Printed electronics is a branch of electronics that involves the printing of electronic components, circuits, and systems using specialized printing techniques. It is a form of additive manufacturing that allows for the creation of electronic devices by depositing functional materials onto various substrates, typically using processes such as inkjet printing, screen printing, flexography, or gravure printing are frequently used in printing to define patterns on materials.
In order to create active or passive devices such as thin film transistors, sensors, sensor systems, batteries, capacitors, coils, resistors, large-scale printings—screens or light panels—the substrates such as paper, glass, fabric, metal, plastics, etc. are coated with Nano-silver printing ink (silver conductive ink) or optical inks.
Polycarbonate (PC), Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), Polyethylene Naphthalene (PEN), Polyethersulfone (PES), Polyamide-Imide (PAI), Polyimide (PI), and Polyethylene (PE) are examples of substrates that are frequently utilized.
Screen printed techniques applied for Printed Electronics by Protolab.
Protolab has become a trailblazing force in the rapidly developing field of printed electronics by utilizing the enormous potential of screen-printing methods. Protolab can produce high-performance electrical components using this adaptable and exact technology, bringing up new possibilities for unique and creative solutions. Let’s explore how improvements in printed electronics are being driven by screen printing techniques.
In modern technology, printed electronics are used in everything from HMI Input Devices to smart wearables and RFID. We have manual, semi-automatic, and fully automated flatbed screen printing machines with clean room environments.
A printing technique that involves passing ink through a thin mesh screen made of silk or polyester to apply it to a surface. Silk or other fabric is stretched firmly over a frame in screen printing. Making specific regions of the screen resistant to printing ink results in the formation of a stencil that prevents printing ink from going through the screen.
Mastering the Screen-Printing Process: Step-by-Step Guide for Printed Electronics
- Design creation: The first step is to create the design that you want to print. This can be done by hand, using a computer program, or by using a combination of both methods.
- Screen preparation: Once the design is created, it needs to be transferred to a screen. This is done by using a process called photo emulsion. The photo emulsion is a light-sensitive liquid that is applied to the screen. The design is then placed on top of the screen and exposed to ultraviolet light. The light causes the photo emulsion to harden in the areas where it is not blocked by the design.
- Stencil creation: The hardened photo emulsion creates a stencil that prevents the ink from passing through certain areas of the screen. The stencil is then washed away, leaving behind the open areas where the ink will be applied.
- Ink application: The conductive ink is then applied to the top of the screen. A squeegee is used to push the ink through the open areas of the stencil and onto the substrate.
- Printing: The screen is then placed on top of the substrate and the ink is allowed to dry. The process is repeated for each layer of the circuit.
Once all of the layers have been printed, the screen is removed, and the finished product is revealed.
The engineering team at Protolab is a pioneer in the manufacture of printed electronics. From flexible membrane circuits to printed wearables, our experienced technical team collaborates with you to develop a custom-made solution for your application. Our printed electronics packages are engineered to deliver outstanding performance at a better cost.