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Choosing the Optimal Substrate Surface for Digital Fabrication Printing

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Printing inks for digital production printing processes can be classified into two categories. Either the functional ingredient is dissolved in the carrier solvent on a molecular scale, or it is dispersed in the liquid to form of small particles, preferably nanosized. The latter is the case for most metal inks, the first for most functional polymers. Depending on the type of ink used, selecting either “closed” or a porous substrate surface can strongly influence the functionality and performance of the printed structures. It is shown, that for ink containing dissolved materials a “closed”, non-porous substrate surface is preferred, whereas for inks with particles a porous substrate with the right pore size may lead to surprisingly good results. For the ink-substrate interaction in the latter case a filtration mechanism is proposed, which leads to a removal of organic additives from the printed metal layer. This process enhances conductivity already in the uncured state, and facilitates fusing of the metal nanoparticles.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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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