I recently reviewed the patents that are granted in the field of printed electronics and a recent search indicated that during 2011 there have already been nearly 100 granted patents in this technology sector. It is not possible to provide a comprehensive overview in this format but over my next few posts I will provide brief details of a few of the patents that caught my eye. (If anyone is interested in a more thorough analysis or any particular technology field then please leave a comment or get in touch with me and I can provide details of how to obtain the data.)
US7879688 – Methods For Making Electronic Devices With A Solution Deposited Gate Dielectric
Issued: 1st Feb 2011
Inventors: James C. Novack, Dennis E. Vogel, Brian K. Nelson
Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
Abstract: A method of making an electronic device comprises solution depositing a dielectric composition onto a substrate and polymerizing the dielectric composition to form a gate dielectric. The dielectric composition comprises a polymerizable resin and zirconium oxide nanoparticles.
Granted claim 1:
1. A method of making an electronic device comprising: (a) solution depositing a dielectric composition onto a substrate, the dielectric composition comprising an ultraviolet radiation polymerizable resin comprising tris-(2-hydroxy ethyl) isocyanurate triacrylate, an ultraviolet photoinitiator, and zirconium oxide nanoparticles; and (b) polymerizing the dielectric composition via at least ultraviolet radiation to form a gate dielectric.
The additional claims generally expand on the ZrO2 nanoparticles and dielectric composition which is preferably ink-jet printed. Further claims elaborate on a method for making the thin-film transistor.
The claims are fairly self explanatory and the method is said to allow a higher charge carrier mobility for a solution deposited semiconductor. Obviously, the patent can be circumvented by using other types of metal oxide but for those exploring its potential as a dielectric this is a key patent.