By Will Soutter
Applied Nanotech has unveiled a new micron copper particle-based ink material to directly print electronic circuits at a lower cost for display devices, solar cells, mobile devices, and much more.
The new microcopper ink material is engineered to substitute high-cost silver-based conductors for use in the printed electronics industry. The innovative copper ink material demonstrates easy processing and high conductivity and thus can be utilized as a direct substitute for silver pastes and inks at a considerably lower cost.
It is easier to apply the microcopper ink material on different substrates using a variety of additive print processes, which include gravure printing, flexographic printing, screen printing and some cutting-edge dispensing techniques. This avoids the waste stream and associated cost when compared to techniques such as lithography.
The microcopper ink is designed to be used with equipment-enabling printed trace conductors and photosintering curing processes on substrates having optimum temperature limitations. The process has been exemplified on substrates utilized in printed electronic applications such as ABS, polycarbonate, PEN, PET, and even epoxy-based FR4 circuit board material. It is possible to use the microcopper ink as a patterned seed layer for use in metal finishing and electroplating.
Applied Nanotech’s Chief Executive Officer, Doug Baker stated that the markets for solar cells, display devices, and mobile devices are continuously looking for the improvement of production efficiency and product quality using better quality but lower cost materials like microcopper and nanocopper inks.
Director of the Nanoelectronics Division, Dr. James Novak stated that microcopper inks address the requirement for inexpensive conductive materials for use in touchscreens, RFID antennas, smart cards, sensors in smart phones, and much more. Moreover, the microcopper ink has all major benefits of nanomaterial-based copper ink such as ease of application and low-temperature sintering.