The minimum feature size of circuits produced by conventional screen- or tampon- printing is limited to ca. 100microns. In contrast the Aerosol Jet process is able to produce circuits well below 5o microns. Therefore, the process has the potential to support the miniaturisation of electronic systems in a contactless and mask-less way. Furthermore, the process is able to print onto both 2D and 3D parts which enables 3D-MID devices to be manufactured.
The Aerosol Jet process prints a wide range of functional inks via a Pneumatic or an Ultrasonic atomisation process. After the aerosol is created in the atomiser it is aerodynamically focussed in the print head to a concentrated beam and then projected on to the substrate.
The functional ink can consists of solutions or suspensions of conductive, semi-conductive, resistive or isolating materials. So the entire range of building blocks for electronic systems can be printed. If the ink contains solid particles these should be kept to below 1micron in size: i.e. nano-particle materials. The deposited inks can be sintered or cured according to their material type and properties (oven sintering, light sintering, UV curing…). A further advantage of the process is the ability to possible to print multilayer, multi-material structures and devices.