Printed Electronics

Aerosolgedruckte Sieben-Segment-Anzeige
© Fraunhofer IFAM

Aerosol-printed seven segment sign

Printed electronics allow special properties and functionalities to be readily realized. All classes of materials, including polymers, ceramics, and metals, can be processed using printing or jet methods on films, flat products, or components, with optimum use of resources. We focus in particular on the application of electrically conducting structures, insulating layers and structures, the manufacture of sensory components, and 3D surfaces.

Versatile technology with a large number of applications

A wide range of components for electronic applications are manufactured via printed electronics. Currently the main focus of development work is on different types of sensors, OLEDs, storage elements, display systems, batteries, and intelligent textiles.

We utilize various additive processes to meet customer requirements regarding functionality, material, substrate, structure size, and batch size. Here, the material can either be adapted to a specific printing process or to a special substrate. A precondition, besides having the desired electronic functionality, is that the materials are able to flow, namely are a solution, dispersion, or suspension.

The thermal activation often necessary for functionalization of the printed structure is carried out by UV curing, in an oven, or with a laser. Customized processes for printed structures such as electric or photonic sintering are under development.

Applications for printed electronics include:

  • Contacts and 3D conductive tracks for assembly and joining technology
  • Metallic temperature and filling level sensors, and strain gages
  • Gas sensors based on printed metal oxide semiconductors
  • Printed OLEDs and solar cells
  • "Invisible" and thermally stable labels for counterfeit protection
  • Bio-sensors by combining printed electronics with bio-active substances