Laser Technology Supports the Path to Printed Electronic Diversity – Science and Technology Research News


Direct printing: The Fraunhofer ILT is showing a pressure gauge sensing unit that can be used straight and instantly to the part thanks to a mix of printing and laser technology.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

Over the last few years, the needs put on component-integrated electronic devices have actually increased so dramatically in lots of markets that they can frequently no longer be met standard electronic parts. As an option, printed electronic devices is on the advance. At the Hanover Fair from April 1 to 5, 2019, specialists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, Germany, will be showing the function lasers play in this procedure. Emphasizes consist of the straight printed pressure gauge sensing unit, the in your area gold-plated contacts and the electrically conductive glass fiber material.

Fraunhofer ILT’s Thin Movie Processing group concentrates on the post-treatment of finishings utilizing lasers: Among its centerpieces is the laser-based treatment of printed, thin electronic layers. Wet covering procedures such as inkjet, pad or giving printing and lots of others are utilized to deposit the required products onto the parts to incorporate electrical functions into them. Depending upon the procedure, various layers can be used which differ in density, width or structure.

Integrated performances: At the Hanover Fair, the Fraunhofer ILT will be showing how electrical practical layers can be used straight to a glass fiber material which will be utilized to manufacture fiber composite parts thanks to a mix of printing and laser technology. Sensing units or heating aspects might hence be incorporated into airplane wings.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

Laser-based heat post-treatment in 2 actions

Nevertheless, all layers have a common measure: They need heat post-treatment, which is performed traditionally in a heating system, for instance. “The post-treatment using furnaces can take a long time and is very energy-intensive because the entire component is heated,” describes Dr. Christian Vedder, group leader at Fraunhofer ILT. “In its location, a laser beam can be utilized, which works far more exactly and rapidly: It can process little structures on parts in such a brief time that the covering can be warmed in your area to temperature levels above the damage limit of the part, however without damaging the part itself. Laser processing happens in 2 actions: First, the laser beam dries the layer to get rid of solvents. As an outcome, just the practical particles, for instance silver, gold, etc., stay. The laser then partly or totally melts these micro- or nanoparticles and links them so that they can perform electrical power, for instance.

Rare-earth element contacts: The Fraunhofer ILT utilizes printing and laser technology to instantly produce regional gold plating for electrical contatcs.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.

Printed sensing unit changes pressure evaluates

Fraunhofer ILT is showing its abilities in this field, for instance, with an additively made pressure gauge that can be utilized to procedure the elongation of an element. The Aachen scientists have actually established an approach for straight using the sensing unit to replacement the standard foil pressure gauge, which frequently has to be used by hand to the part. To accomplish this, the researchers transfer an insulation layer on a metal part, onto which a determining grid consisting of conductor courses is printed by ways of inkjet or aerosol jet. All post-treatment is done utilizing laser radiation. If required, a last encapsulation with an additional insulation layer follows. “We will exist the style and performance of a demonstrator in Hanover,” states Dr. Vedder. “We show how the electrical resistance of the additive measuring grid changes under mechanical stress. In addition, we’ll be presenting a variety of different geometries.”

Specific cars and truck doors allowed by procedure mix

Outcomes of the Fraunhofer lighthouse job »Exceed 4.0« will likewise be shown: The Fraunhofer Institutes ENAS, IFAM, IWU, ISC, IOF and ILT are dealing with the application of electronic practical layers on parts from the automobile, air travel and lighting sectors. These advancement activities are especially intriguing for car producers who set up a good deal of electronic devices in automobiles and trucks – varying from the windshield wiper control over the electronic camera module in the bumper all the method to contemporary sensing units. “With the new technology, it will be possible to individualize mass components, such as doors, using digital print and laser processes. In the future, electrical signal and power interconnects for different car configurations may be applied directly and automatically to the components, without having to keep individual cable harnesses available,” stated the ILT researcher evaluating the capacity of this technology. In addition to printing electrical conductors, this technology allows the combination of brand-new sensing units and lighting aspects. “We are beginning with surface area structuring utilizing laser ablation: Cavities of nearly any shape can be made which will then be covered with an electrical insulation layer utilizing digital printing innovations. The laser post-treatment of the insulation layer is followed by printing another layer of electrical conductors or sensing units and their laser-based post-treatment.

Ready for liftoff: A multi-functional airplane wing

Within the lighthouse job »Exceed 4.0«, a demonstrator part for the aerospace market will likewise be established. Carbon or glass fiber materials remain in need due to the require for weight decrease. Utilizing a mix of printing and laser technology, the scientists can use electrical practical layers straight to the materials, which then are ingrained into the part matrix product. The practical aspects are hence secured in the fiber composite part. In addition to electrical interconnects for brand-new sensing units and lighting aspects, heating structures in airplane wings, for instance, might likewise be made in this method.

Waste passé: Regional gold-plating of electrical contacts

In Hanover, the Fraunhofer ILT will show additional applications for the mix of printing and laser technology. One technique shows how plug contacts can be gold-plated more selectively than prior to: The gold is just used at areas where the electrically conductive contact is in fact needed. The technique boasts lots of benefits: Not just does the procedure lower the quantity of gold required – compared to a completely gold-plated part – however it has a style versatility and self-reliance from long shipment times that afflict the market.

Battery producers may be thinking about a laser-based technique for drying battery electrode layers that are previous transferred as pastes to copper foils. This technique conserves both energy and setup space, 2 more benefits.

Fraunhofer ILT likewise utilizes laser radiation to develop practical layers for microelectronic accelerometers. A piezoelectric actuator, nevertheless, is utilized to create movement: It warps when voltage is used. Here, the Aachen scientists are examining how the piezoelectric layers can be used in a more cost-saving method utilizing laser radiation for formation.

Fraunhofer ILT at the Hanover Fair 2019

Fraunhofer ILT will exist its exhibitions and subjects at the joint Fraunhofer cubicle in Hall 6, A30.

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