RATHBURN, James (6491 Ranier Lane N, Maple Grove, Minnesota, 55311, US)
|What is claimed is:
1 . A socket housing comprising:
a housing comprising plurality of printed dielectric layers of at least two different dielectric materials;
a plurality of recesses adapted to receive contact members; and
at least one contact member positioned in a plurality of the recesses, distal ends of the contact members adapted to electrically couple with circuit members.
2. The socket housing of claim 1 wherein the recesses comprise at least one feature that mechanically retains the contact members in the housing.
3. The socket housing of claim 1 comprising at least one internal cavity within the housing.
4. The socket housing of claim 1 comprising a plurality of conductive traces extending along layers of the housing.
5. The socket housing of claim 4 comprising plating in at least one of the recesses to electrically couple a contact member with at least one conductive trace.
6. The socket housing of claim 1 comprising at least one printed electrical device on one or more of a dielectric layer in the housing.
7. The socket housing of claim 1 wherein the housing includes one or more of embedded circuitry, shielding, passive or active components, antennae, decoupling, power filtering, signal conditioning, magnetic or dielectric enhancement, impedance control, transistors, LEDs, test or probe points, memory, located between dielectric layers.
8. The socket housing of claim 1 wherein the socket housing includes layers of conductive, non-conductive, or semi-conductive materials.
9. The socket housing of claim 1 comprising an optical quality material located between the dielectric layers in the housing.
10. The socket housing of claim 1 wherein one or more of the contact members extend above the housing.
1 1 . An electrical interconnect assembly comprising:
the socket housing of claim 1 ;
a first circuit member comprising electrical terminals compressively engaged with contact members located along a first surface of the socket housing; and a second circuit member comprising electrical terminals compressively engaged with contact members located along a second surface of the socket housing.
12. The electrical interconnect assembly of claim 1 1 wherein the first and second circuit members are selected from one of a dielectric layer, a printed circuit board, a flexible circuit, a bare die device, an integrated circuit device, organic or inorganic substrates, or a rigid circuit.
13. A method of making a socket housing comprising:
printing a plurality of dielectric layers with a plurality of recesses on a substrate, the dielectric layers comprising at least two different dielectric materials; printing a sacrificial material in the recesses;
removing the socket housing from the substrate;
removing the sacrificial material from the recesses; and
locating at least one contact member in a plurality of the recesses, distal ends of the contact members adapted to electrically couple with circuit members.
14. The method of claim 13 comprising printing at least one feature that mechanically retains the contact members in the recesses.
15. The method of claim 13 comprising forming at least one internal cavity within the housing.
16. The method of claim 13 comprising printing a plurality of conductive traces on at least one dielectric layer in the housing.
17. The method of claim 13 comprising plating in at least one of the recesses to electrically couple a contact member with at least one conductive trace.
18. The method of claim 13 comprising:
printing a platable dielectric material on selected areas of the socket housing;
plating the platable dielectric material.
19. The method of claim 13 comprising printing at least one electrical device on one or more of a dielectric layer in the housing.
20. The method of claim 13 comprising printing one or more of circuitry, shielding, passive or active components, antennae, decoupling, power filtering, signal conditioning, magnetic or dielectric enhancement, impedance control, transistors, LEDs, test or probe points, memory, on a dielectric layer in the housing.
21 . The method of claim 13 comprising printing layers of conductive, non- conductive, or semi-conductive materials in the housing.
22. The method of claim 13 comprising printing an optical quality material on at least one layer of the housing.
23. A method of making an electrical interconnect assembly comprising the steps of:
compressively coupling electrical terminals on a first circuit member with contact members located along a first surface of the socket housing of claim 13; and compressively coupling electrical terminals on a second circuit member with contact members located along a second surface of the socket housing.
 The present application relates to an insulator connector socket housing that merges the long-term performance advantages of traditional socket manufacturing techniques with the flexibility of additive printing technology.
Background of the Invention
 Connectors and socket housings are typically manufactured by injection molding precision grade polymers, such as ABS, LCP. For smaller volume applications the connectors and socket housings are often precision machined from a dielectric material. Metallic contacts are inserted into the socket housing and retained by some sort of mechanical interference or captured such that they do not fall out during use. In some cases, the contacts are inserted into the mold prior to injection such that the polymer material flows around portions of the contacts.
