Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Chemical and Paper Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Paul D. Fleming III

Second Advisor

Dr. Alexandra Pekarovicova

Third Advisor

Dr. Xiaoying Rong

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Massood Atashbar


Flexographic printing, conductive silver inks, PDMS, surface treatments, novel processes, printed electronic devices


For the continued advancement of the field of printed electronic (PE), there is a need for a better understanding of the interactions between functional inks and substrates, which is required to optimize printability, mechanical, and functional properties for the creation of more robust and efficient printed devices. This body of work aims to advance the knowledge of the material properties of poly-di-methyl-siloxane, PDMS, films, their interactions with flexo inks, and their flexographic printability. As the printing of metals (i.e., Ag & Au) is a known area of interest pertaining to PE, this work focused on the characterization and optimization of the properties known to promote the adhesion between materials, and their effects on the functional performance of printed conductive ink films. PDMS is an especially important substrate for use in the creation of biocompatible sensors and devices, which is an area predicted to experience much growth in the coming years. But, PDMS has known complications pertaining to its printing and adhesion of materials to its surface. To accomplish this goal, four studies were completed: 1- The Characterization of Surface Treated Silica-Filled and Non-Filled Polydimethylsiloxane Films, 2- Use of Atmospheric-Plasma Treatment to alter the Surface Energy of PDMS Films, and 3- Feasibility for the Development of a Repulpable Silicone Release Paper. From these studies, a need for a high throughput processing and production method for rol-to-roll production and printing of thin (<100 micron) PDMS films was realized and a fourth work performed 4- A Novel Method for the High Throughput Processing and Production of Thin (<100 micron) PDMS Films in which novel method for the roll-to-roll printing of PDMS films was created. The results of these studies provide information on the influences of surface treatments and material interactions on the printability of PDMS films.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access