Materials and Process Methods for Printed Electronics

Materials and Process Methods for Printed Electronics

Dan Fenner
Henkel Corporation

The field of printed electronics (PE) is an area if increasing interest. Using printing processes to build functioning electrical devices is very attractive to many markets and assemblers. Some of the reasons include speed of production, cost of manufacture and very flexible form factors. Some of the areas where PE currently has a large footprint are in the white goods markets with membrane and capacitive touch switches. Medical markets printing EKG and defibulator pads, glucose sensors, drug delivery devices and printed heaters. Security markets producing RFID antennas. Also, lighting with the production of electro-luminosent lighting. PE is beginning to play a bigger role in energy storage with printed batteries, solar cells with printed buss bars and lead frames, new micro LED technology. This paper will focus on the common materials and process methods used in the printed electronics industry. We will discuss the three primary types of printing processes currently used for printed electronics and discuss the pros and cons of each method. Information will be shared on why you would select one type of printing method over another. We will also discuss the different material sets used in printed circuitry. This paper will discuss some of the many unique inks used in printing. How these materials actually function in a finished part, and help provide an understanding of what the necessary components are to build a robust system. We will use examples from products used in the fields of medical, display, lighting, solar and security.