Fidelity of Gravure Printed Lines for Printed Electronics
By Paul Fiero
This report examines the practicality of printing conductive ink with a gravure press to create microelectronics. The Concept was tested by printing commercially available silver flake ink onto commercially available substrates and observing the image transfer of fine lines. The results of a line sample from four printings, each done on a different substrate, were examined and the ability to print the simplest of electronic components, a line, was analyzed for both the print direction (PD) and the cross print direction (CPD). After printing the four substrates were examined using the ImageXpert hardware and software and the average line width was determined for a range of lines from 500-microns to 100-microns. The data was analyzed and Substrate 2 was found to be the most consistent from line to line PD or CPD. Substrate 1 had good line integrity for the PD but poor integrity for CPD. Substrates 3 and 4 showed some unusual behavior around the 300-micron line and further investigation to determine if this is was caused by the substrate, the image carrier, or some other factor.