Nano to Micro/Macro (thick films and coatings production)

The principle of Inkjet technology is jetting ink drops in a controlled way onto a desired surface. This jetting comes from a piezoelectric or thermal actuator that pushes the ink through a nozzle hole with a diameter between 10 and 100µm, reaching volume droplets about few picoliters.

Commonly these inks are called functional because differently to standard inks in graphical applications, which contribute only with color, they enable an electronic function. Typically, they are classified as conductive inks (containing silver or gold nanoparticles), dielectric inks or sensitive inks (containing metallic oxides nanoparticles) among others.

The main benefits of additive digital technology are low cost instrumentation and materials, large-scale area, easy to modify designs and, being an additive technology, its eco-friendliness due to avoidance of waste material.

Commonly, the patterns achieved have a lateral dimension ranging from tens to hundreds of microns and a height ranging from tens of nanometers to tens of microns.

An inkjet printing process can be divided in 3 steps: ink formulation or sourcing, ink jetting and printing, and finally a curing process to evaporate the solvent, sinter nanoparticles, or polymerize monomers. These steps are highly interdependent and also depend on the surface to be printed, so surface treatments have an important role in inkjet deposition processes.

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