Kuprion Inc. (San Jose, CA)

A method for creating conductive elements with ink is described. The ink is comprised of a number of nanoparticles, as well as a transporter. The nanoparticles comprise copper with a diameter that is less than 20 nanometers. Each nanoparticle contains at minimum one layer of surfactant configured to separate adjacent nanoparticles. There are a variety of methods for making circuit elements with copper-containing nanoparticles. This includes spraying, tracing and stamping, heating or burning.


The present invention is related to printed electronics, and specifically, the development of circuit elements using copper nanoparticles.

Description of Related Art

Electrical assemblies for current are made by a rigid substrate. The individual components are attached to the substrate, and connected by conductive paths or “traces”. The traces are usually formed on the substrate’s surface by covering the substrate with copper , then masking the copper with an interconnect design using the use of a photolithographic process. Then, the unmasked copper is etched away. The etching process can often limit the separation of the traces. Complex circuits are constructed with multiple layers of circuit trace separated by insulating layers, with connections between the conductive layers created by holes between the insulating layers that are filled with conductive materials. These interlayer connections are referred to as “vias.” These interlayer connections are known as “vias”.

The need to integrate electronics in smaller or curvy packaging has led to the development of flexible substrates where the traces are created by etching and plating like is the case with rigid substrates, or by screen printing a conductive material on the flexible substrate. These flexible printed circuits (FPCs) are limited in the division of circuit elements, referred to as the “pitch” of the traces, in the same way as convention rigid PCB fabrication since they utilize the same process to create the circuits.

The capability to print directly circuit elements has been invented over the past decade, or so to take advantage of low-cost printing technologies. To create circuits with carbon-based compounds that are conductive or metals commonly used printing techniques like gravure, offset, gravure, offset and inkjet lithography are utilized. Each method has advantages and disadvantages with regard to resolution, throughput, and expense. Circuits made of carbon-based compounds have lower conductivity than circuits made of metal. Temperatures up to 300.degree are required for metal inks. C. for the fusion of metal particles into a continuous conductor strip. This limits the substrate to materials which can stand up to this temperature.

It would be extremely beneficial to be able to produce high-conductivity circuits that are flexible and rigid substrates.

The invention permits printing of electronic circuits or elements with copper nanoparticles. This permits the design of copper circuits on a variety of flexible and rigid substrates with pitches that are less than 100 micrometers. Nanoparticles that have a diameter of less than 20 nanometers are preferred. It is preferred that they are smaller than 10 nanometers. The nanoparticles will meld when they touch the substrate. It’s like inkjet printing. The copper nanoparticles are printed with a pattern or fused with a short-duration pulse or at temperatures of less than 200.degree. C., and preferably below 70.degree. C. Copper nanoparticles of this size can be fused by pressure like compression under an aform or by tracing the desired pattern using a mechanical stylus, such as a nanoinscriber. The techniques for making circuit elements can be used with substrate materials that are flexible and can endure the extreme temperatures and chemical content of the current processes. The methods of printing and creating circuit elements using copper nanoparticles, as described in the present document also enable finer pitch circuits, i.e. it is possible to create smaller separationdistances among elements that are conductive than other processes. Circuit elements made from copper nanoparticles may include passive devices like resistors, capacitors, and inductors, active devices such as transistors, Radio Frequency(RF) elements like reflectors, antennae and waveguides, additional circuit elements like power and ground planes, shielding, as well as signal paths, and even complete devices like the Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) tag.

A circuit element described in certain embodiments includes a first layer made of metal and nanoparticles fused of copper.

A circuit assembly described in certain embodiments includes a substrate and first layer of metal that is coupled to it. The first layer of the metal contains fused nanoparticles of copper that had a diameter less than 20 nanometers prior to being fused.

A circuit printing device shown in certain embodiments is a sprayer that emits several drops of a mix of nanoparticles that contain copper with smaller than 20 nanometers, and then lands on a substrate with sufficient velocity. The nanoparticles then meld to one another when they come into contact on the substrate. Each dot is made up of the microparticles that have been fused and the dots that overlap are fused to one another.

A method of creating an conductive element on substrates is described in specific embodiments. The method comprising the step of spraying a plurality of drops of a mix comprising nanoparticles that comprise copper and have a diameter less than 20 nanometers on the substrate at a speed such that the nanoparticles fuse with each other when they come into contact with the substrate and form a plurality of dots on the substrate which each dot is comprised of the layer of fused nanoparticles andoverlapping dots are fused to each other.

A method of creating a conductor on a substrate is described in various embodiments. This technique involves the following steps: applying a layer of a mixture consisting of nanoparticles of copper that have a diameter of less than 20nanometers on at least one portion of the substrate’s surface and then fusing them together in the remaining layer of the layer.

Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.


Get Patents with PatentPC

What is a patent?

Granted by the government to protect an invention a patent provides the inventor with exclusive rights to create, use to sell, and market the invention?society gains when a innovative technology is brought into the market. The benefits can be realized directly when people can accomplish feats previously unattainable, or indirectly through the economic opportunities that innovation offers (business growth, jobs).

Patent protection is demanded out by many university researchers and drug companies for their research and development. Patents can be granted to the creation of a product, process or method of making new materials. Patent protection must be granted to any invention that is beneficial or novel and is not yet known by other people in the same field.

Patents recognize and honor inventors who have commercially profitable inventions. They serve as a motivator for inventors to invent. Small-scale businesses and inventors can rest assured that they will get the most return from the investment they make in technology development through patents. They can earn a living from their work.