 In both cases, the base material is typically loaded with glass fibers or particles to provide strength and mechanical or dimensional stability. In situations where thermal cycling is present during use or solder reflow attachment, the internal stress within the plastic/glass matrix can cause significant changes in dimension or flatness.
 As interconnect products become more sophisticated, with higher pin counts, higher contact density, and higher signal and power integrity requirements, traditional methods of molding and machining are proving inadequate. High density connectors and sockets with fine pitches are very difficult to mold due to thin wall sections and fine features with large aspect ratios. It is also somewhat difficult to change from one configuration to another without producing a new mold. Machined housings are processed from raw stock, and are relatively expensive with long run times and limited capacity.
Brief Summary of the Invention
 The present disclosure is directed to a high performance insulator socket housing that will enable next generation electrical performance. The present disclosure merges the advantages of molded or machined socket housings, with the flexibility of additive printing technology. The present insulator socket housing can be produced digitally, without tooling or costly artwork, with dramatic reductions in environmental issues.
 The present insulator socket housing is a three-dimensional dielectric-like structure consisting of a variety of dielectric properties. The basic structure can be enhanced with a number of circuit-like properties which can add function far beyond a traditional molded or machined socket housings.
 The construction includes of an additive process where layers of dielectric are placed and patterned adjacent to or on previous or subsequent layers. The construction is such that the resultant aggregate of layers creates an insulative structure that replicates the function of a molded or machined housing. The nature of the construction enables features and structures that cannot be molded and/or can be difficult to replicate by machining, such as for example, undercuts and hollows.
 Considering the structure as an aggregate of dielectrics also allows for multiple materials to be used within one housing which is difficult or impossible with molding or machining. In addition, the structure can be processed with circuit-like structures to create features and functions not possible with traditional methods such as embedded circuitry, shielding, passive or active components, antennae, decoupling, power filtering, signal conditioning, magnetic or dielectric enhancement, impedance control, transistors, LEDs, test or probe points, memory, and the like.
 The present insulator socket housing can be used with virtually any contact members or interconnect type. The contact members can be inserted into the socket housing and/or printed in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the terminal structure on the mating circuit members. The contact members can be positioned at a variety of locations, heights, or spacings. In some embodiments, the tips of the contact members are treated with specialty materials to increase long term reliability.
 The present socket housing can be manufactured in layers. The use of additive printing processes permits the material set in a given layer to vary. Additive printing technologies permit a wide variety of materials to be applied on a layer with a registration relative to the features of the previous layer. Selective addition of conductive, non-conductive, or semi-conductive materials at precise locations to create a desired effect has the major advantages in tuning impedance or adding electrical function on a given layer. Tuning performance on a layer by layer basis relative to the previous layer greatly enhances electrical performance.
 Electrical devices can be printed as part of the socket housing, such as for example, ground planes, power planes, transistors, capacitors, resistors, RF antennae, shielding, filters, signal or power altering and enhancing devices, memory devices, embedded IC, and the like. Optical quality materials can also be printed or deposited in recesses to form optical circuit geometries.
 The present disclosure is also directed to an electrical interconnect assembly. The socket housing retains electrical contact members that engage with terminals on first and second circuit members. The first and second circuit members are selected from one of a dielectric layer, a printed circuit board, a flexible circuit, a bare die device, an integrated circuit device, organic or inorganic substrates, or a rigid circuit.
 The present disclosure is also directed to a method of making a socket housing. A plurality of dielectric layers are printed with a plurality of recesses on a substrate. The dielectric layers include at least two different dielectric materials. A sacrificial material is printed in the recesses. The assembly is removed from the substrate. The sacrificial material is removed from the recesses. At least one contact member is located in a plurality of the recesses. Distal ends of the contact members are adapted to electrically couple with circuit members.
 The present disclosure is also directed to a method of making an electrical interconnect assembly. Electrical terminals on a first circuit member are compressively coupled with contact members in the socket housing, and electrical terminals on a second circuit member are compressively coupled with contact members.
 The present disclosure is also directed to several additive processes that combine the mechanical or structural properties of a polymer material, while adding metal materials in an unconventional fashion, to create electrical paths that are refined to provide electrical performance improvements. By adding or arranging metallic particles, conductive inks, plating, or portions of traditional alloys, the socket housing reduces parasitic electrical effects and impedance mismatch, potentially increasing the current carrying capacity.
 The present socket housing can serve as a platform to add passive and active circuit features to improve electrical performance or internal function and intelligence. For example, electrical features and devices are printed onto the socket housing, for example, inkjet printing technology or other printing technologies. The ability to enhance the socket housing, such that it mimics aspects of an IC package and a PCB, allows for reductions in complexity for the IC package and the PCB, while improving the overall performance of the socket housing.
 The printing process permits the fabrication of functional structures, such as conductive paths and electrical devices, without the use of masks or resists. Features down to about 10 microns can be directly written in a wide variety of functional inks, including metals, ceramics, polymers and adhesives, on virtually any substrate - silicon, glass, polymers, metals and ceramics. The substrates can be planar and non-planar surfaces. The printing process is typically followed by a thermal treatment, such as in a furnace or with a laser, to achieve dense functionalized structures.
 The socket housing can be configured with conductive traces that reduce or redistribute the terminal pitch, without the addition of an interposer or daughter substrate. Grounding schemes, shielding, electrical devices, and power planes can be added to the socket housing, reducing the number of connections to the PCB and relieving routing constraints while increasing performance.
Brief Description of the Several Views of the Drawing
 Figure 1 is a cross-sectional view of a method of making a socket housing in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
 Figure 2 is a cross-sectional view of the socket housing of Figure 1 .
 Figure 3 illustrates the socket housing of Figure 1 with contact members configured to electrically couple with circuit members in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
 Figure 4 illustrates an alternate socket housing in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
 Figure 5 illustrates the socket housing of Figure 4 with contact members configured to electrically couple with circuit members in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
 Figure 6 is a cross-sectional view of an alternate socket housing in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.  Figures 7A and 7B are cross-sectional views of an alternate method of making a socket housing in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
 Figure 8 illustrates an alternate socket housing in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
 Figure 9 illustrates a socket housing with printed electrical devices in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
 Figure 10 illustrates a socket housing with optical features in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
Detailed Description of the Invention
 An insulator socket housing according to the present disclosure may permit fine contact-to-contact spacing (pitch) on the order of less than 1 .0 mm pitch, and more preferably a pitch of less than about 0.7 millimeter, and most preferably a pitch of less than about 0.4 millimeter. Such fine pitch socket housings are especially useful for communications, wireless, and memory devices.
 The present insulator socket housing can be configured as a low cost, high signal performance interconnect assembly, which has a low profile that is particularly useful for desktop and mobile PC applications. IC devices can be installed and uninstalled without the need to reflow solder. The solder-free electrical connection of the IC devices is environmentally friendly.
 Figure 1 is a side cross-sectional view of a method for replicating a socket housing using additive processes in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. Dielectric layer 50 and removable or dissolvable material 52 are located on substrate 54 corresponding to a desired contact member configuration. In one embodiment, the dielectric layer 50 and the removable material 52 are printed or placed on surface 56 of the substrate 54. The dielectric layer 50 and the removable material 52 can be applied by printing, embossing, imprinting, chemical etching with a printed mask, or a variety of other techniques. A number of different materials are used as the substrate 54 including: polyester (PET), polyimide (PI), polyethylene napthalate (PEN), Polyetherimide (PEI), along with various fluropolymers (FEP) and copolymers. Polyimide films are the most prevalent due to their advantageous electrical, mechanical, chemical, and thermal properties.
 Figure 2 illustrates additional layers 60 of dielectric 50 and removable material 52 are added to top surface 62 of each previous layer 60. The socket housing 64 is removed from the substrate 54 and the removable material 52 is then dissolved or otherwise removed.
 The dielectric layer 50 can be any of a number of materials that are currently used to make sockets, semiconductor packaging, and printed circuit boards. Examples may include UV stabilized tetrafunctional epoxy resin systems referred to as Flame Retardant 4 (FR-4); bismaleimide-triazine thermoset epoxy resins referred to as BT-Epoxy or BT Resin; and liquid crystal polymers (LCPs), which are polyester polymers that are extremely unreactive, inert and resistant to fire. Other suitable plastics include phenolics, polyesters, and Ryton® available from Phillips Petroleum Company.
