The new microcopper ink material joins Applied Nanotech’s award-winning nanocopper ink, which won an R&D 100 award from R&D Magazine in 2010. The novel copper ink is specially designed to replace expensive silver-based conductors for rapidly developing applications in the printed electronics industry. Applied Nanotech’s microcopper ink has an optimal combination of high conductivity and ease of processing that allows for direct replacement of silver inks and pastes at significantly lower cost.
“Microcopper inks fill a need for lower-cost conductive materials used for applications such as smart cards, RFID antennas, touchscreens and sensors in smart phones, just to name a few,” said Dr. James Novak, director of the Nanoelectronics Division. “Furthermore, the microcopper ink retains all key advantages of nanomaterial-based copper ink, such as low-temperature sintering and ease of application.”
Applied Nanotech’s microcopper ink material is easily applied on various substrates by a number of additive print processes such as screen, flexographic and gravure printing, as well as some advanced dispensing techniques. This eliminates the cost and waste stream compared to other approaches, including lithography, used presently in the manufacturing of printed electronics circuits such as printed circuit boards (PCBs), for example.
The microcopper ink is engineered to be compatible with photosintering curing processes and equipment-enabling printed trace conductors on substrates with maximum temperature limitations. The process has been demonstrated on most preferred substrates used in printed electronic applications including PET, PEN, polycarbonate, ABS, and even epoxy-based FR4 circuit board material, The microcopper ink can also be used as a patterned seed layer for electroplating and metal finishing.
“Mobile and display devices, as well as solar cells, represent very large markets that are constantly seeking to improve product quality and manufacturing efficiencies utilizing higher quality but less expensive materials such as the microcopper and nanocopper inks. Our inks and pastes are joining our growing portfolio of products that will impact our top and bottom line through direct sales,” said Doug Baker, CEO of Applied Nanotech Holdings, Inc.