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Aerosol Jet® Material Deposition for High Resolution Printed Electronic Applications

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Abstract:

Aerosol Jet printing, is finding wide use in a number of electronic manufacturing applications. The Aerosol Jet systems deposit a wide variety of functional materials onto a wide variety of substrates without conventional masks or thin-film equipment. The process is non-contact, enabling traces to be printed over steps or curved surfaces. Printed features can be from less than 10 microns to several centimeters, with thicknesses from 10's of nanometers to 10's of microns. The Aerosol Jet process utilizes both low viscosity inks and diluted pastes for an operating range of approximately 1-1000cP. Typical materials that can be printed include nanoparticle metal suspensions, polymers and adhesives. Conductor traces can be printed using gold, silver or other nanoparticle inks. Conductors can also be formed by printing a seed layer, followed by electroless plating. Polymer thick film pastes can be printed to form embedded resistors. Polyimide and various epoxies can be printed for adhesives, overcoat dielectrics, etc. The system also supports deposition of semiconducting inks, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and biomaterials. The Aerosol Jet process is compatible with a wide variety of substrates, including silicon, polyimide, glass, FR-4 and aluminum oxide. In principle, virtually any substrate can be used provided that the ink is compatible with the substrate. Applications for the Aerosol Jet technology include flexible displays, touchscreens, fuel cells, high efficiency solar cells, 3-dimensional interconnects, and embedded components including sensors, resistors, and antennae. Aerosol Jet has distinct functional and cost advantages over traditional methods such as screenprinting, lithography and wirebonding. The solution also compares well versus InkJet printing, especially in meeting high-volume manufacturing requirements. The Aerosol Jet process is compatible with a variety of substrates, including silicon, polyimide, glass, FR-4 and aluminum oxide. In principle, virtually any substrate can be used provided that the ink is compatible with the substrate. Applications for the Aerosol Jet technology include flexible displays, EMI shielding, solder-free electronics, high efficiency solar cells, 3-dimensional interconnects, and embedded components including sensors, resistors, and antennae.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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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