*NEWS*INKJET PRINTERS TO REVOLUTIONIZE…

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*NEWS*INKJET PRINTERS TO REVOLUTIONIZE…

 user 2007-01-18 at 10:59:00 am Views: 427
  • #16976

    Ink Jet Printers Will Revolutionize Technology
    The next wave for manufacturing electronic devices
    Ink
    jet printing is rapidly becoming an important manufacturing tool that
    will be increasingly significant in an era of manufacturing flexibility
    and product personalization. It is also a tool that can further
    increase the productivity of manufacturers by facilitating greater
    automation and a reduction in process steps. Ink jet technology will
    have a significant effect on the manufacturing sector by making
    manufacturing far more environmentally friendly and responsive to
    consumer needs. Without a doubt, this emerging technology will make an
    impact with its diverse applications that span far beyond traditional
    printing.Today’s ink jet printheads are capable of depositing (without
    contact) precisely placed, microscopically small drops of fluid. Heat
    is not needed to propel fluid from the nozzles of a printhead, so
    corrosive materials can be jetted without destroying the printhead.
    This means fluids like silver, gold, DNA and bacteria can be “printed”
    on a variety of surfaces, including plastic, metal sheets, glass,
    silicon and paper. In this way, ink jets can be used to print
    electronic devices like flat and flexible displays, RFID tags, flexible
    and rigid circuit boards, 3-D objects and more. Typically, electronic
    circuits contain electrical trace lines that are made through a photo
    masking and etch process. With ink jets, these trace lines are instead
    made by directly depositing conductive fluid where needed. This new
    process is faster and requires less material, thereby saving costs for
    the manufacturer.Dr. Ghassan Jabbour, professor of materials science
    and engineering, and director of flexible and organic electronics
    development laboratories at Arizona State University, is already using
    ink jets to develop foundational devices for displays, photovoltaics,
    sensors and microfluidics. With an ink jet printer, he can print
    multi-layered patterns of gels, metals, conductive polymers and
    light-emitting organic materials. He recently printed metallic lines
    with resolution down to around 30-35 micrometers.Another area of
    manufacturing in which ink jets will have a significant impact involves
    LCDs (liquid crystal displays). As LCDs have moved into TV format,
    substrate size has multiplied more than four-fold. Traditional methods
    of fabricating the polyimide alignment layer are not satisfactory for
    these new larger Generation 7 or Generation 8 glass substrates, but ink
    jets can deposit this layer quickly and uniformly.According to industry
    estimates, LCD color filters represent approximately 19% of the total
    cost of LCD manufacturing. Studies have shown that compared to
    traditional photolithography processes used in color filter
    manufacturing, ink jet technology can provide cost reductions of up to
    40%. The same study showed that ink jet technology can further benefit
    color filter manufacturing by reducing materials usage by 20-30% and
    investment costs by more than 50%. (Study done by Kodak )Other
    researchers are exploring the possibilities of ink jet printing RFID
    transistors using solution-processable organic conductors such as PEDOT
    (acidic water based conductive material.) Manufacturers in additional
    areas are considering ink jetting. For example, ink jets will improve
    production of color PLED (polymer light emitting diode) displays
    because traditional spin coating is useful only for monochrome
    displays. Many ink jetting manufacturing prototypes are already in
    place, and many more are sure to come in the near future.A small ink
    jet fluid deposition system is ideal for R&D situations because it
    reduces the cost barriers of existing commercial pre-production and
    production ink jet printing systems, which cost upwards of $200,000.
    For instance, a group of developers is currently using the new fluid
    deposition system to qualify and compare fluids, test conditions for
    jetting, understand substrate test conditions and process conditions
    (e.g., how much the fluid will spread and whether heat will be needed.)
    The system’s simplicity makes it easy to evaluate fluids and substrates
    for final properties and to print samples of new designs for
    evaluation. Because the system is table-top sized and intuitive to use,
    it doesn’t take up floor space or need its own room or dedicated
    personnel or resources to get results. And once the critical R&D
    phase is complete, ink jet printing systems are scaleable to production
    and a great tool for the manufacturing industry.According to research
    firm NanoMarkets, the ink jet printable electronics market is expected
    to reach over $30 billion by 2013. Because of the low cost and high
    flexibility of these systems, it’s certain that we will be seeing
    cutting-edge innovations developed with ink jets on the market in the
    near future. Perhaps soon you’ll be able to make a cell phone call by
    speaking into an electronic device embedded in the sleeve of your
    jacket; or maybe you’ll access your computer via a flat-panel display
    so thin and flexible that it can be pulled down like a window shade; or
    you’ll spot an RFID tag at the grocery store letting you know how fresh
    the produce is. However the technology is applied, it is clear that ink
    jet printers will revolutionize technology and the electronics
    manufacturing process.