Cooper Ink Adhesion Solutions
The successful application of conductive inks for printed electronics demands that metal nano-particle inks be printed on flexible substrates like polyethylene terphthalate (PET), polyimide (Kapton), and the like. The adoption by customers of these inks depends on the ability to print the inks onto the substrates, to cure (sinter) them without damaging the substrates and to produce printed tracks which have the requisite physical properties. Key among these properties is adhesion to the substrate. The present proposal addresses adhesion problems by mating a unique non-contact deposition technology which is tolerant of viscous fluids with a study of various substrates and adhesion promoting materials.
The deposition technology is the Optomec Aerosol Jet. It uses focused gas streams to entrain fluids and print through a nozzle. Unlike inkjet, this technique can be used for very viscous fluids, and unlike screen printing, it is a non-contact method. It is capable of printing very fine lines. We desire to print Intrinsiq prototype inks of various formulae onto a variety of flexible supports which may be acquired from vendors either in a treated or untreated form. We will sinter printed patterns by photonic curing and measure their adhesion to substrates by tape testing or more sophisitcated means. It is anticipated that the best adhesion will require adhesion promoting materials which can either be added to the ink or pre-printed onto the substrate in an image-wise way using the Aerosol Jet. We will screen as large a sampling of these adhesion-promoting materials as possible and envision including materials like polyethylene imine, metal oxides, and phosphonic acid derivatives. Successful conclusion of the study enables a key customer attribute and helps drive customer acceptance of Intrinsiq conductive inks.
PI: Denis Cormier