Sustainable, scalable printing of complex electronics
For many years, Holst Centre has played a major role in the manufacturing of digital electronics. But, as devices become simultaneously smaller and more powerful, traditional manufacturing techniques are reaching their limits. To keep up with increasing demand, electronics production requires increasingly higher throughput.
One of the challenges in printed electronics is the large gap between costly, high-resolution lithography, and cost-effective – but also less refined – printing technologies. Holst Centre has designed a revolutionary type of printing that fills that gap and enables the next generation of manufacturing to start today.
How it works
Impulse Printing is a novel additive manufacturing technology that transfers high-resolution patterns through rapid surface heating. When the solvent at the heated interface reaches its boiling temperature, rapid gas generation leads to pressure build-up. This pressure causes the ink to transfer to the substrate at incredible speed.
Impulse Printing has several unique features. It can deposit feature sizes ranging from several microns to many millimetres, with aspect ratios of up to 0.5. Since the ink is released from a surface, it does not experience any shear forces, which means a wide range of viscosities can be deposited. Impulse Printing can therefore solve common manufacturing challenges, including printing on any surface topology with inks of extremely high viscosity. Patterns can even be wrapped around substrates.
Impulse Printing is a non-contact and high-throughput technology, so it is compatible with large substrates, like roll-to-roll processes. It was designed to be user-friendly and to have a low cost of ownership. It can therefore be seamlessly integrated into many current manufacturing set-ups. What’s more, the solution reduces waste associated with current manufacturing techniques, as it consumes low amounts of power and utilises ink with the highest efficiency.
Key applications and further development
Impulse Printing can be a key enabler in the field of advanced chip packaging, 3D printed electronics and display manufacturing. However, the experts at Holst Centre are eager to explore other applications for this revolutionary technology.
A proto-tool is available at Holst Centre, which is compatible with a wide range of materials and supports all research activities. A robot arm has been integrated to allow precise handling of any type of substrate and to print with high alignment accuracy. The tool can therefore enable process development and optimisation for any application. Get in touch today for more information.