Printed Electronics

Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology

JW Player

Printing of inorganic thin films from solution - The IISB Process Chain

Printed Electronics

Printing of electronic materials opens up a range of novel low-cost, low complexity,and large-area components, circuits, and systems on alternative (e.g. flexible) substrates. Fully or partially printed devices include antennas for RFID, thick-film sensors, or displays.
IISB research in printed electronics is focused on inorganic materials from synthesis through to system integration.
A joint working group with the Chair of Electron Devices at University of Erlangen (FAU) covers basic and applied research topics.

Synthesis and Formulation

Functional nano materials for printed electronics are synthesized by gas-phase or wet chemical chemistry.

Composition, size, and morphology of particles and/or layers can be widely modified with regard to processing (e.g. melting point) or electrical (e.g.bad gap) behavior.

Synthesis of doped semiconductor nanoparticles, ternary, or quaternary metal oxide systems is a promising research arena. Ink properties like viscosity, surface energy, and vapor pressures can be tailored with respect to subsequent processing. Thus, functional features can be produced by various techniques including ink jet printing, spray pyrolysis, and screen printing.

Current projects:

Structure Formation

Inks and precursor solutions are processed into thin films and structures by spin-casting or various printing methods. Substrates, inks, and processing conditions have to be carefully adjusted to give best results with respect to critical dimensions and electrical performance of the devices.

The formation of highly ordered layers and interfaces is not only important for the electrical behavior ofthe layers but also for the ability to stack several layers on top of each other. Also thermal and chemical compatibility of subsequently deposited materials have to be taken into account.

Current projects:

 

Applications

The developed inks and layer stacks are combined with commercially available materials into functional applications demonstrating the unique abilities of printed electronics.

Examples for printed functionalities are interdigitated metal structures as basis for capacitive or resistive sensors or thin-film transitor test structures for the study of device architectures and comparison of materials.

Device development is carried out in conjunction with the technological background of conventional semiconductor processing provided by the IISB/LEB cleanroom facility. Fully integrated systems include discrete devices, power supplies, as well as microprocessor ICs for signal and data processing.

Current projects: