S.G.R. Avuthu, Ph.D., M. Gill, N Ghalib, M. Sussman, G. Wable, J. Richstein, Ph.D.
St Petersburg, FL, USA
Printed electronics (PE) is impacting almost every branch of manufacturing. The printing of electronics on mechanically flexible substrates such as plastic, paper and textile, using traditional printing techniques, provides novel applications for wearable and stretchable electronics. Government sponsored consortiums, universities, contract printers, startups and global manufacturers are developing processes to bring this technology to market faster, more cost effectively and at scale. By increasing the speed of technology adoption while following industrialization best practices, industry researchers aim to create processes that ramp up the scale of production for simple circuits and integrated conductive structures.
This study focused on the screen printing of conductive inks on polyester substrates. Screen and print process variables have been evaluated as a function of ink film deposition and post dry resistance values. Limits for the process variables has been determined from ink supplier recommendations, combined with previous solder paste and graphics printing experiences. A usable operating process window for a given set of materials and parameters has been determined for the mass production of the printed electronics. Further research is underway to determine more refined process windows for different set of materials. Further in depth studies of the effects of mesh and squeegee materials is part of future research.
Initially Published in the SMTA Proceedings