Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents

Browse patents:
Next
Prev

new patent Laser-colored sapphire material / Apple Inc.




Laser-colored sapphire material


A colored sapphire material and methods for coloring sapphire material using lasers are disclosed. The method for coloring the sapphire material may include positioning the sapphire material over an opaque substrate material, exposing the opaque substrate material to a laser beam passing through the sapphire material to impact the substrate material, and inducing a chemical change in a portion of the sapphire material exposed to the laser beam. The method may also include...



Browse recent Apple Inc. patents


USPTO Applicaton #: #20170079153
Inventors: Michael M. Li, Christopher R. Fagan, Anubhav Prasad


The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20170079153, Laser-colored sapphire material.


FIELD

The disclosure relates generally to sapphire material, and more particularly to laser-colored sapphire material and methods of coloring sapphire material using lasers.

BACKGROUND

- Top of Page


Conventional electronic devices are typically made from durable materials to protect the electronic components of the device. Various portions of the device are thus formed from materials that withstand the everyday wear-and-tear applied to the electronic device. That is, portions of the electronic device may be formed from a material that may withstand constant handling of the electronic device by a user, the transportation and/or packing of the electronic devices and undesired blunt forces (e.g., dropping, sitting on) applied to the electronic device during use. Conventional electronic devices may be formed from metals (e.g., aluminum), reinforced glass, and/or polymers (e.g., plastic, rubber).

Alumina (Al2O3), one example of which is sapphire typically, is not used to form most portions of electronic devices. As a result of the physical and/or chemical properties of sapphire, certain manufacturing processes used to form portions or components of an electronic device may be difficult and/or expensive to perform on sapphire material. For example, housings for electronic devices typically include designs, text or logos formed right on or in the material forming the housing. The designs, text or logos may be painted directly on a surface of the housing, and the housing may undergo various processes (e.g., heat-setting, coating, and so on) to prevent the paint from being removed. However, over time and normal use of the electronic device, the paint may begin to wear and be removed, as the paint is only applied to a surface of the sapphire material.

Laser etching or burning may also be used to form logos on sapphire material. However, these processes typically require the use of difficult and complex intermediate steps, such as ion bombardment of the sapphire material, in order for the etch or burn to be successful on the sapphire material. These complex steps, which are required because of the physical and/or chemical properties of sapphire, increase cost, time and complexity of successfully etching or burning the sapphire. In addition, the visible color of each etched or burned logo onto the sapphire material is typically limited to black, gray or white.

SUMMARY

- Top of Page


A method of coloring a sapphire material. The method comprises positioning the sapphire material over an opaque substrate material, exposing the opaque substrate material to a laser beam passing through the sapphire material to impact the substrate material, and inducing a chemical change in a portion of the sapphire material exposed to the laser beam. The method also comprises creating a visible color in the portion of the sapphire material as a result of the chemical change.

A sapphire component comprising a first transparent portion, and a second, colored portion substantially surrounded by the first portion, the second, colored portion comprising a chemical composition different than that of the first portion.

An electronic device comprising a housing, a cover glass coupled to the housing for protecting a display positioned within the housing, and an input button positioned through a portion of the housing. The electronic device also comprises a sapphire component forming at least a portion of an external surface of the housing. The sapphire component comprises a first portion, and a second, colored portion positioned adjacent the first portion. The second portion comprises atoms different than atoms of the first portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

- Top of Page


The disclosure will be readily understood by the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate like structural elements, and in which:

FIG. 1A depicts a sapphire material, an opaque substrate material and a laser utilized to color a sapphire material.

FIG. 1B depicts the sapphire material, the opaque substrate material and the laser utilized to color the sapphire material of FIG. 1A in an assembled position.

FIG. 2A depicts a cross-section view of the sapphire material and the opaque substrate material taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1B. The sapphire material and the opaque substrate material are shown as being initially exposed to a laser beam used to color the sapphire material.

FIG. 2B depicts an enlarged portion 2B-2B of the sapphire material and the opaque substrate material of FIG. 2A.

FIG. 2C depicts a cross-section view of the sapphire material and the opaque substrate material taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1B. The sapphire material and the opaque substrate material are shown after being exposed to the laser beam used to color the sapphire material.

