Advantages and Challenges of High-resolution Flexography for Flexible Electronics
The utilization of various printing techniques in the manufacture of flexible electronics has advanced to the stage where they now contribute to the production of commercially available consumer products. There are multiple, readily available printing technologies that offer a range of addressable resolutions and obtainable throughputs (i.e. print speed). There is a further distinction between print technologies for the range of inks that can be printed, as well as the volume of ink that can be deposited in a single-pass. This talk will provide a high-level comparison between print technologies – mapping the technical capabilities of each to the features required for end products. Special attention will be paid to high-resolution flexography, which is well suited for the mass production of printed electronics– but is less frequently discussed than the ubiquitous drop-on-demand inkjet. We have previously reported on our additive, roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing process to produce transparent RF devices, such as antennas and EMI shields, on flexible substrates – focusing on the ability of Kodak’s copper microwire technology to deliver low sheet resistance in combination with high transparency. This ability to achieve high transparency is directly linked to the use of high-resolution flexographic printing. In this talk, we will dive deeper into the flexographic printing process that enables these sub-10-micron features and how these features may benefit other products and applications.