Inkjet printing can be used to apply a wide range of functional fluids, such as metals, dielectrics, insulators, coatings, or even biomaterials for a variety of applications, such as sensors, printed circuit boards, solar cells, or displays.
In the proof of concept phase, where all new inkjet processes start, not everything needs to be perfect. But as soon as a new process is supposed to be implemented into a production environment, all parameters need to be set correctly. The more it has been taken care of the right parameters already in the early stage, the faster the implementation process can be finished successfully. And not only must the process be well balanced, also the printing tool must be well designed to serve the requirements of each application.
Based on our experience and filled with real-live examples, in this talk we would like to give an overview of inkjet applications and provide a guideline for a systematic approach to transfer an inkjet process for functional applications from "lab to fab".
We will present a modular machine concept that considers flexible lab requirements as well as industrial requirements, such as high throughput, accuracy or automation.We will explain and discuss the importance of data preparation, which is the base of each printed image. We will cover the choice and interactions of printheads, materials and substrates including substrate pre- and post-treatments. We will explain the importance of a well tuned waveform for reliable jetting and discuss printing strategies and ink solidification mechanisms.