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Press Release
Posted on August 04, 2016

Platinum nanoink for printing heaters of gas sensors

LCC AkKoLab is the only Russian company specialized in the production and commercialization of silver and platinum nanoinks usable for the fabrication of printing electronics. The inks developed by LCC AkKoLab are usable for the application in ink jet printers including high precision installations.In this field, AkKoLab cooperates with research centers and universities: National research center Kurchatov institute (Moscow), Lomonosov Moscow state university, Kurnakov institute of general and inorganic chemistry of the Russian academy of science and others. In particular, in cooperation with these institutions, AkKoLab develops different printed electronic devices. One of these R&D works is aimed to the fabrication of platinum microheaters on thin ceramic substrates using platinum nanoinks. Efficiency of these microheaters usable, for example, in ceramic MEMS gas sensors, is related with their high operation temperature (up to 4500C) and low power consumption at this temperature (< 70 mW). Low power consumption of these high-temperature sensors permits their application in cellular (mobile) electronic devices: smartphones, tablet computers, etc.).
 
Characteristics of platinum nanoinks:
  • Viscosity - 15-25 µPa·s;
  • Platinum nanoparticle concentration 6 wt. %;
  • Platinum nanoparticle size - 7 ± 2 nm.
 
Fig 1 demonstrates a typical TEM picture of Pt nanoparticles and an appropriate electron diffraction picture.
Fig. 1 - TEM and electron diffraction pictures of Pt nanoparticles.
 
Fig. 2 shows microheater of metal oxide semiconductor gas sensor fabricated using Fujifilm Dimatix 2831 ink jet printer with Pt inks produced by LCC AkKoLab. Heating power as function of sensor working temperature is presented in Fig. 3.
Fig. 2 - Platinum microheater printed using Fujifilm Dimatix 2831 ink jet printer on 12 mm thick alumina substrate.
Fig. 3 - Heating power as a function of heater temperature.
 
The formation of platinum conductive film doesn't require very high annealing temperature: the film becomes conductive even after sintering at 3000C.
 
The plot shows that the power consumption of the sensor is equal to about 70 mW at working temperature of 4500C. This temperature is sufficient for the detection of all combustible gases including methane. In contrast to silicon MEMS microheaters produced, for example, by AMS (Austria) or Figaro Inc. (Japan), the sensor operates continuously at this temperature consuming the same power as silicon MEMS based devices. In addition, the fabrication of gas sensors using printing technologies is much more cost efficient compared to silicon MEMS technology, because it doesn't require expensive, sophisticate equipment.
 
Microheaters can be successfully used for the fabrication of metal oxide semiconductor and thermocatalytic gas sensors, flow, pressure, and temperature sensors operating in harsh environment, microbolometers, IR sources, etc. Gas sensors fabricated using this approach are usable for leakage detection, early detection of fire, biomedical investigations, ecological monitoring, etc.
 
In addition to heating elements of sensors using platinum nanoinks, LLC AkKoLab is able to produce conductive elements on different substrate: polyimide and other polymers, glass, etc. At room temperature, platinum is one of most inert metals, and therefore it can be used in different microelectronic and, especially, biomedical instruments.
 
Source: LCC AkKoLab
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