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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Three-Dimensional Circuit Component, Method of Making the Same, and Physical-Quantity Measuring Instrument",...

February 12, 2014



Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Three-Dimensional Circuit Component, Method of Making the Same, and Physical-Quantity Measuring Instrument", for Approval

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Yamagishi, Nobutaka (Tokyo, JP); Yamashita, Naoki (Tokyo, JP); Imai, Atsushi (Tokyo, JP), filed on July 15, 2013, was made available online on January 30, 2014.

No assignee for this patent application has been made.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present invention relates to a three-dimensional circuit component, a method of making the three-dimensional circuit component, and a physical-quantity measuring instrument with the three-dimensional circuit component.

"A three-dimensional circuit component is usable in electronic devices, physical-quantity measuring instruments and other devices.

"A typical example of a physical-quantity measuring instrument using a three-dimensional circuit component is, for instance, an infrared detector in which electronic components such as an IC chip and a capacitor are mounted on a block integrally formed from a synthetic resin and a three-dimensional circuit is formed using an MID molding substrate technique in order to establish an electrical connection of the electronic components and terminals or the like (Patent Literature 1: Patent No. 3211074).

"In the infrared detector of Patent Literature 1, Vthe three-dimensional circuit includes adjacent electrically-conductive patterns that are formed on a surface of the resin block to be exposed.

"In the typical arrangement described in Patent Literature 1, since the electrically-conductive patterns of the three-dimensional circuit are exposed outside, problems such as a short-circuit and a decrease in withstand voltage are likely to be caused when a foreign substance contacts with adjacent ones of the electrically-conductive patterns.

"When the block on which the three-dimensional circuit and the electronic components are provided is covered by a metal case, the block and the metal case need to be sufficiently distanced from each other for avoiding contact between the electrically-conductive patterns and the metal case, which results in an increase in the device size."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "An object of the present invention is to provide a three-dimensional circuit component designed to have an unexposed circuit portion for preventing a decrease in withstand voltage, a method of making the three-dimensional circuit component, and a physical-quantity measuring instrument.

"According to an aspect of the invention, a three-dimensional circuit component includes: a resin block; an electronic component being mounted on the block; and a plurality of electrically-conductive patterns being formed along a three-dimensional shape of the block in order to establish an electrical connection to the electronic component, the electrically-conductive patterns each having an end that serves as a contact portion opposed to the electronic component to electrically contact with the electronic component, in which a solder is provided between a surface of the electronic component opposed to one of the electrically-conductive patterns and a solder-disposed section provided in the contact portion of each of the electrically-conductive patterns, and a section of each of the electrically-conductive patterns other than the solder-disposed section and a section on which the electronic component is mounted is internally formed in the block.

"With the above arrangement, the solder is provided between the opposed surface of the electronic component opposed to one of the electrically-conductive patterns and the solder-disposed section of the end of each of the electrically-conductive patterns, thereby electrically connecting the electronic component to the one of the electrically-conductive patterns.

"The section of each of the electrically-conductive patterns other than the solder-disposed section and the section on which the electronic component is mounted is internally formed in the block, so that the electrically-conductive patterns are not unnecessarily exposed.

"Thus, since a foreign substance is prevented from contacting with adjacent ones of the electrically-conductive patterns, a short-circuit and a decrease in withstand voltage can be prevented.

"According to another aspect of the invention, a method of making the three-dimensional circuit component includes: forming a three-dimensional circuit by internally forming the electrically conductive patterns, except the ends thereof, in the block; mounting the electronic component on the end of one of the electrically-conductive patterns on which the solder is applied; and soldering the electronic component by heating the block with the electronic component mounted thereon to melt the solder between the end of the one of the electrically-conductive patterns and the electronic component for fixation of the electronic component.

"With the above arrangement, since the surfaces of the electrically-conductive patterns are covered by the resin, even when the solder overspills, the solder is prevented from contacting with adjacent ones of the electrically-conductive patterns.

"Thus, the three-dimensional circuit component that can provide the above advantages can be produced in a facilitated manner.

"In the above aspect, it is preferable that an insert molding is used for forming the three-dimensional circuit.

"With the above arrangement, the three-dimensional circuit can be formed during production of the block, which results in an improved production efficiency and thus in a reduced production time of the three-dimensional circuit component.

"In the above aspect, it is preferable that during forming the three-dimensional circuit, the block is formed by forming the electrically-conductive patterns on a surface of a resin block body and covering each of the electrically-conductive patterns, except the end thereof, with a resin covering piece.

