Leading commercial and government research organizations are using Aerosol Jet technology to develop breakthrough printed electronics and printed biologics applications. Organizations including Printable Electronics Technology Centre (PETEC) in the UK, Sirris in Belgium, the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Fraunhofer Institutes, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and more are developing a wide array of Aerosol Jet applications some of which are highlighted in the above slideshow.
These organizations have selected Aerosol Jet technology because it is a fast, flexible tool that can produce high resolution electronic circuitry, components and patterns without the need for the masks and chemicals that are common to traditional material deposition methods. Aerosol Jet technology already is being applied to a range of commercial applications for displays, alternative energy and 3D printed electronics and is also being utilized for other applications such as fully printed transistors, antennas, printed resistors, biofabrication, temperature sensitive substrates, hybrid manufacturing, EMI shielding, printed sensors, depositing Teflon and more… Click here to access a technical paper titled “Maskless Printing of Miniature Polymer Thick Film Resistors for Embedded Applications.”
The system can directly deposit a wide range of commercial and custom electronic materials, including conductor, insulator and adhesive formulations onto virtually any substrate. Support of nanomaterials allows for low-temperature processing and ultra-thin layers where needed. Due to its ability to handle electronic and biomaterials within the same material deposition system, Aerosol Jet systems offer a unique biomedical micro-device development and production solution that bridges these disciplines. For more information click here to access a Fraunhofer report on “Surface Biofunctionalization and Production of Miniaturized Sensor Structures using Aerosol Printing Technologies.”
Aerosol Jet systems can precisely deposit materials on both planar and non-planar substrates. The unique ability of the Aerosol Jet system to print on non-planar surfaces makes it an ideal solution for printing sensors that can be integrated into military-specific applications. This is made possible by the relatively high (1 to 5mm) stand-off point of the material deposition head above the substrate and long focal length of the material beam exiting the nozzle. Once a material has been deposited, conventional approaches for many commercial metal inks require high-temperature treatment often up to 250°C or higher. For non-sensitive polymer substrate materials, re-flow or cure ovens can be used to sinter the deposited material. However, certain substrates tend to have limited temperature capability. This sensitivity requires a manufacturing process that can deposit and process the material at low temperatures. Aerosol Jet printed electronic systems can locally process the deposition on substrates, using an optional integrated laser module that sinters the deposit while leaving the substrate unharmed. The end result is a high-quality thin film with excellent edge definition and near-bulk resistivity. For more information click here to access a technical paper titled “Aerosol Jet Printed Electronics Overview.”