Plasma jet printing of electronic materials on flexible and nonconformal objects.

ACS applied materials & interfaces

PubMedID: 25398024

Gandhiraman RP, Jayan V, Han JW, Chen B, Koehne JE, Meyyappan M. Plasma jet printing of electronic materials on flexible and nonconformal objects. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2014;6(23):20860-7.
We present a novel approach for the room-temperature fabrication of conductive traces and their subsequent site-selective dielectric encapsulation for use in flexible electronics. We have developed an aerosol-assisted atmospheric pressure plasma-based deposition process for efficiently depositing materials on flexible substrates. Silver nanowire conductive traces and silicon dioxide dielectric coatings for encapsulation were deposited using this approach as a demonstration. The paper substrate with silver nanowires exhibited a very low change in resistance upon 50 cycles of systematic deformation, exhibiting high mechanical flexibility. The applicability of this process to print conductive traces on nonconformal 3D objects was also demonstrated through deposition on a 3D-printed thermoplastic object, indicating the potential to combine plasma printing with 3D printing technology. The role of plasma here includes activation of the material present in the aerosol for deposition, increasing the deposition rate, and plasma polymerization in the case of inorganic coatings. The demonstration here establishes a low-cost, high-throughput, and facile process for printing electronic components on nonconventional platforms.