Conductive Logic, a privately held company, located in California, in partnership with Institut fur Neue Materialien (INM) located in Saarbrucken, Germany, have announced a breakthrough, in the field of printed electronics.
In the exploding printed electronics, photovoltaics and display technology arenas, thin conductive layers for printed circuits on flexible substrates continue to be, the holy grail of current global research.
Conductive Logic/INM has developed a method that bypasses the slow, and environmentally unfriendly processing with paste, that needs to be removed, and the particles sintered in order to gain acceptable conductivity. Further most global attempts must endure the cumbersome long timeframes (up to 30 minutes), and high temperatures (up to 180-250° C).
Conductive Logic/INM are now poised to begin testing on a continuous roll-to-roll machine. To avoid these obstacles, Conductive Logic/INM has developed a technique to pophotochemically silver nearly any surface, by using a kind of photosensitizer, and a silver-complex. In a simplified two-step process, while these steps remain proprietary, Conductive Logic/INM can report, that its revolutionary method can be achieved by local irradiation with a scanning laser beam, photo mask or transparent stamp.
(With the above mentioned methods Conducive Logic/INM have successfully obtained silver structures on a wide variety of substrates, including: glass, metal, wood, paper, and various polymers; PET, PMMA, PVC, and PI). The achieved resistivity is about ¼ of pure bulk silver (~6.5*10-6cm) with the silver having decreased further with the heating of the substrate, or surface (proprietary).
The photos below illustrate a sampling of the Conductive Logic/INM methodology.
Figure: Light microscopy image (lower left) showing a test structure using a photo mask. The silver structures appear dark. Scanning electron micrograph (upper left) showing a periodically patterned area using a transparent stamp. Silver appears bright, the unmetallized areas appear dark. Note the small pattern size (silver rings). Photograph of a diffracted laser beam using the pattern from upper left. The bright diffraction spots of even higher order clearly indicate the regular long range dot pattern whereas the circular intensity modulation reflects the small silver rings.
Source: Conductive Logic
The forthcoming IDTechEx "Electric Vehicles- Land, Sea, Air" event is taking place in Stuttgart in June and it will reveal the huge application of printed electronics in electric vehicles from third generation batteries from Oxis Energy to printed electrics and electronics from Flexible Electronics Concepts . Flexible solar users Asola, Kopf Solarschiff, Teledyne, University of Michigan and Grove Boats SA will be among those exhibiting or speaking.
For more attend: Printed Electronics & Photovoltaics Europe 2011.