 In one embodiment, one or more of the layer 60 are designed to provide electrostatic dissipation or to reduce cross-talk. An efficient way to prevent electrostatic discharge ("ESD") is to construct one of the layers from materials that are not too conductive but that will slowly conduct static charges away. These materials preferably have resistivity values in the range of 10 5 to 10 11 Ohm-meters.
 Figure 3 illustrates the socket housing 64 with the material 52 removed. Various contact members 70A, 70B, 70C (collectively "70") are inserted into recesses 72 formed by removal of the material 52. The contact members 70 can be secured in the socket housing using a variety of techniques, such as adhesives, mechanical interconnect, friction, and the like.
 Distal ends 74 of the contact members 70 are configured to electrically couple with terminals 76 on first circuit member 78 and terminals 80 on second circuit member 82. One or more of the distal ends 74 can include solder ball 84 to bond with a terminal on a circuit member 78, 82. As used herein, the term "circuit members" refers to, for example, a packaged integrated circuit device, an unpackaged integrated circuit device, a printed circuit board, a flexible circuit, a bare- die device, an organic or inorganic substrate, a rigid circuit, or any other device capable of carrying electrical current.
 Figure 4 illustrates an alternate socket housing 90 made according to an embodiment of the present disclosure. Layer 92 extends into recess 94 that is intended to receive contact member 96 (see Figure 5).
 As illustrated in Figure 5, contact member 96 engages with shoulders 98 on the portion of layer 92 extending into recess 94. After the contact member 96 is positioned in the recess 94, layer 100 is added to the socket housing 90 to capture the contact member 96 in the recess. The layer 100 can be added by printing or can be a preformed layer bonded to the socket housing 90. As used herein, "bond" or "bonding" refers to, for example, adhesive bonding, solvent bonding, ultrasonic welding, thermal bonding, or any other techniques suitable for attaching adjacent layers to a substrate.
 Figure 6 illustrates an alternate socket housing 1 10 with a material sets 1 12A, 1 12B, 1 12C, 1 12D (collectively "1 12") varied by layer and within a given layer in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The thickness, shape, material content, location of the various materials 1 12 can be varied throughout the socket housing 1 10 as desired. Internal cavities 1 14, such as optical or RF waveguides, are also possible with the present method. Some of the layers can also be preformed and added to provide a contiguous surface so seal the internal cavities 1 14. Recesses 1 16A, 1 16B ("1 16") optional include plating 1 18 to electrically couple contact members (see e.g., Figure 5) with one or more of the layers 1 12A, 1 12B in the socket housing 1 10.
 In another embodiment, core 1 12A is made from a low-cost, bulk material, such as for example, LCP, FR4, or other printed circuit board materials. Holes 1 16 are drilled or molded using conventional techniques. At critical locations within the core 1 12A, dielectric materials 1 12B, 1 12C, 1 12D are added, such as for example by printing, and subsequently imaged to create a finer geometry to serve some purpose, such as retaining a contact member. In one embodiment, a series of layers of dielectric 120A, 120B, 120C are deposited in recess 1 16B, which are sequentially imaged to create a structures 122 used to retain contact members in the recess 1 16B. Structure 122 optionally includes features that cannot be molded or machined, such as undercuts. This approach permits the molded or machined core 1 12A with simple gross features, such as recesses 1 16, to be enhanced by adding the imaged dielectrics 1 12B, 1 12C, 1 12D.
 In another embodiment, the printable dielectric materials 1 12B, 1 12C, 1 12D are a platable catalyst material that can subsequently be plated, such as with electro-less plating or sputtering techniques. Normally, plating does not adhere well to polymeric materials. The platable catalyst 1 12B, 1 12C, 1 12D is a dielectric material formulated so plating will stick, such as by impregnating the material with tiny metal particles, that can be plated directly with copper.  For example, material 1 12D is optionally a printed platable catalyst material onto which conductive circuit trace 1 12C is subsequently plated using electro-less plating or sputtering. The plating 1 12C is attracted to the platable catalyst 1 12D, but not other portions of the core 1 12A. The plating 1 12C can subsequently be etched to selectively remove some of the plated material. In another embodiment, printable dielectric material 124 can be coated on inside surface of recess 1 16A in preparation for receiving plating 1 18.
