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Pre-Treatment of Silver Particles as a Basis for Functional Toner

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During the last decade large efforts were made to implement digital printing as a method to manufacture electronic circuits. The need for higher flexibility and efficiency than provided by the established production methods is the driving force in this development.

A very developed technology in digital printing is electrophotography (“laser printing”). Although it is a very common method in graphic applications, it is yet barely used in printed electronics. One of the reasons for avoiding electrophotography assumingly can be found in the basic principles of the process itself. Printing electronics necessarily involves processing conductive materials. In opposition, a toner, as used in electrophotography, must not be conductive to work in a laser printer.

This paper describes the challenge of using silver particles in the electrophotographic process, in order to print conductive silver lines as a basic layout for future circuits. A method to pre-treat silver particles in order to apply an insulating coating that dissolves during firing is presented. Additionally a testing method to evaluate the quality of the pre-treated particles is researched. Furthermore, functional toners were developed from these particles and compared to toners using non-pre-treated silver particles, concluding with the evaluation of the resulting laserprinted conductive silver lines.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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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