

The surface finish is quite nice overall, glossy, and relatively clean.

The neck looks like it is set well and the frets have no visible wear. This guitar has not been played much, if at all.

Look at the chrome on those pickups. Nice.

Click on any of the images for a closer view.

If you want to call, look at Soundwave Research, and call me during business hours.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

FP3000B45 now available

Interesting news for users of this super high speed black and white instant pack film: The 4x5 version of it has finally reached North America and should show up online any moment.

This uses the PA-45 holder, or the Polaroid 550 large packfilm holder.

Thanks to Brandon Remler of Fujifilm USA for giving us notice that it is on its way. I certainly will get a case of it and go wild in low light with my Speed Graphics and maybe a Byron.  Aaron Muderick has been a big fan of this material in the smaller size, and has produced good looking images from the scanned negative, which has a decent tonal range.

FP3000B and FP3000B45 are descendants of my original favorite Type 47 film that I think revolutionized instant photography when it came out. Fuji has refined it to use a minuscule amount of silver in a highly amplified DTR intensification process onto an improved receiver  (though perhaps not as archival) that has a little better mid grays than the Old Pol 667.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Acoustic Imaging uses Tiny Microphones in the Heart

IVUS, or Intravascular Ultrasound, is a catheter-delivered imaging mode that can be inserted into the body and into organs, such as the heart, or peripheral arteries, to get a cross-section view.   The images are produced by a method known as pulse-echo, where a transducer, like a very small microphone, is excited with one short tick. That produces a soundwave that propagates out, comes in contact with anything in the direction it is going, and some, often very little, of the energy is then reflected back to the same transducer which by this time has been switched over to a very sensitive preamp to listen for the incoming signal.

This process is repeated many times in a circle, like radar, and over the course of a fraction of a second, an image is built up. The image of course is not something you could actually see with your eyes - it is more like an echo map.

Shown on this series of six are some IVUS images of a beating heart. The two center images are the most interesting, as they show the heart squeezing and opening to pump blood.