 Any portion of the core 1 12A can be treated or printed with a printable plating catalyst to drive plating to desired locations. In one embodiment, the printable plating catalyst can be a surface coating over the entire core 1 12A, which is subsequently selectively removed in preparation for plating. Alternatively, bulk plating is applied to the entire core 1 12A and subsequently etched. A combination of both techniques can be used on a single core 1 12A.
 Figures 7A and 7B illustrates an alternate method of making socket housing 130 by sequentially removing patterned material 132 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. Patterned dielectric material 132 is removed from dielectric layer 134. The resulting recesses 136 are then filled or plugged with a dissolvable ore material 138 to create a planar surface 140 for subsequent layer application.
 Figure 8 illustrates an alternate method of making socket housing 150 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. Base substrate 152 is created and then placed into a mold to add material 154 using conventional molding technology. The resulting socket housing 150 creates desired function that is not possible to create with molding alone. The material set can also benefit from a wide variety of fillers that can provide function beyond a polymer alone, such as thermally conductive, magnetic, low or high k dielectrics, silicon, conductive or semi- conductive materials, reinforcement, etc. As illustrated below, a plating catalyst or conductive / semi-conductive target 154 can be applied to precisely locate conductive bulk metal material by plating 156 or combining with an etched or stamped lead frame.
 Figure 9 illustrates an alternate socket housing 180 with printed electrical devices 182 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. The electrical devices 182 can include passive or active functional elements. Passive structure refers to a structure having a desired electrical, magnetic, or other property, including but not limited to a conductor, resistor, capacitor, inductor, insulator, dielectric, suppressor, filter, varistor, ferromagnet, and the like. In the illustrated embodiment, electrical devices 182 optionally include printed LED indicator 184 and display electronics 186. Geometries can also be printed to provide capacitive coupling 188.
 The electrical devices 182 are preferably printed during construction of the socket housing 180. The electrical devices 182 can be ground planes, power planes, electrical connections to other circuit members, dielectric layers, conductive traces, transistors, capacitors, resistors, RF antennae, shielding, filters, signal or power altering and enhancing devices, memory devices, embedded IC, and the like. For example, the electrical devices 182 can be formed using printing technology, adding intelligence to the socket housing 180. Features that are typically located on other circuit members can be incorporated into the socket housing 180 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure.
 In one embodiment, the socket housing 180 is also constructed with recesses 190 that correspond to a desired circuit geometry 192. Metalizing layer is deposited in the recesses 190 to create circuit geometry 192. Metalizing can be performed by printing conductive particles followed by a sintering step, by printing conductive inks, or a variety of other techniques. The resulting metalized layer is preferably plated to improve conductive properties. The circuit geometry 192 is preferably of copper or similar metallic materials such as phosphor bronze or beryllium-copper. The plating is preferably a corrosion resistant metallic material such as nickel, gold, silver, palladium, or multiple layers thereof.
 The recesses 190 permit control of the location, cross section, material content, and aspect ratio of the conductive traces in the circuit geometry 192. Maintaining the conductive traces with a cross-section of 1 :1 or greater provides greater signal integrity than traditional subtractive trace forming technologies. For example, traditional methods take a sheet of a given thickness and etches the material between the traces away to have a resultant trace that is usually wider than it is thick. The etching process also removes more material at the top surface of the trace than at the bottom, leaving a trace with a trapezoidal cross-sectional shape, degrading signal integrity in some applications. Using the recesses 190 to control the aspect ratio of the conductive traces results in a more rectangular or square cross-section of the conductive traces in the circuit geometry 192, with the corresponding improvement in signal integrity.
 In another embodiment, pre-patterned or pre-etched thin conductive foil circuit traces are transferred to the recesses 190. For example, a pressure sensitive adhesive can be used to retain the copper foil circuit traces in the recesses 190. The trapezoidal cross-sections of the pre-formed conductive foil traces are then post- plated. The plating material fills the open spaces in the recesses 190 not occupied by the foil circuit geometry, resulting in a substantially rectangular or square cross- sectional shape corresponding to the shape of the recesses 190.
