Integration plasmabrush into Aerosol Jet Printing System
Reference University of West Bohemia
Jiri Navratil – R&D Engineer for Aerosol Jet Printing at the West Bohemian University in Pilsen reports on his experiences with the high-performance plasma system plasmabrush PB3 in combination with an Aerosol Jet Printing System. The plasma system was integrated directly into the Optomec Aerosol Jet UP300 printer.
Aerosol Jet systems print fine-feature electronic, structural and biological patterns -such as 3D conformal sensors and antennas for aerospace, defense, consumer electronics, wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT) – on to almost any substrate.
Aerosol Jet is able to print nanomaterial inks in high resolution and ultra thin layers and this all even on 3D or shaped substrates. Thus the substrate preparation is the crucial process for optimal printed line quality.
The plasma system is reliable and works as a substrate treating and cleaning device just before Aerosol Jet ink deposition. The plasma changes the surface energy of the substrate. This process leads to improved wettability of the substrates and so to better adhesion and quality of printed lines. The low temperature nozzle is used for most of treated samples (PET and PEN foils, Polyimide, glass, ceramics, etc.).
On picture 4 PEDOT (organically conductive material) was printed on PET film with the Aerosol Jet Printing System. The differences between the wettability before and after plasma treatment are clearly visible. This leads to a considerably better print quality.
Thanks to the full integration, the plasma treating can be immediately followed by Aerosol Jet printing. There is no need for manipulation with substrate and so it also avoids risk of surface contamination.