Aerosol Jet printing is a non-contact direct-writing technology which allows the deposition of various functional materials. At department System Packaging this contactless material transfer technology is investigated for its capabilities to extend existing connecting- and bonding technologies.
From Liquid to pattern – only three process steps needed
The working process of Aerosol jet technology can be divided into the three main parts: (i) atomization of fluids whereby femto liter-sized droplets using ultrasonic or pneumatic atomization are generated, (ii) guiding this atomized material towards the deposition head and (iii) deposition of atomized material onto a substrate. Within the deposition head, the aerosol mist is focused by a sheath gas flow and the resulting, high velocity converging particle stream is deposited onto the substrate.
Wide range of printable materials without a single mask
This selective deposition process can be performed as an additive material transfer process including a wide variety of materials onto a several classes of substrates without conventional masks or thin-film equipment. Especially the deposition of electrical conductive materials enables the realization of electrical interconnects over 3-dimensional topography-like patterns and surfaces. Materials like metals, polymers, adhesives, etchants, ceramics or bio-related materials also could be printed.
Post treatment directly after printing
Processable materials commonly consist of metallic nano particles dispersed in a solvent solution. To increase the conductivity of the deposited porous metal particles, selective laser sintering can be started directly after printing, as an infrared laser module is directly mounted in parallel to the printing head.
Unique material mixing capabilities
By combination of two pneumatic atomizers, mixing of different materials becomes possible. With this unique mixing process, i.e. graded depositions of functional layers can lead to new applications. The mixing process itself is controlled by regulation of atomizer rate and impact exhaust rate at both pneumatic atomizers differently. Both aerosol flows are guided through a wye turnout before entering the deposition head.
Comprehensive feature sizes
With creating features as small as 10 µm in size and a maximum single line width of around 200 µm the Aerosol Jet system available at department system packaging provides a comprehensive range suitable feature sizes for a wide field of application scenarios. In combination with its vector based motion control system, complex designs could be printed within a reliable time.
- 3D interconnects
- Assembly / Mounting
- Printed electronics
- Graded deposition of mixed materials