 In another embodiment, a thin conductive foil is pressed into the recesses 190, and the edges of the recesses 190 acts to cut or shear the conductive foil. The process locates a portion of the conductive foil in the trenches 190, but leaves the negative pattern of the conductive foil not wanted outside and above the trenches 190 for easy removal. Again, the foil in the trenches 190 is preferably post plated to add material to increase the thickness of the conductive traces in the circuit geometry 192 and to fill any voids left between the conductive foil and the recesses 190.
 In another embodiment, layers 196 are selectively printed with a platable dielectric material onto which circuit geometry 192 is subsequently plated, as discussed above. In this embodiment, the recesses 190 are not required. An etching step can be used after the plating step to remove any unwanted plating 192 and/or to provide the plating with a desired cross-sectional shape.
 Recesses 194 are optionally plated to electrically couple with the electrical devices 182 or the circuit geometry 192. As discussed above, recesses 194 are optionally coated with a platable dielectric material that is subsequently plated.
 The availability of printable silicon inks provides the ability to print electrical devices 182 such as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 7,485,345 (Renn et al.); 7,382,363 (Albert et al.); 7,148,128 (Jacobson); 6,967,640 (Albert et al.); 6,825,829 (Albert et al.); 6,750,473 (Amundson et al.); 6,652,075 (Jacobson); 6,639,578 (Comiskey et al.); 6,545,291 (Amundson et al.); 6,521 ,489 (Duthaler et al.); 6,459,418 (Comiskey et al.); 6,422,687 (Jacobson); 6,413,790 (Duthaler et al.); 6,312,971 (Amundson et al.); 6,252,564 (Albert et al.); 6,177,921 (Comiskey et al.); 6,120,588 (Jacobson); 6,1 18,426 (Albert et al.); and U.S. Pat. Publication No. 2008/0008822 (Kowalski et al.), which are hereby incorporated by reference. In particular, U.S. Patent Nos. 6,506,438 (Duthaler et al.) and 6,750,473 (Amundson et al.), which are incorporated by reference, teach using ink-jet printing to make various electrical devices, such as, resistors, capacitors, diodes, inductors (or elements which may be used in radio applications or magnetic or electric field transmission of power or data), semiconductor logic elements, electro-optical elements, transistor (including, light emitting, light sensing or solar cell elements, field effect transistor, top gate structures), and the like.
 The electrical devices 182 can also be created by aerosol printing, such as disclosed in U.S. Patent Nos. 7,674,671 (Renn et al.); 7,658,163 (Renn et al.); 7,485,345 (Renn et al.); 7,045,015 (Renn et al.); and 6,823,124 (Renn et al.), which are hereby incorporated by reference.
 Printing processes are preferably used to fabricate various functional structures, such as conductive paths and electrical devices, without the use of masks or resists. Features down to about 10 microns can be directly written in a wide variety of functional inks, including metals, ceramics, polymers and adhesives, on virtually any substrate - silicon, glass, polymers, metals and ceramics. The substrates can be planar and non-planar surfaces. The printing process is typically followed by a thermal treatment, such as in a furnace or with a laser, to achieve dense functionalized structures.
 Ink jet printing of electronically active inks can be done on a large class of substrates, without the requirements of standard vacuum processing or etching. The inks may incorporate mechanical, electrical or other properties, such as, conducting, insulating, resistive, magnetic, semi conductive, light modulating, piezoelectric, spin, optoelectronic, thermoelectric or radio frequency.
 A plurality of ink drops are dispensed from the print head directly to a substrate or on an intermediate transfer member. The transfer member can be a planar or non-planar structure, such as a drum. The surface of the transfer member can be coated with a non-sticking layer, such as silicone, silicone rubber, or Teflon.
 The ink (also referred to as function inks) can include conductive materials, semi-conductive materials (e.g., p-type and n-type semiconducting materials), metallic material, insulating materials, and/or release materials. The ink pattern can be deposited in precise locations on a substrate to create fine lines having a width smaller than 10 microns, with precisely controlled spaces between the lines. For example, the ink drops form an ink pattern corresponding to portions of a transistor, such as a source electrode, a drain electrode, a dielectric layer, a semiconductor layer, or a gate electrode.
