Laura K. Wood

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Chemical and Paper Engineering


Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Imaging

First Advisor

Dr. Paul D. Fleming III

Second Advisor

Dr. Margaret Joyce

Third Advisor

Dr. Thomas Joyce

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Printed Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) labels utilize conductive inks to provide the means for wireless flow of electronic signals. An RFID label is an identification label with an integrated circuit and antenna that transmits data via radio waves to a reader, which sends the data to a computer for processing. RFID labels allow manufacturers and retailers to accurately track their inventory more efficiently than previously possible with bar codes. However, etched metal RFID labels are too expensive for widespread implementation. The key to reducing the cost of RFID technology is replacing etched metal tags with tags printed with conducting ink.

The present work explores the effects of paper properties on conventional silver-based conducting inks. The effects of smoothness, relative humidity, temperature, porosity, permeability and wetability on electrical properties of silver inks on different paper substrates were studied. It was determined that many of these characteristics do influence the conductivity of a printed sheet. However, the conductivity changes resulting from relative humidity and temperature differences may be attributed to the silver-flake ink, rather than the paper substrate. Further exploration will be required on this topic to achieve the goal of an ideal paper substrate for electronic printing applications.