Printing is a promising route for high-throughput processing of electronic devices on large-area, flexible substrates by virtue of its integration into roll-to-roll production formats. However, multilayered electronic devices require materials registration with micrometer-level tolerances, which is a serious challenge for continuous manufacturing. Here, a novel, self-aligned manufacturing approach is introduced that allows precision patterning of multilayered electronic devices by inkjet printing on microimprinted plastic substrates. Materials registration is achieved automatically by sequential deposition of liquid inks into multilevel trench networks on the substrate surface using capillary forces. By creating suitable multitier capillary networks, fully self-aligned fabrication of all the major building blocks of an integrated circuit, including resistors, capacitors, transistors, and crossovers, with excellent yields and performance metrics is demonstrated. The current status of inkjet and imprint technologies suggests that this self-aligned manufacturing strategy can be scaled up to large-area substrates with integration densities greater than 1000 devices cm−2.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
A.M. and W.J.H. contributed equally to this work. This work was supported by the Multi-University Research Initiative (MURI) program sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (MURI Award N00014-11-1-0690). The authors thank Boston Scientific for their donation of a drop-on-demand printing system. A.M. was further supported by the University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (DDF) program. Parts of this work were carried out at the Characterization Facility and the Nanofabrication Center of the University of Minnesota.
© 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
- capillary flow
- flexible electronics
- imprint lithography
- inkjet printing