The main purpose of this study is to test the performance of the ink-jet printed microwave resonant circuits on Low temperature co-fired ceramics (LTCC) substrates combined with microfluidic channels for sensor applications. Normally, conductive patterns are deposited on an LTCC substrate by means of the screen-printing technique, but in this paper applicability of ink-jet printing in connection with LTCC materials is demonstrated.
A simple microfluidic LTCC sensor based on the microstrip ring resonator was designed. It was assumed the micro-channel, located under the ring, was filled with a mixture of DI water and ethanol, and the operating frequency of the resonator was tuned to 2.4 GHz. The substrate was fabricated by standard LTCC process, and the pattern of the microstrip ring resonator was deposited over the substrate by means of an ink-jet printer. Performance of the sensor was assessed with the use of various volumetric concentrations of DI water and ethanol. Actual changes in concentration were detected by means of microwave measurements.
It can be concluded that ink-jet printing is a feasible technique for fast fabrication of micro-strip circuits on LTCC substrates, including microfluidic components. Further research needs to be conducted to improve the reliability, accuracy and performance of this technique.
The literature shows the use of ink-jet printing for producing various conductive patterns in different applications. However, the idea to replace the screen-printing with the ink-jet printing on LTCC substrates in connection with microwave-microfluidic applications is not widely studied. Some questions concerning accuracy and reliability of this technique are still open.
The presented work was funded by the National Science Centre (grant No. 2016/23/B/ST7/00932). The authors wish to thank Piotr Pokryszka for performing the measurements of the contact angle.
Jasińska, L., Szostak, K., Kiliszkiewicz, M., Słobodzian, P. and Malecha, K. (2020), "Ink-jet printed ring resonator with integrated Microfluidic components", Circuit World, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/CW-11-2019-0176Download as .RIS
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