Printing Out Electronic Components Should Be Possible In the Future

 Mian Azhar
  Aug 02, 2018

It is incredible to take a look at how the technology worked a few years back and how it works now. It becomes almost impossible to imagine how technology will evolve in the future. However, there are some things that experts share with us about upcoming inventions.

According to researchers, printing out electronic components is something that will be possible in the future. More than that, the technique used is one that is similar to the newspaper printing technique. You can find out more details about this by reading electronics news for engineers.

Low-cost process

Not only that this process is a revolutionizing one, but it appears that the costs for it are low as well. The project was developed by researchers from the Purdue University, and it seems that they used only tools which already exist in the metal manufacturing industry. Their findings were published in a study, and the listed authors are DebkalpaGoswami, Juan C. Munera, Aniket Pal, Behnam Sadri, CaioLui P. G. Scarpetti, and Ramses V. Martinez.

The current technique that is used in order to produce the needed circuits requires getting liquid metal drops to pass through a stencil mask that has the shape of a circuit. "Unfortunately, this fabrication technique generates metallic circuits with rough surfaces, causing our electronic devices to heat up and drain their batteries faster," declared Ramses Martinez, assistant professor of industrial engineering and biomedical engineering.

The old technique is starting to become outdated because the modern devices require smaller components. Many electronics need internal metallic circuits, from cell phones to laptops and tablets. They need very small metal components, which have to be produced at nanoscales sizes, which can be quite difficult. Low resolution and roughness were two major issues existent with the initial technique.

"Forming metals with increasingly smaller shapes requires molds with higher and higher definition until you reach the nanoscale size. Adding the latest advances in nanotechnology requires us to pattern metals in sizes that are even smaller than the grains they are made of. It's like making a sand castle smaller than a grain of sand," Martinez added.

The new method

The new technique developed by researchers manages to fix all these issues. The fabrication method uses carbon dioxide lasers. They are not something uncommon, and they are already used in the engraving and cutting industry. The conventional CO2 lasers are able to fabricate “three-dimensional crystalline metallic nanostructures over large areas”. Additionally, scientists are able to control certain aspects, such as the optical and mechanical properties and the aspect ratio.

This discovery allows them to form the metallic circuits at a nanoscale size. Additionally, printing them this way makes them a lot smoother which means that there is no overheating risk when an electric current passes through them. "Printing tiny metal components like newspapers makes them much smoother. This allows an electric current to travel better with less risk of overheating," explained Martinez.

The laser shock induces the “ultrahigh-strain-rate deformation of metallic films at room temperature into low-cost polymeric nanomolds”, and this technique does not need access to associated facilities and clean rooms, which is another plus.

The name of this new technique is roll-to-roll laser-induced superplasticity. It is very similar to newspaper printing because it uses a rolling stamp that is almost identical to the one used for newspapers. Metals become elastic for a while, which allows it to go into the nanoscales features of the rolling stamp. This technique will inevitably lead to multiple innovations in the future, and it will also significantly reduce the costs.

"In the future, the roll-to-roll fabrication of devices using our technique could enable the creation of touch screens covered with nanostructures capable of interacting with light and generating 3D images, as well as the cost-effective fabrication of more sensitive biosensors," Martinez concluded.

The scientists offered more details about this technology in Nano Letters, which is an American Chemical Society publication. The letter was titled “Roll-to-Roll Nino forming of Metals Using Laser-Induced Superplasticity”. Their technology is supported financially by The work is financially supported by, the Administrative Department of Science, the Ross Fellowship program at Purdue Technology and Innovation of Colombia and Procter & Gamble,

Printing Out Electronic Components Should Be Possible In the Future

Mian Azhar

I began writing as a professional on my personal blog and then discovered my true calling, which is writing about technology, News, and gadgets in general. I am a technical writer, author, and blogger since 2010. An industry watcher that stays on top of the latest features, extremely passionate about juicy tech news and everything related to gadgets.

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