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Evaluation of screen printed silver trace performance and long-term reliability against environmental stress on a low surface energy substrate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-65
Number of pages12
JournalMicroelectronics Reliability
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Otherwise attractive substrate materials for printed electronics may have such surface characteristics that make patterning challenging. This article focuses on the printability and performance characterization of conductive patterns on a low surface energy substrate. Surface characteristics of a hydrophobic polyphenylene ether (PPE) substrate and the effects of surface modification using chemical and physical pre-treatments were studied. In addition, silver ink performance and its reliability on this substrate were evaluated. The surface was characterized by surface energy measurements and surface profile analysis. Screen-printed test patterns were characterized to evaluate print quality and electrical and mechanical performance. A further inspection of substrate-ink interactions was conducted using environmental reliability tests. It was observed that ink adhesion could be significantly promoted by choosing a suitable surface pre-treatment method. Low sheet resistances were obtained, and thus, suitable inks for further characterization were found. In addition, it was observed that environmental stress has a significant impact on ink-substrate interactions.

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