Lockheed Martin Corporation (Bethesda, MD)

These methods are employed to create metal nanoparticles. The processes involve the reaction of an insoluble chemical compound of a metal salt in an enzymatic reaction mix that contains either primary or secondary amine surfactant as well as a diamine-chelating surfactant. The process of making copper nanoparticles is to create the solution which contains the copper salt, a first amino first surfactant as well as a secondary amine 2 surfactant. This allows for an insoluble copper salt complex to develop from this solution. A second solution that is containing the reducing agent is then mixed with the insoluble compound. Copper nanoparticles form from the insoluble complex. The copper nanoparticles will be about 10 nm or smaller in size, and more specifically about 3 nm to about 6 nm in diameter, and have a fusion temperature of approximately 200.degree. C. or lower.

While lead was historically used in many industrial applications, recent regulations require the phase out of lead in most commercial products. For instance the European Union issued regulations in 2006 that mandated theelimination of lead from coatings and solders in the majority of electronic components. Other countries have issued similar regulations.

Electronics and other connections made using lead-based soldering material are usually extremely reliable and substantial investment has been made in the manufacturing infrastructure. The worldwide phase out soldering products based on lead has raised serious concerns regarding the quality of other soldering materials and methods. There are numerous options for conventional lead-based soldering substances and the Sn/Ag/Cu method (SAC) being among the most popular. But, these substitutes are not without drawbacks, which make them unsuitable for environments with extreme temperatures such as those used in military vehicles, vehicles and space vehicles. The SAC system is much highereutectic melting temperature (e.g., M.P. of .about.217.degree. C.) is higher than traditional Sn/Pb solder (m.p. C. for 183.degree. C. for Sn/Pb of 63/37 (or 188.degree. C. for 63/37 Sn/Pb , or 188.degree. In addition silver is an expensive component of the SAC system and there is not enough silver production capacity to completely replace lead-based soldering material in the SAC system. The SAC system may lead to higher production costs. It is because of the increased price of silver as well as the need for more robust components to withstand the higher temperatures. More importantly, SAC systems areprone to development of tin whiskers leading to a higher risk of electrical shorting.

As replacements for traditional soldering made from lead, various compositions that contain metal nanoparticles were suggested. Nanoparticles can exhibit chemical and physical properties that sometimes differ significantly from thoseobserved in the bulk material. For instance metal nanoparticles with a size of less than 20 nanometers may display a fusion rate that is significantly below the melting temperature of bulk metal. Copper nanoparticles, specifically are able to have a fusion temperature comparable to that of traditional soldering products made from lead. If the copper nanoparticles are 10 nm or less and are a small size, they could have a fusion temperature of approximately 200.degree. C. or less, providing processing temperatures that are comparable to lead-based traditional soldering materials. Copper nanoparticles could also be considered as replacements for high temperature soldering materials like AuSn, as they offer a low fusion temperature and a significantly more reflowing temperature later on.

Nanoparticles of copper are a popular choice because of their compatibility with existing soldering techniques. However, it’s still challenging to make monodisperse copper particles at the bulk scales necessary for commercial production. It can be difficult to protect copper nanoparticles from the aggregation process. Protection can sometimes be accomplished with a thin oxide coating or a surfactant, includingpolymers such as polyvinylpyrrolidone, but oftentimes these agents cannot be effectively removed in order that the copper nanoparticles can function as desired in soldering applications. Furthermore, these substances could introduce contaminants or be considered contaminants that detrimentally alter the properties of the copper nanoparticles. The properties that are affected could include, for instance, thermal and electrical conductivity and mechanical strength, brittleness and fracturetoughness.

Given all of this, it would be of great benefit to the science of process that can be scaled for the production of monodisperse metal particles especially copper nanoparticles with the size of 10nm or less. This invention addresses this need and also offers benefits.

The processes that are described in this invention involve the reaction of an insoluble salt of metal with reducing agents in a reaction mixture that contains a first surfactant and another surfactant. These reactions may be used to make metalnanoparticles. The first surfactant is comprised of a primary amine. The second one contains a secondary amine. The third surfactant is diamine-chelating agents.

