Printed Functional Thin Films for Electronic, Optoelectronic and Sensing Applications

A special issue of Coatings (ISSN 2079-6412). This special issue belongs to the section "Thin Films".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 October 2024 | Viewed by 14621

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Laboratory Nanomaterials and Devices, ENEA Centro Ricerche Portici, P.le Enrico Fermi, 80055 Portici NA, Italy
Interests: inkjet printing of functional materials; electronic and optical devices; chemicophysical characterization of materials

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory Nanomaterials and devices, ENEA Centro Ricerche Portici, P.le Enrico Fermi, 80055 Portici NA, Italy
Interests: inkjet printing of functional materials; electronic and optical devices; materials’ characterization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recently, printing techniques have been extensively employed to deposit and pattern control numerous amounts of liquid-phase functional materials. They represent a viable and indispensable alternative to traditional manufacturing methods and can produce samples with the required geometry; their advantages comprise ease of fabrication, design flexibility and compatibility with various types of functional materials and substrates. These factors make printing technologies attractive for academic and industrial research teams working in different fields, including microelectronics manufacturing, biomedical applications, photonics and additive manufacturing.

Printing includes several methodologies, with each one being characterized by specific peculiarities that can industrialize deposition processes and make them versatile in innovative applications.

Among the 2D printing methods, digital technologies—such as inkjet printing—occupy a special place in this field by presenting further advantages with regard to patterning geometry, reduced process steps and material waste, and employable substrates (providing rigidity/flexibility). Alternatively, master-based printing technologies offer us the possibility to produce wider superficies and the ability to work in parallel mode. Additionally, 3D printing extends to a wider variety of sectors, including additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping.

This Special Issue outlines the novel progress in the field of printing, providing insights into the chemical-physical, morphological and structural properties of printed products and the advances in relation to their geometries, architectures and processes. The topics of interest herein comprise printed functional thin films for various applications in sensing, electronics and optical fields.

Dr. Fausta Loffredo
Dr. Fulvia Villani
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • printing processing
  • digital printing techniques
  • master-based printing processes
  • coating-based techniques
  • functional inks
  • electronic devices
  • functionalizing of surface
  • inkjet printing
  • gravure printing
  • slot-die coating
  • screen printing
  • three-dimensional printing

