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1 May 2014 Process optimization of LIFT through visualization: towards high resolution metal circuit printing
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Laser induced forward transfer (LIFT) is a freeform, additive patterning technique capable of depositing high resolution metal structures. A laser pulse is used to generate small droplets from the donor material, defined by the spot size and energy of the pulse. Metallic as well as non-metallic materials can be patterned using this method. Being a contactless, additive and high resolution patterning technique, this method enables fabrication of multi-layer circuits, enabling bridge printing, thereby decreasing component spacing. Here we demonstrate copper droplet formation from a thin film donor. The investigation of the LIFT process is done via shadowgraphy and provides detailed insight on the droplet formation. Of particular importance is the interplay of the droplet jetting mechanism and the spacing between donor and receiving substrate on a stable printing process. Parameters such as the influence of laser fluence and donor thickness on the formation of droplets are discussed. An angle deviation analysis of the copper droplets during flight is carried out to estimate the pointing accuracy of the transfer. The possibility of understanding the droplet formation, could allow for stable droplets transferred with large gaps, simplifying the process for patterning continuous high-resolution conductive lines.
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Merijn P. Giesbers, M. B. Hoppenbrouwers, E. C. P. Smits, and R. Mandamparambil "Process optimization of LIFT through visualization: towards high resolution metal circuit printing", Proc. SPIE 9135, Laser Sources and Applications II, 91350Z (1 May 2014);

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