The development of highly conductive Ag nanoparticle (NP)-based inkjet printed (IP) connections is a fundamental process for the success of next-generation digitally printed electronics. This is true both at low frequency and at RF, considering the increasing integration of heterogeneous technologies and the use of flexible substrates. Ink-based technologies provide and form at liquid state the functional material that is then delivered to solid via a sintering process to achieve NP coalescence and electrical percolation. Sintering must be performed at very low temperatures (depending on the substrate choice) to be compatible with previous process steps, to preserve the geometry and fulfill the requirements in term of electrical conductivity, as well as to reduce production costs. While IP, as additive technology, is now well settled for DC or low frequency applications, few results on electrical characterization at RF or microwave frequencies are present due to low conductivity, poor geometry definition and low reproducibility. Hence, a good setup of ink formulation and technological realization is fundamental to enable system performance assessment in the high frequency regime. In this paper we propose a breakthrough: we present a nanocomposite ink, whose thermal and DC electrical properties are extremely interesting and competitive with pure-metallic ink systems. Introducing a copolymer in the formulation, we obtained a reduction of the overall sintering temperature, if compared to the pristine NP suspension, along with improved printing resolution together with very good electrical conductivity. The RF characterization has been performed in the range 1-6 GHz on geometries printed on sintered alumina and on a power amplifier prototype in order to test the ink in a very demanding case (high current). The proposed technology is a viable alternative for fast prototyping of RF and microwave (MW) applications on ceramic substrates.
|Titolo:||Hybrid Ag-based inks for nanocomposite inkjet printed lines: RF properties|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.jallcom.2013.12.174|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|