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Evaluating the Aerosol printing technology for the manufacturing of sensory microsystems
Keywords: Aerosol printing, Sensory microsystems, Product development
Motivation The contribution gains ground on the aerosol printing developments at Fraunhofer IKTS. Based on this experience [1-3] an evaluation of the printing technology for the manufacturing of sensory microsystems is attempted. The technological potential should be evaluated by considering the whole process chain of a product development. Particular attention is paid to the manufacturing and properties of the inks as precursor materials for the printing process, on the layer deposition process and the involved deposition parameters, on the layer formation process parameters (depending on the types of inks to be used) and finally on the behavior of the manufactured product with focus on the materials interaction during layer formation and during product operation. For gaining a broad insight these considerations are exemplarily done on different types of sensors, whereat the different aspects will be illustrated. Methods The Aerosol printing technology will be shortly introduced and based on different specifications: • Resolution and accuracy of printing, • Temperature range of layer formation technologies and processes, • Achievable speed of printing process, • 3D-printing ability, • Availability of precursor materials (commercial inks) and • Stability and robustness of deposition process (ink compatibilities, aging of inks, alteration of inks during deposition process, reproducibility). compared with conventional “state of the art”-deposition technologies. Based on this rating matrix the use of the aerosol printing technology within different fields of sensory microsystems, manufactured at Fraunhofer IKTS (Fig. 1-2), will be discussed. The selection will include physical sensors (temperature, conductivity), particle sensors, HF – based radar sensors and highly advanced MEMS-packaging technologies. Results The contribution aims to demonstrate the potentials and limits of the aerosol printing technology for the manufacturing of sensory microsystems. Applications where the use of aerosol printing is technologically and economically reasonable will be appointed and shown which advantages arise compared to the use of standard technological solutions. Additionally the needs for further technological developments concerning the aerosol printing process will be expressed and possible future application fields declared. Finally open questions will be formulated to show, where further scientific research is needed to understand the aerosol formation and deposition process.
Steffen Ziesche, Group Leader Microsystems, LTCC and HTCC
Fraunhofer IKTS
Dresden, Saxony

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