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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8 pages, 1535 KiB  
Communication
The Influence of the Gravure Printing Quality on the Layer Functionality: The Study Case of LFP Cathode for Li-Ion Batteries
by Maria Montanino, Claudia Paoletti, Anna De Girolamo Del Mauro and Giuliano Sico
Coatings 2023, 13(7), 1214; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings13071214 - 06 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 969
Abstract
In light of the growing interest in printed batteries, we recently demonstrated the possibility of employing industrial gravure printing in battery manufacturing. Gravure is the most appealing printing technique for the low-cost production of functional layers, but it is rarely investigated since the [...] Read more.
In light of the growing interest in printed batteries, we recently demonstrated the possibility of employing industrial gravure printing in battery manufacturing. Gravure is the most appealing printing technique for the low-cost production of functional layers, but it is rarely investigated since the necessity to use diluted inks makes it difficult to obtain proper functionality, especially in the case of composites, and an adequate mass loading of the printed layer. For this reason, the ink formulation represents one of the main challenges; ruling on it could strongly boost the use of such a technique in industrial manufacturing. It is known that a viable method for obtaining good gravure printing quality is based on the Capillary number approaching unity. Taking into account such methods for the choice of ink and the process parameters, here a study of the printing quality influence on the functionality and the performances of the gravure printed layer is proposed in the case of an LFP-based cathode for Li-ion batteries. Good printing quality is necessary to obtain proper layer functionality, but specific parameters have to be considered for achieving high performance. Full article
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11 pages, 4272 KiB  
Article
Inkjet Printing of High Aspect Ratio Silver Lines via Laser-Induced Selective Surface Wetting Technique
by Iseok Sim, Seongju Park, Kwon-Yong Shin, Chanwoo Yang, Heuiseok Kang, Jun Young Hwang and Seung-Jae Moon
Coatings 2023, 13(4), 683; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings13040683 - 27 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1354
Abstract
The field of printed electronics for highly integrated circuits and energy devices demands very fine and highly conductive electric interconnections. In this study, conductive lines having a high cross-sectional aspect ratio were printed via the inkjet printing of Ag nanoparticle inks assisted by [...] Read more.
The field of printed electronics for highly integrated circuits and energy devices demands very fine and highly conductive electric interconnections. In this study, conductive lines having a high cross-sectional aspect ratio were printed via the inkjet printing of Ag nanoparticle inks assisted by a laser-induced selective surface wetting technique: a hydrophobic layer of self-assembled monolayer-treated ZnO nanorods was coated on a glass substrate and selectively ablated by a laser to form micro-channels for the inkjet, whose surface energy changed from 36.3 mJ/m2 to 51.5 mJ/m2 before and after the laser irradiation. With the varying width of the laser-ablated channels and pitch of jetted ink drops, the 3D shapes of the printed silver lines were measured to investigate their effects on the widths, heights, and uniformities of the printed patterns. The results showed that the present technique realized a uniform line of 35 μm width and 0.46 μm average thickness, having an aspect ratio of 0.013, which is 7.6 times higher than that printed on bare glass. Full article
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12 pages, 10868 KiB  
Article
Slot-Die-Coated Active Layer for Printed Flexible Back-Contact Perovskite Solar Cells
by Hryhorii P. Parkhomenko, Mayuribala Mangrulkar and Askhat N. Jumabekov
Coatings 2023, 13(3), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings13030550 - 03 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1844
Abstract
Perovskites have already shown potential as active layers in photovoltaic applications. Furthermore, a low-cost and simple solution processing technology allows perovskites to be used in flexible and printed electronics. Perovskite solar cells (PSC) with a back-contact (BC) structure, in which the electrode system [...] Read more.
Perovskites have already shown potential as active layers in photovoltaic applications. Furthermore, a low-cost and simple solution processing technology allows perovskites to be used in flexible and printed electronics. Perovskite solar cells (PSC) with a back-contact (BC) structure, in which the electrode system is based on a quasi-interdigitated back-contact (QIBC) design, promise to increase the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of devices beyond those that can be obtained using PSCs with a traditional sandwich structure. While the spin-coating technique is used to deposit the perovskite layer of lab-scale BC PSCs, the application of large-area printing techniques to deposit the perovskite layer of such devices is yet to be explored. Therefore, this work demonstrates an application of the slot-die coating technique to print the perovskite active layer of BC PSCs with QIBC electrodes on flexible polymer substrates. The morphology of the obtained perovskite films on QIBC electrodes are investigated and the primary photoelectric parameters of the resulting BC PSCs are measured. The charge carrier recombination processes in the fabricated BC PSCs are investigated and the dominant mechanism for carrier loss in the devices is determined. The findings of the work give an insight into the properties of the slot-die-coated perovskite active layer of BC PSCs and points to exciting new research opportunities in this direction. Full article
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17 pages, 2026 KiB  
Article
Gravure Printing for PVDF Thin-Film Pyroelectric Device Manufacture
by Giuliano Sico, Maria Montanino, Fausta Loffredo, Carmela Borriello and Riccardo Miscioscia
Coatings 2022, 12(7), 1020; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings12071020 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2881
Abstract