 The substrate can be an insulating polymer, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyester, polyethersulphone (PES), polyimide film (e.g. Kapton, available from DuPont located in Wilmington, DE; Upilex available from Ube Corporation located in Japan), or polycarbonate. Alternatively, the substrate can be made of an insulator such as undoped silicon, glass, or a plastic material. The substrate can also be patterned to serve as an electrode. The substrate can further be a metal foil insulated from the gate electrode by a non-conducting material. The substrate can also be a woven material or paper, planarized or otherwise modified on at least one surface by a polymeric or other coating to accept the other structures.
 Electrodes can be printed with metals, such as aluminum or gold, or conductive polymers, such as polythiophene or polyaniline. The electrodes may also include a printed conductor, such as a polymer film comprising metal particles, such as silver or nickel, a printed conductor comprising a polymer film containing graphite or some other conductive carbon material, or a conductive oxide such as tin oxide or indium tin oxide.
 Dielectric layers can be printed with a silicon dioxide layer, an insulating polymer, such as polyimide and its derivatives, poly-vinyl phenol, polymethylmethacrylate, polyvinyldenedifluoride, an inorganic oxide, such as metal oxide, an inorganic nitride such as silicon nitride, or an inorganic/organic composite material such as an organic-substituted silicon oxide, or a sol-gel organosilicon glass. Dielectric layers can also include a bicylcobutene derivative (BCB) available from Dow Chemical (Midland, Mich.), spin-on glass, or dispersions of dielectric colloid materials in a binder or solvent.
 Semiconductor layers can be printed with polymeric semiconductors, such as, polythiophene, poly(3-alkyl)thiophenes, alkyl-substituted oligothiophene, polythienylenevinylene, poly(para-phenylenevinylene) and doped versions of these polymers. An example of suitable oligomeric semiconductor is alpha- hexathienylene. Horowitz, Organic Field-Effect Transistors, Adv. Mater., 10, No. 5, p. 365 (1998) describes the use of unsubstituted and alkyl-substituted oligothiophenes in transistors. A field effect transistor made with regioregular poly(3- hexylthiophene) as the semiconductor layer is described in Bao et al., Soluble and Processable Regioregular Poly(3-hexylthiophene) for Thin Film Field-Effect Transistor Applications with High Mobility, Appl. Phys. Lett. 69 (26), p. 4108 (December 1996). A field effect transistor made with a-hexathienylene is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,659,181 , which is incorporated herein by reference.
 A protective layer can optionally be printed onto the electrical devices. The protective layer can be an aluminum film, a metal oxide coating, a polymeric film, or a combination thereof.
 Organic semiconductors can be printed using suitable carbon-based compounds, such as, pentacene, phthalocyanine, benzodithiophene, buckminsterfullerene or other fullerene derivatives, tetracyanonaphthoquinone, and tetrakisimethylanimoethylene. The materials provided above for forming the substrate, the dielectric layer, the electrodes, or the semiconductor layer are exemplary only. Other suitable materials known to those skilled in the art having properties similar to those described above can be used in accordance with the present disclosure.
 The ink-jet print head preferably includes a plurality of orifices for dispensing one or more fluids onto a desired media, such as for example, a conducting fluid solution, a semiconducting fluid solution, an insulating fluid solution, and a precursor material to facilitate subsequent deposition. The precursor material can be surface active agents, such as octadecyltrichlorosilane (OTS).
 Alternatively, a separate print head is used for each fluid solution. The print head nozzles can be held at different potentials to aid in atomization and imparting a charge to the droplets, such as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 7,148,128 (Jacobson), which is hereby incorporated by reference. Alternate print heads are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,626,526 (Ueki et al.), and U.S. Pat. Publication Nos. 2006/0044357 (Andersen et al.) and 2009/0061089 (King et al.), which are hereby incorporated by reference.
 The print head preferably uses a pulse-on-demand method, and can employ one of the following methods to dispense the ink drops: piezoelectric, magnetostrictive, electromechanical, electro pneumatic, electrostatic, rapid ink heating, magneto hydrodynamic, or any other technique well known to those skilled in the art. The deposited ink patterns typically undergo a curing step or another processing step before subsequent layers are applied.
