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A novel approach to improve reliability of aerosol jet printing process
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Wrocław University of Science and Technology Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Poland
Faculty of Electronics, Photonics and Microsystems, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Poland
Submission date: 2023-10-26
Final revision date: 2023-11-24
Acceptance date: 2024-01-11
Online publication date: 2024-01-17
Publication date: 2024-01-17
Corresponding author
Marcin Winnicki   

Wrocław University of Science and Technology Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Wybrzeze Stanislawa Wyspianskiego 27, 50-370, Wroclaw, Poland
Eksploatacja i Niezawodność – Maintenance and Reliability 2024;26(2):180012
  • 3D structures were aerosol jet printed using silver nanoparticles in a single-step.
  • The intensive solvent evaporation caused local open porosity in non-heated samples.
  • Fine droplets with diameter below 1 μm are ejected from the stream and spatter the foil.
  • Concentration of nanoparticles was improved and defects limited due to in-line heating.
  • IR sintering provided reduced nanoroughness and improved bonding of aggregates
Additive manufacturing is gaining interest for printing of noble metals. In this study, aerosol jet printing was applied to fabricate traces from commercial silver nanoparticle ink. A self-built three dimensional printing machine was used without or with in-line substrate heating. Subsequently, sintering was conducted by furnace or near-infrared source. Examination of the sample using scanning electron and atomic force microscopy revealed the existence of both micro- and nanoscale pores in the structure. Local open porosity, aerosol extensive spatter and wide porous overspray were key defects found in samples printed without substrate heating. All the features affect the properties and reliability of silver prints. In-line process heating increased the concentration of nanoparticles and limited defects formation. The final structure was influenced by sintering method and its time. Elongated time of sintering decreased porosity and roughness of the printed traces. Nevertheless, IR sintering provided the smoothest sample surface, and significantly improved bonding of aggregates.
This work was funded by The National Centre for Research and Development [LIDER/42/0142/L 11/19/NCBR/2020] (Project title: Sonic Jet precise printer for manufacturing elastic electronics).
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