"For the above arrangement, an MID (Molded Interconnect Device) molding can be employed for producing the three-dimensional circuit component. With the MID molding, it is possible to form even complicated electrically-conductive patterns in a facilitated manner.

"After formation of the electrically-conductive patterns, the resin covering piece is provided on the block body except the ends of the electrically-conductive patterns (i.e., the solder-disposed sections) to produce the block. Since the electrically-conductive patterns are not unnecessarily exposed, a foreign substance is prevented from contacting with adjacent ones of the electrically-conductive patterns to cause a short-circuit.

"According to another aspect of the invention, a physical-quantity measuring instrument includes: the three-dimensional circuit component; a sensor module that is disposed near a first end of the three-dimensional circuit component and outputs a signal to the electronic component; and a contact member that is disposed near a second end of the three-dimensional circuit component opposite to the first end and enables a signal transmission and reception between the electronic component and an external device, in which the three-dimensional circuit component further includes: a plate on which the electronic component is mounted; and ribs being formed on both sides of the plate.

"With the above arrangement, the electrically-conductive patterns are unexposed. Thus, even when a periphery of the three-dimensional circuit component is covered by a case, the block can be placed close to the case without worrying about occurrence of a short-circuit between the block and the case, so that the physical-quantity measuring instrument can be downsized. Further, the plate can be thinned, so that the instrument can be downsized as a whole even after the electronic component is mounted on the plate. Since such a thinned plate can have a small through hole formed therethrough, patterns having a narrow pitch can be formed.

"Since the ribs formed on the plate serve to reinforce the three-dimensional circuit component, the strength of the instrument can be increased as a whole.

"In the above aspect, it is preferable that the contact member includes a coil being brought into contact with the external device.

"With the above arrangement, the instrument can be stably connected to the external device.

"In the above aspect, it is preferable that the physical-quantity measuring instrument further includes: a contact member housing that is connected to the second end of the three-dimensional circuit component to enclose the contact member, the contact member housing including: a step portion having a step relative to a flat surface of the plate; and a pad that is provided on a flat surface of the step portion and is electrically connected to the electrically-conductive patterns, in which the contact member further includes a linear portion that is formed integrally with the coil and is in contact with a flat surface of the pad over a predetermined length, and the pad and the linear portion are fixed to each other by soldering.

"With the above arrangement, the contact member can be electrically connected to the pad in a facilitated manner. Since the step portion has the step relative to the plate on which the electronic component is mounted, the plate can be kept thin.

"In the above aspect, it is preferable that the physical-quantity measuring instrument further includes: a metal module housing that encloses the sensor module; and a cylindrical portion being connected to the module housing, the cylindrical portion being provided with a ground lead formed on an outer circumference thereof, the cylindrical portion being provided with a step formed on an end thereof, in which the step and the module housing are connected to each other by a bonding member.

"With the above arrangement, the step is formed on the cylindrical portion. Since the bonding member is provided in the step, an overspill of the bonding member is prevented, which results in facilitating an assembly operation of the instrument. Further, an additional member is not required for grounding.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a partially cutaway perspective view of a physical-quantity measuring instrument according to an exemplary embodiment of the invention.

"FIG. 2 is a partially cutaway front view of the physical-quantity measuring instrument.

"FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along a line in FIG. 2.

"FIG. 4A is a sectional view schematically showing a three-dimensional circuit component.

"FIG. 4B is a front view schematically showing the three-dimensional circuit component.

"FIG. 5A is a sectional view schematically showing a block after formation of electrically-conductive patterns.

"FIG. 5B is a front view schematically showing the block after formation of the electrically-conductive patterns.

"FIG. 6 is another front view of the block of the physical-quantity measuring instrument, for showing an appearance of the block after formation of the electrically-conductive patterns.

"FIG. 7 is still another front view of the block of the physical-quantity measuring instrument, for showing an appearance of the block after a solder is applied to ends of the electrically-conductive patterns.

"FIG. 8 is further front view of the block of the physical-quantity measuring instrument, for showing an appearance of the block after electronic components are mounted on the ends of the electrically-conductive patterns."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Yamagishi, Nobutaka; Yamashita, Naoki; Imai, Atsushi. Three-Dimensional Circuit Component, Method of Making the Same, and Physical-Quantity Measuring Instrument. Filed July 15, 2013 and posted January 30, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=3542&p=71&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140123.PD.&OS=PD/20140123&RS=PD/20140123

Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Electronic Components.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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