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Developing Materials to Maximize Commercialization of Inkjet Additive Printing in Flexible, Rigid, and Hybrid Electronics

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Conference Abstract: Inkjet is ideal as an additive manufacturing technique because of its flexibility to digitally print on numerous substrates with little to no base preparation needed. It is reliable under extreme conditions to accurately deposit conductive inks for the traces and pads, and dielectric inks for the vias, solder mask or other advanced system mount technologies (SMT) systems. Inkjet also allows the printing of unique identifiers, such as text or a bar code with a serial number within a single platform, this giving the end user greater control over inventory parts and replacement of singular components as needed.

ChemCubed has developed several formulations of jettable inks (both conductive and dielectric) that produce high performing rigid and flexible electronics including electronic circuits, passive circuitry, displays, sensors, and radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags. In this proposed talk, Daniel Slep, Ph.D. will discuss the importance of robust and reliable materials development for the future of additive manufacturing.

Specifically, a key roadblock to mass electronics manufacturing using additive techniques is developing dielectric inks that deliver: they need high tensile strength, impact resistance, compatibility with silver ink, a dielectric constant(╬Ár) of 3.5-4.5, deformation resistance to above 200oC, good printing performance through a piezo inkjet head, electrical insulating properties, and be able to withstand thermal fluctuation from 20oC to 140oC.
Dr. Slep will discuss how he develops mechanically superior dielectric materials by incorporating carbon nanotubes (CNT) in the printing of the dielectric layers. There is research that shows CNTs can also act as a radiation shield. CNTs improve mechanical, electrical and thermal properties making it ideal for myriad environments including in use for electronics packaging. Dr. Slep will show this patent pending technique can yield a material three times stronger than priors, able to withstand much higher temperatures with dramatically smaller thermal expansion, and a low dielectric constant.