Optimization of aerosol jet printing for high-resolution, high-aspect ratio silver lines

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165 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aerosol jet printing requires control of a number of process parameters, including the flow rate of the carrier gas that transports the aerosol mist to the substrate, the flow rate of the sheath gas that collimates the aerosol into a narrow beam, and the speed of the stage that transports the substrate beneath the beam. In this paper, the influence of process parameters on the geometry of aerosol-jet-printed silver lines is studied with the aim of creating high-resolution conductive lines of high current carrying capacity. A systematic study of process conditions revealed a key parameter: the ratio of the sheath gas flow rate to the carrier gas flow rate, defined here as the focusing ratio. Line width decreases with increasing the focusing ratio and stage speed. Simultaneously, the thickness increases with increasing the focusing ratio but decreases with increasing stage speed. Geometry control also influences the resistance per unit length and single pass printing of low-resistance silver lines is demonstrated. The results are used to develop an operability window and locate the regime for printing tall and narrow silver lines in a single pass. Under optimum conditions, lines as narrow as 20 μm with aspect ratios (thickness/width) greater than 0.1 are obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4856-4864
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume5
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 12 2013

Keywords

  • aerosol jet printing
  • focusing ratio
  • high resolution
  • operability window
  • printed electronics
  • printed silver lines

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