Companies that are able to:

Secure new products and services that are innovative;

Your product will be more prominent appealing, valuable, and desirable to customers.

Make your brand stand out from the competition.

Access technical and business knowledge and other information;

Avoid the danger of accidentally using third-party proprietary content or losing valuable information, innovative outputs, or another creative output.

Patents convert knowledge of the inventor into a valuable asset which creates new opportunities to create jobs by licensing joint ventures and joint ventures.

Investors involved in the commercialization and development of technology may find small businesses with patent protection more appealing.

Patenting could lead to the development of innovations and new ideas. This information can encourage the development of new ideas and could qualify to be protected by patents.

Patents can be used to stop untrustworthy third-party companies from earning from the invention’s efforts.

Patent-protected technology revenues that are commercially viable can be used to fund technological research and development (R&D), which will increase the odds of developing better technology in the near future.

Intellectual property ownership can be used to convince lenders and investors that there are real chances to commercialize your product. Sometimes, one powerful patent could open the door to a variety of financing possibilities. Patents can be used along with other IP assets as collateral or security financing. You may also present investors with the patents you own to increase the value of your business. Forbes and other sources have pointed out that each patent can add between $500,000 and one million dollars to company valuation.

Start-ups need a well-constructed business plan that is built on the IP to show that your product or service is unique and superior or ingenuous. Additionally, investors will be impressed when you prove that your IP rights are secure or in progress of being secure and they can support your business strategy.

It is essential to keep an invention secret until you submit for patent protection. Public disclosure of an invention prior to filing can often destroy its novelty and make it ineligible for patent protection. Thus, disclosures that are filed prior to filing (e.g. for testing-marketing investors, test-marketing, or for other business partners) should only be filed following the signing of a confidentiality agreement.

There are a variety of patents. Understanding them is crucial for protecting your invention. Utility patents protect new techniques and machines. Design patents cover ornamental designs. Utility patents are the best because they shield the proprietor from copycats and other competitors. Utility patents are often issued to improve or modify existing inventions. Utility patents also cover enhancements and modifications to existing inventions. For instance, a process patent will be able to cover actions or methods of performing one specific thing, while chemical compositions will comprise the combination of components.

What is the average length of the patent? Although utility patents are valid up to 20 years from their initial filing, they may be extended through delay in the patent office.

Do you wish to protect your idea? Patents are granted only to the first applicants to file which is why you must file as quickly as possible. Contact PatentPC today to get your patent application approved!

Patent searches are a must when you’re writing a patent application. This allows you to look at different ideas and give you insights into them. This can help you restrict the extent of your invention. In addition, you can discover the latest technology in your field of innovation. You’ll have a better idea of what your invention ought to be, and you’ll be more prepared to submit the patent application.

How to Search for Patents

A patent search is the first step in obtaining your patent. You can do a google patent search or do a USPTO search. Patent-pending is the term for the product protected by the patent application. It is possible to search the public pair to find the patent application. When the patent office has endorsed the patent application, you can do a patent number search to find the issued patent which means that your product has been granted patent. In addition to the USPTO search engine, you can use other search engines like espacenet as described below. It is possible to seek help from a patent lawyer. In the US, patents are granted through the US patent and trademark office as well as the United States patent and trademark office, which is also responsible for examining trademark applications.

Are you looking for similar patents? These are the steps:

1. Brainstorm terms that describe your invention based upon its intended purpose, composition and usage.

Start by writing down a concise and precise description of your idea. Avoid using generic terms like “device,” “process,” and “system.” Look for synonyms to the terms you chose initially. Next, note important technical terms and keywords.

Utilize the following questions to help you determine the keywords or concepts.

  • What is the objective of the invention? Is it a utilitarian device or an ornamental design?
  • Does the invention consist of a method of creating something , or fulfilling a purpose? Is it a product or process?
  • What is the composition and function of the invention? What is the physical constitution?
  • What is the goal of this invention?
  • What are the technical terms and keywords that define the nature of an invention? A technical dictionary can assist you to identify the correct phrases.

2. These terms will allow you to look up pertinent Cooperative Patent Classifications at Classification Search Tool. To determine the most suitable classification to your invention, go through the class scheme of the classification (class schedules). If you don’t see any results using the Classification Text Search, you might want to think about substituting the words for describing your invention using synonyms.

3. Review 3. Go over the CPC Classification Definition to verify the relevancy of the CPC classification that you have located. If the classification you have selected is a blue box that has an “D” on its left, the hyperlink will take you to a CPC classification description. CPC classification definitions will help determine the scope of the classification, so you are certain to pick the most pertinent. Furthermore the definitions may include some tips for searching and other information which could be helpful to further study.

4. The Patents Full-Text Database and the Image Database allow you to find patent documents that are accompanied by the CPC classification. You can search and select the most relevant patent documents by focussing first on abstract and drawings representative of.

5. This collection of patent publication is the most appropriate to look at for any similarities to your idea. Pay close attention to the claims and specifications. Consult the applicant and patent examiner for any additional patents.

6. It is possible to find published patent applications that match the CPC classification that you chose in Step 3. It is possible to use the same search strategy in Step 4 to narrow your search results to the relevant patent applications through the abstract and illustrations on every page. Then, you must carefully review the published patent applications, paying particular attention to the claims and additional drawings.

7. You can find other US patent publications by keyword searching in AppFT or PatFT databases, and also the classification search of patents that are not issued in the United States as according to below. Additionally, you can make use of search engines on the internet to find non-patent documents that describe inventions in the literature. 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.