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Evaluation of Tool for Processing Metallic Conductive Inks on Low Temperature Substrates
Keywords: Printed Electronics, PulseForge, Substrates
To grow as a market technology segment, Printed Electronics products such as advanced displays, smart packaging, portable consumer electronics, and flexible solar cells must be able to be manufactured at commercial scale and cost, and in novel form factors. The PulseForge tools from NovaCentrix use patented short-duration pulsed light technology to meet these needs, providing the ability to dry, sinter, or anneal inks and thin-film materials in only milliseconds, and do so on a wide variety of substrates, including low temperature, flexible materials like PET, PVC, and paper. PulseForge tools can reduce product material costs, reduce manufacturing cycle times, and enable new innovative form factors. Comparative data from both silver and copper-based inks on low temperature substrates are presented. Sheet resistances as low as 15 m/ and resistivities as low as 2.5X bulk have been attained with silver. Sheet resistances as low as 70 m/ have been attained with copper. Substrates evaluated are challenge materials of cellulose paper and PET. Typical ink thickness processed is 0.5-25 microns. PulseForge tools are able to process copper inks, overcoming the oxidation reaction which has historically hampered the wider adoption of copper as a low-cost alternative to silver ink materials. PulseForge tools are effective with materials deposited by methods such as inkjet, flexographic, gravure, screen print, chemical vapor deposition, aerosol, and spin-coat processes. Where ovens can require minutes or hours of processing time, the PulseForge tools require less than a second. Unlike laser curing, the process is broadcast by nature and maskless. Furthermore, the millisecond timeframe of the process makes it ideal for high speed printing applications for materials even beyond metal inks. These tools are commercially available in models for application development, and for production with roll-to-roll or conveyor speeds of hundreds of feet per minute. Bio: Stan is VP Marketing at NovaCentrix with strategic and tactical responsibilities for the PulseForge and Metalon products. Since joining in 1999, Stan has led business and product efforts directed towards printed electronics, photovoltaics, bio-terror remediation, and wound care. Prior to NovaCentrix, Stan served as Division Manager at Intercorr International in Houston, TX, where he launched the company's equipment manufacturing operation and led the company's ISO 9000 registration program. Previously, as an engineer at Applied Materials, he was involved with establishing product development processes for bringing new products into manufacturing. Stan earned his BS degree in mechanical engineering from Rice University and MS degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas, Austin.
Stan Farnsworth , VP Marketing
NovaCentrix
Austin, TX


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