Pyroelectric energy harvesting is one of the more recent and promising solid-state approaches for directly converting time-dependent temperature fluctuations into electric energy. Conventional printing technologies can offer many advantages for the production of pyroelectric thin-film-based devices, such as low cost, low temperature, the [...] Read more.
Pyroelectric energy harvesting is one of the more recent and promising solid-state approaches for directly converting time-dependent temperature fluctuations into electric energy. Conventional printing technologies can offer many advantages for the production of pyroelectric thin-film-based devices, such as low cost, low temperature, the use of flexible substrates and shaping at the same time as deposition. Nevertheless, some issues related to low printed thickness and film-forming microstructure control need to be addressed. In this exploratory study, the possibility of exploiting the highly attractive gravure printing process for the potential industrial manufacture of flexible polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) thin-film pyroelectric devices was investigated. By the use of corona pre-treatment of the printing substrate and low-temperature polar solvent evaporation, multilayer gravure-printed PVDF pyroelectric devices were successfully manufactured for the first time, achieving a maximum generated current of 0.1 nA at 2.5 K/s from a device with an active area of 1 cm2. Considering the very low thermal inertia and performance scaling by the area expected for pyroelectric thin-film-based devices, combined with the upscaling potential of roll-to-roll gravure printing, our results provide new opportunities for on-demand, low-cost pyroelectric device manufacture and their integration in hybrid harvesters. Full article
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14 pages, 2627 KiB  
Article
Bubble-Patterned Films by Inkjet Printing and Gas Foaming
by Fausta Loffredo, Fulvia Villani, David Choy Buentello, Grissel Trujillo-de Santiago, Mario Moisés Alvarez, Riccardo Miscioscia and Ernesto Di Maio
Coatings 2022, 12(6), 806; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings12060806 - 09 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1894
Abstract
The micropatterning of thin films represents a challenging task, even for additive manufacturing techniques. In this work, we introduce the use of inkjet-printing technology coupled with a gas-foaming process, to produce patterned porosities on polymeric thin films, to develop a bubble-writing method. Inkjet [...] Read more.
The micropatterning of thin films represents a challenging task, even for additive manufacturing techniques. In this work, we introduce the use of inkjet-printing technology coupled with a gas-foaming process, to produce patterned porosities on polymeric thin films, to develop a bubble-writing method. Inkjet printing of an aqueous solution of poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA), a well-known gas-barrier polymer, allows the selective coating of a thin poly (lactic acid) (PLA) film, which is, successively, exposed to a gas-foaming process. The foaming of the thin PLA film is effective, only when PVA is printed on top, since the PVA barrier hinders the premature loss of the gas, thus allowing the formation of cavities (bubbles) in the covered areas; then, removing the PVA coating by water washing forms a bubble pattern. As a proof of concept, the surface-morphology features of the patterned porous PLA films have been proven effective at driving endothelial cell growth. A new technological platform is, hence, introduced in the field of tissue engineering and, in general, in fields involving thin films, where a patterned porous structure may add value. Full article
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11 pages, 3450 KiB  
Article
Fabrication and Performance Analysis of 3D Inkjet Flexible Printed Touch Sensor Based on AgNP Electrode for Infotainment Display
by Srinivasan Palanisamy, Muthuramalingam Thangaraj, Khaja Moiduddin and Abdulrahman M. Al-Ahmari
Coatings 2022, 12(3), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings12030416 - 21 Mar 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2256
Abstract
It is possible to employ printed capacitive sensors in car bezel applications because of its lower cost and higher detecting capabilities. In this paper, a flexible sensor for automotive entertainment applications has been developed using an electrode flexible sensor with an interdigitated pattern [...] Read more.
It is possible to employ printed capacitive sensors in car bezel applications because of its lower cost and higher detecting capabilities. In this paper, a flexible sensor for automotive entertainment applications has been developed using an electrode flexible sensor with an interdigitated pattern printed on it using screen printing and 3D printing fabrication processes. Design concerns such as electrode overlap, electrode gap and width on capacitance changes, and production costs were studied. In addition, a new generation of flexible printed sensors has been developed that can outperform conventional human–machine interface (HMI) sensors. The capacitance of the design pattern may be optimized by using a 15mm overlap and 0.5mm electrode line width. Due to the precision of interpolation, overlap has a larger effect on sensor performance than it would have without it. Full article
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Review

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17 pages, 4766 KiB  
Review
Ink-Jet Printing towards Ultra-High Resolution: A Review
by Xinbo Qiu, Xiliang Gong, Xiaoyu Zhang and Weitao Zheng
Coatings 2022, 12(12), 1893; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings12121893 - 05 Dec 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2127
Abstract
Ink-jet printing combines large-area film fabrication with low-cost solution processing. A high-resolution display calls for small-sized and closely arranged pixels, which can be realised using ink-jet printing. Here, we introduce the relevant steps of ink-jet printing, namely, droplet formation, falling, hitting the substrate, [...] Read more.
Ink-jet printing combines large-area film fabrication with low-cost solution processing. A high-resolution display calls for small-sized and closely arranged pixels, which can be realised using ink-jet printing. Here, we introduce the relevant steps of ink-jet printing, namely, droplet formation, falling, hitting the substrate, spreading, and the formation of a pixel. On the basis of a summarisation of factors that affect pixel formation, an approximation model is established to explore the minimum size of a pixel. Full article
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