We discuss here the use of inkjet printing technology as an attractive alternative for the fabrication of radio frequency (RF) electronics. Inkjet printing is compared to widely-used traditional methods such as wet etching and mechanical milling with discussion of the advantages and potential disadvantages afforded by the technology. Next the paper presents the current state of the art for RF printed electronics, including fundamental fabrication technologies, methodologies, and materials. Included are detailed discussions of the fabrication of foundational conductive elements, integration of external elements via low temperature bonding techniques, and enhancement strategies focusing on the addition of novel materials. We then present some current challenges related to inkjet printing, along with some exciting recent advances in materials technology seeking to overcome the current limitations and to expand the frontier of the technology. Following are multiple examples detailing the successful use of inkjet printing methods in the creation of novel RF devices, providing proof of concept and illustrating in greater detail the concepts presented in the theoretical sections.
Inkjet Printing of Radio Frequency Electronics: Design Methodologies and Application of Novel Nanotechnologies
Manuscript received February 24, 2012; final manuscript received October 18, 2012; published online March 26, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Kyoung-sik Moon.
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Le, T., Lin, Z., Vyas, R., Lakafosis, V., Yang, L., Traille, A., Tentzeris, M. M., and Wong, C. (March 26, 2013). "Inkjet Printing of Radio Frequency Electronics: Design Methodologies and Application of Novel Nanotechnologies." ASME. J. Electron. Packag. March 2013; 135(1): 011007. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4023671
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