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Direct Printing of Circuit Boards Using Aerosol Jet®

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Abstract:

Printed Circuit boards (PCBs) are traditionally fabricated using subtractive technologies such as lithography and etching. Discrete passive and active components are typically attached by pick and place and then connected using wire bonding and soldering. In this paper we show that direct printing can replace many of the traditional steps and consequently allow circuits to be fabricated on novel substrates and 3D geometries. Specifically, we report on the integration of Aerosol Jet® with the printing of interconnects, passives and COTS attachment. The automated generation of the printed patterns (tool paths) is based on standard Eagle CAD PCB layout software. Multilayer circuits are fabricated by alternately printing metallic wires and a polymeric insulator. Passive components such as resistors and capacitors are printed from a library. The carbon-based resistors have a range of 50 Ω to 1 MΩ and the parallel plate capacitors range from 1 pF to 1 nF. Active devices can be incorporated into the circuit by attaching discrete IC chips with metallic and adhesive inks. The processing temperature is below 150°C for all the printing and curing steps. Overall, Aerosol Jet® is a cost effective method for directly printing circuits onto non-traditional substrates and is also desirable for prototyping and short-run manufacturing

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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