FIG. 2D depicts an enlarged portion 2D-2D of the sapphire material and the opaque substrate material of FIG. 2C.

FIG. 2E depicts an enlarged portion 2E-2E of the sapphire material and the opaque substrate material of FIG. 2C.

FIG. 2F depicts a cross-section view of the sapphire material and the opaque substrate material taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1B. The sapphire material and the opaque substrate material are shown as being exposed to a laser beam used to color the sapphire material two distinct colors.

FIG. 2G depicts an enlarged portion 2G-2G of the sapphire material and the opaque substrate material of FIG. 2F.

FIG. 3A depicts an enlarged front, cross-section view of a portion of sapphire material and opaque substrate material of FIG. 2A prior to being exposed to the laser.

FIG. 3B depicts an enlarged front, cross-section view of a portion of sapphire material and opaque substrate material of FIG. 2A after being exposed to the laser.

FIG. 4 depicts a top view of a portion of a sapphire material having a visible colored portion formed therein.

FIG. 5A depicts a first cross-section view of the sapphire material of FIG. 4, showing a first option for a colored region formed in the sapphire material.

FIG. 5B depicts an alternative cross-section view of the sapphire material of FIG. 4, showing a second option for a colored region formed in the sapphire material.

FIG. 6 depicts a flow chart of an example process for coloring a sapphire material.

FIG. 7A depicts a front view of an electronic device including a sapphire material having a visible colored portion.

FIG. 7B depicts a back view of the electronic device of FIG. 7A including a sapphire material having a visible colored portion.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

- Top of Page


Reference will now be made in detail to representative embodiments illustrated in the accompanying drawings. It should be understood that the following descriptions are not intended to limit the embodiments to one preferred embodiment. To the contrary, it is intended to cover alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as can be included within the spirit and scope of the described embodiments as defined by the appended claims.

The following disclosure relates generally to sapphire materials, and more particularly, to laser-colored sapphire material and methods of coloring sapphire material using lasers.




← Previous       Next →

Download full PDF for full patent description, claims and images

Advertise on FreshPatents.com - Rates & Info


You can also Monitor Keywords and Search for tracking patents relating to this Laser-colored sapphire material patent application.

###


Browse recent Apple Inc. patents

Keyword Monitor How KEYWORD MONITOR works... a FREE service from FreshPatents
1. Sign up (takes 30 seconds). 2. Fill in the keywords to be monitored.
3. Each week you receive an email with patent applications related to your keywords.  
Start now! - Receive info on patent apps like Laser-colored sapphire material or other areas of interest.
###


Previous Patent Application:
Laser-assisted atomic layer deposition of 2d metal chalcogenide films
Next Patent Application:
Latch
Industry Class:

Thank you for viewing the Laser-colored sapphire material patent info.
- - -

Results in 0.05069 seconds


Other interesting Freshpatents.com categories:
Medical: Surgery Surgery(2) Surgery(3) Drug Drug(2) Prosthesis Dentistry  

###

Data source: patent applications published in the public domain by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Information published here is for research/educational purposes only. FreshPatents is not affiliated with the USPTO, assignee companies, inventors, law firms or other assignees. Patent applications, documents and images may contain trademarks of the respective companies/authors. FreshPatents is not responsible for the accuracy, validity or otherwise contents of these public document patent application filings. When possible a complete PDF is provided, however, in some cases the presented document/images is an abstract or sampling of the full patent application for display purposes. FreshPatents.com Terms/Support
-g2-0.1659

66.232.115.224
Browse patents:
Next
Prev

stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20170079153 A1
Publish Date
03/16/2017
Document #
14850535
File Date
09/10/2015
USPTO Class
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
/
Drawings
14


Lasers Sapphire

Follow us on Twitter
twitter icon@FreshPatents

Apple Inc.


Browse recent Apple Inc. patents





Browse patents:
Next
Prev
20170316|20170079153|laser-colored sapphire material|A colored sapphire material and methods for coloring sapphire material using lasers are disclosed. The method for coloring the sapphire material may include positioning the sapphire material over an opaque substrate material, exposing the opaque substrate material to a laser beam passing through the sapphire material to impact the substrate |Apple-Inc
';