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Ink-Jet Printing of TiO2 Suspensions
Keywords: ink-jet, nano perticles, 3D structure
Ink-jet printing is a versatile method for preparation of 2D and 3D structures of functional materials on various substrates. The design of the printed structures is made directly on the computer in contrast to the screen printing technique where every structure needs different template. Therefore inkjet printing technology found its use in a lot of different applications, like thin film transistors, light-emitting diodes, solar cells, conductive structures, memory devices, sensors, and biological/pharmaceutical applications. The main parameters that have to be controlled to make ink printable are the viscosity and surface tension of the ink and the size of the particles in the ink. To prevent clogging of the nozzles the particles have to be 50 to 100 times smaller than nozzle diameter. In our experiments TiO2 was used as a model system for the preparation of printable inks from micron-sized particles. The benefits of TiO2 are that is this is relatively simple system and the structures prepared from this material can be used in applications such as photovoltaics or self-cleaning surfaces. First aqueous suspensions were made form TiO2 powder. The particles were electrostatically stabilized with the adjustment of the pH of the suspension. The particles were milled in a colloidal mill to the average size of 150 nm. The viscosity of the suspensions was increased with increasing the solid load and with the addition of glycerol, which was also used to supers drying. The surface tension was lowered with the addition of surfactants. The parameters were optimized to ensure quality drop formation in the printer, which is crucial to increase quality and reproducibility of the printed structures. The structures were tried to be densified. The sintering mechanism is discussed.
Marija Kosec, Prof.
Jožef Stefan Institute
Ljubljana 1000, -

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