Thursday, June 23, 2011

Heidelberg Instruments to Develop CU Nanotech Platform

Circuitry-shrinking technique enables tinier computer chips, solar cells and other nanoscale devices.

BOULDER, Colo., June 23, 2011 – Heidelberg Instruments GmbH (Heidelberg, Germany) and the University of Colorado recently completed an exclusive option agreement for a CU technique that shrinks the circuitry of nano-devices, enabling the creation of smaller computer chips and other nanodevices. The method was developed by CU-Boulder researchers Robert McLeod (associate professor of electrical, computer, and energy engineering), Tim Scott (visiting research assistant professor of mechanical engineering and chemical and biological engineering) and Christopher Bowman (professor of chemical and biological engineering).

To create nano-scale circuitry, the patent pending nanolithography method uses tightly focused beams of blue light to record lines and dots thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair onto a substrate such as silicon. This initial step occurs in all types of nanoengineering, but the new system developed by McLeod's team uses a second beam of ultraviolet light to "erase" the edges of the pattern, resulting in much smaller structures. In turn, this enables the manufacture of smaller computer chips, solar cells and other nanoscale devices.

“University of Colorado is one of the leading R&D centers making major inroads in nano scale technology development,” said Alexander Forozan, Head of Global Business Development at Heidelberg Instruments. “We are thrilled to work with CU’s outstanding staff and look forward to a continuing and long-standing relationship.

“We are excited to have Heidelberg as a partner for this technology,” added Ted Weverka, a licensing manager at the University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office. “Heidelberg’s technical know-how and market savvy ensure a strong future for this invention.”

In 2010, McLeod received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his work in this area, one of the nation's most prestigious honors directed toward young faculty.

About Heidelberg Instruments GmbH
With an installation base in over 30 countries, Heidelberg Instruments is a world leader in production of high precision maskless lithography systems. These systems are used for direct writing and photomask production by some of the most prestigious universities and industry leaders in the areas of MEMS, BioMEMS, Nano Technology, ASICS, TFT, Plasma Displays, Micro Optics, and many other related applications. www.himt.de

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tech Spotlight: Improved Organic Semiconductors and Organic Photovoltaics

A group of researchers at the University of Colorado led by David Walba and Noel Clark have uncovered the highly complex structure of a new Liquid Crystal phase called the B4 phase, which has potential for use as an organic semiconductor. This invention improves upon existing organic photovoltaic (OPV) materials used to convert solar energy into electricity with inexpensive organic materials. Many different B4 OPV molecules can be designed, and can be used as organic semiconductors.

Organic semiconductors have several advantages over inorganic semiconductors, many of which are based on the ease of the processing required and low cost. Organic materials can also be used for flexible lightweight solar cells, allowing for their use in applications where inorganic materials are unsuitable. Rare elements present in inorganics such as indium are not needed for organic materials, dramatically lowering material costs.

To read a non-confidential summary of this technology, including links to relevant patent docs and scientific publications, please click the image above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 2011 Newsletter Now Available

Top stories from TTO's June newsletter:

Commentary: Stanford University v. Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.
On June 6, 2011, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Stanford University v. Roche Molecular Systems, Inc. (PDF) ruling that the Bayh-Dole Act does not alter an inventor’s ownership rights in his invention and federally funded contractors must obtain a legally-sufficient assignment from their employee inventors. Many universities, including the University of Colorado, supported Stanford’s argument that the Bayh-Dole Act operated to automatically vest title to federally-funded inventions in federal contractors. Stanford argued that the automatic vesting would preserve the federal investment and prevent any inadvertent loss of title which could occur when federally-funded inventors collaborate with private parties. The Supreme Court rejected Stanford’s argument finding no such explicit language in the Act to create the automatic vesting.

Video: Cleantech at CU
Dave Allen (CU Associate VP for Technology Transfer) and Trent Yang (Entrepreneurship & Business Development Director, CU-Boulder Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute) talk about the process involved with developing new technology from university research.

CU's Cleantech 'Research Rock Stars'
"They are the men and women who make game-changing discoveries in their labs AND are engaged in seeing those discoveries translated into products to be used for the greater good." CU-Boulder's Bob Erickson, Gregor Henze and Al Weimer were recently recognized as "Research Rock Stars" by the Colorado Cleantech Industry Association (CCIA), and featured in ColoradoBiz magazine (along with researchers from the Colorado School of Mines and Colorado State University. Tigon EnerTec (founded last year based on work by a CU-Boulder team) was also featured as Tech Startup of the month.

Read the full newsletter, or sign up to receive a monthly email update

Friday, June 17, 2011

TTO Commentary: Stanford University v. Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.

On June 6, 2011, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Stanford University v. Roche Molecular Systems, Inc. (PDF) ruling that the Bayh-Dole Act does not alter an inventor’s ownership rights in his invention and federally funded contractors must obtain a legally-sufficient assignment from their employee inventors. Many universities, including the University of Colorado, supported Stanford’s argument that the Bayh-Dole Act operated to automatically vest title to federally-funded inventions in federal contractors. Stanford argued that the automatic vesting would preserve the federal investment and prevent any inadvertent loss of title which could occur when federally-funded inventors collaborate with private parties. The Supreme Court rejected Stanford’s argument finding no such explicit language in the Act to create the automatic vesting.

It would be a disservice to federal contractors to say they have only relied on the Bayh-Dole Act to accomplish an assignment of inventions. Federal contractors and universities have long-standing policies and practices to obtain such assignments from their employees, documents which are necessary to file patent applications with the Patent and Trademark Office. The University of Colorado has such policies and practices in place and is able to obtain effective assignments from its inventors.

Rather, the Court’s decision in this case turned on the language of the assignment of future rights in the competing assignment documents at issue. The Court found Stanford’s “agree to assign” contract term deficient compared to the company’s “hereby do assign.” The dissenting opinion essentially called for litigants to bring a case which would allow a closer examination of the equitable rights in future inventions created by these phrases.

For more information about CU's intellectual property policies, visit the TTO website, or contact TTO.

Catherine Shea is Associate Counsel for Technology Transfer in TTO's system office.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Video: Cleantech at CU

Dave Allen (CU Associate VP for Technology Transfer) and Trent Yang (Entrepreneurship & Business Development Director, CU-Boulder Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute) talk about the process involved with developing new technology from university research.


Can't view the video? Go to ColoradoBiz TV to watch.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tech Spotlight: Diagnosis and Treatment of Heart Failure Using Myosin Heavy Chains

The velocity of cardiac muscle contraction is controlled by the amount of ATPase activity in the myosin molecules in the heart. The major determinant of ATPase activity, and therefore muscle contraction, is the relative amounts of two myosin isomers. The dominant isomer α-Myosin Heavy Chain (α-MHC), has about four times more activity than the recessive isomer β-Myosin Heavy Chain (β-MHC). When the amount of the α-MHC isomer decreases and β-MHC isomer becomes the dominant myosin isomer, this reduces the contractile function of the muscle cells, leading to myocardial failure.

A research team from the University of Colorado led by Michael Bristow has developed a method of diagnosing myocardial failure by testing a sample of myocardial tissue f for relative amounts of these two isomers. Dr. Bristow’s group has also developed a treatment method in which a patient is administered a transgene that expresses α-MHC and that causes an increase in the quantity of the α-MHC isomer in the myocardial tissue of the heart. By increasing the level of α-MHC it becomes the dominant isomer again, which keeps the contractual function high in the muscle cells and prevents myocardial failure.

To read a non-confidential summary of this technology, including links to relevant patents and scientific publications, please click the image above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.