Laser Induced Forward Transfer (LIFT) is a direct write technique, able to create micropatterns of biomaterials on sensing devices. In this conference we will present a new approach using LIFT for the printing and direct immobilization of biomaterials on a great variety of surfaces, for bio-sensor applications. The basic requirement for the fabrication of a biosensor is to stabilize a biomaterial that brings the physicochemical changes in close proximity to a transducer. In this direction, several immobilization methods such as covalent binding and crosslinking have been implemented. The presence of the additional functionalization steps in the biosensors fabrication, is among the main disadvantages of chemical immobilization methods. Our approach employs the LIFT technique for the direct immobilization of biomaterials, either by physical adsorption or by covalent bonding of the biomaterials. The physical adsorption of the biomaterials, occurs on hydrophobic or super-hydrophobic surfaces, due to the transition of the wetting properties of the surfaces upon the impact of the biomaterials with high velocity. The unique characteristic of LIFT technique to create high speed liquid jets, leads to the penetration of the biomaterial in the micro/nano roughness of the surface, resulting in their direct immobilization, without the need of any chemical functionalization layers. Moreover, we will also present the direct immobilization of biomaterials on Screen Printed Electrodes, for enzymatic biosensors, with a limit of detection (LOD) for catechol at 150 nM, and protein biosensors, used for the detection of herbicides, with an LOD of 8-10 nM.
During the last decade there is an ever-increasing interest for the study of laser processes dynamics and specifically of the Laser Induced Forward Transfer (LIFT) technique, since the evolution of the phenomena under investigation may provide real time metrology in terms of jet velocity, adjacent jet interaction and impact pressure.
The study of such effects leads to a more thorough understanding of the deposition process, hence to an improved printing outcome and in these frames, this work presents a study on the dynamics of LIFT for conductive nanoparticles inks using high-speed imaging approaches. Moreover, in this study, we investigated the printing regimes and the printing quality during the transfer of copper (Cu) nanoink, which is a metallic nanoink usually employed in interconnect formation as well as the printing of silver nanowires, which provide transparency and may be used in applications where transparent electrodes are needed as in photovoltaics, batteries, etc. Furthermore, we demonstrate the fabrication of an all laser printed resistive chemical sensor device that combines Ag nanoparticles ink and graphene oxide, for the detection of humidity fabricated on a flexible polyimide substrate. The sensor device architecture was able to host multiple pairs of electrodes, where Ag nanoink or nanopaste were laser printed, to form the electrodes as well as the electrical interconnections between the operating device and the printed circuit board. Performance evaluation was conducted upon flow of different concentrations of humidity vapors to the sensor, and good response (500 ppm limit of detection) with reproducible operation was observed.