 While ink jet printing is preferred, the term "printing" is intended to include all forms of printing and coating, including: pre-metered coating such as patch die coating, slot or extrusion coating, slide or cascade coating, and curtain coating; roll coating such as knife over roll coating, forward and reverse roll coating; gravure coating; dip coating; spray coating; meniscus coating; spin coating; brush coating; air knife coating; screen printing processes; electrostatic printing processes; thermal printing processes; and other similar techniques.
 Figure 10 illustrates an alternate socket housing 200 in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure. Optical fibers 202 are located between layers 204, 206 of dielectric material. In one embodiment, optical fibers 202 is positioned over printed compliant layer 208, and dielectric layer 210 is printed over and around the optical fibers 202. A compliant layer 212 is preferably printed above the optical fiber 202 as well. The compliant layers 208, 212 permit displacement of the optical fibers 202 to facilitate coupling to other devices . In another embodiment, the dielectric layer 210 is formed or printed with recesses into which the optical fibers 202 are deposited.
 In another embodiment, optical quality materials 214 are printed during printing of the socket housing 200. The optical quality material 214 and/or the optical fibers 202 comprise optical circuit geometries. The printing process allows for deposition of coatings in-situ that enhance the optical transmission or reduce loss. The precision of the printing process reduces misalignment issues when the optical materials 214 are optically coupled with another optical structure.
 In another embodiment, embedded coaxial RF circuits 214 or printed micro strip RF circuits 214 are located with dielectric/metal layers 204, 206, 210. These RF circuits 214 are preferably created by printing dielectrics and metallization geometry.
 Where a range of values is provided, it is understood that each intervening value, to the tenth of the unit of the lower limit unless the context clearly dictates otherwise, between the upper and lower limit of that range and any other stated or intervening value in that stated range is encompassed within the embodiments of the disclosure. The upper and lower limits of these smaller ranges which may independently be included in the smaller ranges is also encompassed within the embodiments of the disclosure, subject to any specifically excluded limit in the stated range. Where the stated range includes one or both of the limits, ranges excluding either both of those included limits are also included in the embodiments of the present disclosure.  Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the embodiments of the present disclosure belong. Although any methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can also be used in the practice or testing of the embodiments of the present disclosure, the preferred methods and materials are now described. All patents and publications mentioned herein, including those cited in the Background of the application, are hereby incorporated by reference to disclose and described the methods and/or materials in connection with which the publications are cited.
 The publications discussed herein are provided solely for their disclosure prior to the filing date of the present application. Nothing herein is to be construed as an admission that the present disclosure is not entitled to antedate such publication by virtue of prior invention. Further, the dates of publication provided may be different from the actual publication dates which may need to be independently confirmed.
 Other embodiments of the disclosure are possible. Although the description above contains much specificity, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the disclosure, but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this disclosure. It is also contemplated that various combinations or sub-combinations of the specific features and aspects of the embodiments may be made and still fall within the scope of the present disclosure. It should be understood that various features and aspects of the disclosed embodiments can be combined with or substituted for one another in order to form varying modes of the disclosed embodiments of the disclosure. Thus, it is intended that the scope of the present disclosure herein disclosed should not be limited by the particular disclosed embodiments described above.
 Thus the scope of this disclosure should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents. Therefore, it will be appreciated that the scope of the present disclosure fully encompasses other embodiments which may become obvious to those skilled in the art, and that the scope of the present disclosure is accordingly to be limited by nothing other than the appended claims, in which reference to an element in the singular is not intended to mean "one and only one" unless explicitly so stated, but rather "one or more." All structural, chemical, and functional equivalents to the elements of the above-described preferred embodinnent(s) that are known to those of ordinary skill in the art are expressly incorporated herein by reference and are intended to be encompassed by the present claims. Moreover, it is not necessary for a device or method to address each and every problem sought to be solved by the present disclosure, for it to be encompassed by the present claims. Furthermore, no element, component, or method step in the present disclosure is intended to be dedicated to the public regardless of whether the element, component, or method step is explicitly recited in the claims.
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