SMART labels have the ability to sense and measure their local environment and wirelessly send measurements to a receiver such as a mobile phone or RFID reader. To function correctly, such electronic systems need a number of discrete components in addition to the silicon integrated circuits. In general, the 'discretes' are passive components such as resistors, capacitors and inductors. Printed hybrid flexible electronics combine conventional silicon devices with printed electronic circuit components on low cost flexible substrates - increasing throughput, decreasing manufacturing costs and the capital investment needed to meet market demand and production targets. OPCAP investigated the use of offset lithography to print high-K dielectric parallel plate capacitors to remove the need of the discrete capacitors.
- Investigate a new nanoparticle loaded UV curable ink made from barium titanate nanoparticles.
- Investigate the offset printing of barium titanate ink onto different substrates, photonically sinter the dielectric layers to remove the polymers in the ink, and maximize the capacitance per unit area.
- Formulated UV curable barium titanate ink with varying barium titanate nanoparticle loadings.
- Demonstrated feasibility of formulating and printing (through offset lithography) flexible capacitors on flexible polymer substrates - printed capacitor test devices exhibited low leakage current.
- Challenges and future research directions discovered - large agglomerations of nanoparticles hindered production of usable ink. It may prove to be necessary to coat appropriate capping agents on the BaTiO3 particles during synthesis to prevent particle agglomeration and to aid dispersion in the UV carrier polymers.