Sunday, July 13, 2008

Copper Nanoparticle Inks and Applied Nanotech

As to copper inks (which I understand will be Applied Nanotech's future, making and salvation) I can find nothing in the literature about it, the Japanese partner or what is so valuable.

I did find this:
What is claimed is:
1. A method for fabricating coated nanoparticles, comprising the steps of: obtaining core nanoparticles containing one or more elements from group IB and/or IIIA and/or VIA and coating the core nanoparticles with one or more layers of metal from group IB, IIIA or an element from group VIA in a controlled fashion such that the resulting coated nanoparticles have a desired stoichiometric ratio of elements, wherein the core nanoparticles contain copper.

And this - the Holy Grail - printing ICs:
The holy grail is a copper based ink, which has been available for some time, but not used because in the cure process the copper oxide layer that forms on the surface is not conductive. This then makes it difficult to achieve a good connection with the other components, and it is so unreliable that silver had been preferred as overall it offers better yield and reliability due to the interconnections involved.

The cure processes:
However, the Novacentrix PulseForge cures the copper ink so quickly that it does not have time for an oxide layer to form.

M3D - Optomec another APNT cohort using a laser to sinter the copper:
Maskless Mesoscale Material Deposition (M3D) System

And Cima NanoTech:
Technology Pioneer 2008 - Jon Brodd (Cima Nanotech)

YouTube Video:


A competitor?

Nano Materials in Printed Electronics: Bill Faulkner1; 1Cima Nanotech
The Global Electronics Industry is seeking next generation manufacturing methods to produce cheaper, smaller, and more flexible components. Industry leaders are ramping up significant development projects to eliminate the high capital costs, expensive processing, and environmentally damaging lithographic etching of electronics. Functionalized nano-materials are emerging a key component to meeting these goals. Printing technologies such as ink jet, gravure, flexo, and other graphic arts based systems are being optimized to achieve the higher resolution and operational demands of electronics. In many cases, the unique properties of nano materials are the necessary components in inks and coatings for these systems. The multi-billion dollar market opportunity includes components for flat panel displays, EMI shielding films, solar cells, printed thin film transistors, and RFID tags.Cima NanoTech is manufacturing & commercializing nano metal-based coatings and inks that enable self-assembling random patterns and direct printing of electronic circuits and films. The venture capital backed company is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota with R&D facilities in Caesarea, Israel, and toll manufacturing in Japan.

Cima NanoTech:

APNT is a customer of theirs for copper nanoparticles.

Japanese chemical cohort:
Unknown name.

All very interesting and VERY frustrating cause I have no idea whatsoever where APNT fits in and what they bring to the table.