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Inkless Multimaterial Printing Flexible Electronics by Directed Laser Deposition at Nano- and Microscale

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-08-01, 15:04 authored by Zabihollah Ahmadi, Aarsh Patel, Adib Taba, Suman Jaiswal, Seungjong Lee, Nima Shamsaei, Masoud Mahjouri-Samani
Additively manufactured electronics, also known as printed electronics, are becoming increasingly important for the anticipated Internet of Things (IoT). This requires manufacturing technologies that allow the integration of various pure functional materials and devices onto different flexible and rigid surfaces. However, the current ink-based technologies suffer from complex and expensive ink formulation, ink-associated contaminations (additives/solvents), and limited sources of printing materials. Thus, printing contamination-free and multimaterial structures and devices is challenging. Here, a multimaterial additive nanomanufacturing (M-ANM) technique utilizing directed laser deposition at the nano- and microscale is demonstrated, allowing the printing of lateral and vertical hybrid structures and devices. This M-ANM technique involves pulsed laser ablation of solid targets placed on a target carousel inside the printer head for in situ generation of contamination-free nanoparticles, which are then guided via a carrier gas toward the nozzle and onto the surface of the substrate, where they are sintered and printed in real-time by a second laser. The target carousel brings a particular target in engagement with the ablation laser beam in predetermined sequences to print multiple materials, including metals, semiconductors, and insulators, in a single process. Using this M-ANM technique, various multimaterial devices such as silver/zinc oxide (Ag/ZnO) photodetectors and hybrid silver/aluminum oxide (Ag/Al2O3) circuits are printed and characterized. The quality and versatility of our M-ANM technique offer a potential manufacturing option for emerging IoT.

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