Printed electronics

In the first quarter of 2019, Cicor opened a technology center for printed electronics at the Bronschhofen site in Switzerland and will invest around CHF 1.5 million in further expansion over the next two years. Within the technology center, a team of application engineers take care of application development.
The increasing number of electronic devices in more and more applications requires new manufacturing technologies to be developed and industrialized. Flexible additive manufacturing processes play a key role in substrate manufacturing and connection technology.
The unique printing technology used, enables a wide range of conductive, non-conductive and biocompatible materials to be printed on a wide range of substrates and forms. In addition, new opportunities exist for interconnect technologies that can lead to performance improvements and cost optimization.
The integration of the circuits into three-dimensional surfaces often eliminates the need to use an additional substrate. Compared to the methods used today to produce such three-dimensional circuit carriers, the technology chosen by Cicor offers a significantly wider variety of printed and printable materials. Devices for medical, aerospace and IoT applications can be significantly reduced in size by using this technology.
With the opening of a technology center for printed electronics in Bronschhofen, Cicor is underlining its ambition to become the technology leader and its claim to be able to offer customers new, innovative solutions in addition to proven technologies.

Portfolio

Technical capabilities

  • Lines/spaces down to 10 μm
  • Printing thickness from < 100 nm to tens of μm
  • Large material portfolio (conductive, non-conductive, resistors, biocompatible, photoresist, etc.)
  • Printing on standard materials
  • Efficient printing process


Possible applications

  • Printed flex and rigid circuits
  • Printed embedded passives
  • Printed circuits on ceramics (2D + 3D)
  • Printed circuits on plastics
  • Biocompatible circuits
  • Die stacking

For additional applications please contact our engineering department

FAQ

  • Answers from Cicor's experts

    1. Are the inks used RoHS compliant?
    All used materials are RoHS compliant.

    2. How high is the conductivity of the printed inks?
    Depending on the ink used and the sintering temperature, conductivity can go up to appiximately 40% of bulk material.

    3. Is printing on human skin or tissue possible?
    Not with the known inks, they contain solvents that are harmful when getting in contact with human tissue.

    4. How many different print heads are available?
    We have several wide feature and small feature print heads available, overall number is 6-8.

    5. How can you protect printed functional layers?
    Using aerosol jet printing we can deposit coatings of different organic materials. Other methods can be used as well, e.g. spray coating.

    6. How do you control the ink deposition rate?
    We control it mainly by the gas flows and printing speed. Regular measurements of mass output are performed.

    7. How do you evaluate the adhesion of printed layers?
    We are doing a standardized cross cut test followed by a tape adhesion test. The adhesion level is then evaluated.

    8. Is it possible to use multiple nozzles for printing?
    The process is fully scalable and equipment with several print heads has been used.

    9. What is the offset accuracy when doing multilayer printing?
    The alignment accuracy is typically in the range of a few microns. There is a dependency on the shape of the substrate.

    10. How do you control the ink properties?
    The ink properties can be controlled by adding solvent, by temperature, and atomization power. We are doing ink health checks by measuring the mass output.

    11. Is it possible to smoothen the substrate surface to achieve better printing quality?
    A “primer” printing with polymer inks can be done to smoothen the substrate surface. This step can also be done using other methods like spray coating.

    12. What is the maximum operating temperature of printed inks?
    The maximum temperature is mainly defined by the max temperature the substrate materials can withstand.

    13. What are typical printing speeds?
    Typical printing speeds are between 5 and 20mm/sec.

    14. What different kinds of metal inks can be printed?
    Silver, Gold, platinum, palladium, copper and nickel.

    15. How high is the viscosity of printable inks?
    The viscosity can be between 5 and 1000 cP.

    16. On what kind of materials is printing possible?
    On different plastic types, ceramics, paper, wood, metal, etc.

    17. Are there any materials you cannot print on?
    On hydrophobic materials like PTFE.

    18. Is printing over sharp edges possible?
    Edges need to have a radius of min 0.3mm to avoid turbulences and uncontrolled ink deposition.

    19. Is printing on the inside of angles <90 degrees possible?
    Angles have to be 90 degrees or bigger

  • 07/20 Cicor Webinar: Printed electronics - pushing the limits

    You can watch the webinar by clicking the button below:

    Click here

White Paper Printed electronics