Other embodiments include the following creating a solution comprising copper salt, a first suprafactant, and a second and a 3rd surfactant, permitting the formation of an insoluble copper salt compound in the initial solution; combining the second solution that contains the reducing agent along with the insoluble complex to form an reaction mixture, and creating copper nanoparticles using the insoluble compound. The first surfactant is a primaryamine. The second surfactant has a secondary amine. The third surfactant includes a diamine-chelating agent.

In certain instances the copper nanoparticles created by the processes described herein have a the temperature of fusion of 200.degree. C. or less and comprise at least a portion of a first surfactant another surfactant, and an additional surfactant. The first surfactant is composed of the primary amine. The second surfactant has another amine. The third surfactant includes a diamine-chelating agent.

The above description has described rather in general terms the main features of the disclosed disclosure to ensure that the more detailed description that follows will be more easily understood. Additional advantages and features of this disclosure will be explained in the following paragraphs, which form the basis of the claims.

Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.


Get Patents with PatentPC

What is a patent?

A patent is granted by the government in order to protect the invention. The patent grants the inventor the exclusive right to develop, utilize and sell the invention. Society is benefited when new technology is introduced to the market. These benefits may be realized immediately by people who are able to achieve previously impossible feats, or indirectly through the economic opportunities which innovation can bring (business growth, employment).

Patent protection is sought by a variety of university researchers and drug companies to protect their research and development. Patents can be granted to the physical or abstract nature of a product or process or an approach or design of materials new to the area. Patent protection has to be granted to an invention that is useful unique, innovative, and not yet known by other people in the same area.

Patents reward inventors who have commercially successful inventions. They act as an incentive for inventors to come up with new ideas. Small companies and inventors can rest certain that they will receive an income from the investment they make in technology advancement through patents. They can earn a living from their work.

Businesses that have the capacity to:

Protect innovative products and services;

Improve the visibility and the value of your product’s presence on the market

Stand out and differentiate yourself and your product from others.

Get business and technical details.

Beware of accidentally using content from third parties or losing valuable information, innovative outputs or any other outputs that are creative.

Patents effectively transform the inventor’s knowledge into a commercially tradeable asset which opens new opportunities to create jobs and boost business expansion through joint ventures or licensing.

Small companies that have patent protection are more appealing to investors who are involved in the commercialization and development of technology.

Patenting can lead to new ideas and inventions. This information can encourage innovation and may qualify for protection under patents.

Patents can be used as a deterrent to untrustworthy third parties that profit from the efforts of an invention.

Patent-protected technology revenues that are commercially profitable could be used to fund technological research and development (R&D) that can increase the chance for better technology in the future.

You can use intellectual property ownership to convince investors and lenders that your product has commercial value. One powerful patent may lead to multiple financing opportunities. Patents can be used along with other IP assets as collateral or security for financing. You may also present investors with your patent assets to boost the value of your business. Forbes and others have noted that each patent can add between $500,000 and one million dollars to company valuation.

A properly-crafted business plan is vital for start-ups. It must be based on IP and show what your service or product is distinctive. In addition, investors will be impressed when you show that your IP rights are secure or in progress of being secure and that they support your business strategy.

It is vital to protect an invention before applying for patent protection. Public disclosure of an invention before it is filed can often destroy its novelty and make it ineligible for patent protection. Pre-filing disclosures, such as for investors, test marketing, or any other business partners, is best done after signing a confidentiality contract.

There are several types of patents. Understanding the different types is crucial to protect your invention. Utility patents protect new techniques and machines. Design patents cover ornamental designs. Utility patents are the best since they protect the owner from copycats and other competitors. They are typically issued to improve or alter existing inventions. Utility patents can also be used to cover improvements and changes to existing inventions. For example, a procedure patent will be able to cover actions or methods for performing a specific act, whereas a chemical composition will include an assortment of components.

How long does a patent last? Utility patents last 20 years from the earliest filing dates, but their expirations are able to be extended because of delays at the patent office for instance.

Are you interested in the patenting of your idea? As patents are only granted for applicants who are first to file and you must make your application quickly. Contact an attorney for patents at PatentPC to protect your idea now!

When you’re writing an application for patents, you should do an internet search for patents, since the search can provide some insight into other people’s concepts. This will allow you to limit the extent of your invention. Additionally, you’ll be able to discover the latest art in your field of innovation. You’ll get a better understanding of what your idea should be and be better prepared for writing your patent application.

How to Search for Patents

The first step in getting your patent is to perform a patent search. You can do a google patent search or do a USPTO search. Patent-pending is the term for the product that has been covered by the patent application. You can search for the public pair to locate the patent application. After the patent office has approved the application, you will be able to perform a patent search to locate the issued patent, and your product has now been granted a patent. You can also utilize the USPTO search engine. Read on for details. You can get help from an attorney for patents or a patent attorney. In the US patents are granted by the US patent and trademark office or by the United States patent and trademark office, which is also responsible for examining trademark applications.

Are you interested in finding similar patents? These are the steps to follow:

1. Think of terms to describe your invention, based on the purpose, composition and usage.

Write down a brief detailed explanation of your invention. Don’t use generic terms like “device”, “process” and “system”. Look for synonyms to the terms you initially chose. Also, make note of key technical terms and keywords.

Use the questions below to help you determine keywords or concepts.

  • What is the purpose of the invention? Is it a utilitarian device or an ornamental design?
  • Is invention a way to create something or perform some function? Is it an item?
  • What is the basis of the invention? What is the physical constitution?
  • What is the goal of this invention?
  • What are the terms and phrases in the field of technology that define the nature of an invention? A technical dictionary can assist you to find the appropriate words.

2. These terms allow you to find pertinent Cooperative Patent Classifications using the Classification Search Tool. If you’re not able to determine the correct classification to describe your invention, look through the classification’s class Schemas (class schedules). If you do not get results from the Classification Text Search, you might consider substituting your words for describing your invention with synonyms.

3. Review the CPC Classification Definition to verify the accuracy of the CPC classification that you have discovered. The link to a CPC classification definition is given in the event that the title of the classification is a blue square with a “D” on its left. CPC classification definitions can be used to identify the specific classification’s scope and therefore you’re certain to choose the one that is appropriate. They may also provide some search tips or other recommendations which could prove useful in further investigation.

4. The Patents Full-Text Database and the Image Database allow you to retrieve patent documents that include the CPC classification. You can look through and find the relevant patent publications focusing first on the abstract and representative drawings.

5. This selection of patent publications is the best to examine for similarity with your invention. Be sure to read the claims and specification. You may find additional patents by referring to the patent examiner and the applicant.

6. You can find published patent applications that match the CPC classification you selected in Step 3. It is also possible to use the same method of search that you used in Step 4 to narrow your search results to only the most relevant patent applications by looking over the abstracts and drawings for every page. Then, you must carefully review the published patent applications, paying particular attention to the claims and additional drawings.

7. You can find additional US patent publications by keyword searching in AppFT or PatFT databases, as well as classification search to find non-U.S. Patents as described below. You can also make use of search engines on the internet to search for non-patent-related literature disclosures about inventions. For instance:

  • Add keywords to your search. Keyword searches may turn up documents that are not well-categorized or have missed classifications during Step 2. For example, US patent examiners often supplement their classification searches with keyword searches. Think about the use of technical engineering terminology rather than everyday words.
  • Search for foreign patents using the CPC classification. Then, re-run the search using international patent office search engines such as Espacenet, the European Patent Office’s worldwide patent publication database of over 130 million patent publications. Other national databases include:
  • Search non-patent literature. Inventions can be made public in many non-patent publications. It is recommended that you search journals, books, websites, technical catalogs, conference proceedings, and other print and electronic publications.

To review your search, you can hire a registered patent attorney to assist. A preliminary search will help one better prepare to talk about their invention and other related inventions with a professional patent attorney. In addition, the attorney will not spend too much time or money on patenting basics.