Microscale Hybrid Flexible Circuit Printed with Aerosol Jet Technique

IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology, 2018, V: 17, I:5.

Today, a microprinted electronics circuits are gaining more and more importance, but still printed electronic devices such as transistors or OLEDs are unstable in air and shows a poor performance. Moreover, printed microelectronic elements do not meet quality and high-reliability requirements, essential in electronics applications. To fulfill these needs, hybrid electronic circuits, combining printed technology, and surface-mount technology, are recommended. This approach gets advantages from both methods:Surface-mount devices (SMD) elements provide a high device functionality whereas a printed pattern ensures the device flexibility and efficiency. In this work, silver nanoparticle-based aerosol jet ink (AgNP ink) is used to realize the approach of a hybrid circuit with aerosol jet printed pads and surface-mount devices. The ultrasonic atomization process ensures the high printing resolution and appropriate line formation. Electrical and mechanical characterization was performed to present the connection performance and quality. Cross section view and morphological inspection explain the joint high quality and good performance. Resistance characterization presents the high current conductance comparable with connections made by silver epoxy or ink-jet printing. Shear test results show an excellent connection strength complying with USA Military Standard. Finally, a flexible hybrid conductance touch sensor is manufactured, demonstrating the feasibility of the presented assembling solution.