DKN Research creates a new advanced screen-printing process down to 30 μm silver conductors

Circuit World

ISSN: 0305-6120

Article publication date: 18 November 2013



(2013), "DKN Research creates a new advanced screen-printing process down to 30 μm silver conductors", Circuit World, Vol. 39 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

DKN Research creates a new advanced screen-printing process down to 30 μm silver conductors

Article Type: New products From: Circuit World, Volume 39, Issue 4

DKN Research LLC, a leading engineering firm specialising in microelectronics and packaging technology, now carries high-density thick film silver circuits along with an advanced screen-printing process for printable and flexible electronics.

The Haverhill Massachusetts based firm developed a series of screen-printing technologies to generate fine line silver conductors down to 30 μm on thin plastic films. The process specifically targets those optical and sensor applications that require fine wiring on transparent substrates such as PET films. The package available from DKN includes everything – conductor inks, insulation materials, screen-masks, printers, squeegees, pattern designs, process conditions and more. The process is extremely reliable and can be applied to a broad range of applications, even the stringent requirements for medical and aerospace applications. DKN Research continues to develop a wide range of packaging technologies for printable and flexible electronics.

Technological advancements for printable electronics have accelerated over the years throughout global markets. There are many new electronic devices on the development table that are created using outside-the-box thinking. More than 2,000 companies, universities and technical institutes are focused on developing new materials, equipment and devices using printable electronics as the main technology. Even more companies are considering introducing a printing process as the part of their manufacturing for new electronics devices. Process engineers for some companies are having difficulties working with the fine line printing process and they cannot generate finer conductors than 50 μm using a traditional screen-printing process. Expensive nano-conductor inks have been introduced to assist with this problem, but it is still difficult due to the imbalance between inks, substrates, tools and process conditions. DKN Research can now provide practical solutions.

DKN Research has partnered with material and equipment suppliers to develop a reliable manufacturing technology for flexible electronics. They are experienced with a wide range of process capabilities that include chemical etching, electro-forming, laser scribing and more. They recently were able to produce fine line screen-printing less than 30 μm line/space for thick film circuits. The process does not need expensive nano-particle ink, but submicron particle silver ink. The process does not need a baking temperature higher than 130°C, therefore low cost PET films are available to use as substrates. The new fine line printing process can create more opportunities for thick film circuits in consumer electronics and disposable medical devices.

The technology and materials are ready for mass production. DKN Research provides all materials including inks, substrates, screen masks, squeegees, and printers. They can even provide a one on one tutorial and walk you through the process. DKN Research also has a prototype production service, and can advise customers on hardware and other equipment needed.

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