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Preparation of integrated passive microwave devices through inkjet printing
Keywords: Inkjet printing, Integrated passives, Barium strontium titanate
Inkjet printing is the most frequently used digital technique for graphic printing. Recently, there has also been a large interest in using inkjet printing for the manufacturing of functional components such as electronic devices or sensor systems. This is due to the fact that inkjet printing is a contactless process and does not require a printing mask. Hence, it allows a cheap and flexible production of two- and three-dimensional structures on a wide variety of substrates directly from a digital model. Barium strontium titanate (BST) is a promising material for passive tunable microwave devices such as phase shifters or tunable matching networks. This publication covers the development of BST inks and the fabrication of passive tunable microwave devices through inkjet printing. Initially, several BST inks were prepared and characterized with respect to their rheology and their drying behavior. An optimized ink composition was developed from these investigations. This composition was suitable for the preparation of homogeneous BST thick-films for microwave devices. However, pure BST requires a sintering temperature above 1000°C. Therefore, an ink with a BST–ZnO–B2O3 composite was developed. This ink allowed sintering at temperatures below 900°C and was suitable to prepare cofired silver based metal–insulator–metal (MIM) components. This gives the opportunity for a future integration of passive tunable microwave devices in a LTCC fabrication process.
Andreas Friederich,
Institute for Applied Materials (IAM-WPT), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Baden-Wuerttemberg

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