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Membrane Keypad Printing Using Only Inkjet Technology

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Many processing steps in the manufacturing of flexible membrane switches require solution processing. Inkjet printing is a facile method for depositing solutions into patterned thin films. Piezoelectric inkjet printing is an open controllable process, thereby enabling the use of a variety of fluids deposited on a variety of substrates to produce the desired product. We have taken several steps back from device manufacturing and worked out the details of inkjet printing of conductive, three dimensional dielectric and adhesive components. Each individual layer has its own set of requirements on how the fluid jet from the piezo-based printhead and how it perform on the substrate to give the desired results to produce a functioning device. In addition, it can be demonstrated that these individual layers are applicable to a variety of other products utilizing digital printing technology. In these applications they are applicable for discrete unique devices or mass production of thousands of devices using the same digital fabrication technology. We will show the successful thin film patterning of these fluids, and we will also show their electrical and physical properties. Finally, we will show other patterned thin films of relevant materials including other conductive nanoparticle inks and dielectrics used in photovoltaic and display applications, carbon nanotubes used as transparent conductors, conjugated polymers used in the active layer and quantum dots, band gap acceptor materials that also function in non-white light environments. Finally, this talk will discuss the impact of inkjet printing on printed electronics and highlight the research efforts of leaders in this field.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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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