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Using Conductive Thermal Transfer Ribbons for Printed Electronics

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Thermal transfer printing is noted for its ability to produce a uniform line, and it is used extensively for high reliability bar coding around the world. Thermal transfer is capable of printing on a wide variety of flexible substrates including paper, film, fabric, etc. These characteristics make thermal transfer ideal for printed electronics.

IIMAK has developed conductive ribbons based on metal nano-particles (silver, silver / copper composites) and on vapor deposited metals (aluminum, copper) that provide the potential to print flexible circuits, membrane key boards, RFID antennas, etc. on a number of substrates (paper, vinyl, polypropylene, polycarbonate, polyimide, etc.). Dielectric ribbons based on insulating polymers are also available and can be used to provide insulating layers between conductive layers. Characteristics of the ribbons, prints and some model applications will be discussed along with the benefits and limitations of thermal transfer.

Potential to adapt these ribbons to the closely related technology of laser thermal transfer will also be discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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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