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Printing Conductive Traces Using Nano Silver-Based Inks
Keywords: Printed electronics, Packaging, Conductive Inks
Electronic manufacturers are continually striving to decrease costs and increase functionality of electronic devices and components. Directly printing electronic circuitry and conductors onto low-cost substrates, or onto packages, is proving to be an excellent technique for high speed, low cost manufacturing of circuits and devices. However, the growth of this industry depends on the availability of suitable inks and well defined, high volume processes. In this paper we present details of a new family of nano silver-based conductive inks that NanoMas Technologies has developed for the printed electronics industry, and detail the use of these materials in several applications. The inks that we have developed are based on 5nm silver particles manufactured by NanoMas. The particles are fabricated using a low cost, readily scalable, wet chemistry process. The small size of the particles results in the inks exhibiting sintering temperatures below 100˚C, facilitating the printing of conductive traces on most common polymer substrates. Using these particles, we have fabricated inks for a wide range of printing techniques including ink-jet, gravure, screen, and aerosol printing. After sintering the printed materials form highly conductive traces and exhibit resistivities as low as 2-5µOhm∙cm. In this presentation, we concentrate on the use of our inks to fabricate conductive traces for packaging and flex-circuit applications. In particular we detail the use of the inks to fabricate high density three-dimensional interconnect solutions using aerosol printing. We then describe the use of the inks to fabricate conductive traces several microns thick using ink-jet printing. For both of these applications we demonstrate that using low sintering temperatures the printed traces exhibited the required low electrical resistivities and high adhesion to a variety of substrate materials, and that the processes deliver the high throughput, and narrow trace widths and thicknesses that printed electronics applications require.
David Van Heerden, Principal Applications Engineer
NanoMas Technologies, Inc.
Endicott, NY
USA


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