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Improvement of Adhesion and Reliability of Conductive Inks on Flexible Liquid Crystal Polymer Substrates
Keywords: Printed coductor reliability, Stress testing, Ink adhesion
Many electronics applications exist that can benefit from stretchable and flexible interconnect and the recent availability of a wide variety of new conductive inks and high performance dielectric substrates raises the question of interoperability and reliability. This paper reports a study of a group of high performance conductive inks printed on Kapton„¥ and liquid crystal polymer substrates to evaluate the reliability of a large group of ink / dielectric combinations in terms of flexural endurance, adhesion, temperature cycling and stretch with a linearly increasing load. As Kapton„¥ has a long history in the electronics industry as a flexible substrate with reasonable RF performance, this material is used as a base line in the study. Alternatively liquid crystal polymer shows promise as a high performance material yet doesn't have the reliability record and also suffers from the fact that available inks today have been specifically formulated for Kapton„¥. This study evaluates the substrates for a wide variety of inks and includes cases in which the liquid crystal polymer substrates are modified to improve reliability and adhesion.
Eric MacDonald, Assistant Professor
University of Texas at El Paso
El Paso, TX

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