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Laser Printing of RFID Coils on Ceramic Tape
Keywords: Electrophotography, Conductive Silver Lines, Printed Electronics
Printed electronics is a major field of activity in research and industrial applications nowadays, especially in thick-film technology. Today, screen printing still is the major method-of-choice when electronic circuits are to be realized on ceramic tape. But within the last decade, large progress was made in the area of digital printing of electronic circuits, in order to supplement or replace the established thick-film technology. The advantage of digital printing is its capability to rapidly produce any layout desired at minimum space requirements. This highly flexible production method is especially applicable for prototyping and small series productions. While inkjet printing already is a very developed technology to print thick-film electronics, electrophotography, commonly known as laser printing, has been considered very rarely as a method for digital printing of electronic circuits. It is a completely solvent-free method with high speeds and a high potential regarding precision. At the Institute of Automation Technology of the Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg, Germany, electrophotography is tried to be established as an alternative method to print silver lines as basis for a conductive layout. After a first set of conductive silver lines was printed and the results were published, this paper describes the development from initial conductivity to a functional circuitry, in order to print RFID coils on ceramic tape. Therefore, the performance of the used silver toner has to be improved, and the best toner for the desired application has to be determined. Additionally, the number of print cycles has to be increased. Furthermore, the parameters of the ceramic tape and their influence on the printing process are examined and different firing profiles are tested, in order to get proper silver lines. After reaching a certain level of quality, the ability to print a functional coil, as used in RFID, is given.
Dustin Büttner, Research Assistant
Helmut Schmidt University
Hamburg 22043, Hamburg

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