IQ-PET – In-line Quality-control of UV offset lithographically Printed Electronic-ink by THz technology

A wide range of electronic materials can be printed onto diverse substrates to realise multi-functional electronic performance. As such, the large-area electronics industry eagerly desires reliable, fast and low cost, in-line quality control for continuous, high-speed, sheet-to-sheet printing. The IQ-PET project investigated whether the detection of reflected THz radiation might yield  spectroscopic information and 3D images to advance quality control systems that can operate in high-speed sheet-to-sheet and roll-to-roll production lines for system level integration in large-area electronics manufacturing.

Project Objectives

  • Investigate changes in THz spectra at each stage of the UV Offset printing process for electrically conductive and dielectric inks - and so provide guidance on placement of THz sensors for achieving optimal real-time quality control of printed electronic ink.
  • Develop software and hardware to investigate the potential of using THz based quality control within high-speed sheet-to-sheet and roll-to-roll production lines.

Key Achievements

  • Demonstrated 4 types of THz based quality control prototypes and data analysis software packages - comparing pros and cons. See paper published in Organic Electronics: here.
  • Demonstrated that THz radiation can supply the imaging mapping, and further quantified dielectric and conductive parameters, that other technologies cannot offer.
  • Developed software and hardware that can be amended to produce industrial practice prototypes. (Nano Products Ltd was closely involved with this project and were very satisfied with the quantified dielectric analysis of their inked products at different stages.)
Further details about IQ-PET

Industrial Partners

Collaborator

Posted in Pathfinder.