Arizona Patent of the Month – January 2022

Conductive ink is a unique invention which allows a user to hand draw or print circuits which will be capable of conducting electricity. This makes it possible to draw working circuits on a variety of materials including papers and textiles. This is achieved by incorporating particulate metals in the ink. Unfortunately, these inks are usually opaque which limits their range of application. While there are transparent conductors, these usually have high electrical impedance and low conductivity when finally cured. They also require high temperatures to cure and specialized deposition techniques. These limitations reduce the viability of existing transparent conductors.

Based in Arizona, NthDegree Technologies Worldwide, Inc. has been a leader in printed electronic innovations for well over a decade. Recently, they have developed a largely transparent conductor using metallic nanofiber ink. The ink includes metallic nanofibers within the binding ink. The ink can be printed through screen printing or flexographic printing and appears largely transparent. The cured product performs as a stable conductor with acceptable resistance and impedance. The transparent conductor is especially well suited for lighting and photovoltaic panels. NthDegree uses this technology to effectively incredibly thin, light, and flexible LED lights. The applications are endless, from light up credit cards to lit labels to healthcare devices. The transparency of the conductor allows for greater optical transmissivity than can be achieved with traditional conductive inks. Increasing the transmissivity is what allows NthDegree to achieve great light transmission.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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