Flexible Circuits For 3D Printing -New Process For Transparent And Flexible Electronic Devices

- Jun 29, 2019-

A research study cooperation between the College of Hamburg as well as DESY has actually established a process appropriate for 3D printing that can be made use of to create clear as well as mechanically flexible electronic circuits. The electronics includes a mesh of silver nanowires that can be printed in suspension and also embedded in numerous flexible and also clear plastics (polymers). This innovation can allow brand-new applications such as light-emitting diodes, solar batteries or tools with incorporated circuits, as Tomke Glier from the College of Hamburg and also her coworkers report in the journal Scientific News. The researchers are demonstrating the potential of their procedure with a flexible capacitor, among other things.


" The aim of this research study was to functionalize 3D-printable polymers for various applications," reports Michael Rübhausen from the Facility for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL), a participation in between DESY, the College of Hamburg and the Max Planck Society. "With our unique technique, we intend to integrate electronics into existing architectural systems and also enhance components in regards to space as well as weight." The physics teacher from the College of Hamburg led the task along with DESY researcher Stephan Roth, that is additionally teacher at the Royal Institute of Innovation in Stockholm. Making use of the bright X-ray light from DESY's research source of light PETRA III and also other gauging approaches, the group has actually specifically analyzed the residential or commercial properties of the nanowires in the polymer.


" At the heart of the innovation are silver nanowires, which form a conductive mesh," discusses Glier. The silver wires are usually a number of 10s of nanometers (millionths of a millimeter) thick and 10 to 20 micrometers (thousandths of a millimeter) long. The detailed X-ray analysis reveals that the framework of the nanowires in the polymer is not transformed, yet that the conductivity of the mesh even improves many thanks to the compression by the polymer, as the polymer contracts during the curing procedure.


The silver nanowires are put on a substratum in suspension and also dried out. "For price factors, the purpose is to accomplish the greatest possible conductivity with as few nanowires as possible. This likewise raises the openness of the product," discusses Roth, head of the P03 gauging station at DESY's X-ray light PETRA III, where the X-ray investigations occurred. "By doing this, layer by layer, a conductive path or surface area can be produced." A flexible polymer is put on the conductive tracks, which in turn can be covered with conductive tracks and calls. Depending on the geometry and material used, different electronic parts can be printed this way.


In this paper, the researchers produced a flexible capacitor. "In the laboratory, we carried out the individual job steps in a layering process, however in technique they can later be totally moved to a 3D printer," explains Glier. "Nonetheless, the additional growth of conventional 3D printing modern technology, which is usually optimized for specific printing inks, is additionally important for this. In inkjet-based processes, the print nozzles can be clogged by the nanostructures," keeps in mind Rübhausen.


In the next action, the scientists now wish to check how the structure of the conductive paths constructed from nanowires changes under mechanical anxiety. "Exactly how well does the wire mesh hold with each other during flexing? How steady does the polymer stay," said Roth, describing common questions. "X-ray investigation is very ideal for this because it is the only means we can look into the product and assess the conductive courses as well as surfaces of the nanowires."


Researchers from the College of Hamburg, the Royal Institute of Innovation in Stockholm, the Wallenberg Centre for Wood Scientific Research in Stockholm, limit Planck Institute for the Framework and also Dynamics of Issue in Hamburg and DESY were associated with the job.