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Application of Printable Electronics for LCD Manufacturing: Printing of TFT Gate Layers and Pillar Spacers

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Applying printing technology to manufacturing of electronics promises significant cost reductions. However, many interesting applications require increased accuracy of graphical printing hardware, excellent electronic functionality of the printed materials, and also introduce complicated ‘ink’-substrate interactions.

In this paper we present results of ink jet printing gate metal lines of thin-film transistors (TFTs) on a liquid crystal display's (LCD) active plate. The major components of this study are 1) the formulation of metal precursor inks that have good electrical properties, 2) the printing and layer formation of the materials, and 3) the manufacturing and characterisation of TFT arrays with a printed gate and storage capacitor lines. In addition, we show results on printed spacers for LCDs.

We demonstrate printed gate lines (50 μm wide and 250 nm thick) with a resistivity of around 3 μΩ·cm, cured at 350 °C. During layer formation, Rayleigh-type instabilities were prevented and favourable layer thickness profiles have been obtained by tuning the printing frequency, evaporation rate of the solvent, and type of metal colloids. Fabricated TFTs have similar characteristics as those obtained with conventional methods and materials (on-off ratio > 106 and a mobility around 0.5 cm2/Vs).

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-01-01

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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