Date of Award

12-2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Imaging (to 2013)

First Advisor

Dr. Margaret Joyce

Second Advisor

Dr. Erika Rebrosova

Third Advisor

Dr. Massood Atashbar

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Marian Rebros

Abstract

The advancements in the field of solution processable electro-active materials and their ability to be printed on different substrates have led to the evolution of printed electronics. In this field, electronic components are manufactured with conventional printing methods. Transparent electrodes made from indium tin oxide (ITO) are part of many electronic devices. Currently in industry, highly conductive ITO films are prepared by sputtering. The sputtering and then patterning of ITO films is a sophisticated process that consumes high energy, generates waste and produces films with limited flexibility. Therefore, there is a need to investigate processing methods for creating ITO films other than sputtering. Gravure printing is an excellent option for printing the ITO nanoparticles. However, very little research has been done to study the gravure printing process for producing ITO films or the properties of the films after printing and sintering.

First part of this work investigates gravure printability of ITO nanoparticles based coating on polyethelene terephthalate (PET). A wide range of sheet resistivities and film thicknesses were obtained by varying the cell diameter and the aspect ratios (AR) of the engraved cells of the gravure cylinder. The printed films were found to be highly flexible in comparison to commercially available sputtered ITO films on PET. However, due to the polymeric binder in the ITO coating, the printed layers were of high resistance. This finding would limit the possible application of such inks to antistatic and electromagnetic shielding applications.

The second part of this work summarizes the gravure and inkjet printing of ITO nanoparticles dispersion without polymeric binder on glass. The printed films were sintered at high temperature and the results were compared to samples that were postprocessed with a photonic sintering system. The electrical performance, transmission and surface roughness of the printed ITO films were analyzed. The ability to use photonic sintering can improve the processing efficiency of these films. Time and energy can be saved and the process is suitable for roll-to-roll printing. Through this work, the gravure printing process is shown to hold promise as a new manufacturing process for ITO films.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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